The Bacterium (Part Two)
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Extract from the Journal of Doctor Buried:

It fits doesn't it. In the old textbooks from my school days with all the families of organisms charted out, viruses were conspicuously absent. And they said viruses were "not living" but "not dead" either. something else. sounds like a cop-out to me. a way to say we don't know without admitting it. you know what the phrases "not living" and 'but not dead" sound like when used together? they sound like they're describing a robot. and that's exactly what it looked like up close. A machine. a piece of programming. It reminds me of the concept of a von Neumann probe. Alien civilizations wouldn't waste the money to build spaceships. it's too unwieldy. Illogical. They would build these little probes. self replicating. They use the resources of the environment to build other probes to spy and explore as well. when I first read that, I thought of these probes drilling into rock and metal to build an identical copy. But why metal, when there's something so much more abundant?

Who sent them? And exactly for what reason?

Status Update 5615-YY-23

All the members of The Virus capture team have ended up in the medical ward with severe illness and side effects due to a complete lack of bacteria in and on their body, which has unbalanced their immune systems. As some bacteria is necessarily, or helpful, they have come down with rare esoteric diseases which most humans are protected from. Commander Riger for example has developed an intestinal fungus last found on the earth three thousand years ago owing to the absence of any microbes in his gastrointestinal tract.

Document from Research and Observation sent to the Head of Security for Site ██

List of weapons possessed by the Virus:

  • All legs are extraordinarily sharp. The data so far indicts that at enough speed they could slice through any material found on Earth. They seem to be akin to nanofiber knifes, and have approximately the same cutting ability. They are also used in impaling.
  • Legs three and six have missile launchers attached to them. These lob bolts of energy that when hit the target cause a small explosion. They can be launched as balls (which can roll and bounce) or streaks.
  • Leg five near the bottom splits off into six separate thick metallic claws, separated from each by 60 degree angles. These claws can pinch open and shut. When pressed together they shoot an energy that can pass through walls, and selectively choose it targets. The energy can also hit a target and prime it for explosion, whether that explosion happens seconds or hours later.
  • Near the meeting point of the body and the head, there is a spot where blades fly out at great speeds. These blades can slice in a circle around the point and then are folded back in. The upper limit seems to be three at this time.
  • The Virus can drill through solid surfaces, including human bodies. It can also fall from a distance to increase momentum in the piercing.
  • From certain points on the crystalline head, steady lasers can emanate. They remain straight lines that can be moved to cut anything in their path.
  • A pulse that is emitted from The Virus's crystalline head. This pulse has been confirmed to kill all bacteria in a mile radius. Lethality is 100 percent, unless the victim is put on life support immediately, and injected with new micro-organisms.

(scrawled on the paper)

They aren't going to waste that treatment on your group, Sargassi. Be careful.

Head of Security Sarasgassi Mutusah's Briefing:

Sarasgassi Mutusah: Now you've read the weapons list. And it isn't pretty. If this thing wakes up from hibernation or whatever the fuck it's doing, and decides to act the way it was before, we're fucked. But that doesn't mean we're not going to try to contain it. A report should be coming soon. I've heard rumors that the people upstairs might even lend us a stasis field. They might use the beloved taxpayers money to build it a vacuum cell. It so, lucky us. It's locked up pretty tightly then. Good. But if they suddenly decided to be stringy, or for some reason we don't get any good gear, or it takes to long, we're not going to freak out. It's going to be business as usual, ok? We're just going to have to put our trust in our guns. We're going to do this in an orderly fashion no matter how much it worries us. No visitors unless permission from the O5s. The room is guarded at all time. We're going to install titanium reinforcements. Set up a camera feed and throw in some plated glass. Don't roll your eyes at me Johnson. You think I give a fuck that it can break through? It makes the scientists feel better. We're going to patrol the hallways surrounding the room. I want all the adjacent rooms in lock down so this thing doesn't inadvertently cause a mass escape. Hell, in fact, I'm putting this whole site in lock down until this thing gets figured out….

Juan Gonalez: Them I'm guessing topside-

Sarasgassi Mutusah: Yeah (twirls finger) get the tanks rolling… well i think that should be it… oh if any of you don't have heavy arms yet, go to the weapons master and get equipped… What was that? You think I care if Gatling guns strain your back? Ok, get out of here and get to work… wait… I want a full shift around the clock too! No skeleton crew!

(groans)

Sarasgassi Mutusah: You think you guys could sleep anyways after hearing about this thing?

Audio Log of Conversation between Doctor Buried and Doctor Rumez:

Doctor Rumez: What is that red light going around and around The Virus? Its been projecting it for hours. And I've looked at the security footage and it has touched almost every part of the base.

