A/N: I had this idea a day or two ago when I was playing Prototype, and then, shortly after Resident Evil 4. Anyway, following the hatching, I jotted down a few extra ideas, scrapped a few I didn't think were so good and started typing. A few days later; here we are:
There were twenty-four of them, each taken from birth by the Nazi regime and had experiments performed which would today be considered abhorrent and evil. Yet there is always a method to the madness, and these twenty-four children would in time grow to be the greatest soldiers the Fatherland had ever conceived. Each one was named with one of the main letters of the Greek alphabet, in order of age, the oldest, was Alpha, the youngest, of course, being Omega. However by the time their powers even began to manifest, the war came to Germany, and the children were placed in experimental cryo-tubes so that the Soviets would not be able to use the children themselves. All notes regarding Project Griechisch Blitz were burnt and the children, still in their cryogenically induced slumber, were quickly whisked away to a secret Nazi bunker complex hidden deep in a forest within Bavaria where they would remain until the Fatherland could be in a position to call upon them.
Something, of course, went wrong.
Shortly after the convoy arrived and offloaded its payload, a mere month after the children were stationed there, all communication was lost with the complex, and Germany had not the manpower to send a team to investigate. So the war went on, not the sound of tramping boots or the whistle of artillery shells, neither even the chatter of gunfire passed the lonely bunker complex by, and soon, Germany found itself headless, with its foes bearing down all around. The officials who had brought about the project quickly committed suicide, fearing that the bunker had been discovered and that their crimes would be called into account by either the Americans or the Soviets. However, by some amazing twist of fate, despite the entire country being turned almost upside down as the Americans and the Soviets began a race for information, the bunker remained undiscovered until the early nineteen-eighties. Sent on what many to be considered a fool's errand, a young American archaeologist embarked on a quest to find a hidden vault of Nazi gold, he roamed the country with ten others (mostly friends who owed him favours) until he eventually stumbled upon the main entrance to the bunker. Triumphant, feeling that he had discovered what he had so fervently sought after for several years now, he opened the door and discovered death on a scale he could not have comprehended. Still, braving the grit, the bones and the blood stains which marked a vicious battle, he and his party ventured into the bunker until they reached a large steel vault, easily three feet thick. After many failures, the archaeological team finally breached the door, half of them expecting the see the glimmer of gold, the rest expecting nothing, their faces grim, almost ready for disappointment. It is not known exactly how the United States Government discovered the activities of the party, but shortly after they gained access to the vault, US Special Forces arrived and proceeded to cordon the area off, right under the nose of the German government and took all the contents of the base. Among the numerous files and papers found, were twenty-four large cylindrical pods, which provided the government with one of their biggest mysteries and frustrations up until the summer of 1992, when the containers were finally opened…
Undisclosed location in Arizona, 2:14AM, October 4th 2010
Alpha shuddered, he hated his sleep, were it not for the fact that it was necessary, he'd take whatever measures possible to ensure he stayed awake, for when sleep came, so did the nightmares, and entwined with them, were the visions. Out of all of his twenty-three brothers and sisters Alpha was especially unique in the fact that he saw portents of the future whenever he slept. He was the only one of his siblings with this gift, though Alpha would call it a curse if anyone asked him about it. He rarely understood the true meaning of these visions, often until it was too late, so most of the time, they were meaningless, this night however might prove different, if not equally as horrible as the other dreams. Alpha shuddered again, dry-heaving in his sleep. A fiery-red sky mixed perfectly with the blood on the streets, the ruins of a civilisation crumbled and turned to dust before him, atop a pedestal which rested on a mound of corpses stood…
Alpha woke, throwing up almost immediately; he often did that after his 'sessions' so he always had a sick bag close by, however having somewhere to put the putrid stuff didn't take away the foul taste in his mouth, or the smell. He ran a hand through his ruffled, snow-white hair, his relatively handsome face twisted into a visage of fear and horror. He breathed in and out like he had been taught at a young age, and shut his eyes, his visions were anything but pleasant, but this particular one made him shiver, something bad was going to happen, something was going to arrive and kill him, and every one of his family, the rivers would run red with blood and the streets would be littered with gore, millions would die in the coming storm of that he was certain… And yet… There was still a glimmer of hope, a tiny light, out of reach, but still there which shone through the blasted sky. He sat deep in thought, pondering his dream, concentration etched onto his features. He thought briefly about telling the others, or perhaps one of the wardens, but immediately thought better of it; they would either laugh, scorn, report or ignore him. No, it was better that he figured this out for himself.
