Project: Feral

The U.S.A. been devastated by a virus that has been in movies, books and stories for centuries. some say it came in a flash, some say it was slowly crawling towards them as if they saw it coming. The world has sealed and quarantined the entire US continent, but for how long will the virus stay there? Whenever someone thinks of the U.S.A. they think of the horrifying creatures that now tread on its streets and roads... These creatures are, as some say, the minions of the Devil himself, and some blame the world and its people for their own mistake. One man stands in the way of this virus, only one. The virus wants to spread and grow like fungus, but this man will end the virus, or will he? Does he have what it takes to save his beloved home? Or will it all be too much for him to handle? This is a plague...This is a war. (first story)


6. Beast unleashed

Both Natasha and Barry gasped and looked shocked as well. The man spoke again. “Let me introduce myself. I am Nickolas Anderson, your older brother, Jake. You don’t know anything about me; but I am the last remainder of your family.” He said, grinning. “You’re not part of my family; I don’t even know who you are!” Jake screamed back. Nickolas replied with a grin, “Exactly. You see your family and I worked on something called Project: Feral. The project was working on a serum that will give humans the powers of every living organism, mythical or an actual animal, and will also attempt the LQP virus for the 79th time. What General Steele said to you was all lies; Americans tested it and put it through trials. I helped work on the project and I found a way to control the virus… by injecting myself with it along with the FERAL serum. When I plunged it into me I instantly became aware of everything around me and I also had animal powers. I released a sample of the LQP-79 into the public and that was the Miami Zombie Man incident, it gathered me enough time to spread the virus unknown further into America and when I heard samples were taken to South Africa, so I sent a pawn to spread it and by 21 of December, doomsday, I took control of those infected and started the Undead World War. Our parents were simply just one of my many pawns.” He laughed.

Jake was so enraged, but before he could do anything he felt something like a needle pierce his arm. He groaned in pain, took the needle out and asked, “What did you do to me, Nickolas?!” Nickolas replied, “Oh nothing, just paralyzed your powers and your body to allow my micro-bots to embrace the more… darker side of your powers with a little help from my zombie virus, but don’t worry, its slow acting so you have a lot of time to say goodbye to your old life.” Nickolas laughed. “I will not become part of something dark! You try to exterminate your own kind and your own brother!” Jake shouted out, feeling small jolts of pain. “Oh but you will join no matter how strong you fight against it. And it doesn’t matter if I cause genocide or not, I may be an Atheist but I am no moron. Zombies are the next step to our evolutionary chain, like it or not. Well I must be going. Have fun with the slow transformation brother, unless you already have something dark inside you, then it will happen faster.” Nickolas said while turning away. Nickolas right then and there vanished off into darkness as the sun set behind the ruined mountain.

Nobody moved or talked the whole time, still trying to take in what just happened. Barry spoke up first, “I can’t believe this happened. At least we know who is responsible.” Jake turned around and looked down into his hands. “I’m going to be… a zombie? This can’t be, I refuse to become one, but even the toughest animals I can use don’t even stand a chance against a zombie virus.” Natasha ran to Jake giving him a big hug and said, “You can fight the disease, I know it. Now that your memories are back I can tell you everything there is that happened while you were in that coma, come on it will cheer you up.” Natasha dragged him off to their apartment.

Barry turned towards Blade and said, “Well what now? This whole place is trashed and I don’t know what is going to happen next.” Blade answered, “Well, since this was our darkest time, I signaled for help… from the military.” Barry looked shocked. “Help from the military?” He asked shocked. Blade only looked at him and spoke, “You know that we needed help and we are good allies with the military despite our… differences. We might have done things to anger them but still we keep a good trade route. We give them a few test subjects and battery-cores of electrical energy and they give us guns and ammo, simple as that.” Barry couldn’t believe his ears, nor did he want to. “You’re playing with people’s lives, Blade.” Barry pointed out. Blade almost immediately replied, “Why shouldn’t I? They played with mine.” And with those words Blade walked away.

Jake was in his apartment along with Natasha and Chelsea. “So let me get this straight. I made you pregnant, Natasha. Well I’m out of words I don’t know what to say except I’m so happy. Ok now one question Chelsea, is that really you? You look so different since we were kids” Jake pointed out. Chelsea replied, “Yeah it is me. You look different too, but I see your hair-style will NEVER change” She giggled. Jake instantly retorted, “Hey! I like this hairstyle. It makes me look more relaxed and I don’t have to comb.” They all laughed at his statement.

