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"J-j-jingle… bells… jingle… bells… jingle all the… way…” It was once a human. It was once called Leonard Smith. But now what sat at the bottom of that dark pit had every inch of humanity taken from it. “…oh what… fun…” Its face was red, and what used to be a passable white button-down shirt was now a grey and tattered piece of fabric, barely draping over its shoulders. Its pants were completely gone, they had been torn off months ago, from the countless wear of sloshing around in unidentifiable black sludge. The only thing keeping it decent was its boxers, now resembling a leather loincloth.
“…it is to… ride…” For the past nine years Leonard’s world was sitting in a black pit and singing when a beam of light came from above. It was always too bright to see what, or who, was up there.
“…on a one… horse…” Its voice was raspy, it never talked, it only sang. “…open… slay.”
Something dark slid in front of the beam of light, something thin, an arm? The beam of light vanished, and Leonard heard a “plunk!” a few feet away from him. It scurried through the sludge, sifting around with its wrinkled fingers, then grabbing hold of the small cylinder that was dropped from above. It was food. A large pellet, like something a bird or a hamster would eat. There was no taste to it, in fact the first few times Leonard ate it, Leonard gagged, but over the nine years its brain shut something off, making the soggy, tasteless pellet taste like lobster. Leonard couldn’t stand starvation, it was like a horrible dagger in his stomach, and his mind that was telling him to eat anything he could get his hands on, he even tried eating the sludge- he didn’t know what the sludge was, or why it was there- but he couldn’t keep it down, it must have been some sort of toxin that those from above put in the pit. It wondered how long had it been since it’s last meal? Two weeks, a month- Leonard didn’t know, but it had an eerie, instinctive, feeling that whatever was above, had a menacing intent.
Nutrients, food, is a universal need, a symbol of life and comfort for every living organism. In absence of this, the human body will change, not just physical to store nutrients, but also mental, giving humans the ability to eat just about anything. Also with less food, the human body performs more efficiently, adapting to its environment, almost as if it was evolving in only a matter of days. But, there are drawbacks. In subject 13k we have found that the male human will resort to eating its own body’s waste, which would classify it as mentally instable, since the waste of humans has no nutrition, and does more harm for the body than good. Since we have been experimenting with 13k for so long, we think it is time to loose him. But there will be one last experiment. Time between feedings will be longer each time to test if the subject can change its body enough to last an extreme amount of time without food. If it cannot condition its self, then we will find how long it takes for a human to live without nutrients.
Lucas had only been in the white room for a few hours. It was strange, he never remembered coming here, never remembered why he would be here. He kissed his wife just this morning- his wife. She was everything, and she was pregnant- this made him smile. But soon his thoughts returned to the white room, and the giant neon-lettered question sprung at him in his mind. Why was he here?
Kissed his wife, grabbed the keys- he remembered them jingling that morning-, got in the car, started it- the radio was blaring, he let his little brother take it to the store-, he was driving to work… and… and? Then what? Did he get in a car accident? Was he pulled over by the cops? Was any of that even real?
Lucas backed up against one of the white walls and slid down it, hitting against the floor. He scanned the room. White. There was nothing else, just a white room, no doors, no windows- what, did someone build it around him? And why was it bright? There were no lights.
He flipped through questions as if he was looking at a juke box. Nothing. There was no reason why he would be in a blank room, he didn’t remember it, he didn’t have a reason for it, so why?
An hour passed, and Lucas was starting to feel like the room was getting smaller- it wasn’t, it couldn’t be, he was claustrophobic, that must have been it. He felt along the walls in the room for a trap door, or a nook, or a bump, anything, but there was nothing, it was smooth, so smooth that it didn’t seem to have paint on it, or even to be made of metal, it was like glass, but it wasn’t cold.
Lucas sat back down to his thoughts. He went over the morning again, got breakfast, kissed his wife, and Victoria- his newborn-, got the keys, started car, started driving, and, and… stopped at the gas station, talked to some cop, and… and…
Lucas shook his head. His memory was like a road with a cliff at the end, it goes pretty smoothly, then, just cuts off, nothing.
