1 Being Sent Forth To A Hellish Land

"So...you want me to act as your entertainment?" I wondered aloud, genuinely surprised at the Godly beings honesty on the subject.

The white figure only had a mouth and nose, missing the eyes and ears most humans have, but it was enough features for me to see their expression turn to a somewhat wry smile, "I'm afraid so. I can't say you have much of a choice in the scenario...but I did make sure to pick you because you'd be most likely to be somewhat okay with what I have planned for you."

If I was hearing this correctly, the being in front of me sounded almost apologetic. Surprising.

"And what makes me more likely to be okay with this plan?" I asked curiously, somewhat having an idea on how I was suitable for this. The fact I was so calm in this situation spoke volumes about me as a person, honestly, so it wasn't that surprising I was suitable for whatever this being had planned.

The smile on the otherworldly being of light's face deepened, turning from wry to fondness as it swiped it's hand through the air next to it, bringing into existence a screen.

A screen that showed a younger me scrambling up the side of my Elementary School building.

"I'm a God, Harry. I'm a living concept," it explained, "Which means I have a certain affinity and fondness for people who show certain traits to do with my concept. I'm a God of War, so to speak. A God of Courage and a God of Fear. But not fear in the way people usually think of it - I don't like scaring people and I don't like being scared. No, my brand of fear is the ability to feel fear but to also go beyond the limits it imposes. An adrenaline junkie, in human terms," it joked before enlarging the screen that showed me climbing my school building, "And look at you. You were terrified. But you went beyond that fear because of curiosity at what was on top of the building. Another example," the screen changed and showed me, a few years older, fighting some older kids because they'd been picking on my older sister, "You were outnumbered, outmatched and yet again, scared. Fearful of the pain their punches caused. Fearful of what they'd do if you fell. But you fought onward. Courage in Battle. You represent my concept, Harry, which is why I know you'll be the most likely to accept my proposal."

...That was a lot to take in, I'm not gonna lie. At the back of my mind, I had the slight suspicion that this was all an hallucination brought on by a dying brain but it seemed a little too realistic for me to try and fool myself into thinking that.

But a God has an affinity with me? Or rather, I have an affinity for a God's concept? I mean, if what it's saying is true, it's not that surprising.

I've always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie and fear has never stopped me before.

Hell, I joined the Marines straight out of highschool and practically got thrown into warzone after warzone but I never complained. I even liked the horrific situations I found myself in - I didn't like killing, don't get me wrong. I just loved the feeling of adrenaline flooding my system and my heart beating at it's hardest. Something I could only find on the edge of life and death. Looking at it like that, I did fit this God's concept. War, Courage and the ability to move beyond Fear.


"And what is it that you have planned for me?" I asked, deciding to get this out of the way before thinking about anything else.

"I'm going to put you in an apocalypse and see how you survive. How you change the predetermined destiny of certain characters. How you adapt to the situation," it explained before smiling impossibly wide, "But most of all, I'm going to see if you stick to my concept, even through an apocalypse. It's premium entertainment for Gods like me."

I rolled my eyes before sighing, "Just my luck to be roped into something like this even after dying. Do I at least get to know what kind of apocalypse I'm going to?" I asked with a tired and fed-up tone.

"Nope," the God smiled before holding up all five fingers on one hand, "But I can tell you I'll be gifting you with five advantages. The first one, is peak human genetics. You'll be able to grow to be the best a human can be and have the best type of potential a human can have for any given subject," it dropped one of the fingers before carrying on, "The second power will be the fact that you'll be a Hyperadrenal from the show Alphas*. Your peak human genetics will give you a heart and cardiovascular system strong enough to withstand the ability," another finger dropped, "Third, you'll also be a Hyperkinetic Alpha*. Following me so far?"

(*Hyperadrenals are basically super strong people who can consciously activate their adrenal glands to given themselves enhanced strength. Hyperkinetics possess flawless aim, perfect balance, greatly enhanced motor skills, and perfect synchronization between thought and action.)

I gave a nod and the list continued, "And the last two? I've got you some tutors! I mean, I know you're a soldier already, Harry, but you can always be better. And the teachers? They're the best of the best."

I cocked an eyebrow over at the God, "Who are they? Some other Gods or something?"

"No, no, no," the God chuckled, wagging a finger at me, it's smile still impossibly wide, "I've pulled Batman and Lady Shiva from the DC Universe and I've made deals with both of them so that they'll teach you all they can.

Not gonna lie, I froze up at that. I was expecting the God to say any other names other than those two. Batman and Lady Shiva - they were apparently just humans but Jesus Christ, coming from a guy who took advanced martial arts lessons as a part of the Marines, let me tell you that neither of those two are human. They must be part-Asura or something.

"...You're saying Batman is gonna train me?" I asked, just to be sure I didn't somehow hear the Godly being wrong. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling a little bit excited about it, however.

The God nodded, "Yep," before it's smile disappeared and a more serious expression came across it's eyeless face, "So, I take it you wish to go forth with this new...'job' of sorts?"

