“Log experiment number.”
“Experiment number logged.”
“Good… is it all ready?”
“Good, good then… begin defrosts Cycle One.”
“Beginning defrost Cycle One… Cycle One has begun.”
The metal mesh creaked and moaned under the light weight of the feet walking on top of it. Dr. Murphy watched through the plated glass windows that lead to the other room. White washed, it was bare, other than the large, coffin-like contraption that rested in the middle of the room. Through the glass top, she could see the ends of the curved metal rings running lengths across the clear glass top. They glowed in a soft orange hue, telling her that they were doing their jobs.
“Begin Cycle Two...”
“Beginning Cycle Two… Cycle Two is in progress.”
Her heels clapped against the mesh, her unbuttoned white lab coat flung out around her arms. She stuck her hands into the two front pockets, her black heels never stopping. Her whole career was running on this one, last experiment.
Experiment FM was started centuries before Mira’s time. So far, every scientist who had attempted to continue the project from where it was stopped at the end of its first stage had ultimately failed. If she failed, though she did her best to keep that thought at bay, she would not only ruin her career and name; but Simon’s and her own father. If she ruined either of them, she would never forgive herself.
“Begin Cycle Three…”
“Beginning Cycle Three… Cycle Three had begun.”
Mira nodded, her grey eyes staying on the incubator. She removed her hands from her pockets and crossed her arms.
“Begin Finale Defrost Cycle.”
“Beginning Finale Defrost Cycle… Finale Defrost Cycle has begun.”
She watched the metal rings as they went from bright red, to a light peach. With a soft, continuous hum that vibrated both rooms, they ran from one end to the next, and then start back; repeating the process. She could see inside the glass top, the fake beaker-tube created green ice, slowly melting away.
“Begin Cooling Stage.”
“Beginning Cooling Stage… Cool Stage has begun. Finale count down has begun, in T-minus thirteen.”
“Good, get Dr. Severt and Dr. Leath in there, now.”
Behind her, in one of the three rows of five, someone pressed a few buttons, the small dings filling the air. Out in the hall she could hear the robotic, female cyborg’s voice ring throughout the tiled halls;
“Dr. Severt and Dr. Leath to Level Ten, Dr. Severt and Dr. Leath to Level Ten.”
Mira knew that the doctors would need no more information. Her experiment was at Level One, the highest priority that could ever be. Most people would never find out most of the work she would ever do. Not even the President himself knew of her work. Only a small, limited amount of people were a part of Level One, and even less knew what she was doing.
A few minutes later the door slid open behind her, and she heard two sets of footsteps coming towards her. Dr. Severt came up to her left, the short, fat, bald older man with glasses clearing his throat as he did.
She turned her head, and they nodded to each other.
To her right came Dr. Leath. The tone, lean woman had her blonde hair pulled back in a low set bun, her glasses sitting on the tip of her nose as she looked down at the small holo-board in her hands.
“You ready for us?”
“Yes, we are in the finale cooling stage. Before it ends I want you in tox-suits, and in there the second the incubator top slides down.”
“Okay, we will go now.”
They both turned, and begun to walk to a left side door that lead to a pre-toxic suit room.
They stopped, and looked at her. They wore matching lab coats to her, though they were both in their late thirties. She should be taking orders from them. Yet Simon had somehow gotten them to help her.
“Thank you… Thank you, both… for everything.”
“We are only doing our job Doctor. If this works, it will be on you.”
And if it does not, it will still be on you. So you better not mess any of it up.
No one in the room needed to speak those words for them to be spoken. Everyone knew it was true. No matter what happened in the end, good or bad, it would all fall on her. And it scared her to death.
“T-minus three, Dr. Murphy.”
“Okay, thank you. You both better get in there.”
The two doctors nodded, and with a quick scan of their wrist, the door slid open, and slid closed once they stepped through. Mira turned back to the floor to ceiling windows that lined the whole side of the wall. She stepped over to the phone-size board that was the only thing stuck to the glass. She pressed a bare finger to the middle of the blue screen board.
A holo-scanner popped up from the top of the tilted board, the scanner being no bigger than a finger nail. The female voice, a robotic voice different tone than the one in the hall, kept repeating the request for her I.D. She held her left wrist up, and a light-grey scan flew across her wrist.
