The Creegan Journal

Entry 1:

"A Waking Dream"

Eyes flickered open, finding wet and sticky goo like substance caked over chilled weak flesh. Immediately a palpitating heart beat rhythm accompanying quickened labored breaths began with the realization of being trapped. He imagined someone had intentionally tried sealing him alive in a coffin before the latter realization of what the contraption he was actually in, hit him. Frantically panicking, he hit against the thick plastic covering of this chamber that held him confined. With such newly found rallied force aroused out of fear he beat against the lid of his plastic coffin, bloodying his hands. It was waking up from death if anyone ever did in fact wake up dead. He pondered sometime after if it had been a similar experience to the one Jesus Christ had upon waking up three passing days after crucifixion? Only unaware of it at the time, his own experience had been the passing of centuries. The blood trickled off his trembling hands as he stated to himself: "What a bloody mess I have made of my hands!"

It seemed as if he might be stuck when suddenly the lid electronically slid itself open. Sitting up in the contraption, his heart still raced as though he had been running a marathon. Looking around, he seemed to find himself in what appeared to be a laboratory like atmosphere. The lights flickered on and off as if they were getting short-circuited surges of energy. A few animated memories rushed through his head. He remembered the newly innovated environmental control unit prototype he had been working closely with his uncle on. Then a number of familiar faces he had worked with at the Zagar company were standing around him in their white lab coats as he slid into the contraption he just presently managed to get out of. "But where are they now?" he pondered. There was no trace of any of them. "They were supposed to be here! They were supposed to have let me out?!" His memory was still fuzzy, and there seemed to be complete chunks missing that he felt he needed to remember, had to remember and yet could not. Still something else bothered him, though he knew what the contraption in which he had been contained was now called, he still couldn't fully remember the details regarding what it's function was and why he had been in it in the first place. Though he remained sure that it was someone's responsibility to be here. "I reckon it's my responsibility as much as anyone's---but I don't know why I feel this way---Why can't I remember!"

Crawling out of the domed tube, wet, frigid and half naked he stumbled around the tube trying to make some sense as to why he was placed in it to begin with. Examining the tube he noticed the small holes horizontally and vertically aligning the base of the contraption. Then it hit him like a ton of bricks as he remembered he had been a part of the staff that had helped design this tube. A clever design that would allow someone to cryogenically place themselves in suspended animation.

He remembered boredom set in while he attempted to attentively sit in on a lecture. Listening to Dr. Donald Carter, whose lineage would continue to plaque his existence unknowingly in the future, explain to a group from Washington just how the Zagar company's new improvements in cryostasis technology had paved the way for the invention of a new design, which would revolutionize the way that human beings were being cryogenically frozen.

"This is how it works, Ladies and Gentlemen," Dr. Donald Carter's voice continued and shook him from his latest daydream, which wasn't difficult seeing how he had taken a seat in the front row beside Dr. Rob Andrews.

"All anyone has to do is set the cryo-timer, place themselves in the cryo- tube, give themselves the appropriate anaesthesia and wait to fall asleep! Of course there is some preparation done beforehand, however overall it is a very simple process."

A hand shot up with a question. Donald Carter pointed at the woman with the question. "Go ahead!"

The woman asked: "Are you saying that healthy human beings might actually want to cryogenically freeze themselves?"

Andrews whispered in his ear: "There are always disbelievers!"

"No faith left in the world!" he whispered in return to Andrews.

Carter shot them both a look that told them to be quiet before answering the lady's question.

"I don't feel that we are yet at that stage Madame, but in a very near future I would like to think that it is a very possible option for us! Imagine if in yesterdays past some of our greatest leaders, minds, and talents would have had that option available to them."

"If there are not any more questions I am going to continue---"

Donald Carter paused briefly before continuing: "If you look in your handouts at the close-up photograph of the design you will notice the digital pad located on the side. That digital pad indicates the results from the inner computer. That's right, the tube has a built in computer that monitors everything from vital signs and cryostats to mental activity. When the computer detects that you're unconscious, the dome lid will seal your body inside and it will begin filling with our improved batch of cryofluid which will start out at a warm temperature and progressively drop gradually."

He raised his hand waiting for Carter to call on him.

"Yes?" Carter called.

"Dr. Carter, would you please care to explain to our guests why the gradual decrease in temperature is significant?" he asked smiling widely.

"Good question! Because we do not want to distress the body any more then we have to. A quick accelerating drop could send the body into shock resulting in death. So I wouldn't recommend trying to hasten the process at this stage. Slowly the cryofluid's temperature will decrease until it reaches cryogenic temperature."

A man rudely blurted out: "How can you be sure that this is safe!? Has this been tested on a living human being yet?"

Andrews nudged him in the gut with his shoulder whispering: "Look what you got started Cole! We will be here all day!"

He chuckled briefly at Andrews while getting stern looks from Carter.

Donald Carter looked at the man and nodded. "Yes it has, in fact just recently we have used this very design featured both behind me and featured in the handouts to store a comatose patient, and we have been able to unthaw her and refreeze her without there being any damage by using our new methods."