I gave a smirk, rolling my eyes, "You already said I didn't have a choice - but yeah, sure, I'll be your entertainment in an apocalypse. Already died once, so why not risk it a second time?" I gave a sardonic chuckled and the God smiled a more normal proportioned smile this time around as it nodded, lifting a hand and snapping it's fingers.

Everything went black for a second before everything returned to normal. Except everything seemed...bigger. I felt weaker. Smaller. Looking down I saw that was exactly the case.

I was a child.

Turning my gaze back to the God across from me, I frowned, "And the meaning of this change?" I asked, my voice much, much higher in pitch.

"I've reset your body to the age of eight so you can learn better from your two tutors while also getting used to your new powers," it said before confetti popped all around us, "Congratulations, you're now an Alpha Human. Hyperadrenal and Hyperkinetic. If I were a normal human...boy oh boy I wouldn't want to get in a fight with you. Now, how about we get on with your training? Batman should be here soon enough."

...What an odd sentence to actually hear.

. . .

Opening my eyes, I was instantly hit by the smell of my surroundings.

After so many years in that training ground where everything was pretty much clean and maybe even to the level of being antiseptic...my nose seemed to have become incredibly sensitive.

Bringing a hand up to cover my mouth, I groaned when I saw the catheter in the back of my hand and the hospital tag wrapped around my wrist. My muscle mass and trained body were still there, I could feel it, and it was just like the God promised - I'd be put into this new world in a proper place and somewhere near the protagonist of the show.

After a decade and a half of training, I'd managed to weasel a bit of information out of the divine being but all that amounted to was that I was to be sent to a zombie apocalypse and that it was a show of sorts from my world.

That didn't really narrow it down that much. There are a bunch of zombie movies, TV shows, anime--a whole bunch of zombie related media to pick from. But seeing the hospital around me...I'm pretty sure I know where I am.

Forcing my body to sit up, I let out a grunt as my joints popped and cracked, sore muscles stretching after what seemed like an eternity.

I was already told this would happen - that my body would be a bit worse-for-wear when I first woke up. But it was within my expectations and I could still feel the flawless connection between my mind and body that being a Hyperkinetic Alpha gave me. It just felt a little rusty. It'd probably take a bit of time to get used to.

Reaching a little deeper, I felt the mental switch in my body that would activate my Hyperadrenal powers but left it alone for now. I just wanted to see if I could voluntarily activate it or not. God literally knows I don't want to have to go through all that training again.

Swinging my legs off the bed, I looked around for a change of clothes but couldn't find any.

"Tsk," I frowned, knowing God would be just this amount of petty to not give me a change of clothes after making me wake up in a hospital gown, "Whatever," I sighed in resignation before standing up and forcing my body to not crumple or stumble like it normally would've after such a long time on the bed. Walking to the foot of my hospital bed, I picked up the clipboard and read through it a little.

Head injury, long-term coma, unresponsive to external stimuli...As expected, I have a background in this world but no new memories. God, you cheap, penny-pinching bastard.

Dropping the clipboard to the floor, uncaring for the noise, I made my way to the door and opened it. Entering the deserted hallway, I looked left and right before spotting something that fully cemented my suspicion on where I was - a man, dressed in a hospital gown similar to mine. He was frantically messing around with a phone at a reception desk and I could easily see the confused and dazed expression on his face.

"...Hey," I called out, deciding being verbal while far enough away might put the guy at ease.

I was wrong. The man spun around - or at least tried to. His spin caused him to lose balance on the pieces of paper strewn about the floor of the hallway and his reflex of reaching for his hip only made the fall worse. He clattered to the floor, his eyes wide and a hiss of pain coming from him as he seemed to have landed pretty awkwardly and yet despite the pain, his gaze never left me.

"Y-you--do you know what the hell happened around here?" he spluttered, his words stuttered and panicked and his voice as hoarse as could be. I could answer seriously but I doubt that would fit my current situation.

So, instead, I decided to play into a character. One that wasn't totally a lie.

"No," I gave a sigh, gesturing to my head, "My head's pretty fuzzy on the whole memory thing...and I kinda just woke up."

He deflated, a sort of hope leaving him as I denied him any clarity on our current situation. Then again, even if I was 100% truthful and told him what was happening, he wouldn't believe me unless he saw it. Zombies? Or rather, the dead walking? Hell, I needed to see it to believe it, right now. Seeing is believing, after all.

Walking over to him, I faked exhaustion like him and limped, before standing in front of him and holding out a hand for him. He was still on the floor, either too hopeless to get up on his own or too tired. Maybe both.

Rick took the hand and I pulled him up, gaining a thankful yet listless smile from the county sheriff deputy.

Things went quiet between the two of us before I gestured to the hallway further beyond the reception desk that was apparently where the nearest exit was, "Wanna head on a bit further to see what happened to this place? Seems deserted but I bet there's some clues on what happened. Just need to find 'em," I said and Rick gave a nod, turning to walk on but turning back and putting out a hand.

"The name's Rick. You?" he asked, no doubt deciding on sticking together for a little while. Or for as long as we were in the hospital together.

