For the first time, I dreamed, I say. I dreamed impossible dreams of my family. Happy dreams. Good dreams.
Could you estimate how long you were dreaming for? one asks.
And you had no idea what happened while you were asleep? two asks.
No. When I awoke, though, I saw a young woman I had never seen before. She told me she was Aryelle. She told me she and Dr. Harris had removed everything Dr. Tobias and Dr. Russell had put into me. They were replaced with new brain tissue and new devices that should make up for being mostly dead. Jen, Erika, and Dionysius had also agreed to undergo the procedure. Aryelle told me they had gone ahead and done the procedure on them. They awoke shortly after I did.
Did you return to normal when you awoke? two asks.
I gaze at them for long moments.
What happened, then? one asks.
Please elaborate, one requests when I don’t continue.
I stared up at Aryelle and had a feeling of coldness and utter loathing. I couldn’t explain it. Dr. Harris’s face came into view and he looked drained and very pale. He gripped Aryelle’s arm and she looked up at him with fear in her eyes…
* * *
“What happened?” Aryelle whispered. “They look worse than they did when I first walked in here.”
“We failed, Aryelle. The tissue and blood samples we took indicate that some of Curt and Eleanna’s devices were actually absorbed into their bodies. There was no way we could counter them and our devices made it worse. They may yet regain some degree of humanity, but, for now, you need to run.”
He nodded. “Don’t worry about me, Aryelle. Go. Now.”
She hugged him quickly and fiercely, then turned and ran from the lab just as Schuyler broke free of his bonds.
Dr. Harris didn’t look at any of them as the other three assassins broke free and put their suits back on. “I’m sorry,” he said, his voice very quiet. “I failed all of you…and myself. Dr. Tobias’s and Dr. Russell’s programs are mostly intact. The only thing left for you to do is to start the Apocalypse, just as they wanted, just as you were programmed to. There’s no stopping you now.”
With that said, Dr. Harris reached into a pocket, drew out a vial, and drank the contents. A moment later, he lay at their feet, his eyes wide open and remorse and guilt plain to see on his lifeless face.
The four assassins looked at each other. Their only source of help was gone. They were left in a far worse condition than when they had arrived at Nyan Lab. They had never felt as destructive as they did at that moment.
“What do we do?” Erika asked softly.
Schuyler turned toward the doors of the lab. “We start the Apocalypse,” was his quiet reply.
The other three assassins fell in beside him and they left the lab together. They walked out into broad daylight in New York City. They advanced up and down streets, a solid line of destruction, mindlessly killing everyone they came across as they headed to no particular destination.
No one was safe and no one could capture them. It wasn’t long before the people began to realize they couldn’t escape the four silent assassins who were killing left and right. Rather than try to stop them, they fled for their lives.
“This will take a long time before everyone is dead,” Jen said, just as emotionlessly as before.
“We need to start wars, cataclysmic disasters, get everyone to hate and kill everyone else,” Dionysius said as he withdrew his hand from an anonymous man’s chest.
“Kill the world leaders,” Schuyler said as he glimmered out of the city.
The other three assassins traded glances and likewise glimmered to other parts of the world.
* * *
So you killed every world leader? one asks, interrupting me.
Yes. Then we killed other important officials. We killed day and night. We became the most internationally wanted individuals. But they could never catch us. Countries started blowing each other up in attempts to find us. They caused natural disasters that killed more and more people.
Did you work together or alone? one asks.
Both. Sometimes we worked as a group, sometimes in pairs. Most of the time we were alone.
Did you see each other often? two asks.
Yes. We agreed to meet every day at sunrise to determine what to do that day and to see how far along we were in world destruction.
And that’s how you knew they were still alive, one remarks, understanding in his voice.
Yes. We agreed to keep going if something happened to one of us. They are still on Earth, still pushing the Apocalypse along.
Well, you succeeded, two says. The Apocalypse is quite evident. Could you tell us how you arrived here?
Yes. It was some time after we had started killing people. I had lost track of where I was, but I was sure I was somewhere in North America. The two countries on that continent were at extreme odds with each other. They attacked each other mercilessly. I happened to be at their target city one day…