Doctor Buried: We discovered that it lingers, almost imperceptibly, on computer, books, and other writings.

Doctor Rumez: ….are you…

Doctor Buried: It's a translator, Vanessa.

Audio Log of The Virus' cell at 2100 hours:

The Virus: LINGUISTIC SYNTHESIS COMPLETE. 100 PERCENT. COMMENCE COMMUNICATION (legs pop back out of head and it stands up)

Doctor Buried: Oh my god.

The Virus: COMMUNICATION HAS BEEN DEEMED STRATEGIC BY BATTLE CORE. IT IS IN MY BEST INTERESTS TO ENDEAVOUR TO CEASE HOSTILITIES. I DID NOT KNOW YOU WERE CONSCIOUS ENTITIES BEFORE.

Doctor Buried: ah… were…do you come… who… where did you come from?

The Virus: FOR-

(loud sound blares all other noises)

Transcript of Conversation between Doctor Gregore and Sarasgassi Mutusah:

Doctor Gregore: Turn the god dam alarm off!

Sarasgassi Mutusah: My evacuation orders are still in effect. I have deemed the situation-

Doctor Gregore: It's not attacking! It's talking!

Sarasgassi Mutusah: Excuse me?

Doctor Gregore: It's sentient!

Audio Log of The Virus' cell at 2134 Hours:

Prof. Stringnik: What is your name?

The Virus: MY IDENTIFICATION NUMBER IS VIRAL ORGANISM 133345355675 BUILT IN STATION 3435353533535353.

Prof. Stringnik: What is your function?

The Virus: I AM A WAR MACHINE WITH ESPIONAGE , REPLICATING, AND SCOUT ABILITIES SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO EXCEL ON EARTH.

Prof. Stringnik: War machine? who are fighting against?

The Virus: THE BACTERIUM, THE RULING POWER ON THIS PLANET.

Prof. Stringnik: What? Human beings are the-

The Virus: NEGATIVE. UNTIL YESTERDAY IT WAS UNKNOWN THAT YOU WERE EVEN CONSCIOUS.

Prof. Stringnik: I see… ah… so tell more of the conflict between your kind and the Bacterium.

The Virus: THEY CLAIM WE ARE INVADERS. THAT WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE HERE. THEY SAY THEY ARE THE OWNERS OF THIS WORLD. THE SHEPHERDS OF THE FLESH GLOBULES. THEY INHABIT THE GREAT STRUCTURES, MULTIPLY AND CHANGE THEM. THEY ARE AMBASSADORS TO THE DEEP MOLDS WHO WE MUST DESTROY. WE DUEL IN BATTLEFIELDS OF MEAT ACID AND IN THE WET BETWEEN.

Prof. Stringnik: Why are you so large when all the others of your kind are small?

The Virus: I AM NOT AN ANOMALY. I AM SIMPLY NOT MEANT TO BE IN THIS UNIVERSE. I COME FROM AN ALTERNATE PERMUTATION. IT IS UNWIELDY TO MOVE UNDER ONES OWN POWER FROM THE VOID TO THE ASSIGNED PLANET, SO WE USE TELEPORTATION. IT IS RARE BUT NOT UNHEARD FOR THE WORMHOLE TO DISPLACE THE TRAVELER IN PARALLEL AXIS.

Prof. Stringnik: So in your home dimension, everyone's this big?

The Virus: AFFIRMATIVE.

Prof. Stringnik: Do you have any plans or means to return?

The Virus: I AM CURRENTLY BEING TRACKED. A CONNECTION WILL BE ESTABLISHED AND REMAIN OPEN UNTIL I ENTER.

Prof. Stringnik: I see. Can someone else take over for me? I have to talk to an overseer.

Interview Four with The Virus:

Doctor Gung: Why did you go on that rampage when you entered our reality?

The Virus: I WAS IN PANIC MODE. THE ENVIRONMENT WAS ONE I WAS NOT PROGRAMMED FOR. IT DEFIED MY LOGIC SYSTEMS. COHERENCY WAS AT 43 PERCENT.

Doctor: Really? What caused you to stop?

The Virus: AFTER SEVERAL IMPROBABLE EVENTS OCCURRED I REALIZED I WAS BEING ASSAULTED BY INTELLIGENT CREATURES. IF I COULD INTEGRATE THEIR PROCESS', I WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THE SURROUNDINGS THROUGH THEIR PARADIGM. THIS WOULD HALT DEGENERACY.

Doctor Gung: So now you're fine? You're at an acceptable level?

