The man sat in the twin bed in a one window room. There was another twin bed about three feet to his right, empty. He propped a pillow behind him and gently set his head against the wall. The soft pillow supporting the back of his neck. His thoughts were racing out of control and he began to have slight hallucinations centering around his sense of taste and smell. As time went on they began to progress until the familiar paralyzing paranoia had taken him over. The same fear that brought him into this place. A tiny camera in the ceiling above the man zoomed in on his stone face. He knew it was there. The camera wasn't hidden all that well. A very tiny transparent bubble was hiding the spying eye. Not a big bubble like you would see in a department store that was located in a small town but a smaller more streamlined and harder to detect bubble.
In the outer hallway a very large man with glasses sat in a chair. He had the man on his video screen. He looked over to his left and a small printer began to vomit out a few lines of print. The man took the paper from the device and looked what it said. He immediately skipped to the bottom and saw the word he was looking for. Quickly grabbing a pen from his front pocket he signed off on the paper and put it safely in a manila folder. That folder was then placed in a plastic sheet with three holes. That sheet was then placed in a large spiral notebook and secured in a three ring binder. That was then placed in a drawer of a file cabinet and shut. The man looked at the video screen again and moved his finger to a red button on his desk. He flipped off the safety switch cover and then pushed.
The man in the hospital bed still looked off into space. He was unaware that above him a small panel slid open in the ceiling. After the panel was completely open a transparent jelly like liquid began to slide from the opening down the wall. As the light reflected from the substance a few colors could be seen and a strange layer of what looked like an intricate nervous system was visible through the plastic wrap-like skin. More of the goo began to pour out of the panel until a larger portion slipped through the hole, almost like a head of sorts.
At this point the man thought he heard a sound of something moving toward him. He thought he felt a cold fluid begin to drip onto his hair. It was a slow drip until the substance began to make a pyramid pile on the top of his head. As it grew higher and higher some of the fluid began to fall onto his neck and eventually trickle down both of his arms. Was this real he thought? What if it is and I don't move what will happen? What if it isn't and I jump out of bed and run to the nurses?
A small sinister voice chimed, "You know what will happen. You'll never get out of here and they'll up the dosage. After a while of that you won't even be able to remember your name."
The man stayed where he was and anguish filled his face. All he wanted to do was jump out of bed and run to someone to help him. All he wanted to do was tell them what he saw. For whatever reason he couldn't. He laid there. At this point he began to see again, really see. He wasn't blind but there were things for whatever reason people couldn't see or didn't want to see. Oh, the horrors he thought. He could now see the gel substance engulf his arms, neck and head. He could see the multicolored nervous system running through the gel. He watched as a few synapses from the veins poked through the clear skin that contained them. They would flash in the air briefly and then dive back into the goo. A slight burning sensation began to cover his arms, neck, and head. That's when he felt the small pinch at the base of his neck.
The larger portion of the thing was stuck to the wall above the mans head. The gel like goo had encased his head and upper body but left his face alone. Out of the sides of the chunk two tendrils extended and moved carefully over his head. They formed a small point at the end. It was with this point that this thing cut open the top of the mans scalp. After the cutting was done the right tendril lifted the part of the mans skull to the bigger chunk on the wall. The tendril pushed the skull piece into the center of it. Inside the chunk the skull piece spun around and slowly broke apart until it merged with the thing. The large chunk undulated and began to extend itself toward the man's exposed brain.
The man's face tensed up and his eyes began to dart around. He could see the places where the goo had covered his arms. The flesh began to fall away and pieces of bone could be seen. He heard strange sounds and a slight pinch that centered from what seemed like inside his head. It was at this point the events that brought him hear flashed into his head. It wasn't a hallucination or the early stages of Schizophrenia. His eyes glassed over and a single tear escaped from the tear duct. The tear slowly meandered down his face. It paused and changed direction when hitting some stubble. For as slowly as the tear made it's journey to the man's chin, it never wavered. The tear almost joyfully rolled over the man's skin fearless of the huge drop off that was it's inevitable fate. With the passion of a lemming the tear paused once on the man's chin then fell off into nothingness.
"I was right," he gurgled, "I was right."
In the outer hallway a bald man wearing a white lab coat, a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a brown and orange Hawaiian shirt paused outside the doorway. He peered in and watched as the Amoeba slowly devoured the man. He reached to the small device on his ear and held a hand to it. Seeing enough of his friend being eaten alive he slowly shut the door. Leaning against the wall and slightly raising his color he spoke softly.
