09 Feb I Hunt Down the Government’s Mistakes
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"I Hunt Down the Government's Mistakes"Written by Devin Hoover
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Estimated reading time — 28 minutes
If you are one of those people who think the government is hiding countless secrets from you, and constantly covering things up, then you would be absolutely right. I’m one of the many people they hire to clean up their mistakes.
I’m not entirely sure why they chose me, there really isn’t much special about me, but perhaps that’s exactly why they chose me. I was already a loner, and I’m not going to cure cancer or create the next weapon of mass destruction, so I’m easily disposable.
They approached me one day after I finished working my shift at a fast food joint. I’m not sure I had much of a choice, but my life was so dull I was ready for any kind of change up anyway. The men who came to my door didn’t even tell me what I would be doing, simply that if I wanted to “aide my country” to follow them. I didn’t look back once, and as strange as my life has gotten, I still don’t regret it.
The next year of my life would be grueling. I was put through extreme physical and mental training. I learned about things that I thought only existed in movies. I’m not sure what would have happened to me had I failed the training, but I can’t imagine they would have just let me go back to my normal life. Not once did they mention what I was training for during that year, not until I graduated.
Upon getting the seal of approval from higher ups, I was brought in to a small room with black suits and finally informed of what I would be doing.
My new job would be hunting down failed experiments and other oddities that the government had failed to contain. Not all jobs would be the same, some would be relatively easy, while others next to impossible. Most missions would come with the option of bringing the target back dead or alive, but of course it would be preferable to always bring them back alive for further experimentation.
My first assignment would be on the easy side. Codename: The Ice Cream Man.
The Ice cream man like most failed experiments was at one point a human. He still has the appearance of one, your typical ice cream truck driver, but he’s essentially a robot, only concerned with doing his job.
So, what’s so special about the ice cream man then? Well, I’m never told the why of the creatures I hunt, but I always put together my own ideas.
The ice cream man’s truck is really the special part. The music that comes from the horns works as almost a human magnet, it entrances anyone within hearing distance to approach the truck. Once you approach the truck you…well you buy ice cream. I’ve heard the ice cream tastes delicious, but of course you’ll never know for sure, because the ice cream causes anyone who eats it to basically enter a fugue state. For the next 12 hours after consuming the ice cream you will carry on your day as you normally do, but you’ll remember nothing the next day.
I’m sure you can see why this would be a valuable asset to the government. Unfortunately, the scientists put in charge of testing the ice cream man underestimated him a bit. Before they knew it, they had woken up 12 hours later wondering where their test subject had gone.
I’m sure I was given this simple assignment as sort of a test. I was given a pair of enhanced noise blocking earplugs, and was sent on my way to the ice cream man’s last known location.
He wasn’t hard to find, I just had to follow the mass of vehicles that had lined up to get their sweet treat. I allowed him to serve everyone in the area, it would make my job of taking him much easier if no one remembered it.
After everyone had their ice cream, I lined up myself. He attempted to serve me, but instead I reached into the truck and injected him with a tranquilizer. He may only be a shell of a person now, but he’s not immune to good old fashioned medication. I tied him up and hitched his truck to my vehicle. I dropped him off at the nearest government facility, and awaited my next target.
As I said, this would be one of the easier assignments, my next wouldn’t be quite so simple.
Codename: The Rippler.
Unlike the Ice Cream Man, The Rippler was still mostly human. He hadn’t lost his emotions, or become a mindless zombie, and perhaps that was the problem. Through intense experimentation, The Rippler had gained the ability to create an intense concentrated earthquake. He had collapsed the facility he was being stored in. The main concern with The Rippler was his danger to others around him, if he used his ability in a heavily populated area, countless lives could be lost. This was one of the few cases I’ve been advised to not bring the target back alive.
Once again I feel as though this assignment was a test, just a different kind of test. The government wanted to see if I would kill for them without hesitation, and it’s possible if I did, then there would truly be no escape for me. That was fine though, I had no intentions of leaving.
The Rippler was a bit more difficult to find, mostly because he wasn’t trying to attract the attention of everyone around him, but if the government wants you, they will find you. He had relocated to a small town, changed his name, his face, everything in an attempt to escape. I almost felt bad for the guy, I doubt he had volunteered himself to be a guinea pig for the government, and now all he wanted was a normal life.
