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Thursday, January 1, 2015


"Am I alive? Is it safe?"

Moments before the homemade explosives went off at the base of the Hudson Memorial Building and collapsed the building in full I wondered that same question though it was not me who said it while being pinched under several concrete beams and rebar focused to hold the same said building up. 

I sat in a conference room several stories high above the ground and miles away from the Hudson Memorial Building as the main presenter—Chuck something—was telling me and my fellow coworkers the dangers of these times and days. I struggled to listen because my mind was still getting over the recent loss of my mother and father though it was highly anticipated. 

"Calpurnicus is no longer that one city beyond the mountains and by the ocean." He said as he passed from side to side.  "We need to think of all the dangers that will follow out of The Enclave's new decision and we need to consider them quickly."

I rolled my eyes back into my head and leaned forward in my chair. I was brought out of my spacious nine by twelve cubicle and thought "I left my work for this?" Several financial spending cost sheets were due by the end of the day to my boss though I would could only laugh at what he would say. 'Our clients expect more from us.' Or 'Your work as an employee is unsatisfactory.' I would spit in his face before he would have another chance to tell me what my father would think but that’s beside the point. I guess I should rewind things back to a clean slate. 

It was a Tuesday and a few pals of mine came up to me to talk about a nearby building having its grand opening near the financial district called The Harvester. It was a simple building that offered several services and vices so people can relax. Simple enough. Why it was called a damned "Harvester" was beyond us in the first place but it offered a fun time and we wanted it almost a little too much. We worked hard the rest of the day just waiting for the opening of The Harvester. 

We skipped our meetings with the rest of the company and left our underlings do our work. We were already hyped up on drugs as we headed over to the opening, as we couldn’t wait to give into our worldly desires as soon as we got off. You could see the building miles away as it towered over the rest of the skyscrapers in the district. One of my buddies, Alan, rented us out a limousine so we could arrive in total class. With our newly pressed suits we exited the limousine and walked up to The Harvester wondering where all the crowds were.

"The buildings tall enough it could probably fit everyone who's who inside comfortably." Sorenson said.

"This building is huge!" Said Jackie. "It takes up a literal block." 

"And then some." I followed. We walked inside expecting wall-to-wall parties but as we passed through the swinging doors we saw a comfortable lobby with a couple staff digitizing a few papers behind a large mahogany desk.

"This is The Harvester correct?" I asked while looking through the lobby seeing if anyone else was in the room.

"Yes, sorry." Said a lady at the desk "The Harvester doesn't open for a few more hours."

"No lines for when it opens, nobody in lobby?" I responded. 

"Well I am somebody sir, and at The Harvester, there is no waiting." I thought for a minute’s time.

"You know, I am a somebody too. Me and my friends are associates at the Hudson Memorial Building."

"Why didn't you say so? We can fit in our special clients at any time!"

"Anytime?" I asked confusingly.

"At any time. Now what are your names?" I gave her one of my business cards in which was solid beryllium, light and sturdy. She gazed at it for a moment then took it, typed in some information and handed it back to me."

"Keep it, so you know I'm serious." I said. She pulled back and smiled a little bit. She was cute in a if I was bored point of view. Her skin was soft as I handed her the card originally. Nails professionally done and clothes that said she was well to do as well. 

"Well okay." She said chuckling and I laughed along with her as the others handed over their digital cards which were a fortune themselves but they took them back. "You three are able to access the all the odd floors between one and thirty five and ninety nine to one sixty five."

"Why not all of them?" Jackie asked.

"Every even floor is for staff only. Kitchens, supply rooms, break rooms, ex-cetera. The other floors are exclusive to our clients who are able to become a Harvester Club Member or for short an Executive.”

"Then what about me?" I asked.

"You Mr. Arastes, are available to access every floor except the top floor, floor one sixty seven, the even floors that are designated for staff, and the ladies clubs as you are able to become a executive."

"Why the hell can he be a club member and we can't?" Alan said. 

"Me. Arastes had been hand selected by our CEO when The Harvester was being built." She said. 

"What makes him so important?" Alan asked again while folding his arms across his chest. 

"It is not known to me but he has twenty four hours to make his decision. Now if you would, let me prick your fingers so you can access the biometric scanners to access the floors of your choosing." Moments passed as she pricked our fingers and each of us winced as the device she was holding dug deeper into our skin as it should. "Thank you." She continued. "To your right are the first class elevators and to your left are the elevators to reach the executive floors. Mr. Arastes, go enjoy yourself tonight, if you like our services, come back and sign up. The night is yours boys." Alan, Jackie and Sorensen mumbled amoungst each other as we headed to the first class elevators and stood in front of it till it recognized us and began to light up. 

"So where are we going to first?" I asked. 

"I was looking at a map as you were talking to the hostess. The first fifteen floors are open to the general public. They are comprised of shopping centers, bars, a hospital and lounges. There is an info floor on seventeen then proceeded by five bars, four gentlemen’s clubs and four ladies clubs. The other floors that the three of us can access are hotel rooms, and conference rooms. The public can access the regular hotel floors too. The only ones we can't access are about twenty-seven floors in the middle and the CEOs top floor. All in all, we can access at least half of the building, three thirds if you don't count the staff floors." Everyone nodded their heads positively.

