“Hello? Is anybody there?”
“Hello, subject 7936, you have been brought here by Galactica Inc. You are here for basic weapons testing, but you can work your way up to more important assignments by doing what you are told.”
“So, why did you choose me?”Gorigor inquired.
“You have special qualities that we specifically need for our assignments.”
Gorigor didn’t want to make the mysterious voice angry, but he still said
“but might I ask, what are those ‘special qualities’ you speak of?”
“I can only tell you some of the less important qualities. One of them is knowledge. Another is willingness to learn.”
Gorigor still had so many questions, but he had understood what the Voice had said. Gorigor understood the qualities that the Voice spoke of, but he still didn’t understand what the Voice had said about only being able to tell him ‘the less important qualities’. What were the other qualities, why can’t the Voice tell me about them? While Gorigor was thinking about what the Voice had told him, a door opened on one side of the room, and a girl, about Gorigors age walked in. She greeted Gorigor with utmost politeness.
“Hello,” the mysterious girl said, “We have been waiting a long time since our old Weapons Tester disappeared.”
“What happened?” Gorigor asked, because he was much more willing to talk to another human. Or atleast, Gorigor thought, another human.
“We don’t know what happened, he just vanished while testing weapons. In our investigation, we figured out that the weapon that he was using was a zero-residue disintegrator prototype.” While the girl was speaking, Gorigor was absent minded, trying to decide whether or not she was a human.
Suddenly, the girl said, “Come along now, we must get you started on your training.”
She suddenly started walking towards the door, and Gorigor started to follow, but the first thing he thought about when they had started leaving the room was
“you can work your way up to more important assignments by doing what you are told.”
Gorigor followed the strange girl down a labyrinth of twisting hallways. Every so often he saw a sign, next to what seemed like nothing. One interesting thing he noticed, was that the signs were written in english. Sometimes he saw what they said, like ‘new substance development lab’, ‘animal testing area’, and even some like ‘rehabilitation room’. When he saw the last sign, he thought, ‘there must be more people than just us here’.
Finally, they got to the ‘weapon testing lab’, which was a long room with what seemed like a target on either end of the room. There was a door on the right side of the room, which led to lots of shelves with stranger looking weapons on them then Gorigor had ever seen. They were alphabetized from A-Z, and there was one shelf labeled ‘new weapons’. The girl told him that every day there would be 15 weapons laid out on that shelf, and that his assignment was to test each weapon, and if it worked, read the label on it and put it on the shelf with the first letter of the name on it. If it didn’t work, however, he would put it down a chute labeled ‘continue to develop’. Gorigor was thinking “This won’t be so hard”, but when the girl led him over to a panel of buttons, Gorigor had second thoughts.
“These buttons are for different dummies and props. When you need to test the weapon on a certain entity, you press the corresponding button.” Explained the girl. She started to walk away, but Gorigor quickly asked her,
“What is your name?”
The girl seemed hesitant to answer, but replied solemnly,
Gorigor thought the name sounded familiar, but he couldn’t quite tell where from. He went over to the shelf labeled ‘new weapons’, and there were already fifteen weapons, laid out on the table. Gorigor reached for a medium sized shrink ray, then went over and pressed the button labeled ‘organic being’ and a stuffed dog fell from the ceiling and stuck itself to the middle of the target. Gorigor then walked to the distance marker labeled ‘20 cubits’ and aimed the shrink ray at the stuffed dog, pulled the trigger, and the dog shrank to no larger than a termite. Gorigor looked at the label on the gun. It said ‘SR193’. Gorigor put the weapon on the shelf labeled ‘S’. He repeated this process until all of the weapons had been tested, and as soon as he put the last weapon on its corresponding shelf, Grituity Tuichy walked in the room. Gorigor said
“I have finished testing today’s weapons.”
“Come with me, I will show you to your sleeping quarters” Grituity said.
They walked down the hall until they came to a room labeled ‘Sleeping quarters’. Grituity walked towards the wall next to the sign and the door opened. Gorigor followed her in. Grituity pointed to a bed on the wall of the circular room and said, “That is your sleeping pad. That is where you will go after you have tested all of the day’s weapons. You will be automatically transported to the weapon testing lab.” Grituity left and Gorigor went and sat on the bed. He thought about what had happened that day. He had a feeling like he belonged somewhere else, that he was missed by something. Gorigor pondered what these feelings meant as he fell asleep.
