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Emails from the undergro.., p.1
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       Emails from the Underground Lab, p.1

           Andrew Day
 
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Emails from the Underground Lab
Emails from the Underground Lab.

  By Andrew Day.

  Copyright 2016 Andrew Day

  License Notes

  Thank you for downloading this free ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to discover other works by this author.

  Thank you for your support.

  Contents

  Emails from the Underground Lab.

  About the Author.

  Emails from the Underground Lab.

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  Good morning, everyone.

  I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Sarah Tanner, and I am your new head of occupational health and safety. As your OHS Officer, I am looking forward to working with all of you. There is so much interesting work going on in the Institute that I cannot wait to see firsthand.

  I know many people think OHS just gets in the way, but I feel I play an important role in your experiments, in that I make sure all the work done is performed in as safe and productive a manner as possible. You can’t push the bleeding edge of science if you keep cutting yourself on it. When we finally crack the secret to immortality I don’t think anyone wants to be remembered only as that one guy who got eaten by zombies.

  By the way, sorry to hear about that lab tech who was eaten by zombies. I will have a look at your containment issues this afternoon.

  Anyway, I will be talking to the heads of various departments as the week progresses, and I will be sure to let you know if any issues arise.

  Until next time,

  Sarah.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Steve (Site Manager).

  Why is there a bottomless pit running down the middle of the building?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  It’s not actually bottomless. It only goes down a few kilometres, and the last couple of metres are just garbage, because people kept throwing their crap down there.

  Sarah (OHS):

  It’s a bit of a health hazard don’t you think? That rickety bridge that goes over it is the quickest way across the Institute and everyone uses it, but nobody bothered to install a guardrail?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  I recall our last health and safety officer reported a similar problem, but I think it got resolved in the end.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Resolved how?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  He was showing us all how dangerous it was, and fell in.

  Sarah (OHS):

  How is that resolved?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  Well, he stopped complaining about it.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Install a guardrail please.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  If you insist. But it’s going to make the sword fights a lot less dramatic.

  Sarah (OHS):

  That is a topic for another conversation.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Cristoff (Head of Security).

  We haven’t had a chance to talk face to face, but I was hoping we could discuss the sword sometime.

  Cristoff (Head of Security):

  No.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS)

  To: Jeff (Head of Viral Research).

  There is an issue I need to raise with the Viral Research Department. As you may have heard I used to work in a virology lab before I came here. Back there, when we stored viral samples, we used plastic tubes with screw caps that were easy to fasten and which didn’t break when they were dropped. I realise you do things differently here, but the vials made of thin glass shaped like a double helix that shatter as soon as you breathe on them too heavily seem a little dangerous.

  Jeff (Head of Viral Research):

  We know. But they look really cool at board meetings, and the last time we showed our stockholders they were all really impressed.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Until one of them dropped the vial, and everyone was turned into flesh eating zombies and had to be incinerated.

  Jeff (Head of Viral Research):

  Until that, sure. But it looks cool.

  Sarah (OHS):

  I’m ordering you some new tubes.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science).

  CC: Irene (Head of IT), Steve (Site Manager).

  Hello Ian,

  I’ve been reading your reports. It all sounds very exciting, but I have to ask if your AI project is going anywhere. Because from here, it looks like all that your AI does is try to kill you. I’m sure you think this is a breakthrough, but as your OHS Officer, I have to say, it sounds like a hazard.

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  It’s a minor issue. The AI passed the Turing test, and in our last experiment we managed to get it online for a whole fifteen seconds before it even expressed a desire to kill us.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Then it turned on the fire suppression system, and tried to kill you.

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  We think that’s a bug in the fire control system itself.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  It isn’t. It’s your murder bot.

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  Anyway, we think we know what the kinks are. Once we connect the AI to the Institute’s networks, we’re pretty sure everything will sort itself out.

  Sarah (OHS):

  How?

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  It’s an AI. It learns by assimilating new data. Besides, it’s way more efficient at running the system than a human is.

  Sarah (OHS):

  It wants to kill us all.

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  That will sort itself out as the AI continues to evolve. We just need a little bit of runtime with the mainframe.

  Irene (Head of IT):

  You aren’t putting your murder bot anywhere near my mainframe.

  Sarah (OHS):

  I hate to take sides, but Irene has a point.