A few more hours pass by. Lucas has to pee. He already screamed this to the top of his lungs just incase someone was monitoring him, but with no windows, no doors, it was impossible, right?
He was a decent man and he always stuck by cleanliness, so at first, peeing on the floor was just downright out of the question. But, his bladder only had so much room, and for breakfast that morning all he had was a big glass of orange juice. Breakfast? Yes, he had breakfast that morning, a big glass of orange juice, then he went to the door and kissed his husband goodbye. Wait…
Lucas’s eyes widened, and he shook his head as if it was a pinball machine, and it would become unstuck after a good shake.
Husband… no, wife. No…
Images flashed before his mind, a young man in a robe, who was his husband who kissed him goodbye that morning, but then a woman replaced him, a woman holding a baby, his baby, she was his wife. Or was she? Or was he? Was he gay, or straight? He thought of a woman in a bikini to see, then shook his head again, his head was buzzing too much to tell.
“My name is Lucas Hinton!” He said quickly. He thought that if he didn’t say it he would forget that too.
“Ok…” He said, trying to calm himself down.
Focus. This morning.
So many images flashed through his mind as he thought about his morning, so many memories. His teenage daughter screaming at him, his son coming back from the army, his mom scolding him, his husband wishing he would stay at home, his wife taking pills for her depression, playing peek-a-boo with his ten-month. So many situations all changing, all changing people he loved, hated- changing himself. What did he do for a living? Carpenter, salesman, head executive- too many to keep track of, but he needed to, somehow he had to.
Two hours pass, Lucas is crouched down in the corner of the room grabbing his sweat-drenched head. Across from him is a yellow puddle on the floor.
He can’t remember long term memories now, things that he should know, things that anyone should know.
“Cars…” he muttered, “…we drive cars, I know it… I think…” Other images flashed into his head, roads cluttered with bicycles, cities packed with hovering vehicles, and tube-like trains zooming along on tracks where roads used to be. His entire perspective of the world changed by the second. Was he dead? Or was he ever even born? Is he just some trapped soul existing only in a different dimension consisting of only some walls with no windows or doors and eternal whiteness? Was this hell? What is hell? He knew he heard of hell somewhere… was it where he used to live?
Lucas’ pupils expanded, almost blocking out his irises, and then contracted. Purple dots filled his vision, appearing, then disappearing, then appearing again. His body felt like it was in ice cold water, on the verge of numbness, but still painful. His eyelids drooped, and then finally he closed them, his head rolled the side, stopping at the corner of the wall.
Thousands of years ago, the planet earth was not as it is today, giant animals existed, and though humans still existed, they were different, more like animals, more bloodthirsty. Today there is little need for the human to share characteristics like there ancestors, but, they still do. Subject 28k has gone through procedures through chemicals and exposure to radioactive waves that will erase all of his memory. Through this, we may be able to see what humans used to be like, and see what they are capable of.
Kyle is a professional skate boarder. He is what kids only dream they could be. He is paid to skate board, and not only is he paid, but he is paid enough so that he could have five children and send all of them to college without the aid of loans. But skate boarding isn’t everything, Kyle realized this when his father left him as a kid, when he stood alone at the altar at the age of twenty-seven, and when his little brother died from cancer. So what does he do? He robs a bank. Not for money, but because there was nothing else he could think to do. He was in a self-destructive mood and he needed to feel like he was still alive, he needed to do something hurtful, not too hurtful, and get the adrenalin pumping.
“Hey! Let go of me! I have my rights!” Two police men held Kyle by the wrists.
“Yea, and they aren’t being able to run away when you just robbed a bank.” One of them said in a monotone voice like he dealt with this sort of thing a lot.
“Hey what is this place anyway? Why is there no one here?” Kyle was right, there was no one there. They walked through the hall of what looked like some sort of clinic, short-haired red carpet, off-white walls, framed pictures of flowers or other nature things- things that were supposed to be soothing-, and lots of doors. A faint sound could be heard through the building, soft jazz, otherwise known as elevator music. Kyle had never been to jail before, but this new place he was in seemed much to calming to be called a jail. They walked into a long white hall that had halls and rooms breaking off from it. They passed a robotic arm that hung above a dark opening in the floor; next to it was a crate full of soft brown pellets. They passed two more of the same structures before getting to the monitors. Thirty screens were in a cut-away in the wall, under them were consoles that one might see used for security cameras. On each screen was a white room with a man or woman in it, all of them appeared to be insane.
