The Ultimate Prize

From the Story Arc: Trench Warfare

Next Story in the Arc: Look to the Sky: Part One by Agn Stratonik (Thursday, March 24, 2005)

(posted Wednesday, March 02, 2005)

“How is the subject doing?”

“He’s progressing well, sir. The event last week was a minor set back. All is well, at the moment.”

“At the moment…talking like gives way to such events as the one that transpired last week, Dr. Vigrek.”

“Yes, Dr. Sierlov. Forgive me.”

“Do not ask forgiveness for your weakness, comrade. Just do your job.”

“Yes sir.”

The two men speaking are Dr. Erik Vigrek and Dr. Nikoli Sierlov. They are two of Russia’s finest doctors and surgeons. Their job is to secure the resurrection of the long dead Soviet Union…through the making of super-powered humans capable of taking the world by storm. The place they are is an “abandoned” facility used to produce nuclear explosives. The facility sits within the Siberian Tundra, long thought to be uninhabited, though full of unexploded ordinances and barrels of depleted uranium. What sits underneath the facility is unknown, however.

One mile underground, beneath the facility, is a laboratory. This laboratory is home to multiple guards that patrol all three floors and three-hundred rooms of the laboratory, the smartest doctors and scientists in Russia, and over one-hundred test subjects. Some of the world’s greatest technological findings exist in this place and only those that inhabit it know it exists.

Dr. Sierlov is head of the project.

“Is the furnace broken again, Erik?”

“Yes sir. It has been for two days now. We have two mechanics…”

“Two days to fix a furnace. We have created gods in less time. When the furnace is done, use the mechanics as firewood.”

“Yes…sir.”

Dr. Vigrek walks off. Dr. Sierlov approaches a tank resembling a dunking tank at carnivals. It is filled with a transparent blue fluid…within the fluid is a man hooked up to multiple life support functions, such as a breather and many intravenous tubes connected to needles inside his body that his caretakers feed him through and take blood samples.

Dr. Sierlov walks up to the tank and places a hand on the glass.

“My beauty…Many have come before you in service of Mother Russia, but very few have your mutant abilities. You will be the leader of my army. Through you, the U.S.S.R. will rise to glory and be more powerful than ever before…more powerful than any other country. All nations shall fall under the Iron Curtain.”

The subject inside the tank hears these words. His eyes open and he looks upon Sierlov with no emotion in his eyes.

“We have bred you for destruction and the revival of the Soviet Union. Whererever you walk, the Hammer and Sickle will be imprinted and carved into rock and gravel. You will not fail us…not even the Statesmen himself will be able to stop you…”

A gunshot rings off in the distance. Dr. Sierlov turns around. Above him is a grated rail pathway that encompasses the whole area of the main room where the test subjects are kept. Guards usually paced around with 556ers and Kalashnikovs as they keep all in a watchful eye, but on this day, they all lay dead…their blood trickling through the grating of the pathway. A staircase leads down from the pathway. The pounding of foot steps is heard through the laboratory. Sierlov looks around in a dazed panic as the footsteps make their way toward him.

“Who are you?! What do you want?!”

“Dr. Sierlov, I presume.”

The man is speaking Russia well, but his accent suggests he is German. He is tall, and wearing all black, with a SS-like helmet on his head. The symbol on his armour is that of the Council.

“Dr. Sierlov…Do not put up any resistance or struggle. We are not here to slay you. We only wish to…confiscate your project and use it for our own.”

“This project is for the revival of the Soviet Union! It will not be put to use for any Nazi…”

Dr. Sierlov’s words were stopped by another gunshot. This time, the bullet lay in his forehead, blood trickling down his face. He falls to the ground, once again facing the tank. He stares into the eyes of his test subject as the test subject stares back at him. The last sound he hears is the echo of screams shouted in German. The Council would rule on this day.

The test subject stares at his creator who is now motionless…as bloody handprint rests of the glass of the tank. The blood runs down the glass and fills out letters that were carved into the glass…these letters, not in the blood of Sierlov, read M.A.T.A.H.U.R.I.A….