"Let's hit the first executive bar, see what that's like." Jackie said. Everyone agreed and we entered the elevator. As we situated ourselves I looked for a button to push but there weren't any. Back-to-back metallic walls and neon lights in every corner of the elevator. 

"Why aren't we moving?" Alan asked. 

"No buttons" I said calmly. Just then a sliver of a red light scanned the room like we were products. 

"Which floor would you like to access gentlemen?" The voice came from all around us. 

"Floor nineteen?" Sorenson asked confusingly. We stood within the elevator for a few seconds wondering what was going to happen and then the doors opened. We were on floor nineteen without even knowing we were moving which was not uncommon but here it was creepy. Alan pushed us aside and ran out shaking as if bugs were crawling over his body but we knew he felt the same way we did.

"That creeped the shit out of me!" Alan yelled. We grunted in unison. "Now where are we?" He asked. I looked around the stainless steel hallway and pointed at the door at the end of the hall that looked out of place because it was and old wooden swinging doors painted red. We moved forward toward the door expecting something to jump out at us but all we heard was music. Simple rock music got louder as we moved closer to the door and as we reached the end if the hallway I realized it was a song I have already heard before. Cautiously I opened the doors to see; well what you would assume a bar would look like. There were several areas where people danced several areas where they served alcohol and other beverages and lounges. There were even areas in which looked like a fine restaurant where people dined delightfully with each other. It looked like paradise. 

The bar was appropriately named Paradise Falls and as we grabbed our choices of liquor we sat at a table that was vacant. We sat quietly waiting for one or another to talk but instead we all soaked in the atmosphere and sat in shock. The music, the ambiance, the lighting, everything was perfect. A woman holding out a tray walked up to us and waited for all of our attention. 

"Physic?" She asked. I was loosing my high.

"What do you have?" I asked. 

"We have your ordinary opiates, barbiturates, vapors and stimulates and we have other products manufactured here."

"What are those?" Alan asked excitingly. 

"We have a physic called Haste which acts as a stronger stimulate than your ordinary products it comes in an injector and you manually inject it into your bloodstream. We have Sutures in which are injectable as well and we also have Tycrum in which you smoke."

"What does that do?" Alan asked. 

"It effects everyone differently, if you want that I would have to take you to another floor in which we would have to test on you first before you can do it in our bars or clubs. It is the only substance we offer in which we predominantly control." 

"You don't control the others?" Jackie asked excitingly.

"In order to take a substance we take a sample of your blood much like the hostess did in the main floor and check your blood content. It keeps track of your tolerance too. We keep track of everything."

"Sounds safe." I added. 

"Make sure to keep your conduct orderly. Or else you will be banned from the building. Now what would you like?"

"Haste." I said. 

"Haste." Said Jackie. 

"I'll have that as well." Said Alan. Sorenson was thinking. 

"Four more beers," I said again. "And four shots of your most popular cinnamon whiskey."

"A suture for me." Sorenson requested. "And something alcoholic flavored with cranberry."

"Pussy." Jackie said. Everyone laughed. 

"Is that it for you gentlemen?" I nodded and she walked off as a couple of us turned to look at her backside as she walked away.

"I'd give her an eight." Jackie said. 

"Huh?" Sorenson grunted. 

"That cute little thing that walked away. An eight!" Jackie said while hitting the table with his fists. 

"Right." Sorenson responded. 

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Alan asked. 

"I'm crashing guys." Sorenson said. 

"Then you should have got some damn Haste." I said. 

"Think we can get some women on the higher levels?" Jackie asked. 

"Good question." Alan said. "What do you think?" Alan asked while looking at me. 

"Let's get ensued first. Then we will go." Everyone nodded. Just then a device popped out from the center of the table and it retracted another blood tester and pointed it at Jackie. He looked back and forth between us and we shrugged. He raised his index finger and brought it near the device and it pricked him. He winced and the needle that was poking out retracted and came out again with a clean needle and pricked the next one of us until we were all done. It went back into the table and four slots in the table slid under the material of the table and plates with our chosen physic elevated to the point of the surface of the table. We took our chosen physic that was in front of us and injected them in our chosen injection sites. I placed my physic back on the plate and it retracted back into the table and everyone else followed. Our waitress then walked up to us with our liquor and placed them in front of us. Gave us a quick smile and walked away. We were too ensued to speak. 

I loosened my tie from my neck and started to breathe heavy as I began to sweat. I took a shot of the hard liquor in front of me and shook my head to get a rid of the double vision. I looked around at my friends and their faces began to turn inside out and then faceless. The music turned louder as it was faster paced with complex rhythms I got up and started yelling at everyone but I couldn't hear my voice. Clawing at my ears I began to draw blood. All of a sudden something pushed me down and I started to fall down long corridors that were in my office I crashed through a window and landed back in my seat in which I could see my friends looking at me with wide grins. I was lost. I looked around the table and there were several more beers, mugs and shot glasses on the table along with several bags of herbs in which everyone else have already started smoking. I was ensued beyond no return. 

