Chapter IV – Former Humans
Dr. White and a colleague walked down a corridor, the sound of their footfalls echoed off the walls.
“Skip simulations when you recalibrate the plasma stream, theres a 3.1 variance in T-wave frequency and when you get back to your lab make sure you review the new drivers for the containment field generators” the senior level researcher explains.
“I understand” said White knowingly as he stared down at his data sheet.
“I know that the proton-flux array has been functioning exceptionally but theres a few more parameters you need to familiarize yourself with. I’ll be waiting for your report” said White’s superior as he turned a corner and walked away.
White continued along to a set of doors with an input panel in the wall, he looked into a slot and his retina was scanned for authorization, the doors then slid open. The lab was a large room dominated by a huge arrangement of black metal plating. After he consulted his terminal for a while he activated a command that made the metal plating move apart, revealing an intricate array of sensors with an artifact in the centre, the soul-sphere. The scanning equipment came to life and radiated a dull purple energy and made a pulsating, humming sound. The sphere was blue with swirling white energy that streaked across its surface, occasionally a ghostly face would emerge from the churning orb. It’s something thought to have been left over from the lost civilization on Mars, found in the lower chambers of a stone temple on the surface of the red planet. The awesome power of the scanning array had yet to reveal its ancient purpose, but progress was being made. The scanning radiation shut down and the terminal displayed the results of the scan.
Dr. White sighed as he looked at the perplexing data, he still had no idea how the artifact was made or why and the data he received seemed more convoluted each time he tried a different scanning technique. He had been brought in on the project after several other researchers had the same issues. He uploaded the data to the projects computer files and then wrote and sent his report to Central. They wont be impressed with it but it was thorough enough to save him from any serious hot water. He placed the soul sphere back in its shielded containment and headed back to his lab.
He ran into his colleague once again along his way.
“Any luck with the artifact?” he was asked.
“I don’t think so, I’m going to send a specialist to realign the array again” said White.
“Don’t worry, we’ll crack this one soon enough”
“I haven’t run out of ideas yet, sir” said White.
“Good man, I’ll talk to you again after the next cycle”
They parted ways and White returned to his lab. His lab was quiet, he walked over to the containment cell. He touched a panel and examined a readout of the cells energy field emitters, he made a minute adjustment to the emitters and then opened another program. The former humans shook their heads wildly as they fought against their bonds.
“Mortal”! They cried at him, despite the nature of one-way mirrored glass. White did his best to ignore their taunts.
“I smell fear…” they said in a hollow tone, their pupils were pure red and as large as could be.
The doctor guided a mechanical arm that was fitted with several sterilized syringes. He extracted blood samples from each of the subjects, their constant thrashing always made the process more messy than necessary. He carefully guided the syringes into their arms and extracted the sample.
“You die” they said, thrashing in increasing intensity, fiercely they tore at the straitjackets, the metal arms holding them in place rocked harmlessly. Dr. White enjoyed a quiet laugh at their expense.
The Doctor activated a taser in the metal arms holding the former humans, he tried to get them under control but only served to further agitate them. The straitjackets tore loose one at a time in great rips, they then grabbed the mechanical arms attached to collars around their necks. “Die!” it roared, as it tore the mechanical arm from its fixture.
The enraged former humans were soon both free and beating on the window with their fists, screaming and drooling. They balled their fists, lifted their heads and roared defiantly. Dr. White was still chuckling at them while he regarded a data sheet, he stopped laughing when he saw the green dancing energy inside the cell. He hit a near-by emergency button.
“Emergency, containment field failure” said the station computer as a green flash shot out, blinding the researcher.
He stumbled backward, shielding his eyes with his arm as large-jawed demons appeared inside the cell. They paced the cell briefly, then more monsters teleported into the cramped room. The force of rapidly opening portals tore the demons to dripping, bloody pieces, splattering the walls and briefly sloshed against the hydrophobic glass. Chaos soon ensued within the cell, new portals opening each second and spewed blood and limbs soup. The chaos grew and the structure began to fail. The glow of rapidly appearing portals and blood surged in rising intensity, the structure began to resemble an inflating balloon. Just before it reached its breaking point, a Hell Baron appeared inside and caused the failing structure to burst violently. Dr. White was shielded inside a reinforced capsule when the cell exploded sending metal and body parts flying into the lab.The portals continued to open sporadically as the baron and imps attacked the capsule.
In the hallway beyond, a team of space-marines were running to the laboratory. They stopped at the secured doors and the squad leader tapped a near-by security panel, he punched in a couple quick commands to begin sterilization procedures.
“Procedure initiated… Conditional alarm, sterilization reservoir is currently twenty five percent below required level for full cycle” came the voice of the station computer. A holo-terminal displayed the interior of the lab, the aliens roared frantically as they sank into the acid that was being flooded into the room. More portals continued to open, while many Cacodemons and lost souls floated in the air safe from the pools of acid. The squad leader activated a pair of turrets in the lab, they sprang to life and began firing at the airborne monsters. He waited until the turrets began taking damage and ordered his men to take aim at the laboratory’s doors. He opened the doors.
“Fire!” he cried and the marines sprayed the doorway with glowing plasma, the Cacodemons were focused on the turrets and were taken by surprise and fell to the ground with half of its bloated body burned off, others had holes burned right through them. The Lost Souls and Cacodemon began amassing in front of the small doorway. The squad leader’s BFG 9000 was already charging when he ordered the team to hold fire, half a second after they stopped the BFG round traveled straight through the door and exploded against the mob of demons.
“Roll!” he ordered, and barrels of explosive chemicals were rolled down the hall, the leader held the doors open as they rolled through. “Flood team! Go!” he called. A group of workers in environment suits stormed into the lab and began flooding the area with DESO-radiation.