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Old 01-25-2010, 10:18 AM   #3
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The sun was halfway under the horizon of the sea that surrounded the Island. The sky was dyed blue in the far east, gradually offering a gradient of red to a golden orange as it traveled west. Once again, the sun would be engulfed by the sea. The thicket of the forest became shrouded in darkness quickly as the sun continued to set. K-42 was reluctant traveling by night, for he feared the Island’s night life. It was a partially cloudy evening when Nocode awakened to discover the plan that E-28 had concocted. “I wish to determine your status as merely a mistake or if you are incredibly more.” E-28 secretly wished for the latter. Nocode wanted to continue where she had left off with E-28 as he was informing about the Experiments, but they no longer had the time.

K-42 and Nocode left the cave a few minutes after they revised their plan. “How far is the Laboratory?” asked Nocode. The two Experiments refused to reply to the question. If Nocode was as curious as E-28 predicted, in the future she may select a time to visit the Laboratory when no Experiment would be able to stop her from doing so. They had to admit that evening was the perfect opportunity to depart; it would be more difficult for Nocode to remember the direction to the Laboratory. As they ventured into the incoming darkness of the forest, K-42 kept the following ideology in mind: We must exercise caution.

K-42 had remembered the location from where he had first been thrust into the Island, but he had doubts about whether any Experiment could enter from where they were given birth. Since K-42 was much larger than Nocode, he found it easier to carry Nocode instead of having her keep pace with him. “I’m still thinking about what happened this afternoon,” the small creature discussed quietly. “Letters A through S is nineteen, if I’m counting correctly. Multiply that by forty and you have about seven hundred and twenty Experiments that have made the Island their home.” She stopped talking momentarily. “If there were that many right now on the Island, I don’t think we would be able to go anywhere without running into another Experiment.”

K-42 continued to listen while he walked towards the tall, sharp figure that stood out amongst the shadows of the forest. He purposefully made sure that the petite female would not be able to see beyond what was close to the ground. As E-28 anticipated, they did not meet any Experiments on the short venture to the Laboratory. K-42 had misjudged the time it had taken to walk from the cave to the Laboratory. It took half of the estimated thirty minutes.

“I guess even Experiments need to sleep,” said Nocode as a metallic, rusty looking building came within her eyesight. She observed the building from the bottom to top, but was unable to see higher beyond the foliage that surrounded the two. It seemed that the Laboratory had not been cared for in the exterior. Vines and ivy had swarmed the entrance, but had only dared to go several feet within the structure. E-28 did tell her that only an inconsistent few bother to return within the Laboratory. What was in it through any of the open entrances was unknown. The entrance before them was tall enough for K-42 to enter without obstruction. He had constantly looked back and kept a keen ear for any Experiment who would attempt to follow them and breathed relief because they did not seem to have any pursuers. K-42 put Nocode down so she could walk within the Laboratory herself. “Come on,” she beckoned the giant. “Let’s go inside more.”

The fresh fragrance of the forest was overwhelmed by a rustic and somewhat rancid scent. The darkness of the forest faded away as artificial light was produced by bulb-shaped glass and rods suspended near the ceiling of the room they had entered, reaching at least twenty feet above the surface they were walking on. It seemed that the Laboratory took a liking to earthly colors for K-42 and Nocode found themselves surrounded by metal colored in a blend of dark oranges. “Whoever made this doesn’t have very good taste in atmosphere,” mentioned Nocode. K-42 did not understand the purpose of her observation.

The corridor took a few turns before they had come to a halt. K-42 could no further. As they reached the end of the hallway, a metal shaft on their right had been locked shut. However, directly ahead was the entrance to a smaller hallway that was about eight feet in height. It was far too thin for K-42 to squeeze through, but Nocode did not complain. “I can go further,” she said loudly as she begun her first step into the second hallway. “I want to know what’s in here, too.”

“We should not separate,” K-42 demanded her, understanding that they had gone far enough already. He had begun to wonder why there was nothing within this portion of the Laboratory that could help them learn something about Nocode. Nocode was disappointed and reluctantly followed K-42 was had turned around to search for something in the first hallway. She looked back, noticing that there were a few glimpses of twinkling in the far off distance of the corridor that K-42 could not enter and another path inside that traveled to the right, but she feared being left behind and stayed at K-42’s side.

It was too late. K-42 heard a light clanking noise that was slowly approaching them from where they had come from. Its amplitude was gradually increasing. He had grown tense and Nocode sensed how uncomfortable he was immediately. Though she could not hear the noise initially, she grew fearful. Her ears eventually picked up the noise coming from the hall. The clanking noise gradually changed into something massive and heavy gradually stomping into the metallic floor. It had to have been an Experiment. There was no reason to question how it entered. No matter how it came, it was here. There was another sound that was slowly becoming audible. It was only a few blurred words at first, but once he could comprehend it, K-42 quickly told Nocode to hide in the small hallway. She ran to the back hastily and even faster after she realized the words coming from the other side hauntingly expressing its desire. I smell food...

