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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Where the Sky Shudders

Edits completed by Stephanie Bachman. 

I am the all-seeing eye. Peering into universes aplenty. I look for one thing and one thing only, but my gaze has returned to familiar place. My creators home. Looking into my universe on my home planet I look to where my creator was born. The Rockford Military Research Base. This was the place of many horrors and many were created along with my creators. Peering through the eyes of the scientists I see that the Rockford Research Base has a guest. An esteemed general who no doubt wants to know how the research is going.

     "General Rockford. Good to see you. Follow me," a lead researcher said. General Rockford had this base named after him and I was sure his intentions, much like this base, were questionable. He followed the lead researcher, but the lead researcher was much more than that. Dr. Kyne was a smart man and studied many subjects like applied physics and biology. He was a jack of all trades and with his intelligence, the government was likely to succeed in whatever it applies its collective minds to. Dr. Kyne had also won several awards based on peace and making the world a better place and has received a mighty backlash for working for General Rockford. General Rockford was a warmonger and especially a man of debatable character. He made promises and treaties with other countries to only break the agreement. He was a man who worked for his own best interest and Dr. Kyne was bound to see that sooner or later.
     "I’m prepared to be amazed Dr. Kyne," General Rockford said, "I hope you have had a productive use of the time that was allotted.

     "We did General. Let me show you to the first room," the general and the doctor walked down a narrow well-lit hall. About midway down the doctor stopped at a metal door with a keycard reader. He took out his card that was attached to his belt and swiped it. The red light on the keypad turned green and they both walked into the next room. There was another set of doors directly in front of them and as the first doors closed a mist started spraying the two men in the decompression chamber. When it was done the door in front of them opened and they walked into the next room.

     The room was simple. There was a long wall with glass separating two halves of the room. On their side there were chairs and ottomans and a coffee machine. On the other side, however, there was a bright white room. Within the white room were high ceilings and lit up floor all of which were in a long room. In the middle of the room was two strange metal ovals equidistant from each other attached to a square base. It looked something like a portal and there was another one beside it.
     On the visitors side the doctor pressed a button on the glass wall and said that they can enter the room. Just then two doctors wearing white coats and gas masks went into the room on the opposing side and stood beside the portals. Both of which carried a basket of assorted objects. The doctor then told them to begin. Both men on the other side of the glass pressed a button beside the ovals and a reddish hue appeared in each individual oval like a portal of some sort. Both threw an object through the portal, but nothing came out.

     "So, we have encountered a snag on our first project. The doorways go somewhere, and they were intended to be an entrance and the other an exit. When you put something through one doorway it does not go through the second doorway," the doctor said.

     "Then where do they go?" The General asked.

     "We do not know but they definitely go somewhere."

     "This is hardly a productive use of your time doctor," the General said disappointingly.

     "Sir. If I might add, the portals go somewhere. We just don't know where. Here. Let me send in the next subject." The doctor pressed the button beside him again and told the other to go to phase two. A new man in the same attire walked into the room with a small dog attached to a long leash. The dog was quiet as they entered the room and when it saw the portal it started whimpering. The doctor told them to proceed. The man who just entered the room handed the leash to one of the men in the room and tossed the dog through the portal. The General did not look shocked. He had seen this stuff before. Horrors in opposing countries like starvation and war.
     The leash was still on our side and after a few minutes the man holding the leash began to tug on the leash trying to get the small dog back to them.

     After a while another man began to tug on the leash and the third man chipped in and tried to get the dog back through their side. After a long battle of losing ground and gaining ground whatever was on the other side let go and the three men fell on each other bringing what was left of the dog to their side.

     The dog was not a dog anymore, but it was still living. It looked as if it was consumed by a darkness so foul that it consumed the skin and soul of the dog to leave a black mess of the shape of a dog. The black that surrounded the dog seemed to warp the light around it as if it was sucking in the light like a black hole. The dog still didn't speak but it didn't whimper anymore. The General stood in astonishment and thought what in the Otherside he just saw.

     "What is it?" The General asked.