“I.D Scan complete, welcome back, Dr. Mira McLaren-Murphy, Level One clearance.”
The scanner popped back down, as a holo screen blinked to life. Little three-D different colored cubes floated around, as if they were really there in front of her. She clicked on a light blue one, pulling it to the left side. It unfolded itself there, transforming into a small grey microphone.
“Doctors, are you there? Can you hear me?”
“Yes, Dr. Murphy.”
It was Dr. Severt. Mira clicked on a light peach box, pulling it to her right. From that, multiple little videos screens flew up and across her screening area. She clicked on the pre-tox room; the screen growing as the others shrunk away. The two doctors paced the small room in their baggy, orange and yellow tox-suits. Looking back to the cubes, she clicked on a white one, a clock counting down popped up.
“Okay. We have T-minus one; prepare to go in on my cue.”
She moved away from the microphone, and looked up to the incubator. The lights on the sides were changing, just as they were supposed to. The doctors, now in their full suits, moved to the de-tox room. A single sliding door, being their only barrier between them and the incubator room.
“Okay, turn on air flow, and open vents.”
“Turning on air flow… air flow is on, and… vents are open.”
“Okay, unlock the de-tox door, prepare tools, and time.”
“Doors are unlocked, tools are prepared, and we are thirty seconds and counting down.”
Mira leaned back to the microphone, her eyes watching the clock.
Twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five…
“Okay… Now! Get in there, quickly.”
Mira watched as an un-marked door to her far up left slid open. The two doctors stepped out quickly, a small white robotic table following from a small side door that opened. The two quickly walked in, as the incubator’s walls fell; leaving it opened to the scientist.
“Walls down, and dim the surrounding lights.”
“Walls are down… lights are dimming.”
The lights in the control room were the first to go down, the ones in the lab room following shortly after. The only lights left full on were the ones that rested over the incubator. Mira leaned her weight back onto her heels, looking at the lights on the incubator.
“Vitals are all normal at this point.”
Leaning back in, her eyes watched the two doctors get into place. The head piece of the incubator slid down, allowing the table to move over it, as each doctor took one side of the table. Licking her lips, Mira started at the still man.
“You may begin.”
“Starting intentional look over… Skin is pale, but gaining color. This has been found to be normal after long term deep freeze… Nerves seem to be responding fine. Non-harmful electrical shocks are being used to determine strength… Strength level is normal.”
Dr. Leath typed everything down, as Dr. Severt slowly looked the near nude man over.
“Pupils are slightly dilated, but this is normal… Breathing is fine, and teeth are all intact.”
A small moan filled the air, and everyone held their breath. Mira’s voice then over turned the small moan. The two doctors in the room froze at the sound, something so small yet so big. Mira rolled her lips, crossing her arms as she leaned in a tad more.
Lenard cleared his throat, as he shook his hands nervously.
“Okay, continuing… First attempt to wake the patient up… Name?”
“Okay, continue with first attempt.”
“Continuing… Hayden? Hayden, can you hear me? Hayden wake up, it is time to get up.”
Everyone sat on pins and needles. They had gotten to second attempt with the last, a young teenage girl, before she Failed. No one was for sure why, but for some reason the body reacted negatively to something within the procedure. Each one had been different until an old man, two before, the teenage girl. When they discovered the four levels of defrosting with the thirteen minutes, broken up into two stages of cooling, kept the body from automatically shutting down, Dr. Murphy knew she had found something more than a break through. That was what convinced the Board to allow her to keep on. But ‘only five more, including him, if nothing else improves, the project gets closed. And you, Ms. Murphy, and us, shall have a talk.’
“Hayden, can you hear me? Show me that you can hear me.”
“I wish you would shut up.”
Everyone gasped; Edra dropped her holo-board; Lenard fell back a few steps. Mira and everyone else in the control room sat stunned; her arms dropped, along with her mouth. The closest they had ever gotten to something this big was the teenage girl, who blinked, and reached up, touching Dr. Severt’s mask; before her body, begun the, violent, Total Failure shut down.
