— Posted in Continuum, Gee Whiz!, Vampire Noir

Continuum, Chapter 18

The Mission

Round Five

Zero Node

 

Cube Zero is a 2004 Canadian independent science fiction psychological horror thriller film, written and directed by Ernie Barbarash. It is the third film in the Cube film series, being a prequel to the series.

Even though the first two films take place almost entirely within the maze, Cube Zero takes place in both the interior and exterior of the cube, as well as the aftermath. The film also reverts to the industrial-designed, colored rooms of the first film, but with a refreshed and redesigned set.

Reviews have been positive, claiming a more dramatic, and thrilling film in the series, but significantly less than Cube.

 

What remains of the combined Dragon-Druid Expeditionary Force, is quite telling. The standard series seven shots proved ineffectual. Fallen turned in spite of their vaccinations. Hence the need to burn the bodies. The advance guard of two thousand BECs, used as shock troops, has been destroyed. The rear guard of one thousand BECs has just as readily been destroyed. As far as the main contingent is concerned, the six Unspeakables, ten Feng Shui, and two [replicant] humans are dead. Of the six Druids, three remain alive, all badly wounded—Samuel and Grace are turning from their wounds, but for some unknown reason, Nicole is unaffected.

Something inexplicable is also afoot, besides the ineffectual vaccinations or the fact that only Nicole’s vaccinations seem to be effective. With what remained of their group being overrun by the Dead. The extinction of their group in sight by the most horrible and violent means imaginable. The Dead suddenly ceased their attack and left in mass toward the direction in which the expeditionary force had come, as if they were needed as reinforcements.

Nicole blacks out. Images of Samuel and her sister, both turned, eating her alive, torture her mind.

When you lose consciousness, hearing is the last of your senses to go. When you regain consciousness, it’s the first to return. Nicole hears voices.

“He’s done. She’s not far behind.” A male voice, professional and matter-of-fact.

“Let her die, too.” A female voice, cold and unfeeling. “Fall back, and don’t fire on either of them when they reanimate.”

Nicole opens her eyes. She is being tended to by a woman. The woman is injecting her with a fluorescent lime-green liquid. It’s reanimation reagent—i.e., a prototype variant the SGC has been working on. Nicole is not dead, and being reanimated by it. She’s very much alive. The purpose in her case is to heal her extensive injuries post haste.

“She’s awake,” announces the woman attending Nicole. Hers is not the harsh female voice heard earlier.

A woman with a horrid face walks over. She’s obviously a warlock. And, by process of elimination, is the source of the harpy’s voice previously heard.

“Feeling better, Nicole?” The warlock asks, mockingly.

Nicole sits up in time to see her sister twitching on the ground and then expire. Grace was also foaming at the mouth at the time of death as if rabid. Convulsing, foaming at the mouth, rabid—Samuel, all of the fallen for that matter, died the very same way.

Druid-turned-Wight. Both Druids reanimate in unison. They stand up as Wights and advance on the away team. The away team falls back as previously instructed.

Seven’s eyes fluoresce lime-green, momentarily.

The Wights collapse on the ground and revert back to being Druids while thrashing about, violently. Nicole was the unknowing butt of a very cruel joke.

“You should have seen your face when they came back Wight. Hee-hee-hee. You thought they were lost forever.”

Nicole forces her body to stand. Weak. Still healing. She spits in the warlock’s face.

Seven licks the priestess’ saliva off of her face. An inhumanly-wide grin paints her face.

Nicole reins in her emotions, refusing to give the Borg girl anymore satisfaction at her expense.

“While I was unconscious. You injected them with reagent at, or just before, the time of death.”

“Bravo. Beauty and brains.” A pause for effect. “One correction, though. It was my associate here,” Seven points at the woman tending to Nicole, “who injected them.”

“The reagent must be some experimental variant that I’ve not heard of before.”

“No comment.” A grating remark accompanied by that mocking smile.

“I have questions.”

“I’ll bet you do.”

“I didn’t succumb. The others did. We were all vaccinated.”

“You were vaccinated. The others received a placebo.”

“What?!”

“Elders vouched for you. Your allegiances are well-known. As for the others.” Seven shrugs her shoulders. “They were either on the wrong side, or sitting on the fence waiting for things to sort themselves out.”

“Yes, Samuel and my sister are neutral. But, they are not part of the [pro-Democracy] movement, let alone the uprising.”

“Fence sitters. Wrong thinkers. Same difference.”

“Bullshit! Their loyalty to their betters is beyond reproach.”

“These are not, never have been, nor will they ever be, democracies. Therefore the matter is not up for discussion. Democracy is an unnatural form of governance concocted by mundanes. And, as such, it has no place in our societies—i.e., either supernatural society or The [Borg] Collective. Furthermore, I will not debate with you or anyone else for that matter democracy’s relevancy to either your [supernatural] kind or to The Borg. The Borg stand with The Elders. Old ones for old ones. Young ones for old ones. Those who have always ruled, should always rule. The natural order of things.”

“This is about a cleansing. And about being made an example of.”

Unspoken of. This is also about The Borg coming out and officially choosing a side in the midst of this social upheaval. They too have a stake in the outcome of this revolution. If the movement is successful in its reforming of supernatural society and if it spreads to The Borg Collective—the Borg queens could be rendered irrelevant if not out and out overthrown along with the rest of the old guard.

“Now, you get it. The young who have strayed must be reminded of their place in the scheme of things.”

“Reminded and purged.”

“Yes.”

“You spared Samuel and my sister because they were neutral. But, they’ve been put on notice: choose a side, the right side, our side, the side of The Elders, or be exterminated the next time.”

“Exactly.”

Changing subjects. With a single question, Nicole acknowledges that The Borg are the game changers that she never imagined that they could be.

“Even sabotaged—the odds stacked against us from the git-go—if we had your kind with us, we would have been successful?”

Instead of answering Nicole. Seven turns her attention to the head merc, who she hands her rifle and gun belt to. Now, seemingly unarmed, she heads toward the ruins, which are just over the border in The Kingdom.

No doubt about it. The ruined structure has been moved. It was just inside of the border on The Territories’ side, when the away team arrived.

Their mission objective. An obvious trap, indeed.