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Brave New World, That Has Such Creatures In It

Submitted excerpts from CINNABAR ISLAND RESEARCH LOGS maintained by [REDACTED]. Property of INDIGO COMMISSION and to be considered ELITE LEVEL CLEARANCE. Please check all security badges with Silph personnel before continuing.

CIRL 26.1

The introduction of the M3W cells into the prototype zygote has been a success. Even in the solution environment we’re recording results far in excess of projections. We go to live trials next week.

CIRL 27.5

We’ve officially logged our first fully formed organism with the M3W traits. Their expression has been fascinating. Designated PM001 the experiment demonstrates both animal and vegetable qualities not unlike extinct prehistoric microbes, but on a much more complex scale. Gathering energy through a combination of herbivorism and photosynthesis PM001 maintains an incredible level of biological efficiency and continues to develop at an accelerated rate.

CIRL 29.2

Progress on the project continues to exceed expectations. Two more organisms have been generated using the M3W growth template, each with markedly different adaptive qualities. One has developed to thrive in the island’s volcanic environment, somehow creating internal temperatures capable of combustion reactions without apparent harm. The other seems to have adopted an aquatic profile, with a physiology that cools and condenses ambient water vapor from the air. More than simply being cold-blooded, it actively subtracts heat energy from its surroundings. We hope to move from reptilian to mammalian and avian trials within the month.

CIRL 35.2

Initial experiments with mammalian and avian hosts were not encouraging, the subjects expressing only odd pigment colorations. Their development has kept pace with the previous studies though. Each has reached physical size many times that of normal specimens and demonstrate increased learning abilities. This may be the single greatest discovery in scientific history, and there is increased desire that we should go public with our findings. Dr. Rochet and the Silph Group remain cautious though. Until we get clearance to publish, our work continues in secret.

CIRL 47.6

There seems to be no limit to the organisms and traits that the M3W matrix can map. We aren’t just revolutionizing biology anymore; the laws of chemistry and physics are showing permeability undreamed of since the alchemists. I’ve even seen some life forms in the staging zone that I don’t think have been cataloged. This disturbs me slightly, but Dr. Rochet assured me it was a paperwork error.

CIRL 48.3

I am certain Dr. Rochet is lying to me. To us. The staging zone is overrun. Our index is a mess, but I am sure there are uncataloged life forms out there, more than we could have produced. I confronted Dr. Rochet about another Silph lab on the island, but he brushed me off. Thinks the isolation is getting to me. I admit I’ve been withdrawn lately, but I’m not alone. The PM series seem to form easy human attachments once domesticated, and in my spare time I have been grooming a number of them as pets.

CIRL 50.5

Alarming discoveries. Numerous. Colony of PM001 discovered beyond the staging zone perimeter. Seemed to have hatched from eggs that originated as airborne spores. Unforeseen adaptations becoming more frequent. Colleague remarked to me that he hasn’t seen any native birds lately. I suspect that PM016 has rapidly outcompeted them for scarce resources and they may now be extinct.

CIRL 54.0

Men came to the island. Silph Group men. Dr. Rochet’s men. I sent the 016 I’ve domesticated to spy on them. A useful application. I’ve trained it to use pictorial communication; a highly intelligent bird. The men are armed and have set up security around the island. Fortunately I no longer live in the research dormitories, having tendered my resignation and fled to my jungle base. Those few who knew of it said I was paranoid, but now I am vindicated in my precaution. I will continue to record these observations from my island sanctuary.

CIRL 56.7

The Silph Group is moving the organisms. I’ve seen the ships and the crates. Last night I snuck into the compound and accessed the network. Rochet never changed the passwords. We still haven’t published but I saw new experiment protocols concerning military applications. That’s what they’ve become, biological weapons.

CIRL 60.1

It has been over a year since I took this contract. Over a year since I came to this island and started playing god. I can still hack the network occasionally and get news from the outside. An attempted demonstration of the experiments in Japan ended in disaster. Nearly a hundred violent, invasive species have been introduced and steadily dominating the ecosystem. Japan is under quarantine, but sightings have already been reported on the Asian mainland and the west coast of the U.S. They’re too adaptable, their evolutionary speed too advanced. Even here the PMs have expanded far beyond the boundaries of the staging zone, conquering most of the island. Only those ones I have domesticated, my last remaining friends, let me survive in the deep jungle and tall grass. This is how I have adapted. I do not like to think of them as tools, but they are extensions of my own will to survive.

