Green-Gray
rating: +105+x

It's been two weeks since the lights went out. Two weeks to the day, to the hour, to the minute. I remember every instant of it. I remember everything. That's one gift from Prometheus. The locked, dark, room? Yeah, that’s another. This door is sealed, and my keycard doesn't work without power. And there’s no way I’m getting that thing open. Why couldn’t Prometheus have invented something to let me rip a metal door out of its casing? Ah, right. “The true Promethean will rely on strength of mind and spirit, not of body, for even metal is weaker than will.” Well this would-be Promethean is going to die if that’s all he gets!

Even if I could open it, I'm not sure if I'd leave. Something is wrong. The lights are powered by the same source that powers the whole facility, so if it's out for me, the whole system must be down. No one has come to help me, either, which isn't exactly encouraging. Could it have been the pinwheel spinning off? Some catastrophe in chemistry? Or did they transcend mere humanity into beings of pure enlightened energy and have no time for poor little old me? In all likelihood, this testing chamber may be the safest place left.

TO ALL PROMETHEUS EMPLOYEES:

Introducing… Telekill. The latest invention of the Prometheus metallurgy division, the capstone of years of research. Telekill is a psychic dampener alloy. It produces a zone of low psychic potential, which naturally draws in and negates harmful mind-waves. Durable and ductile, Telekill can be used anywhere you want to keep your mind safe.

Three weeks now. At least my latest and no doubt last residence is tolerable. The claustrophobic environment makes it hard to think, but it's well furnished. Maybe they’ll dig me out in a thousand years and think I was a pharaoh. Pity they’d only give me that respect after I’m dead.

Normally these rooms are fairly spartan, but since I'm doing a longer term study (very longer term, apparently) they've outfitted it with nice furniture, a lantern, and all the food and water my enhanced metabolism needs to survive. A bed, a desk, some bottled water and cans and cans of food. And, of course, filling the corner of the room, the green-gray slab. Telekill. The green-gray slab.

The average human mind suffers countless minor intrusions each year. Between lingering Faerie glamours, Saljab mind-tricks, and Enforcers, "free will" is not so free as it ought to be. The influences are subtle, but alarmingly real. Telekill will finally liberate human determination from the interference of inhuman forces. Sign up to be one of the first to truly control their own mind, their own destiny. With our previous Mem-Fast mnemonic inoculation, you may be sure your memories serve your mind. Telekill will ensure that your mind serves you.

Five weeks. I’m not getting out. I'll die here. I had hoped for more than a lonely death in a room with the green-gray slab. I had such dreams! I would have been the one to not just reach but seize the future. The new era when mankind sees just what the universe is like. I had plans. I could have been so much. Now I’ve just got dreams of the green-gray slab.

The Prometheus of legends stole fire from the gods so that mankind could rise to be like the gods. I've seen what this Prometheus will bring mankind, besides the green-gray slab. We will be like gods. I would be a god. But no, I'll die here with only the green-gray slab for company.

Telekill is still in development, however, and before the Grand Public Offering, we must ensure its safety. Which is where you come in. Everything Prometheus produces is extensively safety-tested. And though testing on primates has revealed no adverse effects, there is no substitute for human testing. In accordance with the Promethean Code, such is to be conducted only on Prometheus volunteers. There's risks involved, but there always are to the first brave men to touch the future. Step forward on the path from Man to Promethean.

Eight weeks. If there is still a world outside, it's forgotten me. Someday, they'll exhume the chamber with the green-gray slab, maybe, and wonder at it and its contents. Perhaps they'll even figure out what the green-gray slab does. Even if I won't get to live forever in body, maybe I'll live forever in memory as the man in the mystery chamber with the green-gray slab from the past who brought the gift of freedom to mankind in the form of the green-gray slab. Freedom is like fire, right? Maybe I'll be Prometheus.

My gaze returns to the green-gray slab. But why not? It's the most visible thing there is. There's an odd sheen to its surface, a color that vanishes as soon as you focus on it. An ephemeral sort of cerulean. If I look slightly away, I see it swirl like an oil slick on a lake.

FROM: geraldf@prometheusLabs
TO: sangw@prometheusLabs
TOPIC: Telekill primate testing

Steve,

So I was reviewing the tests with the telekill project. I think I noticed something screwy near the end, about forty days in. The chimps we’re testing with — they’re bonobos, right? So I checked the records near the start, and they’re doing the bonobo thing, i.e. humping like rabbits. Anyhow, later in, they weren’t doing anything like that at all. Didn’t seem to be interacting much at all, not just no monkey-sex.

Is that normal for bonobos in captivity for an extended period? If not, telekill might not be as safe as we thought. I wouldn’t want to sterilize the lab tech guy the Old Man’s got testing it. Also, I’m taking next Tuesday off. Can you take my carpool then? I’ll owe you.

— Gerald

That’s the green-gray slab. There’s nothing else to look at. It's shiny if you don't look too hard. Sort of a blue on the surface of the green-gray slab. Yeah, it shines kinda blue.

There's the green-gray slab. That's funny, the green-gray slab is blue!

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The green-gray slab.

The greendarkgray slab.

The greendarkgray slab.

The greenit's darkgray slab.

The greenit's very darkgray slab.

The greenI can't seegray slab.

The greenI can't feel my armsgray slab.

The greenor anythinggray slab.

The greenam I dead?gray slab.

The greenNo.gray slab.

The greenI'm not dead. I can't be dead yet. I have so much left to be.gray slab.

The greenYou can't stop me from being who I'm going to be. I remember me. I remember everything.gray slab.

The greenI know what happened to me. You weren't safe, were you? Just took more than four weeks. You ate my mind, my soul. But you can't digest it. Because I'm me. I'm me. I remember myself. You can't destroy my memories because I have the mnemonic.gray slab.

I don't need anything else. I'm going to be who I am. I'm going to be who I could be, who I would be. Can you feel that? I'm getting my form back. Metal is weaker than will. If you took my body, Telekill, then it's only fair that you replace it.

Senses, limbs; all will be mine once more. I stagger to my new-formed feet and swing a molded fist at the reinforced door. It holds. But metal is weaker than will. Soul-drinking stone, you were to give mankind freedom of destiny. And you shall still bring it to me. My fire will burn bright, even as others flicker and die. The door is beginning to buckle. Soon, very soon, I will leave this chamber and leave Prometheus to the eagle. Then all will see my will. All will see who I am. I am myself. I am my will!

I AM ZACHARY!

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