Secret Weapons of Humanity

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


Warning: The following short story will feature such concepts as Nuclear radiation, metamorphosis, teleportation, mind-control, and well known political icons. Proceed with caution and enjoy this
work of satirical fiction responsibly.

Submitted: January 06, 2018

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Submitted: January 06, 2018

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Nevada Underground Facility.

1959.
 
 “What is it, doctor?” This was the most insightful question the Agent could think to ask. Before him, behind a thick curtain of transparent synthetic membrane was the item that NASA had spent so much effort keeping secret. It was a silver gel in a tube, isolated from the rest of the world by concrete, steel, lead, and a layer of synthetic material meant to make the chamber impermeable to contaminants.
 “I haven’t a clue.” was Doctor Kartoffelpuffer’s rather discouraging reply. “That’s why it’s here, and not in some Ivy League research department.”
 “Has Ike seen this?” The CIA man asked the research worker, who shrugged cryptically.
 “The administration doesn’t hear the details of every project it finances.” which made clear to the CIA agent that this knowledge was the strictest of secrets, handed only to the very few on a need to know basis. This included even levels as high up as the POTUS.
 “I think he should.” The Agent concluded. He then suggested someone else.
 “Should we consider letting Doctor Braun in on this discovery?” The Doctor considered this, but then concluded,
 “As knowledgeable as he is, this isn’t quite within his area of expertise, and the fewer people who know about it the better.”
 The agent agreed, and then proposed to bring the President down as soon as possible whilst still not arousing suspicion on the part of the public or soviet intelligence.
This couldn’t be achieved realistically for another few weeks, but after some covert meetings in Washington, Dwight D Eisenhower was flown in to the middle of the desert and ushered deep underground by Dr. Kartoffelpuffer.
 Eisenhower stepped off the elevator wondering just how far it had traveled, but quickly redirected his attention to the importance of his surroundings. The hallway in which he was walking was dimly lit, and the concrete walls and floor had to be so thick that nuclear blasts topside would not so much as shake the doorframes. The end of the hallway was capped by a thick steel vault door, which was opened in a difficult process that took a few minutes. During this time, he was briefed on some particulars by Dr. Kartoffelpuffer.
 “After we send anything into space,” Bradley explained, quite needlessly, (Ike was frequently briefed on space exploration) “The agency analyses the exterior of all that we recover, to learn more about the effects that reentry has on our equipment. My department is responsible for checking hardware that returns to earth for contaminants. We don’t necessarily expect to bring back undiscovered pathogens from space, but we don’t want to risk discounting the possibility that space could be the home of virulent plagues for which mankind has no immunity. Seeing as how we know so little about the rest of the universe, we don’t want to take chances with a disease outbreak that could end civilization as we know it.”
 Ike nodded politely, having heard much of the theory before. The Doctor continued.
 “After the last launch, we found decent validation of the frankly rather far-fetched concern. Some material scraped off a capsule seemed to fit the criteria needed to be considered “living” but couldn’t be identified. Until we know more about it, we have been keeping it safely isolated down here until we can be sure it does not pose a national security risk.”
“Which is why you brought me here, isn’t it? For my word on whether or not the United States should feel threatened by whatever was on our space capsule?” Ike pressed.
“Yes sir.” The Doctor affirmed. “So far only you, I, the agent, and the Mission Team from NASA know about this. Obviously, until we know what is in there, we appreciate the panic that speculation about what could be in there may cause.” By about the time the doctor finished his sentence, the door was wide open, and the President was gestured inside by the doctor. The little room was very white and clinical, and presumably completely sterile. The doctor pointed, and Ike looked through the thick Glass window of the Isolation Chamber at the Mysterious Material. Sitting in a vial, an apparatus for handling it had been erected in the chamber, which could be directed from behind the panel of Glass in safety. After giving it a good look, Eisenhower turned to the doctor, who was checking some dials with readouts of environmental information.
“What knowledge do we have thus far?” He asked the Doctor.
“Not as much as I would like,” the doctor admitted, “and not enough to say for certain whether or not this stuff is for sure a dangerous substance. But it is clearly a unique organic tissue. Though the structure is seemingly unlike anything I have ever been told about, and the makeup is unknown to me, it is clearly arranged into cellular divisions, so it’s alive. That’s why keeping it secret and alone is worth so much effort.”
“Doctor, are you telling me that we have further evidence in here of extraterrestrial intelligence?” Ike asked the doctor, considering the implications of such a discovery.
“Not necessarily,” the doctor reasoned, “An alternative explanation is that the material is from earth, but altered severely by some aspect of orbit or reentry. Is such is the case, this discovery will be hugely significant for preparing astronauts for future mission, in case this phenomena is a common threat to our astronauts. But, yes, this will stay down here at least until we can be positively sure that it isn’t alien.”
“How can you be sure of such a thing?” Potus asked his science employee, who wasn’t entirely sure he knew of any way himself. Even still he responded with something that he hoped was encouraging.
“We hope that X-ray crystallography will teach us something about how similar this things biology is to ours. It has DNA, like everything alive on earth does, but not like anything else I have seen on earth yet, if I understand the meaning of my initial analysis. So, if this is just Biological material from earth mutated by exposure to something up there, then it is so radically altered as to be hardly recognizable.”
“What steps do you intend to take to verify the safety of our nation?” Eisenhower asked which was the question the doctor was prepared for. He listed a few tests he had already done.
“The process we are following is frankly rather simple, essentially the process of elimination. We are simply exposing the substance to various external stimuli, and watching closely to take note of how it reacts. After we have a general understanding of this substance’s basic properties, we will expose minor portions of it to various life forms to assess how to expect what effect this stuff has on human anatomy. We will begin with mice and other rodents, move on to primates, and if a chimp, gorilla, or orangutan can live in close proximity to the stuff, we will assume that humans will be able to as well, and it will go topside for further analysis. Hopefully, we are all just overreacting to a bit of mold and you won’t have to do anything about it.”
“But what if you aren’t, and I do?” the President pressed. The doctor offered a hypothetical circumstance.
“Worst case scenario? This stuff escapes its secure containment, is lethal, and contagious. What we need you to do is authorize the fail-safe sterilization process if I ever call you on the Red Phone should such a thing ever come about.”
“Elaborate.” The POTUS ordered.
“If this escapes and proves to be dangerous, I will give the white house a signal, and pull a switch which will flood these halls with enough ionization neutron radiation to kill anything alive.”
“Understood.” Eisenhower assured the doctor, then asking if there was anything else important he should learn while here.
“At present, I have given you all the pertinent information, and won’t likely tell you any more until the tests yield more results, and hopefully it is a long time before any developments arrive which merit your attention. Who knows? You might walk out of this chamber and be allowed to put this stuff out of your mind for good, and let your successor deal with it after your term ends. I know, I know, the buck stops here.” the doctor added as a response to the President’s expression. “But at this level of security, no one man can be responsible for everything. These underground bases contain dozens of secrets that only you know, and many more that neither you nor I know. It doesn’t bother me, or I’d go nuts.”
“Fair enough,” Ike conceded, “Is authorization to nuke this facility all you need me for?”
“That’s it sir.” Kartoffelpuffer confirmed. “But a decision as momentous as nuking American soils a mile underground needs your final Permission, or we would have told you nothing at all. The stakes are too high this far down to let even the president know what we hide down here.”
The president took that as his cue to leave
“Then I won’t endanger your security by remaining down here longer than is necessary.” He promised, turning back towards the elevator. “Dismissed, Doctor.”
“Thank you, Mr. President.” The doctor said, holding the vault door open for his boss. Ike stepped through it and reentered the elevator, punching the ground level button and returning the Doctors salute on his way out.
The President of the United States began his ascent to the surface, and was never seen in the fault again.  The underground tests commenced almost immediately, and continued day in and day out for weeks, which became months, which became years, which became decades. Starting off, the work produced little in the way of results. As, through the years, biologists made technological advances in the field of organic chemistry, the team inside the vault learned more of how the substance in their study was different from any other tissue on earth. It was made of unidentifiable compounds of carbon, silicon, phosphorous, iron, titanium, and others Kartoffelpuffer was unsure of.
They discovered that the cells were quite resilient, far more than seemed possible for living tissue. Only the most extreme conditions could damage the cell walls, which protected the Genetic material inside from great heat, extreme pressures, virulent infection, or deadly ionization radiation. Far from being destroyed, the strange substance responded positively to x-rays, gamma rays, infrared lasers, and some particle radiation. The researchers theorized that energy carried by high frequency waves triggered essential biochemical processes inside the cells, because prolonged exposure caused the cells to divide and reproduce at a substantially accelerated rate. Any damage to the substance the researches could successfully inflict was quickly repaired by the substance’s alarmingly efficient healing mechanism. The substance seemed to know how it was supposed to be put together, because it maintained a very well ordered structure that only changed occasionally when it grew.
The researchers suspected that the substance contained multiple categories of cells, because the substance responded differently to different trials of the same experiments. The gel would digest some materials to be used in cellular repairs, but ignore those same items later in similar circumstances. Sometimes, the substance would repel water, other times it would dissolve in water only to distill into separate layers of water and gel later on. When this happened, the researchers were stymied by its spontaneity. They appeared to occur for no apparent reason. These perplexing and frustrating inconsistencies hindered the research for years, and prevented doctor Kartoffelpuffer from confidently affirming the Gel’s safety. Eventually, more scientists would be cleared for work this clandestine, and the minds working on the project came and went inconspicuously.
In nineteen eighty one, the Gel had increased in volume by a factor of twelve, and work underground on all the various black projects had become monotonous for the researchers involved. Patience and habit kept the project functioning, but only doctor Kartoffelpuffer still clearly had the end-goal of the work in mind. In the late fall, he authorized an experiment with human tissue for the first time.
 “This is Doctor Ashley Harris, PhD.” Ashley said into the microphone, beginning what felt like the millionth experimental log in this week alone. Recording procedures as many times as they did down here seemed like an excessive step to take for experiments that so few people would ever actually know about. But, procedure is procedure after all. “Under the supervision of Directing scientific officer  doctor Albrecht Kartoffelpuffer, I am carrying out S-G stimulation trial F one dash three space Five Hundred and Twenty Eight delta, on 8:30 on the ninth of September, nineteen eighty one.” She let out a long sigh, which Kartoffelpuffer disregarded. He was intent on his statistics sheet, and sometimes spent whole days without saying anything other than the occasional muttering under his breath in German.
 Adjusting her glasses very slightly, Ashley looked at the first step of her experimental procedure on a clipboard. Writing down the precise second that she did so, she flipped a switch on the table whichmoved the Space Gel in its flask to where she could watch it behind the shatter proof and heat resistant glass. As the test commenced she spoke into the mike to record everything she did as it happened.
 “Now Handling S-G/X-31. Containment measures operable.” To her right was a television screen displaying a false color image of the microscopic structures in the Gel. She glanced at it occasionally, taking note that everything about the Cells seemed normal. Writing the time down again, she then proceeded to step two of her experimental procedure.
 “Now introducing foreign bio-mass. Exposure number one hundred and two thousand, four hundred fifteen. The foreign bio-mass will make brief contact with the S-G/X-31, and the interaction will be recorded on the microscopic level. S-G/X-31 exhibits no reaction to contact with Mouse hair, or lobster shells. This trial will compare the reaction to a human hair with that of a feline or canine hair.”
 Ashley was started slightly when Doctor Kartoffellpuffer interjected with an unexpected question.
 “Whose hair is it?” He asked, still looking at the numbers on his clipboard. “Yours?” He guessed.
 “No, I have a niece whose blood-type is more common than mine.” Ashley restarted the recording, having paused to answer. Writing down the time once again, she narrated her observations for the record as she exposed the Gel to a single human Hair.
 “Applying foreign Biomass in 3...2…1…there. Application successful. Hair has made contact with S-G/X-31. No immediately noticeable remarkable change. Substance registers the proximity of human cells, as Gel can be distinctively seen rearranging cells closest to human hair.” Suddenly, Doctor Harris looked up from her clipboard and leaned in towards the screen, unsure of what words would accurately record what she was observing the Gel display in the microscopic photo.
 “Doctor Kartoffellpuffer!” She tapped his clipboard to grab his attention. “What do you make of this?”
 He straightened his glasses and gave the screen a look. He ventured a guess.
 “The S-G/X-31 might be probing the foreign substance with gene reading….Oh my goodness!” he exclaimed suddenly. For years now, ever since it had arrived in the underground facility, the Gel had behaved in a frustratingly unresponsive manner. Granted, by incomprehensibly doing such a strange variety of behaviors, it kept the science team on their toes. But, since the testing was causing more confusion than enlightenment, the scientists’ interest in this particular project had long since peaked years ago. What the Doctors were watching on the screen now was the first truly radical change in the substances behavior for years, and was unique enough to be intriguing. Doctors Bradley and Harris felt that the significance of this was such that it merited bringing more members of the team in.
 The six of them all crowded in the small room, watching the Gel through the window. Doctor Harris filled the others in on what had transpired during experiment F one dash three space Five Hundred and Twenty Eight delta.
 “We set the Gel up in a flask,” Ashley explained, “And touched it lightly with a single human hair. Pretty soon the Gel digested the hair, and underwent radical change. Under a microscope we can tell that its genetic analogue looks altered, even without x-ray crystallography. That region of the cell is particularly active.”
 “So what do you think it means?” One person in the corner asked, being the first to put to words the obvious question everyone in the room had. And then began the speculation. The next half hour was filled with each expert offering their own theory in a process rather unsupported by the scientific method. Inevitably, the group came to a point where it was forced to admit that, more data was required to give any kind of explanation any more thought, and so it was decided to re-administer the x-ray tests on the substance to compare any changes they might notice.
“This is Doctor Ashley Harris, PhD.” Ashley began again into the microphone. “Under the supervision of Directing scientific officer doctor Albrecht Kartoffelpuffer, and in the witnessing company of four other experts of various fields, I am carrying out S-G stimulation trial F one dash three space Five Hundred and Twenty Eight Epsilon. Now Handling S-G/X-31. Containment measures operable.  Exposure number one hundred and two thousand, four hundred sixteen.” She wrote down her starting time and pressed a few buttons.
“Focusing x-ray emitter on subject, and priming oscillator.” She reported, and cranked the dial up to saturate the strange material in electromagnetic waves. She and everyone else in the room straightaway regretted their decision forever.
 The x-ray hit the space gel, which responded by shining incandescently, and increasing exponentially in volume. It smashed its glass vial, dissolving it like salt in water, and destroyed the equipment in the sealed chamber with it. The Gel boiled and frothed as it filled up its chamber, while the group of scientists frantically responded by instinctively engaging the emergency procedures set in place so long ago by people who never anticipated them to be used.