     "It’s still a dog," the doctor said reluctantly, "but it doesn't eat. It doesn't speak. It’s as if the will to live has been sucked right out of it."

     "Wha… what happened to its fur?" The General was at a loss for words.

     "Whatever is covering the dog now is what it looks like through and through. We have dissected previous animals. It’s some black coagulated goo through the entire body. When looked under a powerful microscope we can determine that the elements that make up the dog is the same element that made the portal."

     "This is the Terium we gave you?"

     "Yes. This Terium seems to corrupt a body leaving no traces but organic Terium throughout the body."

     "Organic Terium? Terium is a metal."

     "Yes. It’s the same structure though. The dog is entirely made out of this black material. If you touch it, it isn't wet. Though it seems sticky like something is keeping the goo from leaking like a membrane of some sort.

     "Interesting," the General said. They stood there for a few minutes watching the dog standing in the middle of the room. "Does it breathe?" The General asked.

     "Not that we can tell, it’s alive but other than moving it shows no sign of intelligence."

     "Have you tried this with humans?" The General asked boldly. The doctor was shocked.

     "No. Until we know what we're dealing with we’re not risking that. You should know…" Dr. Kyne paused and thought for a minute. He was contemplating what he should and should not say, "when we dissected the animals…they didn’t die. In fact, they are still alive," he paused again, "the parts we took off grew back." This was something that was unexplainable to Dr. Kyne. He didn’t understand the properties of Terium but the General did. Terium was a metal of great potential and in some cases, great suffering.

     "Immortality?" The General asked.

     "If this is immortality then I don't want to be a part of it," said Dr. Kyne. The General somewhat agreed. "You should also know. Terium. It does things to people. You will see in a few." Terium poisoning was a thing. Too much contact with Terium could turn even the easygoing of men into monsters. Terium was a monster’s creation and to be used in experiments, unknowingly to Dr. Kyne, made you equal to that monster. The General knew of all of this. He knew that people would be corrupted, he also knew that people would be lost but none of this was mentioned to Dr. Kyne. Dr. Kyne lost valuable researchers with this lack of information and only proved that the General was only using him.
     "Okay. What else do you have for me doctor?" The doctor motioned for them to leave the room. They went back into the decompression chamber and left to go further down the hallway. Soon there was a large metal door in the middle of the hallway with another key card reader. The doctor put his badge through the reader and they went on their way. Immediately on the other side of the door was a large room within this room were several smaller rooms spaced out evenly around the room. The rooms looked with standard walls but there was one-way glass on all sides of every room to enable those who were outside the room to see inside. They passed a few rooms that were separated by small hallways to let the scientists pass through the room with alerting whatever was in the room. The doctor led the General to one room in particular and they peered through the glass.

     This room was fairly large and was a little more like a full house. When they looked through the glass, they could see a kitchen and a living room and even a bathroom. Two people were in this room, a husband and a wife. The husband just left the bathroom wiping his hands on his pants. The wife was in the kitchen cutting up vegetables getting ready to make dinner. The husband then went to the living room and sat on the couch turning on the television and started watching a popular sitcom. The doctor then pointed to the wife and they examined her as she moved from one area of the kitchen to the other.

     "So, using the Terium you gave us we ground up a portion of it and made it, so it could be turned into a vapor. This vapor is very interesting. It makes the one who inhales it to be under a psychotic state. They hallucinate, they see things that they shouldn't be seeing and, in most cases, then not they do things that normally they don't normally do. It never ends well."

     "Can you suggest anything to them? Are they more prone to suggestions like a way of mind control?"

     "No. They have a mind of their own. Well, they have a mind prone to suggestion but not our suggestions. They hallucinate the suggestions."

     "Can you show me?" The General asked.

     "Yes. You should know, whatever happens in a few minutes these two people have been married for twenty years and never fight. What you will see will be jarring," the General nodded and continued to look through the window. There was a key card reader and a little screen next to the one-way glass and the doctor swiped his card and selected the kitchen. The vapor was somewhat invisible but can be seen if you were looking for it. The wife continued to cut her vegetables and then she stopped. The doctor and the General could not hear what she was hallucinating, but I as the all seeing eye could. There was a calendar hanging in the kitchen with several dates marked out and circled on it. The picture that was attached to this calendar was of a cartoon cat no doubly telling others a positive message to get you through the day. However, the message it had to speak was not positive.

