The young man resisted like a rabid dog. Foam trickling down his chin onto his bloodied shirt, he struggled in the strong hold of his captors. Twisting and turning, he growled like a wild animal, his damp hair sticking to his forehead and cheeks, leaving small rivers of blood to trickle down his face and neck. Four or five men carried him. Two held each of his legs, the others, his upper body. He violently jerked and snarled in their metal hold. They were walking down a hallway littered with cells on each side. From each of them, a howl or a moan was heard. Hands held the rusty bars of a small window that let light into the cell. Some called out to the soldiers. Some cursed. The soldiers holding Schultz walked coolly on, as if they heard and saw nothing.
Soon they came upon a door not unlike the doors that led to other cells. This one, though, lacked the window that other cells had. One of the men threw it open, jingling the keys in his hand. The soldiers threw the newly acquired prisoner in and slammed the door shut. Schultz landed on the stone floor with a hard smack. Baring his teeth in pain, humiliation, and anger, the young man struggled onto all fours. He then crawled towards the nearest wall, blind in the pressing darkness. Now that his adrenaline had run out, he was left to feel the smarting of his wounds. Closing his eyes, the young man gave into unconsciousness.
As he fell into a world of no worries, somewhere in the same building, a doctor was awaiting the soldiers' return. He was dressed in a white suit, his hair slicked back. He was not too tall in height, but something about his posture, or maybe his eyes, breathed power. Leaning back in his chair, he lit a cigarette.
The doctor heard footsteps. They marched up the stairs, in sync it seemed, and the finally came upon his door. Two knocks sounded.
"Enter," said he lazily, throwing the cigar into the ash tray. A faint smoke rose from it, and then died. The soldiers came into the room, with one of them as the leader.
"Have you found me a compatible test subject?" asked the doctor. The main soldier continued to give information about Schultz. When finished with his report, the soldier saluted the doctor in an odd fashion and left, the other soldiers following behind.
* * * 17 hours later * * *
Schultz awoke to a howl. His eyes snapped open. They darted about the room, but there was nothing to see except thick, ever pressing darkness. The howl sounded again. It was a blood-curling sound, sending shivers up his back. The young man sat up, swallowing tightly. After some minutes of gathering himself, he got up and leaned on the wall. He then proceeded to explore the cell. It was technically empty except for a toilet. It made little sense to him to use the toilet if he couldn't even see his hand if he held it in front of his face. He gingerly felt along the walls, searching, trying to see with his body. He explored the door, memorizing each little detail with his tips of fingers.
Barely half an hour had passed, but he felt drained. His wounds were sharply reminding him of their presence, and he felt the beginnings of a migraine. His whole body ached. Schultz let out a heavy sigh. He didn't have time to recuperate. Hell, he didn't even have time to be a prisoner. His whole being longed to be back where he was a day ago. His consciousness kept reminding him of the state of things out there, back there. Schultz pushed the thoughts as far away from his mind as he could. He didn't need to remember this now. He didn't need to remember the details. Not now when he needed himself to be cool-headed.
Another howl shook him out of his thoughts. Schultz gritted his teeth.
* * * Later * * *
He heard the lock turning in his cell door. He had heard footsteps, and just to be ready, in case they were coming for him, he hid. He had worked out which way the door opened, so he made sure to be on the side that would allow him a good escape. The door would swing open, the soldiers would come in, and he would take the chance to dash. He crouched near the side of the door, straining his ears for the footsteps. He had to be ready. The howls had worsened his migraine, but he was managing to ignore it for now. He heard the footsteps stop at his door. The jingle of keys, and then the lock turning. The door swung open.
Schultz shrunk back into the darkness. The door let in a wave of light, but thankful to his hiding place, the darkness threw a cloak over him. Two soldiers came in. This was his only chance, before they turned to look around carefully.
Schultz strained his legs, bending them at the knee just a little, and then he ran. He jumped out of the darkness, and out into the hallway. Four soldiers were waiting there. He turned in the opposite direction from them, giving it his best. He heard two shouts behind him, and then someone begun to run after him. The chase had a strange taste to it. Schultz had a heavy feeling, and it was not of dread of being caught. He pumped his legs to keep running faster, his lungs working over time. For a moment, he forgot everything, his thoughts were only concentrated on running.
Then, he felt the impact of a body crashing into his from the back. He fell, and scrambled on the floor baring his teeth. The young soldier held on tight, but Schultz managed to shake him off violently. He slammed onto the floor with his back, hearing an audible crack of the soldier's skull against the floor.
Too late. The others had caught up. It was like dogs ganging up on a wolf. They all jumped him, forcing him on the ground. Someone elbowed him in the stomach, hard. He felt his vision go black.
