???: We have to get out of here!
???: What the hell are you doing?!
???: I'm NOT leaving them!!
???: Hurry up and do it!!!
???: I'm trying!!!
???: Let's GOOO!!!
???: We're almost there!
???: What the hell is that?!
Firo opened his eyes abruptly. He was in a bed in a spacious hospital room. There were multiple vases filled with various types of flowers and cards scattered across the room. Firo looked around for a second and then looked down at himself. There were several scratches on his arms but they were healing up well. He felt a slight twinge in his eye and reached up to feel it but it was also fine. He stared out of the open window for a second, his mind still foggy. At that moment, a nurse walked in the room. They looked at each other for a second and then she smiled.
Nurse: Ah, I see your awake. Good morning sir!
Nurse: You were in quite a shape when you come to us but we fixed you up quite nicely I must say. We were even able to save your eye. Ah, what glorious age for medicine, yes?
Firo: What... happened?
Nurse: Oh, you don't remember? You were caught in the big explosion at the Federation research facility. You were in critical condition. But in spite of this, you were pretty lucky. The other man we found with you wasn't I'm afraid.
Firo: ... other man...
Firo's mind went blank for a moment. Then, all of the previous events came rushing back into his mind all at once. He threw the blanket off of him, aggressively grabbed the nurse by her shoulders, and looked at her with crazed eyes. The wireless heart monitor by his bed started spiking.
Firo: WHERE ... IS... HE?
Before she could answer, his legs gave out and he fell in her arms. The nurse began to frantically call or the doctor while struggling to hold Firo up. The doctor rushed in a moment later and tried to lay him back on the bed but Firo pushed them off.
Doctor: Please, sir. Your major injuries may have been healed but your body is still very weak. You must get back in bed.
Firo: Tell me where he is!!!
Firo: ... Matt. Where is he?
The doctor's expression changed to a grim one.
Doctor: I'm sorry. There was nothing we could do for the poor boy. From the reports I saw, he was beyond help when the rescue team found you two. And that was 3 days ago. He's gone. Again, I'm sorry...
Firo: THAT'S BULL!!! He couldn't have. It's not...
The doctor tried to approach him but Firo pushed him away again and mustered up the strength to run out of the room. He made his way to the morgue, trying to dismiss the memories of Matt's mangled body from his mind. He entered the freezing cold room and found Matt's name on the registry. He ran over to the body cabinet and pulled it out. He stopped dead in his tracks and couldn't believe his eyes. A number of security guards and the doctor found him and pulled Firo away from the drawer. The doctor was about to close it back when he stopped in disbelief as well. Everyone was forced to stop and stare. All of Matt's horrific injuries were healed and his skin wasn't pale. He was even breathing. Everyone was dumbfounded at the sight. Matt slowly opened his eyes and looked at the crowd. He silently sat up. Firo ran over and hugged him, almost knocking him onto the floor. Matt looked like he was about to say something for a second, but he then got a strange expression on his face. He threw Firo off of him, jumped up quickly, and sprinted out of the room, yelling something like, "Gotta pee", on the way out. Everyone looked at the door, at each other, and then back to the door. Matt walked out of a nearby bathroom with a sigh of relief. Firo and the doctor were standing outside waiting for him. Matt looked weirded out.
Matt: What's with you guys? Matter of fact, what's going on here? Why were we in a morgue? And why does my body feel so strange?
Matt and Firo went to a changing room to put on the spare clothes they received. Firo then proceeded to recount the events that took place. When they were done, Matt went silent and looked at the floor. He then looked up and spoke.
Matt: So I really died, huh?
Firo: MATT!! I'm sorry!
Firo: This is my fault. Everything that happened was my fault.
Matt: Umm, it's...
Firo: NO!!! If I wasn't trying to be such a righteous bastard, you wouldn't have... Please... forgive me...
Matt: Hey! Come on now. You were just trying to do the right thing.
Firo: I almost got countless people killed. My actions weren't heroic. They were foolish.
