To most, it was the end of the Multiverse. With how it felt, it may as well have been literally. It all started in Lots of Hope, three days ago. 97% of the population of Inside and the known Orgs had been lost, either Thralled, killed, or fled within that time. Patient Zero's name was never known.
Three days ago, at Lots of Hope Hospital...
"Get out of the way!" Cantal, an ambulance driver, shouts as he and his team rush through the hallways with the stretcher as they try to get to the ER as quickly as possible. One of the doctors, known as Cutter, runs up to the stretcher side as he shoves past others to check the patient's pulse. "What the hell happened?"
The driver shakes his head. "No clue. We were on another call when we saw this guy suddenly fall to his knees and start screaming. Kept shouting something about how he could hear "Them". We had to sedate him just to be able to get him on the stretcher. Thinking Sudden Ability Development or the like if he's simply not sick or "hearing" thin-" He's cut off when the patient begins to thrash about and scream, struggling against the leather restraints. "God-Damn it! I thought you said he was sedated!!!" Cutter shouts before slugging the patient as hard as possible, knocking him out cold.
"He was! Doped him up on Ketamine." Cutter looks at the man in disbelief as they finally push open the door to the ER, where a team was waiting. "Ketamine?!? If he sure as hell wasn't hallucinating before, he damn well is now. And his heart rate's spiking. You thought it'd help?!? Get out of here before you make things worse!"
The driver, shocked, leaves the room, unaware that he'd be experiencing the same thing in a couple hours. But instead with no one to help him when the agony comes.
One of the nurses looks over the patient and frowns beneath her mask as Cutter scrubs up. "What the hell happened to his face? You didn't hit another one, did you?" Cutter just chuckles, a bit embarrassed. "Sorry, had to. He was gonna break the bonds." He says, gesturing to the torn leather. At the sight, the nurse lets out a low whistle before adding a couple metal cuffs. "Alright, let's prep him."
Cutter makes sure to give the man another sedative, something to try and calm his heart from the Ketamine, as the nurses hook him up to monitoring equipment. He watches as the heartbeat slows and lets out a deep breath before nodding to an aide. "Scissors." He asks, and once they're given, he begins cutting off the clothing slowly. Halfway through, he blinks. "What the hell is that?" He asks, gesturing towards what looked like a ruby in the man's abdomen, a red crystal poking through the skin. "Any of you seen something like that before?"
No one gives a nod or an affirmative, so Cutter can't help but poke it with the tip of the pair of scissors. When he does so, it doesn't yield and a thin black line in it seems to squirm. "I...I think it's living." He says as he hears the heart monitor pick up the pace. When he turns to look, the human body on the stretcher sits up suddenly with a roar, snapping the bonds as he delivers a punch to Cutter's jaw, knocking him back and into the wall, dazing him. Several of the aides scream and a pair of half-orc orderlies try to hold him down. "He's berzerking!" One shouts right before the patient's mouth stretches open inhumanly, letting out a deep red cloud onto the pair, making them cough and lose consciousness in his arms.
Dropping them, the man leaps out of the bed in time for one of the nurses to stab him in the chest with a scalpel. Patient Zero doesn't flinch and the blade draws blackened blood. His hand snaps out and grabs her by the neck, and he starts to open his mouth once more, but stops, looking closer at her. Unlike the others, she was mostly cybernetic, nearly a full fledged android.
She was useless.
With a growl, he grips her head and gives a vicious twist, ripping it from her body and tossing it aside as he strolls out, into the hospital proper and leaving a crumpled Cutter against the wall...