Chapter nine- Turn
Out of the corner of my eye I had noticed that the guard had
left. He probably assumed, rightfully so, that I wasn't in the
mood to talk. It was also more than likely that he thought that I
had gone mad when he saw me smile. But that was fine. He didn't
see the beauty that I did, and neither did anyone else. I thought
in that moment about the voice, and how it spoke of my
understanding of the subjects' psyche. Or whatever type of beings
I thought they were. Maybe that perception of beauty was the
first taste of the understanding I was destined to possess.
At the far end or the room the reactor was facing me as I was
exploring that new idea. It looked very similar to an eye,
watching over me, and observing my thoughts. The perpetual drone
it created, and the whirling plasma produced a hypnotic effect,
and it had captured me. I stared deeply into it, and once again,
my mind had become in sync with the realm. With my arms behind my
back, and the rifle on the floor, I let it all sink in without a
fight. I had found peace again, and I would have been happy to
stay in that room and study the science of it's absurdity until
the day I died. Even though I knew it would likely end me quickly
in one way or another.
I basked in the glorious purple light for what must have been
several minutes in a state of pure contentment. But I felt the
happiness slowly decaying for some reason. I was then making a
conscious effort to focus on returning to that happy place, but
it had escaped me.
I was about to return to the group when a familiar sensation
began to creep up on me. I recognized it almost immediately. My
heart began to race as my mind flew into a panic. I was paralyzed
with fear as my eyes scanned the room for a door or any other way
out. Terror mounted when I had found that the features of the
room were disappearing, and there was now no escape. The dark
haze was beginning to close in once again, and reality was fading
away for all of us. With no way to intervene, I gazed up, and my
eyes met with the massive purple iris that was now glowing
brighter than before. Everything had fallen into darkness. I
felt, heard, and saw nothing but that beautiful ring. I was
nothing but a featureless shadow, bathed in the only light left
in the infinite reaches of the abyss.
Suddenly, the reactor went dim and light filled the power room.
The cables and the machines remained inactive for a few moments,
before they returned to life and the noisy chaos resumed.
I was still standing with my hands behind my back, and was
totally mystified. I could hear the chatter of my associates
behind me, and they sounded more confused than I was. Unsure of
what had just happened, I picked the assault rifle up from the
floor, took a few steps backwards, and returned to the group.
Upon returning, I found that nothing seemed to be out of order.
Everyone was still there, albeit a bit unnerved. Jacobs was up
and alert as well, although he didn't seem as frightened as the
others. He wasn't happy, but he looked calm and in control of
himself. I was pushing my way through the crowd to talk with him
when there was a sudden commotion. Gasps and shouts erupted from
everyone around me. Some of the workers were quickly making their
way away from the scene, returning terrified looks back in it's
direction. I was caught off guard when the crowd split, and I was
motioned by several workers to investigate. Step by step I was
getting closer to whatever it was that had caused the
disturbance. Then a few workers had moved out of my way, and I
could see what had happened.
On the ground was a facility staff member. He laid face up,
with his legs strewn about at awkward and uncomfortable angles.
His right hand was clenched into a tight fist on his chest and
his left arm was outstretched with his hand in a rested position.
When I hurried up to him to examine him in more detail I noticed
his skin was a deathly pale and his eyes were foggy.
My eyes went wide when I noticed his neck. On the right side
of it there were four distinct indentations in the flesh. And on
the left side there was a single large indentation.
I pulled myself up and away from the corpse and stood over it
with my hand over my mouth, not so much from shock, but as an
impulse of meticulous thought. It made no sense, there was no way
this man could have been strangled in that brief moment of
darkness. I felt that there was something off about the murder,
and for that reason the fear escaped me. My colleagues on the
other hand, were all chattering, scared and aimless. It was
annoying to me that they lacked the skepticism I possessed, and
that emotion was getting in the way of constructive thinking.
I shook my head in disapproval, and returned to the body for
another look. But just as I was brushing my fingers over the
indentations, a shadow of someone fell over me and the corpse.
All I could see were the tips of the person's brown leather
"Jacobs, this man is dead. I have no idea how, but I know that
something weird is going on. This probably isn't what it loo.."
As I was talking, I took a glance up at the person, and stopped
immediately. It wasn't a concerned and confused Jacobs, but the
very person who lay dead on the floor. Who wore a deadpan
expression, while staring at his own dead body at his feet and
He was the center of everyone's attention as he bent over for a
closer look at himself, starined into his own hazy eyes and
lifted up his own limp wrist. He didn't seem too alarmed, but was
far from disinterested in the paradox. It wasn't long before he
stood back up and addressed everyone.