It was always a horrible sight, the first few videos of the first ever Total Failures were most shocking at a first glance. People could only lie there, as their skin bubbled up over the bone and begun to melt. They didn’t scream; they couldn’t, they were still sleeping, not even getting the chance to wake up or to get past the intentional exam. Seeing the skin and muscle melt away to revile the ivory bones lying beneath, is like a live frame by frame of a body decomposing right in front of you. As time went on, and scientist learned, people made it longer. The first few who woke up, though, still had their skin bubble up and quickly melt away. Those were the worst to Mira, the screams as people scratched at themselves, pulling their own skin and muscles away from the bones until they could move no more. After all that, they were left to lie on what was left of their bodies, screaming in pain until they died or someone was able to get a needle into their brain. Those were the videos; those were the screams, which would haunt Mira for the rest of her life.
“Hayden, do you know where you are?”
Lenard stepped back up, and looked down to the man. He placed his sliver tools back on the tray, never moving his face from the young man’s shocked face.
“Um, I’m in some white room with two people with suits and shiny shields over their faces.”
“Hm, okay, very good. How old are you?”
“What year were you born?”
“Nineteen eighty nine.”
“The month and date?”
“Very, very good, make sure you get down that the patient is very respondent.”
At that, the patient’s eyes grew wide as he scanned the room once with brown eyes.
“W-what’s going on here?!”
When he tried to sit up, Dr. Sever stopped him.
“Do not stop him, Dr. Sever.”
Dr. Sever stopped, and all three people looked to the door to the de-tox room which was sliding closed. Mira had stepped out, walked through the darkness, and into the light; her brown hair pulled back in a ponytail to allow the mask to slip onto her face. Other than some pink plastic gloves on her hands, and her unbuttoned lab coat, she remained totally “exposed”.
“Dr. Murphy! You should not be in here so bare!”
“I am fine, Dr. Sever, in fact, I am joyful. You and Dr. Leath are relieved. Go get detoxified, and wait in the control room for me.”
“But doctor, the patient is unstable, we still have many-”
“In time, Doctor…all in time. We must not weary the poor man out too much.”
What she meant was ‘I will not have this boy die on me just because you want to study him like a lab rat.’ Yes while it was true that Hayden Walton would get studied like a lab rat- as the first human to ever live through a deep, chronic freeze it just came with the territory- he was also one of the most valued, no, he was the most valued life to the world, and most importantly to Mira.
Dr. Sever, having finally caught on to Mira’s plan, nodded, stepping back.
“Of course, Doctor. Dr. Leath, it is time we take our leave.”
“Of course, Doctor.”
The two of them left, nodding to Mira as they did. She waited till the door slide close, before turning to Hayden.
“Bring the lights up.”
The lights slowly glowed back to life, to allow their eyes to adjust. Though, they were not as bright as before, the room was not totally dark either.
Hayden Walton stared Mira, his brown eyes searching to get through her mask. She slowly walked towards him, her black heels clicking ever few seconds. Click. Click. Click.
“Hello, Mr. Walton, my name is Dr. Mira McLaren-Murphy. But you may call me Dr. Murphy. I am here, to help you. To… answer your questions and guild you in the right direction- chair.”
From the same little door in the wall that the medical table came from; now came a small stool rolling out. It stopped next to her, before rising on its own. She sat on it, facing Mr. Walton.
“So, Mr. Walton, what do you want to know? Anything you ask for is yours.”
“Well, first off, can you take the mask off? They’re kind of freaky.”
“-Dr. Murphy, no! You cannot, the air-”
Sever’s voice rang though out the small room. Dr. Murphy did not move from her place, as to not give away the room hidden behind the trick wall to her back.
“Is fine, Doctor- now get away from my holo-board!”
Clearing her throat, her hands reached up to her mask. They came to the side of her face, her fingers pressing a button that rested over each side of her temples. The mask released from her face with a small whoosh of air, before she pulled it off. She placed it on the table, hiding the tools under it as she did, making them slightly clatter. Giving a small smile, she met his gaze so he wouldn’t look at towards the noise.
“Okay, the mask is off. What else do you have to ask of me?”
“Where am I?”
“You are in the United States and Nations Building of Scientific Researches; in the U.S capital city, of Washington, Virginia.”
“Don’t you mean Washington D.C?”
“No, the ‘D.C’ was dropped in-”
She closed her mouth; not wanting to bring the fact of how long he had been in frozen sleep was, yet. Each step needed to be taken carefully with him.
“In what, tell me what?”
“Many years ago, let us leave it at that for now.”
His auburn eyebrows fell over his eyes. Mira did her best to keep the smile on her face, as she did her best to work blindly with the young man.
