Saturday, November 3, 2012

Part 6

Continued from Part 5


 Ox swings the door wide and stands in doorway, blocking my view. His curse is just barely audible. "Sir, this doesn't look good."

  "Proceed," Dragon answers. "Back in formation. Tighten up. No mistakes."

  Immediately, Squirrel and Otter fall into place on my right and left, Dragon falls back behind us. As Ox cautiously moves further into the Dungeon and away from the door, I begin to see what had him concerned.

  We enter onto the mezzanine that overlooks the laboratory called the Dungeon. I have no idea who it was that first started calling it the Dungeon, but it is fitting.

  It is a cavernous lab in the bowels of the building, filled with tools and machines only understood by the pasty engineers and scientists that call this place home.  One quadrant is filled with cages of an assortment of monkeys, rodents, and other test subjects that howl for their freedom. Other than the designated zoo, to the uninitiated, there is no rhyme or reason to the equipment scattered throughout the lab. There are dozens of computer work stations and everywhere that you look there are rows of test tubes or a mass of wires pulled from some unfinished project. Large constructs and machinery take up great swaths of the floor.  Cubical dividers are placed haphazardly; I imagine that their location changes daily at the whims of the Gods that rule this place. The creative genius of the minds at work in this space have to be allowed freedom to flex and move, to grow and contract.

  Today, it looks more like a dungeon than ever. It glows red with emergency lighting and it lacks the hustle and bustle of the brilliantly scatterbrained and perpetually distracted.There are signs of violence; shattered glass covers the cement floor where beakers and test tubes have been smashed. Workstations have been overturned and their contents left broken on the floor. But it is the bodies that make this place look like a mid-evil dungeon. The mezzanine is too high and the lighting too dim for me to see the details, but it doesn't take a coroner to identify a body as dead when it is sprawled unnaturally in a pool of dark liquid. From my perch I can see at least a dozen. From my knowledge of this place I know that that there must be more. A lot more.