Food… It said, menacingly. A four legged creature covered in black, ruffled hide standing seven feet tall and about nine feet wide turned the corner. It brandished a swinging tail dotted with small holes. Spires of bone shot out through the creature’s back from its spinal cord. They were heavily scratched and scarred from previous battles. It padded its way closer to K-42, its deep blue eyes only focused on him and a short snout taking extended sniffs, beckoning its mouth to desperately salivate for its next meal. “Food,” it almost screamed this time as it sighted K-42. Just below the protruding bones from its back, on the dark beast’s left side of its torso read G-31.

“There’s another one,” G-31 growled, licking its lips. “Where is it?”

“Unfortunately,” K-42 would not be spared by the four legged creature, “It has retreated.”

G-31 shook his head repeatedly. “Don’t lie… DON’T LIE TO ME!” G-31 advanced furiously towards K-42. His mouth gapped open, ready to consume the prey in front of him, but K-42 instinctively held G-31’s mouth as he lunged for the kill, keeping it open using both arms, one on the jaw and the other on G-31’s nose. Frustrated, G-31 began to twist and turn randomly, trying to snap at K-42’s body as he continuously clawed into K-42’s skin using both paws. K-42 did not flinch, instead forced G-31’s mouth shut and heavily pushed on his flank, pushing the black furred beast away momentarily. “I do not desire to kill you,” K-42 calmly spoke. “Let me pass.”

“You’re hiding it,” G-31’s eyes widened with anger, “You’re keeping it to yourself.” G-31 leaped forward once again, slamming himself into K-42. It was unexpected and the two fell over, G-31 on top of K-42, clawing and gnawing on K-42’s body. “So HUNGRY,” G-31 repeated himself. K-42 held onto G-31 and with the four legged beast still chewing, K-42 stood up quickly and pressed G-31 onto the metal walls, causing the entire hallway to echo as they hit the protruding bone on G-31’s body, receiving a rush of horrible pain. It only caused him to scrawl uncontrollably, so K-42 held G-31’s mouth closed with his right hand and his left hand grasped on both of G-31’s front paws.

“One more chance, G-31,” K-42 felt his chest burn from his ripped flesh.

G-31 grinned and laughed lightly. Despite a closed mouth, his voice muffled, “Show mercy to your enemy?” G-31 was very disappointed, having a straight view at K-42’s Identity Code. “Pathetic. Just kill me, fool.”

K-42 hesitated. He could not understand why G-31 had suddenly lost interest in wanting his life. “I do not understand.”

“I attacked you,” G-31 breathed heavily. “I tried to kill you. I’m now weak and vulnerable. Don’t pity me.” G-31 screamed it, “Just KILL me!” K-42 did not do anything. This only angered G-31. “I’ll force you to kill me.” The black beast stabbed K-42 by launching his claws on his hind legs, causing K-42 to wince. Taking advantage of the moment, G-31 broke free from both of K-42’s hands and the four legged creature rammed into K-42’s body, head first. Then he began to gnaw on K-42’s body once again.

“Wait!” Nocode gasped as she ran out into the fray. G-31’s head turned as he tore into K-42’s chest again, surprised at the source of the voice. While he was temporarily distracted, K-42 swung his arm, grabbing G-31’s head and hurling it to the floor, causing an enormous bang. G-31 shrieked as K-42 stood back up, staring at the defeated creature, lying on the metallic floor. Blood was running from where G-31’s head had hit the ground.

All G-31 did was laugh slowly, realizing that he was dying. “A creature… so tiny.” He could no longer move, and the feeling in his body began to die. “What a fool,” he sighed as his eyes turned white. G-31 stopped moving. Nocode could not find the will to move. K-42 stared at the corpse indifferently, kneeling down to it, feeling the gashes on his chest. He only begun to bleed slightly, but he did not seem to care and started to consume what was before him. K-42 had not eaten anything and strangely now that he thought about it, could not remember if he had eaten while he had been in the old world that was now closed to him, but he found G-31’s body to be highly satisfying. Nocode could not bear the sight, disgusted by the gushing blood that was flowing from the corpse and the chewing as K-42’s carnivorous teeth dug into the freshly killed meat.

Nocode closed her eyes and shivered, unable to bear the pain. She opened them again as the abominable noises paused, seeing that K-42 had dropped a heap of flesh about a foot away from her. “Eat,” the gray giant demanded. Nocode said nothing, but was frightened by the sight and surprised at K-42’s gesture. However, she did not have the willpower to eat G-31. Not without questioning the creature’s motives.