Once I found the town he was staying in I made sure to keep my distance, didn’t want him going nuclear on me. I confirmed he was indeed my target by collecting some DNA samples from his trash, now all that was left was to take him down.
I didn’t want to kill him, but I didn’t have a lot of options. The scientists who had created him were still unsure the extent of his powers, and his ability to control them. Had I brought him back alive there’s no telling if the government even has a facility capable of holding him. I did what I thought was best.
After he returned home one night I put a bullet between The Rippler’s eyes. It wasn’t a good feeling, but I continued to convince myself it was necessary. I dropped his body off, and was thanked for my services. It wouldn’t get easier from here either.
My next target, Codename: Ghoul
This one was truly a monster. I’m not sure what the government was trying to create in Ghoul, but I don’t think they got what they wanted. Ghoul has enhanced strength and speed, but with one slight problem, he eats humans. Who knows, maybe that’s exactly what the government wanted.
As you can imagine, Ghoul found a way to escape. After a while you would think these government scientists would get better at containing their experiments, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
This mission might not have been so bad, but I was given strict orders that Ghoul was to be brought back alive. All my lethal weapons were stripped and replaced with tranquilizers strong enough to bring down a rhino. I put in a request to have a partner for this assignment, but of course I was swiftly denied.
Ghoul had taken up residence in a forest, this might not have been so bad if not for the fact this forest had an extremely popular hiking trail. There had always been frequent disappearances in the forest, a lot of them chalked up to suicides, but since Ghoul had escaped, that number had amplified significantly.
The government did me a solid and got the trail shut down for the weekend, so it would just be me and Ghoul, I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone else getting in the way. I’ve always wanted to go on a hiking date, but this wasn’t quite what I had pictured.
I set out in to the forest looking for signs of his nest. I had made sure not to shower all week in preparation, if he came to me it makes my job of dragging him back to my vehicle a lot easier, and I’m sure he would get hungry eventually.
After about an hour of following markings and footprints that I assumed had to belong to Ghoul, I began to come across bones, human bones. So, I was getting closer.
I followed the path for a few more minutes before I began to hear noises, looks like my date had arrived. I heard tree branches shaking, as he drew nearer. After only a few moments he was standing on a large tree right in front of me. He looked down on me, studying me.
He really wasn’t that big, maybe 5’6 with an average frame, but looks can be deceiving. His skin was a sickly yellow, and his hair had begun to recede as if he was an old man, but he was clearly much younger. His eyes were pure white, no longer containing anything else.
After a brief stare down, he jumped. There was a good 50 feet between us, so I thought I would have a few seconds to ready myself but I was wrong. As if he was a video game character he soared from the tree and landed directly on top of me.
I had just enough time to pull out a tranquilizer and shove it in to his side, but it wasn’t enough. Despite the strength of the tranquilizer, he seemed relatively unaffected. He shrugged it off, and proceeded to take a chunk of flesh out of my shoulder.
I lay helpless as he began to chew my flesh, I knew it wouldn’t be long before he went back for seconds. I struggled to pull out another tranquilizer, I managed to pull another one out right before he began to lunge in for another bite.
I jammed the second tranquilizer directly in to his neck, I felt his teeth begin to lock on to my own neck, but before he bit down, he passed out.
I let out the biggest sigh of relief of my life, and pushed him off of me. I placed the special restraints I had been given for him on, making sure the muzzle I was given for him was extra tight. I wasn’t sure how long the tranquilizers would last, but hopefully long enough for me to deliver this monster.
Despite missing a chunk of my shoulder, I had escaped alive. This was just one monster that science had created, I could only imagine what my future would have in store for me.
After delivering Ghoul I informed the higher ups I would need at least a month off, and knowing what they had put me through, they obliged. If anything, they were impressed I had come back in mostly one piece.
After my month long break/recovery from Ghoul, I was given an easier assignment to ease my way back in to things. Codename: Romeo.
Romeo was made to be a charmer, and that he was. He was a true Adonis in every sense of the word, Romeo makes the statue of David look ugly in comparison. From what I can tell he was designed to charm women, foreign diplomats probably, but instead he charms anyone and everyone. Which is how he was able to charm his way out of his holding cell. Romeo isn’t really a danger to anyone though, except perhaps himself should he find himself at the hands of an angry spouse, but I’m sure he could get himself out of that one too.
Finding Romeo was easy, but the hard part would be extracting him. He was always surrounded by a crowd, almost like a cult. If there was a high class party, Romeo would be there, and he would never return to his room with less than 10 people following him. I would need a good plan to separate him from his entourage.
