A familiar taste poured over my tongue as I struggled to keep my balance. As the world tumbled around me I noticed an odd sanguine painting being created on the gravel. I might have even remarked on the odd placement of the painting if another fist hadn't exploded into my eye socket. Luckily the gravel caught me, though for some reason it tasted like blood. Despite my vision constricting as my cheek swelled, I looked upon my assailant once more. A cruel unyielding gaze returned from his scarred visage. This was no man, but an anabolically enhanced biological nightmare. Two massive, rippling arms raised me eye to eye with the beastly man, as two more extending from the middle of its chest snared my throat.
As my consciousness faded, I was drawn back into the sterile environment where I first met the eccentric individual who returned me to life.
"Welcome back, William."
The voice seemed remote. Opening my eyes, I was completely blinded, a battery of lights invaded my vision before I was able to avert my eyes. As my eyes adjusted I could make out one figure in the room, it was a man, tall and dressed in surgical garb. A strange opaque glass visor covered the upper portion of his face while a surgical mask draped over the rest. The mask flexed in such a way that the man seemed as if he were grimacing.
"I am Doctor Lazarus, and you my friend, hold the key to universes unknown."
The second part of his sentence did and still does disturb me, but thinking about it now, his name seems awfully pompous. At this point the lights had irritated my eyes, and though I reached to scratch them my arms could not reach. I looked down to my arms, both restrained by what seemed like excessively large steel cuffs, but was distracted by the strange metal projections extending from my gut. Still too unfocused to make them out, and still to drugged to figure out I was held down, I became frightened by the mess of material ascending from my torso. The last thing I recall as I began to thrash in place, was Lazarus adjusting an IV next to the table, and a voice echoing from a distant part of the room.
"Put him under, doctor, if that thing goes off here all of our progress will be for naught."
I would be wondering how I escaped from that place, but I had my hands full with blacking out from being choked to death. Though I remained in the four hands of the beast, the voice from the room returned.
"Stop it you idiot! He is to be returned alive, though not necessarily unharmed!"
I realized it came from the collar barely staying together around the monster's thick neck. Unfortunately the collar was not able to maintain its hold, and shot out of my eyesight. This did not seem to bode well, as the beast only became more aggressive with the loss of the collar, crushing my windpipe with increased enthusiasm and joy with every moment.
Desperation overtaking me, I clenched my teeth and tried to find leverage on the abomination. Flexing my back to its fullest potential, I made no progress on separating its colossal arms from my neck. As I strained, I began to hear a whirring noise emitted from my gut. The skin began to poke outwards, then a flat panel of metal pierced through. The absence of pain was just as odd as the clanking of the paneling as it extended from one piece to several, forming to my body. The beast, in its unshakable rage, had not noticed until its hands were forced off by the progression of the metal over my neck. Falling to my knees, the transformation covered the last point on my head and tightened to my form.
Though I wanted to consider this change further, the monster was visibly unimpressed as it threw its full weight into one punch from above. Panicking, I lashed a fist into its torso. The blow was unhindered by neither flesh nor bone, and surprised by the lack of resistance, I drew back. The freak fell limp, its dribbling innards flowing amongst the gravel. I stared aghast at the bloody mess, gore still clinging to this suit.
I'd have liked to consider the surreal scene much longer, but I tore myself from it, surveying where I'd ended up. An alley to be sure, but the location escaped me. On each side was a skyscraper ascending into infinity, I could not make out if they began or ended with the earth. Behind me, a dead end and the inhuman horror, but ahead of me lay the dimly lit opening to a ruined city. Stepping onto the debris which once compromised a street, I asked myself the question at the front of a line of hundreds.
"Where am I?