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Old 10-13-2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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Attention. Attention... Prenatal development in containment unit is complete. Label: Seven-six-two. Identity code: K. Four-two. All doors of floor six will remain in lock down until experiment is stable. Please evacuate the floor premises, immediately. Lock down in ten... nine... eight... seven... six... five... four... three... two... one... zero. Door letter E, number six-three, is defective. Permission to lock stair flight C and F? Override operations previously received. Proceed. Stair flight C has been locked. Stair flight F has been locked. Lock down confirmed. Clearing environmental obstructions to the Island... Process complete. Containment fluid draining...

WARNING. WARNING! EXPERIMENT OF NATURE 'K' IS BEING RELEASED IN TWO MINUTES. EMERGENCY STERILIZATION OF FLOOR SIX IS BEING PROCESSED. ALL PERSONS SHOULD BE HIDDEN FROM SIGHT, SMELL, AND HEARING.

WARNING. WARNING! EXPERIMENT OF NATURE 'K' IS BEING RELEASED IN ONE MINUTE. EMERGENCY STERILIZATION OF FLOOR SIX IS BEING PROCESSED. ALL PERSONS SHOULD BE HIDDEN FROM SIGHT, SMELL, AND HEARING.

WARNING. WARNING! EXPERIMENT OF NATURE 'K' IS BEING RELEASED IN THIRTY SECONDS. EMERGENCY STERILIZATION OF FLOOR SIX IS COMPLETE. ALL PERSONS MUST BE HIDDEN FROM SIGHT, SMELL, AND HEARING.

Containment fluid draining is complete. Required authorization needed to proceed. Override operations previously received. Proceed. Umbilical cord to life support system severed. Containment unit. Label: Seven-six-two. Identity code: K. Four-two. Hatching... Hatching...


---

We welcome you to the Island, newborn. Please stand by...

This was… difficult. The creature within the containment unit moaned heavily, confused. What is happening? The hatch opened, and the creature was subject to a cold, sterile breath of air. A metallic pad from behind it gently pushed the creature forward, wobbling on its two feet out of its birth hatch. The figure of gray, hairless complexion stood on a circular device that began to screen lines of yellows and greens. His eyes had never registered light before. They began to burn and he quickly looked away as he winced in pain.

Anatomical analysis updated. Please proceed.

The creature could not comprehend the words being spoken, but he could hear whirling noises that began to irritate his ears. More mechanical devices began to surround him, forcing him to stand tall and lean at eleven feet, almost human in appearance. His other senses were unsure of what to think of the new environment. Everything was alien to him, surrounded by cold, metallic walls and dim lighting that he painfully opened his eyes to see. Even as his colorless pupils stared into dimness around him, he felt heavily dazed. He opened his long, U-shaped snout, his tongue twitching as he tasted the acrid, but bland air. He breathed through his nose, but could detect nothing. There was no trace of any scent in the air, trying again and again, desperate to obtain some sort of smell. One of the mechanical devices before him had placed an enigmatic plate above his collar bone, on the right side of his neck below the face. Strangely, his body did not register any pain or pleasure. There was another device that reflected his image upon himself. In full view, he could see what the device before had imprinted on him.

The creature felt something soft touch his back. It pleaded that he advance through the dimly lit hallway. He blindly went forward, unsure of what he should do. Rather, there was nothing he could do. He was surrounded by metal, being pushed by metal, being escorted by metal. Metal smells and tastes like horrible metal, but he could not tell it what to do. Or could he?

Data for Identity Code K. Four. Two. Obtained. Please verify speech communication.

He could not understand. It was attempting to speak with him. “Please…” What were these words he was speaking? He could not understand it, but little by little, he began to comprehend this speech.

Speech communication verified. Opening hatch.

A pair of doors in front of him cracked open, revealing light the creature’s eyes could not bear, wincing in pain as it revealed itself to him. Suddenly, his nose detected countless smells, and his mouth could taste the vast Island. His skin chilled due to the breath of cold, roaming wind. As he looked beyond the dimly lit hallway, beyond it laid an entirely different world. As he entered it, he did not realize that the door to outside opened and as he firmly put his body into the brand new world in front of him, the old, dark world behind him closed shut, perhaps forever. The insatiable pain inside of his head began to stop… and soon, he would remember that he could think of things.

