Lore:Bray Lab Records - Confidential
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TEST NO: 142 - Radiolarian Fluid Ingestion
[C.B.] How does it taste?
[P01] Metallic. Coarse. Something else…
[C.B.] Does it feel digestible?
[P01] It feels… nourishing. It's cool. I can feel it making its way through me.
[J.W.] This is encouraging. No immediate effects.
[P01] No… I… wait. (wincing)
[C.B.] What is it? Talk to us.
[P01] Feels like… it's attacking my stomach— (vomiting)
[J.W.] Sir, his heart rate is spiking and his pressure is dropping. Damn it, he's losing fluids at an alarming rate.
[C.B.] Exciting, isn't it? What's going to happen?
[J.W.] He's going to die. That's what's going to happen.
[C.B.] Fine. Send in the medic units.
[J.W.] Not sure if it's safe. We don't know if this is contagious. Could go airborne.
[C.B.] How else are we going to find out?
[J.W.] …We send in the medic units.
TEST NO: 167 - Radiolarian Fluid Injection
[C.B.] That's twice now. Direct consumption and direct injection yield similar results.
[J.W.] Airborne has been disproven, but direct contact with the fluid still produces corruption.
[C.B.] I wish you wouldn't call it that. It's not corruption. It's reprogramming. I'd like to bring Helga into these sessions. She has an engineer's mind; she'll find the workarounds we need. Slimmer units, stronger materials, alternate power sources.
[J.W.] I would advise against that. She's… the pursuit of science isn't always her top priority.
[C.B.] When she sees what we're seeing—the precipice of a new age—she'll fall in line.
[J.W.] I like working without jurisdiction. Wasn't that the point of us coming out here? With her track record, it'll only be a matter of time before the human ethics organizations come down on us—
[C.B.] When did I ask for your opinion on this? Send in the clean-up crew and prep the next patient.
[J.W.] …Sir. His arm… it's transforming…
[C.B.] Would you look at that.
[J.W.] It appears to be replacing cells on an individual level.
[C.B.] Can it be contained? Is there a way to stop the spread?
[J.W.] We can amputate, but at this rate, I doubt we'd be fast enough.
[C.B.] Perhaps exposure to Clarity would slow it down? We need to control this, study the arm. If he's going to die anyway, maybe we just amputate and pair the arm with another patient.
[J.W.] But we don't currently have any other… Oh.
[C.B.] Wouldn't you like to have a shiny new arm? Don't you want to be stronger? Invulnerable?
[C.B.] Don't act so surprised. You know what we're working towards.
TEST NO: 259 - Transtemporal Crossing
[C.B.] Send them through.
[J.W.] //Participants, step forward through the portal. Maintain your grasp on the tether. Count to ten and step back out.// Final bet: older or younger?
[C.B.] Older, but if they come back younger, I'm going in next.
[J.W.] (laughs) I think we should get through more clinical trials before you subject yourself, sir.
[C.B.] Here we go. They're through.
[J.W.] Countdown: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… //Pull the tether and bring them back.//
[C.B.] Where are they?
[J.W.] The tether appears to be stuck.
[C.B.] Pull harder.
[J.W.] //Tighten the winch.// It looks like it may snap. Maybe they like what they've found.
[C.B.] Or something is holding them there.
[J.W.] It's giving. Here they come. (whip noise) (splashing sound)
[C.B.] Oh, disgusting… you smell that? It's permeating through the glass. What are we looking at?
[J.W.] Ugh, looks to be complete cellular deterioration. They're just… mushy goop, for lack of a better term.
[C.B.] Guess I won't be going in yet after all.
[J.W.] Seems there are still some things man was not meant to conquer.
[C.B.] If you believe that, you're in the wrong place, Justin. Just needs a little fine tuning.
TEST NO: 312 - Exo Arm Attachment
[H.R.] //How about the index finger?//
[P32] Uhh… no.
