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12th Edition Fiction - 12th Edition Short Story

The Cytosapien Project

The Cytosapien Project 

//Galactic Interdimensional Protection Agency Mainframe// 

//USER DETECTED//RESTRICTED ACCESS ATTEMPT//KILLCODE IS ACTIVE// 

//PLEASE PROVIDE AUTHENTICATION INFORMATION// 

USERNAME: [JackSon5] 

PASSWORD: [* * * * * * * *]Thriller5 

 

//ACCESS GRANTED// 

Personal Journal Entry 112 

In district KIX, the M.H. class planet Polombus held a secret within its massive and prosperous city of Slivercove. Polombus was a reasonably large planet for M.H. class, having nearly twice the surface area of a midrange M.H. class planet such as Earth. Slivercove held approximately 67% of the planet’s known population within its walls, making it the most populated city in the KIX district. It also contained a big secret.  

The investigation of Slivercove was not initiated due to the secret the city held but its result. G.I.P.A. agents were dispatched to Polombus after a massive dimensional implosion rendered the planet uninhabitable due to 6-dimensional hazards and a highly dangerous warp sphere event horizon.   

After collapsing the warp sphere, mending the dimensional hazards, and cleaning away the exotic matter left behind from the warp sphere, the G.I.P.A. agents present at the scene, myself and my partner Rex included began our investigation as to the cause of the disturbance. With my omnitool’s alchemic setting, I played a significant role in quickly repairing the damage done to Slivercove so our investigation could move forward more smoothly. 

Beneath Slivercove, we found a massive facility of sorts, larger than the city itself. It contained numerous gigantic machines, the functions of which were nearly all highly illegal, some carrying punishments of life in galactic prison, or even death just for possessing them. There were enough living quarters to house approximately 7.67 billion people. The majority of the living spaces were filled with minimalist “bunk beds” consisting of four metal shelves, each with a mat three centimeters in height, with a metal ladder on the side. In most of the rooms, there were four of these “bunk beds” with little space between. 97% of the living quarters were set up this way.   

There were laboratories full containing the remains of varying experiments with a wide range of morality. There were chemical experiments, strange creatures, and corpses. There were also rooms with massive amounts of calculations, research, and notes. Whoever had been behind this, was dangerous, twisted, powerful, and genius. 

There was only one kitchen that contained anything that resembled food; the numerous other kitchens held only a sort of gelatinous material. An analysis of the material revealed it was a compound similar to glucose. It was about this time that one of our agents found some survivors. They were workers, and at first glance, they appeared human, but their behavior made it clear they were not. They were like living human-shaped balloons full of jello. The reactions of my fellow agents and me were mixed, and some even visceral. 

After sifting through hundreds of hours of discarded mission audio files, I found segments that should have been included in the G.I.P.A. file but were not. I have included them as they apply. This is Audio Log CP1.  

Agent B. Rogers- “Skitman, you found anything yet?” 

Agent C. Skitman- ”Nope, nothing other than all the crazy stuff we’ve already been finding. You guys find anything?” 

Agent B. Rogers- “Nada.” 

Agent S. Jackson- “I’ve got nothing yet.” 

Agent O. Rex- “I haven’t detected any other minds in this place besides ours.” 

Agent B. Rogers- “Well, jeez, if even Rex can’t find anything with his ridiculous mind powers, do we even have to sweep this place?” 

Agent C. Skitman- “Yeah, really, this place is so damn big- wait. Guys, I just found someone.” 

Agent B. Rogers- “Wait seriously? We’re on our way to your location!” 

Agent C. Skitman- “Excuse me? Sir? Are you all alright? I’m Agent Skitman, we’re here to help you… Wait a second. 

Agent O. Rex- “Hey, be careful. I’m still not detecting any other minds near you.” 

Agent C. Skitman- “Whoa, hey. It just looked at me, and I- oh man guys, this thing isn’t human. What the hell are you?” 

Agent S. Jackson- “If there’s anything unusual, then keep your distance! Do not engage; I’m almost there.” 

Agent C. Skitman- “Oh lord… Oh, what the hell!” 

*sounds of retching* 

Agent S. Jackson- “We’re here.” 