     "Martha," it said quietly. Martha, the wife, heard it automatically and she tuned in to its suggestions. "The world is going to end Martha. You and your husband are in a great danger. You must save yourselves by killing yourselves to prevent more suffering." Martha started to tear up.

     "Why would I do that? Why would you say something like that?" She asked.

     "What do you think she is hearing?" The General asked.

     "Well…it’s never good," the doctor responded.

     "Martha," the voice said again, "the world is going to end Martha. You and your husband are in a great danger. You must save yourselves by killing yourselves to prevent more suffering."

     "I. I can’t do that," her voice was cracking.
     "Martha," the voice said a third time. "The world is going to end Martha. You and your husband are in a great danger. You must save yourselves by killing yourselves to prevent more suffering." The calendar was in Martha’s view. She could see its lips moving and knew that the suggestions were coming from Niko the tabby cat.

     "Will our souls be saved?" She said trying to hold back her tears.

     "Yes Martha. All will be saved," the voice said. Martha thought for a minute holding the knife firmly in her hand.

     "Yes. I guess so," she said. She knew what she was doing was wrong, but she couldn’t stop. She walked up behind her husband with knife in hand and the General stood in astonishment. Was she really going to do what he thought she was going to do?

     "I don’t believe it," the General said. With a quick stabbing motion Martha stabbed her husband in the neck. He was surprised as much as the General. He and his wife had a fairly good life together, but it was all coming to an end this very moment. He fell to the floor holding his neck trying to keep the blood in his body, but the damage was done. He was dead. He looked at his wife with such astonishment as his soul left his body.

     Martha looked at her now dead husband crying that she had done such a thing. She tried to fight the tears but inside she knew that this was for the greater good. Her soul was turning. Her soul was being corrupted and she could feel it inside of her. She walked up to the calendar and touched Niko the tabby cat and she asked if she had to kill herself.

     "Yes Martha. It’s for the greater good." 

     "The calendar was talking to her?" The General asked. The doctor shrugged.

     "I guess."

     "Damn. That’s crazy," the General was right this whole situation was crazy, but he was unsure what was crazier. The dog from another dimension or the wife killing her husband through a talking calendar. The doctor humored his thoughts.

     "That won’t be the craziest thing you see today. Let’s get to the meat of this place. There is something that you will not believe."

     "Let’s go. There is no way that’s true," the doctor then laughed to himself and motioned for him to follow him. They went further into the facility and approached another metal door the doctor swiped his card and they were on their way.
     Dr. Kyne walked the General into the next room and within this room were several armed soldiers. As the General passed each man, they motioned with a salute, but the General did not salute back. There was a lot on his mind and knew that this next room was something he expected. No doubt did some scientists get Terium poisoning and Terium poisoning was a horrible affliction. When around too much, Terium it starts to wreak havoc on your entire body. You lose your body hair and lose most of your body weight, but the worst condition wasn’t physical, it was mental. 

     As Dr. Kyne led General Rockford into a familiar portion of the base, rooms turned to cells. There was more security here and for good reason. Guards patrolled the hallways and were stationed periodically to dictate the flow of traffic. Card readers for scientists were now in the hands of high-ranking soldiers along with retinal scanners and keypads. Rockford Military Base was a lot of things. It was a place where great accomplishments were made for the greater good for the military and the country. It was an elite training ground for experienced soldiers looking to hone their skills. It was also a prison for some of the worst criminals in the country who were also willing to be guinea pigs on various experiments that researchers and military were conducting. Sometimes it could be a swift death sentence and many prisoners knew that. The death penalty was illegal in most of the country and it was soon going to change but that didn’t mean you couldn’t die by the government. You just had to be creative and the government allowed many experiments on prisoners and civilians alike. 