After a few more minutes of talking Barry walked in with a depressed look on his face. Everybody turned to him and Jake was rather curious, “Hey buddy what’s with the long face? I know we just faced a million zombies but surely you got a buzz out of it.” Barry sighed and said, “Blade is not as trustworthy as we thought.” “Why? I knew him since I came here 9 months ago and he was there for me” Chelsea said calmly. Barry shook his head and said, “No. He has a trade route going on... with the army.” Everybody’s ears perked up and paid attention as he continued to explain, “Blade told me he sent a distress signal to General Steele while the zombie fiasco took place moments ago. I wonder why they didn’t show up yet. But anyway Blade gives the General test subjects and cores filled with electricity and the General gives guns and ammo in return. I told him his playing with people’s lives but he only told me they played with his. I don’t know what to do now” After that explanation Jake had a deep feeling something was wrong. “I don’t like this one bit. I already have the zombie virus inside me but like my crazy psychopath brother said its slow acting. I wonder what affect it will have on me since I’m not a human, I am a beast, and I mean that in a good way.” Chelsea looked at him strangely and asked, “And how do you mean that in a GOOD way?” Jake just laughed a bit and said, “Well it means that I can fight the virus. It means I have powers and abilities that make me a real tough guy and that my hair will stay the same no matter what. Well anyway it’s getting late and tomorrow we can go ask Blade what is going on.”

Everybody yawns and they leave to their apartments, except for Natasha. She turns to Jake and hugs him. “Is everything going to be ok Jake? I’m a little scared.” Jake sighed and told her, “Everything is going to be fine. We know who tried to kill me and we know who is behind this. All we need to do is stop my brother and stop the infection, and hopefully that means everything will go back to normal.” They got dressed in their night-clothes, brushed their teeth and went off to sleep.

During the night Jake was awake the whole time. He keeps feeling as though something is inside him. What was that beast he felt when he was fighting that huge zombie? What did his brother mean by ‘darker side of his powers’? Can he stop it? Will it really happen? His last question was answered when he felt a pain in and around both his arms. He looked at them and saw they were his tiger claws. ‘This is weird.’ He thought to himself while examining his arms. His tiger claws looked… different. His nails were longer and sharper. The fur wasn’t the usual orange color; it was a dark and scary purple-blue and it was slightly longer. Jake felt the pain go through his arms down to his chest area. He lifted the blanket and saw his entire chest and stomach area was dark blue and when he touched it, he felt it was a rough texture, as if it was stone. The pain shot up his spine and there was more pain in his face. He quietly stood up and looked at his face in the bathroom mirror…

He rushed outside the apartment and to the open mountain gates. He gave a long and deep howl of despair. “What…what am I?” he asked himself. He deeply knew that the transformation Nickolas was talking about was the cause of this new problem.

He ran back to his apartment and sighed in relief seeing Natasha still sleeping. ‘Good, she is still asleep. I can’t tell her about this. Not right now.’ He thought to himself. He got back into his bed and finally fell asleep, but only with the knowledge that the transformation is faster than he thought…

The next day he woke up feeling renewed. Today was going to be a good day. But as soon as he lifted the sheets off his body he remembered what happened. Was it real? Or was it a nightmare? ‘Man, I can’t tell anyone about this yet, not even Natasha.’ He thought to himself. But he should look at the bright side. He can hope that the transformation is only going to happen during the night and that maybe it will go away. He felt a stir next to him and saw Natasha starting to wake. Once she opened her eyes and looked up at him, Jake can feel all worries and stress leaving his mind and body. He loved her more than anything. He cannot let her suffer for his actions and problems. He HAD to protect her from the zombies, from Nickolas… and from himself. “Good morning Jake.” Her soft voice spoke, clearly still sleepy. Jake just smiled sweetly at her and replied “Good morning Natasha. Did you sleep well?” “Yes I did since I’m with you.” She said sweetly. They both embraced for what felt like an eternity which was just a few minutes in reality. They finally let go and Natasha blushed. “We should probably get ready.” She stated giggling. Jake just smiled like the devil and asked, “What’s the rush?” And with that they started with their antics.

Barry was waiting outside Jake and Natasha’s apartment. “Where are those guys?” He asked himself, tapping his foot impatiently. A while after he said that both Natasha and Jake walked out their apartment holding hands and giggling. Barry looked at them sternly. “What was taking so long? I waited here for a full hour.” Jake just laughed and said, “Well you can say we ‘celebrated’.” Barry first looked confused and then a bit irritated and said, “Well I don’t want to hear how since I have an idea what it was.” All three of them laughed and then stopped when Chelsea was walking towards them. “Hi guys, so are we ready to ask Blade about what’s going on with him and General Steele and the trade thing their doing?” She asked sweetly. They all nodded and started to walk to the Watchtower, which was the ONLY building that’s relatively unscathed by the zombie attack.