Agent C. Skitman- “It’s over there.” 

Agent B. Rogers- “Good god. What the hell is that thing, Jackson?” 

Agent S. Jackson- “I don’t know Rogers. Excuse me, can you understand me?” 

Agent C. Skitman- “Jackson wait, something’s happening.” 

Agent B. Rogers- “It’s shaking. Oh jeez! It’s splitting apart!”  

Agent S. Jackson- “No wait, it’s duplicating itself.” 

End of Audio Log CP1. 

The mystery mastermind behind all this had created these beings to act as slaves in this place. Further investigation revealed much about their biology. They had no bones, they did not speak, and they multiplied asexually. Based on some of the notes that were found, these workers were “single-celled” humanoids. While they were not truly a single cell, their body behaved a single-celled organism. The “cell wall” of the skin was the base of their bodies’ support. Instead of a brain, they had a sort of nucleus, and rather than bones or muscles, they had massive cellular organs floating in the cytoplasm. This explained all the glucose-like compounds that had been found in the kitchens. 

There were male and female workers, and each looked exactly the same as every other male or female, respectively. As we investigated, we observed one of the males undergo total body mitosis. This process takes upwards of 32 atomic hours in a single normal cell, but the subject finished the cycle in exactly 31.6 atomic minutes, a roughly 6,000% increase in cell division efficiency. This was a great help to the facility as there was never a shortage of workers, and sometimes they would use the surplus, as well as the dead cells, as a source of biofuel. These workers performed all the facility functions, save for the calculations, and testing in the labs.  

The reproduction of these so-called “Cytosapiens” was monitored closely as their numbers could easily get out of control. Not only that, but they were capable of bisexual reproduction between a male and female. This was strictly prohibited as this manner of reproduction seemed to have undesired results in the behavior and D.N.A. of the resulting offspring. However, complications began to arise when some Cytosapiens started to show some destructive behavior seen in cancer cells, multiplying rapidly out of control. Personnel was able to contain this for a while, but when there were multiple cancerous Cytosapiens within the facility, it got out of hand. This led to some of the Cytosapiens escaping detection and hiding in the facility. Without supervision, it didn’t take long for a male and female Cytosapien to reproduce bisexually. The process is far from ordinary human reproduction. Rather than intercourse, the two individuals connect their cellular bodies to each other. The parents begin to form a third Cytosapien between them, and after about seventy-two hours, a new full-sized Cytosapien is created. The increase in reproduction efficiency here is challenging to calculate but is no less astounding. In humans, meiosis for one cell takes approximately 72 atomic hours, fertilization takes between two and three days, and the production of an entire human being is approximately nine months. This comes out to a reproduction rate roughly 93.25 times faster than humans and most other sapient people who inhabit M.H. class planets. However, these are still insufficient calculations as it does not include maturity. Considering the new Cytosapien is as large and as functional as the parents within this seventy-two-hour window, we may have to account for the approximate 18 years to mature into an adult. 

A group of six of these offspring from bisexual reproduction was the cause of the facility’s demise and discovery. They sabotaged multiple of the machines and caused a chain reaction of explosions. This resulted in a loss of power, which caused the warp drive containment field in the massive dimensional generator to fail. Another explosion breached the containment chamber for the warp drive sphere, and that caused it to implode and then expand at a tremendous rate. 

The intention of these six Cytosapiens seemed to be to free their parents, and the rest of the Cytosapiens. It is believed that they were unaware that there was anything to damage outside the facility. Their intelligence is indisputable thus far, but their reasoning is still unclear. How they came to the desire for freedom is still a mystery, and the level of critical thought these beings are capable of is still unknown. Our current technology is not capable of detecting any kind of thought or other “brain activity” their nucleus produces. They are thankfully peaceful until provoked, and even then, they can be slow to react. They possess an incredible healing factor, and if necessary, incineration seems to be the most effective method of terminating them. 

As we continued to investigate the facility, we found more of them. Approximately 79% of the Cytosapiens survived the event. None of the other faculty were found. They were assumed to have been killed in the event, or escaped via some other means. The Cytosapiens were transported to a separate planet under G.I.P.A. protection, one with a much higher level of comfort and freedom. Different sources of food were offered, but they appear to prefer the glucose compound. G.I.P.A. approved of this as it saved us funds. The compound was already available in a large quantity, and it was also easy to create. This has been where the Cytosapiens have been residing since the event. 

