Monday, April 18, 2011

Room 19 A and 84 B: Depth Perception

The light in the room was not the same light Charlie akin to that of a florescent bulb, or even the intensity of a full moon's glow. It was a dark white light that contradicted the fundamental understanding of what light actually was.  This light, projecting from the capsule moved like fog, dense and slow, moving against the wind from the powerful turbines pushing moist hot air throughout the room. The light also contained within it enough of a charge that the air appeared to crackle with tiny sparks as it moved around Charlie and the others tied to their chairs. It did not hurt, and felt as though their tongues were tied to the end of a 9-volt battery. Doctor Krull approached the man on the end, furthest from Charlie, and leaned down close so that the man was now eye level with him. He took the man by the arm and ran his spidery fingers along the man's forearm down to his hand, which was not a hand at all but a clubbed fist of flesh wrapped in clean bandages. Had the man lost his hand or was it something more nefarious at the hands of Doctor Krull?

Doctor Krull leaned in, next to the man's ear, whispering something to him that seemed to alleviate the man's fear. His words sedated his anxiety to the point that he now looked more relaxed in his binds, his eyes a wash of disbelief mixed with hope. Whatever the man felt before was now replaced with a single emotion driving him- enthusiasm. He then stepped over to the shriveling female who looked to be of Spanish decent. Her demeanor had been calm and collected since the moment Charlie woke tied to the chair, and the moment he saw Doctor Krull reach for the long white cane, Spurt handed to him, he began to understand why. Again, Doctor Krull leaned close and spoke into her ear softly, and, again, she too relaxed in her chair.

The man next to Charlie had been still, but obviously fearful for his life. Sweat had run down his face like water dripping from an unseen tap over his head, yet he was quite focused on his meditation, eyes closed and refusing to observe the slightest change in sound around him, even as Doctor Krull cupped the third man's chin in the palm of his long thin hand. He worked his thumb around the chin and slid it up around the man's mouth, his talon sliced between his thin pink lips and pried his mouth gently open. He then lifted the man's head to get a good look inside his mouth, and then leaned next to him. This time he was close enough to be heard, "In return for your assistance, I shall grant you the freedom of your tongue once more, so that you may verbally thank me afterwards." Just as the others had done, he too lost the look of consternation about him.

Doctor Krull then turned his attention to Charlie, standing silently in front of him, his face veiled by his dark oily colored locks, and it seemed to Charlie that each time he attempted to look beyond his natural cover, Doctor Krull took a step backwards into the enveloping light. His deep gaze pierced through the murky light like two distant lighthouses guiding lost ships at sea, observing Charlie, turning away from his guest joining Spurt at the console of the machine. The two made adjustments to the bluish glow beaming against both of their faces, while they discussed time displacement, algorithms, stasis recognition and something called, morph fusing. None of it made any sense to Charlie, but his interest on what was happening had taken an uncomfortable acceptance and keen awareness that even his artistic eye found some common ground with. I am willingly becoming a lab rat inside this Mad Scientist's crazed high school Science project? he thought.

Spurt hopped down from the console and approached Charlie. Once in front of him, he took Charlie by the hand, the one with the device attached to his thumb, and palmed the device. Charlie's hand felt as though it had been wrapped in ice, cold enough that his fingers instantly went numb. His arm was hot and rived with pain. It was though Spurt had set some kind of chemical fire to his arm that did not project flames, burning hotter than anything he had ever felt prior. He clinched his teeth hard, noshing them spitefully to Spurt, watching as the device slipped effortlessly off his thumb. The little oddly shaped assistant scuttled back to the console and placed the device inside a slot on the console.

     "I was beginning to wonder when they would take your picture." the man on the end said.
     "Excuse me?"
     "The device on your thumb? It's called a Data Node Apparatus ring. Collects samples of your DNA, which is then placed in the machine to check for signatures." he said turning to Charlie and smiling.
     "My DNA? do you know this?"
     "He mentioned it a time or two during his talks with his Spurt." The woman answered.
     "I did not hear anything about that?"
     "That would be due to your not being here at the time."
     "Yes," said the woman. "We did not learn much in our first days."
     "My god, you have been here-"
     "A month for myself," said the man. "She came along about a week after me, and the quiet chink about three days after my blind cohort." He added with a laugh.
     "An appropriate comment, I assure you. If only I could shake the hand of such a comedian."

Their talk was silenced by the sudden reemergence of Doctor Krull

The world around Charlie was an oyster of sound. The sound was of relaxed breathing flooding his ears, paced and at times peaceful and rhythmic like the waves from an ocean running ashore. He attempted to open his eyes, doing so with ease, blinded by the greatest blue light he had ever seen. An intensity that burned his cornea like the sun and forced his eyes closed immediately after they had opened. The humming rang once again in Charlie's ears and, at the risk of being burned again, his eyes fluttered open. What he witnessed no amount of paint could ever describe. He would need the worlds largest canvas to grasp the nature of the phenomena happening several feet from where he sat. In a word, Charlie saw God.

Doctor Krull stood in front of a giant orb of light, hands raised and spread out as though he were testifying the success of his machine, basking in a light that was not that of the moon or sun, too intense to be one and too close to the gaping hole behind the machine to be the other; standing in front of a vastly blue sky with wisp of white clouds that stretched on forever. Charlie Harley and the others were now weightless, freed from their binds and floating easily above the stage, arms and legs held together by a force unseen to them. Charlie knew by their startled reactions, this part was new even to them. The scene reminded him of a digital painting by Slawek Wojtowicz that asked, once more, if he was really just dreaming all this. When he watched Doctor Krull walk past him, noticing his feet not touching the ground as he did, to the man on the end, place his hand onto his forehead, break down into the same metallic liquid Spurt had previously, and then absorb into the man's head via his ear, nose and mouth; he wanted nothing more than to wake up then and there.

