Coldstone Chronicles: Project IXM

“I’m here to see Dr. Jerha.” The entrance hall was empty save for the man standing at the receptionist’s white desk, wearing an extremely tattered black trench coat and an out of style bowler that was probably popular here in 1840.

“Do you have an appointment?” The receptionist coolly replied.

“Of course not.” The man snapped. “When was the last time I made an appointment?”

The receptionist sighed. “Very well. You may enter again, Dr. Orpen." Dr. Orpen nodded to the receptionist and walked down a corridor with white walls, blatantly undecorated. To anyone watching, it would seem that he was going to walk through the double doors at the end of the hall, but right before the doors, he turned and leaned on the wall next to another white door. Five minutes later, a tall, balding man with his lab coat on walked out of the door, and was grabbed on the back of the collar by Dr. Orpen. Dr. Jerha, as his nametag read, was dragged back into his office. Once the door was shut, they began to laugh.

“Tsk, tsk, John. You were four minutes late.” Dr. Orpen scolded.

The scientists were standing in yet another white corridor. Many would think that they wanted to be like the science fiction movies where everything was white, but the truth was much different. Their lifetime project was far too expensive to worry about painting their office building.

“How goes the project?” Dr. Orpen asked after their laughter had died away.

“Well, yesterday I gave the subjects the formula we’ve been developing.”

“Right, right, good, how did they react?”

“Subject B shows the best results so far.”

“That’s the Canadian female?”

“Right. Age 24, bright red hair.”

“Oh! That one.”

“Yes, well, she showed excellent results.” Dr. Jerha said, excited, “She almost doubled the second best’s results!”

“Amazing!” Dr. Orpen exclaimed. “Can we check on them now?”

“Absolutely.” Dr. Jerha replied. They strode to a large titanium silver door that was directly in front of them. 4-7-2-3-4-2-3. The code was in, and the two were in the next room. There were two tubes in the room, and a video viewing screen the scientists found themselves looking through the screen down below their very feet and looking at eight people, lying in controlled environment pods. Dr. Orpen pulled out his notebook and scanned pages of notes silently.

“Oh! Today is a day when we’re scheduled to go down there.”

“Right.” Dr. Jerha replied. They walked over to one of the tubes, and pressed a circular blue button next to a hole. A small platform with a lever attached slid up to them. They stepped onto it and Dr. Orpen pulled the lever backwards. The men shot upwards into a large closet full of biohazard suits. They both put one on, and then got back on the platform. Dr. Jerha pushed the lever forward, and they descended into the darkness that was the testing room.

Dr. Jerha and Dr. Orpen went through retinal scans, weight checks, palm scans, vocal scans and then blood scans. After emerging into the room beyond, Dr. Jerha commented, “God, I’m glad we only have to go through that twice a week.” Dr. Orpen laughed a distinctive ‘Ha’ and continued into the large, dark room. The eight pods immediately retracted into armored consoles in the floor, a final security measure. Dr. Orpen punched in yet another code, and they came back up. There was one more un-used code field. This infinitely more dangerous code opened up a panel with eight buttons. Buttons that would terminate the experiment and kill the subjects. The doctors didn’t dare speak of this button, even in whispers. They justified this because all their subjects were all suicide attempters who had been saved by the doctors, and in return had agreed to be subjects for Project IXM. Internal Variable Modifier. Dr. Orpen and Jerha had enhanced the subjects by changing the key section of the genome they had found in 2011. The human genome had finished being mapped in 2008, and Orpen and Jerha had been scientists on the project. Afterwards, they took their findings and continued work with them. However, in 2010 they found evidence of a missing link. Some parts of the genome relied on yet another section that had not been discovered. By 2011, they had proven their findings to the Government. They were directed to the military of the UN, and were secretly contracted to take subjects and change this ‘IXM’ to make a superhuman combatant.

It was now 2028, and the project was nearly finished. Only three more months. Lily, the Canadian female, age 24, red hair, brown eyes, 5’5”, 101 lbs, had shown by far the best results to all tests, especially the agility enhancement. Lily was already a gymnast, and this addition had made her better than any gold medal Olympic gymnast. She was as strong as a full-grown Kodak bear, and could run at 20 M.P.H. for five hours. In a flat out sprint, she could run fifty M.P.H., and could see for thirty miles on a clear day. She could come back fighting from a bullet to the stomach. If severly wounded, she would be back in a few months. She could hold her breath for half an hour. She could take up to light first degree burns. Subject B. All they needed to do was have three months to have it all settle.

