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
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
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 dockers.
"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 mine.
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 this."
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 up.
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 blood.
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 swallowed.
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 heard.
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 want to.
It then accelerated, becoming a strobe effect of light, sound, and fear. The noise was painful, and I couldn't tolerate any more.
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.
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