Sunday, May 7th, 1950
It is an old bus.
Its seats ripped and charred and therefore it isn’t very appealing to the eyes. It doesn’t look like anybody will be riding it, anyway. They cannot afford to ride the bus, they cannot even afford to pay for damages to the one I am sitting in right now. Of course, this bus isn’t going any where anytime soon. It is split down the middle, unmoving since the second Great War. It has crippled this once great nation, the land of prosperity reduced to dust and the poor. It’s good I got out when I did.
I stand up, the bus has lost my interest. I begin to walk down the street, it’s layout vaguely familiar to me, but it is too ravaged by despair to be recognizable. I left this country almost eleven years ago, about three months before Poland was ever invaded. I left for my research. I found out what makes us us. I cracked the code, put the key into the lock and opened the door to a whole new meaning of “humanity.” I pass by a beggar in the streets. I simply chuckle as I continue forward. “Learn to learn and you won’t be in this situation, my dear,” I call out to her as I pass.
Back then, just because I originated from Germany my science was ignored. It was ignored because they hated him and anything that spawned from where he did was wrong and stupid. But it wasn’t. I walk by some other folk using an old radiation barrel for a heat source. I shake my head and continue onward. They’re dead either way, why should I interfere?
Now, where was I? Oh, yes, my research. We’re made up of chromosomes, this much I know. Each of them transcribes our very being into a specific genetic code. The ninth chromosome, that is the locked door that I’ve opened. The ninth chromosome, when under certain conditions, is very mutanagenic. It wants to grab onto anything it can get it’s grubby little metaphorical paws on. Normally, this is true for the other chromosomes, but I’ve researched and witnessed this ninth chromosome have a special sort of…attraction. It wants these bonds more and is willing to do anything to connect. Luckily for us, it doesn’t do anything harmful if left alone as it has it’s fellow chromosomes to attach to and code and what-not. I found that if we find something else for this chromosome to attach to, something like some top secret compounds I received from some lunar excavations, well, the possibilities are quite limitless.
That’s another top secret, but I guess the cat is out of the bag. We went to space. Yes, even before the Russians or White America ever will, more on that later. It was a one man journey and I saw the take-off myself. To think, a man in the world beyond! It was done with complete and utter silence and I’m one of three people alive who know of this event. Our correspondent, who shall remain anonymous, found some very interesting things up there. That’s where my research began.
I enter my flat, one of the only untouched buildings of the war. I guess I have my own luck to thank for that. Anyway, I was able to do some tests with these materials from space. I’m sure you know of them by now?
Of course, I’m speaking to you, the one who appeared out of thin air here in my thoughts. The one from the time that has yet to come, you came here for answers, yes? I do sense a healthy and unhealthy amount of questions within you. I probably should have acknowledged you sooner, but I’m afraid I might’ve lost you, when in fact there’s so much work to do.
The hallway is dark as I enter, it’s been a few days since I’d actually been in here. I wanted to see how a few days alone would treat them. Right, there’s still so much to explain, but I’ll keep it terse. So, once the ninth chromosome connected with some of these materials, it began to mutate, to change. Human cells changing with their environment on a level we could not even imagine, much less even witness!
I proposed my idea to my trusted confidants, the other two whom shall remain nameless, for they are unimportant, and we had this major breakthrough. I traveled the world and began showing various leaders of the world my idea, the idea that humans could in fact be more than human! We could be anything! This continued throughout the second Great War. I traveled through Russia, China, Italy, you name it. I met some pretty well versed people, ten of which I had inspired to come with me back to Germany to help with my research. Eight of these people are mainly unimportant and when and if they come up I shall say so.
So, I came back here, to what used to be Weimar, Germany six months ago. Things were like they are now, shit. But my new-found cohorts still found it in their hearts to show up, to learn and study this discovery of mine. I take my hat off of my head and lay it on the coat rack, my heavy gray trench coat joining it soon after.
Of course, I was overjoyed at their dedication to join along…only, I’m sure if they knew what they were signing up for, they wouldn’t have been. I move to the family room. It is only named such because this flat used to belong to a young and loving family. Of course, they were swept away to Auschwitz circa 1944. Terrible tragedy, really.
I relocated to this apartment flat once I came back and I learned of the previous residents’ fates by a journal one of the daughters, then decided to store it in here for honor of the dead. Her name escapes me, but it had a sort of simple ring to it. I flip over a picture frame that had been lying on the desk. Frank, that’s it, now. I remember, the Franks lived here, hid here. Tis’ a shame, honestly.
Oh well, they had their chance, did their part. Behind the frame on the wall lies a switch. I flip it and a wall on the other side of the room begins to shift. A mechanical section removes itself and reveals a dark and dreary staircase to a lower level.
Just because you have advanced technology does not mean that you have all of the knowledge in which to use it. There are many things we have here that you have no idea of, we were much more advanced than you could ever imagine and you became frightened. We…became frightened. I use “we” in the sense of the general people of my time. To fear means to accept the unknown. There is not anything which is unknown to me.
