A Short Story by Michael Kilman
Email dated April 19th, 2037 09:37 am
I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but I’ve been swamped at the office with a rash of new missing persons’ cases. It seems that similar circumstances surrounding your husband’s disappearance are beginning to turn up all around the city. As I said before, if I have any new leads on your husband I will let you know as soon as possible.
I appreciate your patience and your cooperation
Email dated April 23rd, 2037 13:15 pm
You said that if I found anything that might help in the investigation to forward it on to you. I asked my brother Scott to come over and help me get into Darrell’s emails and he figured out the password.
What we found is really strange. We don’t know quite what to make of it. Funny thing is, we only have the sent emails. It’s like someone deleted all the stuff out of the inbox but forget the sent folder.
I tried to call you several times today but for a while, all the lines were busy and then they just went dead. Are you having phone problems over there? As you know the drive is pretty far, so here’s what I found.
Date April 3rd, 2037 21:23 pm
The experiment tomorrow is proceeding as planned. We traced the hackers back to a Chinese lab and planted a little virus of our own. There should be no further interruptions. I understand your concerns about using this email but it is well encrypted. Without my password, it is impossible to access this email. The Roaches are ready to rumble.
Date: April 6th, 2037 17:17 pm
The experiment was a remarkable success. The roaches’ bodies no long need a transplant; we have completely rewired their DNA with the AI so that the Nanobots grow into the exoskeleton from right from birth. They’re like mini armadillos. Some of them are even starting to run around in little packs, like wolves. It’s fascinating I could watch them for hours.
Also, their nanite armor is incredible. Paul Watson tried to kill one of them with a hammer, and though he succeeded, it took him almost a dozen swings before it died. There may be a military application in addition to our original goals. But don’t quote me on that in one of your reports.
But what’s truly unbelievable is that the carbon they extract out of the atmosphere is eighteen times higher than our original estimates. And today Singh Haig had a brilliant thought. We experimented with allowing them to consume radioactive medical waste. Thus far the results are promising. With your permission, we would like to try to use spent fuel rods from the nearby power plant.
The raw data is on its way through the usual channels. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Date: April 7th 2037 18:51pm
I understand your concern with the breeding rates and it is noted. We aren’t sure why their multiplying so fast but we are going to try and use that to our advantage. I mean there is a lot of carbon in the atmosphere and even with several millions of these things, it will take years to undo the damage that’s been done. Besides Paul is having a lot of fun with testing out armor strength on the various specimens with that hammer. I swear all he does is swing that thing around now. Population control I guess?
I would also like to note that some of the roaches have taken on an interesting green glow. Some images and videos are attached to this email.
Date: April 9th 2037 13:11pm
I am sorry to report that Paul Watson has disappeared. We searched around the complex and all we found was that damn hammer. The crazy thing is, it had a little dried blood on it. Paul must have whacked himself on accident at some point.
But with his disappearance, we now suspect that he was the mole for the Chinese. We have tightened our security around here but for now, we will continue the tests. I will say that the population is approaching a critical limit. They are definitely breeding faster than we anticipated. At this rate, we will have to call in an exterminator. Just kidding! But we are going to have to thin the numbers a bit and there are too many now to use a hammer.
Date: April 11th 2037 17:01pm
I don’t know what to say. Mike Brokes, Singh Haig and Vanessa Martinez have all gone missing. Their family hasn’t heard from them either. The leaves only myself and Amy Johnson.
There’s been another troubling development. We gassed 3 of the 8 of the enclosures with the Roaches to thin out the numbers and well, when we came in this morning, a fourth enclosure was empty. I mean, it’s as if the damn things just vanished. We have put the whole lab on lockdown. Amy said she heard some strange noises in the ducts. So I went up there to check it out, and I thought I saw something glowing, but I think it was only my mind playing tricks on me.
Date: April 12th 2037 03:12am
General, oh god. They got Amy. I saw them. The ones that escaped, there are tens of thousands of them now. When then moved, it was like they were one body. They picked her up and took her right in front of me. I chased them. I tried to stop them, but I was only able to kill a few them. That armor. They’re so fast and General, some of them are growing. I saw one the size of a cat.
I don’t know where they went. They just seemed to vanish around a corner. And then I heard her screaming. They must have taken her underground or something.
I’m the only one left here. I’ve locked myself in a sealed enclosure, nothing should be able to get in or out. But Jesus General, it was the gas. This all started when we gassed those three enclosures. I wonder if Paul… but never mind that now.
I know this is going to sound crazy but I think they want revenge. Or maybe this was the Chinese, or the AI or the radiation, I don’t know but I do know I can’t stop them. I’m trapped.
Oh no. Their crawling all over the window trying to get in. Oh god, the window is cracking. I don’t think I have much time.
General, we can’t let these things get out. Do whatever you have to do to stop them. Even Protocol 7JF if you have to.
Tell my wife I love her.
End Forwarded Messages
You see why I don’t know what to think of all this? I mean I thought maybe this was some sort of piece of fiction my husband wrote. He does like writing his crazy stories. You should have read the one who wrote about the zombie ferrets. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever read.
But Detective, do you think there is any connection between this all the missing people in town?
I hope this helps Detective, I really do. I’ll try calling again tomorrow. I’m terribly worried about my husband.