The white walls made the room seem much larger than it was, the few computers to the left were aged. Their gray pallor and over sized plastic shells were gaudy, and to anyone but the scientists who had manned them, they seemed incorrect for such a facility. Along the wall a faded red banner held lofty black lettering that read:


The thick sans-serif letters seemed to tower over the room, casting a slight shadow as if in an attempt to darken what spirits had remained high back when this facility was built.

“Get moving!” the stern voice permeated the silence that had come over the small troupe of men. The group consisted of two scientists and a few too many soldiers. Looking over his shoulder, Etienne could count only five, but he assumed somehow that more would follow. Small steps and uneven strides were the consistent annoyance during this trek. The black case that carried his equipment tapped roughly against his leg as he ascended the small hills of dirt where once a fence was lain. A few posts were still planted. For whatever reason all of the wiring was gone, but Etienne was not focused on this detail besides the quick thought he had given it. his bright eyes were focused ahead of him from behind the gas mask he wore, his lips parted in awe.

The exorbitant white tower cast a dank shadow over the surrounding forest. The trees were dead, but a few pines remained. He could not see even the sun from behind the massive building. The edges of the tower were charred black.

“Look,” Etienne spoke up finally, a French accent strangling the whispered word, the gas mask muffling it. By the time it reached his counterpart it was taken in as a disgruntled bit of gibberish. The other scientists attention followed where Etienne was pointing, seeing the deep crack that went down the length of the towers’ side. He did respond verbally, but gave a stout nod, giving a glance toward the unprotected general that lead them forward.


Amber Kipp

Key West, United States

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