Mental Nature- Part 4 (Conclusion)

Roger Brees By Roger Brees, 18th Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

The conclusion to the Mental Nature story. Danny and Red reach their destination and uncover the atrocities committed in the facility, a discovery that has profound effects on both of them.

PART 4

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Disappointingly, but thanks to the maps we’d studied beforehand not unsurprisingly, we were now in another corridor, extending away to the left of us. This corridor was markedly wider, however. About five metres from wall to wall, as opposed to the narrower and dare I say it, standard sized corridor that we’d just left behind.

“Where now, chief?” asked Red, shining his flashlight around the room.

I followed Red’s beam around for a minute, gathering all the information that I could about this new area. The corridor wasn’t at all long: in fact I could see the end of it. Along the wall that also housed the door that we’d just come through were the windows that ran the length of the wall, looking out into what was now complete blackness, but presumably the same vegetation that we could see in the previous corridor. On the other side, were two large sliding doors, about ten metres apart. Next to each of them were signs, “Testing Room One”, and “Testing Room Two” respectively. To our right was another door, different from the others, which I knew housed the offices of the head scientists. It was of no interest to us.

“Testing Room Two. That’s where we’ve been headed,” I whispered.

I was nervous now. More nervous that I’d ever been in my entire life: I’m not a nervous person in the least. I said a quick prayer in my head and proceeded down the corridor, with Red following close behind. There were only two bodies in this corridor, curiously. In fact I’d noticed the distribution of bodies begin to become sparser as we’d approached the end of that last, long corridor.

And then I noticed something about one of the bodies, something that had a greater effect on me than anything thus far. Laying there, just in between the doors of the two testing rooms, was one of two corpses. His torso was twisted in an impossible arc that made my own spine uncomfortable. But what was disturbing to me is what he was wearing.

He was wearing the outfit of a typical vicar. Black gown, white collar and all. A vicar had no place in an institution like this, a place where all sorts of perversion to the natural order of things had occurred. To see a man who, to me, was so profoundly holy, and so profoundly out of place in this hell, shook every foundation of my mind. Nothing seemed acceptable to me anymore. For a number of impossibly long seconds, I lost my will to live. It is a feeling that I know I’ll never be able to describe. It was as if I’d just learned that the world was going to become engulfed in a vicious fireball, swallowed by a roaring flame destined to burn everyone I’ve ever loved.

Eventually I looked away, tears forming at the tips of my eyes. Red clearly hadn’t noticed the out of place character, because he was standing at the glass sliding doors which looked into Testing Room Two. Not wanting to speak of the travesty, I joined him.

“I can’t see anything,” said Red, flatly.

Neither could I. The glass was completely covered in grime and dirt, and so it was impossible to see into the room to collect some hint of what lay inside. I shrugged, and began to open the sliding door by hand; of course, there being no electricity running through the building, the door wasn’t going to open by itself. Red caught on to what I was doing and pushed aside the opposing door, and we both slid through.

Testing Room Two was silent. Up until this point, I may have indicated that this building was eerie in its quietness, but one cannot have a concept of silence until one has been inside a room like this. There wasn’t a cricket to be chirping or any wind to be whistling. The air in this room was dead and void of any activity.

Apprehensively, I shone the light at the end of my rifle in front of me, as Red did with his in front of him. The room wasn’t very large, about the size of an operating theatre. In fact, I wondered whether that might just be what this room was. The shadows here were so thick that everything immediately outside of the beam of light cast by my flashlight was pure black, so I shone my light at one corner of the room, and slowly moved along the wall, observing everything as I went.

Fixed to the left wall was a large sink, although it was so covered in rust and blood that it barely had any definitive shape, and the taps and piping were the only giveaways as to what it once was. Looking further along the wall I could see a couple of old medical carts, which had at some point been raided, as the drawers were either open or scattered on the floor around the carts, and all were empty. On the tiled floor next to the medical carts was a particularly disturbing arrangement consisting of two corpses. One was slumped against an overturned medical cart, and even through the mist of its decay, the cause of death was obvious. The scientist had a sizeable chunk of his neck missing, in a manner too inconsistent with the rest of his decomposition to be a product of it. The answer to this missing portion of flesh could be found in the other corpse. Somewhat on top of the other but still face-up, this corpse had in its mouth a terrible combination of bone and rotting flesh stuck between its blunt teeth. More curious, but no less unsettling, was the evidently self administered syringe of morphine limply hanging out of what was left of the flesh of its arm.

