Mutation: Parables From The Apocalypse - Dystopian Fiction (3 page)

BOOK: Mutation: Parables From The Apocalypse - Dystopian Fiction
3.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Stealth Mission

Chaz continued pacing around in front of Alex’s window. He’d look through the glass, squinting to see the monitors flashing numbers on Alex’s vitals. The numbers never changed. Alex continued unchanged. Chaz continued pacing back and forth down the hall, always stopping to check on Alex. Everytime he moved down the hall he went a little further. Eventually, he was wandering all the way back to where the researchers could be seen through their windows in their labs. Nothing much seemed to change in there. Sure, there was more motion going on inside, but it was just lab geeks going through the motions. The first few times wandering past, Chaz barely noticed them. He just needed to stretch his legs out a little. As long as Alex looked good on his return loop, Chaz kept pushing further down the hall.


The first few times, the researchers in the lab noticed him, and motioned to each other pointing at Chaz. The second time past the labs, one of the researchers came out towards Chaz shaking both hands trying to explain to Chaz, that he wasn’t allowed in the area. Chaz just brushed past him them like insignificant peons and continued a little further down the hall. The next couple of times past, more researchers came out to dissuade Chaz from the area, but met with the same results. It was like they weren’t even there. Deep in his thoughts, Chaz never spoke or made eye contact with the researchers.


Eventually, the researches gave up, and paid no heed to the pacing inattentive soldier wandering their halls. After an hour or so of this, Chaz just kept walking, and never returned to Alex’s room. The researchers now deep in their work, considered Chaz nothing but white noise, and none of them even noticed he had stopped walking by their labs.


Chaz made his way down a different set of halls past the elevators that had brought both himself and Dr. Montgomery down to this level. Traffic around the elevator was light and steady. It was mostly a stream of researchers coming and going, with the occasional soldier coming down and heading off down a hallway marked administration. None of them seemed interested in the research labs.


While Chaz casually wandered the halls, he listen to the conversations going on around him.
Given some of the looks he got from the soldiers and researchers, it was obvious he stood out as someone new. New, but not enough of a worry to be concerned with. In spite of the ever present threat outside the walls of their facility, those on the inside seemed relaxed enough. No one on the inside was considered a threat. For Chaz, this created the perfect environment for a simple reconnaissance mission. While no one may be willing to tell the new guy much, a lot that can be learned from just observing and listening.


Three researchers dressed in lab coats came towards the elevators from the same labs near Alex’s room. Chaz recognized the one in the middle as the first one that had tried to stop him from wandering the halls. He looked up briefly at Chaz, but then looked quickly away as Chaz made eye contact. The three of them were talking about lab results from a subject they were studying. Given the excited tone of their conversation and what they were saying, Chaz had to assume the subject was Christa.


“I’ve never seen numbers like this before. I assumed there had to be some kind of mistake, and sent the specimens back to have the test repeated,” the one closest to Chaz commented.

The one in the middle answered, “I’d wager the tests are correct. I came to the same conclusion earlier today, and requested additional test runs. They came back identical. She’s one in a million.”

“I can’t believe she just walked through our front door like that.”

“She didn’t exactly walk through from what I understand.” The middle one added. “They had quite a battle outside the walls, and apparently she took down a tank single handed.”

“Really? Are you sure about that?”

“Not precisely. I just overheard some of the soldiers talking. They wouldn’t answer any of my questions about the specifics.”

“Typical jar heads!”


Nothing too much Chaz didn’t already know. The chatter about test results made an argument for Christa being more than just another little kid. Chaz could have told them that. Whether or not she’s was the planets savior was yet to be determined. Chaz was still waiting for that jury to come in.


The soldier returning from the administration wing didn’t look too happy. Chaz walked slowly towards him as the soldier spoke into the headset he was wearing. He was trying to explain to his commanding officer why he was unable to speak with Dr. Montgomery. As Chaz approached, the soldier stopped talking, and Chaz could hear the yelling in his ear piece.


“I don’t give a damn what that fool said! We're not going to have another incident like the last time. That one we had to fight like crazy to get, and this one fell right into our lap. You tell Montgomery that she will give you the reports I asked for, or I’ll come down there with a damn commando team, and take them by force.”


The soldier was already turning back to where he had come from by the time Chaz got to him. The soldier barely noticed Chaz. He tried to speak into his headset, but that just prompted another tirade of yelling into his ear piece. By now the soldier was moving double time down the hall, and Chaz couldn’t make out the orders, but he could have guessed what they were.


That didn’t sound good. I don’t suppose I should assume that everything that happens around here is centered on Christa. They had their hands full long before we showed up, but that conversation was too concerning to just ignore. I can’t just sit around here waiting for Alex to get better. He’ll do that whether I baby sit outside his window or not. Chaz watched the soldier disappear down the administration hallway. I haven’t been down there yet, he thought. I would bet there’s a few good reasons for me to do some research on my own.


As Chaz made took the first right, he could see the soldier he had just eavesdropped on standing in the doorway to an office. As Chaz got closer, he clearly made out the raised voice of Dr. Montgomery. The soldier was giving it right back to her though this time. He had no intention of leaving until he got the reports he wanted. Apparently, he had a lot more to fear from his commander then Dr. Montgomery. Chaz walked quicker as he passed the back of the soldier in the doorway. They were both too involved in their verbal debate to notice him slipping by.


