The air was still.
One might have even said, John reflected, that time had ceased to exist. Everything was as still as stone; every timer and fluid-filled vial and computer screen refused to change, even as the seconds changed.
He knew the seconds were changing because the watch on his wrist still ticked relentlessly. It had been his father's; it was gold with an ivory face. It had to be wound. That was why it still worked.
It was ironic, John supposed, in a detached way that would have surprised him in its audacity had he not felt so detached, that all of his advanced equipment and machinery, despite being cutting-edge technology, had been felled in an instant, while the gadgets of yesteryear still moved, still kept perfect time.
His brown eyes flickered from the empty glass incubator -the one shattered half to pieces- to the far wall. The row of computers were just so much trash now, scattered around the hole in the wall, but they wouldn't have worked had they not been destroyed. Nothing worked.
Except -he glanced at his watch. Time still moved. And where there was time, there would be consequences.
How could he have known? he wondered in a bemused way. Of course, he had expected success, but this wasn't the particular success he had dreamed of, really.
Seventeen ripped IV's dripped chemical solutions into the floor, millions of dollars' worth of biological engineering going to waste on the polished metal.
John put a hand over his eyes -and pulled it away, dark with blood. He'd been cut. By what? No matter, really. There had been a lot of things that could have cut him up as his prized creation escaped, ripping the tubes from its body and shattering its glass prison with a bestial roar before making an exit through a foot-thick wall of metal and concrete.
And don't forget the EMP blast. That had been unexpected, but very interesting to watch. It hadn't affected him, of course -though Jensen, he belatedly thought, and his pacemaker were probably both dead now.
And the computers. The machines. The instruments. All dead.
His watch ticked, counting off the seconds, measuring the progress of time. And as the march of time went on, humanity was sure to progress, wasn't it? Scientific advancement and all that. It was how the world worked. Until your own genius backfired, of course. That couldn't be helped.
He could vaguely hear sirens now. That was good. The monster could be tracked, and brought back. The opportunities he would have to study, to measure, to count and to predict. It was a scientist's dream, to be sure. What more could he wish for?
Jensen would be disappointed though. Or, at least, he would be if time hadn't stopped counting for him. But that was how science worked. John chuckled. You had to stay at the forefront, or risk getting left behind.
By Nick Silverpen:
Dume jerked his hand back from the circuitry board, swearing something from before even his time. His words showed his infuriation at this panel. It wouldn’t go, it wouldn’t progress... this machine refused to work. Everything else went smoothly but this. With a glum expression he cracked his tired knuckles and stared infuriatingly at the problem once more.
He snagged the wire with a finger, and paused. It was all this just to get back to normal... all this work just to restore Metru Nui. If they had put all of this work into progressing the city... but there was some desperation he had always felt, to meet need’s ends, a burst of panic that only came when one was trying to show their competence. Somehow, when everything was running smoothly, like it had in his era, there was never that motivation, never such a desperate need to go the extra mile. The Matoran simply had to make a quota, and if the Vahki did not come after them, they were happy.
“Have some confidence, Dume,” came a voice. The Turaga of Fire whirled to see Norik in the doorway, a small smile on his face.
“I’m just not used to it like this,” he replied, massaging his temples through his mask. “This one panel has been plaguing me for weeks. I’ve gone through every tablet I can find here, but nobody left any answers to this malfunction!”
“What was the point of being a Turaga?” the mutant asked the elder. With only the response of a confused Kanohi, he chuckled. “Let me rephrase- Why did you become the leader of Metru Nui then?”
“There were situations,” the Turaga answered slowly, not understanding how this related to a circuitboard. “And the previous Turaga was not likely to last much longer.”
“But you wanted to solve things on your own,” the Rahaga said. “You didn’t want to relive the past. You wanted to shape the future with your own ideals.” He paused in thought, and wandered over to the panel. “Just have some faith. You can’t rebuild Metru Nui in a day. It takes time, and progress comes naturally- even though it’s not at the pace that we want, it happens eventually. In fact, I bet one day you will miss this blasted panel, in the face of something larger.”
The Turaga slouched, something very unheard of from him. He supposed the Rahaga was right. This may be a minor snag, nothing in comparison to the Dark Hunters that once pestered the city. Why should a wire weigh more importance and cause more aggravation than them? Sighing, Dume closed his eyes and felt the power of his Kanohi Kiril guide him. There was more to it than that, he supposed, looking at the canister that was nestled above the circuit board.
Smoke fills the room. Heat washes over you. The air is stale. Everything is burning. It has disappeared, and soon the entire world will be covered in ashes.
And you are responsible for this.
You should never have agreed to test the thing. Conducting experiments on the more stable ones had been fine, but you should have drawn the line at the chaotic object, no matter how valuable the experimental data had been. You had been a fool – you let the dreams of scientific revolution take hold of you; you let your ambitions blind you. Now, everything would die in the flames.
It had appeared to be stable when it was first tested. Nothing drastic had occurred. So you had continued on with the experiment. Even when it began emitting strange signs, you ignored them; even when your instincts told you to just stop, you ignored them.
Everything burned because you JUST. DIDN’T. LISTEN.
The world would pay for your mistake.
By Dual Matrix:
Something had went seriousely wrong, green slime filled the whole room, and shards of glass and strange liquids laid all over the place.
What would've normally been a normal educational experiment had now become a disaster.
A disaster which could hower win the nobelprize.
A feature which was considered inpossible by worlds most smartest persons was now done in a classroom, by a teacher who didn't even knew his formulas.
Life, one of worlds most complicated things was created, and on what scale...
Out of nothing it came but it stood now bedore them, in reallity and in their dreams, astonished they looked while the being moved around the room, searching for food.