Three months later, the UN inspector was down in the lab, and Orpen and Jerha had just finished making the last brain-wave scan they would take from Lily. The UN inspector was very pleased. Dr. Jerha had personally modified a bit of the code sequence for the release. The buttons that would have killed would now free. The sequence was entered by Dr. Orpen, who held down the safety button, while Dr. Jerha pressed button 1 through 8. Suddenly, everything went wrong. The lethal injections extended towards every subject except Lily, whose compartment top slowly slid back, and she opened her eyes. She leapt out of her glass chamber, not noticing the scratches that the sharp glass had inflicted upon her. She somersaulted off, landed, and knocked over the UN inspector. She ran off onto the lift platform, pulled the lever back, and began to shoot up. Dr. Orpen shut it off immediately. Lily leaped into the tube, and quickly scaled it, bracing herself on both sides with her legs, and pulling herself up with her arms. Alarms were shooting off everywhere. Then she was gone, and there was silence.

The Inspector struggled to his feet. “What happened?!?” he demanded.

“It appears that her brain didn’t accept the sequencing mechanism. Every command that we etched in her genome to be executed under certain circumstances executed at once. She’s doing everything that we ever told her to.” Dr. Orpen said, worriedly.

“Are there any loopholes? She has to be stopped!”

“Well ” Dr. Orpen said, “One thing we didn’t tell her is etched in her brain, it’s the last thought she had before entering hibernation.”

“WHICH IS???” The Inspector was getting impatient.

“‘I love Tom.’ Mind you, we don’t know who this Tom is, but it IS a major weakness. If she sees this ‘Tom’, she’ll stop everything for him. But if she sees him threatened ”

“It triggers everything worse.” Dr. Jerha finished. “There is one, and just one more loophole. One command that’s in her genome, but not etched on her brain.”

Dr. Orpen sat in shock. “You wouldn’t think of activating that John, no. That command wasn’t etched for a reason! It’s too dangerous!”

Dr. Jerha ignored him, still facing the Inspector. “Override AP.”

(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 09-14-2003).)

(This message has been edited by Mr. Somebody (edited 09-26-2003).)

(This message has been edited by Mr. Somebody (edited 10-20-2003).)

A fairly good read, terse but not really excessively so until the end. Better in the beginning, really, than the end, but still worthwhile. A very interesting concept, if not entirely plausible. (Fireproof? I don't think so, sorry.)
If you continue it, (And I hope you do) It should be quite entertaining.

The end of this segment, as I alluded to above, seems rushed. It might just be the pace of events and the element of excitement, but I doubt it. Still, a good job overall, keep it up.

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Post Scriptum:
The Story is good, but I think that the 'super-power' set of Lily needs some work:

(1) Fireproof? Do you mean 'not flammable'? Animals are flammable. They're very hard to get burning, however, on account of the water. Look up Spontaneous Human Combustion (Probably mythical but a fountain of theories on the matter of human flammability) if you're interested. If you intended to mean literally immune to fire, well, that's bogus, sorry. Unless Lily is endowed with thick, turtle-like skin (which would doubtless reduce the appeal of the character if you ever make a TV series) she'd be as burnable as the rest of us. That isn't to say she couldn't recover more quickly from said burns or such.

(2) Back from the dead in a month: I don't quite get this, please elaborate. Immortality would have a big effect on a character.

(This message has been edited by Bryce (edited 09-23-2003).)

1. What? I don't fully understand that concept.

2. Funny, I thought I edited that out. You're right, that is a bit far fetched. I'll fix it now.

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Somewhere in Tibet, 1920 B.C. "Look, sir! I call it 'The Manual to World Peace'!" "What does it do?" "I don't know. Let's burn it!"

Quote

Originally posted by Mr. Somebody:
**1. What? I don't fully understand that concept.
**

In the list of `superpowers', fireproof is listed.
What do you mean? 😕

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"Programming is an art form that fights back."
- Unknown

"I do not fear your Powerful Racoon, for I have a Short Poker of Shooting!" - Random Story Creator IV

I meant that she can take second degree/ light first degree burns. Wait... I get it! I use that terminology in my chron!

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"The Poles are still getting it on." -Mr. Dalldorf

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