DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Darkmatters Fiction: TEST SUBJECT #30022

by Matt Adcock

#30022 was their first born – the obviously favoured son amongst the family. Stronger and far more handsome than his siblings he was his parents delight. When food was scarce it was never he that went without, his kin went out their way to provide him with everything he could want and he in turn was a faithful and dutiful son. His brothers resented him not one bit either – he was their champion, their hero and they basked in the reflected glory of counting him as part of their family.
Then the day of the test came and things changed.
It started like any other day; breakfast commotion as the family bustled each other – things to do, places to go and limited time to eat.
#30022 woke with a strange stinging sensation behind his right ear, it felt almost as if he had been stung. Dismissing the lingering pain, he went to the toilet and was about to make his way down to the feeding room when his youngest brother leapt at him from behind. Biting, scratching and clawing him in a frenzied attack. #30022 managed to knock his brother off thinking it was just an overly exuberant early morning play fight only to find him scrabble upright and immediately leap at his throat.
“What the f.. Arrggghhh?” he yelped - the bite was deep and it immediately drew a fountain of blood from a severed artery.
“You little bastard!” coughed #30022 holding his frantic brother down whilst trying to preen his torn throat.
“Kill him, kill him, kill him!!” squealed his brother whilst biting #30022, trying to wriggle free from his powerful hold. Immediately two more of the brothers appeared in the doorway, “let’s get him!” called #30023, who had been born only moments after his brother and now fancied his chances at taking out his elder sibling. Without hesitating they both leapt at #30022 who fell onto his back under their combined weight. One of the attackers managed to bite his tail clean off, the other was clawing at his wounded neck. The youngest brother took the opportunity to pounce on his face and set to work biting his exposed eyes.
Blinded and panicked #30022 lashed out in desperation, managing to cuff the brother from his throat but exposing his soft furry belly in the process. The brother who had bitten off his tail took his chance and leapt forward his large incisor teeth bared. In seconds he had chewed through to the stomach and didn’t stop until he was virtually inside his older brother. The fight was knocked out of #30022 and the last things he sensed were the scent of his parents arriving. A tiny flicker of hope welled up inside him despite the unbearable pain of his grievous wounds. He died as his mother sank her teeth into the back of his neck, severing his spinal cord and allowing his head to be torn off.

GOV Senior Scientific Officer Goldiing watched the attack with interest from a few inches above the rat’s Perspex habitat. There were many cameras recording the event from different angles but he liked to see things like this close up and personal, rather than rely on the monitor feed.

Once #30022 was dead, the rest of his family ate most of him, and then almost immediately their homicidal rage seem to completely subside. For the next few minutes they preened their brother’s blood and guts from themselves and then got on with their routine exercises – as if nothing untoward had happened.

“Perfect, another perfect trial,” Goldiing mumbled to him self as he reached into the habitat and carefully removed the bloody bones that were all that was left of #30022.
“I’m a genius, I really have created the ultimate weapon.”
He carefully sealed the remains in an evidence bag and went back to his workstation to file his report.

The Victim Marker project was running according to plan. In fact it was delivering over and above the best-case scenarios: every test creature ‘marked’ with the newly developed isotope had been killed within minutes.

Other extracts from Darkmatters the novel by Matt Adcock:

Film Gunfight

Fear of Death

Cleric Shows Up

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