[H.R.] Extremities remain unresponsive. //Are there any sensations at all?//
[P32] Phantom ones. I have an itch I'd like to scratch. My chest feels heavy, like someone is sitting on me.
[H.R.] While nerve endings are attached to the mechanism successfully, we are not generating action potentials.
[C.B.] This isn't working, Helga.
[H.R.] Still progress. You'll have to settle for that.
[C.B.] I typically don't settle for anything.
[P32] Hello? I'm struggling… to breathe.
[H.R.] He's experiencing a massive myocardial infarction. //Send in the medic units.// I fear my earlier hypothesis was correct, and the human body in its current evolution cannot sustain the physical exertion the machine parts demand.
[C.B.] Then we should evolve.
[H.R.] Oh, okay. Let me just jump ahead one hundred million years real quick.
[C.B.] We've had some interesting advancements in post-transcriptional modification—gene splicing—with primates, fish, and some birds. What if we built stronger Humans? Could they withstand this process?
[H.R.] I'm an engineer, not a geneticist. I don't know if your ape-man can wield a metal arm.
[C.B.] That's such a reductive and tasteless comprehension of what I'm proposing.
[H.R.] He's flatlined. We've lost him.
[C.B.] Well you know what they say. If at first you don't succeed…
TEST NO: 088 - Nuclear Power Exo
---Incoming call from MSOP. Caller ID: C. Bray---
[D.C.] Sir, we're prepped and standing by for you order.
[C.B.] And the reactor is stable?
[D.C.] Stable and ready for installation in the Exo body.
[C.B.] If this works, generations will praise the work accomplished today.
[D.C.] Sir, if you don't mind me saying, the team would have liked you to be here personally. Would have been a vote of confidence for them.
[C.B.] May I remind you, it was your insistence we find an alternate power source to Clarity, even though it already has proven to be a success. Besides, if that reactor explodes with me present, it would be the single greatest loss our civilization could suffer and would damn us all for eons to come. Now get on with it.
[D.C.] Yes, sir. //Install the core.// Are you able to see well enough?
[C.B.] I'm watching with bated breath.
[D.C.] Calculated distance of 3 millimeters… 2 millimeters… 1 millimeter… We're in. //Lock the chassis. Switch on the alternator and reroute power supply.//
[C.B.] Nothing is happening.
[D.C.] (sighs) It would appear not.
[C.B.] If nuclear power isn't a sufficient power source, perhaps there are other uses…
[D.C.] It's non-compatible, at the very least.
[C.B.] It is interesting to note that the chassis may be able to house other forms of power with similarly destructive potential. We may have a walking bomb on our hands.
TEST NO: 109 - Food Supplement
[C.B.] Okay, Agatha, what do you have for me?
[A.F.] We took your proposal and ran with it. We've distilled and condensed enough nutrients and proteins down to a single pill that should eliminate the need for sustenance within your average patient for 10 years.
[C.B.] That's a start, but I'd like to get that number higher. I'm tired of stopping to eat. Imagine what this can do for productivity, not to mention military efforts. Next on the chopping block is sleep.
[A.F.] We administered the pill 24 hours ago to five patients.
[C.B.] Let's see how they're acclimating.
[A.F.] //Patient 27, how is your appetite?//
[P27] I don't have one. I miss food, but I think it's habitual.
[A.F.] //Patient 28?//
[P28] My stomach feels full.
[P30] Too full, actually.
[A.F.] //Anyone else experiencing this?//
(murmurs of confirmation)
[C.B.] That's to be expected, I suppose. Must be a bizarre sensation.
[P29] Ma'am… I'm actually feeling pretty sick. (groans)
[P31] Is there a bathroom I could use?
[A.F.] //After we conclude this check-in.//
[P27] I don't think it can wait.
[P28] Ugh…what's happening… (groans) My stomach…
[C.B.] Their stomachs are expanding. Fix it.
[A.F.] I… uh, can't.
