Beyond The Holders
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The following is a complete transcription of a file recovered from a hard drive found in the ruins of a building that was utterly annihilated, as if struck by a nuclear bomb. The hard drive was the only object intact among the wreckage; as of this date, the reason it alone survived is unknown. Of further note is the fact that said file was the only thing found on the hard drive.
The text that follows seems to be a warning of some catastrophic event soon to occur. At first glance it seems to be the lunatic ravings of a madwoman, but upon further research we have found that there may be some substance behind the warning. Yet further study will be required in order to totally verify the accuracy of this statement, and, if such appears to be fact, develop a means of counteracting such a catastrophe. Note: a potential solution is proposed, but as all leads have been exhausted, we've been left with no other option than to pursue other means.
The text recovered, with no letter omitted, is as follows:
Dr. Sonya K. Parker, Junior Researcher, Project 538
"Keeping us better."
That's been our motto for thirty years.
Yet it seems that all we've really done is make us worse.
I write this on what is likely the last day of A.G.'s existence. I'm trapped alone here in this hellhole with the monstrosity we created so long ago. Everyone else is either missing, dead, or... changed. Chances are, the computer I'm typing on will be destroyed along with everything else in this facility, but in the unholy miracle that this message survives (for, indeed, I've witnessed things that have made me believe that nothing is impossible), I want at least this planet to know of the unfathomable horrors that are soon to come, horrors that will likely change the very fundamental operations of the universe.
In order for you to fully understand my warning, I must start from the beginning.
As far as I've been able to figure out A.G. Industries was founded in 1978 as a pharmaceutical research company. For decades, we were at the cutting edge of medicinal technology, creating drugs that cured diseases once thought incurable. Yet you won't find our name in any scientific journals or history books. You see, A.G. merely developed drugs for other companies to sell. For example, we would develop, say, a new type of aspirin, then sell the resulting formula to the highest bidder; then that company would put the drug on the market. That company took the credit for the medicine's creation, while A.G. would remain silently in the background.
At first, we did this as a form of liability control; because we only performed preliminary tests to ensure that the drugs performed their basic functions and weren't lethal, we made clear that it was the buyer's responsibility to run further tests to determine side effects, possible complications, etc. meaning if there was a lawsuit incurred by the drug, A.G. would be clear of all responsibility. Yet as time wore on, it also became necessary to obscure the more, shall we say, "shifty" operations occurring behind A.G.'s doors.
When the field of genetic engineering first surfaced, A.G.'s top scientists wanted a piece of the action. While most of the staff was skeptical at first, eventually the entire company was on board. At the time, we thought no harm could come of it. Looking back... how foolish and ignorant we were.
When one thinks of genetic engineering, one usually thinks of cloning or agricultural manipulation. Yet the top brass at A.G. wanted no part of what they called "such trifles". Their goal was to create the world's first "perfect" human being by researching and eventually isolating the genes responsible for what most people consider "desirable traits," extracting the genes from people who displayed such traits, combining said genes into 46 complete chromosomes, dividing the chromosomes between an artificially created sperm and egg cell, and then joining the two cells to begin development. Then, after artificially impregnating a surrogate mother with the resulting zygote, in nine months we would have our "perfect" baby.
The plan sounded so simple on paper, but in execution we ran into far more troubles than we expected. Pinpointing the exact genes we were looking for was difficult enough; then came all the failed results. Most babies died, either inside the womb or shortly after birth. A few developed normally, but somehow lacked a substantial number of the traits we were shooting for. Others were born with significant physical and/or mental defects; while some of this lot were still capable of leading somewhat normal lives, others had to be euthanized, simply because they were far too deformed to ever survive outside the facility.
If I recall correctly, it was only after 537 failed attempts that we finally got the baby we were looking for. Project 538 was the perfect baby, the fruit of several years of hard, frustrating, and often maddening labor.
The first few months were spent in utter joy as we watched our creation blossom. The child developed at an almost supernatural rate; by the time he was eight months old, he was already capable of forming simple sentences and performing basic arithmetic; by fifteen months he was solving algebraic equations and reading at the level of a high school sophomore. On his second birthday, several world-renowned scholars officially deemed the boy the smartest in the world, more mentally capable than even they. Physically, the boy's development was flawless. Even under deliberate exposure to disease, he showed absolutely no signs of sickness. All the while, the researchers involved with Project 538 (myself included) were nothing short of elated, unfathomably proud of the perfect human being they'd helped bring into existence. Plans were in the works to extract a sample of the boy's genetic tissue and begin a cloning process.
But then, just four months before the boy's third birthday... he arrived.
On the surface, nothing was wrong with this man; he was a tall, lanky guy, just looking for a job as a pharmaceutical technician. Yet, if you were ever close to this guy, you just knew something was... off. He kept to himself mostly, and oftentimes, when he was around other people, he would make the most off-color remarks at the most random of times. But the main thing about this guy was that he just felt... well, the only word I can use to describe it is "empty."
The only thing I ever found out about this guy was that his name was Jack.
Things got worse when, not even a month after he was hired, Jack was promoted to senior researcher for Project 538. Some say he was friends with the top brass and was able to schmooze his way into the position; others say he bullied and blackmailed his way there. To this very moment, I think it was something far worse, something... not of this world. The point is, Jack now had direct access to Project 538, something none of us wanted, but that we couldn't control.
That was when everything began to take a turn for the worse.
