There was a loud crashing sound
as the door opened inward. Two men bundled in parkas and goggles
entered the building. A frigid Antarctic wind blew snow into the
laboratory and it settled on the building's concrete floor. A
loud crackling sound came from the headset one of the men had
"Simon," the voice crackled and
popped, "Did you find anything yet?"
"No, not yet," the man replied
as he discarded the parka and goggles, "We just entered the
laboratory. We'll keep you posted."
"Do that," the distorted voice
"Wonder where they went?" the
second man asked as he closed the door and started shedding his
"Don't know, Hayden," Simon said
shaking his head, "Really strange we haven't found any trace of
them. How can five people just up and vanish and not leave some
clue of where they went?"
Simon, Hayden, and a small group
of others had traveled to the isolated complex. They had not
received word from any of the scientists who were conducting
research for over a week. Their team had been sent to find out
why. Simon and Hayden had meticulously searched the other four
buildings, but nothing was found. There was no sign of a struggle
or foul play as far as the two men could see.
Simon started to look around the
structure. His eyes scanned the room completely, but the only
thing out of the ordinary was that one of the lab chairs had
fallen over on its side.
"Looks as if there might have
been a struggle here," Hayden said gingerly righting the chair,
"I wonder what happened?"
Simon walked over to where
Hayden was standing and noticed a journal lying on the desk. He
took one last look around and then let his eyes come to rest on
"Well," Simon replied pointing
at the journal, "Maybe this might shed some light."
"What did you find," Hayden
asked looking at the spot Blake was pointing to.
"Not sure, looks like someone's
journal," Simon said sitting in the chair, "Let's take a look
Hayden had pulled a second chair
up next to the chair Blake was seated in. The two men began
reading what one of the scientists had written.
I don't know
what's gotten into Salvador, but I found him sleeping in one of
the vaults set aside for the dead here in the lab. He was on
night shift duty and I came in to do some research. I thought I
was going to have a heart attack when one of the vault doors
opened and Salvador crawled out with not a stitch of clothing on.
He acted as if it was no big deal.
got dressed and I had composed myself, I questioned him about his
rather odd behavior. I watched him fidget and his eyes darted
around for a minute before he gave me an answer. I was ready to
declare him certifiable after he told me his story.
Salvador said he
had gone to collect some specimens two days ago and had found a
cave we had not yet explored. In that cave according to him he
found some type of artifact. Not sure of its origin or what it
was, Salvador brought the thing back to the lab. He spent the
evening looking the object over. At first it looked like some
type of electrical device, but Salvador said he was not sure
exactly what it did. He placed the artifact on the lab table and
went to get himself a snack from the kitchen. When Salvador came
back, the thing was gone. Sometime through his shift Salvador
dozed off to sleep. A throbbing pain woke him up somewhere around
three in the morning. He stared in shock at his chest. The thing
he discovered in the cave had dug into his chest and embedded
Salvador as he started to show me his chest. I knew now the man
had more than a few loose screws. Not wanting to anger him, I
asked him to continue. I was curious to hear why he was sleeping
in the vault.
Salvador went on
to explain how the device once inside his chest cavity seemed to
mesh with his body. The skin healed over and for moment Salvador
said he thought it was all just a bad dream. He went on to finish
his shift and went back to our quarters to get some sleep. That's
when the nightmares started. They were vivid and always the same.
The thing buried inside his chest was turning him into some type
of mechanical creature. Whatever the artifact or device was it
had every intention of gaining control of him. He said it was if
it spoke to him in his sleep and that whatever the mechanical
device was it had not been constructed on Earth. Evidently from
what he went on to relay was that this electronic parasite was
turning him into some type of teleportation machinery. It also
began ordering him to send human specimens to wherever it was
from. Salvador went on to explain the vault offered him
protection from the nightmares and he felt as if the thing would
not be able to change him if he slept inside the
I remember the
look of fear on his face. Though Salvador seemed convinced the
events had taken place, I found it too far fetched to believe. It
would be at least a month until our next supplies were delivered
so to keep the peace I played along with Salvador's fantasy. It
was our secret, I said to him. He thanked me and that was
Salvador in much the same way I did today. Holmes does not feel
the same about the whole sleeping in the vault thing as I do.
After calling Salvador every name he could think of he went
straight to Hale, the leader of our group. Salvador tried to tell
them the same extra ordinary story he had confessed to me, but
neither of the men bought the whole artifact, turning into a
robot tale. They secured Salvador in his room. I heard him
pounding on the door and screaming well into the daylight hours.
At four in the afternoon Salvador finally gave up. I guess he
must have fallen off to sleep.
At six o'clock I
took a plate with food to Salvador's room. He had indeed fallen
asleep. Strange thing is I heard a metallic sound coming from the
bed where he was sleeping. I broke out in a cold sweat. Either I
had caught whatever hysteria Salvador had or something unknown
had manifested itself in my colleague. I was not about to stick
around and find out. I left the food tray and left his room,
closing and locking the door behind me.
I asked Holmes to
take Salvador his breakfast. He grumbled and complained, but
finally agreed to take it to him. After all I reminded him, he
and Hale had locked Salvador in his room, not me. The burden of
caring for Salvador was not my soul responsibility.
I busied myself
with some rock and soul samples in the lab. Later that afternoon
I glanced up from my work as Hale entered. He had a strange look
on his face. He asked me if I had seen Holmes lately. I told him
the last time I had seen Holmes he was taking breakfast to
Hale, Holmes was nowhere to be found. To make matters stranger,
Salvador had disappeared as well. Hale said he had spent the
better part of the day looking for the two men but had turned up
empty handed. I reassured Hale they were probably out looking for
samples or perhaps they had journeyed to the cave Salvador had
mentioned. Hale seemed to agree with my theories and went back to
logging the last of my data about an hour later and returned to
main base. None of the three men were to be found. Perplexed I
fixed myself a modest dinner and decided to look for the missing
men. I searched every nook and cranny of all four structures, but
to no avail. I could not find any of my colleagues anywhere.
Frustrated I returned to the lab and continued to
At around eight
o'clock I retired for the day. As I walked back to my quarters I
spied movement near our sleeping quarters. From a distance it
looked like Salvador, but a sound was coming from him that
reminded me oddly enough of a wind up toy. I watched him as he
moved toward me and I froze in terror. What was fast approaching
was not Salvador, but something from a nightmare best forgotten.
His eyes were blank as if he was walking in his sleep and a
series of grinding whirring sounds came from inside him. Shocked
and horrified I ran back to the lab.
I picked up one
of the lab chairs and as Salvador entered I smashed him over the
head with it. Salvador went down to the floor. As I examined his
body I looked at the area my chair had made contact with his
head. There was now a gaping hole in his skull. Where his brain
should have been there were wires and circuitry. Whatever
Salvador had become the chair had not finished him off. He was
merely dazed. It took some amount of effort, but I eventually
dragged and placed his body into one of the morgue
I am gathering
some supplies and food together. Whatever Salvador has become I
am sure it will be looking for me. Not sure what he did with
Holmes and Hale, but I will not suffer the same fate they did. I
would rather take my chances in the wild.
"Is that all there is?" Hayden
asked Simon who was walking toward the morgue vaults.
"Yep, I would say he was a
regular loony tunes," Simon answered as he started opening the
doors to the vaults one at a time.