Miraculum Chronicles Universe
This article exists only within the Miraculum Chronicles setting.
October 19, 1982, Farandia Fortified Research Establishment. 16 hours after incident.
Flashing, crimson warning lights lit the hallways of the hospital. An obnoxious alarm accompanying. Paramedics wearing bulky yellow chemical suits burst through a double door pushing a bed hurriedly down a hall. An unconscious young girl barely into her teens with all manner of wires and tubes attached to her body. And hastily walking next to her, a middle-aged man - a higher echelon scientist with a clipboard.
"What's her status?" the scientist asked.
"Critical condition. Large traces of miraculum poisoning in her bloodstream," One of them the medics shouted. Not in panic, but over the alarm. They had been in situations like this all the time. "She's been directly exposed to the radiation. We found her lying on the beach shortly after the reactor meltdown."
Dr. Raminti paused, processing what happened. "How many others did you find?"
"She's the only one we could find that didn't turn into a ghoul. The security force is really occupied, sir."
"Then, we need her alive!" Dr. Raminti said. "She may be able to tell us what happened out there."
Hastily, they continued pushing the bed. And finally, they made it into a dark room lit only by dim UV lights. The medics scrambled to reattach the wires to the machinery on the walls, and they tapped few buttons among a vast array. Her vital signs displayed themselves on a nearby viewscreen.
"Administering 100mg of adamantide," one of the medics said. He tapped some buttons, and from the IV, a dark, green liquid flowed into the girl's bloodstream. Adamantide, a nullification drug that helped neutralize miraculum radiation. Its exact chemical properties were still a mystery, but for some reason, it worked. Just like the magic it was counteracting.
It was at least another tense hour or two. But things quieted down as the girl slipped into a coma, and the radiation subsided. Her vitals slowed, but not to a total halt.
"She's stabilized, sir," the medic said. "The miraculum is still in her system, but her progression towards the ghoul phase has stopped."
"What's her designation?" Dr. Raminti asked.
"We've identified her as Subject #100212 from the blood sample we retrieved. She's one of the mages that lived in the island's local settlement. Whatever personal belongings she had were destroyed in the storm a few hours ago."
Dr. Raminti crossed his arms. Inconceivable. The reactor on the island held up for three generations without issue. Why did this happen now?
"And you said she was the only survivor?"
"There have been no casualties among the employees within the City of Elders. The only ones who were outside the walls at the time of the meltdown were the mage test subjects."
"That's a thousand deaths on our hands," Dr. Raminti sighed putting his fingers to his forehead. "The Prime Minister is not going to like this."
"Dr. Raminti, she'll wake up in several hours," a medic said. "You can speak to her, then."
"Thank you," he replied. "We have a lot to talk about it..."
The traumatized girl slowly awoke to find herself on a bed in a blank white room. All sorts of medical equipment, gauges with weird markings and some tubes and wires hooked up to her body. Through the glass door to her room, the reversed logo of a radiation warning sign. And she found her arms restrained to the bed. Her first instinct - to squirm in vain before giving up shortly. For a few brief instances, she swore she saw the rest of the room turn to pulsating flesh as if she were trapped within the bowels of a monster.
It was not long before a man in a bulky yellow suit and a breath mask entered the room unintentionally frightening the girl.
"No, stay away! Stay away! Get me out of here!"
Of course. The man looked like a faceless monster with his mask covering his face. Fortunately though, radiation was at a safe level for now. He removed his mask to show the girl that he was , in fact, human.
"I am your friend. My name is Dr. Ashley Raminti. Can you tell me yours?"
"Huh?" The girl remained with a blank expression, her fear giving way to confusion. "Name?"
"Tell me, what is your name."
"My name..." The girl thought long and hard. Sorting out fact from fiction as best as she could. So many weird things happening. But try to recall the most basic thing of all. "My name...my name. It's Riley. Riley Malsworth. I'm a sorcerer that can cast magic."
"We thought so based on a sample of your blood," the man replied. "Forgive us for the restraints, but it's for safety measures. Now, Miss Malsworth. Tell me what you know about yourself. Where you grew up. Friends and family."
"Well....hmmm...I grew up on the island of Farandia with my sister. We were all in witch school, learning to cast spells. And everything was fine until she got selected to become the pilgrim. Then...what was it?" Her memory flashed and her palms shook as beads of sweat poured from her forehead. "No, was all that stuff that happened after real? There was a monster! It swallowed us whole! And...did we ever escape?" The hearbeat monitor grew faster until it skyrocketed. "Are we still trapped inside?" Sinister voices echoed in her head, taunting her. The greatest torture ever. To make her think she got out and was rescued, but in reality, she was still the monster's prisoner. In her mind, the walls around her turned into pulsating red flesh which savagely begun to overtake her like creeping fungus. Trying to escape in vain from the hallucination, she violently fidgeted about in the restraints bruising her wrists and screaming in terror and agony. Without hesitation, Dr. Raminti tapped a few buttons to administer more adamantide, purging the traumatic thoughts from her head.
"Don't worry, young lady," Dr. Raminti said reassuringly. "This will help."
"...I feel funny..." And within the next few seconds, she calmed down and passed out, sleeping soundly and peacefully. For mages, adamantide was the perfect sedative since it dulled all the massive amounts of sensory information she received just from glancing around. It was reassuring for Dr. Raminti to see her quiet. He could never get over seeing children suffer mentally.
After Riley had been asleep for half an hour, he pulled a lever on a wall releasing the restraints. After she awoke, she calmly leaned upright, stretched her arms and yawned.
"Who are you?" Her speech was slurred, and she seemed overly cheery like a drunkard. Whatever fear and anxiety she had before was gone. But she had forgotten his name after such a short time? He needed to test her memory again. "I'm Dr. Raminti. Remember? What's your name?"
The girl just stared blankly. "Huh?"
"Your name. What is your name?"
"...I don't know." The dosage of adamantide was too strong, and it had purged most of her memory. But after just witnessing the agony she was suffering, perhaps it was for the best.
"Your name is Riley Malsworth. You're in a place called a hospital. You've gotten very sick, and you need to rest."
Riley sat for a moment, thinking and recalling whatever she could. Everything was still hazy and muddy.
"I'm bored," Riley said. "Do you have anything to read?"
"Miss Malsworth, you need rest."
"But I'm bored!" Riley pleaded. She was too active and awake to fall asleep again like a child that downed plentiful amounts of sugar. "Please, anything to keep me busy?"
"I don't have any books for you to read, I'm afraid. They're way above your reading level, and you'll find them all boring." That was true indeed for all the books in the facility. Hardly anyone could understand the latest theories on magic. M particles. M cells. Miraculum. Multiple quantum states. Those subjects were not covered in the everyman's education. "Maybe you could write something for me? How about a narrative?"
"I can write!" Riley excitedly proclaimed. "But I don't know what to write about."
The doctor handed her a notepad and a pen from the counter. "Take your time, miss. We're going to be here a while. I wouldn't mind reading your little story when your done with it."
"Sure thing!" Riley said. She put her fingers to her head, shutting her eyes so that she could concentrate. "I don't know if it will be any good though. I'm just writing off the top of my head."
Dr. Raminti nodded and smiled. "Looking forward to reading it." Indeed he did. It would be of great help to figure out how the reactor was destroyed. And this was a suitable alternative from trying to directly recall from a jumbled mess of facts that may or may not be real. Though the adamantide was suppressing her memories, perhaps she could subconsciously recall them in narrative form.
...more to come...