     This country was a victim of many government policies that were questionable and now the people had no say in their country. It is a time a place now that public’s opinion no longer mattered, and government conspiracy was rampant. If anything was questionable to the government, you would be thrown into a prison. If you spoke out against the government then you will be thrown into a prison for correction. All of this was made possible by the very element that the scientists were working on in this military base. Terium. In small doses. Terium can control the population into doing what the government wants but not by making suggestion. Terium couldn’t make you control someone by putting thoughts into your head. Terium itself was a cruel mistress and in small doses, it makes you lethargic. Makes you stop caring and that is what happened to the population and through little concentrated clouds released from fighter jets in so called "training exercises" they released the chemicals to control the population. They stopped caring and with one swift move the government put policies to control the population that no longer cared for themselves. A real horror show. 

     General Rockford has worked with many scientists and once they stopped serving him, he would move on to the next set. The position taken by Dr. Kyne had been a position taken by numerous lead researchers, but the story had always remained the same. You are the first and if there is anything you don’t agree with then stop. This wasn’t always the case, sometimes the government would let a scientist go their own way but more times than not, they were silenced. Moved out of the country, moved to a new research base, given a paycheck to continue the work at home but the truth was they were made into the very creatures that Dr. Kyne was going to show him. 

     Now in the next room Dr. Kyne led General Rockford to the creatures who had too much contact with Terium. They were animalistic. They bit at each other. They couldn’t speak. Looked as if they were a mix between some ferocious animal and a human but they weren’t human anymore. They were something else. General Rockford had a name for those stricken with Terium poisoning but to Dr. Kynes knowledge, this was new news to the General. The creatures mingled in the cold dark cells that they were assigned to. They did not like the light, they did not like the heat. Any attempt to make these creatures obey was a failed attempt. There was no reasoning to these creatures and Dr. Kyne slowly explained the dilemma. and General Rockford offered a solution. 

     "We’ve known about this briefly before you stumbled across this but there was no explanation on why," the General said, "we have a few soldiers who have experienced the same issues, but the cause was unknown. Now we know it’s because of the Terium. Why is that?" The doctor thought of his response and struggled to find an explanation. 

     "Some researchers complained of a high pitch tone when working heavily with the substance. Near deafening but after a while they were able to tune into the frequency and that’s when we made the biggest advancements with the substance. Quickly right after that they lost reasoning and were lost. We were hoping if they were away from the substance long enough that their symptoms would disappear but there has been no luck." 

     "If there is no cure, then we need to dispose of these creatures." There was a cure. General Rockford was well enough aware of it but was unwilling to work with Dr. Kyne. Even though there was a cure to the reasoning and a few other symptoms there was no cure for other symptoms. There was no cure all and if you stopped taking the cure then you will revert back into the creatures. It was partially a win, but it was also a life the General would only wish on his worst of enemies. There would be no peace and that’s what the doctor wanted. 

     "There is no peace with these things until they die," the General said. Even with all the lies and the half-truths with the General and Dr. Kyne, he was being sincere with this. Overall their relationship was based on information. As the puzzle pieces get solved with the Doctor and is brought to the Generals knowledge, he releases what he knows. A need to know basis and the Doctor now realizes that. 

     Dr. Kyne started to mistrust what the General knew. These creatures. They may be mindless now, but they were people. They had families and they were colleagues and friends to Dr. Kyne. He couldn’t just kill them, but he didn’t run this base. The General did. Dr. Kyne started to get upset and the General started to see this. He motioned to take his hand over his shoulder and began to lead him out of the room. With his other hand he motioned to the soldiers and they knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted these creature’s dead and unlike Dr. Kyne, the soldiers knew what kind of man General Rockford was. They knew if they didn’t do what they asked they would end up like these creatures on the other side of these metal bars. They waited till the two of them left the room and with a quick pull of the trigger they gunned down the creatures. The Doctor and the General were a good distance away, but the doctor still jumped when he heard the distant gunfire. The deed was done.