“Okay… So I’m in D.C, I mean, Washington. And I’m in a science lab… That’s what I’m getting at.”
“Yes, you are right.”
“Okay, so how did I get here?”
“You were… well, you volunteered to an offer, offered by your-the Government.”
His eyebrows fell even more. Mira’s smile could no longer stay on her face. It fell, as did her eyebrows. She didn’t understand.
“Mr. Walton, do you not…do you not… remember?”
“Remember? Remember what?”
“What is the last thing you remember?”
The young man closed his eyes, thinking. Mira glanced to the trick wall, and mouthed the words ‘record this!’ to the people in the control room.
“I was taken to some underground lab… in the mountains of… North Carolina. There were people there, a good amount of people… All in white, full hazard body suits…. They’re talking, about something… Then I was placed on a bed, and I woke up here.”
He opened his eyes, and looked to Mira. She had pulled off her gloves, and now held a holo-board in her hand, though the screen was off. He looked at it, amazed.
“Is that the latest IPad or something- maybe, the new Android?”
Mira looked down to the holo-board in her hands, and then Mr. Walton. How was she to tell him that IPads and Androids no longer existed? It was Apple going bankrupt after the stock crash of twenty forty five that ultimately put the U.S in a new-aged Great Depression that lasted for almost fifteen years.
“Um… It is something like that. Mr. Walton, can you answer one last question for me?”
“What year is it?”
“Two thousand and twelve?”
It came out more as a question than an answer. It was easy to see Mira was concerned, and he could tell.
“Why-why do you look like that?”
Mira closed her eyes, sighing lightly to herself. No one had ever gotten this far with the experiment, and Mira wasn’t really sure how to break the news to him. Any second his body could give out on him, and she had halted any test for the moment to stop that, because she needed to speak with him. This was years of her team’s hard work, along with the other eighty three other years behind it. She couldn’t allow it to all be tossed into a file drive and then stored away so easily.
“Mr. Walton, I need to tell you something. In twenty twelve, you volunteered and were chosen by the Government for a very top secret project. Experiment Frozen Mortal, better known as FM, was put into place to see if the human body could be frozen for an extent of time, and live perfectly fine… It was feared at the time that a nuclear war would break out or that Cyborgs would gain the knowledge to over throw humans.”
“Cyborgs-there are no Cyborgs.”
“Yes, there was, there are. They were in some very early stages, but the knowledge could only be kept for so long before another country got it. In fact, we live peacefully with Cyborgs today. With a few laws that give them some human rights, they are very happy and quite nice. There are even hybrids, called Cy-Humans…and Nuclear power has not been used since the twenty first century. So we, you, do not need to fear a war. You are perfectly safe here.”
“What do you mean, ‘since the twenty first century’? We’re in the twenty first century, aren’t we?”
Mira slowly shook her head ‘no’. She folded her hands in her lap, rolling her lips as she did.
“Mr. Walton, I know this is a lot to take in, so just take a moment to breathe and think of what I just told you.”
He waited a few seconds, his bare, hairless chest rising and falling with each breath. He looked around the too white, too bright room. The, whatever he was on, was too hard. And his body felt as if it was covered in a thin layer of dried slim. His nose was filled with the faint smell of hydrogen peroxide and sulfur.
“So, the Government chose me-”
“You did give consent for it, at some point. You just did not get to choose the time.”
“Okay, so this Experiment Frozen Mortal, I was a part of it. Right?”
“Okay, so they froze me?”
“Well, Mr. Walton, I could tell you what the papers official say ‘Fear of war brought us to lead to an experiment not well practiced, but well known. As if from a story book, or Science Fiction movie, we begun to work on a formula that would put people in a deep sleep; yet freeze their minds from working or aging thus making them semi immortal.’ Taken from the notes, of President Obama, year twenty zero nine… But coming from someone who has been working on this for a while, and done a lot of studying; I think it is all junk. World population was rising in China and the Middle East. The US population had Hispanic in the rise and the Caucasians in the fall. In order to preserve the Caucasian race, our government did what they thought the best. They teamed with certain European countries, which shall remain nameless, and together created FM. To save the whites, without dealing with over population and other worries that people had back then.”
“So they froze me for my genes?”