Matt: ... I... I don't know whether it was really right or wrong. But... I do know that your heart was set on doing what was right. I saw it in your eyes. You know, it kind of makes you a hero! And ... I'm also glad that if I had stayed dead, then I would have died a hero like you!
Firo looked at Matt and Matt grinned back at him. The two got out of the hospital.
Matt: So what are we gonna do it now?
Firo: What do you mean?
Matt: We disobeyed direct orders and broke about a million rules with our little stunt and the research center. Whether we survived or not, we're still in hot water.
All of the sudden, two large black vehicles skidded to a stop nearby. They opened and several agents in black gear sprung out with weapons at the ready. The two put their hands up immediately.
Matt: Dang, I know we broke the rules but isn't this a little excessive?
Firo: What's going on here?
Agent: Take em'!
One of the agents fired a small electrical charge out of his gun and hit Matt square in the chest. He yelled and fell to his knees. Another went up to Firo and hit him in the back of the head with his gun. Firo fell to the ground unconscious. The agent took out hand cuff and put them on Firo's hands and then dragged him into the vehicle.
Matt tried to get up but more agents surrounded him and hit him with several more charges. He yelled again more loudly and then fell unconscious himself. The agents then cuffed him as well and dragged him into the other vehicle. When they were both loaded, the two units piled back into their vehicles and pulled off quickly, heading in two different directions.
Matt woke up in complete darkness. He could see nothing no matter how hard he tried. He couldn't move either. He was restrained to something by his limbs and mid section and couldn't move an inch.
???: Do not struggle. You will not break free.
Matt: Who the hell are you?!
???: It would be pointless to give you such information. Instead, I will tell you why you are here. As you no doubt know by now, you died in the explosion of the Federation research facility. Or rather I should say, you almost died. You were spared a terrible fate. Do you know what it was?
???: I see. So you do not know. The answer to this question is rather ironic. What spared you was the very thing that destroyed you. The energy. The experimental energy that leveled that facility and almost ended you somehow changed you.
Matt:... What? How?
???: We do not know yet. However, it was enough to save you from certain death so we are convinced that it is significant. This brings me to why you are here. I am going to give you various tests and trials to see exactly what you have become and you will give us the data we require.
Matt: And what if I don't want to?
???: Tell me. Have you been wondering where your friend is?
Matt: Wait, I mean yes!
???: He is being held by our agents in a secret location. If you want to see him again alive, you will comply with any and all tests administered to you. Do you understand?
Matt: Friggin' cowards...
???: Excellent. You may begin.
The ceilings, walls and floors lit up white revealing an enormous room. Matt was strapped to a table in the middle of the room. However, the bindings snapped off and Matt was able to stand up. He stood around for a second until the floor started moving. From under it came countless turrets, missile silos, laser guns, and other weaponry.
Matt: Hey, wait!!! You're not...
The weapons started to fire and Matt closed his eyes and flinched. But when he felt nothing, he opened them slowly to find the bullets and missiles moving through the air as if in slow motion. He walked over to them and tapped a missile. It bent out of shape and fire started to slowly seep out of it.
Matt: Haha... hahaha...YAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Amazing!!!
As he started to calm down, the barrage started to move at normal speed again and hit Matt. However, he was completely unharmed after the blast. He then looked at his arm. Matt sped over to the weapons and threw some hits at them. he couldn't even feel the resistance of when he smashed them.
Matt: Whoa... is this really me? Hey!!! Whoever you are! I beat your stupid test so get the hell down here!!
Computer: Level 1 of 1,000 complete. Commencing Level 2. Increasing gravity to 35 Gs. Increasing temperature to 1,500 degrees. Reducing oxygen content to .01%
Matt: Aww, come on...
Elsewhere, Firo was in a dungeon-like corridor seemingly by himself when several dirty looking prisoners stepped out of the shadows brandishing various bladed weapons.
Prisoner:Well well well. Seems you gut throwed in here jus lige us. We gone haas some fun!
Firo, looked at them angrily. They all started chuckling.
Prisoner: WELCOME TO HELL!!!