(groans) (retching) (screams) (burst) (burst) (burst) (burst) (burst) (fluid spilling)
[C.B.] Agatha, clearly we have not found our solution. I'll leave this, hm, mess in your incapable hands. Don't ever bring me up to witness an event like this again. Disgusting.
TEST NO: 140 - Clarity Control Exposure
[M.M.] Sir, we have reports coming in from Clarity Control.
[C.B.] About time. Well?
[M.M.] They're dead, sir.
[C.B.] How many?
[M.M.] All of them.
[C.B.] And they all came in physical contact with it?
[M.M.] No, sir. Some were merely within proximity. I have a recording if you'd like to see it.
[C.B.] Right away.
"Did it… you all hear that?"
"It's speaking…Mom? Is that you?"
"No! Don't go near i—"
(unintelligible screams) (choking) (fluid spilling)
[C.B.] Fascinating. It appeared to be communicating with them. I wonder what it said…
[M.M.] With your permission, we'd like to quarantine the area and restrict all access.
[C.B.] I'd like to try a different approach. Send in some fresh faces. Tell them nothing, except to keep their distance. I'd like to know what it's saying.
TEST NO: 167 - Bonus Appendages
[D.C.] We're confident we've isolated and solved the issue.
[C.B.] I know success is possible. It's been shown to me.
[D.C.] Yes, you mentioned the vision previously, sir. We believe that the transition was too jarring. This time, we've fabricated some memories within the patient. This should lead them to believe that the extra arms are in fact part of who they are.
[C.B.] Good. I don't want to have to watch another catastrophically expensive Exo tear itself to pieces again.
[D.C.] //Let's bring the patient online please.// We've already completed the initial awakening seminar, so as not to waste your time.
[C.B.] Did they see the tower?
[D.C.] They did, sir. //How are you feeling?//
[P103] Not great… Where am I?
[D.C.] //Please stand and explore the full range of your mobility.//
[P103] What do you want me to do?
[D.C.] //Raise your arms.// All four seem functional.
[C.B.] Don't celebrate yet. They seem to be moving in tandem. Can they move each one independently?
[D.C.] //Please move each arm. Individually.//
[P103] I… can't. I can't. I can't. What's— not mine. What's. Get them off! Off! (screaming)
[C.B.] It would appear they're on the verge of a psychotic break.
(metal tearing) (screaming)
[C.B.] Dr. Chambers, next time you run this test, I want you in the room with the patient. You understand?
[D.C.] …Yes, sir.
TEST NO: 512 - Ice Wielding
[C.B.] Are we ready to introduce our Exo marionette to the future?
[J.W.] Energy transfer initiated.
[C.B.] I love that sound. The sound of progress.
[J.W.] We're at 15%.
[C.B.] Look at his hand. Magnificent.
[J.W.] The ice is concentrated at the palm. Now at 20%.
[C.B.] Imagine the look on Abram's face if he walked in now. The man has no vision. I don't trust people like that.
[J.W.] Agreed. Threshold at 25%. Now would be optimal.
[C.B.] Let's see what he can do. //Try to focus the energy into a controlled burst.//
(loud hum) (blast) (impact)
[C.B.] It went right through the wall.
[J.W.] I'll pop the champagne. We're at 30%. Should we stop?
[C.B.] No, keep going. We can have him chill the champagne for us. (laughs)
[J.W.] Passing 35%. The ice appears to be spreading up his arm. I think we should pull back.
[C.B.] Keep. Going. //Another round of blasts for us!//
(loud hum) (hum intensifies)
[C.B.] Blast, damn it! Blast now!
[J.W.] Sir, the ice is permeating throughout his body.
[C.B.] He's turning into an icicle. //BLAST!//
[J.W.] He's unresponsive. Killing the feed.
[C.B.] Is he still alive?
[J.W.] He's frozen solid. It's possible he'll still be operational.
[C.B.] Incredible. We forge ahead under strict lock and key. I want this under my control, no matter the cost.