I decided to attend one of his parties, just so I could get a better scope on the situation. It was crucial that I find any openings he might have. What I didn’t expect though was for Romeo to approach me.
“Good evening Monsieur, I do not believe we have met before, I am Romeo, and you?”
Monsieur, was that French? I think I almost threw up in my mouth a bit. I guess I should have expected this though, he has quite the ego after all. It was good to see his charm wasn’t working on me though, I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it may have something to do with my disgust at just how perfect he is.
“Oh I’m, uh, James. I’m kinda new here, nice to meet you Romeo.” I managed to respond.
“James, what a fabulous name, but alone at a party? Unacceptable, come with me, my friends and I are about to return to my estate, I will show you the finer parts of this city.”
Is that a sexual reference? Regardless, this was going much better than expected, I was making direct contact with my target. If I went to his home, perhaps I could just wait until everyone else fell asleep, and sneak away with Romeo before anyone knew better.
“I don’t know, we just met, I wouldn’t want to impose on you like that.” I said, trying to play hard to get.
“No I insist, you must. Samantha, go with my friend James here and guide him to my home. I will be there shortly, there is someone I must see first.” Romeo replied while motioning to one of the women from his group.
Samantha did indeed guide me to Romeo’s home. I already knew where he lived of course, but I had to play dumb. Romeo’s estate was a true mansion, with aesthetics that would make you think that someone had designed the home in the game The Sims.
I was escorted inside; the rest of Romeo’s entourage would arrive shortly after. I was offered some scotch that had apparently been aged over a hundred years, I’m not much of a drinker, but I accepted it nonetheless.
Romeo arrived almost an hour later, fashionably late to his own party. Once he arrived he immediately approached me.
“James, follow me, there is something I must show you.” He said to me.
I didn’t hesitate to follow him, this was my chance to be alone with him. I could tranquilize him and be on my way before anyone knew any better.
He led me to a room on the other side of the home, the room was something else, something I didn’t expect. The walls were covered with pictures, men and women, each one was of a different person, I think I even noticed a few of them from his group.
“What is this?” I said without even thinking.
“These are all the people I have conquered, and you are next. Please, remove your clothing.” Romeo said this as he turned his back on me and began to remove his own clothing.
I almost felt compelled to remove my own clothing, his words held such power, but I was able to hold out. Instead I approached him and sunk the tranq in to his neck. I made sure duct tape his mouth, I had heard enough of his words for one night.
Romeo was much bigger than me, so it was quite an effort dragging him out his window and back to my vehicle, but I managed to do it before anyone got suspicious. I assume his friends simply thought he was taking his time in conquering me.
I dropped off Romeo, and I made sure to shower extra well that night. My experience with Romeo almost made me miss my date with Ghoul, almost.
My next assignment would be another fun one, Codename: Kong.
What happens when you splice human DNA with gorilla DNA? Well, apparently you get Kong. Personally, I would have preferred the name Caesar in reference to Planet of the Apes, but I suppose he’s not a gorilla, and I don’t get to pick the names anyway. Kong is essentially a smaller version of Bigfoot, and before you ask if Bigfoot exists, I have to say I don’t know, I haven’t been tasked with hunting him yet.
Kong would be a kill task. There’s no guarantee the tranqs would work, and if they did for how long. Not to mention he had killed two scientists during his escape, so they weren’t too worried about him coming back alive, they just wanted to dissect what was left of him.
I was given specific parameters as to avoid the head if at all possible, they mostly wanted to examine the brain, and that wouldn’t be possible if I splattered it all on the ground. Another problem I faced was my experience with long-ranged weapons. It had been a part of my training of course, and I had gotten through the basics, but that was about it. I had been told most of my missions would be up close and personal anyway, so it wasn’t that important. Well it was starting to seem important now.
Similar to Ghoul, Kong had taken up residence in a forested area, but since his diet didn’t consist of human meat, he had chosen a much more secluded area. I don’t think Kong really wanted to hurt anyone, he could have lived his life out in these woods never bothering anyone, but that’s not what the government wanted.
My superiors informed me that they had already done overhead sweeps of the area, and were able to tell me exactly where the cave he was staying in was located. Of course they had done the easy part, and I would get to do all the dirty work on the ground.
I made my way to a vantage point overlooking the cave and set up the sniper rifle they had supplied me with. Now all I had to do was wait.
