The Terror of Infinite Space Chapter 3

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: The Horror House

Madness ensues when a scientist gazes into the vast unknown only to discover there's something waiting on the other-side.

The Terror of Infinite Space

by Benjamin Patelsky

Chapter 3 

The Procedure 

 

It began on a cold Wednesday morning in Mid-April, after two grueling months spent in meticulous preparation our benefactors provided us with a state of the art research facility possessing the most up to date and prestigious equipment modern science could furnish. We were located in an underground desert bunker in New Mexico, civilians had to be helicoptered in as it was approximately 100 miles from the nearest city whilst being in close proximity to a military base. Finally, we'd begin the vetting and acceptance process for candidates as well as conduct trial runs of the experiment using our new state of the art equipment. I had a staff of just twenty-five employees including 11 scientists, 6 engineers, 3 tech officials, and 5 medical staff. In the beginning everything appeared to be going exactly according to plan, every single thing was as initially predicted in those formative months of preplanning the experiment. 

Inorganic matter was not at all a challenge for the Wade Particle, we could very easily shrink it down to microscopic levels only to watch it return to it's initial mass moments later at our command. My stabilization of Wade's Particle allowed for us to change an objects mass without displacing any of the objects energy, however the key difference here being is unlike previous incarnations of the particle this new stablized version wouldn't collapse upon itself immediately once it began decaying within its host. Instead this new particle would retain its form for roughly 48 hours before gradually deteriorating naturally and returning the host back to its original mass, the addition of the power-suit and pod allowed us to hasten this process artificially to around roughy only 30 seconds or so. 

The procedure was to be quite simplistic in a manner of speaking, we relied on hitting our subject with a particle beam in a controlled environment, the charged beam would trigger the particle as well as eventually disrupt it. The only obstacle here was the overarching concern that although it would change an ojects mass we were unsure of what effect it might have on a human body during the reversal, it was possible that having their mass changed and then returning to normal was not something human bodies could not withstand. There was a tremendous fear that the process may cause a return to normal to rip the hosts body apart, a fear I expressed very early on in my research. This quandary was however soon dispelled as we began experimenting with cadavers, thus allowing us to immediately see what effects the particle would have on formally living tissue. We'd spent days shrinking and resizing various dead bodies donated from a private morgue, it was concluded the beam would cause the ideal reaction within the subject as the test resulted in the particle decaying within the host body in perfect equilibrium without any negative side effects to the host body. Later we tested on mice and dogs, all animals retained their vital throughout the procedure and this was seen as a positive indication no harm would befall live test subjects. This was exactly the conclusion we needed allowing us to request authorization for the approval of our superiors in order to proceed with the testing of a live human volunteer, our request was granted but little did we know of the horror we'd be dooming our initiate to. 

No one could have foreseen what was about to happen next, once our prerequisites had been met we immediately set out to test on our first human volunteers. The plan was to gear them up in our specially made power-suits then we would place them in the testing room, there they'd be blasted with the Wades Particle until they'd absorbed enough energy, once it was ready the suit and pod would activate on autopilot and automatically begin to change the mass of the user. From there we use our machines to monitor the subjects heart-rate as the change in mass is occurring, as you know this temporary mass displacement was what caused the weaponized versions of the particle to be so poignant on the battle-field. This new stabilized version in our lab was a method of reconfiguring how mass and energy function, the particle had changed what we knew about mass and energy in modern science, allowing us to reconfigure mass into some akin to building blocks of sorts as we intended to peer into the great unknown of vast limitless space.

Our first volunteer was a sergeant sent from Fort Knox, his name was Edward Collins and he was in his mid-20s fresh off the battlefront. He was specially trained for high altitude jumps and earlier in his career he had participated in several assassinations of a notorious international terrorists, he was a skilled soldier and expert survivalist. When first introduced he glared at us with a stare so piercing it was like a staring directly into a dagger, this tense moment was however brief as he soon greeted us with a polite “hello.” It's worth noting that in spite of his background as a professional soldier he seemed apprehensive and almost jokingly condescending about participating in our experiment, this was evident as when our officers brought him into the facility he mused “Is this going to be an alien spaceship?” followed by “I heard you guy learned to make things get big with magic spells. You think one day maybe they'll use this research of yours to grow Ireland more potatoes?” despite his facetiousness towards our practice his light-hearted remarked now echo within me in my nightmares as a grim reminder of my past. His sly remarks and jest attitude, he didn't deserve what happened to him, his voice still haunts me along with that peculiar stare. For the horror that man experienced because of what me and my colleagues did is insurmountable, his suffering was not quick nor was it painless and no one deserves what happened to him. 

