The siege of lx 925, p.1
The Siege of LX-925
Copyright 2015 by J.J. Mainor
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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A being materialized on the medical bed, human in form, with a green, scaly skin, looking more lizard than man. It opened its mouth to speak, but nothing came out. It tried to move from the bed, but found its arms and legs ending in worthless stumps. Panic set in its eyes as it explored the surroundings.
Across the room, a man turned from a control panel and approached the subject. His long, white lab coat suggested he was a doctor, while the cammies peeking from beneath, and the insignia on the collar suggested military. The creature recognized the metal pin. This man was a Major. If he was a doctor, he must have been an experienced one.
The Major leaned over his subject, studying the creature close up.
The creature looked into his face, pleading with his eyes. This was not how he remembered himself. He was supposed to have a voice. He was supposed to have arms and legs.
“I’m sorry about all that,” the Major told him rather matter-of-factly as he took up a clipboard to make notes. “But the experiment doesn’t require you to move or speak.” He looked up from his work to the creature as if a truth just came to him. “Not that you could go anywhere if you tried to escape, or alert anyone if you tried to scream.”
The Major ran his fingers across the lizard skin with fascination. The creature tried to struggle against him, so the Major backed off to get to work. He took up his scanning equipment to get a look inside his subject. Heart rate was elevated, and pulse was racing, but that was to be expected given the shock to his system.
Body temperature seemed to be dropping. Unlike the individual beneath the surface, the skin was cold-blooded. The warm-blooded organs pumped heat outward, but the scales were losing it faster. This creature’s systems were not compatible with each other, but the Major was not willing to give up on it yet. He returned to the controls. Pushing a few buttons, a heat lamp materialized beside the bed.
“This should keep you alive just long enough to collect my data.”
The Major continued with his work-up on the creature, taking blood samples, tissue samples, even fecal samples. All the poking and prodding did little to assuage the creature’s tensions and fears, though his spirits were lifted when someone called for the Major from outside the room.
The Major gave his subject a look of annoyance, but interruptions were to be expected. He pulled his sleeve back to access a small device wrapped around his wrist. Pressing it and triggering a faint flash around him, the Major appeared to the creature to have grown translucent.
He watched his captor approach the far wall. With the push of a button, a door dematerialized, yet a wall remained in its place. Then, to destroy what reason remained in the creature’s mind, the Major passed through it like it wasn’t even there.
Looking back into the room, the Major spied the empty bed where his subject lay in some other dimension, out of sync with space-time as normally perceived. His secret lab had been constructed in this other dimension with its own walls, and its own equipment, and its own bed, all situated exactly where their counterparts sat in this dimension.
Light could pass one way from this dimension to the other. To the Major, having returned to normal reality by way of his wrist device, the bed in the room looked empty; but the creature in that dimension could see him, and watch his interactions with his patients so long as they were within these walls. If that creature could not figure out where he was, the activity around him would be more disconcerting than his newfound appearance.
The Major found two men waiting for him. The first was one of the new officers, Lieutenant Anders. The other man was unfamiliar, though he could guess his identity. He wore camouflaged cargo pants with a powder blue tee shirt bearing the letters “UN” on each sleeve. Certainly the medical records already forwarded to him were familiar.
“Major Sadile, this is that UN inspector. The Colonel wants a full work up before we get underway.”
“Salut, Major, I’m Dr. Remy Duval.” The Inspector extended his hand to the Major, and waited.
After an unsettling pause, Sadile decided to take the friendly gesture, offering phony glee in exchange. “I was just going over your file.” He led the Inspector into the same exam room hiding his secret lab, and motioned for his patient to take a seat on the bed.
In the secret dimension, the creature’s panic nearly induced a heart attack as he watched the new patient sit within his mutilated body. He knew Remy was there, even if Remy didn’t know he shared a bed with a monster.
Sadile struck up conversation as he took the scanning equipment, those versions that existed in this reality, and began his examination.
“Tell me, Dr. Duval, how did the UN ever convince the Republic to allow an inspector aboard one of their space ships?” He cast a brief smirk to the invisible creature. He knew how frustrating it must be to be so close to help, yet unable to reach it. Sadile was the only one with access. Even if someone managed to get the device around his wrist, he was the only one who knew that other room was even there…that is except for his subject.
“You’re asking the wrong person, Major. I’m an inspector, not a diplomat.”
“Well then, what do you hope to find during your stay with us?”
“What I hope to find, Major, is the reason you and the other three spacefaring nations are so secretive about your programs.”
The Major chuckled. The Confederation and the Eastern Imperium couldn’t be trusted if the fate of the galaxy was at stake, and the Independent Union had shifting loyalties. But if there was one thing all four nations could agree on, it was secrecy against the UN. It wasn’t as though the UN was irrelevant to those particular nations. The organization, after 270 years, had a very noble mission on Earth, maintaining order among hundreds of nations that felt they were being picked on by the other nations. They coordinated humanitarian efforts to civilian populations when disaster or war struck. And they made sure civility ruled on the home world.
But there was ambivalence toward the organization when it came to space matters. Only four powers had developed technology allowing travel outside the solar system. None of them felt the rest of the world had a right to the technology or the resources discovered out there. The space programs didn’t involve the entire Earth, so the UN was shut out. All four nations remained tight-lipped to the happenings, their ambassador
Every now and then, someone would agree to allow an inspector aboard a ship. They would be given a sanitized tour, followed by cake and tea, and then sent back to the UN with no more information than they started off with. Major Sadile figured they were taking a cruise to Alpha Centauri and back. Finishing the notations on this exam, he figured it was nothing but a ruse to placate Dr. Duval. Anyway, he already had everything he needed from Remy to do his job.
“I hope I didn’t violate you too much, Doctor.” Sadile gave him another broad, toothy grin to keep him happy, before returning him to Lieutenant Anders and whatever activities the two of them had planned.
After the door to the medical bay was sealed and he was again alone, he returned to the exam room. Feeling for the device around his wrist, Sadile returned to his hidden lab and the creature lying terrified on the bed.
“Now we can get back to work.” He took up his scanner and examined the creature. The heartbeat raced faster than before, his breathing had grown strained, and the heat lamp had been unable to slow the heat loss.
“Oh dear.” Sadile recorded the last of his figures and approached the control panel on the edge of the room. “It looks like this blending was a failure. The good news, my friend, is I’ve learned enough to start over again.”
With a flick of a switch, the creature vanished in a flash of white light. Its atoms were returned to storage. Sadile didn’t bother to save its pattern into the computer.
The Siege of LX-925 by J.J. Mainor / Science Fiction have rating 2.5 out of 5 / Based on33 votes