Triple Helix: Part Seven

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Farraday City, Midtown

“Christ Almighty. What the fuck happened to the sky?”

Agent Grant stares in amazement as rain pounds against Hu’s car. The city is a mess: cars are abandoned in the road, along the side of the road, sometimes even on sidewalks as streams of people slog through the rain, heading for any building they can find. The only people actively driving on the road are Hu—who is clearly unhappy about it—and, based on occasional glimpses of flashing red light, a few emergency response vehicles.

Most of the time all Grant can see are solid sheets of water crashing into Hu’s windshield. It looks like someone has pointed a garden hose directly at each window in the car—all he sees is water spilling over more water. When lightning flashes he can see a little more: endless black clouds roiling in the sky, wind whipping sand and garbage through the air, tiny streams coursing down streets and pooling at intersections. Then the light fades, and once again all he sees is sheets of water against the windows.

“Wasn’t it sunny ten minutes ago?” He squints, wondering if the vague shapes he thinks he sees through the rain are really there, or if it’s just the rain screwing with him. “I distinctly remember there being sunlight.”

“Sure wish somebody thought to tell us we’d be driving through a hurricane today,” Hu says, voice tight.

Triple Helix, Part Six

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Warehouse Complex

In hindsight there had been no need to ask about the weather—Plague knows the moment the storm starts. He stands in the observation room, looking into the now-crowded cell block as doctors and lab techs crowd around the Prodigy Harness, going through the steps to revive the man imprisoned within. He can see Horace Preston within, lying on something that looks like a coffin bed, and as he stirs he feels the temperature drop, ever so slightly.

Dr. Wallace looks up from a small hand-held computer, currently attached to the harness by a tether. He holds it out in offering. “He’s keyed to your voice, Mr. Richter.”

Richter takes the computer and hesitates. “How do I…?”

“Just speak,” Dr. Wallace says. “He’s keyed to your voice.”

Richter nods. “Mr. Preston.”

Horace Preston’s eyes snap open immediately. They do not focus.

“Mr. Preston. I need you to complete your mission. Now.”

Triple Helix: Part Five

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Atlantic Ocean, Day

By day the ocean is an endless blue expanse, flecked with shades of darker blue as the waves roll up, casting shadows over its own surface. There are no clouds today; the sky is as unblemished as the ocean is mottled.

There is no sign of land, nor sign of any ships. The compass has started working again, but the two-way radio is still just a constant stream of static, white noise turned so low it barely registers against the sound of the engine as it labors to keep the boat moving. Artemis turns it up higher, listening for breaks or variations in the endless wall of sound.

They’ve taken on a considerable amount of water in the past few hours, and the boat is definitely lower in the water than it should be. There’s too much water below. He’s not sure how much longer they have before the boat gives up entirely, but he’s certain it’s “hours” instead of “days.”

Artemis makes plans.

Triple Helix: Part Four

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Farraday City Bunker

Jenny shifts in her body armor, wishing she’d just hurry up and settle into it so she’d stop obsessing about it. It’s not exactly uncomfortable—it’s not even particularly heavy, thanks to her now-above-human-norms strength—but it’s a layer of bulk she didn’t used to have, and it’s throwing her off.

“You’ll get used to it.” Street Ronin makes a few final adjustments to something on her back. “Faster than you think. I figure by the end of your first fight.”

They’re in her room in the bunker. It’s still her room, despite the fact that the bunker is now putting up six people and was really only designed for two. CB claims he’s lived in smaller spaces with more people, and other guys claim they don’t mind. She figures it’s mostly macho sexist bullshit, but at the same time she finds herself wanting to spend more and more time by herself, so she takes advantage of it. She’s jumped into something she can’t jump out of, and the enormity of it is terrifying.

I’m not backing out. I don’t want to back out. I’m going to do right by these guys.

God, I hope I don’t screw up.

Triple Helix: Part Three

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Warehouse Complex

The room is dim, narrow, long, and cold.

Cold in every sense of the word: it is physically cold—cold enough for Plague to see his own breath when he exhales—but it’s also cold in the abstract. The floor is bare concrete, the walls and ceiling metal—dull, brushed metal, treated to prevent frost.

The medical gurneys are set lengthwise against the longest of the walls, twelve to a side. The test subjects on the gurneys sleep—Plague prefers to think of it as sleeping—and equipment beeps and hisses softly as it monitors the vitals of each man, pushing more drugs into their bodies as needed.

“Poor bastards.”

Plague’s voice echoes slightly, bouncing off the walls as it travels down the long room. The technicians monitoring the equipment don’t bother to look up. He walks down the length of the room, looking at each subject in turn. There are no names, only numbers: Test Subject #1, Test Subject #2, Test Subject #3, and so on. There are twenty-four in this room, and two more rooms just like it. They tell him it’s the largest group yet. They tell him that’s why he’s here.

One of the reasons, anyway.