Very unpleasant things.

Fulfill the mission. Kill your enemies. Hunt the rebels. Destroy their lives. Consume their bodies and become stronger. Strive to the end and become the last. The victor of all.

---

K-42 looked around. He was sitting in an unknown world. Lush greenery was below and surrounded him. He looked at himself, realizing that the complexion of his skin was a rough grayish color. He could not comprehend the ideology of this world. He had initially thought that the environment before him was to conceal his body, but he stood out completely from it, all the while attempting to understand that he did not see others like himself.

Or so he had thought. “Well, well…” K-42’s ears picked up a low, gruff voice. Unfortunately, he was uncomfortable hearing it, because the voice sounded malicious. He heard it again as it laughed maniacally. “It is fun, to see new ones.” Something abominably heavy dropped from above. It came from the right. K-42 stared at the source immediately. Before him stood another creature with bare skin and an appearance like himself, but dyed many hues of green, similar to the deciduous forestry and grasslands they stood by. “I like new ones,” it said with a snout similar to K-42. The creature landed with his two arms and legs firm against the ground and then stood, similar in height to K-42. “Don’t worry,” the other creature prompted, revealing his muscular body. “You are still new.” He pointed below the left side of his ribcage, where letters there spelled something.

K-42 trembled at the fearsome beast in front of him. He did not think F-16 came to talk. “What… do you want with me?”

F-16 laughed to himself, purposefully looking intimidating. “I understand your fear. I, too, was a newborn at one point, and saw all other Experiments before me as enemies. Though we essentially all are, there is no rush. Let us try to get along with one another.” F-16’s mild, green eyes of consideration flashed an exciting, bloody red. His kindred voice became cruel and the comforting smile turned hideous. “Or not.” F-16 quickly advanced towards K-42, but K-42 was confused. Though he understood that he would have to combat F-16, he could not consider himself prepared. He had just left the old world and entered a new one. K-42 considered himself unfortunate. It had only been a few minutes and his brand new life has already ended. Quite unfortunate, indeed. F-16’s right arm braced K-42 on the floor while the green beast exerted his overwhelming weight onto K-42’s body, forcing him against the ground. F-16 laughed a disgusting laugh. “No reaction, despite your life in jeopardy. You are even more pitifully weak than I had anticipated.” K-42 took both of his hands and tried to release himself from F-16’s grasp to no avail. K-42 was completely helpless. The green creature stared at K-42, looking for something. He lifted a finger from right hand, noticing the letter and numbers imprinted on K-42’s neck. F-16’s eyes reverted back into a solid green, and he laughed hysterically. He looked at symbols written on K-42’s neck once more to verify it. F-16 laughed again. “The K series? This laughably weak as newborns? I do not believe so. The Laboratory must have misidentified you with another.”

“What…” K-42 tried to catch his breath. “What do you mean?”

“WHAT DO I MEAN?” F-16 shouted. “You are an outrageous excuse for a member of the K series. If you are truly one of their kind, a blood fest would have begun the instant you sensed my presence. Not only did that not happen, you have continued to do nothing to defend yourself despite the fact that I have complete control whether you live or die.” F-16’s right hand clenched tighter around K-42’s neck, making K-42 remember what position he was in. “This is impossible. You are not a member of the K series. The way you have behaved so far, it will be impossible for you to usurp K-41.”

K-42 did not understand what F-16 was talking about.

“Of course. You know absolutely nothing.” F-16 clenched his right hand even tighter. K-42 could not find the breath to speak. “Let me make this clear.” F-16 let go of K-42 and looked at him in spite. K-42 stared back, bewildered. “I will not kill you. You have very little to no idea of the horrors that await you in the future on the Island. Consider yourself extremely fortunate that I found you, first. If any other Experiment had gone roaming around for a delectable, free meal, you would be screaming and writhing in pain as they feast on your flesh, fully alive and knowing that you are being eaten. Do you understand?” K-42 nodded, although he could not completely comprehend the words being told to him. F-16 laughed. “But one day, if you are truly of the K series, you will be the one who gorges oneself as your meal excites you with wails of despair.”

