All right, let's get this over with.

Disclaimer: The characters and all that doesn't belong to me, it belongs to Augenblick Studios. I'm just responsible for conceiving and writing this strange, horrible abomination.

Have fun.


{.chapter o1.}

there is no way that this could've happened-

Sunday, December 7th, 2025; the day on which the army returned

"Warden, wake up."

I let out an irritated sound as the other prodded me. What time was it? It had to be four or five in the morning, judging from how out of it I felt. I'd been aware of the other getting up and leaving our room to do something {hell if I knew what}, but what did he need me for? "What the hell do you want...?"

"The army's back," the Future Warden replied quickly, already getting off of the bed. "Jared. Ah. I was going to contact him, and you probably will want to hear what I do."

It took me a moment to really register what he was saying, let alone how he was saying it - he was far too energetic for this time of day. However, once it finally clicked, I slowly glanced over at him, a bit annoyed. "Couldn't you just relay the information back? When I'll be more likely to listen?"

The other laughed at this. "You never listen to me, Warden." Then, just as quickly as his laughter had come, it disappeared, replaced by the usual calmness he seemed to carry about him. "Seriously, though. Come on. Get up."

I sighed, reluctantly getting out of bed, and the other waited for a few minutes, albeit impatiently, but soon enough, we had left the room, and the other promptly got out the pager and did just as he'd told me.

Jared responded almost immediately. Damn! "Ah, sir. What is it?"

"I heard the soldiers were back. How was the battle?"

"It was..." Jared paused, apparently trying to find the right word, which was quickly found. "...too easy."

"Oh? What happened? Who died?" The Future asked in quick succession, sounding a little too perky about this to me.

"A few of our soldiers died, but the entire rebellion army died. We... still don't know why, but their tactics were... different as well."

"Really? The whole army? They're usually more competent than that."

"But sir, they weren't using weapons. They were biting and tearing throu-"

Before the sniper could finish his sentence, the Future Warden sighed, shaking his head. "Tsk, tsk. Such a shame..."

I raised an eyebrow. "They sound like they've gone insane," I remarked in a somewhat confused tone of voice, nudging the other as I attempted to take the pager from the older Warden. "Tearing through what, exactly?"

While the other held the pager away from me so I couldn't steal it, Jared replied, "The armor. Most of them weren't successful, but that was mainly how our men were killed."

"Huh. Interesting..." The Future Warden looked pensive, eyes staring out into space for a few seconds as he thought before glancing back at me pointedly. "I wonder why."

When I understood what the other meant, I instantly responded. "Wha- no! Hell no!" I yelled, flinching away from him defensively. "I am not risking my life for you, and not because the rebels are acting strangely!"

"Heh, it was just a thought." He glanced back at the pager. "And thanks for the information. You may go now, Jared." Once the pager went black, he slipped it into who-knows-where, shrugging. "Mm, not that it really matters. If anything, it probably was nothing. Maybe they all just... lost it."

"But the whole army?" I questioned, but by that point, the other had turned around with a shrug. Likely off to check on the soldiers. I shook my head, deciding that my argument was probably futile by this point. "Never mind..." Maybe he was right for once - maybe it was nothing.

~.x.~

Sunday, December 14th, 2025; the day on which something seemed a bit off

I slipped into the room after checking the halls for anyone that might have been watching me.

Sure, I knew that the Future Warden wouldn't complain about me looking at any and all of the reports he'd gotten, because he had told me himself, but... well, there was still a sense of confidentiality I picked up on, and I wasn't going to do anything stupid.

So here was the rundown, reports not included - I hadn't read over them quite yet, seeing as I just got into the room. The week was... well... slow, so far as that went. Future and I talked, we decided that we shouldn't do anything rash, at least not until we knew what exactly was going on. We'd piece everything together, and then we'd make the plans. I was fine with the plan, especially since I helped come up with it.

...my mind hurts.

...anyway. I quietly closed the door, walking over to a few file cabinets, opening one of them {I can't remember which one, and it wasn't very important anyhow}, fingering through the files and papers until I found a file labeled 'Epidemic', along with a few other ones regarding the battle - 11/30/25. Pulling these two folders out, I sat down on the floor beside it, opening the battle reports first, looking at those.

There wasn't anything actually interesting. Well, then I looked at the last report.

'Rebels seemed weak. All of them died within two hours. Attacking soldiers attacked by scratching and biting; seemed feral. Definitely... interesting.'

And that's putting it lightly, I thought about responding before sighing. It... kind of reminded me of zombies, or something. The thought didn't actually cross my mind until a bit later - when I actually bothered to think about it, I mean.

I went through the papers in the epidemic folder next.

'Diagnosis: undecided; still needs testing.

Symptoms:

Overall, most soldiers have come in reporting malaise, fever, nausea, occasional vomiting, and fatigue. Other symptoms include unusually severe pain around the area surrounding the injury, usually a bite mark.

Notes:

All afflicted soldiers were in the battle on 11/30/25.

Illness does not appear to be contagious.'

I raised one eyebrow. Interesting... Well, at least the reports and what Jared had said however long ago coincided, where the rebels were concerned, and then my own observations... yeah. I should probably hold onto these papers.

Closing the file cabinet while holding the folders, I left the room. The situation didn't seem very bad yet - from what I'd been able the tell, the soldiers were fine, aside from being sick, and it didn't seem to be anything serious yet. Even so, I decided it'd be worth holding onto, just in case.

~.x.~

Sunday, December 21st, 2025; the day on which the soldiers changed for the worse

I looked up when I heard someone running in a panicked manner.

It was the Future Warden, to my surprise, rushing away from the area that we kept the soldiers in, looking a bit frantic, but not terrified. I furrowed my eyebrows as he got closer before skidding to a stop in front of me. "The soldiers! They got worse!" He panted, glancing behind him.

"Got worse... how?" I asked, cautious about this.

The other shook his head, fidgeting with his hands. "Hell if I know! How to explain, I mean. Just... just..." He threw his hands into the air, frustrated. "Shut up, quit asking me questions, and come see!"

...that sounded like the worst idea I'd ever heard. And it was, too, at any rate.

I was about to open my mouth to tell him that 'no, there was no way that I was going to come with you', but the other didn't really seem to care, grabbing my wrist and yanking me towards him before running back in the direction that he'd come from.

Apparently I didn't have any choice in the matter! How fan-fucking-tastic.

At least we didn't have to run very far.

We slowed to a stop {well, more appropriately skidded, but}, and the Future Warden leaned forward, pointing downwards into the large room. My eyes followed his, and I... well... I was appropriately shocked.

The soldiers. They really had gotten worse.

It was more... accentuated, I guess I should say, now that they weren't wearing the armor. Their flesh was rotting away, and they seemed to have lost rational thought. They were moaning, groaning, shuffling around {while the stronger looking soldiers could actually walk in a kind of normal manner}, and at first it just seemed...

...I don't even know what it seemed like. At first they seemed calm enough, but that was before one of the 'infected' soldiers lunged for one of the 'normals'.

My eyes widened and I jerked back, grimacing as I heard a scream. Holy hell...! I shook my head frantically, trying to put my mind off of the soldiers below. It reminded me a bit too much of a certain situation, but I couldn't place what...

...but even if I didn't know, my subconscious did, as I immediately went into 'holy shit this is bad' mode.

"I-it..." I didn't notice the other looking at me, evidently perplexed. "T-this can't really be happening...!"

{.end of chapter o1.}


For those of you who care enough to know; this story is kind of just for the hell of it while I think about TTPT. -shrugs- That is all.

Plus. I swear I will stop changing the title now. I should've decided it beforehand, but... still.