“Yes. But the first part of the project, of freezing people, stopped in twenty fifteen. Part two, well, we are working with part two still. Let us leave it at that for right now… Though, they nearly lost it all in twenty sixty.”
“What do you mean?”
“World War Three is what I mean.”
“World War Three?”
“Yes. In twenty sixty North Korea launched a long range nuclear missile at the U.S. It hit southern California, and killed thousands. From as far down south as San Diego, to as far up north as San Francisco, to as far east as New Mexico and Colorado; it was all totaled. That one event started what would be a horrible, very deadly, and bloody war. After it all ended, it nearly wiped out humans all together.”
“Well, what happened?”
“We won. Our men came up with a bomb that was so big, and so deadly, that the closest that you will ever get to Asia is Punjab, India. And even there only a few people live today. We became the super powers of the world, along with the U.N. and it was in twenty eighty seven, the year after the war ended; that all nuclear and hydrogen power was banned. Since then, we have lived in a sun, wind, and water powered planet. Our planet is now, in retrospect as I explain this all to you, a perfect Utopia.”
“Wow, so going green actually happened. I always thought it was just all just plain bull.”
“But just because we live off the Earth, does not mean we limit ourselves. In fact- well, you know what? I will just let you see it when the time comes.”
“Really? I don’t have to stay here?”
Mira laughed, and tossed her head back a bit; taking that moment time to think out her plans more.
“No! No, no, no! This is merely an incubator room that we use to unfreeze the sub- people.”
Mira held back a sigh as she rolled her eyes. She stared at the ceiling, wishing her fellow colleagues would leave her alone.
“What now, Lenard?”
“Dr. McLaren is here.”
Mira shot up, and smiled at the name, her back straightening.
“Good, I shall be out in a minute. But first, can we get Mr. Walton a jacket or something before he freezes again? My God, it is cold in here!”
She stood, as another tray rolled out to her, this one was just like the last; only instead of tools, this one had clothes on it. Black jeans, a white button down, a under shirt, boxers, and black formal shoes…perfect. She picked up the clothes, and sent the bot on its way. Holding the clothes out to him, he moved his legs off of the incubator. His hands were slyly placed to cover his man-area, his face slightly red.
“Here, slip these on, and then- oh- my God- there are so many possibilities!”
Hayden looked from the clothes, the lone white shorts that hugged his body all too well, back to Mira. She read his pink face easily, and let out a light laugh, waving her hand.
“Do not worry, Mr. Walton, I have seen my share of nude men. But if your brain worries that much over the subject, then I will be in the Control room. Just take that door over there, that leads to the detoxifying room, from there you will go into pre-tox and just follow the hall. I shall be waiting there.”
Mire stood from her stool, and walked away. Almost at once the stool and table were moving along with her, both going back through the door they had come through. She didn’t even need to stop for the door; it slid open just as she got there, and closed as soon as she was in.
“Edra, you left your holo-board.”
Mira tossed the board to the woman the second she stepped foot back into the control room. The woman caught it with a jittered movement of her arms.
“Well, I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes.”
Mira ran to the tall, old man, and hugged him. They spun, her feet rising off the ground, before letting go. The man adjusted his glasses, and pushed a hand through his salt and pepper hair.
“Well, Mira, you have done well. Your father would of have been proud.”
Mira glanced down, and smiled at the comment.
“Thank you Simon, but I want to know if you are proud.”
“Am I proud? Of course I am! They just updated me!”
He leaned down to the five-five girl, and held her shoulders. She lifted her hands to his, smiling. He lowered his voice, though the excitement seemed to rise.
“Do you realize what you have done Mira? You have found the hidden formula lost all those years ago. You have brought this project back to life! Why, when the Board finds out, they will have to go to the President, and then, oh and then! You shall be set for life! We shall be set for life!”
His blue eyes met her grey ones, both of who were tearing up.
“You will go down in history… as one of greatest Scientist in the world… And show that Cy-Humans are not some freak of nature hybrid. I am proud, oh-so proud.”
He pulled her into another hug. She let out a goofy laugh and smiled. This is what her goal had been since she was a teenager. From that faithful moment when she decided at fifteen to become a scientist, to a now, at twenty six years old; she knew it had been eleven long years well spent.
They parted, just as the door to the hall that led to the pre-tox room slid open. Mr. Walton stepped though, his eyes wide. Mira was grateful to her team, who was always watching when she couldn’t. She turned to him, crossing her arms as she looked him over.
