The sirens bellowed out of the speakers with an ear shattering roar, enough to make one go deaf. The alarm lights blindingly activated their crimson, insuring everyone was aware of the situation at hand. Disoriented by everything that was happening, the staff of the laboratory weren’t sure what to do. No private education, no manual, no mentor had ever taught them on such a situation. The designer of the security system assured them that no specimen could ever escape.
However, it seemed he was wrong.
Terrified by what he was seeing on the CCTV, the security guard lept up from his chair and burst out of the small, dark security office. Scooting around the corner, he sprinted to the lab director’s office, pushing past anyone that were in his way. He was just as disarrayed as the rest of the staff.
Shit! Shit! Shit! This wasn’t supposed to happen! He racked inside his brain. How the hell are we going to catch that thing? They told us we wouldn’t have to worry! He burst through the office door, greeted by a confused director, shuffling around on his desk. The director’s office was large with a 10 foot-tall drop ceiling, brightly lit by fluorescent bulbs. The back wall was nothing but solid glass, criss-crossed with aluminum beams to support the weight of the glass.
“Director Izuma! Subject 146 is nowhere to be found in its confinements!”
Izuma froze. After a short pause to collect his thoughts, he reset his glasses on the bridge of his nose with this pointer finger, and let out an oddly curious chuckle.
“I always knew it would give me problems,” he mumbled under his breath. He cocked his head and gave a glare to the officer that could induce nightmares. “Secure the entire facility, and make sure no one comes in or goes out. Lock all doors and activate the ‘electric fence’.”
“Yes sir!” an exhausted officer replied. He wheeled around and ran out the same door he came in, going back to alert the guards. With the director’s office now silent, it was broken by another chuckle from Izuma.
“These are the days I work for. Finally, some action in this god-forsaken place!”
Over the intercom system, a familiar officer’s voice could be heard, almost with panic in his voice.
“All available officers report to Sector 3F immediately! We have an experiment unaccounted for. Again, all available officers report to Sector 3F immediately!”
Izuma turned to the phone on his desk and picked up the handset. He dialed 08, the number that took him straight to the Minister of Biology Research of the Japanese Science and Technology Agency.
“Sir, it’s out,” Izuma said. The tone of his speech showed his calm demeanor in this situation, thinking of it as an easy fix.
“What do you mean it’s out?” The Minister growled.
Taken aback from the sternness of the his voice, Izuma’s mood changed from cocky and laxed to something of consternation. He replied reluctantly.
“Subject 146 is nowhere to be found in Sector 3F. We’re trying to get our team to locate it.”
“146? You mean that snake thing?”
The Minister gave a very nervous sigh. You could tell by his voice that he was concerned. “You better locate that damn thing, or it’s your head on the chopping block. You hear me?”
“Yes sir.” Izuma realized his situation was becoming dire.
“We cannot let the public know about our entire experimentation operation here, or else they may begin to question their trustworthiness of the government. Now go find that damn thing!” The Minister promptly slammed the phone down, ending the conversation.
Izuma shuddered. He had never heard the Minister that angry before. What was so important about 146 that would make the Minister of Biology Research sweat bullets? he wondered.
The sirens continued to blare.
In Sector 3F, the five officers gathered and awaited further instruction. Just like the others, they were not fully trained in what to do in case of an escapee. A couple of them were looking around the sector, taking in the sights of all the medical equipment and experiments. They thought their job was going to be easy when they read their job applications; just walk around and make sure no one broke in. But now, the officers were forced out of their comfort zones. Their uniforms were nothing more than flat, khaki, short-sleeved button-up shirts, black slacks, and a name tag. Anyone could just mistake them for one of the janitors; in fact, a lot of the staff did. The government seemed to have put a little too much confidence in the security system.
Izuma approached the security gate. The 9 foot tall, semi-circle door in front of him has the characters “3F” painted in white, taking up half the door. The characters were being lit up by the swirling red lights of the alarm system. He swiped his ID card hanging around his neck over a small scanner on the left side of the door, then scanned his thumbprint. A weak sounding jingle resonated from the scanner. The aluminum door split into two and began to slide open slowly. Light from 3F began to pour into the dark hallway that Izuma occupied. Izuma walked into the blindingly bright sector.