K-42 tried to get up, feeling his throat for any damage F-16 may have caused. As he checked, he asked the green beast, “If I am a creature of horrible deeds, it is a mistake to not kill me. If you truly wish to survive, you will annihilate your enemies while they are weak and defenseless.”

“As I said,” F-16 stared deep into K-42’s eyes. “Only if you are truly one of the K series. Either way, however, there is no rush.” Carelessly, F-16 turned around and slowly prodded away. He stopped suddenly, remembering something. “Oh, yes. You will understand the rules of the Island, eventually. But, allow me to offer you a shred of important advice.” K-42 was ready to listen and F-16 mentioned carefully, “Beware the R’s.”

F-16 did not look back. Their unusual conversation ended with many conundrums that K-42 wished had been solved. However, F-16 would remember him, and K-42 would remember the green beast that let him live. I am a creature of horrible deeds? That is what K-42 called himself as he spoke with F-16. I do not understand why I said such a thing. He did not understand why he called himself a creature of horrible deeds when he has done nothing as of yet. K-42 found it difficult to believe that he would become a cruel, mindless creature that finds entertainment in living, breathing meals. K-42 decided it best not to delve in F-16’s ambiguity. K-42 would need the understanding of an individual with far greater knowledge, and would be willing to share it.

For two days, K-42 wandered the endless landscape that was the deciduous forest and the grasslands. The trees and their leaves blew calm, even though hulking shreds of torn timber scarred their barks. A few other trees K-42 could scent blood from a creature that had died there or perhaps a battle of gore had taken place. He had smelled and observed a few trees in a pristine and strangely preserved condition. As he walked further into the thicket of the forest, K-42 began another query: F-16 had mentioned ‘Experiments’. He was mentioning a group of individuals no doubt. They must be others like him and K-42. F-16 also mentioned that a majority of the Experiments were predators. If that was so, how could K-42 not encounter any Experiment within the last two days? Perhaps I am just- as F-16 mentioned, extremely fortunate.

Another question K-42 had was that F-16 called him pitifully weak. Am I? K-42 observed himself. While it was true that K-42 is a newborn and is smaller in height compared to F-16, K-42 did not register any pain when he had been thrown onto the floor by the green beast. He continued to observe himself as he walked along, testing his strength against the trunk a few trees and attempting to lift decrepit nurse logs. All tasks proved relatively easy. K-42 did not feel weak. What exactly did F-16 mean?

He decided to no longer question it when K-42 had come towards the end of the forest. At the end of the forest that he had gone in the direction of stood a mountaintop hundreds of miles away, but right before him stood an enormous cave. It was certainly larger than K-42, so he decided to enter. As he continued to walk into the cave, the gradually grew darker, but there was signs of life in this cave. Someone had manipulated fire that stood on stakes of wood on the sides of the cave, providing light. It was a clever usage of old brush from the forest. K-42 eventually found the end of the cave where was a gigantic circular space. It was a perfect home for any Experiment. A home that was already taken.

The Experiment K-42 had encountered was rather small compared to F-16 and himself, about six feet. He was skinny and did not look as if he were built for strength, but his skin appeared like cobalt rock. He did not stand on two legs either, but four with his palms on the ground and with hind legs relaxed on the cool surface of the cave. “You may call me E-28. I have been expecting you…” The small one’s eyes looked at K-42’s neck. “K-42.” It was slightly unusual, because F-16 did not introduce himself, but E-28 seemed to be of a different, more accommodating nature. K-42 examined E-28, discovering that his letter and numbers were on his naked forehead.

“Ah, so you have observed our Identity Codes, have you?” E-28 asked. “You must have met very little to no Experiments on your adventure here. You see, a Hunt has been issued by the Laboratory. Many Experiments have gone to participate in it.” E-28 then laughed. “Oh, I must apologize. I had forgotten. You know very little to nothing about the Island, do you not? You are a newborn, after all.”