CIRL 64.0

I keep having this terrible nightmare. I’m swimming along the coast. I can’t tell whether I’m trying to escape or get back to shore. The waves and the undertow trapping me between them. Then, up on the rocks I see my one of my old professors. Why he’s there I don’t know, but when I call to him for help he opens his mouth and screams. It’s not a human scream though, its one of theirs. The creatures’. A thousand howls like the grinding of terrible machinery. Other times he isn’t there and instead I see it. Like a shimmer in the air, drawing my eye. A thing with too many angles to exist. A tessellation folding in on itself infinitely. Somehow I know that it’s looking at me, without eyes. It fixes on me and I can feel its hunger, not just for me but for my memories, my whole self and every self across a million realities. It’s a point in space refracting everything that cannot be, and it feels hate.

CIRL 68.2

They’re going to do it. The second stage. M3W2. They think they can use it to control the others, to take back the world. By harvesting cells from the original experiment and applying the new data M3W2 is supposed to be another evolutionary tier beyond the PM series. Of course, they also think they can control it.

CIRL 72.1

It’s over. It’s all over now. The M3W2 deployment backfired even more terribly than I predicted. They vastly underestimated its intelligence, as they have with most of the life forms. It wasn’t long before the handlers were dead and the thing was on a rampage of natural disaster proportions. Frightened men seized power and the nuclear option sealed the deal. M3W2 even outsmarted the atom, unleashing a counterattack that has all but ended industrial society. Three months to the day after the containment breach in Japan and the world is unrecognizable. Monsters hunt the animal kingdom to the brink of extinction, alien flora overgrows the ruins of civilization, and humanity is no longer master of the planet.

Final Log 75.7

I have rejoined the remains of the research colony, those of us that are left alive. Already the compound is being reclaimed by nature unbound. My army of loyal creatures have made me a leader. I was exploring the old lab when I saw it. The first experiment. The prototype zygote. Only, it was alive. Fully formed. Who knows how long since it had broken stasis. The first and now the last of all its kind. It looked at me almost quizzically, knowingly, before flying away and fading into the night. I teach those with me how to survive, holding court in the abandoned gymnasium. Barrel-fires and pyrotechnic animals light our long nights and I gaze across the water to distant shores where child soldiers rule.

It’s their world now…

prof oak

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Halloween

I love October. I love Halloween. It’s probably my favorite season and time of year. In that same thought, it occurs to me that I haven’t subjected you to much bad poetry in a while. Didn’t think you’d gotten off easy, did you? Don’t worry, there’s some legitimate stuff coming down the pipe,  but in the meantime let’s trick or treat…

Welcome, welcome, ladies and damned
It’s a packed house but there’s room to stand
You’re about to witness the most amazing thing
The phantasmagorical terror it brings
Will chill your bones and rot your soul
Eating at you ’till you can’t be made whole
He’s the final wonder of the world
Men will weep and flesh will curl
After you see him there’s no point to living
Forsake all you are in the spirit of giving
To convince yourself you aren’t for the noose
In the terrible raving he will set loose
It’s good news for all, the rat race is through
Couldn’t outrun him, nothing to do
Are you prepared? Have you steeled your spirit?
Or could it be that you already hear it?
The wailing of things thought long forgotten
With feral cries and voices rotten
Avert your eyes, it will do you no good
Already you wear the hangman’s hood
Tight in the throat or light on your feet
That’s just his hosannas clanking beat
Sing along if you know the tune
Join in and embrace your doom
Are you prepared? Have you steeled your spirit?
Or could it be that you already hear it?
The awful gnashing, chattering chorus
Of unclean children that calls out to us
His many abandoned, orphaned throng
Now weaving their world killing song
Their rhymes that lash and chords that bleed
It’s far too late, you wouldn’t take heed
The warnings came to you in dreams
Feverish nightmares that glimpsed through the seams
To where he waits behind this stage
For you only to turn the page
Are you prepared? Have you steeled your spirit?
Or could it be that you already hear it?
Time is short, his hour draws near
There’s no refunds, or exits, I fear
So turn down the lights and strike up the band
Ladies first, just take my hand
Draw back the curtain so all can gaze
At this, simply this, the end of your days…
 

Happy Halloween!!!

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Eight Bits to Oblivion

The Kingdom.