 One scientist cut off the power to the room and all adjacent portions of the facility, another extracted the most important archived records, one more checked quickly for breaches in walls or chambers that would risk the facilities isolation, and the rest evacuated the Vault. Doctor Kartoffelfpuffer figured that a good biologist should go down with his research, so that the rest of the team had to forcefully drag him onto the elevator up. Hastily and hurriedly locking all the vaults doors behind them, the team sealed off the facility entirely, rendering it inaccessible to the rest of the earth forever. Theoretically.
 Nevada Underground Facility.
 Present Day.
 Since the end of World War Two, the number of illicit and questionably legal operations managed by the government of the United States through the Air Force, CIA, and NASA increased by about Twenty thousand percent. By two thousand or so, the evolution of politics topside, and the relative autonomy of the subterranean research facilities underneath American soil caused the deepest portions of the U.S. Government to function much like independent governments in and of themselves.  But still, sooner or later, the ever growing number of intelligent lifeforms underground would inevitably have to face accountability from some member of a higher authority, literally and figuratively. When such scrutiny came along, as it rarely did, it put all the workers in the lower levels on edge. They had no fear of being fired, but each one of them were emotionally invested enough in their work to fear that money would be reassigned to other projects if they didn’t put on a good show for the man. And though no one spoke as much out loud, all secretly worried that they might one day wake up above the ground somewhere with memories erased.
 So, when it was announced that someone from above was coming down, all hands put down research tools and picked up brushes to make the place especially presentable. Not able to appreciate how tacky it appeared to someone from the surface, the scientists made a sign with the words “Welcome boss!” and posted it outside the elevator.
  On the extended trip down, Mike Pence couldn’t help but notice, As several people before him had also noticed, that he had never been on quite as long an elevator ride. Not even riding from ground floor to the top of Trump tower had taken this much time. And it was to be suspected that the elevator was moving at relatively high speeds from how much lighter he felt while riding.
 This supposition was doubly reinforced when the elevator stopped suddenly and Mike felt like most of his blood was drawn into his feet. Orienting himself, he opened the door, saw the sign, and was greeted straightaway by a bald man in a lab coat.
“Good evening sir!” The man enthusiastically told him, shaking his hand energetically. “I mean, good Morning!” He corrected himself, checking his watch.
 “Mike Pence, at your service.” The vice president of the United state offered him, returning his handshake with what he hoped was genuine enough enthusiasm, although he was taken aback somewhat by the surreal quality of his surroundings, an aspect of his job that takes a bit of getting used to.
 “Mike….” The doctor dwelt for a second on the name, looking as though hearing it took much concentration. “I know your name, I’ve heard of you….Are you our POTUS now?”
 Vice president Pence had no idea of just what kind of response that question merited. After a few seconds of staring at the greeting man with disbelief, he assumed that down this far he would just have to take everything he was told at face value.
 “Vice president.” he corrected the scientist. “Didn't they mention who was coming?”
 The scientist shrugged.
 “The distribution of information down here is exceptionally well regulated.” he offered. “You are the first of the White house personnel from your administration to be admitted.”
 “Which, I infer, is the reason I was not told why I would be coming down here?”
 “Don’t worry about that, Mr. Vice President; I myself will brief you on that in about five minutes, after I show you a few more members of the team...which is this way.” The doctor gestured and led Mike down a hallway covered with every kind of safety sign imaginable. Mike read one as they passed. It read, “Caution: moderate to severe Risk of Instantaneous Disintegration!” in enormous yellow letters. It was just one more thing he felt he would have to disregard while he was here. To remain focused on his job, he felt it was wisdom to not dwell on any details too hard...but it wasn’t easy when the restrooms he passed in the hall were labeled, “Male Humanoid”, “Female Humanoid”, and “Limbless accessible.”
 Understanding that a generally effective social tactic to use to impress ones boss is to provoke light conversation, the scientist combed his brain for a topic that promised to be interesting but not disconcertingly so on the short hike to research lab Alpha Beta Rho Zeta. Figuring, Hey! This guy’s VP isn’t he? He surely knows how to discuss politics on some level…”The scientist was no expert when it came to political matters, like Red was, but he figured he’d give a stab at it.
 “So,” he began, trying to attempt a conversational tone. “If you are vice, then who’s the president now?”
 Mike looked at him to determine the degree to which he was being serious. Then he responded.
 “How long have you been down here, Doctor?” This question was posed in response to a question, and was greeted in turn with a third question.
 “What year is it now….2018? Oh, it’s been thirty years. I came down during the Reagan administration to bolster the SDI with radiation research, which is my specialty.”
 “And, in all that time, you received no news of anything which occurs outside this facility? He asked incredulously.
 “oh, no, we have the internet down in the part of the facility where it was secretly invented, but since security down here is so tight, only the most important information enters or leaves...mostly all that goes through that channel is just illegally obtained Data from the world’s most advanced research institutions so that our work is always up to date, and all the Internet’s cat videos which we create and distribute as a decoy to conceal it’s true nefarious nature.”
 The scientist opened a door on his left, leaving mike no real time to digest this troublesome information. Through it could distinctly be heard a soft exclamation of ‘Here they are! Everyone look busy!” Entering, mike came into a small room full of couches, low tables, and people in white lab coats, each of whom were occupied in some menial and obviously fake task. Upon Mike Pence’s entry, these were upgraded to fake looks of surprise and excitement, and everybody in the room snapped to attention, lining up along one wall. They brushed themselves off quickly, and adopted swift salutes.
 “At ease...” Mike reassured them. He shook each person’s hand one at a time, moving down the line. “I’m Mike Pence, vice president of the united States of America. Mind telling me your names?”
 “Names?” The Bald scientist questioned. “Oh, we don’t use names down here. They just call me Green. I’m green, she’s Blue, She’s Violet, he’s Orange, and this is Yellow, Red, and Indigo. Say hello to the gang of research division SPECTRUM, Mr. President.”
 “Which of you is most senior?” The vice president inquired.
 “That would be me.” Red spoke up, stepping out of the line. He was also, coincidentally, the tallest of the group. “Dr. Red, at your service sir, Chief adviser of political intelligence and senior overseer of SPECTRUM research.”
 “Pleasure is mine, Red. Has the time arrived where someone tells me who you guys are yet?” The Vice president inquired of the group. Dr. Green stepped to the plate.
 “Firstly,” he began, “Let me say that I speak for the whole group when I say that we are honored to be in your presence, Mr. Vice President. We hope that you feel welcome here in our top secret, clandestine bunker deep underground, and express our gratitude that you would take time out of your busy schedule to visit us under circumstances which you may never again speak of.” There was a smattering of applause which ended quickly, and frankly, rather awkwardly. After a short and quiet pause, Red volunteered to take charge.
 “Let’s begin.” He began. He pressed a button on his wristwatch, which seemed to remotely trigger a part of the wall to slide back and reveal a small chamber with a map of the facility on one wall. Mike took the liberty to walk in before the group, who came in one by one until the room was crowded. Pushing a few aside so that the map was not obscured, Red pointed to it to illustrate.
 “This is a floor map of facility J, level 37 of the United States Underground Super-Secret Subterranean Science Research Sector complex, sometimes shortened to simply U.S.U.S.S.S.R.S. Area 51 is simply one of the entry point’s topside. This division of the United States government was organized out of DARPA, NASA, and the CIA in response to it’s eastern counterpart the, The Underground. Super-Secret Subterranean Science Research Sector of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, sometimes shortened into U.S.S.S.S.R.S.U.S.S.R. Don’t worry about remembering that, the Russians change the names of their bureaus all the time. Here in the labyrinth, we manage the worlds most clandestine scientific operations. Now, before you ask this, I know what you are thinking now, because the first question asked by everyone who come down here is, ‘Do we really keep the secret aliens down here?’”
 Though mike had not been thinking about that at all, he was impressed that this silly idea was being shot down right off the bat. Red rolled his eyes and sighed in annoyance.
 “Yes, we do, now stop asking about it. I grow so tired of confirming the same rumors repeatedly to every new administration. Any other questions?”
 Mike had no questions after this.
 “Excellent! Then our attention can turn to our map….” Red clicked the on-switch of a tiny laser pointer, and used it to illuminate parts of the map he would refer to.
 “Spectrum works in this half of this floor, and sometimes sixteen levels down on level 53. This part of the labyrinth has been designated a tier 40 secure operation. As a US citizen, a cabinet member, and an immediate link in the chain of succession, you already have level 17 security clearance.”
 “I thought 38 was the highest level security clearance in the government?” Mike interjected.
 “Everyone at security clearance level nineteen or lower does. New heads of state, or members of the cabinet such as yourself, are given the additional privilege of knowing about some (But not all!) of the secrets you don’t know about alongside the secrets we already told you. The bottom line, in order to show you what we need to today, we went on ahead and had you advanced to a level 45 security clearance tier.”
 “How many tiers are there actually, then?” Mike Pence queried. It was Dr. Green who answered him.
 “Fifty. That we know of, that is. None of us have completely ruled out the possibility that there are also additional security levels that none of us know about, even higher up the ladder.”
 Just when he was really feeling like he was getting the hang of his Job, the vice president was again stymied by an additional layer of byzantine organizational hierarchy. Ah well, he reminded himself, not for the first time. If this job were easy, anyone could do it.
“So then,” he asked aloud. “If so much of this stuff is compartmentalized safely between so many people, what is it that I need to know, now, here, today?” Red traced a part of the map with the red dot of his laser pointer.
 “What we are going to show you today is in here, these few rooms, and it constitutes one of the most important secrets of the United states government!” with this, red pressed another button on his wristwatch. The Panel showing the floor map folded and revealed that it had been concealing a tunnel. Picking up his cue, The Veep followed red and the others experts into the tunnel and took one of the plushy seats contained therein. Having a suspicion of what was going to happen, he braced himself. At the switch of a lever, the chair the scientists and politician were sitting in immediately accelerated from a stand still to upwards of twenty miles per hour. The trip was short, and the whole group found themselves reentering a different room through the secret doors in the walls moments later.
 “Here it is, Mr. The Vice President.” Green excitedly proclaimed. “The Laboratory containing our nations most well protected mystery! That is, of course, excepting any secrets I don’t know about because they are, in fact, secret.” He pushed a door open, and the whole group entered a five sided room with five large glass window panes.  Like an aquarium of sorts. On a table in the center of the room was a peculiar device shaped vaguely like a pretzel. The researchers all took a seat somewhere, and began to warm up their work space, by switching things on and prepping their tools. One of the buttons someone pressed caused a chair to rise up out of the floor, Which mike took as a cue to sit down. From here he could see nothing but his own reflection, which stared pensively back at him on a darkly tinted, nearly opaque, pane of glass.
“Alright,” Mike ordered, “somebody, start talking.”
 “Yes, Mr. vice President.” Yellow volunteered. “As I’d bet you’d know by now, Lots of the articles we hide here are very superbly well contained behind protections of all sorts. The protective layers in between you and what is inside that chamber in front of you keeps a wild assortment of things from passin’ through. Sound, heat, all bands of radiation, so forth and et cetera. The security has to be tight, because the stuff we’re working with gets to you somehow we ain’t yet completely figured out. In about three seconds you’ll get safely filtered audio and video.”
 Green pressed a few buttons. The room was decently quiet while small humming noises and static growling denoted the mechanical operation of the rooms facilities. The glass in front of Mike pence grew lighter, and then the grainy, blurred, indistinct shapes he saw through it clarified into a look into the chamber. A mechanical harness in the otherwise bare, empty chamber restrained a five foot metal appliance. Having treads on its base, it clearly was meant to be mobile, and on top of its red and gold segmented body was a glass dome which gave the whole contraption the appearance of an expensive cafeteria trashcan on mechanical treads. The wall behind it was marked with bold letters that stretched from one wall to the next. It read, “Item No. 33:-T-1 Stalinbot.”
 The audio from within the chamber then came online. Mike Pence found his intent study of the item interrupted by a grainy, synthetic droning which filled the room. After a short while, it occurred to the Vice president that the unpleasant sound was speech. The words became more easy to make out through the mess of crackling static as time progressed, but were still played in a slow and broken monotone. There were thirteen words, repeated in seemingly random order.
 “Abilities….from...needs…peace...and….strength…his…Love...to...according...ignorance...is…each...Peace…and...love...his….abilities….to...”
“What do you have in here for me?” Mike asked, now becoming rather interested.  It was Dr. Blue who answered.
 “Two words, sir. Mind control.”
 The vice present looked at her in disbelief.
 “I can see why you guys keep this place a secret.” he conceded. Red nodded.
 “Our entire government is predicated on the ability of individuals to govern themselves.” he pointed out. “By compromising self determination, the Mind-control belies the American political structure on the most fundamental level. So When the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics perfected mind control in the fifties in the form of this “T-1 Stalin-Bot”, the intelligence apparatus of the United States had to keep the Stalin-Bots a secret, even to its own government. This is where you come in. We need a guy up topside who is in the know...we need guy who can take action in the government to combat mind control, but isn’t subject to the political pressures mind control inflicts on a government.”
 “Okay. Alright, I got it.” Mike assured them, thinking of just how much of a game changer the existence of mind control is. “How does it work?” He asked nobody in particular.
 “You mean the Stalin-bots?” It was indigo who spoke up this time. “Be Darned if there ain’t anybody here who’d bet the farm to figure one of ‘em things out. We reckon it communicates with folks brains through more’n one medium.” He was interrupted by green who showed the vice presidents his notes on the subject.
 “The first stalin-bot is said to have been simply a train-car housing parts to a computer, on which the consciousness of Joseph Stalin was preserved digitally. However the soviets did that is a mystery to everyone but themselves, and maybe even to themselves if they’ve compartmentalized their research the way we have. Regardless, eventually the Russians got their hands on several of these…” Dr. Green showed Pence a black and white picture of a box like the red cube now inside the T-3 Stalin-bot’s dome.
 “These are alternatively referred to in coded soviet communications as ‘Stalin- kubes’ or, more colloquially, ‘people’s - kubes.’ Apparently, it seems the mind of Stalin himself was copied and transferred to each of these cubes, and then the cubes were encased in a robot called a ‘Stalin-bot.’ The Stalin-Bots are equipped with a handful of tools that let it move, plug into electronics, handle and manipulate objects, cut, drill, weld, slice, and, yes, brainwash enemies. This one has a twelve gauge smoothbore hidden in it some where. In the front is the re-educator, the interface that somehow or other communicates with nearby nervous tissue to reprogram it to the liking of the Stalin-bot in a process we call ‘anti-capping’”
 Dr. Blue brought additional information from a folder. Inside were charts, graphs and spreadsheets.
 “What still is not clear to us,” she explained, “Is just exactly how the Stalin-bot can manage to influence the activities of such a complex organism as the brain in a manner so specific as to produce the ideas it wants you to think in your own head.
 Dr. Red interjected, “Every person has a unique brain, and the ideas in them don’t exist in an of themselves outside the brain. They only have a form or meaning in the context of how they operate in the brain of one person. But, despite the inability for a machine, no matter how intelligent, to alter the non-corporeal entity we think of as our mind, this machine can not only reprogram a brain remotely, but consistently and functionally.”
