Chapter eight- Siren
In a typical Canzi fashion I flew out of the portal and
impacted the hard concrete floor, then slid a bit before hitting
my head on a thin body panel of a piece of industrial equipment.
I groaned in a daze, and sat upright against the machine I
collided with. In front of me were blurry faces, that took
glances at each other in concern and confusion. Their mouths
moved, but I could only hear muffled noises. Some of them were
shaking their heads, and one of them was snapping their fingers
in front of my face. That got on my nerves, and it brought my
senses back quicker.
"Ah, fucking knock it off Jacobs." I said as I swatted his hand
from my face.
Jacobs wore a shocked expression, "Canzi! Where were you? Whats
"I really don't want to get into it right now, and there are more
important things to worry about than informing you about what
happened to me."
Jacobs was taken aback by my statement."What has gotten into
you?! The experiment may have gone horribly wrong, but I am still
your superior, and you can't talk to me like that. It is your
obligation to tell me everything that you know. Where have y..."
Without warning, I swung my fist at Jacobs, connecting dead-on
with the side of his head. He fell to the floor immediately and
grabbed his head in pain. I stood up slowly, and towered over
"That's for blowing me off. I told you this experiment was bad
news, and you didn't give my opinion an ounce of consideration.
Not even an OUNCE. And I think I know why. It's for the same
reason I couldn't have a simple five minute conversation with you
without you melting down. I know that it's because you knew."
The others were awestruck, but stood their ground. Most of them
had focused their attention on Jacobs after I asked the question.
Jacobs showed a strange interest in my accusation, and leaned
towards me in anticipation.
"Knew what? What do you think I did?"
I stared unblinkingly into Jacobs' eyes and spoke in monotone.
"...that we were doomed from the start."
Jacobs broke eye contact and looked down at the floor. He sighed
and raised his head to me, wearing a small smile.
"Well, I suppose there's no point in hiding the truth anymore.
The only thing I have have left now is the respect of my peers,
but they don't owe it to me. But I do owe them the right to know
what is going on."
No one had moved in that moment, but I could see everyone's eyes
tracking every one of Jacob's movement while he wobbled about. He
stumbled in a daze from my punch, and swayed upon standing. With
all eyes on him, he tried to maintain a strong composure.
"This whole thing...uuuughh...my head...why did I stand up so
He massaged his head while opening one eye wide. It confirmed
that I definitely landed a decent punch, one hard enough to send
a message he wouldn't soon forget. I felt no regrets.
"This...this whole thing was a last minute measure. As I've said
many times, it was something that had to be done. I was given no
choice but to issue an investigation into an anomaly that had
been found in the local area. A supposed virus of unknown
origins had sprung up, and it had a...peculiar effect on those
who were infected. We saw the warning signs, but we needed to
study them before we made any serious decisions."
Jacobs swung his eyes at me.
"Two weeks into the experiment, our worst fears had been
confirmed when reports of the virus had spread to a sixty mile
radius from the estimated epicenter. It was finding it's way
towards more populated areas, and if it had been brought to an
airport, it would become an international matter. At the
mid-point, we were only carrying out the experiment to gain as
much info as possible without spreading the virus to the rest of
America...or the world. We are in the contaminated zone, and it's
best to work here than elsewhere."
One of the younger official workers meandered forward. He was
very slight of frame, and clearly stressed as his delivery was
"So this is a virus we're dealing with? I've never heard of any
medical condition that resulted in anything like this."
Jacobs gave the diminutive official a short glance, "We don't
know what it is, all we know is that it spreads. So we call it a
"Then what happens now? We can't be abandoned like this!", he
yelled, while not breaking eye contact with Jacobs. He was
beginning to show signs of severe anxiety.
"I think abandonment is the least of our worries. We need to just
focus on survival for the time being."
Jacobs quickly forgot about the shaking man, and raised an arm in
my direction, "And I don't think I'm in any position to give
orders anymore. I owe it to you to give you full control. You
would probably do a better job than I, as you sniffed this
situation out on instinct alone. I really do think you deserve to
make some decisions of your own."
I felt the weight of responsibility fall onto my shoulders, and
it squeezed the words out of me.
"Uhhh. I don't know. I'd prefer to keep a democracy in an
Jacobs shrugged with a small smile. "Do as you will sir."
With that, he nonchalantly strolled off from the group, and sat
down next to one of the machines. His head leaned back and he
closed his eyes, as if he was awaiting something.
While Jacobs relaxed, the fear of my colleagues emanated from all
around me. To keep morale up, I took on the role of the strong
authoritative figure they desperately wanted, and spoke loud and
"Tell me what I need to know. I'm pretty sure the subject will be
here soon, and we need to prepare ourselves. That is unless we
have any information concerning an escape from this dimension."
A familiar looking, and large official guard spoke up.
"We don't have much to report on that, but we do have some good
news regarding preparation."
"And what would that be?"
"We sent out scouts to find supplies on the other end of the
building. And they were able to retrieve weapons and ammo from
the armory. And while they were investigating sector A, near room
one, they found something else."
There was a movement in the crowd of workers. I could see that
someone was making their way forward.