Identity Codes? Hunt? F-16 had mentioned the Island before. “I do not understand ,” K-42 pleaded.

E-28 nodded in agreement. “It is true that you are a formidable series to be reckoned with, but alas, all of us were given prior knowledge about the world around us and how it works. Now, where should I begin… Oh, before that, I would like to introduce you to the most enigmatic being I have ever encountered in my lifetime. She is quite the revelation.”

From the shadows appeared an even smaller being. Her skin was smooth and pale with a peach-like texture. Her wide eyes shown a deep amber. On her head grew dark brown hair… K-42 wanted to know: Could an Experiment get any smaller? She was naked and shied away from K-42’s sight. “Please, do not be shy. He is a newborn, similar to you.” She gave K-42 another looked and after a few seconds discovered that K-42’s demeanor is not as monstrous as he seemed. “H-hello.” She slowly spoke. K-42 greeted himself, but he had trouble discovering where the woman’s ‘Identity Code’- so E-28 called it- was.

“Surprising, isn’t it?” E-28 answered before K-42 had even asked the question and nodded decisively. “She does not have an Identity Code. No matter how much I observe her body, I do not and could not find an Identity Code.”

“An Identity Code…” The small, pale creature said slowly. “What does that mean?”
E-28 cleared his throat, ready for an extended explanation. “An Identity Code, a serial letter and number branded on each our bodies only once, by which all of us Experiments are labeled. Through this means that we rid the need of ambiguous introductions and easily discover the nature and behavioral demeanor of one another without conflict.” E-28 stopped and looked at the petite creature. “Alas, save the only exception thus far, right before my very eyes. It is an intriguing predicament, as I have yet to encounter an Experiment where the Laboratory has mysteriously forgotten to place an Identity Code on a subject.”

The small female gave the definition some thought. “It sounds like a name.”

“A name?” E-28 wondered. “A name… A name… Name. What is a name?”

“A name is… something that you call someone by. A name has a lot of personal value, because it is the first way of learning more about another person. My name is-”

K-42 did not understand. “A name… has no implicational value. I cannot identify a creature of murderous intent with a name. I cannot understand their position or type of predicament with a name. A name is then a liberal personification of an individual, but I do not understand why this is needed. An Identity Code is simple and allows us to identify one another with ease, but a name can mistakenly warrant confusion and be misleading.” E-28 shared some these thoughts. The gray giant finished with, “There is little to no value in a name.”

“That’s why we ask about those kinds of things.” The woman implied in a friendly manner. However, it was not taken that way.

“Ask?” E-28 pondered. “My ears have never heard of this type of terminology, before. What does it mean to ‘ask’?”

“Asking is when we want to know what the other person thinks about something.”

K-42 did not understand the small creature’s point of view. “Asking is meaningless. It is not necessary to concern myself with what others think. If anything, quarrels that end in disagreement will most likely end with the elimination of the individual that disagreed. If it is more convenient to kill another to acquire what one wishes, then we will do so. It is a time wasting effort as the thoughts of the deceased are obsolete. There is no need to ask.”

For E-28, it was different. “Ah, on the contrary, asking is the very foundation towards greater knowledge. By discovering the position of thoughts of those in a similar environment as us, we can better define a constant, dynamic answer. What may be better known as… the truth.”

It had been bothering the woman for some duration, but now was the perfect time to ask in the silence that just began following suite. She had felt discouraged, because K-42 did not find any meaning in a name or the meaning of asking. How many other things did he see as pointless? She was afraid to ask, because no matter how she looked at it, K-42 could easily overpower her. She did not see a point in asking if K-42 would keep giving her the same answer, but there was something she felt that she needed to know, so she asked him a critical question. “K-42. Why do you think these kinds of things when E-28 recently said that you’re a newborn? And,” she sighed heavily, wondering if she should continue, “Even though both of your attitudes are different, you both speak similar to one another.” From what she understood, they were indeed speaking English, not animalistic grunts and cowls that she had envisioned she would find more common on the Island. From what E-28 had told her beforehand, however, there indeed were Experiments out there that could not speak, and even from those that could, some would not.