 “Right,” Blue said, “But by watching patterns in the operation of the Stalin-kube, we have been able to recreate the signals it conveys to neurons to alter their activities.” She gestured to the pretzel shaped device in the center of the room.
 “This is an Accortexion. It’s a modified scanalyzer remote that can replicate the Mind-controlling signals given off by Stalin Cubes.”
 “So, it’s a brain remote?” Mike Pence clarified. Blue opened her mouth, closed it again, then shrugged.
 “Essentially, yes, for all intents and purposes. But, it also can be configured to emit the Stalin-Cubes reprogramming signals in inverted orientation, which means it can be made into a device for counteracting the effects of brainwashing. By engaging this switch,” (she pointed to indicate which one) “It can be used to influence an organisms neural pathways against the Stalin-cube’s preferences, a process we call ‘ThinkCapping’”
 Green team picked the Accortexion up, and handed it to pence, who took it guardedly.
 “So I hold in my hands the power to usurp my limitations as an elected official?” He mused, aware that he was currently living the most wishful fantasies of his most bitter political opponents. If only Joe Biden could see him now…he chuckled to himself.
 “Care for a demonstration?” Green offered. The veep looked at him warily.
 “What kind of demonstration?” he asked.
 “A safe one, that I certainly guarantee.” Green assured him. “You are technically my boss, after all.”
 “Not if I hand this back to you.” Mike pointed out rhetorically, doing so immediately even still. Green took it and grinned.
 “True,” he conceded, “But this doohickey doesn’t give anyone absolute power over anyone else until we have worked out the secret to the Stalin-Bots re-educator. It only does Think-Capping and anti-capping. Its almost like a...select fire nail-gun.”
 “Why don’t you show me?” Mike Pence suggested.
 “Alright….” Green turned to Dr. Red. “Any suggestions, Red?” he asked. Red thought for just a second, then posed a question to the vice president. 
 “Mr Vice president sir, what kind of foreign policy do you believe the United States of America should pursue during your administration?” Mike Pence was not sure what was meant, by the seeming change of topic, and considered his answer carefully while green pressed a few buttons on the Accortexion.
 “peace through strength.” Mike began, “Since attaining office, my administration has sought only to pursue peace, love, and understanding throughout the international community. It is our hope that, through reaffirming the commitment of our people to tolerance, cooperation, and friendship, one day soon perhaps the workers of the world may unite under a single banner of….HOLY COW!” He cut off suddenly, realizing what he was saying. Green switched the anti-cap function off, grinning. Mike hadn’t noticed how light headed and out of focus he was until he regained his concentration. It was one of the most peculiar sensations he had ever felt.
 “Don’t ever do that again,” he ordered no one in particular, but it went without saying that the usage of mind control is unacceptable under almost all except the most extraordinary circumstances. Green pressed another button on a wall which illuminated one of the other five windows. Pence peered through the glass panel and saw a moderately large room with a dirt mound in the center, and a floor that was abuzz with agitated movement. It was not quite clear what he was looking at.
 “What is it?” he inquired.
 “Grasshoppers.” Orange answered. The look the Vice president gave him prompted him to elaborate.
 “We exposed twelve thousand, three hundred and forty eight grasshoppers to the Stalin-Bot’s re-educator to ascertain the effect it had on their behavior. We quickly observed them diverge from the typical behaviors expected from this particular variety of insect and adopt new social structures. After an hour, two thousand or so of the Grasshoppers had eaten the other Ten. By hour three, I noticed that a  pattern and arisen in the insects’ activities, and began to try and delineate the new behaviors into official categorizations. Now they adhere to a strict hive hierarchy, lead by a single grasshopper, which we call a queen, which lives in the mound they built for her. We have had trouble keeping track of the queen because it is biologically identical to all the other insects, but we can usually pick it out from all the others based on how the others treat it. They bring it food, collect its eggs and deposit them in one location, they keep their distance from it. The other grasshoppers, both male and female, spend most of their time foraging or building the mound, and we call them workers. Those whose jobs seem to primarily consist of killing other grasshoppers, we call ‘soldiers.’”
 “You’ve turned grasshoppers into ants.” Mike pence observed.
 “Curiously enough,” Orange continued, “When we tried the re-educator on ants themselves, the effects seemed significantly less pronounced. The ants merely became far more inactive and disorganized, until they starved to death.”
 Mike looked in through the window more closely. Now that he knew what he was looking at, he saw clearly what orange was talking about….the grasshoppers were marching in rows, hopping in swarms, carrying food and building materials as best they could, and leaving and entering the hive mound in the middle of the room. Not an etymologist, Mike was yet of course familiar with grasshoppers, and with ants. He knew that this was uncharacteristic of them.
 “We have also found that the Grasshoppers breed and manage crickets as livestock since the stalin-bot reeducated them.” Orange finished. He turned the lights in the grasshopper room off, and Green began to speak again.
 “Adjacent to the insects are our rodent test subjects, white mice and hamsters.” He switched the lights on in this chamber so that mike could see into it clearly also. It contained a small labyrinth with flags at the various openings. Red began to outline the experiment to Pence.
 “You can probably see what’s going on in here...the control mice explored the maze until the found the exit with the cheese and bread. The mice we thinkcapped alternatively stopped at the cheese or the Gadsen flag we set up at exit beta of the maze, and the Anti-capped mice ignored the cheese altogether, and invariably found and stopped at the exit decorated with victory banner of the union of soviet socialist republics.” Both red and mike turned to the next chamber.
 “When used on common squirrel monkeys, the accortexion produced in the test subjects sudden and unprovoked fits of violent rage that were followed by periods of languid inactivity. When presented with simple puzzles, the primates who had previously demonstrated remarkable problem solving skills repeatedly were stumped. Although, one of the squirrel monkeys we anti-capped would take apart and reassemble an AK 47 in record time.”
 “Lastly,” Red continued, turning everyone attention to the final wall, in which was a gorilla and mock up living space. “We re-educated this gorilla. His name is Groucho, but he only responds to Karl when anti-capped, and Ike when Think-Capped. Gorillas are primarily herbivorous, but Groucho could be taught to east Beef Steak or Bacon when we think-capped him. When he was anti-capped, he would ignore the food we gave him, and would only touch Black Bread, raw beets, and rice. It was detrimental to his health. He seemed to tolerate starvation pretty well somehow. We taught him to sign, and he learned over five hundred words before we exposed him to the Accortexion. Once anti-capped Groucho would enter a lethargic state and repetitively sign the same two words ritualistically”
 “Is that what he’s doing now?” Mike asked, noticing that the gorilla’s hand were active.
 “Yeah, that sign means ‘peace,’ and that one means ‘love.’” Red flipped off all the switches.
 “I think you all have pretty well, made your point.” VPOTUS, told all of them, “So, with all this in mind, what implications are there I should consider for U.S. intelligence on a grander scale? I assume that these Stalin-bots were frequently employed in cold war proxy operations. How has your group tried to contain mind-control up to now?”
 In response to this, Red began to open into his well rehearsed spiel about maintaining perspective and not confusing tactics with objectives. Blue knew the drill and often thought that this speech was intolerable, but was obligated to pay close attention anyway. But when a quick movement registered in her peripheral vision, she refocused her attention. Looking swiftly around for what had moved, her eyes alighted on a small green insect which had jumped onto the table in the center of the room….a grasshopper. It took merely a second for the implications to process in her brain, but it felt like it was the longest second she had ever experienced, including the ones lengthened by time dilation. And when the second was finished, her eyes were wide and her heart rate was elevated. If a grasshopper was out of it’s containment chamber, and here in the room, then a breach must exist somewhere in the chamber for the Grasshopper to have escaped through. And since the medium through which the Stalin-bot’s re-educator transmitted its mind controlling signals was still unknown to spectrum, Spectrum could never fully feel confident about the security of the chamber containing the Stalin-bot. And, if a grasshopper could get through its containment measures, why couldn’t they expect mind-controlling signals to also make it into the room?
 Thinking quickly, blue had to rely on instinct rather than spectrum training...spectrum members had much training, but also dealt with such a wide variety of circumstances that there never could be procedures for all of them. This was one of such. So, leaping into action, she snatched up the accortexion.
 “Get down!” she shouted forcefully. Familiar enough with such a wide variety of circumstances as the spectrum team was, they all found cover quickly as they could, not hesitating even a half second. Most of them drew pistols, except for green and red, both of whom merely changed their wristwatch settings to ‘kill’ instead of ‘stun.’
 Red had been quite immersed in his “responsibilities of the enlightened” speech, and the very sudden interruption left him slightly disoriented. He tried to take stock of the situation, and studied the part of the room that blue was watching. He saw nothing there.
 “Blue!” He whispered “What is it?” Then the grasshopper jumped again. Startled, and acting somewhat out of surprise at the tenseness of the situation, Red reflexively intercepted it with a few dozen watts from his wristwatch laser, which burnt the insect to a crisp before it hit the ground. The whole group gathered around the insect. Red looked at blue inquisitively, then realized where the grasshopper had to have come from.
 “Son of a Governor!” he cursed, then looked apologetically at mike pence, who only looked back with an expression that denoted the degree to which he didn’t know what was going on.
 “Mr. Vice-president,” Green explained, “If that insect got out through that wall, you might be at risk of exposure to the Stalin-bots re-educator! We need to get you out of here immediately and run a diagnosis of…...” he was interrupted by indigo, who raised a finger to his lips to gesture for silence. Green heard it too...a very quiet rustling in the room somewhere. Looking to his left, he noticed that the insects in the grasshopper chamber were behaving strangely, even by the standards he had come used to. They were all vacating the hive mound. They gathered together in the tens of thousands, swarming over every surface like a cascade of water.
 “This is organized.” Orange observed.
 “Yes,” Yellow agreed, “These insects clearly are receiving telepathic or high frequency instructions, either from their queen, or from the Stalin-bot itself somehow. How else could insects display such resourcefulness and intelligence?”
 This made sense to the whole group, and green further postulated that, if the insects were all acting simultaneously under the influence of mind control, then they must share the same common purpose.
 “You are not suggesting…?” Violet began before green cut her off.
 “That the specimens in this lab are attempting to escape? We have to take precautions against that possibility, even at the expense of the research opportunity before us. We continue to collect data, but our plan should be to...” He too was interrupted at that very moment by the sound of a sharp thud. Every head turned back to the window between them and the swarm of insects massed on the other side. The sound had been caused by several thousand of them simultaneously jumping headlong into the window. Though the impact was no louder than the closing of a door on this side of the bullet-proof, two inch glass, the noise must have been deafeningly loud inside the chamber.
 Every scientist scattered about to check the readings being given off from the five chambers, and most of them holstered their weapons.
 “That glass should have no trouble holding. It is designed to contain far more.” Yellow assured green, rather unnecessarily. The Insects were throwing themselves at the wall with great force, but it was only killing them.
Content that the situation could be easily managed, green nonetheless felt that, after having already showed the lab to the vice president, no need existed for him to remain here and potentially wind up in harms way. He volunteered to escort him to a secure location.
 “Good idea. I’d recommend the armory.” Red suggested, studying groucho through the glass to check if he exhibited any new behaviors.  “Bring back some advanced equipment, in case this situation develops unexpectedly. The scanalyzer for sure, and possibly the Space-knife, you know, just in case.”  As he watched, the Gorilla stopped signing. Groucho looked briefly around, then wandered on his knuckles over to some of the items in his simulated environment. Where are you going? Red thought, as Grouch fiddled with the metal bars of the gymnastics course they rigged up for him in his chamber. When the gorilla managed to successfully disconnect a single piece from the rest of the assembly, it became clear to Red what he was thinking. Oh no…
 “Blue,” He ordered, “Plug the accortexion into Groucho’s compartment, he needs an immediately think capping!” Blue complied swiftly, but not enough so. Raising the metal tool aloft, the four hundred pound animal charged at the glass and struck it violently with the edge of the metal beam. For a moment, Red and blue were both relieved that the glass seem entirely intact. Then, they noticed that a very small crack was left on the glass were the metal made contact with it.
 “Get Vice Potus out of here.” red ordered, and green complied, ushering mike back towards the transit tunnel from which they had arrived. Moving to where he knew that he could be seen by groucho through the glass, Red attempted to evaluate the degree to which the animal was Karl. He signed a few words to the gorilla, asking it what it wanted. Groucho, seemed to acknowledge the question, which caused the whole spectrum team to pause in their activities lest the attempt to communicate with groucho be foiled by too sudden a movement. Groucho looked inquisitively for a few moments, and let the metal bar drop to the floor. After about thirty seconds, he turned around and walked to where his favorite rock was in his habitat. After looking at the rock for merely a few second, he turned back to red and signed back.
 Groucho wants only peace and love. The whole spectrum team gasped as the gorilla hefted the great stone they had outfitted the chamber with over his head, and hurled it at the window. As the single line in the glass branched into a spider web of cracks the whole team of scientists dashed back to the now desperate task of Think-Capping Karl. The gorilla repeated his assault on the glass, and the web of cracks grew thicker with each impact. Blue was holding the accortexion, and tried to plug its data port into the terminal that would fill the chamber with its mind controlling signals. But every time she flipped the device over, she still seemed to get the wrong side facing up.
 Then, the glass finally yielded, and the great stone shattered through it, tossing thick shards around the laboratory. Blue and red both ducked under a table to get out of the rock’s way.
 Now loose, groucho charged into the laboratory on his knuckles. Most of spectrum team scattereded to avoid all four hundred pounds of him.
 “Red!” violet ordered, “Stun him!”
 Not thinking twice, Red raised his wrist and set his watch back to stun. The automatic targeting analysis of his watch calculated the intensity and path his laser would have to follow to produce the desired effect. Holding down on the small button, Red lased his target in the back until his watch deactivated automatically to avoid overheating. The heavy animal was too large for the laser to have stunned him, but from his apparent displeasure it had stung him greatly. Outraged, Groucho turned around to see who hand hurt him, and saw blue making a break for where the accortexion was lying on the floor. He roared in his gorilla way and charged, snatching her up and slinging her over his back before making a break for the exit. The rest of spectrum thought about reaching for their weapons, but knew better than to shoot at a deranged animal with a human hostage. Red picked up the accortexion where blue had dropped it, and gave orders.
 “Yellow, orange, you stay here and ensure that the Stalin-bot remains contained. Indigo, head back to a terminal and communicate with the rest of the facility, and have this section locked down. It goes without saying that, under no circumstances, does anything cross from one sector into another.
 Violet, you and I follow the specimen from a distance, and keep an eye on where it goes. If we pressure it, it might injure or kill Dr. Blue, so hold back, but don’t let it get an advantage. Try to back it into a corner. I will call green, and have him meet us with some tools for apprehending a gorilla easily and safely.”
 Back on the train-chairs in the transit tunnel, Green explained to Pence that, as head of Spectrum, Red had jurisdiction over most emergency situations in this sector of the base.