* * *
When he woke up a second time that day, what Schultz first felt was the coolness of the chains. The thick hand-cuffs held his hands behind his back, tightly binding them together. A thin chain trailed up his naked back, and attached to a metal collar on his neck. Another thin chain trailed down from the handcuffs, and bound his legs together. He was being obviously held.
Schultz raised his head.
"So this is one of the soldiers that has been giving our troops trouble all this time, eh?" asked a snide voice. The doctor was standing in front of him, looking Schultz up and down.
"I heard you were a powerful warrior. I wonder if you really are compatible. Try to be a good boy will you?" Schultz felt his stomach lurch. Nobody, ever, called him a boy. Not even his guardians called him boy. And definitely not a 'good boy.' The doctor called someone over. It was a male nurse. The doctor told him something, in their language, then he went away. The male nurse gestured for the soldiers (he didn't recognize these as neither the ones who brought him here, nor as the ones who came to get him a second time) to move him to a chair. His arms were painfully raised above the chairs back, and fastened to a rod of some sort.
The male nurse took out the papers.
"Hm. I don't think you'll survive any of these." he addressed Schultz with a heavy accent. "But I will have to do them, so try not to be sweat it too much. After all, your lot does believe that in death, one simply goes on to a better life. No?"
* * * Two Years Later * * *
Schultz panted. The anesthesia stopped working too early again. He felt someone prod him inside his stomach. A violent shudder ripped across his shackled frame. One of the doctors looked up.
"It's awake again." he told the other doctors. The language was different, but Schultz could understand it now. During the time he had been here, they've messed with his body too much. He no longer could tell if he was insane or not. Normal people can't take this much pressure, but...he was never normal from the start.
"Somebody, put it to sleep again! We need more time with this experiment!"
An injection made him unconscious immediately.
* * *
The dream world haunted him as much as the normal one. Schultz was never safe anywhere anymore. As soon as he entered the abyss of dreams, he would be chased by horrors again. Horrors much greater than the experiments.
Schultz opened his eyes. His commander was telling them the plan of how to attack the enemy.
"Rank C will close in from the right. Rank E will back us up from the back. Rank A will attack head on, taking most of the attention. Rank G will take the chance and get into their main base. Lieutenant Grame you are going to be in charge of Rank G." the commander addressed Schultz with the last phrase.
The battle raged like nothing before. Their enemy was different this time. They were no longer soldiers, they were monsters. Formless, black shapes with white fire for eyes. Schultz staggered backwards and turned to one of his comrades - Elion.
"What are those-" his phrase turned short at the look Elion was giving him.
"You-you-you t-rai-tor..." Elion staggered back, only to be ripped apart by one of the enemy's monsters. Schultz looked down at himself. He saw himself rip apart one of his soldiers.
The injection ran out of juice again. This time, Schultz made sure not to move. He'd rather experience the disturbing feeling of being poked and prodded inside his own body than dream that dream again. And again. And again. That was the only dream he ever dreamed. It was the thing that was making him more insane every day. Every hour.
* * * A Month Later * * *
He was being examined. It a simple act of looking, checking and not doing anything painful or mentally scarring. But he shied away from the nurse, his skin covering in goosebumps. The young woman sighed angrily.
"Listen. I'm just going to examine you. I need to measure you. To see how some of your things work. That's all." She talked slowly with a tint of annoyance in her voice. Schultz still stayed where he was.
"Look. It's nothing scary. This is a thing to measure your heartbeat. This will measure your sight. This will measure your blood levels. It's nothing to be scared over. It won't even hurt." To prove her point, he used the same instruments on herself. "See? Now sit down over here, and I'll finally be able to get back to work."
Hesitantly, he walked over and sat down.
* * * Afterwards * * *
Schultz leaned his head back on the wall. How much time had passed since that one battle? How much had passed at all? His memories had turned haywire. His senses had become richer and more sensitive. He had become able to see in the dark, and hear a whisper from 3 miles away. He had become much more immune to pain, and when shot could get back up and continue as if nothing had happened.
He had become nothing short of a monster. He sometimes wondered how life was outside this laboratory. How was it out there? Who won the wretched war? Was his family still alive? Did his wife find another man for herself? Were his twins being raised by an unknown man?
How were his comrades?
He felt his willpower sap. The first few months he tried to escape. He really tried. But as time passed on, his strength to escape, his want to escape...simply died. Experiment, simulation, cell. Experiment, simulation, cell. Each and every day, the same cycle. He had already forgotten what it was like to do things he did before.
What did he do before?
He felt his human heart break to little pieces. Shards fell to the ground with audible sound, and crashed into even smaller pieces. Those pieces broke even more, and so on, and so forth, until his heart no longer existed.
