“Okay, Jackson, we are going to increase the flow of the chemical,” Doctor Hart spoke into the speaker.
“Understood, Doctor,” Jackson replied from inside the chamber. It was cold and the chair he was strapped to was far from comfortable. He could feel his heart beating faster in the excitement and fear. “Perhaps do it in a small increment this time, anymore of this stuff and I won’t wake up.”
“I know what I am doing, Jackson, but I will if you are unsure.”
Hart pushed a button once the levels had been set and an inky liquid ran through a tube into Jackson’s neck. He could feel the cold liquid enter his body. His warm blood couldn’t keep the goosebumps from appearing all over his body and his stable mind couldn’t stop the headache that followed. Still, the dark empty chamber that he sat in didn’t have anyone else but him.
Both Hart and Jackson gave it time to set in, but Jackson was fast losing hope in the idea that they would ever see the creature again. Perhaps that time was different, but they were recreating the circumstances perfectly, increasing the dosage of the chemical if it helped. Hart was about to shake his head to conclude the experiment, but then he felt the overwhelming sense that he was being watched and looked up.
Staring down at Jackson was the black snout of the creature, beady eyes above its nose, while the rest of it hung in shadow, hidden from Jackson. Perhaps it was there the whole time, but Jackson doubted it.
“Okay, Hart, it’s here and right above me,” Jackson replied with a growing sense of fear.
“Right, okay...uh…” Hart replied trying not to panic. “What can you observe from its behaviour?”
“It appears to be observing me, Hart. Black eyes, black nose, but the rest I can barely see. I don’t think it likes the light...perhaps-”
“We are not turning the light off, Jackson. We haven’t confirmed if it is afraid of the light yet or if it is hostile. You know this.”
“It didn’t attack before, I don’t think it will now. It doesn’t seem to be breathing...at all.”
Doctor Hart pondered this. The creatures have been know to be seen if enough of the chemical entered the body of the observer, but once more, Hart believed it could always be seen as long as it wanted to. These creatures were intelligent.
“No breathing? Do you hear anything? Smell anything?”
“Nothing...oh god...Hart, there isn’t a smell of it at all.”
Hart immediately slammed his fist over the emergency button and two halves of a capsule began to close around Jackson. The creature sensed it and immediately the lights cut. The last thing Hart saw before darkness filled the chamber was the creature fluttering into the capsule before it closed. Jackson began screaming and he didn’t stop.
“Alpha Team, move in, flashlights and and torches readied!” Hart yelled into a seperate microphone.
The doors to the chamber opened and the four soldiers moved in lighting the chamber up with the brightest lights they had in possession. Hart opened the capsule and there was just a writhing mass. It took a moment for Hart to realize the screaming had stopped. There was only the sickening noise of biting and chewing. The lights did the trick and the creature began to smoke and disintegrate, but that didn’t stop the soldiers from speeding the process alone with high intensity light bursts from the rifles.
The creature didn’t make a sound as it broke up into nothing, revealing the scratched and torn body of Jackson in his chair. Hart bit back his anger and sadness. The creatures were smart, but not smart enough to know that the friendly creatures that people could communicate with had a smell. Doctor Hart sighed and ended the recording to return to his office. Alpha team left the chamber, closing the door behind them
The report was filed and sent to to everyone in the facility informing them of the news. The darkness of the night hidden away behind the shutters which protected their existence from the creatures that ruled this world. The news of Jackson’s death didn’t come as a surprise to most. There were divisions of the facility that were closed off because power was cut there. A life of living in the light was a discomforting one, but it was better than being attacked by those creatures.
Hart entered his bright office and sat at the desk, closing his eyes to ease the pain. The chemical that was pumped into Jackson’s body was the cold blood of one of those creatures. If enough of it was stored in the body it made creatures more comfortable, as if there was another creature in the room. However, it didn’t protect a human once the creature saw who it really was. Jackson knew these risks but was still happy to be a focal part of the experiment.
“Doctor Hart?” Betty asked from the door to his office.
“Yes, Doctor Goldberg?” Hart muttered.
“There have been discussion circulating this facility that...haven’t exactly been positive towards our goal,” Betty replied cautiously. “With the loss of Jackson I need to know if these rumors are true.”
“And if they are would you really want to know?” Hart asked standing up. “Or would you want to hang onto the hope that whoever is still alive in this world has a chance to be rid of these creatures or hidden from them?”
Betty was silent and staring at her feet, unable to decide on an answer.
“Goldberg, go back to your lab,” Hart ordered. “These rumors you are hearing belong to the people who have given up. The people who hate us because we are using so many resources in the pursuit of a solution. These people are wanting a faster solution to our troubles, but the only solution like that for them is to put themselves to sleep. It saddens me that these are the people I am trying to save, but in the end, I became a scientist to help people beat these problems. I suggest you use your free thinking to ponder why you became one as well.”
With that he closed the door to his office so that he may be left alone to his work.