Red Eyes

by Caleb Weaver |

The man standing in front of him was human once, but not anymore. It takes Bruce a second to get the aim but he hesitates for another second before pulling the trigger. Blood and brains fly out the back of the man’s head as he falls onto his knees, then topples over flat onto the floor.

“Let’s move.” In a low voice Bruce shouts at the men behind him.

Taking small and careful steps the men move quickly down the corridor. With their fingers on the trigger, door after door they open to make sure the rooms hold no surprises while their ears listen for noises other than their own breathing.

“Last one. Ready?” Zack had his back to the wall and his hand on the door knob at the ready.

Turning to Mike, Bruce nods. Mike nods back in response. Facing the door with his finger in the air, Bruce gestures for Zack to open the door. Bruce and Mike hold their guns anticipating the next few minutes while Luke stands behind them covering their backs.

“On your right!” Bruce hears Mike shout. Turning to his right, he pulls the trigger and brings down the man that comes towards him and grabbing at him.

But the man stands up and lunges at Bruce, biting at him. With an arm against the man’s chest, Bruce tries pushing him away. Next to his ear, Bruce could hear a bullet whoosh by as it tore through the air digging itself into the man’s forehead. Blood sprays all over Bruce’s face as the man falls.

“You okay?” Mike shouts at Bruce.

“Yeah. Thanks.” Wiping the blood away from his eyes, Bruce gazed at the open door. “Secure that door.”

The team looks around for more dangers under the flickering lights. The whole laboratory was in disarray. Broken beakers on the floors, papers everywhere. The floors crackle as the men search around. Bruce hears sounds of paper ruffling as he uses one of the sinks to clean the blood off of himself. He gargles a few times to get the salty taste of blood out of his mouth.

“You guys find anything?” Bruce asks, drying his hands off on his camouflage pants.

Hovering over a laptop sitting atop the counter, Luke replies, “There’s a video here that was made a few hours ago.”

Zack peers out the rectangular window of the door searching for other signs of danger while Mike and Bruce looks over Luke’s shoulder at the laptop.

“I think it’s the guy Mike just put down.” Luke says, pointed with his head at the body near their feet. “Play it?”

“Yeah.” Bruce says. “Maybe it’ll tell us what the hell’s going on here.”

***

The man on the screen adjusted the camera.

Well, this sucks. I guess if you’re seeing this, then it means I’ve either turned into one of those things or I’m dead.

Raising his eyebrows, the man sighed.

Okay then. Let’s start from the beginning. My name is Doctor Kenneth Jenkins. This whole mess all started when my team got the funding for our research.

Jenkins paused for a moment and stared at the camera.

Our lab does research in nano and biotechnology. A few years back, our research gave the world a new hope in the fight against cancer with the help of bioengineered nanobots that targets cancer cells. Our gift to the world did its job, giving cancer patients around the world new hope. Our success, however, also caught the interest of the government.

Jenkins pursed his lips, breathed in deeply and breathed out deeply.

The government wanted us to create something that could help our soldiers in their ongoing wars. The Generals wanted us to create something that would give their troops a fighting advantage. At the time, I was already working on an idea that would in theory involve the use of nanobots to speed up the regeneration of living tissue.

Looking away from the camera, Jenkins continued.

At first, the research went well with no complications. The rats we experimented on all showed rapid recovery from seriously inflicted wounds. Our research was ready eventually for human testing.

Returning his gaze, Jenkins moved in closer.

For the purpose of the tests, we had to intentionally wound the soldier who volunteered. The soldier’s stab wounds healed almost instantaneously as a result of the nanobots we injected into him. But things started to go wrong when…

Growling and scratching noises in the background distracted Jenkins for a moment.

Things started going wrong when the computers at our lab got hacked. A hacker collective found out what we were doing here and they weren’t happy with us helping continue a war instead of ending it. So they hit our systems with a virus. The virus messed with the programming of the nanobots and somehow rewired the nanobots to wreak havoc on the nervous system of their hosts.

The noises in the background grew louder.

The soldier was the first to turn. The nanobots in his body was automatically updated with the new programming wirelessly. His eyes started turning red as the nanobots drilled into his brain. He screamed as cell by cell the nanobots started to take control of his body. And then he stopped screaming and just started attacking everyone. Biting them. Ripping off their skins. And those he attacked, after a few hours they turned too. I’m guessing the nanobots entered the victims through the bites of the attackers.

Jenkins pulled back his shirt, revealing his shoulder.

I was bitten by one of my colleagues. I’m not sure how long I have before the nanobots turn me. If you see this, sorry for attacking you and I hope this video clarified a few things.

The video ends.

***

“What’d you guys make of this?” Luke turns and looks up. “Bruce, oh man, your eyes.”

Stepping backward and with a confused look, Bruce asks, “My eyes?”

“They’re red.” Says Mike, his pistol pointing at Bruce.

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