“He just…” Nocode began, saddened, “threw himself at you.” There was a brief moment of silence. “He was weak and already hurt, but he still attacked you… It doesn’t make any sense.” G-31 was very hungry. How long could an Experiment go without eating?

“There is no reason to question G-31’s motive.” K-42 said rather bluntly. “He made a mistake, and died. The thoughts of the deceased are obsolete. He has failed. All failures do not deserve to live.” K-42 looked at Nocode. “You, as well. If you cannot succeed in eating, then you will grow weak and die. If so, then it is due to the fact that you have chosen not to eat.” Nocode sighed, picking up the heap of flesh that K-42 handed to her. She assumed that if it was not safe to eat, K-42 would not have bothered offering it to her. Swallowing her pride, she quickly took a small bite. For some reason, the rawness of the meat did not appeal to her. It was missing something.

Nocode began to think that K-42 was being a hypocrite. If he had left her there to fend for herself to begin with, Nocode would have died, no doubt. However, not only did K-42 choose to protect her, he was treating her. “Um,” she stuttered, “T-Thank you.” K-42 stopped eating for only a second, then resumed. If the Experiments were meant to consume one another, she began to inquire what—or whom, E-28 had eaten recently.
When they left the hallway of the Laboratory, it was passed midnight. It was completely dark and the canopies of the forest prevented a majority of the moonlight from shining downwards to the dirt floor. Though she was watching her step, Nocode was worried about K-42. “Are you sure you’re okay? It looks like it hurts pretty badly.” K-42’s wounds from G-31 had surprisingly stopped bleeding and it had only been thirty minutes or so. Saddened, she said, “I’m sorry. You got hurt because of me.” No matter how she thought about it, K-42 would taken some damage. However, because Nocode was there and K-42 told her to hide, she felt somewhat responsible for his injuries because she could not help him in anyway.

K-42 did not want Nocode to be concerned about him. “The pain is manageable,” he replied. His body was healing itself faster than he had anticipated and was relieved by it. However, it was another piece of evidence clarifying his existence as a member of the K series. “We should cleanse ourselves. The smell of blood will attract hostiles.” Nocode agreed and the two of them cleaned themselves in the nearest source of water they could find. It was a river of many that ran through the forest and descended towards the sea. The water made the gashes caused by G-31 itch irritably, but K-42 tolerated the pain. Though he tried to hide it, Nocode could identify when the pain came back, because K-42’s body would stiffen and become tense as he walked. He is still a newborn, after all, was what Nocode thought.

E-28 patiently stood by the entrance of the cave. He sighed as he spotted the two of them. He noticed K-42’s injuries immediately. “I see that you encountered a stalker.” As the two rejoined E-28 in his cave, he observed the wounds that K-42 had suffered. “An Experiments that bites… You seem to be doing fairly well, however. Nocode is also unharmed, I see. Splendid work, K-42. Did any of you uncover anything useful?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Nocode sighed in disappointed. “There was a huge door, but it was locked. There was also a smaller space where only I could fit in, but K-42 told me not to go any farther. That was when we were attacked by G-31. Or, I guess I should say, K-42 was attacked by G-31.”

“A wise decision you made, K-42.” E-28 agreed with his idea. “This venture was not in vain. I am pleased with the results, despite the poor turn out of information received. The two of you have my gratitude.”

“Now I understand why it is what you desired that I should go with her to the Laboratory,” K-42 explained. “You would not have been able to guarantee her safety were she accompanied by you instead of me.”

“True,” E-28 nodded. “The first reason is because you would do an exceptional job as Nocode’s escort. The second reason is because I had a few things to attend to while you two were away, which I shall disclose to you in the morning.” E-28 yawned, expressing his fatigue. “We Experiments need not sleep very often, but it is still required.”

“Really?” Nocode was eager to know. “How long can you go?”

“A few days, at best. Some of our brethren can go a week without a single slumber in between. Bear in mind that after a Hunt, many Experiments grow weary. I do not think that K-42 is tired in the least. It has only been half a day and half a night since he arose from the depths of the Laboratory.” E-28 was correct. Even though K-42 had been injured, he could not find it in himself to sleep.

“Very well, then,” K-42 decided. Since E-28 and Nocode were planning on sleeping, K-42 took it upon himself to guard the cave’s entrance. He stopped were he was, about half way to the end of the cave. He bid a temporary farewell to the two who continued walking. K-42 sat down. He did not wish to think so time would quickly pass. However, he could not sleep. Doing anything outside of the cave had a high potential to attract the unwanted. He continued to sit, only being able to hear the draft of the wind that entered and exited the cave interior.

Thinking was the only thing he could do.
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"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."

— 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

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