Sykes tunnel vision view of a deserted laboratory was unlike any he could have imagined. His head’s immobility impaired any attempt to study his surroundings. Walking was laborious as though the floor were wet clay.

         Neck muscles frozen, Sykes rotated his eyeballs until they strained. This allowed his peripheral vision to take in more information, but the acquired data remained the same for as far as he could focus in any direction.

         As his brain assimilated the facts, Sykes perceived row after endless row of glass-encased embryos, each in its own womb-like environment. They floated in different positions in translucent fluid. The color of this liquid varied in each case, but had a luminescent quality not unlike neon. It traveled through transparent tubes hooked up to oversized bottles with chrome-like fixtures; each artery flowed to and from an undetermined external source. Stained paper labels adhered to each encasement, but Sykes found it impossible to interpret the lettering upon them.

Voices started to crowd Sykes’ mind. On some subconscious level, he knew they belonged to the fetal entities. Was it their attempt to communicate? All his energy channeled into his auditory canal, to no avail. The sounds overlapped one another as he passed each fetus. And pass them, he did. In fact, he became a runaway truck devoid of brakes on an endless downhill grade. Somehow, the harder he tried to slow his pace, the faster his body moved. The mysterious power that took control of him would not let him distinguish any visual or auditory details.

The embryonic bell jars never stopped approaching and vanishing from his field of vision. Tens of thousands must have flashed by; it was impossible to count them. What were they all there for? The more he tried to unravel this knot, the tighter it became, until Sykes lost his perspective. Those internal voices increased in volume and zipped through his brain ever faster. Meanwhile, his body continued to glide along this surrealistic landscape. Sykes felt about to explode.


Sykes did not have a clear view of the monitor. Instead, he focused on the greenish aura that caressed the spikes of Ultra’s hair and felt something snap. It was as though he were sucked into the monitor through the back of Ultra’s head. Numbers and letters in a variety of fonts and point sizes flashed by like images in a 360-degree theater. Thin filaments of phosphorescent color snaked around him like the glowing trails of fireflies against the black of night. Every so often, they formed an entire 3-D network in myriad geometric forms, first as a cube; then as an ovoid, and so forth. Each time one faded, it was replaced by another. This succession progressed at such a frantic pace it appeared as an ever-changing lattice that morphed into any shape it desired. With more intense concentration, Sykes saw digitally written information within this greater framework. But, instead of characters and numbers set next to one another, they lined up in a progressive fashion. Sykes was a microbe swallowed by an interlocking cosmos of living symbols.

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