Prologue

The room was dark. Only the panting of someone broke through the silence. They sounded as if they were running a marathon but no pattering of footsteps joined the staggering breaths. The panting was riddled with gasps and cries, but none of them with audible words in them. They were the gasps and cries of someone in pain.

"Bitte…" a voice wailed through the panting, pleading with someone that could not be seen. The pants took over, but the cries of pain succeeded. "Helfen mir."

A gasp escaped the victim's lips as the lights suddenly flickered into life. A buzz hummed around the lab, the neon strips flickering and guttering above the figure sprawled across the floor. His white coat was drenched in a thick red liquid, a red liquid that didn't come from the masses of test tubes surrounding him and the shelves around him, a red liquid that came from his very being.

"Was heissen Sie?" the voice leaked from the scientist's parched lips as he struggled for breath. "Wer sind Sie?" Polite up to the very last moment. The figure in the scientist's hazy vision smiled with no intention of answering the questions. To give away your identity even to one that would never utter the name again was amateur.

The German scientist blinked rapidly to try and restore the focus to his vision. Not like this, he begged mentally fighting the urge to black out. The pain spreading through him was a hot one, one full of broken shards of glass. But he knew that it wasn't the shards of glass embedded in his body that was causing him pain, it was the substance that the glass test tube had once held.

The figure in the doorway came closer, his or her frame hidden by the androgynous cloak covering their body. "Wer bin ich?" the voice taunted and laughed harshly. "Ich bin deines Tod."

His eyes widened as he tried to understand it. This figure, his death, was taking a knife out of the deep pockets of the unshapely cloak. But he could recognise the smell of the aqueous solution that dripped off of the shards of glass into his bloodstream. One drop would have been enough to poison him, slowly killing him and yet the figure was holding the knife up to the neon lights. Too many lights, his brain complained as his head spun with trying to understand.

Then the lights were blocked out by the figure hovering right over him, the knife held in a gloved hand. The face was shadowed by the heavy hood of the cloak and silhouetted against the lights. Who are you? he thought, but the figure had not answered his question before, why would he or she do so now?

"Jetzt," the figure brandished the knife just above his face and he couldn't tear his eyes from it. "Niemand könnte deines Schrei hören."

No one can hear your scream.

The knife plunged down, cutting his scream in two.