Isaac Cosby - Creative Writing Through Science Fiction
I sat in the chair in the bright, empty room. The paneling on the wall had a very distinct pattern of a few overlapping squares with a picture of a dove, each panel was about 60 centimeters long, and the floor, ceiling, and walls all had 25. The buzzer rang, and I kept track of how many times the buzzer rang. It rings periodically every time I complete or begin a test. Each test is either a completely new or an old one. Sometimes, the buzzer won't ring for the longest time, I don’t remember much of my past, but I may be part of some sort of social experiment. However, that’s to be determined. Which probably means that the next buzzer is the start of a new day. I completed the test, and the panel that held the table disappeared into the ground. Surprisingly, this time it didn’t close. It always used to close. It wasn’t right, but it allowed me to see what was underneath the circuitry. I couldn’t see much except a retreating arm, which defined an abyss quite a ways down. And then, just as I was starting to think, an alarm blared, and the walls spat out some gas. My head got heavier and heavier until I fell prey to the toxic gas.
I awoke sitting on the chair in the bright, empty room. The paneling on the wall had a very distinct pattern of a few overlapping squares with a picture of a dove, except this time, each panel was lined with some sort of steel and layered with an extra metallic coating. The buzzer rang, I had no clue what had happened before I woke up, but intruding thoughts got the best of me. I had completed a few tests, the paneling seemed more robust than the previous model, and they now had a locking system. Still, it was inadequate. There was always a brief moment before the panel would close, and upon closer inspection, there were four layers of locks. If I could find a way to rig the arm to keep the doors open for another 7 seconds, I could escape. However, there are no cameras in this room. So unfortunately, the only reason the paneling would let out a bloodcurdling screech is if the sensors were in the paneling, like some sort of light sensor, and my logic suggests that there would be some here. After breaching the system on the next arm, I could hold onto it through the floor and then block the light sensor until it was time to close the door. I’ll know what it looks like when I see it. The plan worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I misjudged the speed of the arm, so once it noticed that the doors hadn’t closed, the arm stopped its operation, and the alarm blared again. So the arm shot me back up through the panel and sprayed the gas.
I awoke sitting on the chair in the bright, empty room. The paneling on the wall had a very distinct pattern of a few overlapping squares with a picture of a dove in the metallic coating. And solid steel. However, something was different. Every panel looked the same. Except for the one where the testing arm was. There was no dove. A hawk replaced the image. Directly at the center of the panel contained a few circles. Once the alarm blared its familiar song, the circles on the panel rose and became the arm. Like those gloves you use when a toxic substance has to be locked in a box. The aforementioned form of escape is not a viable option from now on. So I continued testing. Upon studying the arm, even this system had a flaw. Every time the arm lowered, the panel creaked. I then realized that to contain this new system. They had to remove the locks and the door so no more light sensors. This was fantastic news. Instead of making escape more complex, it made it simpler. The panel creaking insinuates that this is the point where the panel could handle all the pressure it can, so if I could nudge the panel open, I could escape, the plan was foolproof.
Looking back at this, I could easily say that the plan was not, in fact ‘foolproof.’
Although I had found the proper means of escape, through my thought process I had seemingly forgotten what to do once I made it through. The paneling system didn’t seem to think anything was wrong, so it went through as usual. I however forgot that there was nothing beneath my chamber. I have been falling for about half a minute now, realizing that calling out for help remained fruitless as my voice grew more and more hoarse. All of my thoughts raced through my head, and I hadn’t realized that I was rapidly approaching a structure. Was it a building of some type? No, it’s something else, before I had time to react, my instincts acted upon themselves to catch my fall. Upon doing this, I noticed something strange. Gravity makes things fall at 16 feet per second squared, but I feel like I’m movi-
I awoke sitting- wait, I’m not in the room, I am currently suspending off of a ledge that overlooked nowhere. Hauling myself up I discovered that it was some sort of metallic catwalk, except there was nothing to overlook except for nothingness. Trying not to succumb to vertigo, I began walking on the catwalk. There were no handlebars, but that was not a problem due to the immense expanse of the width of said catwalk. It was about 4 meters wide, and the length was seemingly not finite. But the mystery quickly stopped when I saw an opening to a considerably large wall, with no observable start nor end. The tall, dark, foreboding gray walls correlated well with the musky stench that bonded with the sheer emptiness. Nearing the entry the walkway started to creak and groan, which, along with an ominous noise suggested that this space is not nearly entirely empty but extensively apart. I didn’t mind it for long, but by about 300 meters from the opening, a large, foreign, metallic object fell a few meters behind me. The walkway started crackling and then crumbling (for some sort of metal, it was strange how it crumbled), so I started jogging towards refuge. As the crumbling became louder and faster, my jog turned into a run, then a sprint at full speed. It soon became ineffective as the sound of the crumbling cacophony of the quickly pulverizing catwalk caught up to my feet. As soon as my options were slimming, I lept for the entrance.
