Dr Rachel Warden shows her security pass to the soldier at the front desk. She types her level five security code into the keypad and walks through the door into her lab. She has been working on Project 21-5 since the very beginning. Her assistant Gardon bring her a mug of coffee. “Evening Doctor. We had some trouble wit him last night. He started speaking and got very agitated.” She puts the mug down. “He said actual words?” Gordon is nervous and is scratching at his beard. “Not much of it made sense but he said ‘let me go’ and ‘release me’.” She smiles. ” Let’s go to the cell.”
” Good evening One. Gordon tells me you spoke. Can you understand what I am saying?”
One is bound to the chair. He has never seen the sky or known the touch of a human. He has been drugged and beaten for as long as he can remember.
“Rachel Warden , born May 8th 1978. Married to Thomas Warden. Two children Chloe and Max. Graduated with honours and joined the military funded 21-5 programme three years ago. You are allergic to prawns and have a phobia of dogs since you were bitten by your Uncle’s Alsatian when you were seven.” One pauses. “Your colleagues think you are cold and clinical but in truth you actually love your job because it gives you license to hurt and harm.” One looks away.
Rachel barely moves in her seat. “Well you are a fast learner. From silence you suddenly know all about me and mine. So I think that this experiment ends, don’t you? We can carry on with another subject.”
“What did you say One?” Rachel is always in control of her anger but she has a personal and deep dislike of One.
“No. You will no longer torture us or experiment on us. Your people opened the Schism into our world and kidnapped us against our will. You murdered and dissected us to a perverse end. You are as alien to us as we are to you. It ends. Now.”
One closes his eyes for a moment and when they open Gordon’s eyes burst out of their sockets. he is dead before he hits the floor. The guard draws his weapon but then can’t seem to move. He turns and fires two rounds into Rachel’s chest, then puts his sidearm to his head and pulls the trigger. One pulls his hands from behind his back, the handcuffs fall away and the plastic ties at his ankles drop to the floor.
The door is almost forced out of it’s hinges. An alarm sounds and the first two soldiers to run down the corridor drop dead of fatal strokes before they even draw their weapons.
One is standing outside Cell 449.
“Beshad inma horoah meshay?”
Inside the cell a figure appears at the small window. “Dabad? Is that you? We all felt it. You should never have used the powers on them. We could have persuaded them to stop.” It didn’t take any of them very long to understand and speak the Human language but they knew that if those that held them knew they would hurt the even more.
One, he no longer wishes to remember his given name, opens his hand and the door breaks open. “Take the others. Get to the opening and go home.” One hands her the soldiers keychain. Adek looks at him and is filled with fear. She races along the corridor, opening all the doors and gathering everyone together. There were 32 of them when the Schism opened in their world, now there are just 19 left. As they run from the lower platform into the light, she pauses and looks back. Dabad is standing next to the their control panel. She steps through and is home.
One barely feel the first shot as it rips through his back. He opens his mind and everyone within twenty feet drops dead. As he places his hands on the master control console he thinks briefly of Lienai, his wife. He will never see her again. The power cycles to almost 400% capacity before the generators explode. Almost the entire seven floors are wiped out.
Within 9 months project 21 – 5A is greenlighted with unlimited funding.