We have the power to destroy this world nine million times over locked away and say we only have enough to do it five. We tried to forget and we stopped mentioning it altogether. Oh, you’re wondering how I know that you have advanced technology? And you wonder how I knew the Russians and you Americans went to space?
Well, let’s say that I had a reason to specifically meddle with the ninth chromosome. I was born with an unprecedented gene mutation. My ninth chromosome extends much farther than any other over and over ad infinidum. I can see things I should not be able to. Things that were bound to happen, things that did happen. I could see into the future, if you didn’t catch on.
That is how I knew to leave Germany before the end of the war, I knew this place would become a wasteland for quite some time. I knew we’d lose the war and I know that there shall be more wars in wait. I know how they end and I know how you live, nearly six decades after this current moment. I saw myself making this discovery and so I did. It isn’t any more difficult than that.
I walk towards the new opening in the wall, heading down the newly revealed stairs behind the wall. My breathing begins to echo off of the walls, a slight sound. Soon, a scream hounds.
Do not worry, that is supposed to happen. It is simply the screams of young scientist Ken Schröder, a young scientist. I’d met him all the way in Switzerland on my tour and he’d been so excited to learn of my work once I spoke about it with him. I enter a large empty room that is a solid moldy green stone. Ten doors reach out on the wall surrounding me. Now, why don’t we pay a visit to Mr. Schröder, shall we? I walk across the room, my footsteps echoing off of the walls. I turn and open the hard metal door, inside is a small room that is not unlike a prison cell in looks. A metal bench is chained to the wall, hanging. A lone stool sits in the corner of the room and on it is the hunched body of Ken Schröder. He’s wearing nothing but his undergarments and he smells absolutely rancid. If I’d taken a quick look at him I’d have assumed him deceased, but he stirs. He sits up and inhales deeply.
“WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?” He screams, his eyes darting around the room.
“Why, hello Ken.”
I smile and walk over to him.
The reason Ken and all of the other scientists are in here is one reason, simply. I’ve run out of chromosomes to test on and it isn’t like there is a supply for people to readily take or test on. So, I gathered some of the smartest minds across Europe and Asia and I began to study their genes.
I kept them down here, against their will I shall admit. Of course, they wouldn’t have agreed to the tests if I’d asked. Ken, specifically, I would perform tests on him while he slept. I’d keep him down using sedatives and then I took live samples through very…very invasive surgery. He’s mainly okay, his mind is a little messed up, though. Ken twitches slightly and looks over to me and then down to his little brown notebook beside his ‘bed’.
I know what that little book will do to me in the times coming. Ken’s son Kasey will use it to prove my guilt in a court of law and bring me to my demise. I am not going to stop it, though. Those who can see the future are gifted, those who wish to change it are fools. My time for this world was never infinite, my job still needs doing and that job is keeping this world going until it no longer goes. Interrupting the young scientist’s crazy scrawlings would surely go against the plan.
“Freddy, oh Freddy, you’ve come to save me! I’m so sorry! I’m so so sorry!” Ken suddenly screams out, leaping from his stool to bend at my feet.
His nose is running openly and his voice begins to crack. “Freddy! Natashya stopped screaming an hour ago! Or…was it two? Maybe it was yesterday? Freddy! Natashya!”
Natashya was a scientist I’d met in Russia, she’s dead now. Died choking on her own bodily fluids. Quite a shame, but she wasn’t showing positive signs of gene mutation…she sure was showing a lot of negative ones. Her head swelled up like a balloon, she lost her sight and became paralyzed. Her eventual death was more a mercy call than anything.
I look down to the creature at my legs that was once a man, his mind warped by gene manipulation. He of course isn’t showing any signs of positive mutation either, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be kicking the bucket anytime soon. He’s going to, it just doesn’t look like it yet.
He gets up to his knees, looking at me fully, his face like a sad mutt’s.
Of course, I know what I must do.
I bend down to my knees, Ken reaches his hand out slowly towards my face, it is twitching something terrible. I grab it and push it away, “No, no, Ken. There isn’t the time for that, now.”
“Freddy, Natashya has stopped making sounds, where is she? Where’s Nikolas? Where’s Judith?”
“Do you want to see Natashya and Nikolas? Do you want to see Judith?” I ask, putting on an extra amount of spice to my voice.
“Freddy! Can you really do that? I want to see Natashya!” He half-cries.
I nod my head. “Okay Ken, close your eyes, it’ll only take but a moment.”
Like a young child waiting for a birthday present he closes his eyes, bouncing up and down muttering to himself. I take my hands and wrap them around his throat.
“Now, don’t open your eyes quite yet, Ken. You might feel some pressure, but that’s just the bus coming to get you. It’s coming to bring you to Natashya, Nikolas and Judith. They’re waiting for you Ken, they’re all waiting for you…”
I squeeze and squeeze, feeling nearly everything snap in his neck. His head bobs to one side, a grin plastered on his face, but I continue. I keep squeezing and Ken begins gargling up saliva and blood mixed together in a foamy froth. It drips across his cheek and spills onto the ground, then his eyelids dangle open, his eyes roll to the back of his head and his body goes limp. I let go of his body, his head thumps against the hard ground. I stand up and go to leave the room.