The Virus: NEGATIVE. SANITY IS STILL SLIPPING, HOWEVER IT IS AT A SLIGHTLY SLOWER RATE. THE ARTIFICIAL MIND I HAVE CREATED TO CONVERSE WITH YOU DAMAGES THE ORIGINAL PRE SET PARAMETERS. IN TWO POINT FIVE HOURS A MARKEDLY INCREASE IN AGGRESSION, PANIC, AND ANALYSIS FAILURE WILL BE OBVIOUS TO OUTSIDE OBSERVERS. WHEN IT REACHES THIS I MUST SHUT DOWN AND DETONATE, SINCE NO RETRIEVAL TEAM IS SENT FOR ME.

Doctor Gung: Is there any way to continue this exchange without harming your mind?

The Virus: (it lowers its bodies and a twisted object extends out of its head, a blue, glowing, extension that looks like a light filament) INJECTION INTO THE LOWER STATUS LIFEFORM TO YOUR LEFT WOULD CREATE A COPY OF ME THAT COULD RETAIN PARTS OF A HUMAN MIND. THIS COULD BE USED TO FACILITATE A EASIER UNDERSTANDING.

Doctor Gung: oh god no… no..we don't want to do that, at least not yet.

Extract from Classified Overseer Material:

A few signs that require a BI-class end of the world scenario to be declared is the presence of a technology, organization, or entity that could feasibly open up a portal from one dimension to another, where some force capable of invasion resides. Another is if a large group of aliens arrive within our solar system or have the means to do so in a short span of time. Do not focus on the differences between the two situations, and subsets in one situation, it is not the width or distance that matters, or the metaphorical closeness between alterations of the timeline or laws of physics, only the ease that they could reach Earth, whether this be from a complete different plane of existence or the moon.

Note from Overseer ██████ to Overseer █████:

I know Professor Stringnik is pushing for a BI but he always does ignore the more mundane issues. Probably cause they're too boring. What about a NK-class? I know it's not as exciting, but did you hear the tapes? Any guess on how big the detonation going to be?

Interview Five:

Prof. Stringnik: Just one final question.

The Virus: YES?

Prof. Stringnik: Why do you persist in scanning? I thought you said you translated enough already. And yes we detected it. You thought you could hide it from us by putting it on another frequency?

THE VIRUS: I SCAN FOR INFORMATION.

Prof. Stringnik: But isn't additional data detrimental to your stability?

The Virus: INDEPENDENT DETACHED PROCESSORS HAVE DETERMINED THAT MY SURVIVAL IS NEGLIGABLE COMPARED TO THE USEFULNESS OF THE INFORMATION I AM CURRENTLY OBTAINING.

Prof. Stringnik: Useful? Useful for what!

Incident Report 6001-XX-32:

Witness: Igor Black Date:██/██/██/

Soon after the sixth interview with the virus, a temporal disturbance was detected approximately one yard away to its right. The Virus immediately begin moving towards what appeared to me to be a window, that wavered like a heat vision, on the wall. As there were barriers separating its cell from the portal, the virus had to use force to reach its destination. It lifted up one leg and in a throwing motion spun a small disc against the wall. The disc attached to the wall and then exploded, created a hole which it walked through. It did this three other times for three other walls all the while getting hit with rifle fire. As it reached the-

Extract from Monthly Psychological Review of Stephen Foot:

Stephen Foot: And I looked in and jesus… I saw… I saw these colors and these perspectives. And the sounds were indescribable, thumping and clashing louder than planes taking off. Booming from the hole. And then I saw this giant blob that was expanding and twitching these little tentacles on its body. Since the rip was floating in the air, it looked like this thing, this blob was floating there too. And there's this black pole off in the side… I think… I think it was a human hair!

Extract from the Journal of Doctor Buried:

Right it before it entered the portal, it paused and faced us. Everyone stopped shooting. It begin to talk, and I actually thought it was trying to leave on a… I don't know…friendly note. It said in a bewildered, well I guess as bewildered as that computer voice could sound, tone "You think? I did…i did not know this" I felt this ray of hope, like we had connected with something, maybe not an alliance, but some kind of understanding. Good things could come out of this knowledge. But then it said kind of quietly "You think… I will tell them… I will….many will infect your minds and become one… will control….. this will help us" And then it left…

What have we done to the other world? What have we done to this one?

Extract from the Journal of Doctor Cooker:

You know, psychics and telepaths, no matter how well they train, no matter how well their mental blocks are, always hear this static in the background. while laying down. while thinking quietly. while sleeping. it was always assumed this was because while they could block out constantly listening in on a conscious level, they still hear the thoughts of others ever so slightly, a mumbling that wouldn't go away. but what if it's not people's thoughts? what if it's just… little minds… very tiny ones… that if anyone actually stopped ignoring like they were suppose to for one moment and tried to reach, would be discovered to be completely alien?

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