“Ah, Mr. Walton, nice to see you, and even more so more covered.”
The young man’s cheeks burned a little pink at Mira’s comment. She walked over to him, and grabbed his arm lightly, pulling over to the group of a waiting scientist.
“Mr. Walton, meet Simon McLaren, co-lead scientist on Experiment FM.”
Simon stuck out his hand, smiling, as Hayden shook it.
“It is a great honor to meet you lad. You do not know what this lab has gone through to get to this point.”
Mr. Walton’s small smile fell, and Mira gave a small look that could kill. Simon cleared his throat.
“Ahm, right then, Mr. Walton?”
“So if you’re second in command. Who’s first?”
“Why, Mr. Walton! I am quite offended! I would have thought that you figured out by now. But do not worry, I shall forgive you.”
“Wait, Dr. Murphy, but-but, how? Everyone here is in their middle thirties to even maybe fifties. You look no older than twenty six.”
“The story of my quick advancement is one for later, but first, we must be off to the Board. Once they clear you, I will be able to tell you everything. Follow me please. Simon, I shall call you later.”
“Ah, yes, I will be waiting for that call.”
“And everyone else…”
She glanced around to the fifteen other people next to the three doctors that knew of Experiment FM, her eyes meeting every single person. Mira could go in two directions. The first being the one she went to when it failed. A horrible mood that affected not just her, but everyone- it was one where everyone suffered for weeks on end. She forced everyone to work over time; in order for them to figure out what went wrong. The second mood, they had to guess, would be happy.
“You all have done amazing well. Take the next two days off, and have a few drinks on me.”
Everyone smiled, and relaxed. The talking begun again and she started up the stairs, leading the man behind her to another sliding door. With a simple touch to a circle on the wall, Mr. Walton watched as the double doors slid open. He followed Mira out into the tan colored hall, white tile floors spreading the length of the hall. Her heels clicked, and his shoes soft thumping was the noise they heard. They walked to the end of the hall, and Mira pressed another circle. This time, the sliding doors opened to an elevator. They stepped in, and the doors clothes.
“Board Dock, please.”
A small scanner popped out from the otherwise smooth walls. Hayden watched as Mira held out her left wrist. A light, grey fog-like beam rolled over her wrist from the scanner. As the light rolled over, a small rectangle gave a blue tint under her wrist. Mr. Walton gasped, his eyes growing wide as the beam dissolved.
“I.D Scan completed Dr. Mira McLaren-Murphy Level One to Board Dock. Second Passenger, I.D. please.”
The scanner pulled out more, and snaked its way to Mr. Walton. He stood frozen, staring at the scanner; unsure of what to do.
“Computer, Over-ride seven-eight-three-five, Section two-nine.”
“Over-ride accepted Fallen Morgan, civilian, Level One to Board Dock.”
Mr. Walton had his eyebrows fallen over his eyes in a curious look as he looked to Mira.
“Do not ask. The computers run the building for safety.”
“I was going to ask about my name. ‘Fallen Morgan’, what kind of name is that?”
“Well, Experiment Frozen Mortal, FM, Fa-lin Morgan, FM; it is a hint to the experiment, but the name is unisex. Just because we were not sure if our… Patients would be a male or female.”
The elevators movements could barely be heard or felt, but the numbers that floated in the air above their heads told Mr. Walton that they were moving at a fast pace. Glancing at Mira, he saw her looking down and pressing every few seconds the board in her hands. She had pulled her hair from the ponytail, the loose shoulder length, curling waves falling down the sides of her face. She wore a white lab coat over a fitting light tan sweater, tucked into a mosey-brown pencil skirt, a thin black belt over her waist. Feeling his eyes on her she glanced up. He glanced away, not wanting to feel rude for staring. She pushed her hair back, glancing down.
“Right, when we get into the Board room, just keep quiet. What I mean, is yes, you will need to talk at some point, but only when I say. The Board… sees projects differently than the other scientists who preform them. So, please try your best to not get too worked up. Yes?”
Hayden nodded, just as a ding sounded throughout the small room.
“Level: Board Dock. Have a nice day, Ms. McLaren-Murphy, and Fallen Morgan. Goodbye now.”