K-42 was being asked a question… but he did not know how to answer it. I… What? After ten seconds he gave his answer: “I do not comprehend the nature of the question.”

“Well, then, you have piqued my curiosity.” The creature with a craggy exterior looked at the woman. “You do not have an Identity Code. Does this mean that you have… a name?”
She tried to remember, staring to her left and pondering on her right. She looked high and low, then stared off into the distance, disappointed and ashamed. “I… don’t remember.”

“You have defined the meaning of a name, yet your memory cannot grasp a memory in which you could give yourself a name,” was K-42’s observation. “I understand. If a name cannot be properly committed to memory, then a name is indeed meaningless.”

“I have a name!” The small creature robustly argued. It wasn’t the name that she could remember, but it had a nice ring to it. It was a name that she would not regret and it was one that she could remember. It was simple and it proved useful, because it was true that she did not have an Identity Code. She did not want to be referred to as the ‘small creature’ or the ‘petite female’. “My name is Nocode. But enough about me,” she eagerly looked towards E-28. “Please. Tell me more about this place that you call the Island. Where am I? What is this place? Who are all of you?”

E-28 cleared his throat, ready for a thorough explanation. “I am afraid to admit that I can only tell you as much as I already know. Beyond this, you will have to dig further into the deep recesses of the Island’s well kept secrets, which I know few of. Before I delve too far into that topic, allow me to answer you questions. Now then, Nocode, and I answer these questions for you, too, K-42. The Island is home to us, the Experiments, and to the Laboratory, our birthplace and home to the Creator.”

“The Creator?” asked Nocode.

“None of us know whether the Creator is of reality or of imagery. From almost every corner and cranny of the Island, you will see the Laboratory standing tall, mysterious and commandeering. Though we all originally came from within, we dare to return as those who do, do not return as they did when they entered. Now then, about us, the Experiments.” E-28 stopped momentarily to gather his thoughts. “We, the Experiments, are creatures made by the Creator to survive. Our mission: to be the last one standing.” E-28 looked at an alarmed Nocode and laughed lightly. “Do not worry. There is no rush, because the Island does not age. The Identity Code characterizes each of us in a series of letters, followed by a set of numbers. In a sense, I suppose that our Identity Code is similar to that which you call a name. However, the Identity Code is means of identifying one another’s common behaviors. From what I currently understand, this is what a name lacks.”

Nocode listened closely, thinking about the number of letters and numbers there were in the English alphabet. She did not mention it, but it was noticeable that the Experiments had indeed English been reading and referencing letters and numbers, though the Experiments themselves most likely do not know that what they read and speak is definitely a language of communication invented by— “How many of you are there?” Nocode asked. She doubted that the number of Experiments would come close to thousands considering the numbers branded by E-28 and K-42, but it did not excuse the amount of letters available.

“To my knowledge and current observations,” E-28 cleared his throat, “The number of Experiments is limited from the letter A to the letter S. I have yet to see more or less. Each letter- what we call a series, contains about forty Experiments each.” E-28’s two eyes looked at K-42 for an instance before returning to Nocode. “As I have previously mentioned, each series is loosely, but evidently attached to common behaviors that each member of the series share with one another, and it is easy to identify each through their Identity Code. If you had not noticed, none of us can remove the Identity Code from our bodies, be it shredded or burned. I presume that only the Laboratory and the Creator— assuming it exists— have the ability to do so.”

“There’s so many, then,” Nocode sat down, relaxing her legs. “A through S. It must be hard to remember.”