Charlie Harley was helplessly immobile. He could only look on as Doctor Krull oozed from the openings of the man's head onto the floor, pool at the seat of the woman, reanimate into a being and begin the process all over again. It was only when the pool of mercury-like material pooled below him that he finally shouted words of consternation. "What do you want from me!" they echoed the great room, but were lost to the humming that reverberated inside his head. The frozen touch of Doctor Krull chilled Charlie Harley's cheeks, the sensation spreading across his face like spilled ice water atop a crooked table, resisting futilely as his conscious mind was suddenly invaded by another presence. Another life form that was alien, while unexpectedly familiar to Charlie Harley, like a very old friend whose face and voice been lost to the decay of time. The presence that was Doctor Krull moved swiftly in and out of Charlie's conscious and subconscious. He could feel an invasive grip on his memories, plucking them from his memory bank, rummaging through them like old photos in a torn and tattered shoe box under his bed. The alien spirit was looking for something of great value and importance, without caring about the fragility of the mind breaking that he had taken over against the will of the body. 

It took images, snapshots of Charlie's past. There were paintings, many paintings he had thought forgotten but still remained deep inside his memory depository. Deeper, the alien voice said. And deeper he and his parasitic guest ventured into Charlie Harley's mind. Photographs of his childhood, like tiny window panes flying by his minds eye. The storm of recollection roared on. You are here somewhere. Different than the others, grounded to the technology presented to you. Where are you? the voiced asked.Far beyond the point of no return, where secrets are kept inside never to be seen or heard from, after that initial capture of the host eyes that translate the information to the brain, a place that more often than not kills the body and, eventually, the mind. It must be there! The voice of Doctor Krull shouted in frustrated anger. 

The humming had become deafening. The pain unbearable to the point Charlie Harley lost all feeling in his limbs. The darkness was infinite around him. It was just Charlie floating in a sea of eternal space, adrift in a chaotic spin down the spiral of his deep subconscious mind. As the presence reached the doorway of no return, it considered for a very brief moment if it were wrong; but, the machine was never wrong. The machine was what made it all possible, to exist in a plain not common to it. A method of travel that no other species could fathom. The machine was perfection. The alien spirit of Doctor Krull opened the door inside Charlie Harley and, by doing so, instantly killed the flesh on the outside. Charlie Harley took a deep sudden breath in the darkness and exhaled for the last time. 

...There you are, Doctor Krull said with exasperated breath. My love...




  1. A quick post note here. Like the font change, there is not much interaction because some of my favorite alien/abduction movies deal little in interaction and lean heavily on the reader or watchers own emotion. Also, in trying to write a short story via a blog and not make it so long you decide grass more entertaining, I have to leave out some science to the story. I hope this doesn't detract from the overall tale. And I promise not to do much of this continuation in the future. I do not like upsetting Chanel, and you know what happens with a neurotic mind gets frustrated. :-) Enjoy.

  2. You did that on purpose!

    "To be concluded.." is just as bad as "To be continued..." and you know it!

    I KNEW I should have skipped down to the bottom to check to see if you were going to pull the wool over my eyes...but I thought, "No. He wouldn't do it twice."

    Well, see if I ever make that mistake again!

    But I have to say, if you've got to end it early and make it to be continued...ending it with death is the best way to make sure people keep reading. I will be reading the next installment. But so help me, if there's a "To be continued" or any variation of it on the next one...I something diabolical!

    By the way, I like that you didn't compare the alien presence in his head to worms crawling through his memories. So many books I've read that involve going into peoples' heads compare it to the worms. So boring. I like it being described as an invasive grip.

  3. The thought of something (someone) in my head...hearing/seeing my thoughts creeps me out. It's like mental rape.
    You've entertained me, sir. ;)

  4. Weirdest damn motel I ever stayed at. The continental breakfast was okay, but it really didn't make up for getting ear raped by a T1000 terminator from another planet.

  5. Chanel- noted. I will at least warn you of parts in the future.

    Asha- Coming from someone who obsesses over brain eating zombies, I thank you for being entertained.

    Bryan- Funny you mention that. I always thought the liquid terminator was very cool, poorly done in the movie but very cool concept. I find the unlikely of a liquid organic intelligent life form to be very interesting. I would like to expand on Doctor Krull as both a liquid and a gas creature of intelligent design.

  6. We melted silver wire with a blow torch today and watched it drip and pool on the counter before it cooled on the was really pretty. I imagine that's what the liquid Dr. Krull looks like.

    By the way...Wasn't Krull the name of an alien movie where the prince tries to marry the princess but the aliens kidnap her and try to make her marry their evil over lord in the castle that always disappears? And then the bad guys turn to worms when you kill them and sink into the ground while screaming? Also, there's a magic star blade weapon and a wise old man who has a wife in a spider web...

    Or something like that. That's a movie, right?

  7. Yes. A nod to the movie on my part, just as the title is a nod in the direction of Orson Wells. The fact you know that only makes you that much more attractive, because to know Krull was a terrible sci-fi B movie makes you not just a nerd, but an incredibly lame one. :-)

  8. Just chuckling at the comments. "The world around Charlie was an oyster of sound." That phrase stuck in my brain like the good doctor himself. The old magicians knew the power of words. And so do some writers, apparently. Nicely done.

  9. Dr. Krull would need his own shrink after poking around in my mind! lol