When Gorigor woke up, he was sitting in a chair, which he had not noticed the day before, by the ‘continue to develop’ chute,. He stood up and walked over to the ‘new weapons’ shelf. There they were. 15 newly developed weapons. Gorigor grabbed one on the smaller side. When he read the label, though, he was quite surprised. It read ‘APL1835” He went over to the ‘information’ shelf, which contained numerous books with all of the weapons codes and what they meant. He flipped to the ‘A’ section and looked for the specific code. APL1234… APL1734… APL1835! Got it! APL stood for ‘automatic projectile launcher’. 1835 was the number code for that specific model.
Gorigor went over to the target on the wall, stood at the ‘35 cubit’ line and pulled the trigger. A series of projectiles launched out in super-rapid succession. Gorigor noticed how quiet it was. The APL1835 reminded him of something else,, but he couldn’t quite tell what. He put the weapon in the ‘A’ section and continued with his job. When he was done, somebody walked into the room. It looked like a human,
but had extremely large eyes. Gorigor asked the large-eyed being what it was there for.
“I am Ignomun. I have come to escort you to your sleeping quarters.”
Gorigor wondered what had happened to Grituity Tuichy, so he asked
“What happened to the girl that escorted me yesterday?
“She injured herself during the development of a new substance” said Ignomun.
“I am just here temporarily to take her place.”
Ignomun then started walking towards the door, and Gorigor followed closely behind. When they got to the sleeping quarters, Gorigor said to Ignomun, “Thank you for escorting me to my sleeping quarters, Ignomun.”
Ignomun nodded and left, leaving Gorigor alone. Gorigor went to his sleeping pad and laid down. Today had been just a normal day, well, at least as normal as it gets. He remembered his thoughts from last night, that he missed something. Gorigor decided that it would be best to think about that later as he realized that he was tired. He fell asleep, and woke up in the weapon testing lab, same as before, in the chair next to the ‘continue to develop’ chute. He remembered about the something that he missed, and decided to do something about it. He tested the weapons, and when Ignomun came to escort him, he was ready. Gorigor ran past Ignomun and down the hall. Ignomun ran after him and yelled “stop!” Gorigor remembered what the Voice had said “you can work your way up to more important assignments by doing what you are told.” Gorigor stopped and reluctantly walked back to Ignomun.
“I’m sorry for trying to escape, Ignomun” apologized Gorigor.
“At least you stopped when I yelled for you to” Said Ignomun
“Did subject 7936 try to escape?” Inquired the Voice
“No, everything is fine” replied Ignomun
“Ok, but if it does happen, subject 7936 is going to be put in solitary retraining” said the Voice
“Yes master” Ignomun solemnly replied. Gorigor and Ignomun walked in silence for a while.
“Thank you for standing up for me” Said Gorigor.
“When you’ve been here for as long as I have, you kind of forget about the Voice’s words and stand up for people” Ignomun said, solemnly.
They walked the rest of the way to the sleeping quarters in silence.
“Have a good sleep” Said Ignomun
Gorigor went to his sleeping pad and laid down. He was still in shock from the Voices words about “solitary retraining” and what it meant. He thought about it for a while, then drifted off to sleep. This time, however, he had a dream. A fleeting vision of his family, and how much he loved them. Gorigor was with his wife, pushing their two children on a swing. Then, they were gone in an instant as he woke up, not remembering anything from his dream. He was in the chair next to the ‘continue to develop chute’
“You will be reassigned after you have done your weapon testing for the day, subject 7936.” said the Voice.
Gorigor couldn’t believe his ears! I’m going to be reassigned! He thought. He tested the 15 weapons for the day, but today was different. He had 2 weapons that misfired. Twice. So down the chute they went.
“Go to the new substance development lab for your next assignment.” Reminded the Voice. Gorigor wondered why he was going to be reassigned, but decided not to question the Voice. Gorigor walked down the hall to the sign that said ‘new substance development lab’ and walked towards the wall. As usual, the wall opened up and led into the strangest room that Gorigor had ever seen. The room was perfectly square and had long tables in the middle of it, with tables all around the sides of the room. He saw some equipment that looked familiar, but couldn’t tell where from. On one wall of the room, there were shelves. On the shelves there were boxes that were labeled A-Z. Gorigor noticed that there was two people in the room. He recognized them. Grituity Tuichy, and Ignomun. Gorigor walked over to Ignomun and said
“I was sent here by the Voice for a new assignment”
“Ah, yes, you have been reassigned as an advanced weapons tester” replied Ignomun.