E-28 laughed, amused by Nocode’s ignorance. “Not at all. For, if we cannot commit this to memory, how should we deal with one another when the time comes that we must defend ourselves? Or if we must prey when our hunger takes its toll on our bodies? You are not lonely when short term memory comes to mind, if this fact eases your woes. There are a number of Experiments lacking even proper intelligence. Allow to me explain one after another. The A, B, and C series are no longer with us, for they were the first to populate the Island. It seems logical that they too would be the first to be dismissed. The D series are naturally attuned to the physical senses, those being sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. They are considerably observant and prefer that they examine others from a distance where they are safe in a multitude of ways rather than in open space, because they are inherent;u weak. If you want to understand, look at K-42 and what you see from the D series is quite pitiful in comparison. Where I am from, the E series has little difference. We, too, are physically impaired, but it contrasts to our high sophistication and intelligence. We are allies of technology and earnest reasoning. Though I for one prefer negotiation over brute force, there are a few of us who do not hesitate to perform more aggressive, devious plans. The F series are an awkward, slithery bunch, for they follow a trend in which obsession is their point of interest. They like it and take advantage of it. They are quite manipulative and can be considered masters of deception, because their lies and truths are mere millimeters from identical. The G series take pride in their massive, sometimes dissonant body figures. Unfortunately for them, they are more brawn then they are brain. In fact, they are literally stupid in every sense of the word. A majority of them cannot speak and those that do butcher their words, making it pointless and a waste of time to comprehend their speech. Be wary however, as they do tend to acquire chronic moments of rage and frustration, causing senseless destruction wherever they may be. Then the J series, the lovers of mealtime. Infamous for their strange body structure with an abundant number of mouths to feed, they love to eat and are not afraid to approach any other Experiment to get what they want the most: fresh food. I hear that they have a keen likeness towards picking on their meals day by day until there is little to spare.”

E-28 stopped, realizing that Nocode was losing interest in his long list of names. K-42 had not said anything in a long time. He had fully committed himself to listening and E-28 greatly appreciated it. “I apologize, but it is imperative that you know this. If you are to participate on the Island one way or another, you are safest— if I may even call it that, knowing this knowledge.”

“I’m sorry,” Nocode pleaded. “It’s not that you’re boring. It’s just, I guess I’m a lot more tired than I thought.” The two Experiments were surprised. How could she be fatigued? Nocode looked down to the cave’s ground, realizing how different she was compared to them. “I know that I’m a newborn, but… I’m beginning to think that I don’t know if I can do this.”

“You may rest, if you wish. I will continue my list with K-42 and I will discuss the rest with you later, but I want you to know this. On the Island, you must have full confidence in your ability. One moment of hesitance may be the death of you. Though you are small and weak, I can see that we are similar with an open mind, as you are curious to the world around you. We, the weak and intelligent, must find a different means of battle if it ever comes to us.” Perhaps it was not the best thing to end the conversation with Nocode, but E-28 knew it was appropriate. If there was no will to fight back, Nocode had no chance of living. She had fallen asleep faster than E-28 anticipated, for it was only a few minutes that he had started to discuss the rest of the Experiments to K-42 did he hear a slight snore coming from a small recess in the far corner of the cave that she decided to rest in.

“The K series,” E-28 stared at K-42 with concern. “The Island’s top predator. Very smart, very fast, very clever. Extremely dangerous to approach, because they remember best by the taste of blood. Uphold the violent tradition of murdering and devouring the previous member. Raining blood is your paradise and every second of your life is spent thriving and drowning yourself in the joy of it.” E-28 was silent for a moment’s reprieve. “Yet I have not observed any of these behaviors in you. Even as newborns, the K series’ killing capability is marvelously gruesome.“

The K series behaves in such a way? K-42 found it difficult to believe. Why was he not like this? Now he understand why F-16 disbelieved the fact that K-42 was a member of the K series. K-42 remembered what he had seen from F-16 as the green beast’s attributes changed according to his mood. Perhaps the K series was the same? He wanted to know and told E-28, “And at any moment, I may remove this pacifistic mask and kill you and Nocode.”

E-28 thought for a second. “I doubt it.” K-42 wanted to know why. “Forgive me. You just… I do not sense hostility. The R series is exactly as you describe, but I have encountered them before and the feeling between you and them is… different, to say the least. Case in point, if I had the slightest feeling that you had come here intending to kill me, why would I have bothered to stay? Even more so, why would I show you Nocode, a delicate creature that is so physically handicapped?” E-28 had made several points. He was correct, however. K-42, throughout the entire time he had conversed with the two of them, did not feel any means to kill the two. Had he been perfectly honest, the thought of even harming them never crossed his mind.
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"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."

1 Corinthians 13:1-2

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