 “But, as a topside official in the white house, you outrank all of us on this clearance level. So, down here, anything you say at any time goes, no questions asked.” he said over Mike’s shoulder.
 Stopping at the armory, Green scanned his iris at a terminal and granted both of them access into a large and fascinating room full of plenty of amusing doohickeys.
 “Welcome to the Armory.” Green said unnecessarily, rummaging through a few things. “take anything you want, but here are a few things you might need.” He tossed over three items. The first was actually like a neck-tie, the second a small device that looked like Swiss army knife, and the third an ergonomic video game controller. Green indicated the last item.
 “This is a standard issue scanalyzer, a miniature computer that senses and interprets all kinds of patterns in someones environment. It will tell you if it detects life forms, movement, sub-space vibrations, temporal anomalies, or possible threats to your life. It can predict outcomes of complicated processes, diagnose somethings physical condition, tap into electronic codes, identify an items composition, and translate languages if its given enough time to sort the sounds out.” He pointed at what looked like a necktie. “You should put that on.” he recommended.
 “What is it?” Mike pence asked. “besides a tie.” He added, finishing the knot and looking down at it.
 “A shield generator.” Green said matter-of-factly, picking a revolver up from a shelf. This surprised the vice president, but not nearly as much as when the Doctor, spun around and fired six shots at his face. The small caliber bullets halted in mid air a few inches from his nose, and dropped to the ground with a mild clattering.
 “Good, it works.” Green muttered to himself, making the vice president wonder what he would have done had it not worked. Pointing at the last item, Green began again.
 “That is a space army knife, and a useful tool for a very wide variety of circumstances. Its blade  is made of hard light and will take essentially any shape, so it is an almost universally applicable weapon or tool.”
 “What are these?” Mike pence inquired holding up a pair of what looked like flip-flops.
 “Oh, those? Gravity sandals.” Letting Mike mull over these particulars, Green picked up a stack of cone shaped hats and pocketed them in his lab-coat. He explained that the hats possessed telepathic scramblers, that would afford spectrum and him better protection from attempted mind control. They had the think-capping option, but did not wish to take many chances Since they were still unaware of how on earth a re-educator worked.
 Mike then spied what appeared to be an ordinary M-4 rifle.
 “Is this facility stocked with an adequate supply of general issue weapons like these?” He inquired. He supposed he ought to expect there to be a security detail down here, and wanted to know if Spectrum used resources from the other military branches.
 “Actually, that’s a portable Uberlaser in standard issue armalite casing.” Green informed him.
 At that moment, green’s watch beeped. While he checked it, mike holstered the colt.
 Red’s Voice issued from Green’s watch.
 “Green, is VPOTUS secure?
 “Affirmative Red. How goes it in the lab?”
 “Code maroon, we have an asset out of containment.”
 “The Stalin-bot?!?” Green nearly shouted, suddently turning pale.
 “No, thankfully not.” Red assured green, who started breathing again. “But the circumstances are dire enough even still…It’s groucho. He’s out of his Cage, he even escaped the lab. Me and Violet are in pursuit, but he moving through the facility quickly, and has a hostage, Dr. Blue.”
 “Send me your present coordinates, I am on my way,” green assured him, and tapped his watch to close transmission. “This seems to have escalated quickly.” Green mumbled, looking around the armory for something good for apprehending a gorilla. His eyes alighted on what he was looking for.
 “The Tranquilizer SMG! This should render a gorilla inactive in a couple of shots” He checked to make sure the weapon was loaded, and then slung it over his shoulder.
 “If there isn’t anything else we need, I suppose we should spend no more time here and hurry and meet Red and Violet.”
 “Do you want me to come also?” VPOTUS asked, thinking that it was likely wise for him to remain in the armory.
 “We gave you level twelve clearance, you are at liberty to go wherever you please, so long as I can go there.”
 Mike wanted to help out his employees, and indicated as much to green. Green observed,
 “You have that tie, you’ll be safe anywhere you go.”
 Mike agreed, having just found places in his jacket to hold the space army knife, his old tie, the gravity sandals, and the scanalyzer. Green started to walk again, but rather than return into the hallway they arrived from, Green went to another corner of the armory and picked up a dark metal sphere like a soccer ball. It had a warning stamped onto the side that read, ‘ATTENTION: Space-time distortions risk=mild. Use with caution!’
 “Aren’t he headed to help your team bring in an Ape?” The vice president asked him.
 “Yes, but in the present circumstances, I believe our relatively short time-frame mandates a more exotic method of transportation.”
 Punching a few numbers on the face of the sphere, Green entered the coordinates sent to him by red and activated the sphere. The air around them crackled with static, and after a few seconds of humming, the room around them disintegrated and re-materialized as a hallway mike had never seen before.
 “Oh! It’s for teleportation!” he exclaimed, and looked around to help doctor Green get off the floor.
 “Shhhh!” Violet whispered at them from across the hallway. Her and Red were both pressed against the hall wall, clearly trying to remain inconspicuous. Following suit, Mike asked Red how the pursuit was going. In response, Red pointed down the hall, where Groucho was briefly pausing to reacquire a good grip on his hostage. Blue, who had been uncomfortably pinned to an ape all this time, was unwilling to flail or make much sound lest she provoke Karl into another of his aggressive rages.
 “There he goes!” Violet remarked, as the ape took off again, turning a corner in the hallway.
 “Move quickly, and carefully. And keep the scanalyzer active for collecting data!” Red ordered taking a scanalyzer from mike, as well as a space army knife and one of the scrambler hats, which looked ridiculous when actually used. Violet took one of each also, and also took possession of the SMG.
 “What is your plan?” Mike asked Red as they tailed the gorilla.
 “Best case scenario, Groucho backs into a corner or else slows down and stops somewhere that gives us a window to hit him with a couple tranquilizer darts. Then we Think-cap him and teleport him back to the lab. We’d just think cap him directly if we could get close enough, but we are concerned about what he’ll do to blue if we advance to quickly. Hopefully, if he sets her down, or in any present us the opportunity to shoot without hitting her, we can just open up with the Tranquilizer.”
 
 “That seems straightforward.” Mike commented, a remark he immediately regretted. They all turned a corner in the hallway, and found themselves presented with a fork in the hallway. The gorilla must have turned another corner quite recently, because he was nowhere to be seen. His heavy footfalls still floated through the air though, so he was still close.
 “Which way?” Violet asked Green, who was looking ahead with the scanalyzer.
 “Left.” He answered, “One gorilla, one female human with an elevated heart rate just around that corner at the end of the hallway to the left. Groucho took her down that side corridor.” They followed the path dictated by the scanalyzer.
 As they moved through corridor after corridor trying to catch back up with their quarry, Mike stole a few Glances on the their right and left to read the various signs and posters on the walls.
***No Metamorphosis outside of designated facilities***
***Non-humans may be asked to verify species.***
***Notice: high oxygen concentration--Proceed with caution!***
***Individuals apprehended without clearance will be vaporized.***
***Speed limit: 35 Mph***
***NO smoking.***
 “How close are we? Red asked green, who again checked his scanalyzer.
 “We should be able to reacquire visual contact after we round that corner…” His voice trailed off and he stopped running abruptly. The others stopped also and looked back at him. His expression was worrisome, and he clearly was having trouble believing what the scanalyzer was telling him.
 “What’s the matter?” Violet asked him.
 “I don’t know how,” he explained,  tapping on the display of the scanalyzer, “But we seem to have lost them! The scanalyzer picks up neither scientist nor gorrilla!”
 Violet gasped.
 “But they were right in front of us! They must have been teleported….or vaporized by an automated system in this sector!”
 Dashing around the corner, they found themselves confronted with a dead end. A chaotic pile of concrete slabs filled the hallway nearly to the top, thereby impeding the way forward. Groucho was nowhere to be seen, but the scanalyzer thankfully found none of the signs that sudden teleportation or instantaneous vaporization would have left behind. The group assumed it was safe to approach the rubble pile. Red pointed at the gap between the roof of the hallway and top of the rubble wall. He thought it must have been just big enough for a gorilla to squeeze through, though he was sure it cannot have been all that comfortable for his hostage.
 “Karl must’ve scaled this barricade.” he deduced.
 “That seems simple enough,” Mike Pence observed. “So why couldn’t you guys see it happen with your instruments?”
 Doctor Green picked through some of the data on his scanalyzer display screen.
 “Something on the other side of this debris is giving off a chaotic pattern of lifeform readings. Once groucho hauled Blue over that wall, they became difficult to pick out against a backdrop of static noise.”
 “Life forms?” Violet queried, indicating that he should elaborate, which he did.
 “The scanner is detecting organic material very much like human tissue in vast quantities, but scattered over a broad area like a swarm of bees. My guess is that some kind of cloaking mechanism or disruptive field generator we have stashed away back here is just diffusing the Blue’s body signature into a haze like water.”
 “What is this place?” Mike Pence asked to no one in particular.
 “Section 5, I think.” Red Speculated. “It is outside of our jurisdiction, so detailed information regarding it’s purpose rarely comes our way, but I have heard that it was sealed off roughly after the work done inside went poorly.”
 “It is probably incredibly hazardous then to proceed.” Green Deduced.
 “And, by crossing a facility boundary into another section, we would be violating compartmentalization regulation.”
 “So, should we teleport back to the lab?” Violet suggested. “Maybe employ another team?”
 Red shook his head.
 “No time,” He pointed out. “Groucho hasn’t yet seriously maimed the Doctor, and clearly the accortexion has programmed a purpose for taking her hostage into his brain. But, every second we delay and he gets farther from us, Blue accumulates a larger risk of injury. We will just have to consider this an “as needed basis,”and proceed. If the worst comes to worst, we can have our memories erased afterwards.”
 “Should we leave VIP Pence behind?” Violet suggested “It would be a shame if we didn’t adequately prepare for what’s in there, and it put the veep at risk.”
 “I’m well equipped.” Mike pointed out, straightening his tie.
 “That shield should serve as adequate protection for almost all foreseeable risks.” Green acknowledged. “But to be on the safe, side, when we go in, give Mike the teleportation unit, preset to a topside location.”
 “Good idea.” red agreed, and then he spoke into his wristwatch.
 “Indigo, this is Red, do you copy? Over.” Indigo acknowledged with a single beep over the communicator.
 “Is the stalin-bot well contained?” Red asked him.
 “Affirmative, no breaches in security on our end. Over.” he answered.
 “I want you to keep the level secure. Let nothing in or out unless I give the word. But if I do give you the word, I want you to have a pre-planned warp jump out of the facility ready, understood?  If I give my signal, It means Vice POTUS needs immediate evacuation.”
 “Copy that, I understand, Red.”
 “Thank you, indigo, Red out.”
 “What does that mean?” Mike asked Red after he finished.
 “This facility has to be well enough secure that no one can simply enter or exit through teleportation, otherwise any of us could come or go as we pleased.” Red explained to mike. “So countermeasures are in place which prevent teleportation in or out of these facilities, or from one section into another, so that the integrity of the compartmentalization is maintained. If we get into serious trouble I’ve had indigo authorize a temporary relaxation of our countermeasures. In a pinch, our facility will allow one teleportation to a predetermined location to get you out but keep everything else in. Here,”
 Red handed Mike the teleportation unit. “If things get so bad that you’re shield tie won’t save you, just push that button and abandon us. You will teleport back onto air-force one, and I will finish up here and debrief you tomorrow after this mess gets cleaned up.”
 “Right, I understand.” Mike confirmed.
 “Let’s get moving then.” Green Insisted
 “Copy that sir,” Red agreed. They both reached into pockets and pulled out the space army knives that they had been issued. Violet and Mike both followed suit, although Mike had no clue of what he was doing. Or why he was doing it.
 “What setting should we engage?” Violet asked green, who decided upon ‘Lazersaw.’
 The group opened the Knives, making the devices hum softly and emit tongues of fiery energy which seemed to solidify into the shape of a chainsaw blade. Thusly equipped, the group advanced into the rubble pile, sweeping their blades in an arc to clear the concrete in their way. The debris before them melted away like butter upon contact with the blades, and pretty quickly they had carved a neat passage through the barrier. Someone showed Mike Pence how to switch off his knife, and the group took stock of their new surroundings. In front of them was mostly darkness.
 “It’s an elevator shaft.” Violet observed, and so it was. Looking up, the large shaft seemed to extend into infinity, with periodic ledges in the wall like the one they were standing on. These marked elevator landings. Violet looked down and gasped.
 The gorilla hadn’t gotten all that far ahead of them after all. He was merely a few dozen yards below them, descending the shaft by way of the cables running down the walls, which he grasped with three of his four limbs. The fourth was still holding on to blue, who dangled precariously underneath a four hundred pound mammal with questionable judgment.
 “What do we do, Red?” Mike pressed. Red’s consternation was easily visible. They obviously couldn’t use the tranquilizer gun, which would send Blue tumbling to her death at the bottom of a seemingly infinite abyss.
 “We can use the teleportation sphere to head the Ape off.” Green suggested.
 “We can’t teleport to the bottom of the shaft, we don’t know what is down there.” Red pointed out.
 “What other options have we got?” Violet asked, looking through the groups equipment.
 “We could just throw Mike down the shaft. Whatever is down there, his tie should protect him from it, and break the fall.” Green proposed. “Although I certainly would feel terrible after shoving the vice president of the united states into...”
 Violet interrupted him with a spirited “Eureka!,” excitedly holding up the gravity sandals. Mike had completely forgot even having them on him.
 “Perfect!” Red exclaimed, and violet tossed the sandals to him. He threw his lab Shoes off, donned the sandals, and made sure they were securely on his feet.
 “When I give the signal,” he ordered violet, “Open up with the Tranquilizer. A short, tight burst. Don’t hit me, or Blue.”
 “Copy that, Red.” violet acknowledged switching off the tranquilizer safety.
 “Wait, what is our plan?” Mike asked, somewhat confused.
 “No time to explain, that animal could lose its grip any second.” Red positioned himself at the brim of the shaft, looking into the deep drop beneath him.
 “Now violet!” He ordered, and Mike watched violet pull the trigger of the tranquilizer gun. The Shots knocked groucho senseless, and he tumbled with his hostage into the darkness of the shaft beneath them.
 Running on his adrenaline, Red jumped headfirst into the shaft after both of them. He clicked the heels of the gravity sandals together, and felt them hum as they powered up. He accelerated downward, keeping his arms straight, and caught up in a fraction of a second with the descent of doctor Blue, whose lab-coat slowed her fall. Grabbing a hold of her wrist as he plummeted by her, he twisted his body around in the air so that his feet and the gravity sandals were oriented against gravity. The sandals nullified his body weight with a force counter to his downward vector, and the two doctors immediately began to decelerate. The gorilla just vanished into the darkness beneath them.
 As red and Blue drifted slowly downward, Blue readjusted his grip on Blue’s arm, trying not to strain it. Eventually, the weights of both of them were evenly distributed on both gravity Sandals.
 “Sorry that I smell like a gorilla, doctor.” Blue apologized.