"This is recon 1. Are you there?"
Silence filled his ears then a familiar voice replied, "We're here. Did you find him?"
"Ya, but there's a problem." he whispered
"what's wrong?" asked the voice. Now growing a bit more serious and somewhat worried.
"I couldn't find him in time. They used..." he paused trying to collect himself, "they sicked an amoeba on him. There's not much left at this point and in another hour or so nothing is gonna be left of him."
"What about the tape? asked the voice," is there a chance you can still salvage the tape?"
The man paused then whispered, "Not a chance. Even if I could kill the amoeba by now it's probably dissolved the tape. From what I can see it went straight to the brain this time. WTF, it's like they're getting smarter."
"Okay. No sense in losing you as well. Get out of there and head to the extraction point."
"What about him?"
There was a slight pause then the voice spoke, "there's nothing we can do. The tape is gone. There's nothing he has that will connect them to us. Just, just get out of there. The usual team will be waiting to bring you back."
"Yes, sir." the man replied.
"Remember, if you are compromised in anyway you cannot go to the extraction point. You know what you have to do. Good luck, see you soon."
The man lowered his hand and removed the device from his ear. He placed it in the front pocket of the lab coat. He looked around and slowly walked down the hallway. As he walked he glanced at a few passing robots. He marveled at how lifelike they have become. The sim program is becoming so intricate now he wonders if we will continue to send people up anymore. No wonder when they get awakened most people simply go bat shiit, he thought. One big f'ing sensory overload. If they don't end up in one of these death traps then most simply, lose their minds. What can we do? Eventually, we'll all die out down there if we already haven't.
The man smiled again as another robot passed him. He waved to the nurses station and a tiny buzz sounded. The door to the psych ward opened and he walked out. He kept the facade up until he finally left the building. He grabbed the phone out of the coat pocket then quickly took the thing off and tossed it in the garbage. He checked his holster and glanced around one last time. Then proceeded to head for the bus station across town.
Very far away from the events that transpired a very old computer screen was powered down. The man operating the screen had left it on for far too long and some of the text had burned in. He took off his glasses and rubbed his brown eyes. He grabbed the papers that sat in front of him and left the room. Before he closed the door he turned off the light and the room fell dark. You could still see the letters that burned in on the computers screen. They seemed to glow a faded green in the darkness. The words could still be read.
Assimilation lot number 6534326-a
Subject Johnny Walker deceased
Information from tape implant destroyed
Reclamation of surface project number 26 failed
Total time before extinction an estimate of 2 years
Number of eligible covert subjects remaining that can be awakened 1
Time to intermix new viable covert subjects 30 years
Chance of survival-calculating now...
I'm sorry but at this time with the parameters made available and the nature of the remaining subject yet to be awakened, survival; at this point is slim to none and the rate of extinction an unbelievable 99.99999999999999999999999% The measures of God are often misunderstood as the Devil's approval. Have a nice day.
A group of 12 men sat around a large table. Various papers, pda's, and charts littered the mahogany top. They looked exhausted.
"Okay," spoke one of the men. His voice speckled with irritation and disgust. "The last attempt at bringing back one of our people met with disaster. We were close but we missed something. Apparently the subject survived the initial shock of waking up but his mind turned to mush after he saw what was around him. We were too slow in finding him and he ended up in one of their hospitals. The recording device was destroyed by one of their pets and as a result we have no data from the subjects in brain tape. Apparently they have become aware of the tape implanted in the Occipital Lobe. Luckily they didn't think to track us but still nothing could be recovered. Out of the 26 subjects we have awakened that could pass through the detection all 26 have failed. In order to prepare more subjects we need time. Unfortunately, time is something we don't have. It will take 30 years to establish new subjects that can avoid detection and grow to a mature point that they can even survive being woken up. Let alone safely return to us without detection. The estimation done by the extinction tables gives us around 2 maybe 5 years. As you can see by these very concrete numbers project observation was a total failure-"
"Wait," interrupted one of the other men. "I thought we conditioned 27 candidates? You mentioned only 26?"