A slime, a living slime, it sounded to good to be true.
If it was even true, and not a daydream dreamed by an ordinary student.
Which of course ended out to be the right theory, the smart guys in their white suits were not proven wrong.
The world was happy.
Chemistry: the study of matter, its various forms, and how all interact with each other. Chemistry is the backbone of reality. Chemistry is in everything.
Chemistry was somewhere in the fate of Michael Rondo, probably. Maybe he could blame everything on that noble tenet of science.
Michael’s home desk was covered with a mess that apparently hoped that it could lessen itself by spreading across the entire wooden surface. The halo that a dingy lamp cast on the table was centered over a slip of paper: a phone number, then call me ;D — the winky face still caught Michael’s eye, even under the cover of dust it had amassed during Michael’s absence.
His mom and younger brother were out shopping, and his dad was at work. Michael was glad: He didn’t want to feel the tangible aura of pity his parents exuded, and his younger brother’s cluelessness about the issue was almost worse.
It all started with the chemistry behind the operations of the human body. (Or was that biology?) Hormones were the primary suspect in Michael’s attraction to Leslie Williams, one of his fellow students in high school. Michael hadn’t dated much, so when she became the one to start flirting, he decided to test the waters.
They were warm. The resulting relationship was just as warm.
Leslie. Her dark, shoulder-length hair and aquamarine irises couldn’t compete with her radiant smile and matching personality.
In Michael’s mind, “Leslie” and “love” were pure synonyms.
He picked up the slip of paper with Leslie’s phone number and, pinching it, crumpled it into a ball and grimaced.
They’d applied to the same university: He majored in Engineering and she in English. They’d dated, naturally. Michael could still feel her eyes on him as if from afar.
Michael had told his parents over the phone that she might be the one before getting a call waiting signal and answering it.
Dead. Cause: car crash. The doctors had tried to save her, they really had, but she had suffered from internal bleeding. This wasn’t as simple as a dissection in high school biology; this was the real world, human biology, life and death.
Yet Michael still couldn’t justify Leslie’s death.
When he thought about it, what was Leslie but a collection of different sorts of matter, woven together in an intricate fashion as to attract another sack of carbon and H2O? Was there anything more to her than that?
Yes, he decided. So he took off from college to make time for her funeral. Tomorrow he would deliver a short speech to a gaggle of mourners in black clothes and tears. Public speaking had never been his forte, but he would try for Leslie’s sake. She would say, What’s the big deal? It’s just talking, only to more people.
He had been suggested by his college roommate a psychiatrist to visit but had declined the recommendation. He was fine. He was fine, right?
Another slip of paper was still in Michael’s pocket: the phone number of the psychiatrist. He fingered it absently, still staring at Leslie’s number and wondering how long he would last before exploding from the force of all the tears held within his body.
Maybe he would visit. Just an experiment.
By Eli/Kal Grochi:
“Yes, yes, that’s all very interesting, but what is it?” one scientist asked the other beside him, as they observed a pod filled with an odd substance, similar to amniotic fluid. Occasionally a couple bubbles floated to the open air at the top of the pod, where one long tube led off into a series of other, smaller tubes.
“I’m not...entirely...sure,” the other conceded, rubbing anxiously at one hand. “It’s a mass of nervous and muscle tissue. That’s all I can really say.”
The second nodded, looking into the pod. Floating within was some form of gelatinous creature, with a weight reading of nearly three hundred kilograms. Tubes were branching off of it, weaving together and connecting to become the one larger tube up above, which, upon exiting the pod, branched apart again.
The flesh appeared to be nearly perfectly clear, perhaps a little translucent instead. And it seemed, oddly, to be suffering no ill effects from having the aforementioned tubes being stuck within it. It merely continued to...exist. A large mass of muscle and nervous tissue, sitting on the floor of a pod filled with faux amniotic fluid.
Bored...no, that wasn’t right. The entity hadn’t even proved sentient.
Hungry...no, it wasn’t. It was supplied with all that it needed via the fluid. There was no reason for him to be thinking this...
“James, James, did you hear what I was saying?” the scientist in charge of the experiment growled, snapping a hand in front of the other, who snapped out of his reverie.
“I’m sorry,” he replied. “I was just thinking. Please, continue. Just what did you do to make this?” The other scientist seemed slightly surprised, though he just shrugged before continuing along.
“I extracted pure nervous tissue and muscle tissue from various animals, until such point as I had sufficient amount as to conduct a study. Later, I was able to synthesize them, and combine them into one large amount. Think of how this could revolutionize the medical industry, James!...James?”
The second scientist had already lost focus on the experiment lead, his gaze drawn again towards the mass of tissue in front of him. He’d noticed that the tubes were pumping backwards, but the entity didn’t seem to be losing any mass. He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion, wondering what was happening, but thoroughly unable to voice his suspicions; this was much too interesting to ruin it with sound.
Wait, what? No, he wasn’t hungry, this wasn’t right...
Some of the tubes were moving violently, the other scientist was trying to pull him away, yelling something.
The tubes burst open along their seams, more of the entity seeming to drip out like long tentacles. It had been replicating itself...
Suddenly sanity was brought back to him, his fully lucid mind screaming at him to run, run, the other scientist doing the same. He didn’t have time, though, before they were grabbed by the seeming tentacles, one thought blaring through their minds.
“We can never let something like this happen again,” one man said, looking upon the bloody spectacle of the two scientists, ripped apart, and the mass of that they lay within.
“The next time some scientist wishes to try this, fire him. Kill him, if you have to. I want all records of this expunged. Understood?” The one assistant nearby nodded, moving off to comply with the orders.
But not before dropping a small amount of the substance into a jar for holding a sample. Pulsing like a beating heart.