     Soon the Doctor got back to his usual self and led the General to a new room. They stopped at another door that was similar to the first one when General Rockford first arrived. It was a decompression chamber. They walked in the chamber and came out the other end. This room was large but there was only one long room within this room. There were no overhead lights on in this room but there were several lights in the distance.

     As they got closer to the lights the General could see everything was in a large glass room. The room was barely furnished with an old analog television and a rather large sectional. The view was confusing. The General didn't understand what he was seeing. The analog television was showing straight static and what appeared to be transparent people sat on the couch. Their faces however were not transparent, they were that of a color of an indescribable shade. A color that he nor had any person had seen before. The color was bright and seemed to change into different shades of many other colors that were also indescribable. What it seemed to look like was that the transparent people were wearing suits of some kind. The people however were relaxed as they were fixed on the television. They almost didn't see the two of them as their view was fixed on the television.

     "What’s going on here?" The General asked. The Doctor was feeling a little better.

     "So, through theoretical physics and some bioengineering it seems as if we created a soul using the Terium you gave us, not just one though. Five," Dr. Kyne said. A man now of a few words. The General was confused.

     "How would one go about creating a soul let alone five of them? Why would you do more than one, why stop at five?"

     "It was sort of an accident. It was an all or none package. It’s hard to explain. It just happened," the doctor said. One of the souls took notice of the men and got up off the couch and headed their way.

     "Everything that comes out of Terium so far seemed to be negative. Are these things murderous or void of emotion?"

     "They are calm and collected. Reasoning seems to be their strengths. They are very intelligent and know a great deal about many things even though they have never been outside of this room. They call themselves the Neon Gods."

     "Neon Gods? What? You act like you spoke to them. They know English?" The creature was now directly in front of them on the other side of the glass. The light that consumed its face shone directly to the General and the doctor. The doctor was about to talk when the creature spoke first.

     "General Rockford. It’s good to finally meet you," the voice boomed throughout the room. There were many voices speaking, some men, some women, all whispering but it was deafening to hear.


     "Never mind that," the creature said, "we demand a host." The General and the doctor looked at each other for a minute confused. "We don’t have bodies. Not yet. So, we demand a host."

     The General didn't know the implications of giving these "Neon Gods" a body but there seemed to be reasoning with these creatures. They could be used much like everything else they have seen but to what purpose? The doctor knew that he had no say in this matter, so he looked at the General as the General weighed in all the pros and cons. The General had seen so much in this world but today was eye opening. He truly hadn't seen everything and today was proof. He would see much more if he cooperated with these creatures but still to what end?

     Everyone stood in silence as the static fuzzed through the air. The General got flashes of a great suffering by being in this creatures’ presence. He was unsure if it was the creature itself or it was his conscious telling him that this creature was something bad. He saw people dying, stars being consumed and creatures that he had never seen before. A great war happened and there was only a set number of instances before the Neon God spoke again.

     "We demand a host," its voice was still calm but with an ever so slight fluctuation in his voice everyone could tell humans were trying its patience. The General knew of the suffering everyone would face if these creatures were given a body. The General agreed with the Neon God. He had no say in his thoughts, but he did wish a fruitful relationship to the Neon Gods. The General smiled and the doctor who stood beside him was appalled by his devilish grin

     "You will get your vessel. Every one of you will," if the void-less face of the Neon God by the glass could smile, he would have been.

     "Thank you General. You have been so kind. Now let us relax. We have grown weary," the Neon God walked back to the sectional and sat down to watch the static. The doctor was still looking at the General dead in his face. The doctor couldn’t believe he would do such a thing and that smile. General Rockford doesn’t smile.

     "That thing hexed you didn’t it?" The doctor said concerningly.

     "They want a vessel. We will give them a vessel."

     "So, we just find some people who they will take over. Just like that."

     "Do what you do best doctor but let them choose their vessels. Abduct them from the playground, rip them from their homes, take them from their cribs. We must find the Neon Gods the perfect vessel. Every one of them," the General said harshly.

     "But General—" the General wasn’t going to take any excuses and interrupted him.

     "But nothing. Do it."

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