I had forgotten about my previous life, but one thing has always stuck with me, the view of the ocean. I don’t remember exactly how long ago, but it felt as real as the paneling in the room or the steel of the now granulated walkway. The cool summer mist. The wet sand beneath my feet. The beautiful, rosy sunset. The salty smell of the blue pacific ocean. I thought that view would be the most fantastical view anyone will ever see. But, where I am right now, is a spectacle even transcending human imagination. The room was a kaleidoscopic architectural masterpiece. Pillars that towered for miles, ledges that hid mysterious mechanical structures, and automated machines, dead ahead, 100 meters away. Moving towards the computerized marvel of technology on the marble floor where the noise of my feet reverberated throughout the whole room.
I couldn’t see what the machines were making, but it was mesmerizing to watch. I had to get a closer look. The only way to get down there was to leap over a partition about chest height from me. So I put my palms onto the ridge, pushed myself onto it, and slid off with my legs. I neared the manufacturing line and observed what was happening. I leaned onto one of the machines in disbelief, and they all stopped. Not just the ones on this line but all of the others here. They all turned to me, and they looked like the testing arm on my panel. I then heard a small, windowed thudding. Slowly gazing to my left, I noticed where the line deposited the yield. It was some sort of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (I could’ve said drone, I don’t know why I said it like that.) It was trying to break through, but then another one came to its aid, and then more and more until there was a swarm of drones. Once they realized they couldn’t use brute force, the first drone activated something. It seemed to be amping or revving something up, and as soon as I came to my senses. A loud bang was propelled at the reinforced window and shattered it completely. And all of the drones raced in my direction. I panicked, and a surge of adrenaline coursed through my body, and I ran for it on the conveyor belts.
The amount of fear and the sense of danger was the thing that kept me as far away as I possibly could from the hive of drones that fired their ammunition. All of a sudden, It became harder to run. The conveyor belts are turned on and are gradually increasing speed. I had to run and avoid the mechanical arms that were turning in my direction as well as make sure that I didn’t fall into one of the depositories that led to certain death. The arms then let out a piercing alarm that surely damaged my ears. Looking ahead, there was an end to the mechanical production lines. But the road to it was perilous, the arms got smarter, and they opened their grippers, grabbed one of the arms nearest to it, and spun them around like a deadly noisemaker. The danger then became more perilous when the arms tried to grab me and hold me in place. One arm succeeded and momentarily hindered my escape and was nearly grazed by the propellers of a drone, but I moved the arm in its path and cut the gripper from the arm.
My escape was swift, I had run into a hallway, and I found a door with an intelligent locking system, so I ran through and closed the door. I heard a noise that sounded like a barrage of broken drones. Looking through the window on the door, most had shut down. I turned around in relief, and there was a hallway made almost entirely of glass, with entryways closed with hastily put-up caution tape to precarious sets of stairs. There was a completely untouched one, but it went up higher than the others. I walked through, with my eyes on where I was going, and on the stairs.
After a while, I started to notice a pain that I didn’t notice before on my left hand, turns out that the arm that grabbed me earlier left mild injuries on my hand. I was about halfway up the stairs to wherever this leads. And it was to another hallway. Reaching the top, I noticed that the decoration was very different compared to everywhere else. Instead of an industrial look, this has sort of a more office style, like the beige carpeting or the occasional (dead) plant. The hallway also had that smell, the smell that most commercial buildings have. I’m starting to think that this isn’t some social experiment. Most of the doors were locked, but one stood out above the rest. Instead of the usual brown pine wood, this door was dark blue and made of steel. I turned the handle, and the door let out a loud creak.