 “Don’t apologize to me, I feel bad that you had to be dragged so far before we could catch up with you. Does that arm hurt much?”
 “Groucho isn’t as rough as you would imagine. It is a shame we couldn’t save him.”
 “It wasn’t Groucho who did this, it was Karl, and the knowledge we lose from the death of a test subject is far less than that of losing a member of the team.”
 “Will we come back for him?” Blue asked red.
 “First let’s update the rest of the team so that we can all reorganize, but when we reach the bottom of this shaft, we will plan to teleport whatever is left of Groucho back to the lab. It ought to teach us something.”
 The darkness presently became such that neither of them could see anything of any nature, so Blue produced Red’s space army knife and re purposed it’s blade as a lamp. They both saw that the shaft had opened up into a wide space like a cavern somehow etched into the concrete. Looking down, they couldn’t see the floor.
 “Let’s see if we can find a place to touch down.” Red suggested. He shifted his weight on the sandals, thereby steering their flight path to a new direction. Blue held the lamp aloft and the two of them searched for the ground.
 A concrete wall loomed suddenly out of the darkness in front of them, and forced them to come to an abrupt stop. Fortunately, out from it jutted a three foot ledge like the brim of a swimming pool which afforded them a place to land. Letting blue down, Red switched off the gravity sandals, and took them off of his feet.
It took a few seconds for Red to grow accustomed once again to being subject to the pull of gravity. After reacquiring good balance, Red’s attention was caught by a nearby computer terminal. This he approached with his scanalyzer, looking for a light switch.
 While he was thus occupied, Blue tried to communicate with the rest of spectrum, thinking they should be reassured she was alright.
 “Green, this is Blue, do you copy?”
 “Blue? Blue is that you?” She could hear Mike Pence and Violet heave a sigh of relief through her radio ear buds. “Blue, this is green, I copy. Zounds, if I don’t feel relieved to hear your voice! Are you alright? How about Red? Never mind, just transmit your coordinates to me using the scanalyzer, and we will all teleport to where you are.”
 “Copy that Green, stand by.” Blue looked over to Red, who tossed her his scanalyzer and flipped a switch on the terminal he had been working with. The lights all came on individually after a brief pause and the chamber they were in was visible to her as soon as her eyes adjusted to the brightness.
 “Crikey!” she whispered. The ledge they both were standing on overlooked a liquid mass like a vast lake of dark mercury. The chamber was spacious like a cavern, and the far wall was at least a hundred yards away opposite them. The roof was vaulted like a concrete hanger, and the opening to the elevator shaft they entered through was twenty-five or so feet above them.
 “Are you ready, up there?” Blue asked green, sending out some data with the scanalyzer.
 “See you in three, two…..” The vice president, Green and Violet materialized next to her in a vortex of energy.
 “…One”
 Immediately thereafter, Orange, Indigo, and Yellow also arrived using two more teleportation spheres. The group reunited, Red took stock of its condition. Orange and Yellow both looked disheveled, and the Vice President needed his suit ironed for sure, but they still possessed most of their equipment and had enjoyed marginal success. Mission accomplished, He thought.
 “Alright team,” he addressed the whole group, while Green studied the room they were in with his scanalyzer. “This unfortunate turn of events has set our research back somewhat, but I believe that we put our point across to our distinguished guest.” He nodded at Mike, who shrugged.
 “Sorry I had to show up on a bad day.” Mike apologized, but Red simply proceeded to distribute orders.
 “Everyone, Assemble at the drawing board at 0700 tomorrow morning to map out a new research plan moving forward. We will have everyone take stock of research status to determine what this loses us. Orange, until then, I want you to submit an event form to someone and get our mission approved, so that I don’t have to explain why SPECTRUM was operating so far out of our jurisdiction. Green, if you can find a way out of here that does not require teleportation, then take the Vice back to the surface. Where are we, by the way?”
 “According to local network data, this space was once three or four steel vaults that the gelatinous mass beneath us dissolved over the decades. Records show that it escaped containment when researchers activated it with radiation.”
 “What...is it?” Violet asked curiously, knowing that it was likely info she did not have clearance for.
 Green re-checked the scanalyzer.
 “It is clearly alive, whatever it is. It seems the composition is so complicated that it’s taking longer for the scanalyzer to process the data. Give me a second.”
 While the rest of the group worked on finding a route back to the surface, Red casually studied the surface of the Gel. He figured that groucho must have fallen in, and he suspected that the Gel was likely toxic. Using his own scanalyzer, he thought that he would try and see if he could locate a trace of the gorilla which they could extract from the gel with a teleporter sphere. What he found confounded him somewhat, so he showed Doctor Green the results to compare them with Green’s own findings.
 “Curious….” Green observed, setting aside his own scanalyzer to examine Red’s.
 “Do you know what it means?”
 “It would appear to suggest that this substance is a Biosynthetic Mutosis Catalyca.”
“You made that word up.” Red insisted.
 “No, I didn’t.” green promised, “Some alien species studied by the Xenobiology department heal themselves, or metamorphose into different forms using an exotic class of cells which coordinate extensively with each other. If I were to guess, I’d say that this tissue was exposed to human genetic material before it was activated, which would have caused it to take on human characteristics. That would, by the way, explain what gave our Scanalyzers so much trouble back there in that hallway. The scanalyzer was disoriented by such a strange composition of life forms in such vast quantities. Once activated by Gamma or X-rays, though, the gel would become, essentially, unalterable.”
 “So...this is a lake of human biomass?”
 “No, not quite...it is more like...a partially human metal alloy.”
 “Groucho must have fallen in.” Red pointed out to him. “Would it dissolve him?”
 “Actually, it would probably save him. Many Mutosic Catalycates are used as healing agents to rebuild structures or tissues that have been broken or damaged. And, since this particular gel was activated with human tissue, it might also respond partially to contact with a gorilla.”
 “You’re not suggesting that Groucho might be healed by this material, are you?”
 “Healed? No, of course not. Gorillas might have a genome similar, relatively speaking, to that of a human, but they are still a different species. Even a one percent variation in genetic build up of an organism can mean huge differences in that organism’s anatomy. No, I would not expect the gorilla to heal as much as...mutate.”
 “Mutate?”
 “Yes Mutate. Granted, all of this is purely hypothetical. Xenobiologists still have much to learn about…”
 He was interrupted by a tremendous rumbling that grabbed everyone attention. The whole group fell silent, and clutched their weapons and equipment tightly.
 What now? Red thought.
 The answer to his question arose out of the strange space gel in the shape of a tremendous simian arm. Covered with dark fur, the fingers of this arm alone measured possibly a meter in length, maybe more.
 “Shoot dang! Gosh dagnabbit to heck!” Mike pence shouted in surprise.
 The whole group retreated down the ledge they were perched on, and turned back to look only when they had reached the most remote corner of the room.
 It was clearly Karl the gorilla, recognizable even after having been greatly enlarged and slightly anthropomorphized. The animal lifted his body out of the alien gel, and hoisted himself onto his two hind legs. When he found his height would not permit him to stand entirely erect, he let out a wild roar that made the vice president and every member of spectrum cover his ears.
 Karl thrashed desperately about on all fours, looking for a way out of the chamber.
 “What plan now, Red?” Orange whispered.
 “Ummmm....” Red stammered, and thought hard. “We don’t panic.”
 “Maybe, he won’t see us.” Yellow proposed.
 “We can teleport out of here, right?” Mike Asked Red, who turned to indigo.
 “Did you prepare a one way jump out of the facility?” He asked Indigo, who nodded.
 “Just like you asked.” He confirmed.
 Red tossed mike a teleportation sphere. Mike caught it and tossed back the accortexion, which Red caught and affixed to his belt.
 “It’s that time, sir. If a condition was ever critical, ours is. Get the heck out of dodge Mr. Vice president.”
 ‘Wait a moment!” Green interjected.
 “Green, if the Veep is KIA....” Red began, but green interrupted to explain.
 “According to that terminal, this facility is outfitted with a worst-case scenario fail safe.”
 Red looked back at Karl, who was pounding large cracks into the opposite wall. He figured they had a bit of time.
 “Giant, Enraged Ape rampage more likely than not qualifies as a “worst case” scenario.” He acknowledged. “What is your plan?” Red queried.
 “If the terminal can be believed and is up to date, that metal contraption,” Green indicated a steel cylinder embedded into the roof of the chamber. “Houses a low yield neutron warhead. From this terminal we can set the fuse for detonation at about thirty seconds, which will give us plenty of time to teleport beyond minimum safe distance. But we will need a head of state to authorize a remote detonation.”
 Red understood.
 “Alright then, here is the plan. Orange, Indigo, Violet, Yellow. Go ahead and teleport someplace and find us some reinforcements. We have three Spheres, leave two here, take the third. If you get into contact with whoever is in charge of this level, explain what we’ve been doing, and have them pass the information all the way up. Pence, are you still wearing that tie? Good! Me and You, we try and activate that warhead from that terminal, with one teleportation sphere with us. Green, you take the gravity sandals,” (He handed them over,) “And get airborne. Stay beyond arms length, but be ready to distract that beast if his attention settles where we don’t want it. Like, on me, for example. All right go!” Orange, Indigo, Violet, and Yellow vanished into thin air to carry out their instructions.
 “Wait, Red, what about me, what do I do?” Blue asked red, following him and mike as they dashed back to the terminal. Red signaled green who took off with the gravity sandals, then handed her the final teleporter, the cone-shaped scrambler hats, and the accortexion.
 “Take these back to the armory.”
 “That’s it?” She asked him, trying to keep up with them and keep an eye on the super-gorilla.
 “Blue, I’m pretty sure that you have more or less filled your quota of animal control today.”
 “I don’t care, I feel....” She began in protest, but Red interrupted as the whole group reached the terminal.
 “Relax Blue, trust me, we won’t need you more today. Eat something, or look at data to calm down. Also, you still smell like a gorilla, and a socialist one at that. Go take a shower, perhaps.” After a brief pause, he added, “That’s an order.”
 “Yes sir.” Blue conceded and then started to type coordinates into the teleportation sphere. But she stopped when Mike Pence spoke up.
 “Red, we might have a problem here.” He reported, looking over the terminal display.
 “What sort of problem....oh no!” Red exclaimed after looking over the VP’s shoulder.
 “What problem?” Blue inquired, tightening her grip on the accortexion.
 “It looks like vice ain’t gonna cut it.” Red explained, “An executive decision of this magnitude needs the approval of either a Five Star officer, the head director of NATO secret intelligence, or the President of the United States.”
 “Where is the president now?” Blue asked Mike.
 “Liberty island. He’s there with the secretary of the treasury to pitch for immigration reform.” Mike answered, checking his watch to verify the time. “This Teleporting sphere can get me there, can’t it?” Mike asked Blue, who nodded.
 “Whoa, hold on one moment, remember everything we have been saying about teleporting in and out of this place? We can’t just bring the President of the United States here; we need to have him advanced to a level...”
 A shadow fell over them, interrupting Red remarks. Karl had finally seen them, and moved to where he could look more closely. Green quickly took position in front of the Ape’s face, and hovered there for a split second before withdrawing to a safe distance. The eyes of the ape followed, and Karl swiped a few times clumsily at Green, who evaded with the gravity sandals.
“Point taken.” Red conceded. He took the Sphere from Mike, reprogrammed it to feature Liberty Island as the destination, and then handed it back to mike pence.
“When you get there,” Red explained to Mike, “You won’t have time to explain everything, just do what you have to do get his permission to nuke this facility.”
“No problem, I know what to do.” Mike assured him.
“And don’t take too long...the facility will have to reengage teleportation countermeasures quite quickly...not to mention that Green won’t be able to hold that beast’s attention for very much longer...”
“Got it.” Mike promised.
Over his head, Green hadn’t stopped keeping the giant ape occupied, and was frantically racing around the large room in the air. When Karl seemed to lose interest, he would shift his weight on the sandals and move in closer. But he only could keep this act up for so long, pretty soon was worried that the Ape would again try to smash a hole in one of the walls. So he lifted the tranquilizer, and switched off the safety. An animal of this size could hardly be expected to even lose feeling in one arm from such a weapon, but he hoped that the gorilla would at least feel a few well placed shots to the eye. Hovering in the air where he felt well positioned for a shot, he took aim and emptied the tranquilizer magazine.
The ape abruptly stopped it’s prodding about and covered one eye with one hand. Roaring again, even more loudly, the ape stumbled and lost balance, falling on his back with a crash that shook the room. Realizing that he had made a mistake, Green leaned full tilt into the wind and sped as quickly as he could to where the team was.
When the beast roared, all three by the terminal had to again put their hands to their ears. As the beast crashed to the ground, all three looked around for a surface to hold on to. Red held on to the side of the terminal, and reached a hand out to catch Blue before she fell. Mike however, was caught off guard, and stumbled when the ground shook from Karl’s impact. He regained his balance, but dropped the Teleportation sphere. It rolled a few paces away, coming dangerously close to the edge of the ledge.
Not wasting a second, he caught up with it and grabbed it before it tumbled over the edge into the dark liquid below them. But when he looked up he saw the palm of an enormous gorilla hand descending on him rapidly. Steeling himself, he closed his eyes...and opened them again when nothing seemed to have happened after two seconds.  He looked and saw that Karl was trying to close his hand, and failing. The massive ape’s fingers were being resisted by a force that caused the air around them to quiver. Mike remembered his tie and realized that its force field made him impossible to touch. Regaining confidence, he stood up and tried to move away, but found his own movement impeded by the Ape’s grip. He looked at Red and Blue nearby, who dared not move. Should he teleport?
 Getting frustrated, Karl let out another roar, and lifted Mike off of the ground. Though the field still held, Mike Pence was suspended in it, as though he were trapped in an indestructible glass snow globe. Karl furiously shook the sphere of energy in his hand over his head. Mike was unhurt, but felt sick as his stomach jolted from the violent motions. When Mike suddenly saw the far wall was approaching rapidly, he realized that Karl had let go and tossed his sphere clean across the chamber. He braced himself. The force field smashed into the far wall, leaving a spherical crater. He didn’t feel a thing, but straightened his tie for security.
The Sphere bounced off the far wall and landed in the middle of the Lake of space gel. The tie seemed to register the space gel as a threat, because it kept the liquid outside of his sphere of defense. But, as the sphere sank slowly into the depths of the gel and Mike became surrounded by dark liquid on every side. He realized he would still have to worry about possibly running out of oxygen.
Blue and Red had watched from the ground, and saw Mike sink into the Gel. Realizing that he would be stuck there, but safe, Red began thinking of a way out of the mess. He was expecting reinforcements, but didn't want to bet his life on them arriving in time.
"Now what do we do?" Blue asked him. While he was pondering this question, green landed beside him and took off the sandals.
"Got any new ideas, Red?" Green asked.
"Do you think you can convince the president of the United States to teleport here and set off that bomb?" Red asked him. Green shook his head.