After a few hours, Kong finally made his appearance. He walked out of the cave and began to stretch his limbs, the way most of us do after we wake up.
I steadied the rifle and aimed the cross-hairs over where I would assume his heart was, and I pulled the trigger.
I missed. I hadn’t taken in to account the wind had picked up since I had started waiting, and the bullet had strayed to the right of Kong, hitting the rock of the cave.
Kong didn’t move though. Instead he simply turned his gaze to me, with eyes that were all too human. He didn’t try to escape, he knew I would come eventually, and if it wasn’t me it would be someone else. Kong had accepted his fate.
I had killed The Rippler of course, but that was different, I had done that while he was asleep, I didn’t have to see the look in his eyes before he died. I almost wished Kong had been a monster like Ghoul, that way I wouldn’t have to feel bad about putting him down.
With a slight hesitation I reloaded my gun, I took aim accounting for the wind now, and I fired once again.
Kong went down instantly. I made my way over to confirm he was dead, and luckily he was, he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Kong weighed far too much for me to drag back on my own, instead I set off a flare I had been given for this moment, and waited for the air team to come collect him.
Sitting next to Kong’s lifeless body really made me begin to question my line of work. I had never felt so disgusted in myself, but I knew there was no way out for me. I’m already in far too deep. Perhaps the government has created another monster in me, and someday they’ll have to put me down too, but for now I’m still doing their dirty work.
Dahlia is well, a doll, a ventriloquist doll to be exact. Despite her simple looks, she’s quite dangerous. Probably not in the way that most of you would expect though. She can’t move on her own, well she can speak, but that’s it, so she won’t be running around your home in the middle of the night stabbing people.
No, instead Dahlia has an incredibly strong power of influence. One look in to her eyes, and she’ll have complete control of you. It’s a bit ironic really, a ventriloquist doll making humans her puppets. In my briefing I was told Dahlia is essentially the definition of sadistic, she enjoys making her victims inflict as much pain as possible, before eventually disposing of them. I’m not sure if demons are real, but if they are, I’m sure that’s what is trapped in that doll.
Dahlia was believed to be staying with a family of four, she had been taken there by a scientist who had fallen under her control. She had only been gone about a week, but there’s no telling what she could have gotten up to in that time. The scientist who had taken her had returned to her workplace a day later and attempted to murder her co-workers, but was quickly taken care of.
I made my way to the family’s home, hoping to be surprised by what I saw. Let’s just say I got my wish, but not in the way I’d hoped.
I knocked on the front door, after a few minutes of no response I turned the handle to find the door was unlocked. I wish I hadn’t.
The moment I stepped in to the home I was hit with a putrid smell, one that I know means death. The walls were coated in blood, some of it was dried, some was fresh and still slowly dripping down.
I found the family together in the living room. The mother and two children were sat in a small triangle, they were already dead and rotting. Their stomachs had been cut open, with their entrails hanging out, they had been posed in a way to make it look as if they were eating their own organs.
In the center of that triangle was the father, hanging from the ceiling. He had scratches and cuts all across him, but that was nothing compared to what had happened to his family. Just before I was about to spill my lunch all over the floor, I heard a voice from the opposite corner of the room.
“You’re just in time! What do you think of my art, it’s a little sloppy, but I’m sure it will get better in time.” The voice said.
“Dahlia?” I questioned.
“Awwww, have you come to get me already? I was having such a fun time too. Well, I’m done here anyway, I guess you can take me back for now, I’ll be out again soon.”
I made my way over to the voice, making sure to keep my head down, I had no intention of ending up like that family. When I got close I closed my eyes, I managed to pick her up and flip her over, and made my way back out to my vehicle.
“Let me sit up front, I like to have conversations during my car rides. Plus, you can’t get much action from women in this line of work, so it will be fun for both of us.” Dahlia said mockingly.
As much as I wanted to chunk her in the back and throw a blanket or something over her, I also didn’t want her to be out of my line of sight. So, I granted her wish. I carefully sat her up front, turning her head towards the window. I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t curious about her, I wanted to know more about what makes a monster a monster.
“You should just take me home with you, tell your boss I wasn’t here. I’m sure we could have lots of fun together.” Dahlia said.
“Yes, I’m sure you would make great kindling for a fire.” I responded.
“Hehehehehe, you’re funny, I like you. I was thinking I’d have someone kill you eventually, but maybe I’ll keep you.”