The other men nodded and turned their eyes to the original speaker. "subject 27 is not a viable option. His mental capacities have dwindled to a point of idiocy as a result of a spat of heavy alcohol and drug abuse. It seems he woke up on his own prematurely and spent three years abusing chemicals. Ironically, it was this abuse that kept his mind from imploding. I think he thought the things he saw were a result of the chemicals. So the subject simply didn't pay attention. Then one day he simply went back to sleep and the program corrected itself and that was that.-"
"How the hell did he not get picked up by the F machine?"
"That is rather mind boggling as well. I guess if we bring him back we can watch the tape. See, this is why I don't like this option. He is too much of a loose cannon. We have no way in knowing how he is going to react-"
"Correct me if I'm wrong but he is still a functioning adult and physically capable of carrying out the job. Is he not?"
"uh, yes well. He may be capable but the chance of success is almost unmeasurable. It should also be noted that after his brain went into hibernation he was found. For whatever reason, an anomaly perhaps they didn't kill him. They put on a fluid mask and left him be. In my professional opinion we'd have a better chance with the emp pulse."
"The EMP pulse is not a viable option. It never was. You know damn well that the ozone is gonna get stripped away and wont come back for almost 200 years. That's being generous. There is know way we can survive that long."
"We could use the cryo chambers and wait it out."
"I'd much rather attempt another go with the last subject. If he fails then we will have no option. However, before we damn the planet for another hundred years I think we should at least try the alternative option."
The man who mentioned the emp plan sat down in disgust. He looked around and watched the others nod in agreement. "Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you. "
The group mind.
"We can always send Ashley to do the recon and return protocol?"
The men nodded.
"Alright, I want Ashely briefed on the subject and sent up for retrieval in 2 days. What is subject 27's name anyway?"
"Very well gentlemen lets wake him up."
Ashley sat in the locker room and checked the last of her equipment. Satisfied with her stock she pulled together the duffel bag and zipped it closed. She moved to her chest area and buttoned up the last few buttons on her black jumpsuit. She reached back into the locker and took two red strings and tied them just above her elbow. The strings formed a knot and two ends dangled in the air. She flicked one end with her finger and watched as it swayed back and forth then ultimately went motionless again. Ashley grabbed her helmet and headed out of the locker room. She followed the yellow lines on the floor and paused as a large metal door blocked her path. She shifted the weight of the duffel bag a a bit to make it easier to carry. The door in front of her slowly began to slide open. Once she had enough room she went through the opening and entered the hanger.
As Ashley walked to her ship she received various cat calls from some of the mechanics. She was used to it and walked by without as so much as a blink. As she neared the ship Ashley tossed the duffel bag in the back compartment and jumped in the cockpit. She flipped on a switch on the front panel. Lights and a radar screen flashed in view. Ashley reached to her side and took the helmet that was there. She gave it a quick inspection. It was a black helmet with an opening near the eyes. On the back there were ten skull and crossbones symbols. Ashley spit on the front of the helmet and rubbed it with her arm. Satisfied with what she saw she placed the helmet over her head. Being careful not to get her long wavy auburn hair stuck she slid the helmet over her hair. It engulfed her hair and gave her an appearance of a rather masculine figure. One of the grease monkeys walked over to a station near the ship. Ashley gave a thumbs up to the man. The cockpit began to slowly close as the grease monkey entered various parameters in the console. The cockpit sealed and Ashley took a pair of black goggles and placed them over her eyes. They were an extremely reflective and cast a reddish hue over everything. Ashley strapped her safety belts on and grasped the flight stick that was in front of her.
The grease monkey began to hand count for Ashley. The doors to the docking bay opened and engine on the ship began to fire up. The heat signature went from red to orange then finally peaking at blue. Ashley disengaged the safeties and the ship took off with an extreme force. The small pod burst through the docking bay doors and headed through a large tube. It twisted and guided the pod as it raced to it's destination. Ashley sat back and waited. She waited as the tube went through a series of turns and dips until finally it hit a straight run. The speed slowed a bit. Enough so that Ashley could move her hands and fingers. She looked to her right and flipped a few switches and pushed a yellow button with her left hand.
A soft computer voice chimed in. "Exiting tectonic crust in 5 seconds and entering outer membrane."
Ashely grabbed the flight stick and closed her eyes. "I hate this parrrrrrttttttttttttttttttttt!" she screamed as the pod struck a black wall then burst through the rock and minerals into some sort of fluid. At this point the engine shut down. Inside them you could see a small rudder begin to turn. As it gained speed the turbine began to spit back bubbles and propelled the pod forward.