"Perhaps the accortexion will still work on Karl at this size. I could go up with the gravity sandals, and if you kept his attention long enough, I could Think-cap him at close range!" Blue suggested, holding the accortexion in front of her face.
Without warning, Karl reached out and snatched her up in his hand. She screamed and dropped the accortexion, which clattered on the floor with a bright flash.
Green dashed aside to reach a safe distance, and looked back to see if Red had followed. But Red had not followed. Red had merely stayed still looking on at Karl as he lifted Blue over his head and roared.
"Red!" Green hissed at him. "Red, what are you thinking?" Green hoped it was something spectacular. Red merely turned and looked at Green with eyes that now matched his name in color. When green met his gaze, red twisted his mouth into an insidious grin.
"Oh no...." Green whispered. He realized that the accortexion must somehow have been switched into Anti-Capping mode since it was used last, and also must have activated upon striking the ground. Green didn't know what procedure spectrum had for when a team member was compromised, but did know that the group really was in trouble now.
 As was the Vice President. Submerged in exotic liquid as he was, he fortunately was surrounded by a quiet stillness that permitted clear thinking. This afforded a much needed respite from the chaotic surrealism of today’s visit to this facility. Unfortunately, he was still in unfamiliar circumstances, and had no preparation which would help him out of his current dilemma. He had no real plan to escape, and was so far removed from the normalcy of the Vice Presidency that he was not confident in his capacity to make any decisions.
 However, realizing the futility of simply waiting in a bubble of air at the bottom of a pool of Alien Slime, Mike thought about his options. He didn't think that touching the Alien Slime was wise, seeing what it had done to the gorilla, and therefore was careful to not make sudden movements.  He still had the teleporter, and it was still set to transport him to Liberty Island. However, he was pretty sure that one of the spectrum team indicated that he would not be able to return if he left the facility.
Eventually, Mike realized that he really only had one option. He pressed the button on the sphere and felt the air around him shift as he and his force field entered exotic space.
Green had his brain torn into three different directions. Above him, he could distinctly hear Blue screaming in the fist of a massive gorilla, and he knew that he would have to have a plan handy for rescuing her soon lest she be crushed. But, more pressingly, he was face to face with Red, whose anti-capping made him untrustworthy and very dangerous. On top of both of these problems, his attention was drawn to a loud sound like the rushing of water. He glanced over and noticed the Dark Gel level dropping. It was being drained through Mike Pence’s portal to Liberty Island. Green was unsure of what course of action he should take first, and he found himself paralyzed by indecision.
Averse as Red now was to capitalism, he nevertheless found occasion to capitalize on his adversary's hesitation. He rushed forward to grab the accortexion and turn it against green, but his hands were uncoordinated under the influence of Mind control. He fumbled and the device slipped through his fingers. Green lunged to snatch it off the ground instead. Both grabbed one edge of the accortexion with one hand. Red and Green both struggled to control the device, but Green was handicapped by an unwillingness to inadvertently trigger the device again at such close range. Red aggressively began to kick into Green's side to drive him off. Green responded by yanking the accortexion hard to his right. Red lost his balance, and let the device go to stop him from falling. Green retreated a small way from Red, who fallowed behind closely, and flipped the switch on the accortexion from anti-capping to think-capping.
Green fended Red off while the mind-control device was reconfiguring. When the red light on the side turned blue, Green pointed the device at Red's face, ready to activate.
Then Green rose into the air, out of range of Red's face. Feeling intense pressure around his middle, it took him hardly a second to realize that he also had been snatched off of the ground by Karl. Twisting around, he stared into the Gorilla's eyes, which were scrutinizing him as closely as they could at arm’s length.
Mike Pence picked himself up off the ground. His jump to Liberty Island had landed him exactly inside the crown of the statue of liberty. Figuring he could probably find the POTUS on the ground without too much difficulty, Mike started his descent down the stairs through the monument at a brisk jog, followed shortly thereafter by the alien space slime which leaked through the portal after him. The gel stuck to the metal surface of the statue interior, and crept along the walls like a disgusting algae.
Arriving at the bottom of the many stairways, Mike began to wonder why he was not running into crowds of tourists. He realized as he pushed through a door and left the statue base that the secret service probably had the island locked down as a security measure. This thought came to him as he spied an active group of people congregated a short distance off. The concentration of secret service agents among them suggested that the President was there. Sure enough, as he ran toward the noisy assembly, he heard a thick, distinctive New York accent floating over all other voices, and caught sight of the solid gold wig that he knew went with it.
After taking hold of Doctor Green with his right hand, Karl the Gorilla bent over and took a close look at Red, who began to communicate using sign language. Green noticed both the signs for "peace" and "love" and that Karl seemed to comprehend and register the motions. Green was taken aback when he realized that Red was giving Karl commands under the influence of minding control, suggesting that the accortexion was provoking cooperation between its two victims.
Green shot a quick look over to Karl's left hand, which was being held relatively close to its right counterpart in which he was being held prisoner. Blue's lower body was still trapped in Karl's fist, but her arms were free. She was out of breath and looked mildly sick to her stomach, but Green caught her attention and tried communicating quietly.
Do you still have the third teleporter? He mouthed silently. He was relieved when she nodded yes, indicating that she understood him. But she mouthed back that she could not reach it from her position.
Try to activate it without your hands. Green told her, thinking it would at least free her and probably distract the Ape. If Karl's fingers got any looser, he planned to try and pull out the accortexion and throw it at the Ape's face.
Blue squirmed in the hand of the massive primate, and felt the teleportation sphere inside her lab coat. If she could just reach one of her free hands into the lab coat pocket and....
Karl’s grip tightened very slightly at her struggle, and the teleportation sphere was activated inadvertently. But, rather than transport only her, it locked onto three life forms and followed the last jump to its destination.
Mike Pence was arguing with the head of white house security.
"Let me through, Rufus, I gotta speak with the Boss." Mike said, trying to push past the agent.
"Hold on just a minute; is it you or your body double? I can still taze the Vice President you know!"
Their exchange was interrupted by the president himself, who called out to mike from a portable podium.
 "Mikey!" he hollered. The agents stepped aside to let him approach Mike Pence. "How's the boy doin'? Mega Maga's Pence. Ya bettuh not be up t'any monkey business." Trump joked. Pence was going to explain where he had been today, but then realized that he was unsure how to approach the subject of his visit.
 "Boss, We have a problem, and I think it qualifies as a class 7 Covfefe." he began.
The President of The United States grew suddenly quite serious. The agents around them managed to conceal their concern, but all turned to watch Trump and Pence.
 "Is it Chyna?" Trump asked, to which Mike shook his head.
 "Rocket Man?" Trump tried again, but mike again responded no.
 "Putin? Iran? Mexico? CNN? Are the Cali's finally seceding? What is it Mikey?"
"Uhhh....well, it turns out that there actually are Aliens at area fifty....."
 "CALLED IT!" Trump exclaimed pumping his fist in the ecstasy of vindication. He then tried finishing the rest of Mike's sentence for him.
"And they're here to snatch some bodies and live here illegally, right?" Trump knew what to do if such was the case, having directed his staff to map out a response to such a scenario shortly after taking office.
 At that very second, mike explanations was cut short by an enormous roar, as Karl, Green, and Blue were all transported onto liberty Island. Karl smashed into the statue, causing it to topple over and break on its star shaped pedestal. Karl's hold on Green and Blue was loosed, and Green dropped into a tree which broke his fall, albeit at the price of many bruises. The accortexion landed in the space gel which was now strewn across the island lawn. Blue was tossed into the air, and for a moment felt only the rushing air, and a certain dread of falling to her death. When she was caught again by Karl, she felt ironically glad to be back in the filthy monster's hand. But this sentiment passed quite quickly, and blue was once again trying desperately not to be crushed by the tight grip of a massive Ape.
 "Whoa....." Trump observed. "That monkey is YUUUGE."
When Karl vanished from the massive chamber Red suddenly realized he was alone. He spent perhaps a minute and a half formulating a new plan, when his attention was aroused by a whirring hum. It was Orange, Indigo, and Violet. They were back, and they brought heavy equipment with them. These included portable shield projectors, an M7 Anesthetic grenade Launcher, Plenty of gas masks and biohazard protection gear, and powered Utility armor.
Finding the room empty, Indigo approached Red.
 "Holy Toledo, what happened, Red? Where did the Gorilla Go?" He asked unnecessarily. Rather than answer, Red gave him a blank Stare with his red eyes.
 "Are you alright red? You don't look so..." Orange began, before Red interrupted him.
 "Do you have another teleportation sphere?" Red demanded in a strange monotone. Indigo didn't give his voice a second thought, having experienced his share of surprises today. Indigo motioned to Yellow, who gave Red a sphere straightaway. The three saw Red input some coordinates, and then vanish in a whirlwind of sparks. The three looked at each other, unsure of what to do.
 "We jist gonna wait here 'till they come back?" Orange suggested.
"Naw, Orange." Yellow answered. "We got a big mess here, let's get a head start on cleaning up. I'm sure that Red will return with additional orders in an hour or two." The three agreed, and started back to begin the mundane procedural tasks ahead of them.
Mike and Donald took cover behind the black presidential SUV and watched the ongoing events from a safe distance. Karl was picking himself back up from off the ground.
"Mike." Trump said. "Seems you totally got yourself into a royally yuge mess, Big league."
 "While that beast is here on Liberty Island, it only poses a threat to me and you. If it manages to cross the bay to Ellis Island, or to Manhattan, it could threaten the entire civilian population. We need to kill it here while it's still isolated...."
"Too late." Trump observed. As they watched, the animal let out a roar that shook the island, and Jumped into the bay. As large as he was, crossing the bay to Manhattan wouldn't take at all much time. Green untangled himself from the foliage, and stumbled haphazardly back to the impact site left by the statue. By now, The Island was covered with copious amounts of alien space slime, and so green took care to avoid touching any of the places in which the viscous material was gathered. He looked around for the accortexion. He couldn't see it...It must be underneath the gel somewhere. He searched himself for his scanalyzer, but realized he must have lost it somewhere along the line.
It was then that Red, still intent on subjugating the world to the will of the accortexion, materialized in front of Green. 
Green slapped him in the face, hoping the impact might suffice to help him regain some control over his brain. Red hardly flinched, staring at Green for just a second before landing a kick on Green's abdomen. Green, already winded, bruised, exhausted, and sore from all he had done today, fell right over on his back.
"Ouch..." he moaned, and looked over to his right. There, on the ground next to him, lay the accortexion, not three feet away. He reached out, caught a hold on one edge, and checked it to make sure it was still set to think-capping mode. Seeing the small blue light. Green got up from off the ground and looked to see where Red had gone. He found Red six paces away, weaving the through puddles of Silver Space slime. Taking care to avoid them himself, Green followed catching up with Red after a half second. Pointing the accortexion at Red's face, Green Pulled the trigger. Red Leaned sideways to dodge the blue flash which should have liberated his brain. Instead the flash struck the slowly advancing mass of Gel behind them both.
In his haste to avoid being cured of mind control, Red lost his traction and slipped. Green gasped as Red landed in a puddle of slime. Red thrashed and screamed as the unearthly substance soaked into his skin and fused with his human tissues.
Green stepped back slowly. Before him on the ground, Red was absorbing the matter around him. His chemical composition was being fundamentally altered, so that it could accommodate new dimensions. Gaining seventy pounds in five seconds, Red grew from six and a half, to eight, to twelve, to twenty, to thirty, to Fifty feet tall. Green retreated two dozen paces to the Black SUV, unable to take his eyes off of the spectacle in front of him. So entranced was he in the unfortunate fate of his comrade, that he didn't notice the Rest of the Gel reconvene together in one spot, and start to take on humanoid form.
"What happened to him, doc?" Mike asked Green, who didn't turn around to answer him.
"He was anti-capped through some improbable accident." Green explained, still watching Red as he reached a height Green couldn't guess. Red seemed to stop acquiring more size, but remained highly disoriented, and stumbled about on the island, trying to regain his bearings.
"And then he touched the stuff." Mike deduced. Green nodded, and then winced when Red stumbled into the bay. The resultant splash tossed water as far as five feet away from where Green was standing.
But he stayed dry, whereas Blue was soaked to the bone in the course of Karl's trip from Liberty Island. Though he was more than large enough to wade where the bay was shallow, Blue had gone under the surface a few times before the Ape finally emerged onto the dry ground of New York City. Walk on his hind legs, Karl roared and beat his chest with his free hand. Thousands of new Yorkers and tourists from the world over screamed and scattered at his approach. Many who were stuck in traffic abandoned their Taxis or buses and sprinted off to safety on foot. This was the right decision, as any vehicle which the gorilla's foot landed on was flattened like aluminum can.
"Do we have a plan?" Mike asked green, who merely shook his head.
"I do." Trump offered. Both Green and Mike looked at him. He elaborated.
 "First, we nail that gorilla. Hit 'im hard. I can have aircraft in the air to wipe out that sucker faster than you can say 'you're fired.' We will show that monkey no to mess with the United States, believe me."
"If that animal falls, it could end hundreds of innocent lives, not to mention cause millions of dollars of property damage." Green pointed out.
"Hey, nobody knows about property damage more than I do, believe me." Trump assured him, "I built billions of buildings all over the world, some of them the finest buildings in the world. Many of them right here, in New York. Believe me; I know what were risking here." At this, Trump gestured with his right hand for emphasis.
"But if we let that animal rampage, the situation could get outta control. We gotta kill that Monkey, or New York’ll end up like just another Tokyo." After saying this, Trump tapped a button on the side of the Black SUV. A panel slid aside to reveal a touch screen interface, which trump used to send an encrypted call to the pentagon.
"Pentagon!" Trump shouted over the communicator. The face of General Mattis appeared on the screen before trump with the very same serious expression that he always wore.
"Mad-dawg," Trump addressed Mattis. "Do you have a plan for killing a giant gorilla?"
The general’s expression was inscrutable as he pondered the question.
"Sir, I have had a plan for killing every single man I ever met, but never a Giant gorilla. How big of an animal are we talking about, sir?"
"Yuge. Major Bigly yuge, I'm talkin' Collawssal. Imagine a gorilla thick as the Wall and half as tall."
 "Holy cow, that's big!" Mattis observed.
"General," Trump ordered him, "I want you to tell the air force to move like Kim Jong UN in front of cake, and get in the air to await my awder."
"Yes sir, Mattis out!"
It was at that moment that she came into existence. Beginning from the instant the green missed Red and Think-Capped the Mutosis Catalyca instead, the dark silver liquid had been reorganizing itself into one final, permanent, unchangeable form that would resist external stimuli, radiation, and further metamorphosis. The gel mounted up into the shape of a human and solidified, pushing aside the remains of the downed statue of liberty. Taking on color and Texture, the Gel divided into metallic Cells, which gathered into flexible tissues, which combined to form organs out of solid Metal. And then, the first bright spark of consciousness flashed through the creature’s brain in the form of a single thought.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessarily to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another; a decent respect to the opinions of mankind should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.....