"We can take our physic up to the gentlemen’s clubs they have alcohol up there as well." Somebody said. My friends picked me up and helped me stand as we all stumbled to some central elevators within the bar. We got scanned we moved up and we arrived to the club. Having a little more control with my limbs I propped myself up from leaning in the elevator and walked out to see several naked women handing each of us a vape. One grabbed my hand and took me into a back room and gave me a show. She left for a minute and came back with another girl in which they sucked me off. Afterwards I stumbled back into the main room to see some of my friends having sex publicly as other women danced on a stage displaying everything they had. This wasn't a gentlemen’s club, it was a whorehouse.  
I listened for music but I was to ensued to hear anything. Alan poked me and I looked at him to see he was smoking some illegitimate herbal treatments and let me give it a smoke. It felt like I was falling to the floor hard as I saw the fine wood floor approach my face. I didn't remember anything else the rest of the night. 

I woke up in a place that was not familiar in a bed made for a hundred. A few women were in my bed as I looked around for my clothes. I heard a toilet flush and Alan came out smiling at me. 

"How was last night?" He asked. 

"Spotty." I remarked. "Are we in one of their hotel rooms?

"Executive hotel rooms and I found out something, if you become an executive you don't get charged for any blood!"

"This place is free?" I asked surprised. 

"Yeah, everyone else has to take those blood tests." I looked at the tips of my fingers and it looked like a wild animal got its hands on me as I was sleeping but they weren't as bad as Alan's. 


"Just put some of this ointment on them." Alan said while handing me a black bottle with a red plus on it after taking some for himself. After applying I noticed my wounds began to heal unanimously. 

"Where are the others?" I asked. 

"In another room." 

"What do we owe these girls? I said as I began to get off the bed. 

"Nothing!"  He said while thrusting his arms outward. 

"No tips or anything?"

"No! That's the joy of it! They get paid exclusively by The Harvester and are offered rooms, food, medical coverage, free entertainment, they get everything they want for just a little of blood!" 

"Wow." I scratched my head. "It's almost too good to be true." After I showered we left the hotel room to join back up with Jackie and Sorenson. Neither of which had any remorse for the previous night. Jackie patted one of the girls on the head then left with the rest of us. We were late for work though it was not uncommon. Approaching the elevator Jackie began to speak. 

"Are any of you planning on coming back?" 

"I am." I said. 

"That's because this sonouvabitch gets everything for free." Alan said while putting his weight on my shoulders while pointing at me. 

"Seriously?" Jackie complained. 

"Yeah. Because we were with him everything we did was free." Alan said. 

"Well not totally free." I added. 

"Yes." Alan rebutteled. "We still have to get our blood sampled."

"Thank god!" Sorenson yelled. "I was so worried about how much everything would cost...how much did everything cost?"

"Pussy." Jackie called Sorenson. 

"It just costs blood." Alan said. 

"You think Reggie will find out about last night?" Sorenson whined. 

"Pussy." Alan replied. "If Reggie has a problem with how we conduct ourselves on our time then I will open my own firm."

"Not like he can stop us anyway." Jackie said. 

"But what about all his senior employees being late for work?"

"Are you shitting me?" Jackie yelled. "We all told everyone that were taking the rest of the week off."

"What the hell?" 

"It's okay Sorenson! We did it for all of us, including you." I said. 

"Thank god." He said while breathing heavy. 

"That was too easy." Jackie laughed. The elevator was opened for a while now, though we didn't enter, wishing we didn't have to leave. "So what are your agendas today?"

"Might just go back to the office and say whatever I was going to do was canceled." Sorenson said.

"I was thinking of doing the same thing, my head doesn't hurt anymore." I said while rubbing my head. 

"You know..." Alan said. I think I am going to stay here, I already have a room for the day, might as well keep it for a couple more. I can get groceries on the lower floors, there are really no reason to leave for me, I may just set up in one of the office floors and do work from here."

"That’s actually a good idea." Jackie said. "Why go anywhere else?"

"I really should visit family." I stated.

"Who cares really?" Jackie asked.

"Well my father has been really sick and my mom can't take all the weight."

"What about that nurse you hired?" Alan asked. 

"The nurse only help him when my mother isn't around. She won't let anyone out of the family help for long periods of time."

"Your a high timing—" I cut Alan off.

"No, I might be one to love to indulge but I should really should take some initiative." I walked into the elevator. "Anyone else?" Sorenson look conflicted about what to do but Jackie spoke for him.

"Were going to stay here and have fun. Come on guys." The elevator closed and I stated I wanted to be on the ground floor. The elevator began to move and within second I was there. Exiting I saw the same girl at the front desk and walked up to her.

"I never got your name." I said to her

"You never asked." She laughed. 

"What’s your name beautiful?" 

"Hermione." She blushed. 