Ashely focused on her task at hand. She had to pilot the pod through the tectonic membrane until she hit the last extrusion junction. It wasn't that hard for a seasoned pilot but the setting wasn't the most wonderful thing to fly through. Inside the membrane various entities swam. They couldn't hurt her as long as she stayed on course but unnerve her, they could.
Ashley watched as giant eyeballs with legs and intestines floated by. A stomach with a set of teeth grazed the hull. It wasn't until one of the barnacles attached itself that she totally lost it.
When the barnacle hit the pod shifted to the right. Immediately it stuck to the glass with a triage of suckers. They pulsated and writhed as they tried to get through the glass. Inside each sucker was a set of sharp teeth. These suction devices were attached to a gelatinous membrane that made up the underbelly of the barnacle. It's top was a hard shell that contained a large eyeball that darted around. Buccilli surrounded the eyeball.
Ashley began to recite bits of a small poem that made her laugh as a child.
"Greasy Grimy Gopher guts
mutilated monkey meat
these are the things we like to eat
Miss susy found a piece of glass
miss susy sat upon it and broke her little
ask me no more question and I'll tell you know more lies
Girls are in the boys room pulling down the
flies are in the kitchen bees are in the park
Girls are kissing the boys in the D-A-R-K
Ashley couldn't take it anymore. She removed the safety from the emp charge and quickly pushed the button. Electricity discharged from the pod and once it hit the barnacle the thing peeled off. A few of the suckers stuck on the cockpit for a moment then slipped into the fluid. Ashley watched as the thing floated through the membrane and jumped on the next thing that floated by.
"Nearing extrusion junction. Warning extrusion junction docking point 100 yards away. Prepare for docking."
Ashley shook her head and focused on her job at hand. She eased the flight stick to the left and looked down at her radar screen. She moved the stick a bit more to the left then back then right until the lock on words flashed across her panel. She relaxed as the computer took over and guided the pod to it's point. Various other creatures floated by. Ashley kept her focus on the extrusion point and did her best to ignore the atrocities that banged off her cockpit. Ashely watched as the pod entered the extrusion tube. Immediately after the pod was inside the doors closed behind her and the fluid drained away. The turbines of the pod switched off and the engines kicked back on.
"Awww, crap" yelled Ashely,"pididaly skallywagins, ponzukerous pontifictors of aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
The pod began shaking violently as it moved on it's course at breakneck speed. Ashely couldn't see anything anymore. That's when she heard the crack. Metallic blast shields on the pods cockpit engaged and Ashley screamed a rolling r.'RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"
It was at that point the pod burst through the dirt crust of the earth and screamed into the dark point of the sky. After flying for about 200yds in the air the pod crashed back down and slid for another 100yds. It dug into the soft earth a little. Grass, rocks, and dirt shot up in all directions until it's momentum gave way to gravity and the pod finally came to a rest.
Ashley opened her eyes and sat there for a few mintues. I hate that part of the jump she thought. Shaking her head once more she took off her goggles and removed her helmet. She shook her head once and her curly auburn hair bounced in all directions then settled back on her shoulders. She pulled her hair back and took a rubberband from her jumpsuit. With one hand holding her hair she tied up her flowous hair in a pony tail. Feeling comfortable Ashley put her goggles back on and hit the decompression switch on the pod.
As the decompression ran through it's cycle the blast shields began to resind and Ashley could see the surrounding area. It was dark and the sun was just starting to rise. "Yes," she screamed like a giddy school girl.
After the blast shields returned to there stationary starting point ashely quickly flipped her escape switch. The cockpit doors lowly began to open. Ashley tapped her finger nervously as the sun began to get higher in the sky. She could see the first bits of light fall across her face. Once the cockpit opened Ashley jumped out. She looked at her wrist watch and with the other hand grabbed a small button on the side. She waited as the sunlight moved across the land. Once a beam of light touched her foot Ashley clicked the button on the watch.
A soft voice spoke,"Initiating Tachion syncronization."
Ashley looked up as the sun rose higher and higher. The light was d:):):):):) all across her body. The sky around her began to turn purlple then fade to a green and yellow. Her vision blurred and the colors began to melt across her vision. She felt a jolt then time seemed to slow down until the sky began to turn back to normal. The colors ran from eachother like a little childs watercolor painting.
"Tachion syncronization complete. Tachion charges active," spoke the soft voice.