Green then noticed what was happening. Mike saw his expression and followed his gaze, then gaped in astonishment at what they saw before them. Trump was still rambling on with various world leaders about the crisis, trying to throw a response together. But when he happened to glance back over his shoulder to check on his surroundings, he dropped his phone and muttered a profane exclamation.
Where before the Statue of liberty had been, a new statue now stood. It resembled the original greatly, though it was somewhat bigger. Its face was slightly different and seemed to mix the features of the original with those of the humans who had touched it, including blue, red, and the niece of Ashley Harris. But she still wore the crown, and held a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other. Her skin was a not made of Green, corroded copper, but of soft, slightly shiny metal that looked almost like plastic. It was a curious color close to that of normal human flesh, but tinted slightly gray. She was wearing a dark gray Toga which moved like heavy sheets of Kevlar.
She opened her eyes. She was astonished when the world around her came into focus. The bright colors were disorienting at first, but when she could distinguish between them, she looked up. The solid blue expanse above her extended into eternity.
Looking downward at her feet, she became aware that she was standing on an elevated platform on an island in a body of water, and island that, to her, seemed very small. The next thoughts to flicker through her massive head were existential in nature. How had she gotten there? Where was she? Come to think of it, who was she? As she regarded the world around her, she realized that she had no recollection of anything which had transpired in it, but still inexplicably possessed inherent knowledge of the items and ideas it was comprised of, transmitted into her massive skull by the accortexion. As the first couple of milliseconds of her life ticked by, understanding came to her of many words, objects, ideas, and feelings.
She felt the air, which she knew was mostly comprised of nitrogen and oxygen, which she knew were gasses, which she knew were distinct arrangements of molecules, which were building blocks of matter. She saw the sun, which she knew was heated by fusion. She also knew that it illuminated the entire planet, but curiously didn't know what planet it was. How she knew what a planet was, but not which one she was on, perplexed her. She didn't know the context of any of her surroundings, or truly any context of any kind at all.
Throwing her eyes about, she took in her surroundings and experienced a sense of awe for the first time in her life. When her eyes alighted on the remains of the fallen monument, she experienced curiosity for the first time in her life. She had not yet ever seen an image or reflection of herself, and so could not have known of the icon's significance. But she did realize that it was broken, which made her wonder how things broke.
Her curiosity was then hijacked by the next aspect of her new existence which caught her attention. The Black SUV.
 "Crikey, Mikey, she saw us." Trump remarked, unnecessarily.
"We should leave, Mr. President." Green suggested, but Mike shook his head.
 "I don't think so....don't make any sudden moves just yet."
Lady Liberty wondered if she could move, and tried to lower herself down from off of her base structure. Taking some time to master control over all of her body parts, she tentatively took a step forward, and was rewarded with an understanding of effects of gravity. Losing her balance slightly, she dropped to her knees to stabilize herself, an action which made the frame of the presidential SUV shake. Finally feeling like she knew what to expect from gravity, she stood up again. After getting the hang of coordinating all her different body parts together at the same time, she took two steps. This was enough to close the distance between her and the SUV, and she stooped down to look closely at the vehicle park at her feet.
Trump, Mike, and the doctor had all locked themselves in the SUV for protection. It could support several tons of weight, weighed more than a light Tank, was bullet proof, and resistant to fire. But Mike figured that if this creature picked the SUV up and dropped it, the occupants might still sustain serious injuries. So when the Statues hand descended on the vehicle, he threw open the door, stepped out, and aggressively gestured for her to stay back.
The statue's hand stopped and withdrew a little. Propping herself up on her palms, Lady Liberty moved her face as close to Mike as she could.
Mike swallowed hard, tried to remain calm, and stared up into the synthetic looking eyes that hovered mere yards above him. At this distance, the immense size of such a life-form was especially striking.
She spoke first. Her voice was loud, but not as loud as Mike supposed it ought to have been for emerging from such a large mouth. And otherwise it was completely normal.
"Wh...What are you?" She asked him. Mike winced slightly, but was relieved that it could speak English. Mike answered loudly to make sure that she could hear him.
 "I'm..." he began, but paused, unsure of what response would be relevant to her. Should he say that he was a Human being? A Public Figure? A republican?
 "I am Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States of America. This" He gestured to the universe at large, "Is America, the nation I lead together with the President."
Trump rolled down the passenger window of the SUV and waved.
As the Statue of Liberty pondered this response, she was seized by a sudden realization as the words 'United States of America' echoed prominently in her mind. America? What did she know of the U.S.A....?
The understanding exploded suddenly into her brain. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows....
"I know who you are!" She exclaimed excitedly, standing back up. "I know who I am!" This caught Mike off guard, but he listened carefully as she began to revel in the resolution to her existential inquiries.
"You, you are president of the senate, and next in the Presidential line of Succession. You, whose hair is so shiny, you, are the Executive Head of State! You are my Commander in Chief, and him to whom I owe my allegiance!" The elation was visible in her face.
"And, who....who are you?" Mike asked her, glad that they had some level on which to understand each other.
 "Me...? I am...." The Statue pondered for a moment before she found the right words to describe what she was thinking. When they came to her, they rolled off of her tongue naturally, like she had rehearsed every one extensively.
"I am the Statue of Liberty; I am the property of the Federal Government of the United States. I answer to the executive, and comply with its directives in accordance to the will of the people. I protect and uphold the constitution of the United States of America, and act in the interests of its citizens."
When she had finished, she let out a sigh of relief.
"America..." She whispered and turned around to take it in.
But what she saw around her astonished her. Though the many towering and impressive buildings of New York that stood as evidence of her Nation's industrious and innovative history, she thought she could see chaos and destruction intermingled with the civilization and liveliness of New York. Smoke rose from many places in the city, and screams of terror reached her ears. Across the water, she saw a large and dark shape wreaking havoc on the people of the Nation.
 "What is that?" She asked in horror, pointing.
Green, who had gotten out of the SUV to ask her a few more questions, followed her gaze to Karl, and explained that it was a gorilla, artificially enlarged by the same technology that had brought her to life.
 "What is it doing?" She asked Pence, who wanted her to remain calm so that he could manage the situation.
 "Relax; it needn't concern you just yet, what I need to ask you are..." He began, but she cut him off.
 "If it concerns this nation or its people, and if it threatens their liberty, general welfare or security, then it concerns me!" She insisted defiantly, and with that she began to forge her way to the center of the commotion. Mike Pence shook his head, watching as she moved away with a speed quite surprising for her size.
"Man," He said aloud. "This just keeps getting weirder."
In downtown New York, the NYPD was in total disarray. Some cops had tried organizing a response, but their information on the whole picture was fractured and misleading. The situation had no precedence, and the panic which had arisen was so forceful that it sowed confusion city wide. Spilling like a flood from block to block, many hardly even knew what the source of the commotion was, and rumors leaped across the state in mere minutes.
Some reasonably suspected terrorism. But many cameras were present to record and offer a good view of the enormous creature. Eyes all over the world followed the enormous beast as he scaled the side of a Tower, still holding Blue in one fist. At the top of the skyscraper, the gorilla roared and beat his chest with his fist.
Lady liberty sprinted as hard as she could to bridge the distance between her and the monstrous Gorilla. Her sandals cracked the streets and kicked up concrete. Racing down one avenue after another, she kept her eyes downward to avoid stepping on something important. The streets were evacuated here, so that she only need worry about the empty vehicles left behind. Still, any wires stretched over the street were snapped like spider webs.
She arrived at the base of the tremendous skyscraper atop which Karl held Blue in his fist. Skidding to a halt, she was slightly taken off guard by how much momentum she had accumulated. Bringing herself to a standstill shredded the ground beneath her.
Looking up, she began to devise a means of returning the person in the gorillas hand to the ground unharmed. The tower put the animal far out of her reach, but she didn't want to try and climb up after it. She was not sure she could ever climb as well as this gorilla could, which gave the beast an advantage. Testing her own ability, she grabbed a hold onto the side of the building to see if it offered a decent grip. She immediately felt the solid surfaces give out under her weight, and just as quickly abandoned this endeavor.
Turning then to the only solution left to her, she looked quickly around, spotted six or seven empty taxi-cabs, and picked one up in her right hand. Applying what she already knew about gravitation and ballistics, she passed the vehicle back and forth from hand to hand, took careful aim, and then hurled the metal capsule at the monster high above her. It struck Karl in the forehead, where it exploded. Karl wasn't even injured to the slightest degree, but his surprise caused him to relinquish his hold on the Doctor.
Again for what she hoped would be the last time today, Blue felt the pressure on her body let up, and then felt the weightlessness of free-fall.
The Statue's eyes were sharp. She had more receptive retinas than any human being by a factor of more than seventy. She picked out the rapidly descending body of the Doctor, leapt into the air, reached out, and caught blue in both hands. Twisting in the air, Lady Liberty took care to land back on the ground with both feet. Her impact left a deep crater, and shook the foundations of every building on the Island.
Blue, for her part, was herself still unsure whether or not she was alive or dead. Though she knew that, logically, she ought to have been killed by a drop she had not seen any escape from; she also knew that today had not been filled with all that much logic or the fulfillment of sensible expectations. She was surrounded by darkness, and tumultuous noise. She tried to feel around to see if any of her senses could explain what had happened to her. Her fingers felt that she was laying on a surface like soft plastic.
Lady liberty opened her hands and looked inside to see if Blue was alright, or if her hands had not adequately broken the fall.
Blue looked up into enormous human eyes. The Statue studied Blue, and was content to observe that she didn't seem critically injured. Not wasting any more time, the statue whispered hurried instructions into her hands.
"Quickly, hold tight to something!"
The statue lifted blue up to her forehead, and Blue saw that the statue of liberty still housed an observation deck in her crown, though she surely had no spiral staircase winding through her entire body. Blue squeezed into the chamber in the Statue's forehead. The inside of the Statue felt like hard metal, and Blue hoped it meant she would be able to withstand great force. Blue grabbed a hold onto whatever she could, braced herself, and looked out of the crown at Karl the gorilla. Her position gave her a good view of everything which Lady Liberty herself could see, and the Statue had her head tilted upward to keep watching the gorilla. The president, Vice President, and doctor green were watching also, using satellite surveillance footage.
"Think she's in trouble, Green?" Mike asked the doctor, who shrugged.
"They appear to be similar in size, and likely therefore similar in mass, as both owe most of their volume to the same substance. That substance, though, is such an enigma that it isn't easy to predict. On one hand, Gorillas have far greater upper body strength than humans, and none of us would be content to go into a cage with one. One the other hand, that State of Liberty creature has demonstrated that she possesses an impressive strength to weight ratio. Indeed, she seems as though might be able to lift her own body weight, which is impressive and not all that common for anything remotely all that large."
The Statue picked up another vehicle, this time an empty tour bus. Judging the weight of it in her hand, she took aim again and tossed the bus at the gorilla’s feet, hoping to upset its footing. Karl intercepted her missile with his fist, and punched the bus back to the ground, where it shattered like glass.
Not content to wait for her to throw something else at him, Karl tossed himself off of his elevated perch and dropped to the ground level. His impact on the street pavement left a deep crater in the square, and many cars were tossed skyward.
Dropping on to his knuckles, Karl surged forward on all fours. Bellowing savagely he launched himself at the Statue of Liberty, who avoided him by leaping forward and vaulting over the gorilla's head. She turned over once in the air and landed on both feet with a deafening thud.
 I seem to be getting the hang of this 'moving' thing, she thought to herself.
With the momentum of a small reentry vehicle, Karl smashed through two rows of small storefronts, which were knocked into splinters. He was only brought to a halt when he slammed his body into the base of a fifty story corporate office, a glass tower topped with a sharp, needle-like spire. Every window in the building shattered upon contact, as did many of the windows in adjacent buildings.
As the Statue of Liberty watched, the structural foundations of the tower failed, and the building toppled forward with the hideous shrieking of twisting metal. As it came down, it glanced off of the buildings next to it, and landed in the streets. Lady Liberty sidestepped the very top of the structure as it hit the ground next to her. The Air was filled with dust and rubble, and Lady Liberty put her palms over her crown in case the person in it was at risk of suffocating.
 Peering through the clouds of dust, Lady Liberty looked for signs of movement. When the Dark silhouette of a gorilla loomed out of the smoke, she brought her hands in front of her face. She was not entirely sure that she could obtain the upper hand in direct hand to hand combat with this animal. She looked briefly around, and picked up the metal spire which had previously adorned the roof of the now crumpled skyscraper. Wielding in both hands, she judged its weight and durability. It was about half as long as she was tall, and came to a sharp point at one end, the end she pointed towards the gorilla. Spinning the large rod a bit to acquire a feel for how it moved, she turned and faced the ape, which was beating the ground with his fists out of frustration.
Lady Liberty braced herself when she saw the ape shift his weight on his knuckles again for another charge. Karl issued a threatening roar, and then charged forward at speed of over one hundred and thirty miles an hour. Lady liberty waited until he was merely three hundred feet away, and then hurled the spire like a javelin. The sharp end embedded itself into the Gorilla's shoulder. Lady liberty sidestepped the gorilla after it crashed into the ground, writhing and flailing its arms. Hoping to press her temporary advantage, the statue advanced back into reach of the gorilla, but regretted doing so quite soon. The animal swiped at her and knocked her backwards from him to the ground. This is where she felt her first painful experience, and she did not particularly enjoy it. Man...She thought, this beast packs a real good wallop.
Sitting up, she now saw that 'this beast' was now standing above her on his hind legs, glowering down at her with an expression that bared his teeth. Having just learned how much it hurt to be hit, she suddenly felt a strong feeling of self preservation that caught her off guard. She raised her arms in front of her face.
Inside of her Forehead, blue was severely jarred, but uninjured. By holding on to her surroundings steadfastly, she had managed to avoid becoming more than incredibly sick from the sharp jerks and motions of the battle. It was rather much like a terrifying thrill ride, without a theme park guarantee of safety. But now that she was looking up at the same animal who had come so close to killing her already so many times in the day, her patience wore out and she resolved not to idly wait inside her safe haven. She dug through her pockets, to see if she still hand her scanalyzer. It was there with the teleportation sphere, though her space army knife had gone missing. Her hands were free, and she could teleport back to the relative safety of the ground.
A sudden tremor like an earthquake shook her surroundings. Blue looked out and saw that the Statue had kicked the Ape's feet out from under him, and he had fallen and landed on a parking garage. Bracing herself, Blue closed her eyes and felt the pull of gravity seem to fluctuate as the Statue got back to her feet and positioned herself on top of the gorilla. The two began to exchange punches as lady liberty tried to keep the beast pinned to the ground. Every time a blow struck the State, Blue was jolted by a forceful shudder.
It was then that static crackled through her scanalyzer. Answering immediately, she was relieved to hear Green's voice on the other end.
 "Green! Thank goodness! I am still alive, but what...." Green interrupted her, and she listened closely.
