The Ancient

Marcus is on the run from Them. No matter where he hides They seem able to find him so Marcus never stays in one place for too long. But with the violence that follows everytime Marcus has one of his blackouts maybe They should be on the run from Marcus?


3. The Janus Project


The day of the accident, the day life changed irreversibly for Marcus, was the day his daughter had given him the Troll key ring for his birthday. He had tied it to his bunch of keys and promised Ellie that he wouldn't remove it when he got to work. And he didn’t. He was proud of the present his daughter had chosen for him and displayed it with a flourish as he walked through the doors of Carradine Laboratories, spinning the keys around on the end of his index finger and whistling a tuneless ditty.

Marcus had been looking forward to this day for weeks and not just because it was his birthday. Today he would begin work on the Janus Project. He was truly privileged to work on such a project. His only regret was that Carradine was now owned by the military but the chance to work on Janus was too good an opportunity to pass over to someone else. His team had been chosen specially by the Government for their particular skills in back engineering. The official line was that Janus would involve the back engineering of Eastern Block technology but everyone knew better than that. Everyone involved in the Janus Project was certain that the technology they would be working on would be Extra Terrestrial in origin. Their instincts proved correct. Deep beneath the surface, hundreds of meters below the offices of Carradine Laboratories, a vast chamber had been created to hold the Janus Project labs and inside the hanger sized expanse of the chamber lay the remains of a disc shaped craft.

The excitement Marcus felt as he first laid eyes on the metallic disc was immense. He could barely contain himself. The significance of the project was almost beyond him. Almost. He could be part of the team that revolutionised the future of mankind. And that was barely scratching the surface of what Janus could ultimately mean to the human race. Marcus as head of the team would be the first of them to enter the discs’ cockpit. It had survived the impact intact. Marcus knew not to ask any questions on how the disc had been acquired. That was not his problem. He was interested only in discovering it’s secrets. He had squeezed into the small tunnel that was situated underneath the belly of the craft, which led to the cockpit, with a mixture of feelings. Trepidation, excitement and a slight niggling claustrophobia all clamoured for attention inside him. As he entered the tiny cockpit excitement won the day. Marcus was dumbfounded. The cockpit was devoid of instrumentation and was dominated by a large orb in the very centre. The orb was a dull grey, opaque and matched Marcus in height. It looked out of place in the cockpit being almost too big to fit inside and Marcus couldn’t help but think what the original occupants looked like. He laughed at himself for thinking of little green men.

Marcus moved closer to the orb and became aware of a faint humming from within. Curious, he leaned forward and pressed his ear to the orb surface.

He was surprised at the warmth of the surface against his cheek but even more so by the sudden stab of agonising pain that began to emanate from the very centre of his brain. He quickly moved his head away from the orb but the pain did not stop. The pain only grew stronger and stronger. Marcus gripped his head tightly as the pain began to pulse and to his horror he noticed that the orb had begun to glow. A light deep within the orb began to pulse in time with the pain in his head, all the time the light growing stronger and stronger and stronger. The pain had become too much to bear and Marcus began to scream. The pain continued to build as the light grew brighter and Marcus’ screams got louder. As the pain overloaded his brain Marcus just had time to see the orb flash a brilliant white before he passed out.


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