Two Days Later; 1:54AM October 6th, 2010
Gamma felt a presence in her quarters, her door was open and a figure partially hidden by the poor lighting stood not far from her. Were she a normal person, Gamma would have felt cold, hard fear, but as it was, Gamma was not a normal person, she reached out and touched the intruder's thoughts, it was a mix of fear, anguish, dread, and, most surprisingly considering who it was, a sense of finality, a grim determination.
"Gamma, stop that, I'm going to throw up again if you don't" Alpha spoke, there was a joke there, but her older brother's voice was devoid of humour.
Gamma lowered her head like a scolded child and mumbled an apology; she seemed to have that sort of effect on people when she tried looking into them, her bashful look turned to one of confusion, then worry when she fully comprehended the situation.
"What are you doing here brother? You'll get in trouble if the officers catch you."
Gamma almost started when she heard her brother chuckle, something Alpha was not known to do.
"I'm fully aware of the consequences of my being here, but I can't worry about those now." Alpha, as always, spoke clearly and loudly, almost as if he didn't care if he were caught.
"Stop talking like that, you always do that and I never understand you!" Gamma said, in a huff, Alpha let a smile come to his face, Gamma was, by far the most powerful psychic out of the Twenty-Four, but she had the mentality of a young child.
"Very well sister, I shall not tell you why I am here, I shall show you." He walked towards her with purpose and placed his hands on either side of Gamma's small, blonde head, gentle, but firm.
'May God forgive me for what I'm about to do to this poor child' Alpha thought bitterly. He pulled Gamma's face towards him and kissed her with as much passion as he could muster, which wasn't much to say the least, but to an innocent being like her, it must have been breathtaking.
"I want you to run away with me my love." Alpha said, hating himself more for each syllable which came out of his deceitful mouth. Gamma, who was too stunned for words, did little but nod meekly. Alpha stood up, and Gamma followed suit, he took her hand and led her to the exit.
"But before we leave…" Alpha said, cutting the silence. "We must pay a visit to some of our other siblings."
4:01AM October 6th 2010
Alpha entered the large holding cell; Gamma was standing outside with Kappa, Rho, and Xi, this was to be the last of their 'visits', he prayed that soon there would be five of them, and then they would embark on their quest, many would die, some of them his own family, but in the end it would all be worth it. He just hoped that the survivors would forgive him for his actions.
He stepped inside the vault and took a breath, preparing himself, finally, calmed, he spoke to the darkness.
"Delta… It's me."
Nothing answered him for a moment, then a murmur, the rattle of chains and finally a roar.
Alpha winced at the noise slightly and would have recoiled at the sight before him had he not borne witness to it so many times before. Grotesquely mutated, Delta leapt forward, his massive, meaty hands strained against the chains which bound him, which were at that moment the only things stopping the enraged mutant from strangling Alpha, who took a distressed breath; he and the rest of his siblings grew so sad when they saw Delta; who was so violent, so hateful, and so tragically altered. Delta hated that, he thought it was pity, and in a way it was, Delta however hated something more than pity - his brother, Alpha, who so easily out-manoeuvred him and put him on his back in the time it took to draw breath. Delta saw himself as the strongest, and Alpha proved time and time again that Delta was living in a fantasy world. However despite all Delta's seemingly limitless rage, he had a soft spot for one blonde-haired psychic with the mind of an innocent, ten year old girl. Before the mutations, Delta and Gamma had almost been considered true siblings, both had blonde hair, both had brown eyes and both had a similar smile. Delta had always looked out for Gamma, seeing himself as a big brother to her, and Gamma saw herself as her protector's brother. Alpha hoped by bringing Gamma along, it would soften his bitter brother and ease him onto his side. Once more, Alpha sighed, opened his mouth, and with it, the lies sprouted again.
