Thursday, October 3, 2013

Halloween Stories: Part XVIII

This it the 3rd runner up in the Halloween Story competition!

The story is written by AlphaCharis Dunamis and it's called

Area 47

We were working on a way to make the soldiers stronger. The goal was to increase both their focus and performance in theater and to inure them against the horrors of warfare. 

It worked.

The effects, though were supposed to be an enhancement. One that was triggered in combination with a drug, so that the effects would be temporary.

That part did not work.

We were in the process of testing out injections of a virus common in baboons, RA-717. Any primate we had exposed to it would endure three days of raging behavior. The effects would then fade. We had found the formula to create Mr. Jekyl at last, and thought we had found the key to controlling it. We had discovered that different animals experienced different average lengths of time before their bodies developed immunity. Some of the animals could be reinjected with the infective vector within a few days, with the ensuing desired effects, while others appeared to develop tolerance to the virus.

Against my advice, the Chief scientist progressed to human trials. I knew we did not know enough yet. But the pressures from Washington overwhelmed his scientific reason.
The first wave of test prisoners were so enraged they killed themselves, beating their heads against the walls of their enclosures, screaming like primal horrors brought to life. We modified the formula. The next wave of prisoners died outright. We changed it again. I continued to voice caution, but my warnings fell on deaf ears. In the third wave, the prisoners exhibited the raging behavior for six hours, then fell docile again.
Or so we thought at the time.
There were five in that test run. The calm was a ruse. We had kept them separate, but after surviving in the shadows here for months, I know now what we could not even imagine then. We had triggered not only an inhuman rage, but somehow telepathic abilities as well. All while engendering profound psychopathy. Four of the five were killed when they attacked the guards or scientists studying them, as they sprang instantly into blind fury, tearing their prey’s limbs from their bodies. Chewing off their noses and ears and fingers before they were exterminated.

One, however, escaped.


My name is James Ehrhardt. When the one creature escaped I was the one who managed to trigger the alarm. This experimental island that once was area 47 was 20 miles offshore. When the alarm was sounded, the bombing planes came and destroyed the railyard dock, making it impossible for any sizable ship to land here. They also made any reasonable hope of rescue or escape impossible. I suppose they felt it was a kindness to those of us surviving that they didn’t nuke the whole island. I only wish there was a way to tell them what has really taken place, and the evils to which they condemned us.
I was never much of a devout man. When soldiers and scientists continued to disappear, however, I found myself occasionally offering up desperate prayers. Infected prisoner 3R-47X, the one who managed to escape, eventually came to be called Chaos Chuckles by those of us who survived. He was one who God abandoned long before we turned him, a man condemned to death row for unspeakable crimes of torture and sadism. To call him faithless would be a rampant understatement. If ever there has been evil incarnate that has walked the earth, it is Chuckles.

After a few months loose on the island, Chuckles managed to break through the heavily defended experimental labs. But, all it seems he took were the injection formulas and that all that was left behind were ghostly images of his contorted face on the security tapes. Then, for a few weeks all was quiet, save for occasional items going missing around the land, or the discovery of an animal skull with gnawed marks on it. At least no more humans were violently killed in the night.
I suspect he poisoned the water supply in the main water tower with the stolen formula. All at once, everyone went mad with rage, and in those early days, before Chuckles managed to establish his unholy order, many died. Of the four hundred that had been on the base island when the experiments started, I estimate there are perhaps 50 still alive today. Other than myself there are only five others who remain fully human. I managed to survive for months undetected, but was captured when I bolded a foray to the working radio to attempt a signal for help. They keep us in a cage above the old rail supply entry, open to the elements, giving us only brief freedoms when they have some need for us. I was one of the few to escape the poisoning, how ironic that turning to drink little but whiskey saved me from the demonic fate suffered by nearly all the others. These days, however, I wonder if that would perhaps have been a preferable blessing. 

Within a few months the tortured souls worked out something of a social structure, establishing a rough town of ramshackle cabins and lean-tos. They do not talk, but stare at each other then nod in understanding, which is why I suspect telepathy was one of the results of the experiment. Chuckles, though can speak, every word a hostile explosion of forceful hatred and derision. I noticed changes in the appearance of what I now think of as the clown demons. Over the course of a few months, their skin lost all of its pallor, their skulls slowly deforming into an oversized egg shape. The teeth yellowed and protruded from the mouth, yellow and deformed, more like claws than teeth.
They started hunting one another, perhaps the ones upon whom the transformation had not been as strong. I remain uncertain who they singled out, or why, but the screams of the captured still haunt me. 

Those of their own kind that they turned upon and hunted befell a gruesome fate. On a night with a full moon they would haul their prey into the center of town and ceremoniously roast them in the electric chair erected for that very purpose. And once fully cooked, Chaos Chuckles, the gruesome leader of the horde, begins the feast by plucking out the poor creature’s eyes and eating them with a wet smack of his lips and a dark deep chested chortle. As his laughter grew stronger, haunting the entire island with its sadistic chortle, the other clown demons would fall upon the body, cackling like hyenas amongst the sounds of tearing flesh and crunching bones.
One by one they caught all of us who remained human. They use us for hostages, threatening to kill and torture us if regular deliveries of supplies are not airdropped in. Chuckles generally chooses me as the communicator for the radio. My nightmares are filled with the depictions of what he describes he will do to us should the supplies not be provided. 


There is a part of me that hopes these notes are never needed, that they will all simply die out. If they do I pray that my log becomes a warning to those who would repeat our experimentation. Over these months in captivity I have learned the things you need to know to survive, and a few possibilities as to how Chaos can be destroyed. One man has remained uncaught, every few months he will steal close to the bars of our enclosure and brief me on what he has learned. It is safest to travel by day. He stays far from their living areas. If one of the clown demons comes near he fills his thoughts with nothing but hate and rage so they cannot perceive his rational thoughts. He survives in a forgotten area at the back of the island, a small cove, where he can catch fish for sustenance. He rubs himself with the rank rotting sea kelp that washes to shore.

I believe that Chuckles needs the other clown demons, but exactly how and why I do not know. After the weaker ones were killed off, he permitted no more killings. If his forces can be reduced it may weaken him. He will not go near the ruins where death points the way, I suspect something there may have the power to overwhelm him and deliver him to his end.

If you are caught, pray that they eat you.

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