“Oh, you don’t just kill everyone?” I asked.
“Of course not, I like to let the really bad ones live, it’s more fun that way.” Dahlia said.
“What do you mean by that, are you saying I’m a bad person?” That had made me a bit angry. I had almost turned to look at Dahlia, but I thought better of it. Was she just trying to provoke me?
“You aren’t quite on my level yet, but I see potential in you. You didn’t even scream when you saw my work, maybe you even enjoyed seeing it. You may think we are different, but we really aren’t.” Dahlia retorted.
She was partly right, I hadn’t reacted when I saw the bodies, I had felt a little sick, but if I had seen that a few months ago I would have probably passed out. Whether I like it or not, I am definitely changing, and I don’t think it is for the good.
“What are you?” I finally asked after a few minutes of silence.
“Look in to my eyes and I’ll tell you.”
“Nice try, I may be stupid, but I’m not that stupid.” I responded almost bursting out in to laughter.
“What are you afraid of? Do you think you would see yourself if you looked in to my eyes?”
“That’s enough, one more word and I’m googling where the nearest wood chipper is.” Those were the last words I spoke on our little road trip together.
I dropped off Dahlia and informed them about the mess at the house, they said they would send someone to clean it up. I was hoping they would give me a break after what I’d seen, but I wouldn’t be so lucky, as soon as I turned in Dahlia they told me they already had a new assignment ready for me.
That would be Codename: Jack.
Grandiose name, I know. This was probably the oddest assignment I had received yet though. Jack was from what I could tell, entirely human. I had no clue why I had been tasked with finding a human, perhaps he was a runaway scientist, or someone who knew too much, but he certainly wasn’t what I had gotten used to hunting.
I was told Jack was incredibly dangerous though, and that I shouldn’t take any risks in trying to capture him alive. In other words, they wanted him dead. This only made me more curious as to what secrets that Jack must have held.
Jack was constantly on the move, so it wasn’t easy to find him, but my training had paid off, and I was eventually able to track him down. I watched him for a few, he didn’t seem dangerous to me. Suspicious and cautious yes, but not dangerous.
One night he stepped out of his hotel room to go get food, so I decided to let myself in, Jack and I needed to have a talk.
Jack didn’t seem too surprised when he returned to his room to find me sitting on the couch. He simply held out his arms.
“So they did send someone for me after all, well go ahead and do what you have to, I won’t fight it.” He said.
“Sit down Jack, I just want to talk.”
Jack raised an eyebrow at this, “A curious one huh, you know what they say about curiosity right?”
I rolled my eyes, and once again motioned for Jack to sit down.
“Who are you Jack, and why did they send me after you?”
“You don’t know? I’m you, or at least I used to be. They tell us where to go, who to kill, who to bring back alive, and we do it, no questions asked. I couldn’t handle it anymore though, so here I am, and here you are.” Jack explained.
This took me back for a second, I had known he had to have some connection to my agency, but I had never considered he had been in the same position as me. So, there really was no way out, other than death that is.
I walked across the room, pulled out my gun, and I killed Jack. I had the answers I came here for. Perhaps Dahlia was right, we aren’t so different after all.
I returned with Jack’s body. I wasn’t asked to give my usual debriefing, instead I was just given a simple nod, and told to go home and wait for my next assignment. I wonder if this was another test, if it had been, I’m sure I passed with flying colors.
I understand if you all think less of me for the choices I’ve made, but if it wasn’t me, it would be someone else. This was the life I had chosen, or perhaps the life that was chosen for me. Regardless, I can’t back down now. I’m simply one discard-able person in the whole scheme of things.
Don’t mistake my actions for blind loyalty though, I know the people I work for aren’t good people. I simply know my place in this world, and the minute I stop being useful I will end up like Jack.
How does the saying go “Better the Devil you know, than the Devil you don’t.”
I am a cog in a giant machine, and once my cog stops working, I will be discarded and replaced by another. Despite the fact that I risk death every day that I wake up, I have never felt more alive. I no longer have nightmares of those I’ve killed, I’ve stopped caring about things like that. If I become too soft, then I will end up like Jack, and I have no intentions of letting that happen.
After I disposed of Jack I was given a week off, it had been a while since I had any time to myself, it was a bit strange. I never had many friends to begin with, and my work had distanced me from the few family members I had kept in touch with. This week off made me realize just how empty my life had become, was this what they had wanted?