Undisclosed location in Arizona, 4:23PM October 7th 2010
Omega looked around him in confusion; all around him security personnel were hurrying this way and that, bumping into him, the klaxons wailed and a monotone female voice kept repeating the same warning: "Security Breach! Warning! Security Breach! Warning!" and so on, which was beginning to get on his nerves. He'd been scheduled for a brief session with Doctor Phillips but with the amount of people constantly blocking him Omega very much doubted that he'd actually make it in time. He made it through the main wing after about two minutes of shuffling past people and was about to enter the medical wing but a pair of hands grabbed him by his shoulder, stopping him. Omega, confused and now growing frustrated, turned towards the people with a solemn expression on his pale face, it was two of the security personnel, seldom without their shades, those strange ear-pieces and those black suits, not to mention the fact that they all seemed to be built like brick walls.
"The Director's requesting yours and everyone of your…" he seemed to struggle for words momentarily, "Family's, presence in the main auditorium, now." Omega said nothing but nodded, taking a look at the double doors to the Medical Wing and grunted in mild irritation, letting the two men lead him to the auditorium.
The walk to the auditorium took less than two minutes and when Omega entered, he found most of his brothers and sisters already seated, save six, Delta, who was usually restrained to stop him from starting another fight with Alpha, wasn't present, nor was his provocateur, or Gamma, or Kappa, neither were Xi or Rho. Omega frowned, and took a seat next to Nu, who nodded towards him in acknowledgement. Omega was tempted to ask what exactly they were doing here, and where the missing six were, but didn't, chances were, Nu didn't know either. A minute later, Beta finally stepped into the room with Omicron close behind, both of them sat in the row behind Omega. The Director, who was standing at a podium, a patient look on his aging, wizened face, scratched his greying hair lazily and took centre stage.
"Ladies and Gentlemen… What I have to say will come as a shock to you and what I'm about to show you may provoke feelings many of you have never really…" The Director stopped, he seemed to be searching for the right words, his face lit up a little bit and he spoke again; "Expressed before... But, here it is – Last night, Alpha took Delta, Gamma, Xi, Rho and Kappa and systematically broke out of the facility."
Silence followed for but a moment, then the eighteen brothers and sisters almost started a riot. The guards were called to try and restrain some of the more violent trouble-makers. Malcolm Whittaker, nicknamed 'the Director' for the sake of convenience, sighed; this had been a bad idea, they were disgruntled at the fact that their daily routine had been interrupted, and now he'd dropped this bombshell on them. Though he knew that the violence was brought on by shock at the thought that more than one of their number had abandoned them, and not just anyone at that, Alpha had left them, the one that every one of the children of project Greek Lightning had looked up to (with the exception of Delta). Alpha had always seemed the most content out of all of them, never once raising his voice, never once showing any thoughts of violence against any of his brothers and sisters. Now he was gone…
Once everyone had calmed down, the Director resumed his speech "No one was killed in the breakout thankfully, however my superiors seem to have it in their heads that Alpha's party may not hesitate to kill out there, and they may also cause a panic if they are spotted by the public. We could send in Special Forces but that would arouse suspicion, particularly in Arizona, which hasn't seen any sort of activity barring the odd illegal immigrant crossing the border." A murmur broke out among the siblings, not one of them had enjoyed this 'meeting' so far, what was to come didn't hold much appeal either. The Director raised both his arms slightly for silence, then resumed speaking again, "So we are sending you instead, you eighteen will search for your escaped brothers and sisters and do whatever is necessary to bring them back, without causing a panic I might add."
Omega was half expecting uproar like when the Director announced Alpha's departure, but there was nothing but a grim silence. He looked to his siblings, and understood fully what the Director had asked of them, it was their family who had turned their backs on them, and it would be that same family who would bring them back, it was a personal matter now, to all of them. Omega shuffled, not a little uncomfortable about the idea of trying to bring back a fully enraged Delta. He'd once almost lost his sanity upon seeing himself after his mutation and had demolished an entire wing of the complex by himself, and killed more than fifty guards and other personnel barehanded; that said Delta's bare hands were the size of Omega's head and more than twice as durable.
The Director cleared his throat, indicating he wished to speak, some of the chatter died, as their father figure spoke up again.
"I must confess, I hoped that all of you would have had a chance to lead a normal life, but our government isn't so keen on the idea of such talented individuals such as yourselves go. I've fought tooth and nail to keep you out of the insane operations our own military wants you to participate in, but I feared that, sooner or later, something unavoidable would happen. I'm sorry, children, that your first mission is to fight against your own family…" he let the words hang, waiting for anyone to make an outburst, no one did. With that, he continued speaking.
