Human Trials

Summary: When ruthless mercenaries invade a research station, a scientist takes the chance to conduct human trials of their latest research.

Gaining the approval to conduct human research is typically an arduous process, but fate saw fit to change that. Our research outpost is well-past the heavily-populated orbital areas, so that we may conduct our work without excessive oversight from terrestrial authorities. By that same logic, our competitors launched their attack.

Technically, it was an act of piracy, the unauthorized boarding of a craft in international space. A shuttle full of mercenaries broke away from the traditional routes, but it already had jammed our communications. Its attack drones disabled our point defenses, and it forced its way into the airlock. I guessed they didn't just blow us to bits, as they wanted to capture scientists and human test subjects alive for their own research.

I knew it was over for us the moment the shooting started. Our own security detail, armed only with pistols, shotguns, and carbines, was overwhelmed by the powered-armored mercenaries and attack drones. As perhaps the only scientist well-read on military boarding tactics, I took my things and vanished into the access tunnels.

Before I left, I fried the drives I could and released all the test subjects. It was not solely spite or pragmatism, but an attempt at calculated altruism. With only scattered backups, the mercenaries would have more reason to restrain the use of force in their operation, and not blast us all into vacuum. It would take a least a day for reinforcements to arrive, so I planned accordingly.

I reprogrammed our robotic repair swarms, turning them into nanotech gremlins. I've always wanted to see how fast a nano-disassembler can work on military grade power armor. With a little help from an external observer (such as myself), the nanobots can dissemble organic matter quite efficiently, once they find a gap in the armor. My microscopic saboteurs also devoured the sensors in the life support infrastructure, so they could not detect my movements.

Like a spider, I moved through the bowels of the station. I donned my protective gear, adapted from the materials lab suit, and concealed myself with meta-materials and active camo that we used from the neuroscience lab's visual stimulus work. For direct wetwork, I used my injector pistol, a dart gun that injected the correct chemicals into the target at the optimal velocity for penetration. It's amazing how useful laboratory equipment is in the right hands.

You all have seen that footage of the mercenary captain's demise, cursing as the nanobots devoured him from inside out. I'll admit, seeing that almost made my stomach churn, had I not done worse on a regular basis. Seeing him getting pulped within his powered armor, as his attack drones turn on him, and then having the pink mist sucked out an airlock, certainly sent a message.

In the meantime, I suggest retroactively approving my use of the acquired data for public reports. Our competitors, after all, deserve to know how their investments ended up as chum ejected into low Earth orbit. Based upon my psychological profile of our competitors, such a grisly display will deter them from repeating similar attacks in the future. Part of me hopes for such an event, despite the unlikelihood, as I have more tests to run the old fashioned way.