 As soon as the elevator reached the top of the tower Blade turned around to greet whoever was there, but just when he opened his mouth to speak, Jake lost it and pressed Blade against a wall and yelled, “WHY ARE YOU TRADING WITH GENERAL STEELE? TELL ME OR I WILL TURN YOU INTO PULP!” Blade was completely stunned by this, more so that he was shocked Jake knew about the trade. Blade sighed rather loudly and said, “So you know? Well I guess it is fair to explain…” Before Blade could get another word out Jake interrupted, “YOU BETTER EXPLAIN! For your sake I hope you do.” Jake slowly but carefully loosened his grip and lowered Blade to the ground.

Blade wiped off the dust on his shoulders and sat in his chair that was pointed towards Jake and the others. “General Steele and I had been trading ever since this war began, before you guys met us. The General and I decided to keep it classified, for protection and safety reasons. I trade him glass containers of electricity and test subjects for weapons and ammunition. I did not like the trade since they use the people I trade him to test new weapons and cures on them, but we had to get our weapons supplies from somewhere.” He explained. Natasha and Chelsea had a look of disgust on their faces while Jake and Barry had a look of anger and disbelieve. “I understand you don’t like it but neither do I, so man up, I have a mission for you. You are going to stay a few days over at an abandoned mansion that’s near one of Nickolas’ newly found zombie research lab. I want you to go and destroy that research lab after you stole data from the computers, but stay at the mansion for a while because General Steele will be delivering weapons, troops and supplies to you personally.” Jake was going to say something, but looking around him he saw that maybe it’s for the best to just acknowledge the way things are right now. “Ok, we will go to that research lab for you, but we need transport there” Jake said sternly. Blade replied with a grin, “The cars you used when we rescued you are near the mountain’s gate. The keys are in your cars”. Jake smiled and the group walked to the mountain gate.

When they reached the gates, Jake was reminded of everything as he saw the blood and zombie parts along the walls and floor. Jake looked around for the garage and saw it tucked away in a corner part of the mountain wall. Once they were inside the garage Barry walked over to a car covered in a sheet and said, “Let’s see if our rides are still how we got them.” He placed his hand on the sheet and ripped it off. He immediately smiled when he saw his Ferrari still in mint condition. Jake went over to the car next to Barry and pulled the sheet off. His BMW is still in shape too, with a few adjustments.

Jake’s normal black paint is still there however there were both emerald and neon green racing stripes over the black body paint and the headlights in front look like owl-eyes. The back of the car showed his trademark Dino-footprint just above the license plate. The spoiler of the car was warped and bent at the end. The weapons were bigger, meaning more ammo was installed. Jake just got in the car and said, “Ok we got our mission, we got our weapons and we got transport. Let’s go.” And with that they started their cars and sped off to the new insertion point.

Once they reach the old mansion, all of them exited the cars and looked around the pale and mysterious vista. Jake caught something moving in one of the windows, but when he turned to see what it is, it was gone, as if nothing was there. “This is our temporary base? What a fantastic place to choose.” Chelsea commented sarcastically. Barry noticed Jake staring into one of the windows. “Jake? Is everything alright?” Barry asked worriedly. Jake snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Barry and asked, “What? Oh sorry, I thought I saw something moving in the window.” Barry looked at him but then replied, “Well, let’s go inside, unpack and search the house a bit while waiting for the General to arrive.”

The front door creaked as it opens, like an old abandoned site. Jake scanned across the old and splintered wooden floor. “This place has been cleaned up.” He said in a monotone voice. Just when the gang wanted to question him Jake continued, “The floor isn’t packed with dust, the rails on the staircase is re-done, the carpet of the front door is not shredded of age and there is a wooden clock on the wall that is still working.” All of them were just stunned at how Jake noticed ALL of that. “Well guys, come on, this is our home away from home.” Jake said walking into the house. They all followed him and the moment they stepped in they knew something was wrong with this house. “This place gives me the creeps.” Natasha stated. “Reminds me of those ghost documentaries I used to watch.” They all went upstairs and to their surprise the staircase wasn’t creaking or sounding like it wants to give way. They found a huge master bedroom where they put their stuff in.