"We're sending you out immediately, you will spread out in teams of two, if you think, or even suspect that you have sighted Alpha, or any of the others, you are to contact the rest and, until backup arrives, tail them, keeping tabs on their location at regular intervals. Again, for what it's worth, I am terribly sorry… For all of you, that is all. The men to your left" he motioned towards two guards standing by the main entrance to the auditorium – the same men who had brought Omega in, "will lead you to where you will prepare, from then on, once you are outside this facility, you and your partner will be on your own until you sight Alpha and send the signal to your other brothers and sisters. That is all from me, I wish you all luck." The Director finished with a sour note on the end of his tongue, Omega could tell that he hated the current situation as much as he and his siblings did. The talk was over; the remaining eighteen subjects stood, and followed the two guards to wherever it was they were supposed to be going.
Undisclosed location in Arizona, 6:02PM, October 7th 2010
Malcolm Whittaker entered his office, ignoring the beep coming from the screen next to the window indicating that he had someone trying to contact him. He rubbed his forehead, contemplating what to do, by now his chil- no the subjects would have left to find Alpha and bring him back by now, he was now obliged to find a way of helping them in the right direction. He decided to think of a way to do just that after taking the call, he hit a switch, and the screen displayed static, then came to life, depicting a man that Malcolm would guess to be in his early thirties, with strawberry-blonde hair, friendly green eyes, and a charming wry grin on his face.
"Good evening Director Whittaker, I'm General Vanderhoven." 'No, not even in his thirties yet' Malcolm mused to himself. General Vanderhoven was famous for being the youngest ever four-star General in the United States military, at only twenty-six years old. He'd had an illustrious career, starting out as a lowly Private at eighteen, he'd soared through the ranks as he demonstrated a keen tactical sense that dazzled most of his peers and left those unlucky enough to have fought him flinching at the mere mention of his name. With an IQ of almost 200, General Luke Vanderhoven had a lot to brag about; however he kept an atmosphere of boyish modesty around him, and a charm that frustrated the older staff, who, among other things, disliked his knack for bending the rules, regardless of the results he often produced. Still, his appearance on his communication device came as a surprise to Malcolm.
"Good evening General Vanderhoven, what exactly, may I ask, are you calling about?"
"Oh, call me Luke, Director, I've far too much respect for you and your division to ask you to indulge in formalities." General Vanderhoven smiled.
Malcolm allowed himself to let a small chuckle escape his lips "Quite. Forgive me for asking, um, Luke, but why exactly is it you who is calling, I'm more accustomed to General Faulkner keeping me up at night." Upon the mention of Faulkner, Luke's smile dropped, and a frown appeared on his face.
"That's the reason I'm calling, Director Whittaker. General Faulkner disappeared from his home as of this morning. We believe that the escaped six subjects from your facility are the cause of this." Malcolm's demeanour dropped as well, his face turned to sadness, then to puzzlement.
"That can't be… General Faulkner lives in New York doesn't he? Alpha and the rest were reported to have broken out only this morning. He couldn't have crossed the distance between us and there in such a short period of time."
Luke paused, looking away from Malcolm for a moment with his fingers stroking his chin, as if considering this.
"Well, that makes my report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff all the more difficult then." He turned back to Malcolm "If those six didn't kidnap or murder General Faulkner, then that means someone else did. And if I may be completely honest, part of our security lynchpin absconding and a General Officer's disappearance almost immediately following their escape seems like too much of a coincidence to me." Malcolm's eyes widened in surprise.
"Surely you can't think this was all planned? I mean, Alpha was always a little secretive, but I can assure you that he never had contact with anyone from outside the facility! Not even once!"
"Calm down sir" Luke raised his hands in a defensive gesture "I'm not directly suggesting anything, merely stating my own views… You said Alpha was secretive yes? Then there may be a slim chance he may have developed a way to contact people outside, it may be a homemade radio, hell it could even be telepathy, some of the things those people can do… It's crazy is what it is... Anyway, point is: we don't entirely know for sure, right? It's entirely possible that a foreign power or – god forbid – a terrorist cell managed to influence him into breaking out. Like I said, just a theory of mine at the moment. Hell, I could be entirely wrong, and truth be told, I hope to God I am."
"That makes two of us General." Malcolm said, without hesitation.