Afterwards Dr. Donald Carter had been plagued with various questions.

Suddenly jerked back into the present from memory by an intense pain shooting up his leg from his foot, he glanced down to notice he was standing amidst shards of glass that littered the floor. "I couldn't have noticed this before I stepped in it?" he thought.

Watching his steps he made his way to a chair where he lifted his foot in attempts to dig what appeared to be several small pieces of glass embedded under the skin out. For a while after he sat there trying to think. "So my name is Cole?" he said to himself while wondering why no one was in here, because as he had remembered there had always been people working here at all hours of both day and night. More urgently he tried to make sense out of the wreckage that this laboratory was in.

Valuable pieces of machinery laid broken, equipment smashed, what appeared to be paper machete, crushed discs and glass all over the floor. Random thoughts danced through his mind: "Has there been some kind of natural disaster? Earthquake? Everything looks so peculiarly dusty and even corroded with age? No--That can't be! How long have I been in that cryo- tube? Surely only for the time it had been set for? Wait---What time had it been set for? A week? A month? Any longer? Oh if only I could remember."

There was a computer monitor on the desk in front of the chair he sat on. He wondered if it was still functional and whether it hadn't been damaged like most of the rest of his surroundings. This had been one of the newer computers at the time, its screen size was massive, resembling the likes of a big flat-screened television, the hard drive was located inside of the monitor and under the screen, above the massive speakers was where the disc drives where located. The flickering off and on again of the power in here was driving him insane and he decided it wasn't going to cooperate with him anyway, so there was no use in even attempting to use the computer.

Becoming intensely cold he decided it would be better to find something to wear at the moment and then high tail it out of here. Not that he didn't want to know what had happened to the laboratory. He figured that if there had been an earthquake, the cameras would have filmed everything. The data would have been compressed into a file and saved in the database. He could view everything that had happened, if he could get the generator working properly and if the computer did in fact work. It was just that there was no use in really trying which meant staying here any longer than he had to, when he could possibly discover the same information out on the streets, on television or in the newspaper. Right now this ghost town of a lab was freaking him out because it was literally dead. He thought he would feel better after taking in some fresh air. In fact the only thing he wanted to do at the moment was go home, take a shower, put something warm on and find out why his uncle didn't come get him out of that the cryo-tube. There was no denying it any longer; it was obvious he had been here for some time from all the gathered dust. Then something occurred to him: "What if my uncle didn't come get me out because he is dead! Could it be that he was killed in the earthquake? It only makes sense----This part of the operation was top secret---a need to know basis, only him and select members of the lab staff knew. Donald, Rob, and Jinx---But why haven't they----?" Nothing was making much sense right now.

Scavenging his surrounding for clothes and not finding much, with the exception of a few deteriorated looking cryosurgical scrubs, he wondered where all the lab clothes had gone. Then he remembered his own clothes had to be placed in a sanitary tank so that when he got out of the tube his clothes would be sanitary, wouldn't have any germs or outside chemicals on them because of the risk to his skin after being exposed to the cryofluid. In animal studies, sometimes cryofluid didn't mesh well with certain other chemicals or pollutants found in the atmosphere. So putting the wrong chemicals together could create a reaction that he didn't want to risk, especially not an irritation or infection where his skin was concerned. He reached the sanitation tank, but the lock appeared as if it had been broken into. Where his clothes were supposed to be, was absolutely nothing in their place.

Lapsing into another memory, he remembered looking down on a test subject with his uncle and Jinx present.

"Why is she here anyway?" Cole inquired of his uncle while washing his hands and slipping on a pair of latex gloves.

"She is here because someone is very much in love with her, and that someone has very wealthy connections!" his uncle replied.

"No---I meant what's wrong with her---besides the obvious." Cole paused staring down at her. "Beauty like that should be frozen for all time!" he chuckled jokingly as he prepared to give the girl an injection.

"Men!" Jinx said rolling her eyes while she checked the girl's vital signs.

"Don't be like that--I could say the same about you!" he winked at Jinx before further harassing his uncle: "I meant what happened to her that she ended up in our company?"

Jinx scowled at him for the first remark.

"They actually don't know. Seems the surgical procedure went fine besides the fact that she slipped into a coma. Personally I would diagnose her as having an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic used during the surgery," replied his uncle while he placed a compact disc into a portable cd player.

"And to think we are going to pump her full of the stuff!" Jinx sarcastically included.

"Must have been some reaction! She is basically a living corpse! Shouldn't they have tested for any possible allergens before they performed surgery?" Cole responded.

"What will we be listening too doc?" Jinx jumped in.

"They should have but they are now claiming that they did just that or so I've been informed. I'm attempting to keep up with the suit against the hospital since I testified on our patient's behalf," answered his uncle as he turned up the volume.

"Today children-- It is maestro Bach!" answered his uncle, as Bach's "A Mighty Fortress" filled the room.

"Oh---well---Think she'll ever snap out of her condition?" Cole inquired of Jinx.