As he strolled throughout the sector, large metal cages were lined up side by side on either side of him. Inside those cages were other human-animal hybrids of various colors, shapes, sizes, and species. Some were moving, some were not. On each cage, the number of the experiment was displayed followed by a colored strip of paper, either green, yellow, or red. Green signified that the experiment was healthy and showed no signs of abnormalities, yellow showed that it needed to be monitored and prodded every once in awhile as to check its liveliness, and red meant that that experiment had failed. Many of the experiments had barbaric outcomes, so along the cages there was a sea of red and yellow with only speckles of green.
While a lot of the experiments seemed to have similar outcomes, there was one that even the staff does not speak of: Experiment 73C. Nicknamed Spes, after the Roman goddess of hope, it was such an abomination that it could make even the toughest man break down into tears at the sight of it. It was the researchers’ first time trying to meld a human embryo with that of a shark. What was created was nothing short of horrific. As your eyes started to move up from the bottom of the tail, resemblances of a shark and a human were speckled throughout the bottom half. With the skin types of shark and human fused together, there were ghastly bulbous and throbbing veins wired through it. The bottom of the “tail” was a mixture of feet and fin. Toes sprouted and wiggled from the fin, in time with its heartbeat. The dingy blueish color that it emanated revealed that the researchers had chosen a great white shark as its species of choice. As you made your way up the torso, the stomach area was extremely bloated and misshapen, with more veins popping out of it. Flow sensors littered its body, with multi-colored wires strewn about. They were connected to a monitoring machine testing for every vital sign known to man. Its chest raised up and down very heavily, its mouth gasping for any oxygen it could cling to. Tiny, shriveled arms were connected to bony, sharp shoulders. Similar to its feet, little fingers could be noticed protruding from pectoral fins, pulsating with the beat of its heart. Spes’ head was dotted with little spots of straggly, wiry red hair that constantly fell out. The front of its face seemed as if it was from a horror movie. One giant, completely black eye lied wide open; Spes had no eyelid. There were two slits are a nose should be, and you could hear air seeping into them with every breath. A wide mouth filled with distended, deformed, and pointy teeth was clamped shut with a dog muzzle, as to protect the staff. Spes’ agony of a life lasted thirteen years, seven months, fifteen days, and eight hours.
Izuma met up with the guards in Sector 3F. He noticed them looking around stunned and scoffed.
“THIS is what the government could afford? Pathetic,” he growled. “Gentleman,” he directed to the security officers, “thank you for meeting me here. I’m sure you are fully prepared to tackle the situation at hand, aren’t you?”
He chuckled at his own joke. The guards’ faces didn’t change one bit. Izuma started pacing in front of them. He felt like he was the leader of a great army giving a motivation speech to his thousands of men. It was empowering to him. Normally, Director Izuma was a very composed man, and usually not one to act out, but this time, he picked up the façade of a child playing in his backyard, yelling at his stuffed animals.
“What we’re facing here today is nothing short of dangerous!” his voice boomed.
“Our foe is none other than an escaped convict. A rebel if you will!”
Izuma pointed to the open empty cage of 213. It’s green tag waved with the draft.
“As you can see, this thing could be anywhere. It could be in the vents, the hallways, even in the sleeping quarters.”
His face and hand motions almost resembled a cartoon character by this point. “It’s your job to find this thing and bring it back. We cannot let this thing escape. Now go!” He pointed towards the open main door to 3F.
The guards reluctantly left their spots and trotted out of 3F. Izuma rubbed his face with his hands. He walked over to the open cage and peered inside. Blankets peppered the floor, and cute stuffed animals were scattered around. They were given to her to keep her calm during routine checkups, her favorite being the red bunny; it was by far more worn out than the others. Where the fuck could this thing be? He wracked inside his brain.
The darkness of night enveloped everything outside of the laboratory. Aside from the emergency strobes, the only light cast came from the stars and the bands of the Milky Way. Not a cloud in the sky tainted the beautiful view. The humming calls of crickets and cicadas created a buzz that could put anyone to ease; leaves on the maple trees rustled in the slight zephyr. On the mowed lawn of the laboratory sat a dark figure. Not a lot could be made out of this figure, except for a long tail protruding from it. Its head was pointed towards the sky, taking in the sights. It sat like this for a couple of minutes, then eased itself forward. It reached the end of the lawn of the lab, then looked back, looking at its old home. Subject 146 shook its head then slithered itself into the tall grass and trees and into the night, leaving a trail of downed grass behind it.