Underwhelming, I thought. The first thing I felt when that needlessly heavy door made the wind rush into the room. Usually, when the room is so devoid of air. There would be something special. Nope, documents, papers, paperweights, a 2004 calendar (it wasn’t 2004 by the way), and a fallen-down bulletin board. Why even make this door if there wasn't anything secret in here? Unless. I began rummaging through the documents. I eventually came across a blueprint for those threatening drones from earlier, the DM Battle drone. And another one called the VM Battle drone. I have never heard of such devices. The DM (apparently) can produce electrical shocks up to 9,000V, which didn’t sound very pleasant. Now the VM is equipped with various artillery weapons. Including a gun that fires 8mm rounds and two rifles that fire 7 and 12 mm rounds. A railgun and a “Sound Weapon,” I don’t want to come across this thing. There was a note attached to the board on the ground that read ‘ROOM #139874, COMPLEX 130’. That signifies over 10000 floors of this structure, times 130 is 1300000 for the other complexes. There could be even more rooms and complexes. I estimate, due to the size of the darkness beneath and above me, about 500,000 rooms in each complex, and maybe 200 complexes.
I walked outside that room feeling quite terrified about those drone things, and then I remembered that there wasn’t any other direction to go, but this building is tall, so there were bound to be more stairs or an elevator somewhere. I walked up to the other locked doors and tried to break them down with brute force. Some gave out, but they were just storage rooms. I kept breaking down doors until I finally came across a hallway. There were two things in the hallway, the elevator at the end and another doorway. I walked to the door, which was already open, and saw that there were just some papers and a keycard. The paper was written in a foreign language that I couldn’t understand. But the keycard had a note that said, ‘R-139874 C-130’, just like the note in the other room. I grabbed the key and walked to the elevator.
I completely underestimated the number of rooms in the complex. Walking to the elevator, one thing struck out as different from the other elevators. Instead of the usual buttons that you press, that lets the elevator do its job. There’s a keypad where you input which floor you want to go to. Or more specifically, which room you want to go to.
This elevator was special because if you didn’t know which floor the room was, you could just input the room number. I looked at the input screen and tapped on the white box that wrote ‘insert room/floor here,” with parentheses that held ‘floors numbered 1-10,000,000,000,000,000,000.’ Ten Quintillion floors, I nearly fainted at the sight of it, visualizing that many floors were overwhelming. Trying not to think much of it, I pressed *Room 139874*. And the elevator activated.
The elevator was fast, I couldn’t even tell which direction I was going. It felt like I was moving in every direction at once at light speed. And then, as quickly as it started, it stopped. The doors of the disturbingly rattly elevator whimpered open to a rotten-down version of the floor from earlier. And I’m not kidding when I say this is the same floor. Every room number is the same as earlier, except for the one with the blue door. The door was now on the floor, and the paint which was deprived of its color matched the rotting walls from the leaking overhead water pipes. And the tag said room 139874. Everything in the room was where I put it, but now there’s another addition to this lifeless room, another door.
I walked up to this advanced security door. Unlike everything else in this room, the door didn’t have rust on it. I looked at the keycard scanner and pressed the key against it. The reader rang with an affirmative ding! and the door, along with a succession of clicks, began to open. The inside of this monstrous room was like the magnum opus of filing cabinets, the chef-d'oeuvre of catalogs. I approached the endless hall of files that weren’t sorted at all, but walking up to a gap between the cabinets, I saw a desktop. The desktop was already on, and the screen contained one icon, named ‘PolXYRR,’ PolXYRR? I hadn’t heard of such a thing, so I double-clicked the icon and opened a folder showing four other icons. News articles, Products, lastditch.mp4, and security. I opened the news articles first, the articles seemed to be out of order, and read as follows:
PolXYRR begins Space Missions
PolXYRR recently announced the beginning of space exploration, any knowledge of why is still unknown. PolXYRR, the powerful tech company created by the now-late Ryder Stevenson, has grown to a large extent due to recent events. And now, they are going to put people in space, Addy Stevenson says that it is to find new resources, and to begin to localize space travel.