Ashley stepped back and let her arms flail a bit at her sides until she caught her balance again. She blinked then walked back to her ship. She grabbed the duffel bag and set in on the ground near her feet. She opened it up and took out the small incendiary unit and a belt from inside. Ashley put the belt on and attached the unit to her side. She took out a small blue tooth phone unit and placed it in her right ear.
"Base command do you read," asked ashley as she spoke into the device,"I reapeat do you read. Base command this is Tango Rover."
"That's a big roger over and out Tango Rover," a man's voice replied,"can we cut the army talk bs."
Ashley paused and smiled, "sure thing."
"Okay good," replied the man,"we've marked the cooridinates on your map. We're not sure of the exact location but that should give you an idea. Depending on how far along the gestation cycle is from the fluid mask may make finding him easier than we thought."
"Shiiiiit," yelled ashley, "you guys didn't tell me he was in gestation. UHHH, I hate that."
"Ash, my reading show you've activated the Tachion pulse," replied the man in a questioning tone.
Ashley smiled as she tossed the duffel bag over her shoulder, "You know how I like to freak out the squares."
"Ya, well you might need those charges this time Ash. Can you try to be somewhat serious about this."
Ashely paused as she noticed some russling over the hills to her north. She reached into the cockpit and flipped a few switches. A soft voice spoke,"Initiating cloaking protocall alpha."
The cockpit immediatley took on an orange hue then dissapeared from view. It was still there but the panels on the outer coating refracted the light and effectively camaflouged the thing from view. Ashley pressed the side of her googles. They began to magnify Ashley's vision so she was able to see for a good 200 yds ahead. She watched as a family of four sat on a plaid blanket having a picnic.
"Speak of the Devil," spoke Ashley. She tossed the duffel bag over her shoulder and tapped her wrist watch once.
"Tachion charge initiating," spoke the soft computer voice, a very distinguishable woman's voice.
"Ash, I just saw a Tachion spike," scolded a man's voice,"your not doing what I think you are. Ash? Are you there?"
The light began to bend around Ashley and she felt as light as a feather. With each step she moved faster until darkness surrounded her. The light could be seen behind her, chasing her. Time held no meaning now. The darkness began to swirl with colors and would join together only to melt in front of her. She saw the robots in front of her. Within what seemed like a blink Ashley grabbed the wallet from the man's pocket. She took the sandwich the little boy was eating and grabbed a handful of dirt and replaced the bologne with grade A soil. Ashley took the little girls jump rope and raised it so to catch the girls feet. Finally, she took the woman's
coke and shook up the bottle then placed the unopened soda back in the lady's hand. Satisfied with the tricks she played on the robots ashley powered down the Tachion charge.
Once the charge was disengaged the darkness and myriad of colors began to get overtaken by the light. Ashley's body distorted as she began to slow down. Finally, the darkness was fully replaced by the light and Ashley's figure blinked in and out of view until she was finally visible. As normalcy was returned Ashley watched from the tree limb above the picnic goers. She watch as the boy spit out his sandwich, the little girl fell flat on her face, and the woman got splattered by tream of soda pop. She sat in the tree for a bit longer. Her thin fingers went through the man's wallet. Some money, a few pictures and a photo id were all that she found. She emptied out the wallet and dropped it in the middle of the plaid blanket. The man looked up and saw a strange figure peering down at him and his family. His eyes began to glow and he pointed to the tree.
Ashley grabbed her incendiary unit and pointed toward the family. She pulled the trigger and watched the stream of blueish flame engulf the robots. "I hate robots!"
Ashley dropped from the tree and left the smoldering pile of nuts and bolts. She tossed her duffel bag over her right shoulder and headed off in the direction of her target. She just hoped she reaches him before the gestation period sets in.
The journey has exhausted Ashley. She's been traveling for 3 weeks and no sign of Brightman. She's escaped detection but things are getting tougher each time. Ed was right about the simulation upgrades. She's been lucky, so far. No Ameoba's. Ahh, the Ameoba's she thought. The perfect watchdog. They can live for long periods without food and squeeze into just about any location. They were bread and genetically engineered to hunt us down. The perfect killing machine. No emotion, no regard, no conscious, nothing; but oh could they kill. Nothing really can stop them except fire. As that thought ended Ashley moved her hand to the incindiary device. This calmed her. She stopped in an alley way and set down the duffel bag. She took out a small tube and a tablet. The tube provided her nutrition in the form of various protiens and vitamins. The tablet, a water pill. With this tiny pill her body could regulate itself for 1 week without replenishment. Of course she added her own pick me up's to the mix. Just enough to give her the edge. AS she quickly tired to finish her rations that's when she heard the noise.