Mira stepped out first, and Mr. Walton followed on her heels. The hallway was identical to the other one they had walked down, only this one had no extra doors on the side. Two side-to-side black doors, which rested at the end of the long hall; alone and awaited them. The sound of their shoes, taping along the cool tile, was once again, the only noise they heard until they stopped in front of the door.
A small door slide out from their right and two scanners slide out. Mira first scanned her left wrist, and then leaned in. Mr. Walton watched in amazement as another laser light was scanned over her right eye. As she leaned away the robotic female voice came back.
“Dr. Mira McLaren-Murphy, Level One clearance.”
A small siren then went off, as laser guns slide out from the walls above them. Mira held her hands out, as she stepped in front of Mr. Walton.
“And guest, computer!”
The sleek guns were gone as fast as they had come, and the hall was silent again. The scanner pushed itself out once more, waiting to scan.
“Computer, Over-ride seven-eight-three-five, Section two-nine.”
“Over-ride accepted, Fallen Morgan, civilian Level One clearance.”
The two black doors slid open, giving them access to a small, lobby like room. They walked in, the sun shining brightly through the pointed sun roof above their heads. A few clear plastic chairs floated around, empty. There was one person in the room, a young man sitting behind a curved desk. His fingers typed on the desk, a holographic keyboard that was displayed from within the foggy-white desk. His face was mutated behind a floating halo screen; though the screen was nearly see through. Mira pointed Mr. Walton to a chair, his face amazed as he sat in the chair; it’s hovering barely faltered by his weight. The man at the desk didn’t even blink as Mira walked up to the desk.
“What is your appointment time?”
“No, I do not have one but-”
“If you do not have an appointment you cannot see the Board.”
“But I do not need much time. Just call the board and tell them Dr. Mira McLaren-Murphy is here… and she brought Fallen Morgan with her.”
“I am sorry Dr. Murphy, but I cannot. You must have an appointment.”
Mira slammed her hands down on the desk, the sound echoing throughout the small, white room. With the slam, the holo screen faltered, and blinked off. The man’s cold, lifeless eyes moved up to face hers.
“Listen here, you cyborgic idiot. I. Do. Not. Need. An. Appointment! So you press your bug bud, call up the Board, and tell them who is here! Or so help me I will have you fired in a heartbeat and working in the Scums!”
The man, small and scrawny, stared at her with wide eyes. Without breaking eye contract, he pressed his right hand to his right ear.
“Sirs, Dr. Mira McLaren-Murphy is here and she has brought Fallen Morgan… Yes, of course, at once…Yes… Yes… Good day, sirs... They have been expecting you, please go in.”
The man pointed to an area of the wall to his left, where an unmarked door slid open. Mira didn’t smile, but did nod her head.
She walked to the door, waving to Mr. Walton as she did. He was quick to get up, and follow the woman. The hall they entered was wide, well lit and holographic portraits hung along the wall each under a lamp. Hayden barely got a chance to take a close look at any of them, as he rushed to keep up with Mira.
At the end of the short hall, was another door, only these were already open, awaiting them. Mira stepped through first, disappearing into darkness. Mr. Walton went to follow but she came out of the dark with a hand held up, and stopped him.
“Wait here. I will return in a few minutes.”
She turned back into the dark, and the doors closed behind her. Left alone for the first time, Mr. Walton paced the hall, looking at each portrait.
Mira waited in the darkness, the members of the board all sitting under dim lights all facing the door. They all wore suits, the men with short hair; the women with buns. Mira didn’t bother to study their faces. In their matching outfits and hair styles, they all seemed to look the same. With the youngest Board member being only 56, their wrinkled, aged faces all wore the same, solid, somber expression.
“Dr. Caster, how are you today?”
The old man who sat in the middle of the seven glanced up from his small holo screen, pushing his small bifocals up the bridge of his nose.
“Quite well, Doctor, and if what you claim true, then much better. Please step up.”
Mira stepped up to the small, free floating podium, and into the dim spot light that rested above it. She rested her holo-board onto the small connector square, and clicked the screen on. She pulled up the few statics and studies as she begun to talk. The statics flew into the air, hovering around them all.