* * *
The doctor clapped his hands. The human Schultz, the pathetic broken experiment Schultz, the melancholy prisoner Schultz, no longer existed. Now there was only the creature he had created, a creature without feelings, a new Schultz was born. It was time to report this to the Fuhrer.
* * *
"Rank C will close in from the left. Rank A will back us up from the back. Rank E will attack head on, taking most of the attention. Rank H will take the chance and get into their main base. Schultz. You will be the secret weapon of our army. When the signal is given you will attack."
The battle that followed the orders was nothing special. Everything went according to plan, except for one thing. Schultz couldn't help this strange, but at the same time familiar, feeling. He felt like he was missing something.
The whistle blew.
Schultz drove into the battle. His formless, black body moved like a panther from one victim to the next. Instead of his eyes, white flames shone upon those whom he ripped apart. Until he came upon someone. Elion clutched onto his sword like it was going to save his life. Schultz didn't move. His eyes were taking in the form of this measly soldier, and his non-existent heart gave a wrench. Elion saw his chance. He slashed the sword at the terrifying creature.
Nothing happened. Or at least, so thought Elion. But with Schultz, memories, like a waterfall, flowed back. His wife, children, commander, his best friend - Elion. The creature grasped its head and gave a howl so gruesome it froze the blood of even the most violent and bloody soldiers.
The creature turned from Elion. The tables turned in favor of Elion's side. The creature destroyed everyone.
At the end of the battle, the troops gathered.
"What is that monster? It killed our soldiers, but then suddenly stopped? Did it go berserk or something? Turning upon its masters like that." said one of the soldiers.
"I slashed at it with my sword, but it went through. It's like I never hurt it in the first place." added Elion.
"It doesn't seem to attack anyone anymore." said someone else.
"Maybe we could try talking to it?" said a woman soldier. Everyone looked at her like she had grown a second head. "Well, you know, it's not like it's harming us anymore. Maybe it used to be a human once?" she proposed.
* * *
Turned out the creature couldn't speak, but it refused to harm them. Through voting, they decided that taking him along was the best option. Their commander had been killed, and they were the only ones left. All of the same rank, like friends, in a way.
The creature followed them from behind, timidly. They finally stumbled upon a village. Contacting the military forces from there had been easier.
* * *
"Is Romiya Grame alive? Are her children alive?" wrote the creature on the sand. It's wispy fingers worked clumsily, but surely.
"Yes, yes she is. Why would you want to know?" the creature shook its head in denial.
"I won't harm you. Not anymore. Can I simply see her with my own eyes?" wrote the creature again.
"Why should we-" the colonel stopped midway. "Fine. You can see her. Then you'll tell us more about yourself, creature."
* * *
Romiya walked over to the colonel, looking worried.
"What is that?" she asked.
"It wanted to see you. This is for the sake of our victory, you must understand."
Romiya looked at the terrifying-looking creature. She gasped when it stepped towards her. The creature touched her face, gingerly. It's fingers felt like a humans, though they didn't look it. The creature turned towards the house and walked over to it. Romiya ran after it.
Schultz only wanted to the see twins too. He touched the house. Ah. There they were, reading the same book. The creature turned towards Romiya again. It looked at her for a long time. Then, it walked towards the colonel. It crouched down and wrote - "We can go back now."
* * * Years Later * * *
The enemy side has been defeated thanks to the monster. The creature was allowed weekly visits to the Grame household. Nobody ever learned about what the creature was, except that it used to be someone close to Romiya. Nobody even thought it could have been Schultz, but then, he never did try to tell.
The mental tortures never disappeared.
He never forgave himself to giving in.
Soon, he became a regular living-mate with the Grame household. And that was when it happened. Romiya had fallen sick, and the creature went away for weeks. Schultz searched for a cure, and he did found it. From an old hermit, who saw who this creature was. He was the tortured and humiliated man behind the horrid appearance. He heard the creature when Schultz spoke. And he gave him the cure.
"Forgive yourself. Live in this world. Once you forget and forgive, you will find happiness."
The creature brought back the cure. And Romiya got better. When she woke up after her fever, what she saw was her Schultz.
"The...hermit...was, right...Can, you...ever. forgive, me?" his speech was slurred and his voice hoarse, as if he hadn't spoken in years.
"You empty head. I've been waiting for you all this time, and you had already been here. You fool." She finally cried the tears that she had held in when her husband never returned from the war.
The pieces formed, until they became shards. The shards returned to their places, and a tight hold came over together. The heart resurrected and would never again break apart.
Notes From Author:Edit
Yes, it's finished, but I feel like I ruined the story. I rewrote the beginning a little, but the story still doesn't feel quite right. Did I even get into the theme correctly? Oh well, I'm too lazy to try to rewrite it.I'm just gonna hope that it was at least enjoyable.
Thanks for reading!