Episode 4: "The Rats in the Walls"
"...for on every side of the chamber the walls were alive with nauseous sound - the verminous slithering of ravenous, gigantic rats.”
- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Rats in the Walls"
It was two weeks until Pa's anticipated arrival in Atlanta, but downtime was a concept the Hadleys had never been introduced to. Evil never sleeps, after all- not even in the city of Brotherly Love, which Corbec Hadley was currently calling "home". A news report of a young woman gone missing from her apartment with blood at the scene and no forced entry prompted him to reach out to his brothers, breaking a self-imposed silence to benefit from their collective strength.
Investigating a brand-new luxury apartment complex in historical Philidelphia, the Hadley boys began piecing together a grusome history- in the past six months, 3 people had gone missing with almost no sign or trace. Meanwhile, a persistant scratching, flickering lights, and a mysteriously behaving elevator pointed to something in the vents...or the walls.
Poking around in the basement lead to the discovery of a number of unusual rats, displaying uncharacteristic intelligence and cunning...and gnawing on human remains. A plan to poison them lead to the unleashing of a viscious, voracious swarm- hundreds of rats pouring over each other in an attempt to devour the humans who had disturbed them. Only some quick thinking and an exploding boiler deterred the swarm enough to let them escape. The rats retreated, leaving the question of from whence they had came?
Dissecting the brain of a dead rat gave Joe a start- the rats had grown what appeared to be human-like frontal cortexes, rendering them capable of problem solving, critical thinking, and rudimentary abstract thought. A quick consultation with Rusty revealed that a pharmacuticals company, Chimera Corp., had experienced a scandal barely a year previous regarding their controversial human-animal gene splicing experiments...some of which had apparently occured in the now-abandoned clinic across the street.
The boys entered the clinic ready to exterminate whatever rodents they found therein- but they were unprepared for the discovery of the labratory underneath the visible levels of the building. They pieced together the escape of experimental rats, and even discovered a dumping ground for failed experiments in an old sewer chamber- experiments that seemed to include human/rat hybrids the size of a human child. Laying a series of devestating traps, they lured the remaining swarm into the open, and collapsed the floor of the building on them, ending their theat to the city forever.
Of course, Chimera Corp. is one of the largest pharmacutical conglomerates in the country, with offices and research labs in a dozen cities and states...
Coming Soon: "Storm Surge"