What sparked the first organism? After the moon collided with Earth and water first began forming, how did that first micro-bacteria come into being? Was it a lightningstrike that jolted those particles into being, like some sort of prehistoric Frankenstein? What if whatever caused life to begin reverted? What would happen to society? What what would happen to us?
I'm the lead researcher of astrophysics for Harvard University and I'm here to tell you nothing is right. Absolutely nothing. The numbers are wrong. My colleagues and I have looked into it all. The mass of particles found at certain crash-sites of meteors. New solar imaging of the bottom of the Mariana Trench showing that it's moving. Even the brainwaves of our pets. They're all wrong. Every professor, scientist, hell even the whackjobs that worked to uncork silly theories on the government has been brought together to figure out what has caused this sudden change.
"Why post this on a horror story website, likely to be forgotten under a mess of ghost stories or creepy people?" you may ask. I'll tell you.
Hours after I reported to my chain of command about the unusual properties of the star Castor, the fact the star was radiating a green aura, my lab got raided. Smoke canisters flew through windows and the next thing I remember I woke up in a large auditorium, maybe a theater, filled with people. That's when I first came into contact with Brian Maclun, an ambitious brain surgeon whose research had been on the irregular brainwave disruption in humans that had been occurring on the coasts of North America. Look him up, a real famous type, but also a bit of an asshole. Thought he was better than the rest of us. I soon realized everyone there had discovered the same kind of data about the respective fields, and as we began to discuss the irregularity of our discoveries, it was soon discovered the magnitude of our situation. As with all bright minded people like ourselves, we squabble. Oh we bicker and yell and fight. It was during one of these great schisms that he walked in.
The man stood around six feet tall, early 40's with dark-skin and his hair was that of a general. He wore a simple black blazer with a small American flag pinned to his lapel. He addressed the room, "My name is Daniel Sanchez, representative of the fourth congregational district of New York. I have been instructed to oversee you on this new great endeavor." He paused and looked over the small crowd of intellectuals. As he turned I could barely make out the distinctive glint of a pistol clipped to his side. "You were all gathered here because you've discovered the same issue. Our world, your world, is collapsing. Something is causing the disturbing effects that you have each found. You will be given the ample laboratories for you to look for a solution."
A hand rose from the middle of the room. It was shaking nervously. The man it was connected to, probably a geologist due to his tanned face and cracked hand, addressed Sanchez, "What if we don't want to stay?"
Daniel Sanchez, a congressional member of the United States of America, stuck out his thick chest and yelled, "Let me make this clear. You were not asked to be here. You are all under government detainment until the cause of these disasters is discovered and solved. This facility is guarded nonstop by the best the military has to offer. The President has authorized this. Anyone who tries to leave will feel the full force of the United States government." As he said those last words, he fixated his eyes onto me.
Those next few weeks were rough. Don't get me wrong, having the monetary backing of the government was great for my work. I continued to come closer to the cause of the astral aura. However, no one was let out. No families. No news. Nothing. We were basically prisoners and just like a prison, a hierarchy began to form. The scientist took the top spot, the best equipment and treatment from the guards, then the professors and researchers came second, anyone else came after that.
Our numbers fell dramatically during this time. Anyone who complained or tried to escape was taken away into custody by one of Sanchez's goons to god knows where. It was only after I was taken that I found out where those people went.
Soon after the scientists had declared themselves as the leaders of our group. Brian, as ambitious as ever, became the de facto leader of their group. That's when a caste-like system really started to form. Many of the people forced to stay in the government facility began to be treated like animals. Herded into the lunch room like sheep when it was time to eat or sorted into groups for explanations of any discoveries.
Six months passed without a sight of Sanchez. Not only were we getting restless, but we were no closer to understanding the cause of these catastrophes than the day we came. The guards were always wearing padded gear and equipped as though we were hardened criminals. Never would they talk to anyone except for the scientist, unless it was roll-call.
One day, as the guard began roll-call something they acted differently. "Robert Yellet...Thomas Devine... James Harrow... David Thompson please come with us."
The man, David Thompson, the same from the auditorium who raised his hand stood up and yelled, "What's this all about?"
"Don't ask questions. Come. Now." The guards tried to push the man through the metal doors that the others had been taken through, those that don't come back. Thompson, as tall and powerful as a giant, struggled against the powerful guards. That's when they started hacking away at his knees, making the colossus fall to the ground. That's when I joined the fray, trying to pull the padded soldiers away from the defenseless man.