“Well, as all you know, part two of Experiment Frozen Mortal has been tried over fifty times within the past eighty three years. All within the written time by the scientist of part one; with none succeeding. It was through my mentor, Dr. Simon McLaren, that I was introduced to this project my freshman year of college. After my second year of college, and once I got fully onto the project, I took two years to study the findings, and notes of the scientist who had attempted it before. When Dr. McLaren, you- the Board, and I saw fit, we tried our first test. And from that first test we quickly exceled from there. But, it was subject number one-eight-five-four-zero, an old man of the age of seventy seven- who changed the whole experiment. Frozen in twenty thirteen, he was defrosted nearly a year ago. A new, way of defrost was tried. It was longer than any other, but using less intense rays of heat, with a thirteen minute cooling system.
“The man opened his eyes, before entering Total Failure. We knew we had reached a breaking point. Using the same system on the next two subjects, one-two-nine-five-zero and one-two-nine-five-one; a young set of twin brother and sister; who were both twenty nine when frozen in fall of twenty eleven. Both were able to open their eyes, and blink a few times before Total Failure. For the fourth subject, we chose a young teenage girl. She was fourteen when frozen in twenty fifteen, the finale year the project was open at that time. Subject number three-zero-zero-zero-zero, she is the youngest we had tried in this trial run. The subject opened her eyes, blinked, and touched Dr. Lenard Severt’s protective mask before Total Failure. For my finale subject, I chose a young male frozen in twenty twelve. Subject number two-four-four-three-five, he is twenty three. Upon waking up, he told Dr. Severt he “wished he would shut up.” Shocking that he spoke to us, I was quick to question him one on one. Upon my first set of questions it was discovered that the subject had no memory of where he was, or why he was there. I informed him on what I saw fit, without over loading his body with too much. I have halted test for the moment, in fear his body will enter Failure. I ask-”
“That is enough Dr. Murphy. We know the studies and what not. What we want is to meet the man.”
The Board members buzzed alive at that comment, all talking at once. Mira did her best to stay calm, and in control.
“Oh, yes, of course Dr. Silliman. I have him here with me, I just ask that you-”
“Then allow him in!”
“At once Dr. Domen, just after I ask my question.”
“Nonsense, Ms. Murphy. Questions can be asked after we meet this wonder subject of yours.”
The Board members went silent and looked at her. She pushed some hairs out of her face, before taking a deep breath.
“There are some things you must know about this man before I present him to you. First off, his name is Hayden Walton. He is not ‘subject number two-four-four-three-five’. You must not refer to the subjects as subjects. We call them patients, he is now a wake, and regains his status. He is no longer just a test subject. For his knowledge, he knows we are in Washington, but I have yet to tell or show him anything from the world outside. Next to scanners, Cyborgs, Cy-Humans and basic holo-board features, he has no idea what the world had changed to.”
Her hands clenched into fist that dug into the plastic podium so tightly they turned white.
“And I will not have the first successfully living frozen human being go into Total Failure just because you all want to study him to microscopic proportions!... He will have test preformed on him, and those shall be studied by my team and I. But, no matter how important to human kind this is, he is a human being; none the less and thus must be treated as one. It is both his natural right, and the law of this country. That is why I ask that I be cleared to take him home with me. I will study and test him, but his body is fragile. I do not want to risk anything too great, and he may react better to a more home setting than a lab at the moment.”
“Doctor, you do realize what you are proposing could be paternally catastrophic to this study? Who are you to say that his body will not react to the sudden change of the word outside? I say we leave him here, for testing tonight.”
“I cannot guarantee that nothing will not go wrong, no one can. But with all due respect Dr. Silliman, I have been working towards this moment for five years, two of which I immersed myself deeply into studies and I do believe that I know better in this case of where a subject shall be kept.”
The old woman, sitting to the left of Dr. Caster, narrowed beady eyes at Mira. Dr. Silliman was in her seventies and her face showed it. Mira offended wondered why none of the Board members took advantage of the well-known and used laser treatments that kept people young looking and prevented their skin from aging as fast as it could.
“What if Dr. Murphy brings in the subj- patient, and then we will judge from there.”
Dr. Silliman moved her beady eyes from Mira to Dr. Caster. She straightened her back, and folded her hand within her lap.
“Very well then, bring in the subject.”
“Patient, or Hayden, or Mr. Walton-he will go by any, but I refuse to allow him to be called‘subject’.”
“Bring in Mr. Walton Dr. Murphy before I lose my patients.”
“Of course, at once Dr. Silliman.”