"Listen Blue, I'm with the President and Vice President, we have been coordinating with all the branches of government. I have the rest of Spectrum on standby to await my orders; we just want to know where you are."
"I'm...uh....." Blue knew explaining where she was would take more time than she had or needed, so she just told Green that she was 'downtown with the statue.'
"So you have a clear view of the battle? Can you see the gorilla?" Green asked quickly. Blue looked out the windows and saw Karl take a particularly nasty blow on the chin.
"Yes. Visual contact with Test Subject is established." She verified.
"Do you still have the teleporter? Does it still work." green additionally asked.
 "Yes and Yes." She confirmed, pulling it out of her pocket.
 "I want you to save all questions for a few seconds, and do precisely as I say immediately." Green ordered. Blue brought the scanalyzer closer to her ear to make sure it would be heard over the battle with the Ape.
 "First, program the sphere with the data I am sending over the scanalyzer." Green ordered, and blue complied, transferring the information on her scanalyzer in her left hand to the small sphere in her right.
"Next," Green continued, "If you have a clear view of that darned ape, point the sphere in its direction!"
The gorilla was thrashing and jerking about, but it was also very large, so Blue had only the least bit of trouble keeping the sphere pointed at the gorillas head.
"Got it." she confirmed, moving her aim very slightly to move around the Statues hands, which temporarily covered the Gorilla's face.
"Now cover your eyes, look away, and activate the teleporter!" Green ordered. Blue was somewhat curious as to what purpose this would serve, but Green had a plan, and executed his instructions. Putting her palm over her eyes, she turned her head away from her outstretched arm, which held the sphere. Feeling with her thumb, she pressed the button on the sphere and felt it vibrate very slightly.
Lady liberty had managed to grab a hold on both of the Ape's wrists, but it was not working out as well for her as she had hoped it would. The ape was significantly stronger than she was in his forearms, and managed to maneuver her arms up above her head. Now the two stood face to face with nothing but tension separating the two massive foreheads. The Statue looked into the violent, savage, Red eyes of the mind washed ape, and was surprised when a burst of energy shot out from her crown, and washed over the Gorillas face. The Statue blinked, and stepped back to better evaluate what had happed. It seemed that the gorilla's head had been suddenly vaporized, as he was now without it, and so he fell to the ground with a deep thud.
Remembering her passenger, Lady Liberty held her open palm out in front of her crown. Taking the prompt, Blue squeezed through the windows of the crown, and the Statue looked for a safe place to put her down. A few blocks away, Blue stepped off of the Statues hand onto the flat roof of a relatively sturdy looking apartment buildings, and gratefully enjoyed solid ground for the first time since she had been taken from area 51.
 "That's better." she breathed. The Statue also tried to sit down, but realized straight away that none of her surroundings could hold her weight. So she stood by, assessing the damage Karl had inflicted on her body. Lady liberty carefully touched different places on her arms and face to see if they still functioned correctly.
Blue, resisting a strong impulse to sit down and rest, tried to regain a link with Green using her scanalyzer. She had hardly sent out her first signal when Green materialized next to her on the roof. He looked disheveled, but relieved, and the two shook hands before Green explained that he had tracked her teleportation sphere using his scanalyzer, then jumped to her location himself using Red's sphere.
"What did you do?" Blue then asked. Green began to explain that two scanalyzers relay data through ethereal vibrations when she interrupted him.
 "No, I meant, how did you kill Karl, and what did I do to help? My eyes were closed." she clarified. Comprehension dawned on green's face. He explained.
"Ahhhh! Right, that bit of it....See, straight away after we realized there was nothing we could do to stop this....um....Statue from attacking the Gorilla, the vice president became anxious about finding a way to withdraw you from the danger zone unharmed. I remembered that you might still have had a teleporter, and thought to ask you about it, when Mike pence reestablished communications with, Orange Indigo and Violet back in the facility. We did a bit of coordination, and eventually, had Potus remotely detonate the neutron bomb underground in Nevada. The worst of the neutron radiation was contained in the underground chamber, and I had Violet transmit much of the explosion's energy to your location using your teleporter. You nailed Karl with it; I just had you close your eyes in case any reflection of the blast destroyed your retinas."
A shadow fell over both of them on the roof. It was the statue of liberty, who had gotten on her knees to listen in on their conversation. Green realized she probably still didn't have a clue about much of anything, and also realized that she would probably be placed under the jurisdiction of spectrum before the day was out. He pointed at her forehead to make clear he was talking to her.
 "I am sure you yearn for explanations, but for the mean time, just do what I tell you, and I promise you it will all make sense eventually. I am doctor Green, I am in charge of the group of people who created you, albeit unintentionally..." Green was interrupted by Blue.
"Green, where's Red?"
 From the change in green's expression, she assumed the worst....that he had been killed. But then a massive gasp from the Statue above them interrupted her thoughts. Looking up, Blue and Green both followed the Statues gaze.
"There he is." Green answered, pointing.
Red had emerged from the bay and fashioned himself a club out of the arm of a crane he had taken from a construction site somewhere downtown. Coming ashore had been easy....his clothes had been altered by the Gel to resist water, and his body had been altered to function anaerobic ally. He could hold his breath indefinitely. He now stood a couple hundred paces away, staring at the statue with an unreadable, expressionless face that was nonetheless intimidating. Green and Blue both knew that the two larger members of the group did not find the distance between them both to be large.
"Man, the tension here is pretty palpable." Blue whispered to green.
"Who is it?" The Statue asked green, whispering down at him with a voice that she hoped Red couldn't hear.
"That is Doctor Red. He is a friend of mine, but his mind is under the control of someone else. He's a threat to you."
"So....what should I do?" The Statue asked, tensing up for more action if need be.
 Green was legitimately unsure. He didn't want to tell the Statue to incapacitate Red, but acknowledged that it might be a necessary step to take.
"Do you still have the accortexion?" Blue asked green, quietly.
"No, I left it with the president on liberty island. Sorry, I was in a hurry."
"If I called, and had it teleported here, would it still work on him?" Blue asked, hopefully.
"No idea." Green admitted.
Lady Liberty was growing uneasy. She was still staring off against Red, who hadn't budged an inch. She was worried he would make a sudden move any time now.
"What do I do?" She asked again, as Red's mouth began to move slowly. Though green could not hear any words, Red's mouth was large enough for his lips to be read. They were clearly forming the words 'peace' and 'love.' Green then had an idea quite suddenly, and he tried to raise his voice to a level that Red would not hear, but the statue of liberty would.
 "When he moves, try and Pin him to the ground."
The statue nodded. She was sure she could do that, no problem.
Red called out to Lady Liberty in the monotonous chant of mind control.
"Submit to the dictatorship of the proletariat, symbol of bourgeois decadence."
"Liberty or Death!" the Statue countered. Red's didn't blink or change expressions. He merely shifts his weight on his feet.
 "Death, then." Red proclaimed.
The two colossi charged to meet each other and collided with great force. Red broke his makeshift club over the statues head, and then tossed aside the fragmented metal beams to free his hands for an engagement. He tried to grab a hold of the Statues head, but she successfully kept it out of his reach. She in turn struggled to get a grip on either of Red's wrists, but she found very quickly that the enlarged an enraged doctor had military hand to hand training that was formidable, even when blunted by mind control.
Blue watched the two as they fought, feeling frustrated by an inability to affect the outcome. It was then that she noticed Green working furiously with his scanalyzer and teleportation sphere.
"What is the Plan, green?" She asked him, turning away from the commotion. Green continued to punch calculations into his appliances, explaining as he did.
"You know how I modified the teleportation sphere to transport just the blast from a Bomb in Nevada? I reprogrammed the sphere to filter out everything except what I wanted to pass through the portal. Our work with the space Gel today has taught us all quite a bit about its nature. My scanalyzer now is storing tons of data on the Gel I didn't have this morning. If the scanalyzer processes enough information about Red's altered physiology, I can possibly patch that info into a Teleportation Sphere, and then use the Sphere on red to modify his anatomy from a distance."
"You mean...." Blue wanted to make sure that she understood. "You could teleport that alien slime out of Red?"
 "I can't promise anything. If the teleporter overheats or can't process the data, I would probably just end up disintegrating him."
"But if it works, could Red be restored to normal?"
"Worth a shot. Frankly, at this point, I can be sure of nothing, we are so far out anybody's field."
Lady Liberty soon realized that Red, through superior technique, had twisted her off of her secure footing. When his fist struck the back of her head she was forced to her hands and knees. Red exploited her temporary disadvantage by kicking her on the chin. She sprawled onto the ground, dazed. Red rested one foot on her neck, and pinned her on the ground.
"NOW!" Trump ordered mattis over radio. Still commanding from his presidential SUV, trump was monitoring the ongoing crisis in real-time using aerial reconnaissance. When he saw the statue go down, he saw that a window had opened for a clear shot.
With the green light to engage, a six unit formation of light ground attack aircraft broke out of their holding pattern, and brought sights to bear on the new target. The lead pilot armed his wing mounted rocket pods, and the rest of the flight quickly followed suit. Each plane held his approach for a few seconds, and then pulled off sharply after emptying his rocket pods.
The hail storm of tiny rockets peppered Red's face, and each hit burned like the sting of a hornet on Red's forehead. Red held his hands in front of his face to shield it from the barrage, and let out an injured yell when more missiles dug into his arms.
Disoriented, Red stumbled and gave up his control over Lady Liberty's pinned limbs. Getting quickly back up on her feet, the State knocked Red over on his back, tied his wrists together with the Cable from the crane arm, and pinned all of his limbs to the ground as he had pinned hers. Red struggled, but his head was still ringing from the volley of rocket fire.
 Lady liberty shouted back to green and Red over her shoulder.
 "I'm not sure how long I can restrain him!" She reported, shifted her weight so that it rested securely on her prisoner.
"I need just thirty seconds." Green mumbled to himself, while Blue waited by anxiously. The scanalyzer was working so hard that it ran the risk of overheating.
"Is there anything I can do to help it run more quickly?" Blue offered, watching the Statue of Liberty struggle to keep red pinned.
"No.....Yes, actually!" A thought occurred to Green. "Teleport down to the statue of liberty, and scan Red at close range! Retransmit the data back to me up here!"
Blue punched a few coordinates into her teleporter, arrived next to Red on the ground, and came as close to his body mass as she felt was safe. The Statue was surprised to see her appear on the ground next to her, but didn't ease her grip on Red, who had nearly wrested free from her once or twice.
"Green," Blue called over the scanalyzer. "Green, I am sending you a signal, are you ready."
"Almost...." Green reported. When the scanalyzer beeped to signal that it was ready to transmit, Green held his breath. Here goes nothing, He thought Lets hope this works....
"Now, blue!" He ordered. Blue rested a teleportation sphere on Red's palm, and retreated a dozen paces. The Sphere hummed and Red vanished in a whirlwind of energy.
Lady liberty crashed to the ground after Red disappeared out from underneath her.  She stood back up quickly, and looked around for where he might have gone.
On Liberty Island, Trump put down his radio. The flight wing was on route back to the nearest field, and had reported a successful mission. Trump looked over to his vice president communicating with Green on another radio.
 "Well Mikey, what word from the Nerd?" Trump asked. Mike listened to Greens instructions, and frowned, holding up one hand to signal to the president that he was getting new information.
"Mike," Trump Persisted, "Mattis wants a status report from whatever assets we have on the ground, do I tell him to send another wing up or don't I?"
 Mike also put the Radio down.
"The guy says to hand me the mind control device." Mike told Trump, shrugging.
"Did 'e say why?" Trump asked, handing the accortexion back over to Mike, who took it and set it to Think-cap mode.
"He said to use it when.....Oh my Goodness!" Mike exclaimed in surprise. Red, restored to his normal proportions, had just materialized out of the air in front of mike pence. Reacting quickly, Mike think-capped him in the face before Red could react to his surroundings. Red's eyes clouded over then changed from red back to the color they had been when mike saw him for the first time in line with the rest of spectrum. Red's face was scratched and looked somewhat burnt, but not severely. Other than that, he was merely disheveled. Red collapsed to the grass, and groaned. He didn't feel like moving again for some time. He lost consciousness in a matter of minutes.
 When he woke up, he perceived that his surroundings were the four blinding white walls of the SPECTRUM med bay. He sat up, and felt how sore many of his muscles felt. Thinking back, Red tried to remember where he was and how he had gotten there.
Everything came back to him when the rest of Spectrum walked into the medical Bay. Realizing in an instant that he must have been anti-capped, Red launched into asking Green questions about how the crisis had been resolved.
"Green! Is Blue still...oh, there she is....did you end up killing groucho? Is the Vice President unharmed? Did....." Green cut him off, and began explaining.
"Relax Red. You have been out for a day and a half, in which time we have had to regenerate much of your body parts. You fell into that stuff after being anti-capped, and it completely altered your bodily composition."
 Red looked over his arms and legs, trying to see if he could discern any residual damage.
"Then, the mission is over?" Red asked, and Green nodded.
"Mission accomplished, stalin-bot contained, Vice president returned in safety to D.C, Gorilla neutralized, members of spectrum all regrouped and reorganized intact. A whole bunch of things were broken on the surface, but the president and vice assured me not to concern myself with them...No one was killed, as unlikely as that seems. His exact words were, if I recall correctly, 'Don't worry about that, I will have Mexico pay for it.'"
Red sighed and lay back down on his sickbed.
"When will I be released from sickbay? How soon can I get back in the Lab? We have a lot of ground to make up from this, after all...."
The members of spectrum looked at each other. It was Blue who responded.
"About that...we are not going back into facility J, level 37."
"What?" Red sat back up again abruptly, hurting his sore shoulders.
 "Don't worry, someone else will take care of the Stalin-bot." Blue assured him. "We have just been reassigned to a new priority, studying and watching after the facility's newest occupant. We have cleared out a lot of living space for her downstairs, and we have been asked to determine what accommodations she will need. We been making clothes for her, we have been seeing if she eats any food, that sort of thing. We eventually want to train her so that she can be officially incorporated into the organization of spectrum."
 "Who is she?"
"You have actually met her, although you probably don't remember it if you were anti-capped. She didn't have a name when we found her, so the team is working on one we can give her that is most convenient for her and everyone else."
"Is she human?"
 Blue shrugged before answering.
 "It's debatable."
"Well, I look forward to meeting this person again, under more favorable circumstances."
 "She wrote you a card." Violent announced, pointing. Confused Red watched as the whole team helped turn a card board sign around and prop it up in front of the bed so that he could read the front. The sign almost touched the ceiling, and stretched from one wall to the other when unfolded. In elaborate cursive, the card read "get well soon" using characters that were taller than Red himself was.
 And while Red was recuperating, the stalin-bot meanwhile remained motionless and quiet in its containment chamber, patiently awaiting its next opportunity to spread its influence the world over.
"Peace........," it growled out in its prison cell. "And Love."
The End?


© Copyright 2020 Attillathefun. All rights reserved.

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