Electricity jolted into my back. The power and force of the blow forced me to the ground. My eyesight wavered and blurred. I saw the men pull the man I tried saving through the door. Before I succumbed to the darkness that clouded my vision, I saw Brian Maclun stand over me and motion to the guard, "Take this one to the hole."
I blacked out.
When I woke, I was surrounded by complete darkness. I felt around in the darkness. My cell was barren. Four walls of concrete, and a thick iron door. In the back corner I found a small shard of glass like that of a broken mirror and pocketed it. It was four long days until someone came. The door opened and the light flooded in. I had to cover my eyes from the brightness to stop myself from being blinded. Once I was able to look up, I saw Brian Maclun standing over me. Immediately, I realized something was wrong. His skin hung from his face like a loose fitting mask. His once young eyes were dulled, all the color sucked out, leaving only gray. His guards grabbed me and bound my wrists. We followed him through the halls of the facility, if you consider being dragged as followed. Due to my nourishment and dehydration, I slipped back into the dark place.
I awoke to the sound of screaming. Piercing screams of torment scratched my eardrums and I reached up to cover my ears, except I couldn't. My hands were bound in thick leather cuffs and I laid on a table like those in dentist offices. Man did I hate the dentist office. I pulled against the cord to no avail. That's when I saw him from the corner of my eye. Brian sulking in the corner like a kid that just had his favorite toy taken away. He started to speak.
"Do you know how little of our brain we use? Of course you do, you passed simple biology in high school. But imagine if somehow we unlocked another percent of brain power. Another ten percent." He paused and looked down at his shoes, which were stained in a dark shade of red. "Imagine the abilities we would possess." His voice strained on the last word and sounded like a snake.
I looked him. He was supposed to be young and vibrant, but he just looked disheveled. "You're crazy. What is this place?"
"Hey man, look, I'm just doing what the government wants me to do. Study. When I was in Somalia, I saw things I couldn't explain. People using their minds to control people, read their thoughts, or even worse. Kill them. Immediately, once I arrived here I knew I'd have the equipment to research this power. When my project ran it's course with normal brains, I turned to those considered more developed . Not long after the switch, I began to notice the change. The more developed cerebral cortex were abnormal. Abnormal enough, I believe, to cause seismic intrusions and even disasters with a little assistance. So far the test have been failures, but I believe you could be it. My masterpiece. I appreciate your sacrifice to the cause of truly understanding how this mess came to be." He leaned in close to my constricted head, "Your country does."
Just as his face was inches from mine, the glass shard cut through the leather cuff and across his neck. He gurgled and grasped at his neck trying to hold back the blood that seeped through his fingers. He fell to the ground as I quickly unbound myself from the table. I had no clue to where I was, and picked a direction and headed that way. As the adrenaline faded away, the stench of the my surrounding embraced me. I passed into a large room and jammed a bar between the handles of the door. Dozens of bodies laid in beds lined down the middle of the room. I approached one and nearly wretched in disgust as I realized they were still alive. All with the same blank facial expression and scar around each of their heads. He lobotomized them all, that would've been me , I thought to myself. I tried to wake them, move them, get them to safety to no avail. I saw the geologist David Thompson, his once tanned face a ghastly white, his eyes staring into nothingness. I went from body to body until I found him.
Sanchez laid in the bed like the others. His eyes as were like the geologist's. A giant slam rocked the doors and almost sent them flying. The guards were coming after me, surely not pleased that their leader had been murdered. The doors would not last long, the door was already starting to buckle against the slams of the armed men. I shook the once stoic United States representative. "How do I get out of here?" I saw his eyes roll and recognition jolt across his milky eyes.
His head lolled to the side and motioned to the small hatch, hidden behind another bed, "there.." His eyes then went blank. He was gone, his consciousness slipping back into a place I could not retrieve it. I rushed towards the hatch and passed through it just as the soldiers burst through the blocked door. Sunlight washed over me.
Mira, I would give everything to stay with you. But they have my information, my address. Our address. You were wondering why I said to post this on some creepy story website. The government is compromised. The media is compromised. Civilization is compromised. Many of our generations greatest minds are gone. I'll continue to search for whatever is causing this degradation of our minds. But the people deserve to know what little I know about this issue, that we caused it all.
Mira, my love, I'll find you when this is all over.
Story entries for the January - February (2017) Sixpenceee Story Contest can be found here. Simply submit a story to enter. Stories don't necessarily have to be creepy, for example, thought provoking stories or stories with a twist are definitely acceptable.
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