Soon a young blonde woman was standing before me. And she didn't
look like anyone I had seen anywhere in the facility before. She
wore casual clothing. A navy blue jacket, black jeans, and
sneakers. As if she was pulled off the street. Then it hit me.
"Wait are you...a test subject?"
"Yes I am."
"Woah,woah,woah," I blurted.
I turned to the large guard.
"Shouldn't we avoid contact with her? We could get infected..."
"Reports of symptoms have only occurred in the cases of children
and young adults," he replied. "We don't know how it spreads, but
we're all safe from infection."
I squinted at him and then Jacobs who was silently listening by
one of the nearby machines.
"That would have been nice to know..."
The first subject waited patiently for me to break the
uncomfortable silence. I obliged
"So. You're a test subject."
"And from what is almost immediately clear, you are not like
"If you meant being insane, then no. But I know that we are very
similar in other ways."
Not uplifted by her forced air of positivity, I pressed on for
"Now if someone like yourself is brought up in a conversation
about weapons, it would be rightfully assumed that you can offer
some kind of defense? Am I correct?"
Showing little confidence, she replied.
"Not that I know of, I've never tried. And this other subject, he
seems to have a far better understanding of his abilities.
Mine...I've never used them before...if I even have any at all."
"Well, if it comes to the point where we need you, don't hold
back. We will need everyone's help if we're going to get out of
here alive. Okay?"
"Okay," she replied meekly.
Still facing her, I barked out orders. "Time to prepare! Everyone
who isn't armed, grab a weapon!"
As staff members and officials congregated around the weapon and
ammo crates, I separated from the group and walked into the
center of the power room, where I took in the most amazing
spectacle I had ever seen.
Normally, the power room in the facility is quite large, but the
incarnation of it dwarfed the original in comparison. The
cathedral-like ceiling was at least one hundred feet high inside,
with massive columns of ducts and pipes supporting shiny metal
arches that bridged both sides of the room. The arches contained
tubes of fluorescent neon-blue gas, and thick sparking electrical
cables hung from their undersides. The dilapidated cables, which
dangled over the banks of diverse, yet similarly chaotic
machines, constantly swung through the air as they shorted with a
new piece of equipment with each swing. Occasionally a massive
arc of electricity would jump between them, producing a heart
stopping bark, and showering the concrete floor with sparks. Some
of the machines were on fire and sputtering out bolts of
electricity, but the majority of them remained in states of more
organized madness, with flashing tubes and gratuitous rotating
electrodes installed in random locations.
Behind the banks of machinery, was what appeared to be a
massive reactor. Even though it looked unlike any reactor I had
ever seen before in the real world. It looked like a particle
accelerator of some type, but its proportions were very
unrealistic. It was about forty feet wide or so, and the circular
glass tube was about ten feet in diameter. Violet plasma raged
inside the generator, feeding the machinery's unrelenting lust
for power with ludicrous amounts of electricity.
Tubes clung to the glass, pumping the reactor with life, while
some sprouted out and onto the floor before vanishing into
obscurity. The device was mounted on the wall, high above the
throngs of misfit machines. Up in the darkness of the ceiling
arches, it was cradled by an arm of cables and steel. I could
tell it was maneuverable, judging by the thick hydraulic
cylinders placed in accordance to its various pivot points. But
the only movement it permitted was the gentle rocking produced by
the occasional white sputter inside the reactor. With each one, a
jolt of sparks was spit from the electrical arteries of the metal
colossus. On the thickest section of the arm, a prominent single
glowing disk peered from the thick bulk of metal. The cool light
that emanated from it pulsed like a heartbeat in sync with the
reactor, but it lacked the emotive force that its counterpart
The entire arrangement loomed over the room in what could only
be described as a throne of machinery. Pipes, cables, ducts and
I-beams, formed together in a pipe-organ like structure that
branched out and away from the generator. Underneath, the
structure splayed out into two hand-like shapes. Their jagged
tendrils did not touch the reactor, they only lurked below as an
insignificant mass of pig-iron, merely beholding the
technological god, who's only acknowledgement of their existence
was its otherworldly light cascading onto them.
The mania that erupted in that room seemed as if it was a
physical metaphor for misplaced energy. And it seemed very
fitting to me. I was almost enjoying the sight of it all, when I
felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Sir, I'm sure you want one of these..."
I looked to my right to see the large guard, on the end of his
extended arm was an assault rifle. I picked it up with both hands
and felt the weight. It was a very serious piece of hardware.
"Do you think I could handle a gun like this?"
The guard nodded in approval.
"Oh yeah, it's a G36, it's an easy gun. I mean the recoil isn't
that bad, and it's very accurate. Those Germans sure do know how
to make a weapon you know."
The guard gave a light laugh, expecting me to respond to his
remark, but I was too detached to give a worthy response to his
attempt at making small talk. I was completely lost in the
spectacular scene before me, almost as if I was in a trance. The
disorderly chaos of the power room was strangely soothing to me.
Nothing in the frightening past few weeks made any sense at all,
and then I was exposed to a physical incarnation of the
confusion, mania, and frantic energy that had consumed my life.
It catered so well to how I felt, much like a caricature of my
very emotions, and it comforted me to be in a place that suited
my state of mind. I was literally off in my own world, and I