They said they took her to The Kingdom. A walled off ruin of the worlds-that-were, towering and cavernous at the same time, an impossible maw with infinite teeth. Nobody even remembers what it used to be. For as long as anybody has been anybody The Kingdom has been its own little piece of the dark ages crammed in along with everyone else in the endless city. No electricity, no cops, no rules. The dragon roars beneath me, its particle engine turning everything in front of it into pure speed. There’s only one road in and out of this place, and I want them to hear me coming.

I’m going deep behind enemy lines, just like back in country with DK’s in every godsdamned tree. Eighty-First Airborne, the “Jumpmen.” Seems like a lifetime ago. I was a different person then, do I still have the edge I need? No room for hesitation, if I stop moving in there I’m dead. No obstacles. The best approach will be through the sewers, miles and miles of forgotten labyrinth running through every inch of creation. Can’t count on those though. Streets are a death trap, so I’ll have to go over when I can’t go under.

Nothing but the largest street gang ever assembled between me and where I want to go. Probably gene-droppers too, the weird ass punks. The shit kids do to their bodies these days. I’ve got surprises of my own though. Enough daisy-grenades to level a square block and a whole kit of military grade fungal steroids. Make you feel like a giant, man. Then there’s the pulsar. Gods, hope I don’t have to use that.

I see the first checkpoint looming up ahead, the ragged edge of everything. The toy soldiers are already lining up. Good. When I hit them I want them to never want to crawl out of their holes again. I reach behind and feel the comforting grip of the hammer, popping the first of my little helpers and the gunning the monster down the highway to hades…

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Minutes on my mind, cont.

A spasm of inspiration that seemed to turn out pretty well for the product of a few minutes. My terrible songz, let me show you them.

Do you remember when we went down to the riverside
To see the people pray
For what they already had
We went down to where time’s abide
To the people who went away
Ahead of when things got bad
When the dust came and raked across
All our worlds and took our words
From our mouths a parched refrain
Of a love gone mad
Too far gone and lost across
All our stars and all our scars
That made us whole with righteous pain
Sadomasochistic sermon
Sacrament of twisted wire
We are what we bleed
But love runs thicker still
Automatic ballistic ferment
Torment of our misplaced ire
We are what we speak
But suddenly the tongues are still

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T.C.K. Day Tripper

Rachel is asleep in the back of the van. Its really not designed for that sort of thing, but field assets tend to get resourceful very quick. God, how old is she? Twenty four and in this line of work? Its criminal what this economy does to people. She had a future. She says that she wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer but I don’t believe it. At least she was doing something with herself when the agency found her. Me? I was the drummer for the band Doomsaxxon. It wasn’t nearly as cool as it sounds. Just indicative of my very narrow skill set. I can talk a good game about expounding on the finer points of bands nobody has heard of, and I can hurt things really really well. Started out in the army, doing the latter thing in the only place I could do it with structure and control. They say I’m a born killer, but that doesn’t mean I’m a sociopath. Have to figure that’s the only thing that separates me from the hacks. Regardless, I messed up the uniformed gig when I decided to come out of the closet. Maybe not the wisest choice I ever made, but it was the one I had to make. The two-thousands were a different time, and the words “I’m gay” more or less ended my career. So, it was falling back on an encyclopedic knowledge of bands with less than two albums. Shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that it wasn’t really paying the bills. Finally though, Atticus found me. More than anything, it started out as a paycheck to me. Covering the bills. I suppose thats how everyone falls into it, including Rachel. Had no idea the things I was getting myself into. Why do I still do it, though? Don’t know if this is really the audience asking or if I’m putting it to myself. Well… because at the end of the day, its fulfilling. It sounds twisted to say, but it really is. Its thankless and bloody and often terrifying, but the knowledge that at the end of the day you’re doing something worthwhile does wonders for a man’s rest at night. It’ll keep you going even when you’re staring at something that you can’t even try to convince yourself is human and it’ll keep you going even when you have serious doubts about the people you’re working for. Maybe that’s why Rachel is here, too. This is the hardest part of the job; the waiting. Being forced to sit around when you know the hack is out there doing god knows what. Its part of the job description though. We’re searching as wide as we can while keeping our profile, but nobody goes to ground like hacks. Sooner or later though we ‘ll draw the Spider out. I just hope we aren’t too late again.