Kyle turned his head as they walked by them, and saw one man throwing brown matter across the room, another smashing his head against the wall, leaving a trail of blood, like a slug.
“Where the hell are you taking me?”
“What is this place?”
Kyle found that they had stopped walking, and facing him was the end of the hall, a dead end, a blank wall. A sharp pain entered the back of his neck, and he closed his eyes.
It has been increasingly hard to get test subjects, especially ones with certain colors of hair, or a certain age. Many of them are always with another human in a public area, or at a home where another human could call in authorities. It is not possible to just go into society as we are, and choose any subject we like; there are currently restrictions in this stage of human technology. So we have resorted to camouflage tactics, not camouflage to the environment, but to the people. We pose as a symbol of authority and take in subjects that are seen as defective by the human society. This is limiting, but there is also an increasingly number of defective humans to choose from; in the human society defective humans are called criminals. As authority figures, the humans easily put their trust in us, and we can escort them to the test facilities with ease.
Special Agent Richards of the FBI investigates disappearances. He has successfully found forty people that had been abducted throughout his career. But a recent case has him stumped; there is something not natural about it. The famous stunt-man Kyle Yale disappeared after robbing a bank, but eye-witnesses claim that he was arrested by two, medium build, white, male police officers. The police claim that there was no trace of him at the scene. The act of Kyle robbing a bank seemed to be purely in defiance, an act of the moment. Was he really smart enough to stage his arrest?
He looked at a chart that he put together on his computer; it was the past events in Kyle’s life. As he scrolled down on his screen, pictures popped up out of dates, pictures of loved ones, rivals, family- nothing that seemed to produce any manor of progress. He rubbed his sand-paper-like chin. There needed to be time for him to just think. That was how he solved all of the other cases. While most agents tried to pry into situations and repeatedly scan over information, Richards just thought. It did only involve problem solving, no investigative skills, just analytical. It was like a brain teaser of nature, and needed to be treated as such.
The phone rang and startled Richards. On the other end was his break in the case.
Run! Run! The whole experience was horrifying. The humans have discovered us, and they came with their cars and their guns. They finally found us and wanted revenge. We scuttled away, into the ground, into the air, back to the safe haven, our safe haven. But we were undiscovered, and soon we will build a new facility, this time experiments more harsh, testing the human’s maximum potential.
“Jingle bells… jingle-
“SHUT UP! Why don’t you stop? You never stop, you go, and go and go! Stop it! You just keep going, you go and…” Kyle grabbed his vein littered temples and shook his head. His eyes were bloodshot, and all of his hair was gone. “The gas… you’re just like the poison gas, you never stop… it never stops…”
“That’s all of them sir.” Task Organizer Skimsley reported to Agent Richards. Fifty men and woman, all in rags that only resembled presentable clothes, crowded in the paved parking lot in front of the “Braint and Williams Psychiatric Facilities” as the tall wooden sign by the parking lot stated. “You can tell they did some horrible things in that place. I don’t even want to count the dead bodies we dragged out.” Some of them just sat on the pavement with a blank gaze, others chanted phrases, others hustled around on all fours.
“What about the suspects? Who is in charge of this?”
“No, all of them came from cages, or locked rooms, or… pits. Someone had to maintain the place, but whoever it was is gone now.”
For many years it has been counted as fact that humans are the most intelligent creatures on earth. But perhaps it is that ignorant thought that makes that fact fiction, or maybe it is only because we have hidden ourselves over the years. Through all of their myths, we have never occurred, and maybe that is because humans are too afraid to admit that there is another common organism smarter than them. We are weaker than them, but that does not matter in the computer age, where we can construct, program, and operate artificial organisms much smarter and stronger than them. We don’t know why humans don’t realize that they are ancestors of the most superior race, maybe it is their pride that won’t allow it. Once they can look past their pride, and see that they are not superior, it will be too late for the; their foreseen apocalypse will already be upon them.