“And where would that be?” Inquired Gorigor.
“That would be in the room by the daily weapons table. Just walk right in the door, and someone will be there to assist you” Explained Ignomun.
Gorigor went to the ‘weapon testing lab’ and opened the door that was next to the daily weapons table and walked in. The lights turned on when he opened the door, and he was in a room that was similar to the basic weapons testing area, only much longer.
“I have been waiting for you”
Gorigor jumped at the sudden noise, then looked at the source of it.
“Are you ready to begin?”
Gorigor saw a young girl, not much older than seven, looking at him.
“Come closer” The girl said, grabbing what seemed like a harmless plasma blaster.
Gorigor walked closer, and the girl pressed a button on the control board. Gorigor sensed something different, something scary about the girl, and he was right. She had pressed the ‘live organic being’ button, and a sheep, all shackled up in chains, came out of a small door in the wall. A robotic arm clicked something into place and the sheep couldn’t move.
“Here” said the girl, handing Gorigor the plasma blaster.
Gorigor saw something in the sheep’s eyes. It was fear. Gorigor didn’t want to harm an organic being, especially when it was still alive. Gorigor hesitated, looked at the girl, who nodded, then he aimed, and slowly squeezed the trigger. A loud noise, combined with a blinding flash of red light, and the sheep was gone. The only thing that was left, was a small pile of ashes, and red-hot metal.
“Good job” applauded the girl.
Gorigor felt the same sadness and longing that he had felt the night before. Only this time, the feelings were stronger. Gorigor noticed that a strange liquid was coming from his eyes. They were tears.
Later that night, Gorigor was at his sleeping quarters. He didn’t like vaporizing the organic being at his training that day.
“I need to get out of here” Thought Gorigor. Late into the night he thought, and thought, and thought. The next day, however, he woke up in a different place. He was on the stool that the girl was sitting on yesterday. And he was ready to put his escape plan into action. He grabbed the plasma blaster that he shot yesterday, in case he ran into trouble, and ran out of the room into the hall. He turned left and ran towards the room that he had first woken up in. He walked towards the wall, and it opened, revealing a familiar room. The Assignment Room.
“Let me out of here!” Gorigor screamed.
“We could do this the easy way, or the hard way.” Said the Voice.
“I want to take the way that gets me out of here!” Yelled Gorigor.
“Hard way it is…” Replied the Voice.
All of a sudden, the walls folded down into the floor, and they were in a pitch-black area.
‘This must be what is outside of this place’ thought Gorigor. Then, like out of nowhere, five glowing bars raised up, and laser guides made dots on Gorigor’s shirt.
“I’m sorry that you didn’t want to help us…” the Voice replied solemnly.
Gorigor reached for the plasma blaster that he had in his pocket, and aimed for the top of the glowing bars. Pew pew pew pew pew! Gorigor fired five plasma shots in rapid succession. When the light and noise had stopped, there was five puddles of molten metal on the white floor. The light from the puddles of molten metal and the glowing bars made it so that Gorigor could see in the dark area. On one side, there was a large recliner-like chair, with somebody, or something, sitting in it.
“You know too much” Said the creature in the chair.
“Let me go!” Gorigor pleaded with the creature
“I’m afraid I cannot do that. You see, when we acquire a new subject, we must first put them through a little machine that I like to call, The Memorvator. It makes them forget about their previous, sad, little lives. But you, however, are different. You remember feelings of your previous life, and have visions during your sleep about your previous life. You are what we call, a Visionist.”
“But why do I have these visions, and not anybody else?” Inquired Gorigor.
“Because” Said the creature.
“Because what?” Questioned Gorigor.
“Because all of the other visionists are dead.”
Gorigor screamed, but nothing came out. He started running towards the black abyss, but didn’t seem to be able to move. ‘This has to be a vision’ Thought Gorigor. The creature in the chair pressed a button on the armrest, and suddenly, the walls started folding back into place. The creature pressed another button, and a little door opened on the other side of the room.
“Go in there” The creature told Gorigor.
Gorigor listened and went inside of the extremely bright room. The doors closed and he found himself locked inside. A blinding flash of light, and he was with his wife and two kids. Gorigor only remembered one thing from his journey with Galactica Inc.
“Because all of the other visionists are dead."