Chaz passed a number of deserted offices, before he come to another elevator at the end of the darkened hallway.
This must be the private one that led down to the government levels
Chaz thought. Judging by the amount of dust on the panel,
I don’t think it gets much use from this floor. Might be time to change that


There were equally dusty boxes and crates stacked up in front of the elevator, blocking his path. Chaz began pushing them aside to make a path through. Most were full of lab equipment and old computers, but a few particularly heavy ones were loaded with old paper files. One file box labeled “Alpha Trials” caught Chaz’s attention.
Could this be referring to patient zero
, he wondered. Looking around first to see if anyone had noticed him rummaging through the boxes, Chaz knelt and opened the box.


Mainly it contained a lot of lab results with blood results and DNA sequencing information, that made little sense to Chaz. Flipping through, he finally came up with some handwritten notes. They were signed by Dr. Judith Montgomery almost fifteen years ago. He skimmed through the notes, but a few phrases caught his eye.


“The patient seems relatively unremarkable at first glance. Nothing more than a typical fourteen year old girl progressing along at normal developmental stages. But, upon further observation, she has demonstrated a number of remarkable skills. The least of which being the ability to sleep but still remain fully aware of what is happening around her. Several times, she’s repeated back entire conversations by researchers that took place while she was being monitored in deep REM sleep cycles. Nothing in the standard brain scans during her sleep suggested extra activity. More testing will be required.”


Chaz flipped through a few more pages of notes. From what he could understand of the notes, it appeared that a section of her brain, the anterior hypothalamus was far more active than normal during sleep. Chaz found another section of notes that struck a chord.


“For the first time, we now have other captive infected subjects in the lab. Normal protocol requires that subjects be kept separate from each other, but the technicians noticed a strange behavior when transporting the latest subject in. The subject was initially very agitated, but became instantly sedate when he was transported past the lab containing patient zero. This prompted secondary testing, and when another violent subject was released into the lab with patient zero, they too became suddenly sedate. Left alone for a period of time, the two of them developed a dominant-submissive relationship. Patient zero was able to control the other at will, even without speaking. When she was bored, she often resorted to manipulating the other subjects like puppets on a string. Even causing them to harm themselves by punching themselves, and banging their heads against the walls. After extended periods of time, the other patients would eventually slip into a catatonic site shortly before expiring.”


Chaz wondered,
if that ability was anything like the sway Christa seem to have over some of the freaks they’d encountered. She’d never actually deliberately controlled any that he noticed. But as he thought about it, she was the one in charge on the bus. All the other kids seemed to acknowledge her authority. They weren’t freaks though. At least not all of them. The ones that caused the explosion obviously were, but how many were just little kids? Little kids I should have been able to save … too late for that now.


Chaz pushed the rest of the crates aside, and stepped up to the elevator. He pressed the down button, but nothing happened. No beeps, and no lights of the levels numbered above the elevators.
Maybe this levels controls were disconnected. Gonna have to do this the old fashioned way.
Chaz tried forcing the elevator doors opened. He was only able to wedge them open a few inches, before the locking mechanism increased pressure and snapped the doors shut again. Chaz tried a few more times, but he wasn’t strong enough to keep the doors open. The locks kept kicking in and slamming the doors shut. These aren’t your normal elevator doors, someone really doesn’t want me in here.


Chaz turned back to some of the old crates, and found one with old computer parts. He lined up one of the smaller sturdy components centered in front of the doors. This time, when he pried open the doors, he slipped the component into the door opening. The locks kicked in again, and slammed the doors. The old component buckled, but held. Chaz retrieved a few more of the stronger looking components, and repeated the process. Eventually, he had a gap big enough to squeeze through. The little bit of light from the hallway barely shone through the gap he had opened. He could see the elevator cable, but there didn't appear to be maintenance steps to climb down. He couldn’t even see more than a few feet up or down the shaft. He had no way of telling where the elevator car was. He rummaged through the crates, and found a glass beaker. Reaching into the shaft, he through the beaker up as far as he could. It made no sound before gravity took hold and brought it back down just past Chaz’s position where he heard it shatter. The elevator must be just on the next level down he thought.


Chaz found a bag of tools and a lighter in the crates. These elevators are more secure than most.
Here’s to hoping I can get into that lower elevator. I’m not assuming there's something as simple as an access panel I can just pop open like in the movies. At least I’m going down and don’t have to climb up that elevator cable.


Chaz heard a door slam shut. Remembering where he was, and where he likely wasn’t supposed to be, Chaz ducked down behind one of the larger crates. He cautiously leaned to the side, and barely made out the soldier down the hall outside Dr. Montgomery's now closed door. The soldier attempted to open the locked door. Banging on the door, Chaz could hear him shouting.

“The General will not be happy about this! He needs to know what's going on with the new subject. If I return without the reports, he’ll have me shot. C’mon doctor, you need to give me something. Anything.” The soldier pounded on the door several more times. “I’m not leaving until you give me something. I can do this all day doctor.” He pounded on the door again.

The door opened, and Dr. Montgomery stepped into the doorway, as the soldier backed up a step.

“Look I already told you, and I already told the General, it was an accident. There will be no official report. We were simply transporting the new subject to her permanent quarters, when she lost control. No one knew what was going to happen. We’ve never had two first-mutators in close proximity before, so there was no precedent to suspect anything would happen. The researchers were simply unprepared for her reaction.”

BOOK: Mutation: Parables From The Apocalypse - Dystopian Fiction
3.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Damoren by Seth Skorkowsky
The Stepson by Martin Armstrong
The Rebel Wife by Polites, Taylor M
Blood Brothers by Barbara Sheridan, Anne Cain
The Last World by Bialois, CP
Mine by Brett Battles
Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss
Voices of Silence by Vivien Noakes
Wit's End by Karen Joy Fowler