Subject: G

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A creepy story from Mars.


I’ve been putting off writing this story for a while now, mostly because I wanted to keep up with the agreement I made not to speak a word of it. I’ve been back on Terra for three years now and, professionally speaking, I am not a very high up guy so whatever I say at this point probably isn’t going to matter much to anybody anyway.

I was stationed on Mars as a metal fabricator for five months---it was supposed to be eight, but the incident occurred at the end of month five and I was sent home early. Mars is a very cold planet with a very thin atmosphere so if you’re not a legit astronaut; you’re working indoors. And it’s not as easy as you might think: You are constantly dealing with sudden temperature changes, loud noises from the frequent compression and decompression of breathable air, and significant fatigue if you don’t get enough exercise, but the living quarters ain’t bad.

The Ph.D’s in charge of all the scientific endeavours on Mars would often speak to one another as well as over the PA of something they would refer to only as “Subject: G.” They said it largely had to do with atmospheric processing as an early effort to terraform the martian air and simply make it suitable for humans. None of us underlings thought anything of it. At least not until the beginning of my third month.

At this time the experimental “Subject: G” seemed to have become an entity. Or at least that was the fun rumour. Just about every other day a man’s voice would come over the PA informing most of us on base to gather in the cafeteria or some other location to be safe from a temporary plasma leak somewhere in the lower levels. This was a simple, brilliant cover-up.

The base has four levels. One on the martian surface, and three dug right into the ground. By the end of my third month it was only the lowest level of which special clearance was required for access. And this was when shit got freaky. Real freaky. Even I reported the whispering. And it would only happen when we were working alone. At first we thought it was some asshole’s idea of a joke; planting an audio device somewhere out of sight playing a looping record of creepy whispering. But we could never find the damn things. We actually had three psychiatrists on base whom all insisted that stress and insomnia was to blame. Sounded good enough.

I guess now I can cut to the incident. To start, the fuckin’ elevator broke down. I have a lot of mechanical know-how so I was called to at least take a look at it and swing a guess at how long it might take to fix it. I said about an hour and got to work on it immediately. Ten minutes into the repairs I decided to stand outside of it and send it back to the surface floor. I was standing above the lowest floor. The Special Clearance floor.

Once I was certain the elevator had successfully reached it’s highest point, I flicked on my key chain flashlight and looked around the empty square hole for any loose and/or broken components. There were none, but I could hear something coming through the wall to my right. It sounded like the ticking from an old-fashioned egg timer. I entered the square space and put my ear to the wall and decided the ticking indicated an electrical issue. So I removed the panel and my flashlight revealed a two-feet by two-feet open space with about a four-foot drop. Being the courageous explorer that I am, I hopped down into it. My ears registered a painful clang as my boots hit the metal floor. What I saw next was another metal panel to my right. It had clearly irregular indentations, as if something from the other side had been smashing into it. I should have backtracked right then but my curiosity got the better of me. I removed this panel. There was light, and it took me a full thirty seconds to analyze what I was seeing. There were men walking around wearing lab coats and breath masks. Men punching keys at computer terminals. In the centre of the room appeared to be a spacesuit suspended by cables so as that it was upright. But the cables were three inches wide, and they were moving. Pulsating. As if they were alive. The suit, a dark grey colour, would twitch and spasm. The glass of the suit’s helmet contained a thick liquid, arbitrarily changing from blue to green. An over-sized human eye, bloodshot, was floating within the helmet.

The eye saw me. The suit went full-seizure. The coated men saw me, and flicked a switch to calm their pet beast.

The Ph.D’s told me to never speak of this or they will arrange to have a member of my family killed. They couldn’t kill me to ensure my silence for the company has been pushing for years the idea that permanent habitation on Mars is perfectly safe.

As I’ve said, three years has gone by and I’ve had plenty of time to think about what I had seen. I cannot say for certain whether good or evil was being done, or is continuing to be done, but my golly, I hope it was good.

 



Submitted: October 22, 2020

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