"Hermione. What are you doing tonight?" 

"I'm working as a waitress in a bar on level nineteen. Maybe I'll see you."

"Maybe." I turned around and headed out the main door to be greeted by sunlight. I got the sunglasses out of my shirt pocket and put them on then signaled for a cab. 

"Mom!" I said as I entered the front door. "Mother!" The nurse poked her head into the foyer in which where I was. 

"Your mother is in your fathers room. Something's happened." She said wearily. 

"What do you mean?" I walked past her around the corner and down a hallway. "Mom, we need to talk." I said as I entered the room. I saw her holding my fathers hand as she sat beside him with her back to me. All the machines he was hooked up to were off and I expected the worst. 

"He died in the night." She said. 

"Who was with him?" I asked. 

"I was, there was nothing I could do."

"How did he die?"

"In his sleep, it was quiet, it was peaceful."

"Why didn't you contact me?" I said rushing to his other side

"You weren't there before, why would you be there now?" She said spitefully I wanted to cry but I knew I was still under the influence, Haste prevented any moisture to be released and if your body did, it would be blood. 

"I came to tell you I wanted to be more involved." I pleaded. 

"Well you are too late. Your father died knowing you didn't care." She turned her head away from me. 

"I didn't care?" I yelled. "What about all the money I have you to help pay for his support?"

"Gave it to the less fortunate, you know your father would want that, we always had enough money for ourselves after your fathers business." I was frustrated but this wasn't the time or place. 

"May I have some last words?" I asked. 

"No. They will be in vain." I wanted to cry but I knew better. I left the room and made it for the door out. On my way I heard the nurse calling my name. I didn't want to answer but I stopped anyway. 

"Sir, I think I should tell you something that happened last night if you’re willing to hear me out?" She said while catching up to where I was. 

"Yes, yes what is it?" I asked 

"Your father wanted to leave his inheritance to you but your mother wouldn't let him. She killed him last night!" 

"Why would she kill him while you were in the house? She knows your a mandatory reporter and that you wouldn't let this go unsaid." 

"She had me leave but I came back because I left something..." 

"Typical. So you just happened to be in the right place at the right time. What are you getting out of this?"

"Why would you doubt me? You hate your mother and you knew that she was capable of this." I wasn't thinking straight. The drugs were clouding my judgment. 

"Okay so she killed him, I don't get his inheritance. I already have more money than I know what to do with." I sighed.  And began to open the front door

"Your going to let your mother get away with it?" She yelled. 

"I'll think about it." I shut the door between us and got back into the cab I had waiting for me. If I was to act on my father’s behalf it would to be to avenge his death not to get the money. I could spend years duking this out and it will only make my family grow more apart. If I could kill and get away with it that would be ideal but I'm no killer. "Take me back to...The Harvester" I said hesitantly. I thought for a long while about what to do but I never got a conclusion. Meanwhile I knew my friends were having fun. Maybe I should wash away my sorrow like the old drinking songs you used to hear. I logged into the infininet through my portable console and played some old songs from before my fathers fathers father was born. The cabdriver linked his speakers through the device and we remised on the old days when things were much simpler. 

Approaching The Harvester I put up my console in my shirt pocket and waited till the cab went to a full stop. I started to give the driver some money and he pushed it back to me and said something about I paid with my company. I shrugged it off and gave him the money anyway. Leaving the cab I looked around to see that it was almost dusk and I had an odd feeling that it may as well be the last time I would enjoy the sun beating down on my skin. 

Hermione wasn't at the desk anymore so I suspected she would be at the bar. I began to head to the elevators but another woman at the front desk yelled my name so I approached the desk. 

"Sir it is time to let us know if you want the executive status." I didn't have a chance to think about it but there is no denying on what I wanted. 

"Yes. I would like that." He motioned for my hand and took a prick of blood when I handed it to him. 

"Ok. You have been cleared for the additional floors but you need to visit the CEO on the top floor."

"But I thought I wasn't allowed in that floor." 

"Our CEO has made an exception for you. You won't be able to access any floors till you see him. Over there are the executive elevators." Pointing to my left. "Only these elevators will take you to executive floors." 

"Ok." I said while heading to the executive elevators. As I entered a voice started talking about certain floors in The Harvester talking about specials on alcohol, physic, and sex. It didn't take long till I reached the top floor and when I did I stayed within the elevator a while longer. Whoever this CEO was I was no longer sure that being an executive was a right thing or a bigger vice. 

The elevator dropped me off in a large foyer with marble flooring and balconies hanging over the round entrance. In front of me was a grand staircase going up to these balconies both to the left and right and a great big window behind the staircase which opened up to a large deck area so you could look at the poor people underneath you though I worried about the gusts of winds that could just very well throw you off your feet at this height. In front of the winding staircases were two models of large animals each on their respective side but neither of them looked like an animal I have ever thought of. One was on its hind legs roaring but looked as if it was made out of a stone-like material in real life and the other looked like a formless creature both were painted black. I walked up and onto the marble floor to get a closer look of these statues but a person started to talk on an intercom.