Within a few days of this guy's arrival, Project 538 began to change. He suddenly became an extreme introvert where before he was outgoing and energetic. Most of the time he wanted no company whatsoever; the only exception, strangely enough, was Jack, whose presence Project 538 seemed to love. A couple months later, 538 started muttering the oddest things, often involving something about "reuniting them" or "destroying legion." At the same time, strange phenomena started occurring. Once we entered the Observation Room to find 538's containment chamber completely ablaze; when we were finally able to extinguish the fire, everything inside the room remained unscathed. Another time, we went into the O.R. and found an inconceivably old man sitting where 538 should've been. When we rushed into the containment chamber, 538 had returned, with the old man nowhere in sight. We appealed to the heads of A.G. to get Jack removed from the project, but our pleas were ignored; they insisted Jack remain in charge of the project, and might I add rather dully.
The strange events had been continuing for well over three years when, to our relief, Jack suddenly quit his job. The only proper words to describe the feeling was utter ecstasy; finally, all this shit would come to an end.
How wrong we were. The real ride was just beginning.
The day after Jack left, about half our research team just disappeared. None of us ever found where they'd gone, and the top brass remained silent on the issue. In the following days, some of the other researchers started to act the same way as 538 -- minus all the freaky shit, of course. Those of us whose minds remained intact wanted to do something, but deep down we knew there was nothing we could do.
Then, just this morning, a little short of two weeks after Jack vanished, all Hell broke loose.
I (thankfully, oh, God, thankfully) had gotten stuck in a traffic jam and was late getting to work. I had just clocked in when I heard a loud thundering sound coming from the area where Project 538 was being held. By this time, we'd all gotten used the weird shit 538 pulled on a daily basis, so I thought nothing of it. On retrospect, I should've gotten there as fast as my legs could've taken me.
The sight that greeted me when I arrived at the O.R. is one I will likely take to the grave with me... or wherever the hell I'm going after this.
I opened the door to about a dozen bloody, mangled corpses, mutilated in ways no creature on Earth would've been capable of. In the containment chamber, 538 looked perfectly normal, until I noticed his eyes. They were black. No iris, no pupil, nothing but solid black from corner to corner.
Then he turned that bloody gaze to me.
Immediately I felt a pulsating pain within me, unlike no other I'd ever felt. In fact, even as I type this, I can still feel the throbbing aftermath of whatever the hell it was he did to me. Yet, by means that to this minute I'm baffled over, I managed to get away from that room before I fully succumbed to the attack. I locked it up tight behind me; there was no way that little bastard was gonna finish me off.
Then I realized that the body count in there was nowhere near the amount of researchers left on the project.
That's when I heard the screams.
I peered over the balcony to the floor below; looking back, I sure as hell wish I hadn't. What greeted me was the remaining researchers, also with black eyes, tearing the workers below to shreds with their bare hands. People strangling others with such force that their heads literally popped like shattered watermelons. Ripped and tattered limbs, still spurting blood, being used to bludgeon those who still breathed before the creatures I used to call colleagues descended on them with animal ferocity, chewing flesh from bone with their teeth.
After I recovered from the horror, I did the only thing I could do, the only thing I knew how to do in a situation like this.
Leaving the facility was not an option, as the entire production floor was nothing short of a bloodbath, and those things were DAMN fast. If I tried, they'd be all over me in seconds. Instead, I took shelter in the very same janitor's closet I'm typing in right this very instant.
In the few hours I've been in here, I've been researching the strange things 538 was mumbling just before this place went to Hell on a bullet train. I can safely assure you that I know that what I've found is what I set out to find.
You see, there are apparently 2538 objects that were created by some unknown, unfathomable power. For the most part, these items look like ordinary, commonplace things, but they all hold a dark, arcane power that is supposed to corrupt whoever obtains one. What's worse, if all 2538 are collected and brought together, a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is supposed to happen. That's gotta be what he meant when he kept talking about "reuniting them." Furthermore, some superhuman guy called Legion apparently has 2000 of them, which would explain the whole "destroy legion" thing.
All I can hear outside the door now is scraping and squishing. I'm positive that anyone who wasn't one of those monsters is now dead, and that they know I'm here somewhere. I know that bastard Jack is behind all of this. If anyone ever finds that son of a bitch, I hope they give him Hell a million times over. I also know that Project 538 is out there, gathering the Objects one by one. I warn you; though he's still a child -- he's six years old as of today --, that kid has powers the likes of which this world's never seen. If you get even the slightest inkling you've come across him, I urge you,get as far away from him as possible.
Yet, as dire as it all may seem, I believe there is still one last hope. You see, there was a lower-level researcher who disappeared just before that rat-ass Jack first showed his face. He always talked about his son, who was about twenty at the time, and how he thought his kid was somehow different from others. I don't think the guy even knows about A.G., much less Project 538 or the Objects, but I've got this gut feeling he's the key to ending this. Call it cliche, but my gut's never been wrong to date.
If it is now... God he-
File ends here.
The Author, Sonya K. Parker, lived the last year of her life in Parkend's Home for the Homeless. She was found in delusion. Research was made into the company she claimed to work for. Not much was found. Although we did receive conformation from the CEO (L. Rockwell) that the company was still up and running, and still "Keeping us Better".
According to the staff of Parkend's, Sonya's last days had her nearly catatonic after a visit from a man in a suit. From then on she would only repeat the phrase. "They knew. They waited. But they don't know."
Categories: | The Forgotten and the Unknown |
|Last modified on 2012-10-11 09:41:02Average Rating: 5 / 5 (1 votes)Viewed 15531 times|