The grin returned to General Vanderhoven's face "I said call me Luke, sir. Anyway, the other reason I called was to find out who besides Alpha escaped, we just got word that he and five others escaped, not who they were, or what they could do. If you could fill me in, then I'll pass that on to the Chiefs and we'll take what measures we can without starting a mass hysteria." Luke finished, a grim expression taking over his features. Malcolm sighed and sat down on his armchair.
"Alpha, I believe you already know about, without much of a doubt, the most powerful of the twenty-four ch-subjects" he corrected himself at the last moment "He took Gamma first, our most potent psychic, she has been observed lifting objects more than a thousand times her own body weight, she can read and place her own thoughts into the minds of others, which, if you've ever experienced, is quite traumatising" he unconsciously rubbed his head, remembering the last poor victim of an accidental probe by Gamma, who had been angry that one of her favourite toys had been taken away, Luke nodded and appeared to note it down on a piece of paper "She can also project images, which she often used to entertain herself when no one else could attend to her. She can do all of this with just a thought, but it should be noted that, while her power is comparable to Alpha's, she has the mentality of a ten-year old child, the experimentation performed upon her all those years ago did something to her brain, however if I may be honest, we are still not entirely sure what." Luke nodded again, taking more notes.
"Next is Delta, probably the most tragic of the twenty-four. He displayed no remarkable traits beyond radically enhanced musculature up until his mutation, his lobe has mutated in a way that appears to guard him against psychic abilities, for example, where Gamma may project the image of a man, Delta will see nothing, Gamma is also completely unable to access his mind, it is the same with the other psychics. Delta is likely, besides Alpha, the most dangerous of the party, the destruction he can cause when enraged is beyond comprehension… We saw but a fraction of what he is capable of barely half a decade ago." More note-taking, before Malcolm continued "Delta is an incredibly bitter creature, he reacts with hostility towards any except for one: Gamma, the two were remarked upon a while back, long before the mutation to be almost like blood relatives, and both looked after each other because of this. There is also the hatred he feels towards Alpha. Delta has long had a superiority complex, he believes himself to be the strongest of all the twenty-four, and, physically, this is quite true, however Alpha has emerged victorious whenever Delta fought with him in the training grounds." Malcolm shuddered at the footage he'd seen, it had been before his time as Director, harsh trials, the children were forced to fight each other, before a more ethical approach had been voted for in order to develop the children, Malcolm sighed as he picked up where he left off, "As a result of this, Delta has, time after time, immediately upon sighting Alpha, attempted to engage him in direct combat. Which makes his escape with Alpha all the more curious, perhaps Alpha used Gamma to calm him, knowing that he would do anything to keep her safe? Or perhaps he has found a way past Delta's… Barrier, as it were." Luke nodded again, Malcolm leaned back in his chair, he felt tired, more tired than he had in a long time.
"Then there is Rho" Malcolm chuckled to himself "This is curious, Rho has been nothing but compliant since his thawing back in 1992, according to the notes of my predecessor. He has participated willingly in all activities he has been involved with. Though he always seems to sit outside during group discussions, out of all of the twenty-four, I felt that he was the most…" Malcolm searched for a suitable choice of words "at home. If that makes sense? Anyway, his powers seem fairly minor in contrast with Delta or Gamma's, though I suppose not without their uses; he can manipulate electronic devices and electricity itself, I recall him always carrying a few batteries around with him when I started out here. Next is Xi, who, in contrast to Rho, has been an anarchist as long as I can remember. She is a minor psychic, able to slightly manipulate the emotions of people around her. In addition to this, all her bodily fluids, urine, blood, sweat, tears, the works, are all highly corrosive, I've heard it can melt through a foot of steel in the space of a minute." He heard Luke whistle to himself in amazement, then more scribbling, Malcolm took a look at the last member of Alpha's 'team'.
"Now this is interesting…" He said, partly to himself.
"Kappa is an especially unique subject out of the twenty-four, even more so than Alpha or Gamma." Luke leaned forward, curious.
"Unique, how, Sir?" Luke asked, intrigued.
Malcolm turned his head towards the screen, looking Luke dead in the eye.
"Because we have no idea what his power is."
A/N: And that's it for the first chapter, hope you enjoyed, and if not, then please leave a review detailing how I could make future chapters better, after all, one can hardly improve without being told how to improve am I right?
Also, yes, you're completely right in thinking Kappa's mysterious abilities will come to light in the next chapter.