August 14, 2151
The Upper Echelon is said to have approved a series of experiments on rats today. What the experiments will consist of has not been released to the public, but theories are already circulating throughout The Districts. These theories include various speculations such as a renewable energy source, and a cure for cancer. A more eccentric theory circulating the rumor-mill comes from Swiss scientist Liam Oezdemir, who believes that “the rats will unlock a secret to the human anatomy and reveal things about humanity on unprecedented levels.”
Updates will be released as more news comes on the subject, but one thing is for sure: the future holds extremely interesting fortunes. In other news, The UE held its…
The van rolled down the road. The Mole in the driver’s seat, Martha passenger, Noah and Isaac in the cargo area. This bumpy drive was all too familiar for Isaac. Crop back then, man now.
The moon was full that night which meant more light to see, but also to be seen.
The Mole turned the headlights off as they reached the vicinity of the factory, and as they reached the building the engine as well. With the vehicle in neutral, the only hint of what was to come was the foreboding sound of pebbles and asphalt being crushed underneath the wheels.
They parked on the back side of the factory just like they had planned. Away from any Sentinel or Scanner route. They were free to whisper here.
“How many are we going to try and get?” Isaac asked. Surely they couldn’t fit every body in one trip.
“As many as we can.” Noah said. “Martha, you stay here and keep watch. You..” He pointed at The Mole. “Come with us.”
The three men walked to the edge of the factory, seeming to almost come together in formation. Albeit, a loose one.
“We should have waited for a night with more cloud cover. Maybe rain.” The Mole said.
“We’ve waited too long already. Word about Daybreak is starting to spread through The Byways. Just a matter of time before it winds up at The Crest’s feet.” Noah said. “Isaac, you take front since you know this area more than any of us.”
The formation broke into a line of three up against the factory wall. Isaac peered around the corner. A scanner hummed off in the distance. It’s headlight weaving through the trees, making their shadows strafe through the woods. It was too far away to notice the group.
Too close now to whisper, Isaac motioned for the group to move forward around the corner. The next obstacle was the large bay door that led into the factory. Inside, two Sentinels patrolled the aisles of concrete and flesh. They walked in sync down the main aisle before splitting off in opposite directions down the width of the factory.
Isaac was shocked that there were now patrolling guards in the factory. They hadn’t been there the other times. He signaled to the group but they couldn’t stay there long. A spotlight was fixated above the bay door, illuminating their entrance. Isaac turned to check the location of the scanner. It had ventured out into the crowd of trees. If anything, they would be able to hear the low hum if it turned back towards them.
Isaac gave the signal to crouch and move into the factory. Noah, The Mole and Isaac each took cover at a separate concrete slab. Noah peaked over the top of the body next to him. The Cultivator’s office lights were off. He wasn’t home.
The Sentinels had now re-converged at the center aisle to continue their joint patrol. The group situated themselves on opposite sides of the slabs to evade view. As they passed by, Isaac noticed that the men had devices fixed to their backs. Much like the one that The Cultivator tested on him. Though, Isaac didn’t know what this meant yet, he knew that they should be extra careful.
As the guards passed, Noah moved to the machines connected to the crop beside him. The Mole and Isaac waited at the foot of the slab.
Noah carefully unsheathed the needles from their flesh capsules. The group wouldn’t be lucky enough for the crops to wake like Isaac did. They would have to carry them out.
As they readied to lift the first body, the guards separated into their singular routes at the other end of the factory. The men had to be quick.
The Mole signaled that this one was his.
Noah and Isaac lifted the crop onto his shoulder and The Mole quickly left the factory. He scurried to the van, his legs already fatigued from the weight of the burly male on his shoulder.
Martha had crafted a bed out of a quilt and some folded blankets to lay the crops on while she waited. She helped him get the crop off of his shoulder and lay it on the bed. It’s lifeless body lay there in the deepest sleep, though very much alive.
Meanwhile, Noah and Isaac readied the next crop. This one female. The machine beeped along with her heartbeat. Rushes of blood with each pulse of the organ, until Noah put that to an end. Chrome removed from its home in the vein. It still shimmered in the light, just more red now. Blood pearled on top of the wound before accumulating enough to snowball down her arm. The beeping had stopped.
The Sentinels had again reconverged together at the middle aisle, now making their way back down to the groups end of the factory.
Noah signaled at Isaac to begin the lift of the crop, but his mind had wandered elsewhere. His home had caught his eye. His slab. The womb that held him for twenty-three years. There it stood, and on top of it lay a fetus. Still slimy and wet as if it had been birthed only moments earlier. There it laid, fixed to the machine. It beeped along with its tiny heart and its blood rushed through the tubes as well. The needle seemed almost the size of the tiny human’s arm. Isaac had been replaced.
Noah frantically signaled to Isaac as the guards approached, resorting to waving and other big movements. It was too late. The Sentinels had noticed either the men or the empty concrete slab because they were now running down to investigate.
Isaac finally snapped out of it, but it was a moment too late.
“Take her!” Noah yelled.
Isaac threw the woman over his shoulder. He hesitated to leave, waiting for Noah to join him. But Noah was now in the clutches of the Sentinels.
The guards forced him to his knees, one of them clobbering the back of his head with the butt of their gun. Noah’s body clobbering the floor in the same fashion. His cheekbone smacked the concrete, reminiscent of a bat slamming an out-of-the-park home run. He laid there lifeless like all of the crops among him.
Isaac turned and ran out of the huge bay door, Sentinels close behind. The long lost scanner had made its return and followed in tow lighting the whole area with its headlamp.
“Start the van!” Isaac sprinted with everything he had. With the crop over his shoulder it was like trying to run in knee deep water.
Martha and The Mole jumped into the cab of the van and quickly turned the ignition. Isaac jumped in the back, slinging the female crop down as gently as he could in that situation. Slamming the cargo doors behind him, the van skidding off before they shut.
“Where’s Noah?!” Martha asked hysterically.
“He’s gone…I don’t know. The Sentinels got to him.”
“Shit!” The Mole said, gripping his mouth as if to shove the word back in.
“What happened in there, Isaac?!” Martha trying to keep the van on the road in all of the excitement.
“I…” Isaac tried to make sense of it in his head. “I spaced out. I spaced out when I saw my old home. My old slab.” As soon as the words left his mouth he wept with immense guilt.
Martha and The Mole both looking back at him, didn’t say a word. The vehicle zig-zagged its way back to The Byways.