Devin's eyes opened wide as another wave of excruciating agony swept over him. The freezing pain of electricity coursing straight into his nervous system from the pins lodged in his spine, forearms and ankles. This was soon followed by the burning of muscles popping and flesh tearing, of a change forced too soon.
He bit down hard on the leather strap in his mouth and strained against the silver chains that bound him to the apparatus that had he had been locked into for so long now it felt like a part of him. He knew all too well what was coming next. Tiny needles extended from his manacles, punching through toughened skin into his veins. He could see a container filling with his blood. They would take until he was so weak he could barely move. He would be left to change back to his human form and allowed to rest before the cycle started all over again. The collected blood was then pumped away via a series of tubes extending from one of the walls.
His cell was nothing but a stone room with a single door and one tiny window. He had no idea how long he had been here. All he had come to know was this horrifying routine. One camera wired into the ceiling of the dungeon monitored the torture. He didn't even know who his captors where.
Through the blurry heat of the agony he was in he was certain he could hear sirens coming from somewhere, loud and persistent. This was followed by the sound of footsteps on cold stone and that of people shouting. It was all happening in slow motion, like some bizarre, delirious dream.
The shouting turned into cries, then screams, then everything went silent. There was a pause that seemed to last forever. Thick, gelatinous red liquid began seeping under the door of Devin's cell. There were several loud bangs as welts began appearing in the steel. The sound of twisted metal followed, then the door exploded inward. It was followed by the mangled, decapitated body of a man in a lab coat.
Devin could make out three figures standing in the shadow of the doorway. The central figure motioned to the other two who split off in different directions outside, then stepped into the cell.
It was a girl of maybe only nineteen years old. She was dressed in prison fatigues and looked grubby and unkempt. To Devin she looked angelic, she was the first soul he had seen in as long as he could remember. She smiled sweetly revealing a pefectly formed little set of fangs and licked the dead scientist's blood off her fingers.
"Wow, those bastards have done a right number on you haven't they?"
Considering that she had obviously been in the same position he was in, Devin thought she seemed strangely happy, like she was taking part in some sort of game.It crossed his pain addled mind that he was probably hallucinating. It was only the smell of the blood pooling on the floor that was making him think otherwise.
The sounds of fighting could be heard from the corridor outside the cell and the girl ran up to the machine and started pressing buttons on a panel at his feet. He could feel the needles on his wrists retracting and the other wires and tubes attached to his body disconnecting. Finally the clasps of his chains sprung open. He dropped to his knees breathing heavily as the pain slowly began to subside.
The girl grabbed his arm, lifting it over her shoulder. She helped him unsteadily to his feet and out to the door. Considering her diminutive size it struck Devin that she must be increadibly strong. He dwarfed her by a good couple of feet, yet she still lifted him as if there was no size difference at all.
"Now don't you go changing back just yet big guy, we're going to need muscle if we're going to get out of here in one piece. I'm Elleta by the way."
"Devin." He said gruffly still trying to make sense of what was occuring around him. "Where are we?"
Elleta hauled him into the corridor and leaned him against a wall while he got his bearings.
"No time to explain now. The guards will be here soon and believe me we don't want to be here when they arrive."
Devin could see a tall thin man fighting with another scientist to his left. The man in the lab coat threw a fairly solid looking punch at the mans chest but before it could connect he dematerialised. The scientist punched thin air as the man reappeared behind him and planted his head sqarely into a wall. The scientist crumpled to the ground and the man ran over to Devin and Elleta. He spoke in a thickly accented Eastern European voice.
"The way to the next level is clear. I've found some stairs at the end of the corridor. Felix should be finished breaking out the other prisoners soon, then we can get out of here."
A commotion and the sounds of battle could be heard echoing from the other end of the corridor. Elleta shook her head.
"How does Felix always manage to find the people we're desparately trying to avoid. C'mon we'd better go and help him."
The three ran towards the sounds. Devin was happy to follow the others. Whether or not he could trust them was something he would decide later, they had helped him escape from his hell and now he would aid them in escaping from theirs.