Epiphany Fish Corporations: Live Feed
By Enia Silverson
Prologue: Welcome to the Laboratory

"Hellooooo? Is this thing on?" I tap the video screen a few times before it switches from blank, crackling snow to a grainy picture of my face. I grin happily at it. "Oh good! I've always had problems with technology. Anyways. Hello!" I wave at my image. "I'd like to welcome you to my laboratory." I spread my arms wide and the camera zooms out to show the dark room behind me. I pause slightly. "Oh, well, I guess you can't really see it very well. That's okay, though. So, I'm Enia Silverson and behind the camera is my lovely assistant, Samik Brekin."

"Hey, why am I just an assistant?" Samik demands indignantly.

"Because you are," I answer.

"Why?" he presses.

I put my hands on my hips and give him a stare. "Whose name is the laboratory in?"

"We're called Epiphany Fish Corporations."

Oh, right. "Fine. Then whose name is on the deed?"

"Um, technically it's in your parents' name," Samik points out. "You're just using their basement."

Narg. "Alright! You can be co-director! How's that?"

"That's fine."

"May I continue?" I ask snarkily.

"You may."

I roll my eyes one more time before plastering a smile on my face. "Okay, so I'm going to start over. Hey there! I'm Enia Silverson and the man behind the camera is my lovely co-director, Samik Brekin. We got a grant from the Super-Awesome-All-Powerful-Government, also known as SAAP, to build this place."

"Didn't you steal that grant?" Samik interjects.

"No, I did not steal it!"

Behind hind the camera, Samik cocks an eyebrow.

I huff and make a grumbly face at him. "I didn't! Alright, so they didn't exactly give it to me. The actual circumstances are rather complicated. Basically, it involved some trans-dimensional jumping and time travel. Let's not go into it. Are you done interrupting?" I direct the last question at Samik.

He grins. "For now."

I make another face. "Let's give you guys the tour. We've got a lot of cool stuff down here. Come on." I beckon at the camera, turn, and start walking. Samik follows me, camera scanning the dark room. Technically, it isn't actually my basement. It's the space beneath the basement that we'd hollowed out using a combination of super cool technology and magic. My parents don't actually know that their daughter has a secret lab full of dangerous stuff below the house. Shh.

"So, over here we have my pet zombie!" A low groaning sound fills the room as we go through a metal door and I click on a light. Something clangs against the large cage placed in the center of the floor. The thick, cloying stench of rot permeates the air. I pick a flashlight up off a nearby table and shine it into the cage. "Take a looksie."

Samik zooms in on the creature in the pen, filling the screen with its ugly face. My zombie isn't in too great of a condition. One of its eyes has popped out of its socket and is dangling down its grey cheek by a thread. Its skin is hanging down by its jowls and pooling by its throat. In some places, the cheeks have worn through to the bone. I nod at Samik to bring the camera back on me.

I pick up a long, thin dowel stick from the table and prod one of the zombie's holes with it. "As you can see, it's sorta falling apart. I'm gonna have to get a new one soon." I set the stick down and turn to leave.

"What do you do with it?" Samik prompts.

I stop and blink. "What? Er, right. We're studying it. Trying to, you know, figure out what makes it tick so we can better defend the human race against the coming zombie apocalypse." Actually, it's only there because I think it's cool. It's already escaped a couple of times. The Florida incident? Yeah, that was my zombie. I don't know how it got all the way down there, but I figure one of my unknown rivals had a hand in it.

Samik rolls his eyes off-screen and I have to resist sticking my tongue out at him. "Next we have my biologically engineered bed bugs. A few days ago, they escaped and I had to go get them using my time machine and my trans-dimensional warp beam." I lean in close to the small glass cape and peer at the dark spots inside. "As you can see, I got them back."

I straighten and spin in the direction of my armory. I hear Samik sigh. "What are the bed bugs for, Enia?"

I turn back around to look at him and blink. "Oh, right. Samik, I think we need a teleprompter."

He rolls his eyes. "Ya think?"

What are the bed bugs for? We'd just gotten…bored one day. "The, um, government asked us to develop them. They didn't tell us why."

I start walking across the long length of the room. We pass beakers and machines that had been put there to make us seem at least a little bit credible. Several objects are covered with sheets. They're the more precious and dangerous items that we don't want the wrong people seeing. We have quite a few things that fall in that category.

I press the button set into the wall beside a wooden door. Actually, it only looks wooden. In reality, it's polycarbonate. The door slides open with a faint hiss. I step back and gesture for Samik to go first. "Why don't you show the good viewers around?"

Samik obliges and goes inside. He sweeps the camera around the room in slow arcs. Past the racks of sparkling swords ranging from historic to futuristic, and a few from other dimensions. Over the shelves of military grade artillery and boxes of ammo. The bazooka, rocket launcher, and machine gun. The flamethrowers and chainsaws. The bows spanning, like the swords, from primitive to advanced; some are beautifully carved and others designed to intimidate. The camera takes in the laser guns and the large collection of explosives. I'm rather proud of my weapons collection. It rivals that of the army. "Well, what do you think?" I ask and Samik brings the camera around to settle on me. I place another devilish grin on my face. "Pretty impressive, right? I'm rather proud of it. It comes in handy on all our secret missions."

"I like the laser swords best," Samik says.

"My favorites are the explosives," I respond.

We head out of the armory and I close the door behind us. "We've got one last thing to show you before we sign off for the night. This is a live feed, so there's no need to do any up-loading mumbo jumbo. After you've finished watching, feel free to leave us a comment in the box below. Just as long as you don't flame us or you're not mean."

"Though we don't mind if you call us crazy or insane," Samik adds. "'Cause that part's true."

"As you can no doubt tell by this video and our secret laboratory," I finish. "Come this way." I lead the way to an obscure corner of the room. There's nothing else around it and the walls are bare except for a large black spot on the one directly in front of us. I pick a sleek silver gun up off a table cluttered with miscellaneous swords, guns, flamethrowers, chainsaws, and bows. A little ways away sits a heavy-duty tank. I show the gun off to the camera.

"This is a Spots Gun. Spots is a disease I created a few years ago. It's 100% fatal and excruciatingly painful. It can be found in all these forms," I gesture at the armada behind me, "and a few others that aren't quite ready yet. We use them to kill the evil Faces. And do you see that?" I point at the dark splotch in the grey wall. "Don't touch it. The Spots virus thrives on walls. One touch and you contract the disease. And these Spots weapons are for sale! Prices vary, but each purchase comes with ten capsules!"

"They're really expensive," Samik warns.

I shoot him a look as I set the gun down. "Yeah, but we weren't going to tell them that!"

He pauses. "Oh, sorry."

I roll my eyes and start walking backwards, facing the camera. I stop in the very center of the room under a light. I spread my arms out. "Welcome to the laboratory, everybody. We've got fun and games. Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times; it's going to be one hell of a ride."

At the top of the next chapter and every chapter, there will be a blog comments section. If you want, leave a review like you were actually watching this video on a blog and I'll put it up. Thanks for reading! Oh, and did you like my oh-so-subtle review request in the middle of the chapter?

Enia, out!

(And Samik!)