A large yellow carriage mounted by two reptile looking creatures was driving through the desert. The carriage was dragging a large wheeled cage covered in curtains. Within the cage sat twelve men and three women sentenced for a lifetime of an E-rank. They all wore red shirts with numbers engraved.
”I didn do it. I didn do it. ” Eric continued whispering under his nose as he clenched his fists.
Just a few days ago, he was the happiest man on earth. He was twenty years old, married, with a faithful and loyal woman he knew ever since childhood. He was a simple carpenter, and now, he was an E-rank personnel, for a crime he did not commit.
”I didn do it… ” he continued as tears showed up on his frozen in shock face.
Despite that, he was the one who was hurting the most at the loss of his loved ones. He was treated as a criminal. All the evidence was pointing at him.
”I did not do it… ” he repeated.
When the authorities showed up, they found a scene worthy of a horror movie. Limbs, blood and guts were all over the wedding venue and in the middle of it, Eric passed out and holding a magic sword.
”I did not… ”
The guards checked the situation and found out that Eric had bruises and marks proving that he was indeed fighting something. He also had a stab wound, which was believed to be gotten after someone tried to stop Eric from killing people.
The man sitting near Eric, got annoyed with a constant whimpering and with a gentle punch to his shoulder, asked him.
”Can you stop? ” Jay asked with irritated tone.
Eric glanced at him and looked around him. He saw that all E-ranks were staring at him. After biting his lower lip, he nodded.
”Thank you. ” Jay patted Erics shoulder.
Jay knew that this was over for all of them. They are going to hell on earth to be treated as less than humans. Heck, they will be treated less than animals. All the E-ranks knew this, and were grieving for their lost futures, or trembling in fear.
e almost there. ” A voice behind the curtains told them.
Eric swore he could almost see the tension in the air was visible and the moment the carriage stopped moving, everything froze. It was as if the time was frozen, all they could do was stare at each other.
”Get out. ” A soldier wearing leather armor unlocked the cage as he removed the curtains, revealing a large hall with metal walls surrounding them.
E-ranks were leaving the cage one by one. They looked at the soldiers, who wielded guns.
What are those things? Eric wondered as he stared at the guns.
”P-Please! Let me go! Just imprison me! ” Jay panicked.
Suddenly, a few more E-ranks started panicking when they saw Jays reaction, and tried pleading to release them or imprison them. However, the soldier simply shot them in the heads.
Eric realized that those things that soldiers were carrying were some sort of weapons that were never released into the world. He couldn believe how powerful those weapons were.
e like bows… crossbows… But the ammo is much more efficient, faster… Deadlier. he thought to himself, completely fascinated and yet terrified.
Eric knew that in order not to get killed too soon, he must stay on his best behavior. He may be a simple carpenter before the accident, but here he needs to be a survivor. Hes not stupid, however, he never tried to get a scholarship or a high-ranking carrier simply for one reason, to stay with Pandora, his now dead wife.
They don value us at all. Eric noted to himself.
Soon, they were brought into dorms that were more like a fancy decorated jail cells. On each wall, there was a symbol of an eye within the triangle. Four people in one tiny room, with one toilet and no shower.
Within a room, there were already three E-ranks. So Eric was separated from the group.
”You stay here from now on until you
e called for testing. ” a soldier told him after pushing Eric into the room.
”T-Testing? ” Eric asked, but instead of an answer, the door behind him closed.
The three E-ranks behind him stood up. They all wore the same red shirt and pants with numbers on it as Eric. One of them was missing an left arm. Two of them stood up to greet Eric.
”Newbie! Welcome! ” Armless E-rank said with a chuckle. The number on his shirt was 64.
”Welcome! Welcome to hell! ” Another laughed. The number on his shirt was 67.
The last one had a number 65. His eyes were blank as he sat on his bed, his bed, with his head lowered, continuedly muttered random words.
”Chicken. Sky. Dream. Run. ” He muttered without paying attention to everyone else in the room.
”Thanks. I guess. ” Eric thanked for a welcome, before locking his eyes on number 65.
”Whats wrong with him? ” Eric asked, while pointing his finger at the muttering guy.
The two E-ranks looked at each other for a moment, and their faces turned dark.
”Well… You heard we go under tests… ” armless guy reminded Eric.
”Basically… Doctors send David to a monster who creates realistic nightmares – a creature 600. It creates realistic illusions. ” number 67 sighed as he took a sad glance at David.
”They forced him to stay in the containment cell of creature 600 for three entire days… Poor guy went insane. ” Armless guy added.
Erics jaw dropped. He knew this place was supposed to be horrible, but he did not expect the doctors send people to monsters.
”Y-You mean this… ” Eric pointed at 64s missing arm as he wanted to ask if he also lost an arm to a monster.
”Well, yes. Tho it was not a monster, but they ordered me to touch a magic orb, which disintegrates all the living material it touches. ”
Eric was getting more anxious than before. It was one thing knowing that they sent you to hell, but its another thing to witness the consequences of this hell.
”The doctors wanted to see if the person would survive if they cut off the limb that touched the orb. And luckily, I did! Haha! ” 64 laughed out loud. However, the laugh was not joyful, it was a sarcastic laugh.
”Anyway, my name is Brian and the armless guy is Tom. ” Number 67 aka Brian extended his arm for a handshake at Eric.
”H-Hi. I am Eric. ” Eric shook his hand, then turned to Tom.
”What will happen to me now? ” Eric asked, his expression revealed intense fear.
Tom simply shrugged his shoulders, as he himself was not sure. One day they get harmless magical items to test. Sometimes the E-ranks get fed to a monster. Other times, an organization used them as bait to capture monsters or deadly artifacts. It was just a matter of luck.
”Who knows? We
e not sure ourselves. ” Tom replied..
”Each day is different and most times, they separated us roommates for different tests. ” Brian added.
This made Eric feel more restless than before. The uncertainty was killing him, as he was not sure what to prepare for.
Someone started knocking at their door, making everyone except for David freeze in spots.
”W-What now? ” Eric asked quietly.
”I don know… They usually just open the doors. ” Tom answered, but the knocking confused him as well.
Suddenly, they saw the door opening slowly. When the door opened, the person behind it was doctor Erl, who walked into the room and casually stared at Eric.
”Your name? ” Erl asked with a serious tone.
”E-Eric. ” Eric replied.
Suddenly, Erl slapped Eric, who fell to the ground with wide-open eyes. Erl stared down at Eric with hate-filled eyes.
”Wrong. You have no name. You
e simply an expendable. E-rank 68 ” He told Eric in a sinister tone. His expression was dark, and the aura made Eric tremble.
”Whats your name? ” Erl asked again, voice as menacing as before.
”E-rank 68. ” Eric replied, his eyes met with Erls.
”S-Sir? ” Tom muttered in disbelief. He could not believe that the most benevolent doctor in the facility would behave like this.
However, Erl continued to stare down Eric for a few minutes. Then, he went out of the room, but stopped midway.
”In a few hours, I will need a test subject. 68, youll do it. ” Erl said without looking back into the room. A smile on his face was evil, as the next experiment was to enter the fallen angels cell. A creature whose presence was enough to make a person reveal all their darkest secrets.
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