The fog that had been swirling in my mind since entering this facility was intensifying and growing heavier. It had felt like the deeper we’d travelled into this place the more intense the heat, as if we were approaching the fires of hell itself. I had to shake my head periodically as I observed the room just to keep focussed.

The rest of the room, apart from half a dozen more corpses, didn’t have anything more to it, certainly nothing that I could see to be worthy of our mission in the first place. But as my eyes met the opposite side of the room, I saw red leant over a counter, reading what looked to be a myriad of file folders.

“What’s that, Red?”

There was no response, but Red seemed to be shaking. “Red, are you alright?”

“This.. this place... it’s all here, written down,” Red sounded offended on a very deep and personal level.

I was intensely curious of the contents of those folders but I didn’t dare take a step toward Red- this place had, thus far, affected him worse than it had me, and if the documents he’d been reading truly did have an explanation for the chaos that took place here so many years ago, then I could not trust that he had not gone insane.

“They were just men,” Red croaked. “Like you and I.” Red swiped his hand across the counter, sending a flurry of papers into the air. By chance, several landed within my own reach.

I gingerly knelt down and overturned them, and was greeted with pages consisting of both text and images. The first page I picked up began:

have not responded in any meaningful physical manner. Carcass A often appears to cease breathing altogether, although its vital signs and all indicators remain normal. However, Sir Praiger’s hypothesis about the psychotic manifestations of such treatment may have been founded in some basis other that utter delusion and fantasy. Last week, two men on the observation team regrettably passed away, one of which was an irrefutable suicide, and the other death is currently awaiting the report of the coroner for a final verdict. It would be of no surprise to me if that too was a suicide. These two men in particular, whilst not of the strongest will, were in constant contact with both carcasses since they were first entered into the program.


At this point curiosity got the best of me and I hastily turned to the other page, hoping to find out what these ‘carcasses’ were and what it was that really happened here. Thankfully, this one appeared to be the end of an email or report.

reservations. I must impress upon you the leap of faith I am taking when asking you to tell your superiors to find some way of carrying out the program without direct contact with the carcasses. If this is not possible then I must recommend to you that this program be dissolved. The subconscious is not to be toyed with- throughout the history of humanity it has been the most powerful force known to man. I am beginning to see these carcasses (I refuse to refer to them as what they were for the sake of my conscience) in my sleep, even when I close my eyes. We have unlocked the subconscious. I know we have. This is our doing. Call it telepathy, call it whatever you want. I see them all the time. They are doing things to me. Not just when I am asleep, but when I am awake. Yesterday a technician stabbed a researcher in the neck with a fork in the cafeteria. Is this where we are all headed?
Dr. Spiers


Following this short block of text was another, which appeared to be a copy of what it was that this Dr. Spiers was replying to.

Dr. Spiers,
I have no doubt at all that the suicides are unrelated to the carcasses. Rather, I would suggest you look at the working conditions over there. Surely, the more likely answer is that it was stress and perhaps some slight moral ambiguity relating to the program that caused this, rather than any tangible outcome of the program itself? Whilst I have faith in your work over there, I’ve never made it a secret that I think this whole concept is ridiculous. I’ll also point out that you never had any objections to the program when we had to acquire the carcasses in the first place? Quite frankly this whole program is an abomination, but I’m too much of an asshole to care. Its mother was on the news last night, raving for the attention of anyone who’ll listen. No one will, though. As if the government would be involved in kidnap and torture. Ha ha. Still, I felt a pang of guilt. Only for a second though.


I began to feel ill. Were the ‘carcasses’ human? Was this a facility of human experimentation? A place where the dignity of the person is such that he will be nothing but a literal carcass? I grabbed for another sheet of paper- this one was handwritten.
THE PURPLE MIST, RETRIBUTION
The rest was unintelligible script but I could only assume that it was written in the seconds following the release of the gas, presumably not long after everyone in here went absolutely insane.
I looked up for a moment to see what Red was doing, and to my surprise he’d started to drag himself back to the door we’d come through.

“Red!” He didn’t respond.

I watched him proceed through the doorway, and somewhat fearful of the risk of losing him to the shadows, I went after him. What I saw in the corridor made me sick.

Where there was once an empty space, two operating tables, inexplicable and alien, sat conspicuously. There was a body laying on each of them. Red was on his knees, as if praying, although to the bodies or to God I didn’t know. Without approaching the tables I knew that their burdens were perverse, but when I finally did break free of the bonds of fear and take a closer look, that knowledge was vindicated.

