It was a shallow gloomy night. Heavy drops of rain spattered to the ground one after another. The trees swayed desperately through the wind, trying to remain rooted to the ground. I was walking home after what felt like weeks of typing at work, until I heard the sudden footsteps behind me. I looked back and almost exclaimed in shock. What stood there was a cloaked figure in all black, the exception being the bright white beak which, I knew, represented that of a plague doctor, and a small case of what looked like potions and the faint glimpse of surgical diagrams. As I stood there in disbelief, he began to camly walk closer towards me while beginning to reach out his gloved hand to my neck. Before I could run, he grabbed my neck forcefully and I felt my heart stop cold. I screamed in pain before falling to the floor. He spoke in a small mechanical tone.
‘I am the cure.’
As I looked up to the stars, my view was obstructed by needles.
-log 893 plague doctor’s notes extracted from the incident access granted.
In 1350, I remember walking home down the dirt path after finishing my job as what I imagined was a builder. As I entered my home to greet my family, I was shocked to see my father, mother and brothers suffering from the bubonic plague. They pleaded for help. I rushed to get help but the nearest doctor from London will take months to get here.
I began desperately reading books about cures and understanding the plague the best I could. After a few days studying, I grabbed a plague doctor uniform from the abandoned hospital and rushed my way back home. It was raining and dark storms started to arise/The sky was relentlessly falling down on me. When I got home, a dark red cross was over the door. I walked inside and there lay my dead family, limp and scattered around the floor, their faces disfigured and covered in pain. Tears filled my eyes and I fell to my knees; guilt covered my body.
I felt a hand comforting me. For a few moments, I was understood. For a few moments I felt calm. For a few moments, I had hope. Yet more tears fell from my eyes.
-log 3345 extracted from MTF Beta-7 2223 access granted
The case slammed down on the desk with a deafening thud.
‘There have been reports of strange disappearances in the woods. Reports of missing people and police scattered near the woods are also prominent. Your mission is to secure the area,’ stated the commander.
I heard all three of my comrades sigh, obviously displeased. I was only just assigned to the Beta-7 task force after finishing the specialised training.
I armed myself with clips of ammunition: a variety of grenades, a rifle, pistol and a substantial amount of body armor. Joining up with my team, we drove off in the dawn of light inside an armoured car.
I thought it was going to be a relatively easy mission, but after we arrived at the scene, it was a worrying sight. Missing posters littered anything that had a vertical surface, from walls to fences and lamps. There was a massive coalition of police officers surrounding the boundaries of the forest and the horde of police cars covered the sky in flashing lights. The police chief showed us the designated entrance and we walked with caution into the depths of the forest.
The trees were tall and upright, literal walls on the side of the path, although we heard nothing apart from the rhythmic sound of us walking. With the four of us, we made our way down the rugged pathway, our guns pointing aimlessly at bushes. We soon came to a split in the path and split into two. I was assigned with Alex.
After a few minutes of soundless walking, I heard the unmistakable scream for help. Both of us rushed through the dense forest towards the sound of the cry for help; soon after, the agonising scream gunshots fired out in a burst of panic.
When we arrived at the other path, I was almost shocked at the sight. One of the team members was lying on the ground, disfigured. In an instant the creature began to run towards its head bending as if it was broken. I instinctively fired a volley of bullets towards the creature it crushed through the skeleton of the body armor and pierced the body spewing out blood of our supposed team member. Alex stood there hesently in clear shock, obviously they had been friends. I began to look for our other comrade, but then a slow paced footsteps came from behind us.
Turning around, I saw a plague doctor walking towards us. I raised my gun and told the doctor to turn around and go back to the police surrounding the forest. It kept on walking to us. Soon, Alex raised his gun too with some delay. Not ready to take risks, I fired a single single shot at the doctor in the foot; the doctor stood there with a static expression. I had almost thought it was an expression of hurt or hopelessness. Soon it began to walk at us again, its wound completely healed. Alex then fired an entire clip of ammunition at the doctor. Once again its wound was healed, only partially, but it raised its hand towards Alex and we began to rush away from the doctor.
After a few minutes of eerie silence, there was an eruption of noise. Thousands of footsteps came from in front of us in the slight gaps between the trees. I saw hundreds of disfigured creatures walking at us, their eyes locked onto us with an expression of frustration. I began to leap back terrified of what I had seen. Alex yelled at me to run out of the forest and to radio for artillery while he stood back aimlessly shooting at the hord that was after him. I rushed out of the forest calling for help. A scream of fear crept up behind me followed by a hollow laughter.
I soon saw the comfort of soldiers reassuring me and their guns traced in the forest. Hundreds of shells flew over us and landed on the forest, bursting the forest into a stage of flames and destruction. I turned my back on the forest but then something urged me to look back. I shouldn’t have looked back.
There stood my family, burning in the forest with the plague doctor behind them.
Smiling at you.
-log 5350 overseer’s report
‘There has been a breach in internal security since the incident-005 We have concluded the case as a terrible failure. Three of the M.T.F units have been pronounced dead. The complete abolition of the forest is complete and all useful evidence has been relocated to site-19 All personnel are to report to R.R.T if you notice any strange occurrences within the site. Security forces are permitted to patrol through sector-3. Testing on any anomalies will be paused until further notice.’ Recording ends.
M.T.F = mobile task force
R.R.T = rapid response team
R.R.T (meaning) – a team of highly specialised soldiers that breach, secure or defend areas with a moments notice, and designed for quick emergencies until specialised M.T.F are sent.
M.T.F (meaning) = a M.T.F are used for containing anomalies or recontroling sites that have been taken over. Only meant for use in the most emergency of situations. There could be different teams of M.T.F to contain multiple different accounts of anomalies
Beta-7 = A specialised M.T.F team to capture anomalies that are in remote, unexplored or extreme climates.