He finally gave me a pen and paper to write on. Something to pass the time before he finally finds a use for me. I think we both know it will mean death for me, but I hang on to hope…
A few seconds ago, the automatic machine gun went off. Someone obviously triggered the motion sensor. I can see the pink mist slowly being sucked up by the air conditioner in the corner. This isn’t your usual air conditioner though; it drags the polluted air from outside, all the sulphur and nitrogen dioxide, and turns it into a mixture of water vapour and oxygen. He likes his lab to stay moist and oxygenated, it’s the only way his experiments will work he tells me… He doesn’t need to wear a mask like the rest of us.
He walks past the cage, without even giving me a fleeting glance, and over to the body lying in its own blood on the ground. His eye is dripping blood like it usually does when he is excited, he knows that this body will feed him for weeks. He paces back past me muttering something about the “damn police”, who manage to control the world but can’t take on “a little old scientist.” Ha. I can understand why the police want him, but what they don’t understand is that he has eyes everywhere. They think they are watching him, but they are so wrong.
I used to be a lawyer, that is before he captured me and took me into his lair. He said he needed bodies for his experiments, but I think he just wanted the attention. He knew I was famous enough to attract a bit more attention. That cop was probably here to get me out. That means they want me, which gives me some hope for survival, but then, I don’t know how much better it is on the outside, acting as a lifeless drone to keep this apocalyptic, crappy excuse for an earth from caving in on itself. Its enough that the war against pollution was finally lost, but people have just generally given up. There is no honour anymore… No patriotism, no justice. I remember a time when the lag was precious, now people burn it just to keep warm on those ice-cold nights. I guess also for protection; everyone knows the police are afraid of fire.
He gave me today’s paper to read. The news for the 29th of June 2129 is just the same as the news for everyday. Bleak, with a chance of death. Oh well, at least the scientist has made a breakthrough, or so he tells me. Something that will get him far away from the hell hole he lives in, and back to “the other time, times of peace and love.” He hasn’t managed to break into the past yet, but under his microscope the enzymes are swirling, and the RNA’s path moves closer to the answer. He’s trying to open up a wormhole. Which means nothing to me other then that as each day goes past he gets closer to finishing it, and I get closer to death. All he needed now was for a pond 50 years in the past to absorb the enantiostatic response he was attempting to deliver, and he would be through.
He twitches nervously at any sound, suspicious of anything that casts a shadow. It often makes me wonder if the police have this place bugged, I don’t know how they’d be able to get into this fortress, but it’s a notion that sustains me, something that plays on my mind all the same. If they knew of the scientists plan to escape reality they wouldn’t stand for it. Especially if word got out that there was an escape other then death in this world. And word always gets out…
The sun was shining earlier. Not that there are any windows in here to be able to see it, but he has a light refraction system set up. It almost makes me cry to see the light as it passes through, but I'm not sure if that’s just the months of claustrophobia and panic, or if I generally miss the outside. I guess it doesn’t really make a difference, I mean the sun burns the skin instantly now that the ozone layer has gone. Little tri-oxides float down and poison the air, oxidising the sulphates and nitrates which are released from the big industries on lying on the river side, churning up the remaining clean water and turning it black, in what is a poor attempt at mixing an industrial waste plant and a hydroelectricity dam. I remember the slogans, giving false hope to the nation of the possibility of a turn around, a gleaming light at the end of this long, hot, damp, disgusting and dark tunnel. You can smell the stench of failure no matter how far you run from the major cities.
I think it’s almost dinnertime, but time never runs on my watch. He mentioned something about how tonight’s diner was a special treat, to celebrate his near breakthrough. Ratticus Norvegicus. Norwegian Rat. I don’t know how he found a Norwegian rat after Norway has been covered by water for so long, but somehow, he did. It's probably just another one of his cloning experiments, the ones he does when he gets bored. I can’t complain though, at least its meat, and it’s one hundred times better then the tasteless gruel we are fed on the outside. Who would have thought I’d actually eat better in here…
The fun really happens when the lights go off. There are so many things to look at. Unlike the sun, the moon is never obscured by clouds, so it pours through the refractors, carrying with it the stored-up UV rays of the day. They illuminate all the vibrant, glowing creatures he has created. Somebody once proposed that the moon was a fake, that it had been destroyed years ago, and was now merely a projection, a sign of the end. He was silenced pretty quickly.
One of the things that always catches my eye is a jar, with two eyes and a heart stored in it. He told me a story once about pulling a mans eye out so he could have a double-sided view as he slowly dissected his rib cage, pulling his heart out with a sweaty palm. This was his disgusting trophy.
There are pictures on the walls of the wormhole he is trying to create. Tiny representations of the scientific work of myth. He gives me the science mumbo jumbo, something about the parallels becoming inline, forming a double helix, and opening up a connection to the past. It’s only a matter of time until it happens, but I’m not sure what he plans to do once he gets there. No one listened to the prescient scientists back then, so why would he be any different. Sure, he has inventions, flying cars and the sort, proof of futuristic utopias. But the old government will take it and claim it as their own, tossing him to the side as the past runs back into the future.
One Week Later…
It’ll be the end of the earth soon. It’s become too hard to live. He turns on the news, but there are no answers to be found. The roads have been destroyed, the crops won’t grow, buildings burn and constant earthquakes rattle the earth like the dead brains in the lifeless corpses on the street. There’s news of safe havens, but it’s only a matter of time before the flame of humanity engulfs the rest of the world. He made the final breakthrough, but had no fuel to generate the heat, not even burning his last two books could save him.
He gets nervous, and rubs his left arm, or at least the pus-filled scab where it used to be. Clear, yellowy fluid slowly trickles out, and he realises he can’t do it, and the bombing of his fortress gets worse by the day. The click of the shotgun hums in perfect unison as a wall crumbles outside.
He is dead. And now so am I.
As his blood gently flows down the hall, through the drain, and into the sea, to mix with the other muck of the earth, I can’t help but think it is where he deserves to be. The police won’t reach this place before I go. The water vapour will keep me going for a week maybe, but with the camera keeping a watchful eye, and the machine guns loaded up outside, I have no hope of escape. As my pen and paper start to run out, so will my life. I guess it’s a final escape from this prison, and from this world. Although looking back it's hard to remember where the line was crossed. I couldn’t live out there even if someone did save me. But that doesn’t happen… People don’t get saved. It stopped after we lost hope of saving the world.