PolXYRR was investigated for cruel experimentation.
PolXYRR is currently under investigation for alleged cruelty from animal/human experimentation, the whistleblower stated this in a recent tweet. “There have been vicious acts of active human/animal experimentation/unsafe workspace, and unpaid labor. I request a full investigation on PolXYRR before it’s too late, something is going on.” Investigations have led to false claims, but the whistleblower mysteriously disappeared days after the investigation started. Ryder Stevenson currently has nothing to say on the matter.
Ryder Stevenson, a newcomer in the world of technology invents Non-Harmful Pesticide.
Ryder Stevenson invents a pesticide that is guaranteed to kill pests easily, and effectively, with no harm to you, or your plants! A celebration party to Ryder’s new company PolXYRR, along with its sister company Hexagate. will be hosted at PolXYRR headquarters on Feb 7th, 1977.
PolXYRR takes over the United States.
PolXYRR, the massive tech company famous for putting its automated products into everybody’s household, has taken over the United States. Months after the investigation, PolXYRR employees, followed by Ryder Stevenson stormed the white house and assassinated the president. Ryder makes a Public statement broadcast to the rest of the United States, here is an excerpt. “Citizens of these former United States, the time of your republic is over, but the time for our Corporatocatic Empire is about to begin.”
Why have I never heard of this? I have had a life before, well, this. So why is this information entirely foreign to me? Also, I don’t understand how an entire corporation could do this. It’s treason. There must’ve been some way to know beforehand.
PolXYRR employees are marching eastward, but no one knows why.
Just yesterday, employees of PolXYRR began to march east. An overhead view of the situation shows thousands of employees leaving Silicon Valley. A few hours later, the employees were crossing the Nevadan Border, residents say that Ryder Stevenson is leading this march, so there’s no evidence of a strike. Officials are heading toward the predicted course in Denver to intervene.
Army ‘Merely Hinders’ march from progressing.
The United States Army failed to stop PolXYRR from the march. The attack last week on Denver confirmed that the mob is armed and dangerous. The whistleblower has also made a comeback after months of silence. Here is the latest tweet, “PolXYRR is planning to enact a coup to take down the capital by force. You can’t stop them, if I had been listened to, this could’ve been averted.”
Hexagate Shuts Down after 65 long years of Service.
Hexgate, the sister company of PolXYRR shuts down after more than 60 long years of running, to commemorate its memory, PolXYRR will host a ‘Thank You’ party on July 4th, 2037. Exactly 65 years after the birth of Hexagate.
Ryder Stevenson, leader of the Corporatocracy of PolXYRR, died today at 5:37 am.
Ryder Stevenson has died in peace today, he will have the country taken over by his daughter Addy Stevenson. Who promised her father “To bring a new Dawn to the empire,” and then spoke the words, “Pledge to the Empire means absolute peace,” which has become the new motto of the PolXYRR Empire.
Breaking News: PolXYRR begins attacking Mexico and Canada
Addy Stevenson, continuing her father's legacy, begins expanding the borders of the Empire as Mexico and Canada struggle to keep enemy forces away from their capitals. Citizens across the nation hope for the success of our country.
That was the last article. I had no idea what to think. The fact that I don’t even remember something this severe is terrifying me. I still had to find things out, so I opened the video titled ‘Last Ditch.’
“Hello,” the modified voice said, “I am currently using a modifier to protect myself. You probably know who I am if you’ve read the articles beforehand. I am the Whistleblower. The rest of North America has fallen, and troops continue to move south and east to conquer the rest of the world.”
This is alarming news. On all sides of the globe, other countries could fail to defend themselves, and even if the empire spreads to all corners of the world, it wouldn’t be able to sustain itself without dividing or some sort of oligarchy. “I am in hiding, there should be an earpiece somewhere in your location, so I should be able to communicate if I’m still alive. There should also be a USB drive in the drawer on this desk. Take it. Transfer the Product file and the security file. I couldn’t read through the security file, so I don’t know what you will come across. Ending video now.” And that was it. I looked in the drawer, and there was the USB stick. So I downloaded the files and thought of the next course of action.