"Up the stairs, down the main hall till you reach the end of the hall. Open the red door, you will know when you see it." Then it clicked off. I began to head up the stairs to the upper floor and it was even more finely made than below. I realized there was a skylight, which showed the great white clouds and the deep blue sky. Every wall, floor, and ceiling was made out of fine woods dark and light and antiques littered every corner though it did not look like too much to handle, everything was perfectly placed. I headed down the main hallway—though there were several others—the main one had the deep red door. Several paintings were on the walls on my way their and they looked like mandate photos made by a new religious movement called The Enclave though it was originally two different named groups. 

The Enclave announced that in this New Year; "We are going to broaden our horizons." Whatever that means and to "push forward"—as generic as that sounds. I never wanted to be in this godforsaken city but I was born into it and once you’re in, going out isn't an option. The Coram Morte or what I like to call "fanatics" have ruled over this place for centuries. Being their own domain they created a theocracy or a religious government. Not everyone has to believe in it and honestly a lot of people don't but the proof is there. Now starting out, these people who started The Coram Morte were members of a cult who believed in many things but all of them revolved around this artifact that was recovered on this large sized ship that was turned into a sanctuary. This foreign vessel traveled across the ocean to find god knows what and what they found is, well, a box. Inside this box its rumored that the bones of the nonbelievers and the blood of the sacrifices that the religious movement collected towards, flows within the gears and knobs that rotate constantly within the box. Nobody knew its true power until these cultists came along. Only the members of The Enclave only know what it does and nobody is talking. I thought about joining The Enclave once when I was younger but it wasn't a life I necessarily wanted to live. Thinking about it now as I am living this pencil-pushing hack of a job I think life might be better but then again I'm not sure what would be allowed. For all I know I would have to remain celibate for the rest of my life and honestly that’s something I don' think that I could give up. Back when this cult found the box there were no traces of the civilization or bodies anywhere. Its like they vanished into the air and killed anyone who even bothered to show their face. Now moving forward several thousands of years their was this man named Emery Delacroix and he stumbled across The Family—which was a much smaller group who believed in the same things as the Coram Morte but lived a much simpler life—and became a member being curious what it was all about. Well he stole the box gave it to The Coram Morte under the direction of a Halstein—founding family of The Coram Morte—and he disappeared without a trace or that’s what I understand. The history sort of vanished after this. There are rumors of a violent war in which The Coram Morte won but they changed their direction on the wake of the return of Emery Delacroix. Knowing these things, as a nonbeliever is exceptionally rare on the fact that all the archives are locked in a library in the center of the city and the only ones who are allowed entry are the high elder members themselves.

This prophet, in a manner of speaking, has come back telling tales of his adventures in a far away land and he's telling them to the public not just his little cult. Apparently he returned with a person from the far away land and his beliefs are impacting the public though I have not heard it from himself. I was now in front of the red door and it was already opened when I was looking at the old photos. The room was well lit and bookshelves full of books were on every wall as a desk in the center in which a man sat.

"Please come in." He said. I walked in and examined his shelves full of books on psychology and pop culture alike. "I was gone for a long time, just a way to keep up with the growing world. Please sit" I walked up to his desk and sat in a fine leather chair. 

"I was thinking you were him but I wasn't for sure." I said

"And who am I?" He was intrigued. 

"Your the prophet that’s come to change the world."  I said nervously. I looked at the contents on his desk and there were books about architecture, blueprints and a piece of media that had the title "Hudson Memorial Building: A Modern Marvel". 

"Who am I?"

"Emery Delacroix." I stated. 

"I picked you to become an Executive because I felt you can get things done with your social status." 

"I am just a businessman."

"Your more than that, you are the beginning of the beginning of the coming of The Wretched." He grinned with a sick smile. 

"What’s that?" I asked. 

"Lets just say its what the old cults have been worshipping for years, you do know the old cults?"


"You shouldn't but I'm not blaming you for being curious. They thought The Wretched were perfect beings that not only began life but began the universe itself."

"Did they?" I was curious. 

"That’s besides the point. We want them to come back?" He said as he stood up and walked on the other side of the desk where I was sitting. 

"Well, why did they leave in the first place?" I asked impatiently.

"They were taken from us."

"By who?" 

"An evil man. As I was saying I think you’re the man I am looking for." He headed back to his side of the desk and looked through the bookshelf behind him. 

"And what do you want me to do?" I asked

"That’s also beside the point. Lets wait till I find out that you are the man I'm looking for."

"How do we do that?" I asked. 

"I want you to go to a Harvester floor, doesn't matter which and ill be watching to see if you have what it takes." He grinned again. 

"What am I going to expect?" I asked. 

"Your full of questions." I waited for him to continue. "I'm going to be honest with you, it’s a kill floor."

"I see." I didn't get uneasy, I was still curious. 

"You will be apart of a dominant party, you’re not going to be one of the killed." He said.

"That’s relieving." I said without emotion. 

"I want you to kill some of the cattle, see how you like it."

"Cattle?" I didn't expect cows. 