"Okay, I don't know what any ah you are thinkin, but I didn't do
Discussion quickly burbled up in the crowd, varying voices of
uncertainty and absolute confidence could be heard from within.
Under the conversing, the man was raising his voice to try and
maintain his innocence. However, some of the others were giving
him looks that suggested they felt otherwise. Knowing that no
time should be wasted before any hasty decisions were acted upon,
I began a quick stride towards Jacobs.
As I was halfway there, the numb sensation and the darkness
returned, blanketing the entire room in black once again. The
Reactor glowed brighter and brighter, from a rich purple, all the
way to an intense pink. I squinted at the reactor in suspicion,
while it willfully drained the room of all energy. Something was
Then, as quickly as it had drained the light, the reactor went
dim and spewed all the energy and sensation back into the power
room. But just as I was getting myself reoriented, I jumped at a
sudden shout from the crowd. It was then followed by several more
shouts, and then a collective panic. I made a heel turn towards
the direction of the commotion, but I had noticed a weird feeling
under my shoe that made me stop. My shoe had swiveled on the
ground just a little too easily. Without moving my head, I rolled
my eyes down. My fear was confirmed. There was blood smeared all
over the floor. It was fresh too, deep red, with the shoe prints
of my colleagues tracked all over the thin slick. The very sight
of that massive quantity of blood made my head feel like it had
been dunked in ice water. I never coped well with the sight of
Driven by my efforts to overcome my phobia through an
immediately invented "mind over mind" technique, I then went in
search of the source of the blood, seeking the loudest part of
the crowd. I took several careful steps on the slippery surface,
before I could squeeze my way through the throngs of people and
investigate what I presumed to be multiple deaths.
When I finally saw the origin of the blood, I almost wished it
was from multiple people, as the gore would have been more evenly
distributed. The grisly display before me was a sight beyond
words. The man was so horribly mangled that there was no hope of
him ever resembling his previous state. His torso and stomach
region had been completely torn open."Disassembled" was the best
way to describe his physical being as he lay on the floor.
Some of the others couldn't take the sight and fled the scene,
some vomiting, and others pale and catatonic, unable to take
their eyes off the horror show. As I watched chaos unfold around
me, four workers were forcing their way by, shouting and pointing
towards one of them. They then threw a single official into the
center of the group, who was quickly identified as same person as
the victim. This time, however, he quite literally had blood on
his hands. He was in a full on panic shouting at the others and
begging for understanding. I wasn't quite sure what to make of
that, but I felt that there were definitely some clues to help
figure it out. The others weren't looking at the dead body
anymore, probably because it was disgusting, but also because
they had a bloody handed duplicate to deal with, who they ensured
would not escape. The corpse disgusted me too, but my persisting
feeling of skepticism kept me calm. As a result of my collected
demeanor, I could observe the situation without emotional
distress clouding my judgement.
There is a consistency between these two "murders", as the
room went dark before each of them occurred, and after examining
the new victim, it seems that both are identifiable by facial
recognition. Both of their faces are left relatively untouched.
They also both involve a duplicate of the person. "But which one
is the real one?" That is the question. And it seems that one of
them has been put in a guilty position on purpose. And if he
killed the man, who is the second duplicate? There can't be two
murderers...The weapons were...the weapons...Why does the realm
have weapons? What use could they...
Then it hit me.
As soon as I figured out what was going on, I shot up, and began
yelling over the crowd. They all began diverting their attention
to me, and my voice was above everything else. But before I could
explain, the reactor flashed, and everything went dark. I
This time, death came in the form of a staff member hanging from
a noose. His feet dangled mere inches above everyone's heads as
his blank stare loomed over them, and it provoked a strong
reaction. I could no longer be heard over the short period of
noise that erupted.
The darkness returned.
When I could see light again I heard screaming but I never saw
what happened. When I called out again I was still unable to be
The darkness returned.
When the reactor went dim once again, I caught a glimpse of
something I never plan to see again. I decided then that I
wouldn't open my eyes. I would only shout, although in vain.
My screaming went silent.
When I could hear again, I still couldn't hear my own voice over
the noise of the hyperactive reactor. My colleagues were quiet,
as they came to accept the horrors they were witnessing. I,
however, didn't know what was going on around me and I didn't
It then accelerated, becoming a strobe effect of light, sound,
and fear. The noise was painful, and I couldn't tolerate any
Then from out of no where, a noise louder than anything else
exploded throughout the room. My eyes were shut, and I kept them
shut as an assault of concussive blasts hit me in the chest. The
rapid series of bangs were nearly deafening, and it had lasted
for what must have been eight seconds. The pace then slowed, with
several more bangs erupting in an inconsistent pace. By the time
it was over my ears were ringing. I stumbled back blind and with
an out of control heart rate.