Chapter 2

RECORD: 4087E201$EUR-0.311
SUBJECT: Security Log E-127
TEST NO: 167 - Radiolarian Fluid Injection - Trial 1
IDENTITIES: C. Bray I, J. Wong, Patient 02
LOCATION: Europa – Deep Stone Crypt

[C.B.] That's twice now. Direct consumption and direct injection yield similar results.

[J.W.] Airborne has been disproven, but direct contact with the fluid still produces corruption.

[C.B.] I wish you wouldn't call it that. It's not corruption. It's reprogramming. I'd like to bring Helga into these sessions. She has an engineer's mind; she'll find the workarounds we need. Slimmer units, stronger materials, alternate power sources.

[J.W.] I would advise against that. She's… the pursuit of science isn't always her top priority.

[C.B.] When she sees what we're seeing—the precipice of a new age—she'll fall in line.

[J.W.] I like working without jurisdiction. Wasn't that the point of us coming out here? With her track record, it'll only be a matter of time before the human ethics organizations come down on us—

[C.B.] When did I ask for your opinion on this? Send in the clean-up crew and prep the next patient.

[J.W.] …Sir. His arm… it's transforming…

[C.B.] Would you look at that.

[J.W.] It appears to be replacing cells on an individual level.

[C.B.] Can it be contained? Is there a way to stop the spread?

[J.W.] We can amputate, but at this rate, I doubt we'd be fast enough.

[C.B.] Perhaps exposure to Clarity would slow it down? We need to control this, study the arm. If he's going to die anyway, maybe we just amputate and pair the arm with another patient.

[J.W.] But we don't currently have any other… Oh.

[C.B.] Wouldn't you like to have a shiny new arm? Don't you want to be stronger? Invulnerable?

[J.W.] …

[C.B.] Don't act so surprised. You know what we're working towards.