Jinx replied: "I'm sure that's what the boyfriend is hoping--By the way-- Her vitals checked out--She's good to go!"

"Yeah--I would too if I were him," he mumbled, "Of course by that time he might be dead!" he chuckled.

"Now, now Cole Regan, don't think I didn't hear that! Don't go falling in love with the experiment!" the uncle responded.

"But YOU think you will be alive by the time she wakes up, if she ever does!" Jinx commented. "I think it's too late for him doc! Call the white coats in!"

"Your just jealous Jinx!" Cole grinned at her. "Besides--Didn't you know I'm going to live forever?" he winked.

"And don't you mean paying customer George?" he smiled at his uncle. "You know I'm already in love with one experiment. There's just no room left in there at this time for anymore love!"

"Maybe in your dreams!" Jinx mumbled as she rolled her eyes again. "Boys and their Toys!"

Cole laughed. "Exactly!"

***Over the intercom system: Dr. Bailey Please Report To The Chair Of Research and Development's Office***

His uncle shook his head. "I swear it never fails! Happens every time!" Dr. Bailey glanced at Cole and Jinx. "And I don't know what I'm going to do with you two! Just finish preparing her for the process. I'll be right back!"

"But what if it's for me?" Cole laughed.

"No risk in that!" Dr. Bailey finished saying before he exited the room.

After dressing in the only thing available to him, Cole decided there was no time left to kill and proceeded to get the hell out of the lab. Knowing the elevator wouldn't work if there had been an earthquake, he opted for the stairs. Unfortunately the security doors the company had installed were closed, shutting off the doors to the stairs. He looked around for something to try to pry them open with. He was worried he was trapped even if he could find something to attempt to pry them open with because those doors had been designed to stay shut once they were activated. He found a piece of metal that resembled a crow bar in the lab, it was interesting to look at, must have been some of that new synthetic metal that they had been working on for his environmental golem automaton. He tried to jam it between the doors and tried jacking them open with it. At first it seemed as though he was trapped and there was no way in the world those doors were ever going to come apart. But as if someone was looking out for him, suddenly while he tried to force the doors apart something broke way. The doors slid apart and he couldn't comprehend how this had happened. On examining the doors, he noticed that from the other side there had been an unusually accelerated rate of corrosion. "Hmmm-How Curious!" he thought as he stepped through to the other side of the doors.

There he faced the stairs that appeared just as corroded as the door. He knew it would take forever this way and he only wished the laboratory he had been assigned to work at haven't been that far underground now. "Well," he thought, "On the bright side at least it wasn't the very bottom story!"

He walked up multiple flights of stairs pacing himself. "Only about 15 flights of stairs to go before I'm on the surface floor of the building and out those doors!" he thought. Then whatever had happened he would discover in the comfort of his own home. The Zagar building had been to his knowledge the first ever "downward spiraled styled skyscraper" as they were called. Cole remembered he used to joke with his confidant Angie about it. He didn't understand why they just didn't call it a "hellscraper" because whereas the skyscraper reached upward as though it might have a shot at touching heaven, the Zagar building burrowed down into the underground branching out toward hell instead.

"Angie!--" it just struck him, "--Probably thinks I'm dead! She is probably worried sick. I'll call her first thing-----!"

He rounded another level of stairs when he came to an abrupt stop. Staring in disbelief because simply put there weren't any more stairs. Looking straight up where there should have been stairs, there was a wide opening of nothing but steely gray walls running upwards, several vents everywhere he turned, and what appeared to be a large elevator shaft stretched on the opposite side of this broken staircase in which he stood. He wondered what had happened to the stairs and how did an elevator shaft get all the way over there? The space it covered would have been the area of a floor and it was just gone! The whole floor!

There were supposed to be stairs! There were supposed to be stairs to the top floor, the surface floor, the lobby otherwise known as the building's main entrance. And out that building's entrance were such things as fresh air, birds chirping, a blue sky, streets, and cars. "Yes! Yes! My car!--- I left my car in the parking lot!" he managed to muster out loud to himself in emptiness and in denial that any of this was happening as he slipped further into the realm of shock. He felt that if he could have only reach that car then it would have been homeward bound down the four-lane. Yet out of the corner of his eye he thought he had seen something fall down the shaft. He glanced back over at the shaft to see another physical object shoot upwards going at a speed of what he would have mentally calculated as being at least sixty miles per hour.

He rubbed his temples thinking he was imagining what he just saw. "Was that a---a person?"

If this were only a dream he could have been in awe of his surroundings. From the never-ending steel walls that ran straight up to what appeared to be a steel ceiling to the shaft he now had his eyes glued on in hopes of seeing more flying people, hoping he was not losing his mind!

But this was not a dream. Collapsing to his knees he shouted into his strange new surroundings "How do I get the HELL out of the Damned Underground!?"

"How do I get home!?" he shouted out into the deadening silence of a world surrounded by steely silver walls.

An eerie feeling took residence in his gut, his spine tingled, his skin crawled and for the briefest moment as if he had been accompanied by some other presence here, a little voice whispered inside his head telling him: "You are home!"

---Creegan