I knew I should find the earpiece so I could find a way out of here. So I headed back to the door from earlier, but I couldn’t see an exit. I checked all around the room. I circled the place multiple times until I found something that wasn’t there before. Just at the end of the hall, I discovered another door. ‘Strange,’ I thought. I carefully walked towards the door, passing the desktop in the process, and find some sort of device. I sat on the office chair looking at the machine when I find a pair of headphones. Putting them on, I noticed that this would be the communication I would be using. I look for the on button. (actually, I test a bunch of buttons at random (desperate times), and as soon as I found it, the machine burst to life. The radio had only one signal, so I put on the earpiece and spoke to the device. I cleared my raw, bleeding throat, “Hello? Are you there?” I ask, but no response, “Attention, this is a distress call. Is anyone there?” still no response. I sat for what seemed to be hours calling out for help, but I was too late. These people have already ripped themselves apart. I put down the earpiece and left.
I headed for the hallway on my left that directed me to a long hallway with another elevator. Defeated, I slumped over to the elevator, but this one was weird, it had buttons, only two of them, so I went ahead and pressed one. And the doors screeched to a close. I begin to move downward. The elevator got faster and then faster until it reached the speed of the earlier elevator. But the elevator didn’t stop. It kept going and going, and eventually, I got scared and dizzy due to the extreme speed. I take a few unbalanced steps toward the corner to wait for it to end. It eventually got to the point where it hurt, and I threw up. The lights started to flicker, and then.
I woke up, not in my chair in the bright, empty room, elated that this wasn’t a dream, but instead, laying down in a broken elevator in my vomit. I begin to stand up but proceed to projectile vomit again. I don’t even understand how. I haven’t eaten in a while. I must be sick. So, more slowly, I stand up again. I clumsily step toward the hallway. I felt weak. Not like walking around the world. More like a ‘boulder crushing my legs’ weak. I emerged from the hallway back into the room with the earpiece, but I knew something was different. I stared at the earpiece on the table and approached it. I sat down on the chair, activated the machine, put on the earpiece, and I spoke, “Hello, is anyone there? This is a distress call. Anyone there, over?” there was no respo-
“Loud and clear, did you download the files?” they asked,
“Affirmative, all files downloaded,” I replied
“Excellent. Make sure you keep that. You will need it. Now follow my instructions, take this earpiece with you, and head back to the file room.” they replied. I headed back to the other room, “Okay, what’s next?” I asked.
“Great, now head back into the elevator,” they said, “Once there, go to the ten quintillionth floor.” Oh no, I don’t want to have to do that again. But if it means escape.
I walked down the hallway back to the elevator, and I put in *Floor 10,000,000,000,000,000,000* and the elevator started going up instantly. This time, it went even faster than the last elevator, but I didn’t faint. I maintained my composure up to the final floor.
The elevator doors opened to a large hallway with multiple spheroids at the end. Each one covered what seemed to be a tunnel.
“Oh, thank god it worked,” I don’t know what that was supposed to mean. “Now, walk up to one of those pods. You are currently in complex 130. You need to go to complex 567.”
“ . . . Wh-,” I stammered, “567?” I asked.
“Yes, 567 out of 800,” they replied, long pause.
8,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 floors. I just- I can’t right now. That is just massive. I mean, how can you even build that? There isn’t enough space on earth to construct such a thing. It would be around 1.9223 rooms, or 192,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
“Umm, okay,” I headed for the nearest pod. Inside the pod were some seats, television screens, and an input screen. I press 567 (see the pattern now?) and the pod hums to a start.
It isn’t as fast as the elevators, but it’s definitely more ergonomic. When the pod left the 130th complex, the TVs played a corporate-friendly motivational video.
“Hello, Employee! Are you doing well?” it asked, expecting a response. “Well, that’s wonderful! If you are new to this company, I bet you’re thinking about our Rules and Regulations. Well, here at PolXYRRTM, you don’t have to worry about an-anything,” The Television glitched out for a second. “This is Mark. He will be our little puppet for this little adventure! Say, Mark. How familiar ARE you with our rules?” the narrator asked Mark. He replied with a mute shrug. “Well, that’s OK! We aren’t familiar with them either,”
Isaac Cosby is a Freshman at Poudre High School and this is his first time submitting to the Poudre Press. He enjoys writing, video games, and creating new worlds