Chained down, the beasts snarled, rattling it’s restraints as it attempted to lung forward. The collar around its waist, arms and legs prevented this, keeping it close to the wall and safely within its pen. The doctor took a few notes before taking an elongated arm off the wall and fitting it with a syringe full of violet fluid. Sliding it through the bars of the narrow cage, he fed in the shaft of the pole until he could reach the beast.
Waiting for it to rear up once more, he was surprised when it lowered itself to the floor, exposing its scaly back.
“That won’t do…” The doctor grumbled. He turned and nodded to another doctor at a control panel, who turned a dial before pressing a button.
Instantly the beast reared back, screeching as raw electricity flowed into it from the metal chains. Neck exposed, the doctor with the syringe plunged it into the creature’s neck, pressing down a lever that would push the plunger, emptying the purple fluid into the beast’s neck. He pulled the pole back as quickly as he could, retrieving the syringe carefully.
“Okay, you can kill the power,” he said to the other doctor, who promptly did so. The beast fell to the ground, wheezing out a low growl as if in defiance.
“Take note that Subject 057 has begun to develop plates of colorless chitin on his back resembling the scales of a lizard. Mutagen 27-E was a partial success.” Doctor Wong accessed, pulling a pair of tweezers from his pocket to pull the stringy bit of bloodied muscle that came with the syringe, obviously stuck on during the electrical discharge. “We also have a fresh tissue sample that should be able to confirm this.”
Doctor Wong snapped his fingers and a short assistant moved forward, plastic baggy in hand. Doctor Wong placed the sample inside before looking the assistant in the eyes. “Take that to Doctor Langrtree for study. I want a full review of changes and possible mutations that we may see on Subject 057 within three days.”
“Yes sir!” The Assistant said, rushing out of the room and down the hall. Wong sighed, looking around at his conditions. The cages were the most technologically advanced thing in the room, six of them, each with a test subject confined within. The room itself was a laboratory with a variety of machines all plugged into a generator that ran off the heat of a fissure deep in the wall. Wong walked up to the other Doctor, a despicable know-it-all named Kwan Chang Ho. Ho was recruited from a program he’d been working out of the Philippines after being discovered and put on trial for illegal human experimentation.
The organization was quick to recruit him, replacing his body with another that was unfortunate enough to look enough like the short, pudgy man. They’d watched the execution life from a hacked feed, Ho laughing as he was hung before a crowd of thousands who all cheered as his double squirmed like a worm on a hook.
To say Wong was disturbed by the man was an understatement.
“How long before we know if the agent has bonded with his chromosomes?” Ho asked, looking at Wong with childlike curiosity.
Wong sighed. “Days, a week at most. Once he starts tearing off his own skin we should have an idea. The transformation may kill him, but if it doesn’t we’ll have made something truly wonderful.”
“A living host to a Type II Hivemind creature is wonderful?” Ho asked.
Wong smiled. “To us it is. It will mean we’ve successfully created a new species as well as a new phylum. Though they’ve been lobotomized, the subjects regenerative qualities have been multiplied enough that they’ve become simple animals instead of humans.”
“I told you it would work,” Ho said with smug satisfaction.
“You were right,” Wong conceded before continuing. “Subjects 051 through 057 have made it through the other trials, so I fail to see how this one will be any different.”
Ho was silent for a moment before he looked up at Wong. “Lunch?”
Wong nodded. “I could go for tuna sandwich right now.”
The two doctors walk out of the lab and down the hall, their words echoing off the bare stone of the tunnels until they were barely intelligible. That was when they all heard it.
“Psst! Hey, psst!”
“What?” Grunted a low baritone, it’s words rounded as if it had difficulty pronouncing them.
“How you feeling? My skin feels like it’s on fire!” A voice from once cell said, earning several grunts in confirmation.
“I feel it too… like ants are crawling through my veins.” The baritone said.
“It gets worse,” a lofty soprano said, her voice accented. “It spreads to the muscles after an hour or so. And the ants start biting.”
“Great…” The first voice said. “Something to look forward to I guess.”
“Tomorrow will tell…” the baritone said before slipping off to sleep.