With as massive as this situation was, and after finding absolutely no connections to other known chains of criminal activity, I still believe it must be connected to something else. It feels too strange to be something all on its own. There were no documents or data relating to finances found within the facility, which led me to believe that it was not a center of operations, but merely a branch of something larger. My other concern occurred to me many days after the event. The facility did not show signs of being new, and the surrounding Earth had long since settled in place. Yet the entirety of the Slivercove population and the rest of the Polombus community was utterly unaware of its existence. The Polombians did not resist our interrogation in the slightest. Rex even confirmed that they were indeed telling the truth after searching their minds.   

The Polombian’s established innocence should bring ease to the situation, but I found none. The fact that they were completely oblivious to the existence of the facility is concerning. It makes me wonder how the facility got there. Was it built at the same time as the city? Was it already there, and they just happened to build the city on top of it? How long had it been there? These questions continue to go unanswered.  

I discovered a document in the facility during the initial investigation that was dated the same day as the event. The handwriting on the document exactly matched that of other papers Rex and I had discovered while attempting to track down Target Z. To be specific, Target Z is the nickname the Director gave to the elusive head figure of a multitude of disturbing criminal acts spanning several galaxies. The match in handwriting was a significant discovery, but after digging deeper, I found something much more concerning. The handwriting matched even older documents archived as evidence from other unsolved crimes of a similarly disturbing nature spanning several decades. The problem is according to the dates, this document was written about 267 thousand years before the one I found in the facility. 

I had previously hypothesized that the head of the enigmatic group was a mantle. I assumed it was being passed on from one to another, but this is now thoroughly debunked. The handwriting match, coupled with the significant difference in age, means that Target Z is either a being with a considerable life span similar to that of a Gomorian like Rex or perhaps Target Z is an android of some kind. I cannot ignore the possibility of other alternatives, such as some kind of immortality, as far-fetched as that is, cloning, which is absolutely possible considering the event, or something even more clever that has yet to occur to me.  

Target Z is still at large and highly dangerous. If this facility has a direct connection with Target Z as I expect, then they’re far more dangerous than we initially expected. It would mean that they have access to resources beyond any other threat we are currently aware of. What frustrates me is even with this discovery, I feel even more confused about what we are dealing with. Even when I learn something, I feel that I suddenly know less. 

One final concern. I have already stated that the crimes we connected to The Cytosapien Project spanned several decades. The fact that they were similar crimes that contained similar archived documents, repeatedly going unsolved and unconnected, seems highly suspicious to me. I find it hard to believe that a connection was never made between any of these files, and the handwriting in them never analyzed. This connection should have been discovered much earlier, and while that is my opinion, it is difficult to argue with. While I hate harboring distrust towards my fellow agents, I have to consider that there may be people even within G.I.P.A. that are working with Target Z. For this reason, I have documented this here in my journal and have not submitted my findings to the Director or anyone else in an official document.   

I should note that my purpose for writing this is somewhat therapeutic, as I found this event quite disturbing. Ever since my partner Rex and I embarked on this mission, it has lurked in the back of my mind. I have gained as much knowledge on the subject as I can currently deem possible without appearing obsessive. Perhaps more information will come to the surface as time goes on. As much as it pains me, I have to set it aside for now. 

I can only wonder what else lies beneath the surface…  

//FILE SET TO:[GHOST]//SECURITY LEVEL[10]//KILLCODE SET// 

//ACCESS DENIED ALLOWANCE SET TO [2] ATTEMPTS// 

//RESPONSE AFTER [2] FAILED ATTEMPTS:[LETHAL]//

[JackSon5 LOGGED OUT] 


Mac Schlag is a Senior Creative Writing major at Lindenwood University. He writes novels, poetry, and short stories, and has begun to do digital art within the last year. He is constantly expanding his worlds and hopes to publish all of them. He loves to laugh often and occasionally goes by the nickname of “Wildberry”.

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