Fox Tales - Broken Rain
Kiyoko studied the ruined apartment block, watching for any signs of movement or activity. She and Jake stood in the shadows of a collapsed car park. Well hidden by giant blocks of broken concrete, and huge ruined pillars. Ripped plastic sheeting blew in the wind and rain, the loud rustling noise proving to be an unwelcome distraction. The apartment block Hoffman had briefed her about was a four story building, and it looked like it had seen better days. The gray brickwork was crumbling, covered with moss and weeds. Large holes had been blown through the walls from various weapons fire. But, there were no signs of anyone, or anything, around.
Jake made a loud mocking, snoring noise. He leaned against a wall, arms folded, eyes closed.
"Problem?", Kiyoko asked, an irritated tone to her voice. Jake rolled his eyes, then snapped into life.
"Yeah, problem. We're standing out here like bloody pu*sies getting our vagina's wet in the rain. What the f*ck are we waiting for? There's no one bloody here!"
"As a sniper, I've learned the value of patience. I know how important it is to observe the enemy before the enemy observes you."
"Well f*ck you and your pu*sy sniper observation sh*t, I'm going in...", and with that Jake stormed off toward the building. Jake had a reputation for being trouble. From what she knew of him, he'd been in the stockade plenty of times, up on various charges for unruly behavior. Hell, people said he even broke his CO's jaw once. Kiyoko could believe it. The guy obviously had anger management issues. She shook her head, wondering what she was getting herself into, before following Jake into the darkened apartment block.
Once inside, Kiyoko glanced around. The main doors had long since disappeared. Scattered weeds grew here and there between the rotten floorboards of the lobby. Broken furniture littered the floor. There were no signs that anyone was here, or had been here recently. Jake sported a satisfied smile.
"See? No one bloody here. I think it might be safe now, what do you reckon? Is it safe now, little Miss Sniper?" Kiyoko didn't miss the hint of sarcasm in his voice. It pissed her off a little.
"Well now I've got the reckless bada*s to protect me, I'll think we'll do just fine. Come on tough guy, what we're looking for is on the fourth floor. Apartment thirty eight." They started up the stairs carefully, watching their steps.
"You bet your sweet little a*s I'm a tough guy girly. I've killed men with my bare hands, snapped their necks like bloody dry twigs, stared into their eyes and watched the life just fade away. Hey, speaking of sweet a*s, how come they never shipped yours off to one of them breeding farms? I bet your a bloody riot in the sack."
"They wanted to, but, eventually they decided I'd make a better killer than a mother. Only reason I made infantry was because of my percentages on the firing range. Guess I have a talent for it."
"You know something? I'm liking you more and more.". Jake grinned. "Now come on, let's grab those journals and get the f*ck outta this sh*thole."
They made their way up to the fourth floor. Jake sheepishly put his foot through a weakened stair once, but apart from that nothing seemed amiss. The roof was badly damaged and rain water leaked in, streaming to pools on the floor. A heavy musty smell hung in the air, damp patches stained the interior walls and greenish moss could be seen growing from some of the support beams. Kiyoko looked around for apartment thirty eight, finding it near the far end of the hallway, just beside the roof exit, on the right. The door was closed.
"Good, let's go." Jake kicked the door in, shattered it into pieces, it collapsed to the floor in broken shards. "After you, little Miss Sniper."
"Gee thanks." Kiyoko walked in. The room was a real mess. Old magazines and papers were scattered everywhere, along with clothes and pieces of broken furniture. Kiyoko just hoped Hoffman's information was on the money, and that the journals and disks were still here. She made her way to the far corner, by the main window. Pushing aside various bits of debris to see if the vent Hoffman had mentioned was here. She smiled, it was. Pulling off the front grill, she reached inside, feeling around. It took a couple of minutes searching before her hand closed on something. She pulled it out of the vent. It was a metal cigar box, wrapped in clear plastic. She carefully unwrapped it and opened the box. Inside were two data disks in cases. Both had ID numbers written on them and nothing else. Also in the box were three hand written journals, stuffed with printouts and pieces of paper. She began flicking through them, seeing if she could understand any of it.
"Well, come on, what the f*ck is it all about?", shouted Jake, leaning over her shoulder. Kiyoko tilted her head toward him.
"Give me a minute or two will you? And maybe, some space. It looks... complex..."
"Bloody scientists and their bloody science, a bunch of horsesh*t if you ask me. Who is this f*cking pr*ck anyway?"
"Uhh... Professor Cantwell, Professor Michael Cantwell. Apparently he was working on imulsion refinement and processing, on how to improve and speed up the process. Or something. I dunno, Hoffman wasn't specific with the details."
"Well, hurry up and keep reading, find something. Something that tells us what this is all about." Kiyoko went back to flicking through the journals. Much of it was just incomprehensible to her. A bunch of chemical forumlae, lists of statistics, schematics foldouts, graphs. That kinda junk. Finally she found something she could understand, some notes about an experiment.
"Hey Jake, listen to this...
I can now confirm the existence of the Corphage bacteria living in raw imulsion. We've known about it for some time now, but finally the test results confirm it's presence. Even more exciting, the test results also confirm the effects the Corphage has on living organism's that come into contact with it. The Corphage creates a viral agent that attacks the subject aggressively, and using the stored energy of the imulsion itself to fuel the process, actively re-writes the subjects genome in what can only be described as complete transmutation. Not being a geneticist myself, that's the best description I can give. The subjects cells are mutated forcing a transformation of the subject into a new and very different form of life. It's my belief that the mutation however, is far from random. It follows a pattern. This pattern comes from the subjects DNA itself, pardon my conclusions gentle reader, but I find it probable that the pattern is representative of the subjects evolutionary path. The implications of this are enormous. Understandably the notion that the evolutionary path of every species is somehow encoded into it's genome is remarkable, but the Corphage bacteria will allow us to explore this theory. Despite the secrecy of this research I have persuaded the military that the magnitude of what we've discovered so far requires that we share this information with a wider circle of the scientific community, so that it can be investigated more thoroughly. They have agreed to my proposal on the grounds that I limit access to only approved personal. As such, I am meeting with Professor Adam Fenix sometime next week to discuss the project. I remain hopeful that together we can pool a suitable team to further the research successfully.
Professor Michael Cantwell, OBS
Jake stared at her dumbfounded.
"What the f*ck is that supposed to mean? Exactly?"
"That the military, the COG were using this, this bacteria they found in the imulsion to experiment on living subjects? To alter their DNA, transform them into... well, who knows what?"
"Yeah, who knows, and who cares? Like I said... horsesh*t. Let's just get back to Corynth, hand this sh*t over to Hoffman and forget about it."
"Wait, wait, hold on. Some of the printouts gave statistical details on the subjects." Kiyoko began searching through the papers stuffed into the journal. Finally, she found something. "Here, look at this, subject - 19904A, age - 19, height - 5'11, weight - 165 lbs, hair - blond, eyes - green
... Jake, they experimented on... humans..." Jake paced around the room, looking like a caged animal almost. His agitation patently obvious.
"Look what the f*ck difference does it make? There's nothing we can do, I think we should just forget it, let Hoffman bloody well deal with it. It's nothing..."
"What the f*ck?"
"Shut up! I hear something. There's someone in the hallway." Kiyoko stood still, listening intently for any noise that would confirm they were not alone. Jake moved purposefully toward the doorway.
"You're dreaming, I didn't hear anything." He stepped outside, coming face to face with what looked like a Locust drone. The difference being, it was darker in color, and it's veins pulsed with an eerie yellowish glow.
" Jake shouted.
To be continued...