Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 369: The Burrow (2)

Chapter 368: The Burrow

The search was tense as they were aware that Lord Jonah was constantly fighting outside the building while they were squandering time to find the place where the monsters came from. After a while that felt like an eternity, they were lucky.

They had just entered the underground parking lot when they heard a loud rumbling. Quickly they hid in the dark and observed where the sound was coming from.

When the noise stopped, they heard a sliding and suddenly a group of monsters entered the lot from a solid wall! The way down had been here the whole time. Hidden behind an illusion.

The duo waited for the monsters to leave before they sprinted up to the wall. Sliding their hands across the smooth wall, they could clearly feel the contours of the elevator door. They were lucky it was only an optical spell.

On again James forced oven the elevator doors. Behind the illusionary curtain, they were greeted by the interior of a large freight elevator. It did not have any buttons for different floors, only a down button.

After pushing the down button, they waited for the empty elevator to travel down, before jumping on its roof. It traveled down for several stories before coming to a halt. They waited on the roof for something to happen, but there was nothing.

The shaft lacked any other exits and they had to crawl out through the elevator.

Before them was a long hallway with many reinforced doors at the walls. It didn ’t give them a good feeling at all. The warrior and the mage hurried down the hallway where they could see a door ajar.

Coming closer they saw that it was like a vault door with several teel bolts that would lock with the surrounding wall, but the stood left ajar and they could simply push it open.

The scenery changed tremendously behind this thick gate. Broken doors, walls covered in blood, and lifeless bodies lying around. When they shove open the door the body that had clung to the door even in death, fell before their feet.

He wore a white coat, and his face was a grimace frozen in fear.

”Shit… ” James mumbled.

They had been worried about cameras and guards, this on the other hand seemed a little more difficult than they thought. They just wanted to find a group of kitty people. Why was it so difficult?!

”Okay, let ’s go. No time for self-pity. We have to find someone to interrogate. ” Jess said.

”Do you really think there is still anybody alive? ”

”Well, there has to be at least one person that keeps taps on the outside sends those monsters out. ”

”Hmm, makes sense, ” James mumbled and they started searching the facility. Empty offices, empty laboratories, empty cells. They found rooms with huge tubed of nutrient solutions and things like prison cells.

Operation rooms with many alien-looking devices and rooms that seemed like living rooms and a daycare center. None of the places looked much better than the first hallway. I was clear that whatever they did down here, was off-putting at best.

From the documents they found, they could garner that this place was called the Burrow, an underground facility of Xen Biologies. The place they were currently in was just one of the many sections of research.

Despite all the blood and signs of fighting and hurried escape, they did not meet any monsters or living people. They had just entered a hallway full of offices when they heard someone over the intercom.

”h-Hey you two! Wh-Who are you!? How did you get in here? ” an insecure female voice asked.

”We simply followed the trails of monsters. ” James blurted out and got Jess ’s elbow in the ribs for it.

”Errm, this doesn ’t seem to be the place where anybody would want to be. We are looking for some people. If you help us, we could get you out of here? ”

”Y-You can help me get out of here? ”

Jess couldn ’t suppress a complacent smirk. She had read the situation right.

”Of course, we can. But it ’s not for free, you understand that, right? ”

”What do you need? I have nothing- Kyaa! ”

While Jess had been talking, James looked for the office and broke through the door.

”Please don ’t hurt me! I didn ’t do anything! ”

It was a woman in her mid-30s. She was wearing a lab coat and a pair of round glasses. Her long brunette hair was braided in a ponytail.

”That ’s something interesting to say. What could you possibly have done that would give us reason to hurt you? ” Jess swaggered into the room.

Silence was the only answer as the researcher ’s fearful eyes kept focusing on the two fully armed intruders.

”Okay, then let ’s start with the most important question. The answer might bring you out of here alive. ”

A glimmer of hope lit up in the woman ’s fearful eyes.

”Where are the kitties- I mean the Tijaahk? ”

The woman suddenly blinked in surprise.

”A-Are you talking about Drosi and his kin? Wait, are you the people little Lani spoke about? ”

”Drosi…Lani…? ” Jess was confused.

”Wasn ’t Drosi the guy Lord Jonah spoke of and Lani that the girl that sent the letter to the boss? ” James helped her memory.

”Really? You were always better at remembering names…Anyway. Yes, we are looking for Drosi and Nani- ”

”Lani. ” the researcher corrected

”Lani. Yes, I said that. Since you know them, they were here, right? Obviously shit went down in this place. Are they still alive? ”

”I-I don ’t know. Shortly after we helped send that Letter, management reassigned them to a different facility… ” the woman said remorsefully.

”They, they were not here when the thing happened. ”

”Okay, so they are not here. Do you know where they are? ”

”No, I ’m sorry. Can we leave now? ”

”We can ’t leave without knowing where they are. ” jess insisted.

”I-I could find out if I get access to the intranet! ”

”Don ’t tell me we have to get you to somewhere else in this hellhole. ” James lamented

”Unfortunately, yes. I can only access it through a computer in the administration. ”

”Jess, i don ’t know what happened here, but we should get Lord Jonah first. ”

”First we would need to find a way to shut off the constant flow of monsters and…: ”

”Laura. ” the woman answered at the intense stare of the mage.

”Laura here probably can ’t do that from here either. ”

”Wait, are you saying that the test subjects keep being sent to the surface?! ”

”Yes? ”

”Then someone in management till has to be alive or something took control there…: ”

”let ’s talk on the way, Lord Jonah is still fighting outside. We don ’t have time. ”

Upon leaving, Laura had a minor breakdown, but couldn ’t vomit as her stomach was completely empty. Laura had no idea of what exactly was going on. She was completely surprised when they told her that the city above looked similar and was flooded by monsters.

She herself had been stuck in her office for days, too afraid to leave it. According to her, it all began with a security breach somewhere in the research and holding section several stories below, where James and Jess first entered.

She was one of the staff tasked with observing the behavior of their ”guests ” and had no knowledge of what was going on down there. Xen Biologies was not this shady when she started working there. They had been doing completely normal behavior studies and gene research in the Burrow. That was before the Apocalypse hit.

Laura knew there were darker sides to the company, but she had not been involved with those. They had always been top secret and done behind closed doors. With the system and magic entering the world things changed. Especially the war brought those dark sides to the surface.

Suddenly they were involved in research to cross humans and other races to create something stronger. At that point, it was too late to leave. She had seen colleagues who tried to quit vanish after stating their opinion a little too loudly.

All they could do to help was send letters for those like little Lani. But until now, no other ”guests ” had friends in Urth. At least that ever came looking for them.

She kept telling them as they walked.

”So, you have no idea what happened here? Really? ” jess kept poking as they walked past bodies and dried blood.

”R-Really. There was an evacuation notice, but before I could even leave my office, I heard screams in the hallway… I am a coward. I just locked my door and hid under my desk. I heard a lot of terrible things from the hallways, but nothing ever entered my office, and I never had the heart to look… ”

The researcher led them through several hallways until they reached a staircase. The whole complex was silent and devoid of life.

”Just up the stairs is the Administration. As long as we find a working computer, I can log into the intranet. ”

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