When the time came and we finally hit him with particles everything was going according to plan, we had him shrunken down on a piece of quartz laying on top of 3 tree leaves. His suit was designed to register his vitals as well as contained a microphone to keep an audio log of what he experienced, he was initially unaware of this feature until we made communication with him in the microscopic plane. Edward was awestruck as he reported a world between objects with its own creatures and gravity, he said it was like gazing into an endless Ocean yet all the Ocean is airborne. He explained how in the microscopic world there is so much more to up and down or left and right, he said things here exist on top of each-other between planes with no apparent way to get to another plane. The landscape in each plane is a humungous crevasse teaming with life yet someone intangible, he can see things and place all around him, planes on top of planes with no indication of our world. All was going so smoothly until he began to hesitate, what started as a momentary pause quickly shifted into frenzied panicking. Edward began to screaming frantically, yelling into the microphone “you guys have to get me out of here! Help me! There's something else here with me.” He hesitated when asking him “What do you see?” he replied “I don't know what it is but it's everywhere! Get me out now! This thing keeps watching me. I didn't even notice. It must have been here the whole time.” We retorted calming him “give us a moment Edward, we'll reverse the procedure.” Suddenly he screamed “It's all around me. Get me out. Now!” we immediately aborted the process and reverse the mass change attempting to recover our test subject, while not what we anticipated we were successfully able to pull Edward from the microscopic world. Upon returning to us Edward was but a husk of a man compared to what he ventured out as, he just kept staring into the ceiling unspeaking unhearing as though he were gazing into an endless sea. Unfortunately for us he was left too thoroughly traumatized by the experience to communicate, but to what extent we did not know. We had assumed the mind of a hardened warrior would be perfectly conditioned for the procedure. We later found out he could often be heard muttering to himself in an unknown dialect with the only recognizable phrases being picked up by staff surrounded “light” “eyes” and “hands,” it was apparent his sanity had become tremendously fractured by this whole ordeal as the medical staff would later find him pounding his head against a nearby concrete wall in isolation. 

Initially we didn't consider any psychological effects when we put forward the test, and because of this negligence we foolishly determined it was fine to return the subject to his room without need of a medical aid sitting by his side through the night. We simply watched his vitals and medicated him when his outbursts became troubling and if need be we sedated him, additionally medicine for insomnia was provided. We later discovered that same week Edward had taken his own life, using the elastics from the bedsheets as a makeshift noose he hung himself quietly one night. Next to his corpse were ominous illustrations of what appeared to be a strange creature, drawn in a mixture of blood and ink were the sketches of what appeared to be a hideous monstrosity lingering above the facility we were located in. Looking at the drawing it appeared as though it were hovering directly over his bed, this most repugnant beast appeared massive in comparison to the more human appearing figure who we assumed was Edward, the creature while lacking definitive form appears as a mass of eyes and tendrils yet somehow retains a vaguely humanoid characters, it towers over subsequent figures in the drawings. Most hauntingly about this drawing it that while it appears otherworldly it seems vaguely familiar like a monsters of antiquity or of myths and legends, following his suicide we subsequently postulated that the experience had unfortunately deteriorated Edwards mental state to the point where he saw demons, allegedly heard voices and had developed schizophrenia.

With regards to the drawing themselves we quietly dismissed the sketches as nothing more then the workings of a depraved mind, someone whose mental state was surely ruptured by their past experiences in the field as well as personal issue accumulated from an undiagnosed mental illness all culminating in him losing his sanity during the procedure. Though moral was down and a lingering feeling of trepidation became a resounding sentiment among my colleagues and I, though in spite of the misfortune we persisted and continued haphazardly along our pursuit. This was just the beginning however, for it was here that everything change this was the unknown “madness” that I would later come to regard as a friend and companion in my future sleepless nights. It was this “madness” that has consumed me and compelled me to write to you, even know I hear it all around me. It was at this moment where I found something in the vast infinity of space, perhaps I thought I found the secret to Holy Grail or the key to pandora's box. I thought I was communing with the one from above when I set out to make this scientific endeavor, for the better-meant of all mankind I mused. Little did I realize my hubris would take me to darkest of places and be my eventualy undoing, for it is not the one from above I had found myself convening with in these many sleepless night. I can tell you now with great abhorrence what we found out there in the dark vastness of the infinite was “something from below.”

 


Submitted: June 06, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Benjamin Patelsky. All rights reserved.

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