Father Grallman stood over the chamber, his reflection distorted in the metallic sheen. He raised an eyebrow at the seven foot long box, his skepticism apparent.
"And where did you say you found it?" He kept his eyes on the chamber as he spoke to the figure standing across the room.
"Antarctica." The woman replied promptly. "My assistant and I were on an expedition through the frozen tundras when we found it. We quickly moved it into the chamber you see before you and...here we are."
Grallman now directed his full attention to the woman. She wore a sheet white lab coat, making her dark red hair, styled in what Grallman believed was called a 'French Bob,' pop out even more than it already did. "This chamber keeps it frozen?"
"Yes. It's a cryogenic chamber, which simulates temperatures far below those of freezing. It will handily preserve the contents until we so choose."
"Let us pretend for just a moment that this is what you claim. Why should I care?"
The woman smirked. "Since we're in the mood for it, let's 'pretend' that I'm not a complete moron. You are the founder of the Old Brotherhood, and we both know what the group deals in. I have no doubt that you are itching to peel back the cover of the chamber and take a peek inside. Shall we?"
Shrugging his shoulders in seeming indifference, Grallman stepped aside as the woman approached, beginning to input a touch code pattern on a display screen. As she worked, Grallman glanced to the man at her side. A dark-skinned man, much taller than the woman yet somehow even thinner, oddly bobbing his head up and down. Upon closer inspection, Grallman realized the man wore earbuds, and could even detect the faintest of tunes emanating from them.
A hiss cut through the room as the chamber top began sliding open, a bright light pouring out from within as the woman gestured Grallman forward. "Why don't you say hello?"
Grallman peered into the chamber, waving his hand through icy fog to try to get a look at the contents. A vague shape began to form through the fog, and as he leaned forward in intrigue, Grallman saw it. Air sucked in through his teeth as he felt a shiver run through his body. He reached out a trembling hand, desperate to touch the thing, make sure it was real. That this wasn't a dream.
"I would recommend not touching it at this juncture," the woman's voice brought Grallman's outstretching hand to a stop. "we still have many tests to run. But, if things proceed well, and we have the..." she exchanged a quick glance with her tall associate. "proper funding, this may just be what your Brotherhood might call a miracle."
The woman inputted another code into the display, and the top of the chamber slowly closed and sealed once more. Grallman felt a tug of disappointment as the contents left his sight. "When can we start?" he asked, more frantic sounding than he had intended.
"As I said, we will need plenty of materials to work with, from both technological and biological fields, and the cost will be quite high-"
"Money is not a concern," Grallman approached the woman until he had to look down to meet her eyes. "if you will start immediately, Mrs...?"
The woman smiled, her associate following suit, and extended a hand. "Doctor Lilith Madison. I believe this is the start of a beautiful friendship, Mr. Grallman."
"Please," Grallman firmly shook her delicate hand in his, gripping just slightly tighter than he needed to. "call me Father Grallman."
(Eleven Years Later)
Diane's eyes shot open at the sound of soft beeping. The bright lights from the ceiling above her made her squint for moment until her pupils adjusted to the sight, at which point she slowly turned her head to the side. She was in a room whose walls were an almost unnatural white, its tiled ceiling the same screaming color.
The beeping continued. She moved her head in the opposite direction, spying a heart rate monitor. A hospital. She was in a hospital.
As she attempted to sit up, Diane quickly felt something holding her to the bed. Glancing down, she saw leather straps wrapped around both of her wrists. Upon further inspection, she found the same restraints around her ankles. The hospital gown she wore was all of the sudden suffocating, its flimsy material somehow too tight and constricting.
"H-Hello...?" Diane called out, hoping for a response. "Hello? Can somebody tell me where I am?"
Suddenly, the door across from her bed flung open. Several people poured into the room, all wearing white, plastic bodysuits and sanitary masks. They moved fast, wheeling in various carts topped with strange looking machines and tools. They completely ignored any attempts to get their attention, even as Diane begged for simple acknowledgement.
"Please, just tell me where I am! Did I get in some sort of accident? I was...I was..." A face flashed in her memory. "Billy. Billy! Where's my son, Billy? He was with me, we were walking around the Harbor House on the corner of West Jenkins, a-and I remember someone grabbing at us. Did they hurt Billy? Answer me, damnit!"