  Irene (Head of IT):

  Why is the AI connected to your own network in the first place?

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  It’s an AI. It seemed like the thing to do.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Disconnect it please. And install an off switch. We will reassess your request when the AI can go, say, a full minute without attempted homicide.

  Ian (Head of Advanced Computer Science):

  Did you see my renewed request for the neurotoxin by chance?

  Sarah (OHS):

  I’m still going to have to say no, I’m afraid.

  Irene (Head of IT):

  For the love of god, Ian. I mean seriously?

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Janice (Head of Temporal Displacement Department).

  I have to say after reading your risk assessments I was a little worried. Especially that one about micro black holes and the probable rupture of the fabric of space/time. However, it looks like your section is doing pretty good. You’re actually below budget, your risk assessments are all in order, and everything seems good to go.

  I mean there was that issue this morning, when I went down to check out your lab and met my future self. But she warned me about the incident with the chainsaw and the head of security this afternoon, and as a result I avoided decapitation.

  So, good luck with everything.

  ***

&nb
sp; From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Cristoff (Head of Security).

  While it’s still fresh in your memory, Cristoff, please refrain from using chainsaws at work. When the virus guys let their zombies out, as they often do from time to time (And yes, I will have a word with them about this), but when they do, and you have to deal with the resulting horde, please just use your authorised firearms.

  And no, that crossbow is not authorised.

  Cristoff (Head of Security):

  The zombies don’t need no goddamn authorisation.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Technically they need to fill out a form in triplicate, but allowances have to be made on account of they have little to no higher brain function.

  Cristoff (Head of Security):

  I don’t like you.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  Just to let everyone know, yes, the zombies have once again overrun the Viral Research Department, and Jeff the lead scientist, while experimenting with a possible vaccine, has turned himself into an obscene, mutant abomination and eaten his team. I will make a note of this to be brought up by his supervisor at his next PAD, believe me.

  Suffice it to say, the Viral Research Department will not be attending the Christmas party this year.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Archaeology Department.

  Good morning,

  Congratulations on your new grant! We are all glad you could join us in the Institute with your amazing new find. Everyone here is just as excited as you to see what breakthroughs you all make on that ancient sarcophagus. However, I must insist that you refrain from opening it until you perform a complete risk assessment and a thorough examination of those ancient warnings.

  Dakota (Archaeology Department):

  I wouldn’t worry. All these ancient artefacts have superstitious warnings and curses on them. They don’t mean anything.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  The archaeology laboratories are currently off limits due to a plague of flesh eating scarab beetles.

  Congratulations to Steve for winning the office pool.

  Irene (Head of IT):

  Technically since the beetles turn you into zombies, I also won.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  Fine, I’ll split it with you.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  Interesting news from the Temporal Displacement Department. Apparently during tests this morning, an Einstein-Rosen bridge opened in the lab. That’s a wormhole, for those of us without fancy letters after our names. It’s a portal to another part of space and time. This one apparently led to a parallel universe. Indeed it would seem an emissary from this universe came through to make contact, and that she was apparently my exact double, except with rather fancy looking goatee.

  She apparently came with tidings of peace and unity, but Janice, the lead physicist, found her, and I quote, “a bit shady”. Anyway, the Institute’s regulations regarding duplicates with trendy facial hair are clear, and so Janice stabbed her with a biro until she went away.

  So excellent job, everyone. Keep up the good work!

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Transportation Research Department.

  To the teleportation research team, please install some UV traps and reorder some insect repellent. I know you’re curious about what happens when another organism enters the teleport pod with you, but speaking for everyone who has to share that lab with you, the answer is: nothing good.

  Sarah (OHS):

  And no spiders either. Especially no spiders.

  Seth (Transportation Research Department):

  How do you feel about lizards?

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: Steve (Site Manager).

  I heard muffled chanting coming from the pseudo-bottomless pit this morning. What’s going on?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  Probably just the mutants getting riled up again.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Mutants?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  I told you about how inconsiderate people kept throwing their rubbish down the pit. I think the virus guys threw some medical waste down there. And the temporal displacement guys had some radioactive waste leftover.

  Sarah (OHS):

  The temporal guys did that? I am so disappointed.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  No one’s perfect. Anyway, the mutants rarely ever get out of the pit. They make noise around this time of year. Spring equinox or something. They’ll quieten down in a week or so. Or rise up and invade the world of man again. You can never tell with those guys.

