“Is there any place in particular that you’d prefer that I live? Preferably somewhere warm… And where I can easily own firearms. If there really are hostile ‘entities’ out there that wanna kill or abduct me. I need to be able to defend myself. Aside from that, I’ve just always wanted to learn how to shoot, but generally, it’s really fucking expensive.”
As I let out a yawn, Michael finally came down the stairs with the big red mug of iced tea. I had two of those specific mugs, while there was also a much skinnier black mug that I also used. However, considering that I had two bodies, that thirty-four ounce one wouldn’t be able to last very long.
On top of the mug’s lid, was a stack of five chocolate chip cookies. The generic store-brand kind that comes in a large resealable ‘box’. Without much thought, I reached out and took one immediately after he put down the mug on that ceramic plate. They tasted… A lot better than I expected. I was always kinda-allergic to chocolate, at least in my original body. But Ana was different. She didn’t get sick, even after eating four of them. Michael ate the last one, which wasn’t enough to make him feel bad.
[∞: There is an island approximately 500 kilometers to the East of Jacksonville Florida.]
That sounded really fucking weird, so I looked it up on Earth Maps and found… Nothing. There was no island there, not even on the satellite map.
[∞: We have obscured it from most records. It is relatively small. Several hundred years ago, it was used as a base for pirates. Eventually, the United States Navy held domain over the island and used it as a naval base. We purchased it from them several decades ago.]
“And uh, how in the fucking fuck am I supposed to get there? Kayak? Haha~! Seriously though, I don’t own a boat, or a small plane. Also, I doubt you want me hiring someone to take me to your secret base, right?” I snickered, shaking my head and then drinking some iced tea. Unfortunately, it tasted terrible immediately after eating chocolate chip cookies.
[∞: Transportation will be covered by us. A small, automated ship will be waiting in the Inner Harbor. Simply bring your personal belongings there and board the vessel. It is programmed to take you here… One of our main headquarters in the Americas. This was where Anael was created and matured, though she was never conscious for all that time. We can offer you a waterfront property, 1 acre in total land behind the house.]
At that moment, I received an email. When I opened it, there were three different beach houses. Most of the ‘property’ was practically a jungle, and seemed completely undeveloped. But I did notice that their definition of small, was definitely strange. The whole island was fucking huge. It was kinda narrow, but almost fifty miles across. On the satellite map that they showed me, it looked bigger than Bermuda. A place that had over sixty thousand people living there.
Of course, it was obvious that this mysterious island wasn’t very populated. At least on the surface… Sketchy secret organizations always like to have huge underground bases, right? At that point I wouldn’t have been surprised if the island itself was actually a giant spaceship, like in one of my stories. I literally had that exact thing happen in a few of them.
“Does the island have a shopping center or will I need to grow my own food and make toilet paper out of leaves?”
[∞: Puerta De La Muerte is a fully self-sufficient city-state. However, many items are imported. For example, if you ordered something online, it would be shipped to an address near Jacksonville and then transported via ship or helicopter to the island. Food and other necessities will be delivered directly to your home, but there will be a cost. You will not need to pay for the house or the property. There are no taxes. But various services on the island will not be free. You will not be a prisoner there. If you wish to return to the mainland, it will not be free, yet not unaffordable.]
“Yeah no, I’m not worried about that. In fact, even if this is some kinda elaborate trap, I don’t really care. As long as I won’t be raped and/or tortured for scientific purposes, I’m fine with being a lab rat on your creepy ‘Port of Death’ island. I’m more concerned about the prospect of getting hit by hurricanes regularly…”
[∞: Gateway of Death, not Port of Death. Ironically, while storms do hit the island often, the reefs around the island protect it from storms… However, at that time, those same reefs also caused many ships to be stranded or destroyed over the years. When the tide is high, large ships could pass over some areas of the coral reefs. Thus allowing them to become trapped, when the tide rose. You will not need to worry about that though. The area around the island is a restricted zone. Any vessels that attempt to approach without authorization, will be directed away by force if necessary.]