Both figures looked alarmingly alike- although that was clearly not always the case- and well preserved. But they looked horrifying. Looking at the state of their bodies, the men evoked images of the various black and white prison camp photos that one is bound to get exposed to throughout their youth and lessons in history. There was clearly nothing to these people other than skin and bones. And yet somehow, they were both breathing, although only slightly and very weakly. The most devastating and horrifying image was the expression on their faces. It was as if they were frozen in a period of intense pain and terror- their eyes were winced shut and their mouth twisted open in a horrendously artificial way. Their greying hair was long, wiry and almost translucent. Running my eyes down slightly, I noticed a crude tattoo on each of their shoulders- the letters A and B respectively. A little further down was an IV line, still attached and running to a dirtied machine, shared by both men. Another line went out of the other end of the machine and ran into the other arm of each body. Amazingly, and again, inexplicably, the machine appeared to be running. Liquid appeared to be taken from one arm, pumped into the machine, and fed into the other. It was a perverted setup.

“They did this to them, Danny,” Red wept. “They took them from their homes, their families...”

These two men were obviously the ‘carcasses’ talked about in the reports I’d read. But why? I let Red continue, because he clearly knew.

“And for what? For science?” Red stood up. “What God of yours allows this, Danny? To hold these men in some never ending chamber of torture?!” Red’s hands reached for his own hair and I could see that he was pulling the strands.”They should have known! You can’t screw with the subconscious! And look what happened!” His mannerisms were drastic and desperate. “Take me to her, Danny...” Red reached out his arm out toward me. “She’s here, Danny. Has been for a bit now.”

“Red, please, just breathe. Who is here?”

“It wasn’t my fault, Danny. She’s always on my mind but coming to this place... But she’s leering at me. She’s in the shadows. Danny, I can’t do this anymore.” I could tell that there was nothing to salvage in Red. He was gone.

I could see men, women, the vicar that I’d seen earlier, all in the shadows around us. They were writhing around in the darkness, their faces twisted in a perpetual state of pain. They were clawing at the walls. They were climbing across the ceiling. They were leering at me, sent by God to remind me of the pain inflicted by the perversions of science brought about by this facility. This entire place was an affront, not just to my religion, but to humanity. The stains of what I’d seen here could not be erased. If the sight of these grotesque half-alive carcasses wasn’t enough to drive me mad, then the taint and the outcome of this terrible experiment of the subconscious was. It was palpable. I could feel the effect that this hideous experiment had had on this dark corner of the world. In that moment, I knew that the only rational thing to do was to rid the world of this blot on human history, and leave judgement to God. No good could come of exposing this travesty to the world. The knowledge came to me as clearly as God had, so many years ago. I began to cry.

Having left my rifle in Testing Room Two, I unclipped my handgun from its holster, cocked it, raised it, and fired three rounds into Red, although the first would have been enough. Having caught him midway through clawing through his cheek, the first bullet caught him in the back of the head, the resulting brain matter cascading through the darkness and dispersing the writhing and twitching figures and for the first time since we arrived, the shadows seemed to be silent.

It doesn’t matter where I got the accelerant, but I did, and covered this place with it. I expected the carcasses to squeal, albeit in a subdued and pathetic manner, as they, along with myself, were consumed by the flames. A mercy unto them, as well as myself.

We are not worthy of God’s forgiveness.

*****
Colonel England,

Attached you will find my report on the disappearance of Agents Daniel Strong and Christopher ‘Red’ Lachlan. In addition, I have included all photographs taken at the Davis Research Facility where their charred bodies were found, as well Agent Strong, having survived the inferno.

-Whilst intense forensic on-site analysis was conducted by our teams immediately after sending Agent Strong off for medical treatment, their findings (attached) were not necessary to reconstruct the events leading up to the blaze. Throughout the preliminary treatment for the burns, Agent Strong began narrating a first-hand account of the events (also attatched), in a perfectly undisturbed manner, despite the intense and by all means excruciating injuries recieved and treatments that he was undergoing. Upon reaching the end of his account, he would simply start from the beginning and recount the events in exactly the same words as before. Sedation was ineffective, although it was noted by the physician in his preliminary report that his body and biological functioning presented identically to that of somebody under heavy sedation.

-We are currently awaiting news as to the outcome of Agent Strong’s surgery, although the surgeon seems optimistic given his undeniably strong will as evidenced by his resilience to his injuries. I await word on my course of action should it happen that Agent Strong survives his surgery.

-The ultimate costs of the incident are yet to be confirmed and a comprehensive report is forthcoming, although it seems inevitable that the facility be abandoned.

Any questions, please do not hesitate to call me. Upon your response confirmed the receipt of the photographs, I shall delete any copies on my side.

Lieutenant Greaves

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password