Regardless, I was at work the minute my week was up, ready for my next assignment, and I got one. Codename: Mimic.
As her name implies, Mimic is a master of disguise. She has the ability the morph her face in to a perfect replica of anyone she chooses, but she is unable to change her body. I imagine she’s still a work in progress, can you imagine what the government could do if they could create perfect body doubles of anyone they wanted?
Mimic had escaped with a few other experiments, but she was the top priority. It was believed that they had all split up, but I was still warned to be on the lookout in case any of them teamed up.
Due to her ability, Mimic would be incredibly difficult to locate. Because of this, several hunters like me were given her as an assignment. If our information was correct, then she had not made it out of the city we live in yet, but if she had, we may never find her. The only way we would be able to identify her is by a distinct scar on her left shoulder. The government had set up road blocks at all of the cities exits while us hunters searched within. Three other hunters and myself were each given a quadrant to search. Mimic had no family, so she would either have to break in to somewhere, or find an abandoned location to stay.
I spent several hours walking the streets of my quadrant, asking strangers if they had seen a suspicious looking woman, as well as checking out old decrepit homes that hadn’t been lived in in years, I found nothing though.
That was until I was approached by a slender, young looking man, probably early 20’s.
“Are you looking for someone?” The man asked
“Yeah, it’s hard to explain. I’m looking for a girl, but I’m not entirely sure what she looks like.” I replied.
“Aren’t we all?” The man chuckled before continuing, “But I may be able to help you. I saw a girl run in to an old building around the corner. She was acting pretty weird, constantly looking over her shoulder. Maybe she’s who you’re looking for.”
“Thank you, I have to go check right now.” I said as I pushed past the man, not giving his words a second thought.
I quickly made my way to the building, and let myself in. To my amazement, Mimic was actually there, but it wasn’t quite what I had expected.
Mimic was tied to a chair, I knew it was her, because her scar was in clear view. No other hunters had contacted me to tell me they had moved in to my area, or that they had found Mimic, so why was she tied up? That’s when I remembered who told me that I would find her here, the stranger.
Before I could even turn around I heard his voice.
“It’s a gift, she’s quite important to them isn’t she.” It was the strange young man I had just met, but he wasn’t behind me, no he was in front of me, near Mimic. How had he gotten in front of me? I had almost sprinted over here.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“That’s not important right now, aren’t you going to thank me? Oh wait, that’s not important either. The real reason I’m here is to deliver a message to you.” The man said.
“A message, from who?” I was truly perplexed, as I said earlier, I make contact with almost no one.
“Don’t look so confused friend. It’s from your girlfriend, have you already forgotten her? Dahlia would be so upset to hear that.” The man mockingly replied.
I immediately cut him off.
“Dahlia is not my girlfriend; Dahlia is a demonic doll that I want nothing to do with, unless it involves a large fire.” I was almost shouting.
The man laughed before responding.
“She said you would say something like that. Regardless, she just wants you to know that she’s coming to pick you up soon, and that she really misses you. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
The man turned and began to walk away.
“Where do you think you are going?” I said as I pulled out my tranq gun and aimed it at him. He didn’t respond, nor did he stop walking, so I fired. My aim was dead-on. Well, it would have been, but the dart passed right through the man as if he wasn’t even there. He continued walking straight up to a wall, and proceeded to walk through.
What the hell just happened? A man appears out of nowhere and leads me to Mimic, and then he tells me that Dahlia is coming for me. To top it off, there’s obviously something going on with the man too, seeing as how he knew Dahlia, but also the fact that objects pass directly through his body. Was he under her control?
I didn’t know what was going on at all, but I still had a job to do, and my target was right in front of me. I let the other hunters know that I had found the target, and that I was taking her back.
That’s what I did, I brought Mimic back to my bosses, I was almost expecting some sort of praise, but I knew that would be unlikely despite her value. I would be surprised once again when I made it back to the holding facility though.
The whole place was in complete lockdown, well whatever was able to be locked down. Half of the building had been blown off. The facility was located outside of town in a secluded area for obvious reasons. So I knew no innocent people had died, but I did see the corpses of many scientists and guards strewn around the area. I know some of them had families, but these people weren’t exactly angels.
I managed to find one of my superiors who was able to briefly fill me in on the situation.
While our forces had been thinned looking for Mimic, a group had attacked the facility. It’s obvious they were looking for a particular experiment, but it’s unsure exactly who they were after at this point. Around 20 of the 50 experiments held in this facility had escaped.