I took the hand and shook it, "Harry. Or at least that's what the clipboard at the end of my bed said. Pleasure to meet you, Rick," I gave a smile and Rick returned it with a lethargic one of his own. He was no doubt still feeling the effects of his coma.

With introductions over, we continued down the hallway and found ourselves near the doors that let to even more flickering lights.

"...Harry, please tell me it's just me and that I'm seeing things," Rick said, his voice dry and yet his tone sounding like he was seconds away from throwing up. What he was speaking about, was something that was pretty disgusting and I'd already seen a lotta gory stuff in my past life so you know I'm not embellishing shit.

It was a corpse. Bloodied and rotting. Bite marks littered the corpse's thighs and legs, and yet it's entire abdomen muscles were gone, showing the rotting intestines that were usually below them. The ribs were bloodied and still holding chunks of rotting flesh but they were easily seen. The arm nearest to us was also stripped of skin and parts of the muscle - bite shaped parts - were gone. It was easily ten times as horrible and realistic as the one in the show.

"Goddamn," I muttered, covering my nose with a hand before turning to Rick who was numbly staring at the corpse, "Sorry man but it ain't just you. That's a half-eaten corpse of some unlucky lady."

Rick looked shaken to shit - not that I could blame him - and just turned away from the door and started walking the other way, down the opposite hallway.

He was shuffling forward and I followed him with a sigh.

This hallway was lacking light completely unlike the other hallway which intermittently flickered on and off. Luckily it was day and light seemed to be somehow getting in here otherwise we'd be in the complete dark. Worse than that, if the other hallway could be described as abandoned and the result of mayhem, than this hallway could be described as dilapidated.

Ceiling lights were gone with wires hanging from the ceiling and there was blood splatters every now and then. Signs of fire damage as well. Gun shots too. My brain went into Hyperkinetic mode and I quickly took the information into account and ran some simulations before I got the most likely cause of all of this.

It was a power Batman had extensively trained me on because it was a power that was perfect for a detective. He seemed a tiny bit envious of it at times, not gonna lie.

Hyperkinetics are able to take the outcome of a situation - like bullet holes in a wall, blood on the side of the wall and bloody footprints - and figure out how that situation came to happen.

This situation was a lone soldier guiding a group of patients through the hospital. No doubt after some Walkers got in here and started infecting people. One of the patients, however, was already infected and this was soon found out by the soldier. For whatever reason, the soldier couldn't bring himself to kill the infected person and the rest of the patients he was escorting split off and ran. Between deciding to kill the infected patient and stopping the other patients from running, the soldier was caught off-guard by a Walker.

On reflex, the soldier fired those bullets and that's how the wall was practically filled with lead.*

(*A/N - Did this happen? Probably not. I'm just messing about and showing the MC's Hyperkinetic ability to know what caused a situation by knowing the outcome and some of the variables.)

...Poor bastard.

Either way, we came up to the end of the hallway, which was a corner that split off to the left but also a pair of metal doors that no doubt led to either a storage room or a blood bank. Across the doors, however, was the warning 'Don't Open Dead Inside'. As Rick and I got close enough, the doors - thankfully locked and secured tightly - began banging back and forth like someone on the other side was trying to get to us.

Before Rick could start hyperventilating, I pulled him off to the side and into one of the nearby fire escapes. It was dark as hell but I'd been trained by Lady Shiva to be able to function in just about every condition you can imagine. Whether that was a loss of sight, hearing or touch, in fact.

I supported Rick, who seemed to be losing his strength in his legs, and carried him down the stairs all the while feeling the side of the wall with my free hand. Once I felt another door, I pushed on it and despite being rusted to all hell, I got it open after enough pushing. What greeted us was the scorching heat of Georgia during the summer paired with the incessant calling of the cicadas nearby. I was born in Florida, so the heat didn't bother me and neither did the cicadas calling out.

What did bother me was the smell. Inside the hospital was bad. Really bad. But outside? It was horrific. The stench clogged up my nose and it took every bit of control I had over myself and my stomach to not retch up all the food in my stomach. Or whatever was in it, anyway. Rick didn't have any such look and pushed away from me, bending over and chucking up whatever was in him.

Mainly bile and water, from the looks of it.

While he did that, I overlooked what was making this horrible smell: The rows and rows of dead bodies, rotting in the heat. Swarms of flies flittered about the place, no doubt laying eggs and eating what was left of the poor people here.

"Jesus H Christ," I couldn't help but say this as I overlooked the terrible sight in front of me. You think you can be ready for something just because you saw it in a TV show? You're wrong.

I'd seen the horrors of war. But that was soldiers. Men who signed up for the fight full well knowing what could happen to them. I had the luck to never see dead civilians on any of my tours. I'd heard about 'em, sure. Never saw them though. Right now, however, it seemed my luck had ran out. So many innocents lying dead, half-decomposed. Women, old people...children, all of 'em, dead.

A frown found it's way onto my face and I forced myself to look away and toward Rick who was recovering from his retching, "Let's get outta here, Rick. The smell's killing me and we ain't gonna find any answers looking at dead people," I said, ignoring the irony considering what type of reality I now found myself in.

Rick took one look at the corpses and then looked back at me, nodding in agreement.

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