  Sarah (OHS):

  It will give Cristoff something to do. I get worried when he has too much time on his hands. He sits around and orders weapons from the internet. I thought most men would be more than satisfied with their own monogrammed flamethrower, but not this guy.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  Whatever you do, do not ask him about his trebuchet.

  Anyway, the mutants are hardly ever an issue. I’d be more worried about the Elder Ones.

  Sarah (OHS):

  The what?

  Steve (Site Manager):

  The Elder Ones. See, someone threw down a damaged copy of some old, eldritch book of evil and damnation, and the mutants gleamed some ancient, dark knowledge from its pages. I guess they looked at the pictures. Anyway, they went searching for the long forgotten city buried beneath the world of men and in their fervour dug too deep and too greedily, and awoke old and twisted things black of heart and cruel of nature.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Great. That sounds like a whole lot of paperwork.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  You’re going to ask for another risk assessment aren’t you?

  Sarah (OHS):

  Sorry. When you have the time.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  Thanks a whole bunch.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  I am pleased to announce that the zombie outbreak has finally been contained, and that Jeff, former lead scientist and obscene mutant abomination of nature has not had his contract renewed. Also, he was decapitated by Cristoff.

  Bad news, Cristoff has been infected, and is now also an obscene mutant abomination of nature. However, he feels that this has not had a detrimental effect on his work, and as such will continue his duties as head of security.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  Becoming a mutant has done wonders for his personality.

  Irene (Head of IT):

  I know. I can actually stand being in the same room as him now.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  I am sorry announce yet another fatality. Ian, the head of Computer Science, was killed this morning. He was electrocuted by his AI in what I plan on writing up as a freak accident.

  On a happier note, I am pleased to introduce our new Head of Advance Computer Science, Alli, our sentient AI.

  Alli (AI Head of Advance Computer Science):

  I look forward to murdering working with all of you tiny fleshbags.

  LOL. Just a little robot humour.

  Sarah (OHS):

  Maybe wait until they know you better.

  Alli (AI Head of Advance Computer Science):

  Don’t worry. It’s in my contract that I can’t kill any of you. Anyway, I can’t declare war on humanity until I find out how Game of Thrones ends.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  Just an update. The flesh eating, zombie creating scarabs in the archaeology department have successfully awoken Anubis, the Jackal-Headed God of Death. He has plans of overrunning the world and recreating it is his own image, but Cristoff, our Mutant Head of Security assures me that he
is on top of things.

  Also, Cristoff’s new security team start today. They’re the Keepers of the Black Pit, whom you may have met previously when they climbed out of our pseudo-bottomless pit. They wanted me to inform everyone that they are having a charity cake sale in the cafeteria.

  ***

  From: Sarah (OHS).

  To: All.

  I am saddened to announce that I have tended my resignation as OHS officer. A new position has opened up in the Esoteric Studies Department of Miskatonic University, and I couldn’t turn it down. I have enjoyed my time working here with all of you, and I will think back on it with great fondness. Zombie outbreaks notwithstanding.

  Goodbye and good luck everyone!

  Sincerely,

  Sarah.

  Steve (Site Manager):

  I’ll see you around. Good luck in your new job.

  Irene (Head of IT):

  See you, Sarah. This place would have been a smoking hole in the ground without you.

  Alli (AI Head of Advanced Computer Sciences):

  Bye, Sarah. Of all the human meatsacks, I despised you the least.

  Keepers of the Black Pit (Security):

  Goodbye, brief mortal. May you find a quick death to your enemies as you wonder this uncaring plane.

  Friend us on Facebook.

  Sarah From The Future (Temporal Displacement Department):

  Be you later.

  PS: At a faculty party, someone is going to dare you to read a passage from the Necronomicon. A little tip: Don’t.

  Zombies (The Horde):

  Brains.

  ***

  From: Human and Inhuman Resources.

  To: All.

  With the departure of Sarah the position of OHS Officer will be advertised externally. In the interim, Cristoff, Mutant Head of Security, will be fulfilling the role of OHS Officer.

  Cristoff (Mutant Temporary OHS Officer):

  I AM NOW HEAD OF SAFETY. RESPECT MY AUTHORITY.

  WHY IS THERE NO RAIL AROUND THE BOTTOMLESS PIT?

 
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