I tried asking which of the experiments escaped, but I was told that was confidential. They simply told me to leave Mimic with them, and to go home and wait for them to sort this out. I would be busy soon.
Part of me already knows at least one of the experiments who escaped. Was she the target? I think it’s a big possibility, I was already told she’s coming for me.
I’m not sure what’s about to happen, but it can’t be good.
It had been a few days since the attack on the facility. I was temporarily sent home while the government sorted out the mess. With half of the building blown off it wouldn’t do much good to start hunting down the experiments before we had a place to store them, we’d find them eventually anyway. I was able to sleep for about 4 hours before my phone rang, it was time to hunt down the escapees.
Myself and the three other hunters that had helped look for Mimic were all called in, we were given a short list of the experiments that had escaped. To my dismay, Dahlia was in fact on the list. She couldn’t move on her own, so it was clear she was with another one of the experiments, which one though I had no clue. I tried flipping through the pages to see if the man I had seen with Mimic was on the list, but he wasn’t.
We were able to find about half of the 20 escapees within the first day. Some of the experiments just stand out a bit too much, and with no one to help them on the outside they are just sitting ducks.
There were still 11 at large though, Dahlia of course among those. I kept hoping every time we found a new lead, that they would be the one carrying Dahlia, but unfortunately that was not the case.
After doing a quick sweep of the nearby city with no new results, we were all sent home to rest. The government would go through cameras and contact us if they found anything. They were also calling in reinforcements after the attack, trying to find out who orchestrated it.
There was absolutely no way I was going home with a killer doll stalking me though. Instead I made sure that I wasn’t being followed, I parked my car on a random street, and found a small motel.
It was a crappy run-down place, but that oddly made me feel safer. I slept with my lethal gun in hand, and my tranq gun nearby. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep much, but it would only be worse for me if Dahlia did come, and I was too exhausted to fight back.
The night went by with no incidences though. I was called early in the morning once again; it turns out two experiments had been spotted together, they had stolen a car and were on route to leave the city. The people back at the facility would slow them down as much as possible with stoplights. They wanted me and another one of the hunters to meet up and follow them, they could possibly lead us to more of the escaped.
I was able to quickly meet up with one of the hunters from before, he was probably mid 30’s, so he had probably been doing this much longer than I had. Luckily, we were able to catch sight of the stolen vehicle just before it left town. Despite knowing they had been slowed down, it seemed too easy.
The car began taking backroads, and eventually pulled in to an old cabin. Despite us being the only car behind it most of the time, it didn’t seem to show any unusual behavior as to suggest it knew we were following it.
The other hunter pulled over a short distance from the cabin, and he began to ready himself. I pulled out my phone, this was obviously a trap, I thought that maybe I could call backup, but the other hunter stopped me.
“Listen kid, I’ve been at this a long time. I know this is probably a trap, but do you really think they are going to send anyone to help us? We’re on our own, and you can either help me, or sit out here and wait. I’m going in.”
“Well then, after you I suppose.” I replied coldly. I knew he was probably right thought, the government didn’t care much about us, they would probably have just scolded me and asked what I was waiting for. So I began to gear up as well, death might be favorable compared to whatever Dahlia wanted to do with me.
The other hunter and I exited the vehicle and made our way as sneakily as is possible in daylight. Once we made it to the door, the hunter gave a countdown of 3 before throwing some sort of grenade through the front window. It exploded in to gas, quickly filling the home. I couldn’t help but wonder why I had never gotten access to these grenades before.
After the gas had mostly dispersed, we covered our noses with our shirts and went inside. We instantly found one of the experiments unconscious on the floor. If I remember correctly her codename was Trauma. By touching someone, she could force them to see their worst nightmares. I guess since water-boarding is too inhumane she must be the solution.
The other hunter began to make his way over to her, and he began restraining her, while I watched his back. He was almost done, when everything went black.
When I came to, I saw the other hunter was tied to a chair in front of me, he was still unconscious. I then looked down to see I was in the same situation, I was firmly tied down to a chair.
“Ah, you’re finally awake.” A male voice to my side said.
I turned to look. It was the man from before, the one that had walked through the wall. He was also sat in a chair, but he wasn’t tied up, I doubt any sort of bindings could hold him anyway. On his lap sat a doll, the doll had a hood pulled up just enough to cover its eyes. The man began to speak again.
