Don’t believe the lie. Don’t listen to it. Just write before it’s too late. He needs to know. Fight it damnit… but I’m so hungry.
“Good morning sir, he’s waiting for you in the briefing room.” said the somewhat frightened looking private. He must be the new assistant. I’m surprised he got clearance.
He was in his formal uniform. He must really think he’s in trouble, and he is “What the hell is going on here Colonel?”
“Watch your tone Tom. You’re a civilian now and I still outrank you.” I think he was trying to be funny but he always was competitive.
“Damnit Jim, you know your rank means exactly shit when it comes to me as far as the Pentagon is concerned. So let’s dispense with the pissing contest and just tell me, what’s this that I hear that it’s escaped again? Wasn’t that the whole point of us being out here, halfway in the middle of nowhere? Containment?”
“Yes sir.” He snapped with a now more straight face. “The reports are still coming in. We’re trying to get a handle on this. It’s colder than the air outside so it doesn’t show up on thermal scans, and it’s making it difficult to precisely locate. But we still have a tracker on it and we know its general location and bearing. It’s still on the property.”
“My family lives only about 50 miles from here Jim. So we’d better lock this shit up, and I mean quick, or so help me I won’t take the fall for this little fuckup of yours again. Do you hear me? Now, tell me, how did it escape this time?”
Jim was always good at getting to the point and there was little need for small talk since we stay in constant contact, and despite the previous incident, he is a competent leader. But two times in one month is seriously making me question my recommendation. “It’s small but it’s stronger than it seems. The lab tech came in to draw blood and didn’t see it had somehow already chewed through its cage.
“Wait, that was the upgraded one we installed last month, correct?”
“Yes, sir. It chewed right through the Steel Glass.” Steel Glass is made of layers of clay nanosheets and a water-soluble polymer that shares chemistry with white glue that stacks and bonds molecules like a Velcro strip or a brick and mortar system allowing for a much stronger bond than glass or plastics.
“So it’s true. The more it eats, the stronger it gets… The room is double doored for this reason. I’m assuming it can’t open doors, so how did it get past the redundancy?”
“A second tech was just closing the outer door when it darted past both of them. I’m telling you Tom, it cleared both doors in less than a second. It’s small, it’s fast and after it cleared the lab it pretty much had free range of the base till it got to an exit.”
“Was anyone hurt this time?”
“No sir, it all happened so fast, and it somehow ran rather than attack. We’re still not sure why. Maybe the containment suits disguised the technicians as viable options. Plus, this happened during the late shift, so the hallways were essentially empty. However, we’re still not sure how it exited the building.”
It’s not unheard of to leave a door cracked open when stepping out for a smoke by a tech. The soldiers are too disciplined to do something so careless but the civilian scientists sometimes think they are above the rules. “So where is it now?”
“It’s at the west-wing annex.”
“Jesus, Jim. I just drove not far past there.” It was only about 100 yards away from the doors I just entered.
“No worries Tom, we had snipers watching your car as it pulled in.”
That didn’t make me feel any better “This thing cleared a 20ft double-door clean room in less than a second. Those had better have been some damn good snipers.”
“We’ve got a containment team there now. The signal is stopped and they’re moving in as we speak.” he said as he pointed to the monitors beside him. One monitor showed a map of the facility with a small red light flashing for presumably its location, and the others showed various views of a tactical team in full riot gear.
“Wait, you said this thing is in the west-wing annex? Isn’t that where Zero is located?”
“Yes, it is Tom. It went straight for the building. I don’t know if it was by intention or accident. But it made a beeline straight to that facility, but we locked it down before it could breach the building. It’s just outside the walls waiting… still. According the readings we’re getting, it’s just sitting there.”
Fight it Tom. It’s a lie. The more you eat, the stronger you get… I can’t become a killer. Just focus on the note to Ali before it’s too late. He needs to know… He’s our best chance.