While I didn’t really “know” about hacks, in a technical sense, until after I joined the agency, I was already… familiar with them. In 1999 I was stationed in Kosovo. Being on the offensive was the easy part. Pointing lasers at things we wanted blown up. Sitting on the place, that was the hard part. It wasn’t that they hated us. It was that they hated each other. I saw the worst in human nature in those months, things that haunt my nightmares and things that would come to haunt my waking hours. Once you decide that a person is less of a being than you are, there’s nothing you can’t justify. No sin you can’t right with yourself. It… defies words, the things that it opens the gates to. Some people like to say it proves we’re no better than animals, but they’re wrong. We’re worse than animals. A human being is capable of almost profound depths of cruelty. Things which can only be described as the most perverse form of art, and perhaps the purest expression of what some people would call “humanity.”

I suppose I should wake her up soon. Its almost time for her shift. Perks of the job include access to the most sophisticated and officially illegal surveillance equipment money can buy. I like to think that toys like these are why we don’t get a dental plan. Its almost worth the trade off, even if I do know more about the sex lives of suburbia than I ever, ever wanted to. This is intelligence though, sifting through the rawest of data. Waiting for the barest glimpse of a glimmer of something suspicious. Something that will tell us where the Spider is holing up. I want to find this guy, but I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to it. Rachel deserves better than this. Something quiet and non-hazardous. Something where she doesn’t have to sift through the worst human matter on a daily basis. We don’t pick the hands we’re dealt though. All that’s left is how you play them…

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Just a Little T.C.K.

As promised, the story continues. Not thrilled with the wordpress formatting on it, but for the time being I will make due until a solution can be found.

___________

The highway rolls on ahead of us as Ahab’s corner of the universe fades into the middle distance. “Well, that was… That was a thing…” Seeing the inside of the place did nothing to help me wrap my head around its apparent existence. “Ahab is… Well he’s nice…” Its difficult to find the right words. I content myself simply with “Tell me, were those… were those real?”

At last Jack snorts, breaking the uncomfortable silence. “I was waiting for you to ask. As near as I can tell, yeah they are. Best not to give them any more thought.”

The satisfaction of my curiosity doesn’t bring as much catharsis as I thought it would. “Whatever you say… So do you think the tip is good?”

Jack is business now, contemplative. “My gut says yes. The timetable makes sense and the customer was buying suspicious merchandise. Now, we know generally where he’s going, but not where he’s going to hit. We need to narrow that down.” Ahab said the suspicious guy had borrowed a map and that he’d watched him plot his route. He could only tell us the general area of his destination, though. “Want me to call it in?”

“Sure, just make sure the old man wasn’t napping.” Atticus is our primary analyst and, for all intents and purposes, our boss. He can be a bit… cantankerous at times. Also he is probably the only man in the world to keep three pictures of Richard Nixon in his office. Three. I counted.

Jack puts us on speaker phone and plugs in the code for our secure line. Exactly one and two-thirds of a ring later, like always, Atticus picks up. “Radio Free Pimpin’ yo! Y’all got a song request?”

One of these days Atticus is going to snap and kill the coderoom guys. Jack and I have a pool going. “Requesting some four-one-one. Line is clean.”

The relief in his voice is audible. “Thank god, I was going to have to start saying ‘dawg’ next. You have a lead on the rover?”

“Word from Ahab is he’s heading west over the line, skipping Memphis but stopping somewhere east of Jonesboro.  Was hoping you could help us narrow the search.”

The way Atticus pounds keys sounds like gunfire. He wears out at least one keyboard every year. “The Spider likes smaller towns, but with big middle class pops and a good suburban sprawl. Thank god we just had a census. Wait, I have something. Bearwood. It meets the right criteria, and it just won some award in a homemakers’ magazine for ‘Happiest Little Town in America.’ Who wants to bet our guy has a subscription?”

Jack leans on the gas a little. “Sounds like a winner. Even still, that’s a whole town to comb through.”

I’m already working on the problem in my head. All this and brains too. More than just a magnet for maniacs. “I hate to say it, but but at least we have time. The Spider works slow…”

_________

Patience is a virtue. That’s what my mother always told me. How right she was. You can do anything with time and with patience. Anything. Centuries of consumerism have made us decadent and docile. We have lost the self-denial that makes lean predators. Not me, though. I am a wolf among lambs. A spider among flies. I need only three hours of sleep, which I take in fifteen minute increments. I need eat only once every four and a half days. Indulgence breeds weakness. Fattens us, sedates us. They don’t even know I’m here. They’re so perfect. Mother, father, son, daughter. They’re so picture perfect. So fucking perfect. Mustn’t swear. Mother always said. They aren’t perfect though. Not really. They can’t see all their fragile little flaws, suspended in glass like insects. Only I can free them. Free them from all their sticky wet cloying imperfections. Their flawed flesh. So perfect.  I’m tempted to climb inside right now. Set up my lair. It would be so easy. They’re so very ripe. No. I am patient. Patience is a virtue. My mother told me that. I am a spider among flies, and a spider waits.