OMG! Her thoughts began to race and a slight panic set in. "Greasie grimy gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat" she whispered as she recoiled back into the meager shadows the alley provided. She grabbed her weapon and waited, hoping; desperately hoping that what she heard wouldn't notice her.
The sound began to get louder. It seemed harmless enough. A series of a few tiny electronic beats like a ring tone permeated the air. Da-dum-da-do-da-dum-da-do followed by a daring do-da-dum-da-da-do. The sound ran through Ashley's bones.
"Greasy Grimy gopher guts, mutitlated monkey meat," she whispered desperately trying to not lose her mind. That's when the F machine rolled into view.
It wasn't a terribly daunting looking machine. It had four wheels similar to a car and a rather modest rectangular frame. Sticking out of each side were two mechanicle arms. At the ends of the arms were large dolls in the form of a man and woman. The man figure was on the right and the woman on the left. They were amazingly appealing. The man had a fairly cut jaw and his arms were at his sides. His chest stuck out and he peered at you with deep blue eyes. A mop of blonde hair was atop it's head. The woman's figure was simularly eye catching. She had dark raven hair. An extremely large chest and amazingly thin hips and a taunt stomach. One hand waved in the air while the other sat on her hips, which swayed in the wind. Behind the figures were a series of tubes, fluid sacks, shears, razors, and various other tools that looked like they belonged in a butcher's shop. Near the back of the rectangular frame was a large tank. It was filled with a read liquid and some bits floated around. If you looked closely you could even see an eye or a few fingers floating around.
The F machine. One of it's most horrible creations. It used a series of computerized noises that stimulates a humans sex drive. Factor in the phermones that it releases and it could cause humans to run to it like a bee to honey. This is how the thing would get you. You run over and think you've just found your dream partner. Unfortunately, those figures were only a disguise. Ashley shivered as it got closer.
In a normal circumstance Ashley would of been dead already. She would of thrown herself onto the dolls and been slowly eviscerated and processed by the F machine. Luckily, a counteractive agent was discovered that allowed the brain to really see. This was the toughest of the creations out there. All she could do was wait and hope the reagent the lab guys made did it's job.
The maniacal pulsing of the F machines cries filled the air. Like a deceptive Siren or patient Venus Fly trap the thing rolled on. Slowly traveling down the vacant roads. Ever searching for it's next victim. The machine slowly rolled past Ashley. It stopped briefly and lampooned the male figure in the direction of the the alley. Then it shook the female figure. Ashley watched in horror as the smiling faces bounced up and down in front of her. They teased her with a carnal lust. Sweat began to flow down her forhead. She could feel the sounds of the F machine tugging at her. Then the cold reality of the steel and other death toys just behind the facade pulled her back to reality.
"Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts, mutilated monkey meat," she whipsered holding her head down hoping the F machine would pass. "Girls are kissing the boys in the D-A-R-K, D-A-R-K,D-A-R-K, D-A-R-K, Dark..."
The last word fell from her lips as the F machine rolled away. It turned it's attention to the next alley. Ashley sat against the cold brick wall and began crying. The tears ran from her eyes all down her face until sobbing set in. After a minute the sobbing slowed and she wiped her tear stained eyes. That's when her friends voice stabbed at her brain.
"Ash, Ash are you there," asked the man's voice through the blue tooth."Can you hear me, Ash?"
Ashley pulled her hair back then replied,"I'm hear. The F machine just passed me."
"Did it see you," he asked
"No, no I don't think so," said Ashley
"okay good," replied the man,"I've got a reading about a mile east of you. It could be our guy."
"Okay, I'll check it out," replied Ashley
"This is bad buisness with the F machine," said the man"I guess the reagent worked after all. Hey listen, when you find him your gonna have to be careful. He wasn't given the reagent. If the F machine finds him I don't like the odds."
Ashley paused then spoke,"that just makes my job harder, now doesn't it."
Ashley put the phone away and headed to the east. Hopefully she finds something. Being out hear this long is getting way too dangerous.