"Yes, the people who are going to be killed are called cattle, its best not to see them as a person." 

"Because they aren't, they're cattle."

"Yes. If you have it in you then we may very well be working together."

"I look forward to it." I turned around and headed out wondering why I was so easy with him and I couldn't figure out why as if he had some aura about him.

"One more thing!" He yelled. I stopped in the doorway. "What you will see down there it wont be comforting, it very well is not humane, keep an open mind." I continued to walk out and walked further down the hallway wondering if this was a course of right action but it would help prepare me for revenge on my mother. Walking down the stairs I examined the shapeless creature more and touched its stone sculpture. I felt I was being watched and I felt a crawling under my skin. I backed away and looked at it towering over me--this wasn't natural. I hurried to the elevator and told the elevator "Harvester floor".  

After leaving the executive elevator I noticed instantly that I was on a Harvester floor. Like you would imagine what a place like this would look like I imagined the same. Expecting blood in every corner and metal instruments made for cutting and torturing. Devilish music playing tainted with screams of pain and loathing. Hellfire lighting the place up and devils wandering around laughing at the people's misfortunes. I wasn't far off. After I passed the classic red door entrance, which always turns to what you expect it's like I stepped into a underworld. There was a bar and waiters who served the dominant party. The cattle—as Emery described them—all had collars around their necks and wrists each with a different symbol on them. Several were in steel cages around the room and hanging from the ceiling but they did not cry nor did they scream. It was as if they were trained before the harvest but when you’re about to die what is it that takes a hold of you? Reason or Emotion. For some reason I didn't feel sick as if I thought this was right. As a man who gives into immoral actions as stated by society I still felt this was somewhat wrong though my conscious doesn't control my body in any way shape or form. 

I walked up to one of the cages and looked at the creature inside. What it was, was no matter to be cared about by any reader. I looked at it intensely wondering what it could be possibly thinking. I rapped on one of the bars but it could not hear me for the room was loud with dominant and cattle alike. 

"Hey!" I yelled. It looked back at me with what I felt to be remorse but it looked it's eyes didn't glisten as if it's eyes weren't real. "Come here." It stood up in the shadows and got a couple steps closer to me. "What's your name?" It looked at me confusingly not knowing the words that came out of my mouth. "Can you speak?" It grunted and talked nonsense. No words or sentences were recognizable in any language, it sounded more like a language for the dumb. It didn't seem human but I wasn't looking for a justification to kill it. I waved my hands at a nearby staff member and he came towards me. "This one." He nodded and opened the cage as the creature left it. I examined its collar for a name but there were only symbols on its neck and wrist collar. 

"Come with me." Said the staff member. "I'll get you a room." I wondered how some people managed to be able to torture their cattle in the center of the room but I thought they must be more experienced than me. The staff walked me up to another red door. "This is your room. Make sure to leave it dead, don't worry about picking everything up when your done, we have staff for that.  The cattle walked in and I followed then the staff member shut the door then locked it. 

The room was dark for a moment but lights began to warm up and got brighter by the minute. I soon came to find out I was in a white tiled room with several drains in the floor and mirrors all around the upper levels in which I figured to be one way as people observed me. There was another red door on the opposite side of the room and when I opened the door I noticed there were all the tools were. The door locked as I walked in and I thought about what to grab. I didn't want it to be messy but I wanted to enjoy it. There were several rubber aprons in this room and in a conjoining room were a shower and a bathroom to clean myself up after the fact. I thought a knife would be just fine so I grabbed a large one with a clean blade on one side and serrated on the other. I put on an apron and before I left the prepping room I thought what I was truly doing. I was angry, so might as well give in. The door unlocked as I got near it and left into the large tiled room. 

The creature stood in the middle of the room looking oblivious to what was going to happen and I couldn't quite understand why. I walked up to it with a knife and it looked at me then the knife then back to me, it didn't even blink. I grew furious to not see a panic so I shoved it to the ground and its head cracked on the tile as I saw blood coming out of its skull. To make things not seem as awkward to the spectators I slashed my knife at its stomach in which sprayed blood and its intestines fell out. I almost felt sick and I ran back into the prep room to throw up. I was in here for a while in which I sat in front of the toilet and panicked and grew more angry. When I was done I walked back into the main room and looked up at the mirrors. 

"Give me another!" a few minutes went by as I waited and another staff walked up to the front door and pushed another cattle in I then noticed that the room I was in was completely quiet till he opened the door in which screams and violence could be heard then he left the room and locked the room behind him, all was quiet again. "Get over here!" I yelled at the creature as I grabbed its hair and threw it on the ground face first. It tried to get up but I stood over it and kicked it back down onto the floor then stabbed it in the back, it screamed and I stabbed again and again till it shut up. I noticed I now had blood all over me but I grew blind to my surroundings. "Give me another!" 