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Thrill Chill Kill – Coming Attractions

As a special present to all my loyal readers (I know you’re out there… I hope…) I have some more issuance from my brain-case. This writing though still has that new car smell, having been conceived and perpetrated within the last few hours. Its more or less a first chapter. There is more I want to do with it, and I’m thinking that if I get positive feedback that I may try and do weekly installments. To the phones!

_________________

“Honest Ahab’s Surplus Halloween and Gardening Supplies? No. No way. This is ‘all’ of the bullshit.” We’re standing outside a graffiti-adorned strip mall somewhere in Tennessee. Lost track of where exactly in the blur of fireworks emporiums, adult bookstores, and megachurches that have been all we’ve seen for miles.
“I know, it boggles the mind right? The place is practically a mecca for hacks. I’ve heard rovers just about make pilgrimage here, and even the repeaters like to frequent the mail order catalog.” That’s Jack, my coworker. Officially he’s supposed to be my handler, but most of the time I feel like I’m the one taking care of him.
“How is this place even legal?” I won’t deny, it’s hard to wrap my head around.
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with selling these kinds of things. Not even with selling them in the same place at the same time. Ahab is not strictly responsible for the aftermarket applications of the products he stocks.” Jack isn’t a lawyer, but technically neither am I. Two years of law school and a nervous breakdown left me with a boatload of debt and no real direction. So here I am.
“Ahab keeps his head connected to his neck by not asking any questions, but he keeps his doors open by giving us his complete no-bullshit cooperation when we ask for it.” When Jack asks for things, he typically gets them. He’s not a big guy by any stretch, but those ridiculous shirts he insists on wearing do prominently display his freakish coils of muscle. Seriously, they’re kind of weird to look at. If that doesn’t convince people then he has other, more direct arguments. This is why he’s my handler.

Maybe I should back up. Officially I am what is described as an undercover asset. Unofficially, I’m a professional high school student. At last, a chance to use my degree. Why in the name of all that is holy are your tax dollars paying my college loans? Well, because of hacks. “Hack” is sort of trade slang for serial killers, I really shouldn’t have to explain why. More narrowly it refers to the worst of the worst. The kinds of people, if you can call them that, that would give nightmares to every last American if they knew they were real. So, if the monsters are under the bed, that’s where we go. I’ll be honest, I never really… “blossomed” shall we say, so pretending to be a confused teenager isn’t really a hard sell. That said, I’m on this particular case sans-cover. This rover, that’s a hack who likes the open road, doesn’t actually work the high school angle. No, “The Spider” prefers families. The more wholesome and white-picket the better. He watches them and learns their habits, their patterns. Then while they’re away he sneaks into the house and just holes up there, in the attic or crawlspace or even inside the walls. He watches them go about their lives with him just feet away. He sneaks out at night to watch them sleep and collect little trophies from them. He does this for days, sometimes weeks. Finally, he kills them. You don’t even want to know how they’re found. His nom-de-jure is appropriate, if disturbed. I don’t want to seem cold or clinical about this sort of thing, but… there has to be a level of detachment, or else you’re just another victim waiting to happen. That’s probably the hardest part. You’re always too late for the first ones.
“So if the Spider came this way, then Ahab almost certainly saw him.” I’ve been at this almost eighteen months and I’m finally starting to get a handle on the profile, or I might just be glad not to have to sit through another algebra class for a while.
“That’s the idea. Also I thought I’d grab some tools. Been meaning to do some landscaping.” Jack doesn’t garden, despite what his meticulously maintained tan might suggest. What he does do is improvise distressingly effective deadly implements from common household items. He has a litany of black belts, and his single favorite topic of discussion is the history of Okinawan weaponry, immediately followed in order of rank by obscure Myspace bands, Star Trek the Next Generation, and my boobs. The last would bother me more if he weren’t gay, and also in the habit of decapitating people who are trying to kill me. We’re partners, and if we’re lucky this strip mall pit stop might end up saving some lives…

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