No response came as the men finished setting up the various devices and monitors. One of them gave a wave indicating all was done, and Diane watched in confusion as a new cart was rolled in, with something unknown to her atop it. It was some form of glass jar, she could tell, however its bottom and top were tipped with metallic covers, and the glass in the middle was dark and green. As it was brought to her bedside, she could make out a strange shape inside. It looked like some sort of blob.
Diane tried to remember how she could have gotten here as the group of people began conversing around her. She had been living at a Women's Harbor House for the past few months with her eight year old son, Billy. Her husband had been a brute of a man, and though Diane could take his rages well enough, it was when he began targeting his attentions towards their young son that she had enough. She had taken Billy, a suitcase of clothing, and simply left the house one night, travelling as many states away as they could before setting up at the Harbor House.
She and Billy had been taking one of their customary evening strolls. They would walk their way up and down numerous sidewalks, sometimes with the addendum of not stepping on any cracks. She convinced Billy it could break her back. And though they often went several blocks at a time, Diane always made sure the Harbor House was in sight in case of emergency.
And yet, when an emergency finally came, what good had it done her? she thought. A dark van pulled up beside them, and with lightning speed, three large men in ski masks leapt out and grabbed both the mother and her son, chunking them into the van and pulling out shots with a strange clear liquid inside. Everything went black afterwards.
Now, as she watched the men begin to hook up long needles into her forearms, she wondered how she had gotten to the hospital. Had the police been called by someone who saw her and Billy being grabbed? Did the men get them back to some hideout, or had they been saved while still in the van? Questions like these came running out of her mouth, trying to ask once more those surrounding her which hospital she was in and where her son was.
"Is she awake?" A woman's voice sounded from outside the door. "Good, good. Subjects were awake during the last three successful ops, I want to see if there's some correlation there." The source of the voice, a short, redheaded woman, entered the room, and began donning a plastic bodysuit as the other men wore.
"Please," Diane decided to try one more time. "I need to see my son!"
The woman raised an eyebrow at Diane, her cold gaze making Diane feel even more uncomfortable than she was already. "Why is she not already gagged? Fix it, and prepare the part for transfer."
Before she could protest, Diane felt a heavy leather strap being pulled over her lips, silencing her questions. She began pulling at her restraints more frantically now, hoping the showing of fear would make this redheaded woman understand that she didn't know what was going on. That she was scared.
Diane wanted to go home. Not even to the Harbor House, but back home. She wanted to sleep in her own bed again, wanted to eat food that wasn't microwaved dinner plates. She wanted her husband to stop hurting her, and wanted to be able to cuddle up with Billy on his small bed and read him one of his bedtime stories she had forgotten when they left home. Horton Hears A Who. That was a good one.
"I am now," the redheaded woman was now standing directly over Diane, her gaze seeming to bore holes into Diane's stomach. "making the first incision. Prepare adrenaline for if subject begins to go into shock, and...do you have the part ready? Good, let's begin."
A gleam of light off a metal blade flashed in Diane's eyes, and she realized a horrifying truth. This wasn't a hospital. She wasn't going home. She wasn't seeing Billy again. The last place she would sleep would be this hard hospital bed.
She felt a cold slit in her stomach give way to a burning agony, and she screamed.
"Dr. Lilith Madison's notes. The time is three thirty four a.m. Subject 637 has expired...three hours and twenty-two minutes after operation began. The transfer was successful, being placed in subject's chest cavity after removal of left lung. Subject was kept awake for op, went into shock twice, and heart stopped once, however a quick injection of the adrenaline brought subject back to full consciousness. Despite the op's success, the subject's body rejected the transfer, and after approximately forty-five minutes of convulsions against restraints, subject's chest cavity ruptured. Projectile blood has sprayed the walls, and clean-up is currently disposing of the body. Despite initial belief that it might have been a failure on part of the transference process, I have come to the conclusion that it was the subject's DNA coding that rejected the part. Further updates after next op."
"Dr. Lilith Madison's notes. The time is seven fifteen a.m. Subject 638 has expired a measly one hour and four minutes after operation began. Transfer was a success, being placed in subject's chest cavity after removal of left lung. Subject was kept awake for op, did not go into shock or experience heart palpitations at any point. My conclusion that 637's DNA coding was behind the rejection of the transference has been proven. 638 shared the DNA of 637 due to familial connections, specifically, 638 was 637's offspring. Much like subject's progenitor, rejection of transfer began with violent convulsions against restraints, before culminating in rupturing of entire chest cavity. Subject 639 shares no connections to the previous two, so hopes are high for different result. Further updates after next op."