HA\LF: Dead nor Alive
Archie looked at his right arm being stitched by Ruby, the reason why she did that was that she didnt want to put suspicion on the others with that kind of injury on Archies arm.
“Do you still feel pain?” Ruby carefully stabbed the needle into his skin.
“I do. I know it sounds weird but Im used to the pain that the moment I feel that feelings, I dont even bother anymore since I already know its going to heal.” Archie looked at the flesh hung on his arm that was slowly being put back to where it belonged.
“You said earlier about those guys out there that theyre the result of an experiment? Whats that supposed to mean?” Archie tilted his head so he could see Rubys face.
“This is going to shock you…” Ruby stopped stitching and looked at Archie for quite a while.
“The experiment happened a few weeks after the expedition after former Marshall Flavius AnGust found out that his son is dead.” Ruby tilted her head while she tried to remember. “I heard rumors that Professor Larse used your blood sample as the main ingredient in the serum they used for the experiment.” Ruby looked at Archie while she rubbed her upper teeth with her tongue.
“My blood? What are they doing with my blood?” Archie squinted his eyes and stared at Ruby with curiosity but at the same time, it scared her.
“Well, I dont know the details since its classified for someone like me whos just, you know, a replaceable tool.” Ruby looked away as she started to stitch the wound.
“So now everyone has become Axis Humans?” Archie raised his eyebrow as he leaned toward Ruby.
“It would be a miracle if everyone becomes an Axis Human. So, no, the experiment has a less than 20% success rate and the rest will become parasites and they will kill them as soon as the experiment failed.” Ruby kept her head down and focused on stitching the wound.
“Alright, its done… I know it looks horrible, but it will do the work.” Ruby sighed as she carefully removed her hands from Archies arm.
“Thank you, Ruby.” Archie smiled as he looked at how neat the stitches were.
Archie stood up and Ruby stretched her arms around, they both then regroup with the rest of her team with Vincent and his division. Archie looked at Vincent who was talking with Martin, he squinted his eyes as he tried to sharpen his hearing.
“Do you have a problem with Captain Ruby, Martin? Do you still think that it was her fault that her previous team was killed in the mission?” Vincent crossed his arms with a cigarette in between his fingers. “If you dare to say that, you should experience it yourself, how about that? I will ask the major to send you on a mission to the FalCon-3 very soon.” Vincent looked down at Martin as he smoked his cigarette.
Archie was curious about their conversation, especially when they mentioned Ruby and the incident that happened in FalCon-3 as Vincent said. He wanted to know more but he thought that it wasnt the right time to ask about it since he had so many questions in his mind already.
“How is your injury?” Daniel looked at Archies arm while he tried to stay awake after he got drunk and fought parasites afterward.
“Its fine, it will heal, eventually.” Archie smiled as he covered his arm.
Ruby checked on everyone and asked about their condition because she wanted to make sure that nobody was harmed during the defense.
“Ruby, you said that those experimented people out there are monsters in a human shell, whats that mean?” Archie looked at Ruby who was sitting on the ground while she drank a cup of coffee.
Everyone stared at Ruby silently as if they wanted to hear it from her as well.
“Those who survived the experiment had some kind of trauma that changed them completely.” Ruby stood up as she groaned. “All they do was just eat, kill, sleep and repeat. They barely talked, they barely showed any expression, they lived to follow orders.” Ruby looked at the closed gate far behind her. “You can ask the other if Im telling the truth or not…” Ruby sipped her coffee while she stared at Archie.
Everyone started to say the same thing to Archie that those Axis Humans were not human beings anymore, only a very small portion of them that were still could be called a human based on what they said. He then knew that those who survived the experiment were stronger compared to those Axis Humans who got their power or ability from their ancestors.
Archie tried to remember what Professor Larse said about his immune system and realized that Marshall Flavius did say something about putting Archie on the list. Knowing that his body was precious for the experiment, he started to think that it was dangerous for him to reveal himself as Archie Lancaster. Thanks to his new appearance, he could easily make a fake identity and kept on living without having to worry about getting caught by them.
As he thought about that he looked at Ruby, Daniel, Tommy, and Vincent and glared at them for quite a while. He started to have a thought of killing them to keep his identity safe, but then he was shocked by the thought he just had and immediately removed those thoughts from his head.
“Ruby, can I have a moment?” Archie looked at Ruby and tilted his head to an empty spot. Ruby looked at Archie with confusion and nodded in agreement then she followed him to the side.
“Those experiments, did Professor Larse say something about me?” Archie rested his hands on his waist.
“He did, he said that you might be still alive and that was when former Marshall Flavius AnGust went to the FalCon-1 with those experimented Axis Humans to find you and to retrieve his sons body.” As Ruby looked Archie in the eyes.
“So basically what he needed from me is my body, is that correct?” Archie raised his eyebrow as he crossed his arms.
“I believe so, yes.” Ruby nodded in agreement. “Why?” Ruby continued as she tilted her head and furrowed her eyebrows.
“Do you agree with his method of using my blood to let those humans become an Axis Human?” Archie stared at her and tried to listen to her heartbeat.
“No, I dont think knowing that theres a very high risk of killing them even though knowing that we are slowly undergoing extinction is crazy.” Ruby squinted her eyes and said that with confidence.
Archie could tell that she really hate the idea of using human beings as experiments.
“I see, then could I ask you a favor to not introduce me as Archie Lancaster? I think its better for me to make a new identity so I dont have to deal with this,” Archie asked as frowned his eyebrows.
“Okay, I think I can agree with that since only me, Tommy, and Vincent know about you.” Ruby crossed her arms as she nodded in agreement.
“But in return…” Ruby grabbed Archies arm and tilted her head to look at Archies face. “We might need your help since youre way stronger than us in all aspects. If you agree to this, we will be in debt…” Ruby continued as she kept holding Archies arm.
“Sure, what can I help you guys with?” Archie asked as he looked at Rubys hands on his arm.
Before Ruby could open her mouth, the gate opened and everyone immediately looked at it.
Prince was the first one to enter and then followed by the others, they werent injured nor even had a scratch on their bodies. Archie then looked at a parasite as tall as a tree being dragged by them into the city. A parasite that looked like a very thin human but with a leg like a grasshopper and a mouth was wide open that could fit a human inside.
“Captain Ruby, Captain Vincent, we must inform the Marshall about the situation. It seems that its going to be a lot worse in the future because of this discovery…” Prince looked at Ruby and Vincent while the rest of his team kept walking and dragged the parasite with them.
“Is that-” Ruby looked at the parasite.
“I believe thats a Gen 4…” Prince replied before Ruby could finish her sentence.
Both Vincent and Ruby looked at each other and then they both nodded.
“We will have this conversation later after we are done with this. Just wait for us in the pub, okay?” Ruby looked back as she walked with Vincent and Prince.
“Okay, Ill wait…” Archie nodded with understanding and was left alone in the city.
“Who is he?” Prince looked at Ruby who walked next to him.
“Thats Lance, the guy who helped us.” Ruby kept looking straight while Vincent looked at her with confusion but then he just furrowed his mouth and closed his eyes with understanding.
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