It took Ashley about an hour to navigate her way to the destination. She had to dodge a few robots along with a clump of ameoba's. As she got closer to the sight a smell began to reveal itself. There was no mistaking that smell. Only one thing put off that stench. Ashley moved her hand to her nose but nothing could keep the caustic stench from her nostrils. She stopped and reached into her bag. After a moment she took out a gas mask. Careful to remove her goggles and place them in the bag. Ashley then took the mask and placed it over her face. It took a few minutes for the smell to leave. It was like it almost burned into her scent signature. What an awful scent it was. The only thing to describe it would be akin to an old carpet that was home to a house of cats. A carpent that the cats used as a place to pee. Ages of the urin smell soaked into the old carpet and created a caustic scent that barely made it tolerable to breath. The only thing in the world that could produce this kind of smell was the early parasitical stages of gestation. Ashley coughed once then moved forward.
The fluid mask was what keept John alive as the parasites grew inside him. Getting ready to hatch and devour him whole, then begin their journey back to: it. She followed the fungal growth on the side of the house to a window. It was very difficult to see through the moldy glass. She put her bag down and took out a small gun. It resembled a 9 mm but near the tip of the barrel an extra extension was present. She used the but of the gun to smash the window. As the glass fell back she got a look at her target.
The easiest thing to see was his head. It still had the fluid mask attached. The mask itself had no eye holes. Just a metal casing that completely covered the head and mouth. Inside were a series of tubes and a recirculating unit. These tubes helped recycle bodily fluids and maintain a feeding regime for the host and it's eggs. The eggs were force fed upon the mask being sealed. After that the thing kept the host alive until the sadistic pregancy ran it's term. Over time the subject begins to retain some of the fluid. The substance helps to allow for growth of the eggs and various other oddities that result. Some of these are tendrils that grow over the arms and legs. An enlargement of the stomach and a shell casing on the back developes. Inside various external parasites fixate on the spinal cord to feast on the spinal fluid. Another bi product of the gestation is relief of bodily fluids through the belly button. These fluids can produce a mold that grows around the host. Completely harmless mold but very nasty to look at. It has a celloulous skin that seems to move and a tiny nervous system helps interconnect the fungus. All this did nothing to deter Ashley. She broke the window and carefully entered the house.
Immediatly some of the tendrils lashed at her. She quickly doged them and took aim with her weapon. Without hesitation she pulled the trigger and a bright blue beam of light shot forward and sliced off a tendril. John's body, now as big as a car, shifted and another tendril attacked Ashley. She dove to the ground. Fungus splattered as she hit the floor. With a quick roll she escaped the tendril then fired again. The laser ripped through another tendril. The ones that sprouted from his arms were gone. They still slithered around on the fungi but had no purpose as the last of their muscles died. Brightman's body rolled as the leg tendrils lashed around. They crashed into the walls and ripped plaster from the studs. Ashely quickly shot another one and it fell to the ground. As she fired the other tendril whipped around and struck her hand. The pistol flew out of her hand and landed somwhere in the knee high waste that filled the room. She recoiled her hand in pain. The last tendril reared back and shot forward trying to skewer Ashley. She side stepped the thing and watched as it embedded deap into the wall of the house. It was stuck. Realizing this was her chance she produced a small metallic device that resembled a lighter from her side pocket. With one click a stream of flames shout out and formed a type of blade. She raised it above her head and with two hands came down on the tendril. The flames seared through the flesh and lopped it off. The remaining bit flapped around. Ashley quickly attacked the base and lopped of the last bit. She put the weapon back in her pocket and got on her hands and knees. She searched around through the waste for a few minutes until she found her laser. It was wet but once it dried she would be able to start this stuff off and freeing Brightman.
The shell backing was the hardest piece to cut off. She had to be careful not to injure Brightman but had to cut deep enough into his flesh to get the parasites off. They didn't offer any resistance outside of some squirming. As the shell fell off she quickly severed the tubes that were attached to his spine. The parts that stuck to his skin tried to burrow into his back. She had to be quick to burn them out. If one of them made it to his spine Brightman would die. With surgical precision Ashley burned out the tube like parasites. Satisfied with her work so far she progressed to removing the excess growth around Brightman's appendages. Next up was the mask itself. Ashley fired up the laser and adjusted the setting. The beam shortened up but the heat increased ten fold. She paused for a moment wiping the eyes of the gas mask with her arm. Feeling confident she quickly began cutting. The back piece fell off and revealed the back of Brightman's bald head. The front was still on due to the tubes that had progressed down his throat. She made a few cuts to the sides of the mask then set her laser down. Ashley grabbed and pulled as hard as she could.