Door opened. Another entered. Door closes. Sat it on a chair. I left to grab a scalpel and an electric saw. Entered. Cut chest open. Screams. Cut off arm. Screams. Cut off wrist. Screams. Cut off foot. Seizure. Cut off thigh. Still breathing. Pulled out heart. Waved it in its face. Dead. Called another. Door opened. Another enters. Door closes Grabbed nail gun. Enter. Nailed to wall. Agony. Beheaded. Dead. Called another. Door opened. Another enters. Door closes. Place sharp objects on wall. Throw cattle towards wall. It screams. I tear it of. Disfigured. Stabbed. Dead. Called another. Door opened. Another enters. Door closes. Grab hammer. Enter. Hit it with blunt weapon. Instantly dead. Called another. Door opened. Another enters. Places on table. Slowly dissects it till it dies. Dead.  Called another. Door opened. Another enters. Staff makes funny remark. We laugh. Door closes. Play with it mentally. It cries. Cut its wrists. It bleeds out slowly. Dead. Called another. Door opened. Another enters. I recognize this one. It’s Hermione.

"What are you doing here?" She didn’t talk. Hermione looked around in the now blood covered room and like the others. "What’s going on Hermione? Why are you here?" I got close to her and started to shake her shoulders. "Talk to me!" She grunted like the others and started to whine and then I saw it, her tongue was cut out but not recently, it looked as if it had years to heal and it was something that proved that this thing was not the Hermione I knew but I still couldn't kill her. I walked to the door out and tried to open it but of course it was locked. A man spoke over the intercom.

"You must kill everything you are given, there is no way out until you do so." I forgot the rules though it was understandable for this being my first and most likely only day I would stay on a Harvester floor. I looked at her and she at me and she knew what was going to happen and began to cry. I couldn't stand it and I thought of the most humane way to kill her but this was not known to me. I thought of slitting her wrists like I did to one just moments ago but that is a very slow death. I thought of stabbing her in the heart but much like the other, she would have to bleed out first. Slitting her throat would make her choke on her own blood, very painful but quick but then I thought of the perfect way. I would snap her neck and her death would be an instant. I walked behind her and began to cry myself.

Wiping off my hands as I left the room and I ran through the crowd of killers and victims to atone to my very own sin. Everything slowed down around me as I continued forward and I wondered if this was all real or if this was a lie. I have seen people being torn to pieces by the grasp of another man, I have hallucinated my own demons and I have killed the very thing that I loved. I was unsure what was the truth and I would only know if I would continue forward through the deep red doors and corridors of The Harvester myself with no one else beside me. Before I knew it I was in the elevator and the doors shut leaving the chaos on the other side leaving me alone in a small metal box. 

"Floor nineteen." Seconds proceeded and I was there. I looked around desperately looking for Hermione wishing that what I killed were something else. People who walked past me were just flickers of lights leaving light trails behind them mixing everything together like a obscure painting. I started to panic as I pushed through people and I realized I was now on one of the dancing floors. People looked at me and kept their distance as others raised their hands to the sky, as the music grew louder. I thought quickly thinking one had a weapon and I began to scream but no one could hear me. I fell to my knees and covered my ears as others built around me trying to help me out while they touched me with their greedy fingers feeling me as if I was a god. Soon everything came back and I stood back up confused. Only a select few stayed around to help me but the rest have left the dance floor as the music was at an intermission. They asked me if I was ok or if I was hurt. Others claimed that I was covered in blood and I looked down to my clothes and I was. I never cleaned up leaving blood all over my face, hands and others parts of my body. People started asking if I needed to go down a few floors to the hospital but I didn't respond because I was still worried about Hermione. I walked away from the people and pushed them away as I started walking to one of the bar areas on the floor and I saw my friends.

My friends were laughing as Alan told jokes to the rest of them as they drank their beers took their physics and lived their simple lives as I stumbled towards them. Soon one of them saw me and they all started to panic as they started to see that I was covered in blood. They ran towards me ungracefully and Sorenson caught me as I began to fall to the floor. I didn't see Hermione, she had to be dead and I killed her with my own bare hands feeling her neck snap as is reverberated through the airwaves and into my own mind. Knowing what I had done I began to cry again and screamed out and people then started to notice me and freak out to the sight of blood all over me. My friends started to ask me what happened and I spoke in short sentences managing what I could to tell them what a Harvester floor was. They did not understand but a few words stood out to them. Soon armed men rushed out of the elevators and towards us pushing the crowd and my friends away and grabbed my arms to pull me away. I screamed louder and began to kick my feet but I was already being dragged. I closed my eyes wishing everything would go away but then I heard a distinct voice yelling. I opened my eyes wondering who it was and it was as if there was a light in the darkness. Being framed perfectly in my vision I saw Hermione all dressed up by my friends looking worryingly at me and the situation till metal doors closed in front of me severing my view. She was alive and that’s all that counted. She was alive.

When the doors opened up I was on Emery's floor. He stood on the staircase in between the strange statues that looked like no other creature I have seen. In his hand was a hand crafted box made of fine wood and intricate pieces of metal. I could see it shine from across the way. The armed thugs pushed me forward out of the elevator and onto the marble flooring which now has a thin layer of a clear substance between the marble and my feet. Several people came out of a room carrying wooden furniture. A low table, a podium and a small star shaped piece of wood that looked like it would hold something that was very small and they placed them inbetween us. Starting with Emery, there was the podium, the star shaped piece of wood and then the table long ways between us. 