Chelsea plopped down on the bed and started a conversation, “So, what do you think the mission is going to be like? I know Natasha is off duty because she’s pregnant so I guess I’m coming along this one.” Jake leaned against the wall while Barry took out something rather unusual out of his bag. “What is that thing?” Natasha asked Barry as she scooted closer to him so she can inspect the object better. Barry replied with confidence, “It’s a little toy a brought along. It’s a remote control spy drone. It has a great amount of signal range, great camera feed and most of all, long battery life.” Natasha hit him upside the head saying, “Why the heck would you bring that thing? You can’t play with it you dummy. Be serious for once.” Jack stood up thinking of something, “Wait, maybe we could use that thing to our advantage. Barry you said that thing can be controlled from far away, right?” Barry nodded with a dumbfounded expression on his face, but Jake continued to explain, “We can attach a few things to it, fly that thing to the research base, get it inside and see what the inside of the base looks like so that it’s easier for us when we actually go in.” Everyone looked at each other as if Jake just lost his mind completely, but then exchanged nods to each other. “Let’s do this.” Jake said starting to look around for parts for the attachments. “First we need controllable arms so we can hack the base entrances to get inside. Then we need something to knock the zombies out, because if we try to kill them they will know. And lastly we need to figure out a way to make the drone invisible so they can’t see it.” Everybody smiled and started to find and build the attachments from various things around the house.

After everything was found and installed, they went outside to a dining table with the spy drone on top of the table. “Ok Natasha lets test the camera link. Barry, start the drone and let it hover.” Jake said. Natasha placed a laptop on top of the table and started pressing a few keys on it while Barry switched both the spy drone and its camera on. The spy drone flew a few feet away and upward and hovered motionless in the air. On Natasha’s laptop an image came up showing what the spy drone saw in its camera view. “Ok looks like the camera is working smoothly.” Natasha stated. “That’s all we need to know. Barry, send it to the base.” Jake commanded. Barry went over to the laptop to see where the drone is flying and he slowly let it glide forward.

The drone finally reached its destination. Natasha used a joystick controller to move the mechanical arms. She pushed a button on the keyboard and the drone looks to be invisible. The craft went forward to the front entrance and started to hack the keypad to let the door open. After a few tries Natasha managed to open the door without much of a noise. “Nice work, now take us in” Jake said, also looking at the laptop screen. The drone went inside of the facility to explore the interior…

Meanwhile, Chelsea was back inside the house looking around. She let her hands gently graze the top fireplace. She looked at her fingers to be surprised that it was as clean as a whistle. There was a sudden noise and she spun around and took her guns out in one, swift motion. She was relieved and suspicious when she saw a vase rocking back and forth for a while before stopping. “Jake? Barry? Natasha? Are you guys in here? Better not be playing around with me.” She said out loud, a little frightened to hear neither a single reply nor sound. She felt as if she was being watched by someone, or something… She heard another noise in the kitchen and she slowly started to move towards the room. She had her guns raised up when she stepped inside the kitchen. She looked around the counter, which was in the middle of the room, and saw a pan on the floor. A low growling could be heard from directly behind her. She sound around on her heel and fired a shot randomly in the area from where the growl was from. She looked up to see a huge, buff zombie, with the bullet caught between his teeth. She dropped her pistols and ran around the zombie screaming, “JAKE! ANYBODY HELP! THERE’S A HUGE ZOMBIE CHASING ME!”

Back outside the gang heard the scream and Jake was the first to respond, “You two keep going on with the drone, I’ll take care of this uninvited house guest.” And with that Jake ran into the house to deal with the situation.

When he came inside the house he could see the crazy zombie crushing Chelsea in his hands. Jake grew angry and could feel the strange rage again and decided to calm down a bit. ‘For all of our sakes it’s better I don’t let the virus control me.’ He thought in his head as he grew his tiger arm and rushed forward to the zombie to give it a huge punch in the face. The zombie dropped Chelsea, who Jake caught in his arms, and stumbled back. Jake placed Chelsea behind him and jumped to give the zombie a kung fu kick to the jaw. The zombie blocked it with its massive arms, took Jake’s foot and thrashed him around wildly, hitting everything in the house. The zombie let Jake’s foot go and he flew into a wall with a hard impact. “Let’s take this outside, shall we?” Jake commented and punched the zombie in the chest, but not to hurt him, but to make the zombie fly into a wall and break it.