He was destined to die here and here he shall lay until the police find the remains of his corpse forty-eight years later. He and Natashya and Judith and even Nikolas. All of their deaths prewritten and unavoidable, much like my own.
Only two live.
I close the door tight, Ken’s body will surely give the room a solid stink for the remainder of his time there, of which I am at least grateful that these doors keep odors inside rather than out. They’re air locked tight, meaning that the only air that these subjects received is from a mostly sealed bottle not unlike a gerbil’s water bottle.
It is refilled every morning on the spot of midnight. The air is released into their systems as they go in to receive it, but they’re only given enough air to last them throughout the day if they ration it properly.
Natashya lasted twenty minutes. She sipped in all of her air thinking there would be more coming on the way. She didn’t realize the gravity of her mistake until her eyes started popping out of her skull.
She was too stupid to function anyway, had some mental shit that kept her from becoming the one.
Ken became like that, becoming one of those special needs people who you only keep alive for the mercy factor. He’d lasted this far, but the lack of air in his brain fucked him up big time. He was too inefficient for my use, so he had to be removed. I walk across the large open room to the door on the opposite side of Ken’s.
Nikolas and Judith died peacefully, they didn’t feel anything. They’d actually managed to find the peephole I’d left for them. They’d used it to communicate with each other, but only barely. The only words they said to each other was a mutual feeling between them. “I love you.”
They would have found each other had I not brought them here, it seems to be coincidence, but it’s because they were going to be together that I brought them here. Fitting I let them pass with their last action being getting themselves off to each other’s dying breath. I am not joking you.
I’ll spare you the sight of looking at their bodies, but I will assure you it is not a pretty sight. I pull open the airtight door, it creaks heavily as it is pulled aside and light fills the once dark room. Inside sits the cuddled up body of Sonja Von Kleist, another German scientist who had the lucky opportunity of leaving Germany before the second Great War.
Although, she didn’t leave because she forsaw the danger like I did, she was only ten years old when the war had begun, anyhow. Now she is the ripe age of twenty-one and she’d been smart enough to conserve her air, as she’s had no major brain damage. I myself only being thirty this year find no trouble in bearing a child with this woman, with which I soon shall do, but not too soon.
I walk into the room and stop short in my tracks. Sonja has beautiful neck-length blonde hair and coursing blue eyes. Her face is dirty and unmade from the days in solitude and her hair is frizzled and unstraightened. It doesn’t matter to me. I know she lives past me, so her well being now only gives me credence to her survival. I need her for later and she’ll keep this ball rolling. Sonja cranes her head and gives an expectant look towards me. “You took a little longer than expected,” she says, letting her head fall back onto the wall behind her.
“You don’t seem the least bit surprised to see me,” I reply.
“Of course not. You said you’d be back and here you are. You are many things, Friedrich Adata, but a liar you are not.”
She is correct. I may have done my fair share of questionable actions in the past…and present, even future. One thing I can claim to is I’ve never lied. I know how everything goes, why lie about it? I also happen to know when I’m being lied to, of course, knowing all of this.
“Are you here to do more tests on little old me, doctor? Going to rip my heart out again?”
“Once was enough and I’m sure you know why I am here, or at least can guess?” I ask.
“The others are gone, aren’t they?”
“Ken was the last to go, just before I came in here.”
“He lasted longer than I thought.”
You may be wondering how Sonja is so calm throughout all of this, how she was able to survive for this long with no brain damage at all. The answer is simple, I made it so she could. Her testing was different from the rest. She is barely even human anymore. Her thoughts are hers, but they are mine, too. Her will is hers, but it is mine, too. She is an organic synthetic, but also a synthetic organic. She is a lovely little paradox which continues to live and not be alive all at the same time. All of this because of my study. My ninth chromosome research lead to the development to custom synthetic human organs and systems.
That’s what the other nine subjects did, they provided me with the extra cells to test on and use for my most perfect creation, my own creature. New blood, new inside, none of the unnecessary human weaknesses like the heart or lungs or anything else that can fail. All that remains is the ever growing chromosomes powering a suit of electronic connections. She’s like a monitor and the server is being run directly by me. Of course, her skin shall age like any other, and she’ll have the look of an elder, but her insides shall be as good as they ever were.
“Why don’t we get out of here? I’m sure we have so much to talk about,” I say.
“Why, of course, I’d do anything for you, Friedrich,” Sonja says, a wink on her face.
She’s young, which meant it was easier for her body to become accustomed to all my additions and removals, especially since her chromosomes have been rewritten to accept them. Sonja Von Kleist grabs my arm and hooks it in her own. We begin walking out of the room. The door opens slowly, we exit and it shuts just as slow and everything goes dark. She is my perfect little Automat…that is…Automaton in your tongue.