"I didn't think you would get Bloodlust this fast, we need to get it under control." Emery said. "I'll start with The Solitary"s Folly." He began to speak another language that I did not quite understand but it sounded like a primitive version of my language. He began to yell louder between verses and I was picked up by a couple of people which placed me on the low standing table. 

"Don't make us hold you down." Said one of the men. I didn't struggle.  Emery walked down the stairs as he continued and then placed the box on the star shaped piece of wood. 

"You are in an alley. You hear a man scream for help and you walk to him. He dies before your eyes, he is only mortal." I looked around and others gathered around me. They chanted a tune. "Now your in a meadow, you can see and smell everything mother nature has given us but it is only mortal. You set fire to the field and hang yourself on the tree." 

"Now you are on a boat. A man and a woman are getting tossed by the sea. You let them stay on your boat but they are only mortal! You shoot the woman first and approach the man! You need to devour his soul. Seven. Sixteen. Six. Twenty-one. Fourteen. She would be proud! Fire! End the mans story! Take his life to lengthen yours! She is waiting for you! Black and Grey! Become salvation! Make her proud!" Everything was quiet and as I laid I wondered what was going on around me, I turned my head to the right and I didn't see a soul left in the room. I then turned my head to the left and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement moving behind me. I got up into a sitting position to look behind me but a sharp pain thrust itself into my back. I yelped and felt my back to feel moisture advancing all over me. I brought my hand in front of me to notice it was blood. Just then a darkness took over the room and it blocked the lights of the city coming in from the windows and the starlight from above. The lights did not dim but became blocked by a figure between the light and me. I felt another pain across my face I felt and there was even more blood that felt like gushing out of my cheek. As it bled it began to burn not only in the wound but also somewhere deep inside of me. It was as if I can feel it burning past my back and into the unknown but that was where my body did not travel. It was as if it was a aura that was just outside my body all around me but deep within as well. I thought of emotions that felt just a bit similar and I thought of heartbreak but heartbreak did not compare enough to the feeling I was witnessing before me. It was not only damaging my body but my mind as well. I thought of the existence of a soul as the pain grew within me and wondered if that was the very thing that was being damaged within me and I thought it was that very thing even though I did not believe in the quality of souls any seconds before. 

I was now standing looking at the box. Black vines of what I felt to be corruption incarnated traced itself out of the now open box. I looked closer to the box and it looked as if black-like blood bubbled to a hard boil within the box as the small gears rotated being lubricated by the darkness, as we know it. The vines grew by the minute and crept toward me. I took a few steps back and several to the side but it backtracked then flowed in my direction I began to panic and ran to the elevator hoping it would see me approach it but it did not open nor did it light up to even notice I was there. I then turned around to see myself covered in black goo but my face was paler than the brightest side of the moon and my eyes were blackness sucking in the remaining light that was left inside of me. I was not looking in a mirror but at another self I stepped around it and it turned itself to look at me. I felt like praying but I did not know whom to, it was all foreign to me but there was a light in the darkness. I looked toward the podium and I saw something sparkling on it. I looked at the mutated image of myself then sprinted to the podium. Blackness tried to hold me still but I pushed through it as it stuck to my skin and clothes. I fell short of the podium and I looked up to see how much farther it was away from me and it was not far. I began to rip off parts of clothing in which the blackness was sticking to and I pushed forward. The statues were still in their retrospective places but they were now looking at me—at least it felt like it. I could see their necks turning as I advanced closer to them and they stepped off of their own podiums and walked towards me. The ground began to shake and I fell again just inches shy of the wooden podium and I crawled with the last bit of my strength. 

On the alter was a circular mirror with a handle made entirely out of silver. I looked into the mirror to see my reflection as it was before. I then looked down to myself and I found out that there was only one me the whole time and that I was already infected my the blackness that covered the room. I felt nothing as the goo crawled up the walls and dripped down from the ceiling. No fear but no love as well. I was a machine built for the good work of The Enclave's bidding. I became something I did not desire to be. Some will view me as a tool but all I see in myself is something gaudy and wretched. I looked at the mirror again and my reflection was no longer there. Disappointed I dropped the mirror to the ground and it shattered on what was left of the sacred ground. I looked at the little sharp pieces and I wished to snuff it, everything that had happened to me. I leaned down to grab a piece and made sure it really was sharp and not just a falsification and I cut my hand to see the last of my red blood leave my body as it turned slowly to black. I began to cut my wrists hoping I would bleed out fast enough but it was not. I then stabbed myself into my chest hoping I would pierce my heart but it was not enough so I cut my throat and blackness bled out uncontrollably but it was something I had control over for once. I soon passed out and enjoyed the darkness but it was not the end, nor was it the beginning. It was the beginning of the beginning of life, as we knew it.  

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