Low Priority

Lights in the room flickered ominously. Right after that a sequence repeated many times by the personnel could be heard; pressing of a button, the key turning, voltage dropping, a shattering light bulb, and then an electric arc shooting out of the coil.

An abomination, that only resembled a person due to the humanoid shape of the burned mass of tendons and muscles, gave its last breath and fell, vomiting all over the glass wall in front of it. Two people in CWKS protection suits took the body and started to clean the glass from the anomaly's toxic vomit.

Doctor Ivan Krayenko started to mindlessly note the results from another trial. His fellow researchers helplessly turned the documentation pages and stared at the indicators, searching for the answer to a one, simple question: What did we do wrong?

As a matter of fact, it was a success, since the CN-18 test object lasted longer than any of his "brothers", but even the record-breaking score of keeping the thing alive for four days was not enough to justify the wasted resources. The three researchers left the test chamber and sat by the living room table, trying to comprehend why was this trial just another failure.

— We're just wasting people… It was the 10th time, and we still didn't do a fucking thing! - Ivan looked over the plans and everything should be working perfectly, without fail like effing clockwork. He looked around, and the lit his cigarette, the cheapest possible brand. That's not what he expected when he joined the "Logos" project seven years ago. Not that he missed anything, back in the Foundation he saw people dying even more horribly. But here all the deaths just seemed so… unnecessary.

— We have some progress, friend! Progress! This time it lasted 4 days! - said the ever-cheerful Boris Smirnovich. — Soon enough we will be able to make a successful trial.

— Fuck this life - snarled Mikhail Zadornov - We're sitting in this fuckhole, waiting for another storm to fuck up some other cripple.

— Calm down, friend, we just need to show them the proof of our progress. — Boris sighed audibly.

Ivan was lost in thought and didn't even react when the cigarette burned his fingers. He just threw the butt in the corner and left the living room without a word.

— Well then, how about a round of backgammon, dear friend? — Boris tried to clear the air after the main researcher left.

— Go ahead, you already lost. — Moved Mikhail pointed to the bottle. - Pour up! What are you waiting for?

In the meantime, two floors down, in the control room, there was another test subject prepared.

— Check his blood volume, this brain needs to work. You! What are you doing! Give me that. How many fucking times do I have to say this, we sew the bones along the diagram, what the fuck are you even doing here?! — A short man in a GP-9 gas mask and a lab coat bellowed at the trainees. — Kick up the oxygen levels! The oxygen, you idiot! Good, now remove the debris. Ready? Lock him up. Administer the anabiotics, and if you don't, my wrath will be the last thing you will ever have to worry about.

This evening no one thought of a similar facility, just a few kilometers away. The storm made it impossible to maintain communication, and if it wasn't for that, maybe 28 researchers wouldn't be bleeding their organs out through their hole-ridden bodies. Maybe then someone would be able to cut off the supply of nourishment formula to the artificially created spinal cord, swimming around in a big pool. Maybe then this spinal cord wouldn't be able to do the thing it planned for so long.

Do it, you're free.

The first was the unfortunate trainee, who administered the consciousnes-blocking medicine. His eyeballs just leaked out of the socket. The next victim was the screaming doctor, his mask catching fire that quickly spread to his hair, skin, charring the bones and brain.

The unnatural creature stood up, crushing the nearby youth with his unnatural, four-boned hand.

Another two died of the mental impulse so strong, it broke their necks.

The newborn monster began its hunt.

The situation was just about the same in all buildings of the "Logos" Project in the 90 km radius. Neither the Foundation, nor the Global Occult Initiative were very eager to waste their time and resources on this "freak of nature".

— So tell me, what was so important that I had to come all the way here? — asked the mustachioed negotiator.

— We received news of a possible "containment breach", or however you call it — the other negotiator responded, dressed in a standard GOC uniform.

— Is it about the CN containment block? The one investigating the aftermath of the 1986 catastrophe?

— That very same. We still don't have any reports about possible loss of personnel, but… — the mustached man interrupted him.

— Everything's fine then, it's not our problem. We're on a brink of public conflict, we can't bother ourselves with any freak of nature.

— Well, then let's inform the command at least? — Helplessness of the uniformed man was apparent.

— There is no need, we unofficially already closed the "Logos" Project, so leave it to the specialists. — The Foundation representative left the room, leaving the other negotiator alone.

Doctor Mikhail Zadornov, burned by toxic vomit, with his brain festered by psychological decay, without his legs and half the jaw - he survived. No one expected that it would be possible, let alone a pessimistic doc of genetic engineering from psionic department. Unlike his colleagues, he managed to reach the maintenance shaft and hide in the conservation tub. After 40 hours a containment squad reached the facility - but not the Foundation's, not GOC's, but of an independent Group of Interest, Logos Inc. Zadornov became its first commander - no one could know more about human psyche than a man, whose body and mind were completely changed by a mental impulse…

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