I smirked, “I’m in. I’ll go to the beautiful Gateway of Death and be your guinea pig. At least I won’t be freezing my ass off in this hellhole. I mean, statistically, I’m more likely to get murdered in Baltimore than die in a shipwreck or hurricane. Also, I’ve always wanted to live on a tropical island…”
To be honest, I could think of thousands of reasons why I should stay the fuck away from the island of doom. I had no idea what kinda shit they’d be testing on that island. Even if I they just accidentally let something escape from their labs, maybe they’d nuke the whole island as a precaution?
But there was a really strong attraction as well. The island itself was right in the path of the Gulf Stream, so it would be warm pretty much all year. But it was also far enough north that it wouldn’t be hellishly hot, like Miami. Not to mention the three ‘free’ houses I could choose from, looked amazing.
They were already fully furnished for the most part. Two stories, so not too big. I might be a neat freak, but I also hate cleaning. Each one was slightly different, terrain-wise, and the houses themselves did look different but… Well, it was all about the same to me.
I learned, long ago, that living directly on the water was extremely dangerous. Fortunately, the houses were all far enough away from the beach, that they were unlikely to be flooded by anything less than a tsunami. The one I picked was on the northern side of the island. There was a mountain range in the middle of the Gateway of Death, so if I was on the eastern or western sides, I would have possibly gotten less sun overall. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I noticed that the houses had solar panels on the roofs… They also had some of those swirly wind turbines along the beach.
In the information that I was given, it said that most of the power on the island was ‘Nuclear’. However, as a precautionary measure, every home was somewhat self-sufficient. Every house had at least two backup generators, in the event of an emergency. It might seem excessive, but like I said: Hurricanes.
Fortunately, all of that shit was included in the ‘free’ test subject package I signed up for, so I didn’t have to pay any outrageous taxes or fees. Along with the email was a contract, that I signed digitally without much hesitation. Basically stating that I would agree to live on the island, even though it technically wasn’t under US jurisdiction or protected by US laws. That of course, also signified that I, along with everyone else on the island, weren’t required to follow US laws either.
It wasn’t some kinda battle royal or death game island though. They did have laws and regulations, such as not murdering other people. I even noticed one statute where I would be allowed to self-defense people to death, in the event that they trespassed on my property. So it was basically how the ‘Founding Fathers’ intended, right? Nobody wants to get murdered in their own home, without the ability to legally defend themselves. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a place like that, a place like Baltimore ever again.
Now to the important thing. The list of shit that I would need to bring with me from my house, since the ‘fully furnished’ one I was moving into, didn’t have them. First of all, computers. I went online and found two different kinds of laptops. They had decent graphics cards, ram and all that nonsense… They were about eight hundred a piece. Yeah, I normally would never buy something that expensive online, but I had a decent amount of ‘easy money’ and not a lot of time to go shopping. I picked next-day shipping, so it would arrive on Friday, with my dildoes and stuff. I would have bought an extra desktop too, but I figured that would’ve been a little overkill.
Next was food and ‘water’. Not literal water, but a bunch of the flavored lemonade and orangeade packets I had stashed in my cabinets. Along with all the canned food in there. I also had these packets of flavored tuna, an unopened box of chocolate chip cookies, some unopened cereal boxes and two containers of a type of orange juice that didn’t need to be refrigerated.
Clothing… Well, all I really used were t-shirts and boxers. Since it was a tropical island, I was planning to just be naked all the time. I still wanted to take my three pairs of blue jeans that still fit me, the various bathing suits I had in there and, umm… Okay, for whatever reason, I still had my ex-girlfriend’s underwear in one of those cubby holes. It was just a few pairs of worn-out panties, but I thought that maybe I would need them? Oh, and I also had some sweatpants and shorts that I figured I’d never use, but took them with me anyway.
There was an office in the house I picked that already had two computer desks set up, with decent looking chairs as well. Probably because they expected one of their normal Experiments to live there together. So I didn’t need to worry about not having anywhere to put my desktop and laptops.
The more I thought about all the things i needed to do, the more irritated and anxious I became.
“Today is gonna be rough… I just need to get the fuck outta here before my mother starts going on a cleaning rampage.”