The Thing in The Laboratory

Agent Carnacki becomes the next best thing after showing potential and saving a fellow agent on her first mission. But one thing's for sure when you face the supernatural and the dark entities from beyond. It never gets better. It only gets worse.

Follow her as she explores the labyrinthine facility of the S.P.E.A.R.A. HQ and test a prototype equipment to save someone from a cosmic entity. But things are not what it seems...Allies become fugitives and a life is forever lost.

A Short Follow up to INFESTATION: AGENT OF S.P.E.A.R.S. # 1

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2. THE THING & THE EXPERIMENTAL INVENTION

 

Carnacki's face turned pale. "Sh*t. Frank what the frag are you doing here! What in the seven hell's of Samaa is that?

"Don't worry, I got the Director's go-signal already." He smiled. "You know if this work a Dunstan like you won't ever need any help from a Sigismund class."

Cathrynne sighed and took a step back. "We'll always need help Frank. There's no way getting over that. Is that thing still alive inside him?"

"Yes and no." Frankie said as he fiddled with his lab coat's button. "Its like a virus and that's the best description I could think of that doesn't go off the mark.

"God, look at it." Carnacki said, her full attention on the creature in the center of the room. It was propped in a metallic table like a corpse in a morgue.

Half of the creature was recognisably human; a torso, an arm and a foot while the other half was writhing tentacles and sharp talons. Black aether danced around the tentacled part of the creature. A length of chain and cold iron harness held it to the table. The creature looked more like an overgrown sea anemone with cable and rope-like tentacles.

"The subject is an Eldritch class parasite taken by Anselm and Selena's team earlier. You must've heard the news already."

"Yeah, I kinda talked to Selena about it."

A howl from the 'subject' reverberated inside the test room. Its piercing sound penetrated the double sided window with surprising ease. Carnacki's ear began ringing as she heard the cry. It wasn't just sound, she thought. She winced as it intensified.

Franklin reached for an earbud-muffler and tossed it to Carnacki as the sound grew stronger. She checked it and placed it on her ears. The muffler were similar to the ones in the shooting range, she thought.

"I feel like I'm floating."

"Its just a psychic echo but those will still help." Frankie clarified. "The feeling you feel, right now. Its the subject's defense against predators. Its the reason we can't have a Sigismund class to help us here. The echo itself might cause a psychic discharge and kill a person."

Is it more afraid than me?, she thought. Predators. There's always worse things out there. Hairs in their backs began to stand as the lights in the room dimmed to grey and the sound took a higher level of creepiness. Then it stopped. Without a hint it just stopped. The silence in the room became overwhelming to Carnacki. It fell like a dead weight was waiting to fall on their heads. The feeling of enroaching doom? Or is it just dread and anxiety, she mused.

Cathrynne turned to Frankie, finger pointing to the creature in the table. "So that must be the 'yes' part?"

The creature's tendrils swayed like seaweeds, converging on the center of its body. No, more like like fingers, pointing towards the ceiling. Towards the ground above. Do you want to go up?, she thought. Where do you want to go? Do you want to escape?

"Sorta," Frankie broke the spell, "The host is actually alive in there too. He's just in a state of chemically induced coma."

"The host is in coma?"

"Dr. Olaf said the host is probably dreaming the best dream of his life, right now."

A consolation?, to what? Being digested alive?, she thought.
"Can you remove it?" Cathrynne said, "Cure him? Save him?"

"Yes but the parasite will kill the host the moment we try something that disrupts its feeding cycle. The procedure has to be fast that the parasite is oblivious about it. So surgery is not a choice."

"How do we avoid being like them, like him?" Cathrynne shook her head, "Is their even a way?"

"I've been on these cases from the very start that makes it almost two years already. It's usually too late for the host to realise that a spore attached itself to him." He tapped the glass. "The separation is a must if we want to deal with these things properly."

That must be why Selena went down the quarantine quarters. A precaution just in case something like this happens to her, Cathrynne thought. 

"So, you'll be walking around with that thing inside you. Not even knowing? Cathrynne place her palm on the glass.

"Yes, and that's not even the scariest part. If it spreads and the host doesn't find another viable victim it'll keep him alive. Just enough which means..."

"Bad," She said, with furrowed brows. She sighed heavily.

"Bad," He repeated. "Right, It also makes it hard to quarantine people since it doesn't leave a clear trail."

"So he'll dream and he'll never be awakened not unless we do something drastic to change it." 

"Yep," Franklin stared away from the creature. "They already tried everything. They drugged this one before it fully digested the host. But as you can see its already wearing off. This is why the Director allowed me to test the prototype on it. He's hoping this may work." 

Was he also hoping we could still save this man?, Cathrynne thought. Maybe he's a goner already. If we don't do anything the parasite will only take days to liquefy the man's organs and insides then it'll drink the juice like a smoothie. Will this risk be worth taking? 

Franklin removed his glasses and wiped it. "This may also kill him. I have to warn you..." He trailed off. "Technically, this isn't a sanctioned test too."

Not really surprising and I should've known, Cathrynne thought. This is another gamble from Director Trent. "What's his name? The host, I mean."

"Howard Philips Morgan. He worked as a writer and a researcher for a University in New England. His wife and daughter died in the fire. His son will be sent to the P.I.T. facility in Mojave. They'll try to cryo-freeze the boy, hoping they'll find a cure since the parasite's hold isn't too advance like this one."

"Let's do our best, then," She stared back at the 'host'. "Let's wake Mr. Morgan up. And let's fry that damn calamari off him."

 

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