She immediately removed the mask from his skin. She could feel it sliding off but she had to start pulling much harder for the tubes. She paused and got a better grip and slowly began hear tug of war with the mask. Ashley began to get more space as the tubes began to slide out of his throat. She stood up and continued to pull. Blood began to run out of Brightman's throat and Ashley muttered,"Greasy grimey gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat,
we like to....
"EAT!" she screamed as the last of the tubing fell out of John's throat. He began to gasp as the last of the blood left his mouth. Ashley quickly went to the duffel bag and grabbed a respirator unit. She secured the device over John's mouth. His eyes rolled back in his head and began flailing about until his breathing began to stabalize.
Ashley slumped back and wiped the eye holes of the mask again. They were fogging up and starting to get smeared. Satisfied with how Brightman was breathing without the mask she produced a very large device similar to a cathetor and slowly plunged it into Brightman's belly button. After a few seconds of pushing she gave a quick pull and yanked the tubing out of his belly button. Fluid began to spurt out at a small pace then obscenely violent a greenish brown liquid began spraying everywhere. It sprayed so violently that ashly got knocked back and fell into the waste. She stood up and ripped off her gas mask. She put a hand to her face and ran to the next room. Vomit exploded from her mouth and she began to cry. Falling to her knees she gave in to her tears. It would be another hour or two before he drained completely.
Hours passed and Ashley returned to the room. What was growing inside John's body was gone. It was layed out, floating, in the waste on the floor below. His body had returned to it's normal human size. However, fat rolls remained from where his skin had been stretched. Ashley cut off the fat pieces and slowly dragged Brightman through the house into the backyard. She began dressing his wounds and that's when John's eyes opened. He began to get uneasy. Ashley put her arms around his head and tried to sooth him until he fell unconscious.
"I've got Brightman," spoke Ashley into her bluetooth piece.
"You've got him!" spoke the man his excitement growing,"is he okay. Is he alive. Is the tape okay?"
"He's fine. It's going to take him a few days to recouperate but ya, he's alive. The tape should be fine." she spoke.
John layed on the operating table and stared up at the group of doctors that stood over him. He was aware of the risks of the operation. It took him a while to accept the finality of the situation. In the end he realized he had no choice really. If he didn't volunteer for the operation they were going to do it anyway. At least this way he could go out with some dignity. It wasn't all bad. They did say he could survive the operation. They just weren't sure how many senses he would retain. John laughed to himself. Sounds like a sugar coated way of saying hey you might become a vegetable. Well, better to do it this way. Peaceful, at least he would remember himself at peace one last time. Hey, it's not a total lock. He might pull through. Hmm, I guess I made a choice after all he thought.
John nodded as the mask was placed over his face. He began to think what the world would really look like. What he was going to give to generations to come was the ultimate gift. To see a real sunrise. To swim in a real ocean. To give humanity back what belonged to us from our creation. The Earth. John couldn't help but to cry as his vision began to grow blurred.
Behind the refrigerator there was a piece of glass
Miss Susy sat upon it and broke her little
ask me no more questions and I'll tell you no more lies
the girls are in the boys room pulling down there
flies are in the kitchen bees are in the park
girls are kissing the boys in the
---------------------------------50 years later------------------------------------
The elevator began it's ascent. There was a large group of armed gaurds surrounding a man in a wheel chair an old woman and a group of children. They were all wearing protective eye gear except the man in the chair. He stared off into space almost oblivious to those around him. The elevator stopped and the blast doors above the group began to open. All the people with the exception of the old man shielded there faces as the sun beams entered the darkness. The elevator climbed again until it finally stopped on the surface. The gaurds moved forward and the children ran screaming and playing into the field. The old man sat motionless. His eyes were greyish. The old woman put her hand on his shoulder and then began to wheel him forward.
"Can you see it Johnny?" she asked, "It's so beautiful."
He just sat motionless as the woman pushed him forward.
"Can you see it," she asked again. She paused and smiled as she looked up at the true sky. "It's so beautiful."
Oblivious to her words and his surrounding the man just sat in the chair and stared into the distance. Unmoving, unkowing, unaware...