The zombie landed outside, near the area where Natasha and Barry are working with the spy drone. Before the zombie could even react, Jake landed yet another punch to the zombie’s head. The zombie shook his head and growled loudly, but it was short sounded because Jake threw a huge stone into its mouth. Jake grinned at the sight of a huge, bulky zombie struggling to get a rock out of its mouth. “What’s the matter? Full mouth?” He joked. The zombie’s jaws snapped closed, breaking the rock, and swallowing the stone that’s inside his mouth as if it was cotton. The zombie charged forward to swing his arm into Jake. Jake thought he was going to punch him in the chest, so he blocked his chest, but crashed into a tree when the zombie swung sideways, not straight forward.

The zombie looked back and randomly grabbed Chelsea, starting to crush her with his arms. Chelsea screamed from the pain in her upper body and tried to weakly kick herself free, but the zombie had her in a grip she can’t even hurt a fly. Jake stood up from the tree and felt the huge anger inside him rise up. ‘Kill it’ a strange voice in Jake’s head whispered. ‘Kill the zombie that’s hurting your friend; give in to your anger.’ Jake knelt down and felt intense pain travel his body. It was like everything in his body was drenched in molten lava.

When the pain stopped, he looked down to his hands to see his tiger fur a dark purple color. At first he wanted to stop and calm down, but the screaming from Chelsea being crushed made him more enraged. He stood up and loudly roared at the zombie. The zombie stopped to look at Jake, only to find his not there anymore. At that instant Jake was behind the zombie and gave him a powerful blow to its back. The zombie dropped Chelsea, but Jake didn’t catch her, instead he kicked the zombie square in the neck, sending it to the ground. Jake stood on top of the zombie, his eye color not green anymore. His eyes were pure white and glowing. Jake raised his hand in the air and his sharpened tiger claws slashed through the zombie’s neck like butter. “Jake? Jake calm down, it’s over.” Natasha said, scared down to her very core.

 Jake’s eyes came back, as green as it used to be and his tiger fur switched back to its orange color. He looked at Natasha for a moment, but just as he wanted to apologize, a military jet flew over the house. “Guess the army is here. I’m putting the spy drone in near a security camera and hack into it so we can see every angle of the research base.” Barry interrupted the awkward moment.

Soon after the zombie body was disposed of, the General stepped out of a personnel carrier. He came up to everyone and shook hands, “Good day, I guess were working together again.” He shook Jake’s hand last, but Jake looked into the Generals eyes while putting more pressure to the General’s hand. The General swiped his hand out of the grip. “Well, I guess someone doesn’t want me here.” Jake replied, “That doesn’t matter, we managed to get into the research base with a toy spy drone. Now we know where to go and where to get all the needed information from specific computers.” “That’s a good thing, because I ordered a bomb to drop on the base on my command.” The General said as if it wasn’t a big deal. Jake grabbed the General by his throat and asked in a threatening voice, “You did WHAT?!” “Jake! Calm down!” Natasha said to him. Jake let go of the General and said to him, “You better give us enough time to do what we need to do.” The General coughed a bit and said, “Very well. But when the pilot says his running out of fuel he is going to drop that bomb even if you’re inside or not.”

Jake, Chelsea and Barry drove towards the base and parked in a place where no one can see the cars. Jake was the first to step inside the base, with Chelsea and Barry following close by. “You guys go look for the computers and download everything you find and get out as fast as you can, I’m going to see if I find anything interesting.” Jake whispered and headed for a different hallway. Chelsea and Barry didn’t even try to argue with him and continued down the hall to the computer room.

Barry kicked the door open stood aside saying, “Ladies first.” Chelsea rolled her eyes and stepped into the room. She sat down near a computer and switched it on. “Ok, let’s see what we can find.” She said as she began typing away. “You do that, while I keep a lookout for anything zombie-related.” Barry replied, pulling out his special gun and aiming it at the hallway, staring intently at the vacant space in front of him, unaware of gas slowly entering the room…

Meanwhile Jake was walking down one of the long hallways when he heard a whisper ‘Hello there’. He spun around and took his tiger claws out, only to see nothing was following him nor was near his area. ‘You liked the power I gave you, didn’t you?’ the whisper continued. Jake realized it was in his head. “Who are you?” Jake asked confused. “Show yourself!” Jake kept whirling around trying to see any sign of where the voice came from. Yet he found nothing. ‘Go to the door’ the voice whispered again. Jake had no choice but to continue forward. Once he reached the end of the hallway, he slowly opened the door. What Jake found next was quite a sight to him.

It was the boiler room, but it was a HUGE boiler room. He saw a chair-like object in the middle of the vast room. He went closer to take a good look at it. When he was about a few feet away from the chair, it swung around and Jake was as white as a ghost when he saw who it was.

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