“It’s actually a bit funny, last time we met I gave you someone tied up in a chair, and now you yourself are tied up.”
“What do you want?” I replied. Not in the mood for any games, not that I had much choice.
“I told you, Dahlia here was coming to pick you up, but instead you came to see her yourself, how sweet of you!” The man said.
“Did you really miss me that much?” Dahlia finally spoke up.
“Can you just kill me already, or do whatever you’re going to do with me?” I responded.
“I told you, I let the bad ones live, and you have been quite bad recently. Killing that poor man Jack, it was a bit fast, but I’m sure you still enjoyed it.” Dahlia said mocking me.
“I just did what I was told, he knew what he signed up for.”
“Yes, he did. The rest of us are not so fortunate. All of our lives were turned in to games by the government, the only difference between us, is that you had a choice, the rest of the experiments and myself never had the luxury of knowing what we were getting in to.” Dahlia said.
“So what, you want to overthrow the government, expose them or something?” I questioned.
Dahlia began to laugh.
“Hehehehehe, heavens no. They are far too powerful for that, and there are too few of us to even think about challenging them, I simply don’t care enough about something like that. No, I simply wanted you.”
“What do you want from me? I may have done terrible things, but I’m still nothing like you.” I replied.
“Maybe not yet, but you will be soon enough.”
After she said this two new people entered the room, they were both wearing lab coats. One held a syringe, and once he reached me he plunged it in to my arm, releasing the fluids. Once again the world went black.
I awoke again to find myself looking at two bodies. One was the other hunter, the other was mine. Both had a bullet hole in the head.
How was this possible? Am I dead? Then how am I still seeing this. I quickly looked down at myself fearing the worst.
I wasn’t trapped in a doll, I still appeared to be human. I touched my face and the rest of my body, I still felt solid, and I was still capable of picking things up, but why was my body seemingly dead on the floor?
“It’s incredible isn’t it? It looks exactly like you, even down to the fingerprints. One of the experiments abilities. The other one isn’t a replica though, he’s quite dead, and done in with your gun by the way.” This came from the voice of the ghost-like man from before.
“What did you do to me?” I asked, I knew they had to have done something to me.
The man simply shrugged.
“Nothing, it seems as if your body rejected the serum they had planned for you.”
Rejected? Well, at least that was one thing to be happy about. Although I was still stuck in a room with one of my captors, as well as a dead body and the replica of my own dead body.
“What now then?” I asked, even though I wasn’t sure I’d get a direct answer.
“Since the serum didn’t work, Dahlia has one last plan for you.”
As he said this, the door once more opened. Dahlia was brought back in to the room by Trauma, this time with no hood.
I was no longer tied up, but I knew there was still no way for me to escape yet. So I stood still as Trauma approached me with Dahlia in hand.
Once Trauma stood directly in front of me, I crouched down and looked directly in to Dahlia’s eyes, I wouldn’t fight fate.
What I saw in those eyes was pure evil, I saw countless wars, murders, deaths, suicides, it seemed to be endless tragedy.
I didn’t lose control of myself though, instead I quickly reached for the lighter that I had been hiding in my shoe ever since I knew Dahlia had escaped. I flicked it almost instantly and held it to Dahlia’s dress. She went up in a blaze.
There was no stopping the fire, Trauma and the strange man desperately tried to stop it, but it was as if Dahlia had been soaked in gasoline. I took a second to smile, before sprinting out the door.
I saw several people on my way out of the house, but none of them seemed concerned with me, they all were trying to get to the room with Dahlia. I knew the whole cabin would be alight soon, so I just needed to get out.
Once I made it outside I quickly ran to where the hunter’s car had been parked, it was surprisingly still there, they hadn’t moved it yet, but he still had the key. So, I smashed the window and hot-wired the car as quickly as possible, and I sped off.
By the time I drove by, the fire in the cabin was massive. I almost hoped that all those inside would die, but they had all been under Dahlia’s control, it’s possible there were some good people among them. I let the though die instead, as I continued to move forward.
I’ve been hiding out ever since that day. I know writing this only puts me in more danger, but this story needed to be put out there. It’s almost guaranteed the government will read this, and perhaps they will send someone after me, but I don’t care anymore.
I won’t be a puppet to anyone, not the government, and not a psychotic doll. I’m officially done hunting down the government’s mistakes.
🔔 More stories from author: Devin Hoover
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