Many moons ago I was asked by my good friend Matt LeDrew of Engen Books to do up a short story based in the universe of his "Black Womb" series. I agreed and had a concept in mind that started with a microscopic, sentient parasite for a villain. Then I hit a roadblock, well, a writing block. I haven't put pen to paper in almost a year, I just haven't had any idea of how I'd continue with any of the stories that I'd started.
Then, as I said in my last entry, I started this blog and I started forcing myself to get into the routine of writing something, anything at least once a day. That kick started the neurons in my ol' brain bucket and I've started looking over three stories that I've had on the shelf. So without further adieu, here's the revised start of my Engen universe short story.
"What the hell went wrong?" demanded The Director as he threw a heavy folder across
the conference room table. It slid to a stop in front of the two scientists, the words "Black
Womb" written on the front staring up at them like an accusation.
"That mess was hardly caused by us." said Samantha Au'Coin "We had no interaction
with that project."
The Director cut her off. "Your research shares starting points and both fall under the
Biological Weapons Research Division. Both projects started here in Geneva so you
must have had some idea as to what was going on!"
Samantha raised her hand to catch an errant piece of her blonde hair and tucked it
back behind her ear. "Well Sir, yes it's true our projects shared a starting point, but they
diverged when that fool Abner Jenkins closed everyone out of his lab and requested
to move the entire thing to the States. How he got past the psych evaluations I'll never
know, the man was unhinged."
"There wasn't much of the man left as I heard it." interjected Anthony Fredricks. "He
was a mess after the accident, I don't know why the board encouraged his development
instead of terminating what he became."
"It is not your place to question the decisions of the board Dr. Fredricks, you were hired
for your work in genetics, not for your personal opinions!" Yelled the Director "I'm not
interested in what you thought of Dr. Jenkins, I want to know what went wrong."
"Well Sir" started Samantha "just skimming this file; tissue regeneration, human
mutation, gestational manipulation, organ harvesting. None of this was included in the
main project or had any part in the research. Our human trials aren't scheduled to begin
for at least six months, it looks like Jenkins was trying to put his own agenda ahead of
the company and it burned him."
"I'm pretty sure the reactor blowing up in his face was what burned him." said Anthony
The Director frowned
"Ummm.. I mean... he deviated from the goals set by the board and tried to put his own
agenda ahead of everything else. As a result, one of his experiments escaped and is
now inside a high school student. In addition, one early test subject is dead, another
is in jail and the research complex is in ruins. Dr. Jenkins himself is thought to have
perished in the explosion."
"And his research files?" Asked The Director
Anthony thumbed through the file folder. "It looks like a team has been dispatched to
check through the rubble and see if the backups are intact from his project, we should
know in about eighteen hours if anything was salvageable and just what exactly he was
up to with his project. Once we know what's what, then we can determine if this project
can be incorporated into our own, or if everything associated with 'Black Womb' needs
to be terminated."
"Sir, given that our own research is in espionage and covert infiltration" added
Samantha "I'm not really sure where we can use the creature he created. It might be for
the better if we were to just cut our losses and move on. We've had promising results
with all the tests we've run so far, Project Whisper has the potential to be the greatest
revolution in spying since the button camera. However we concentrate on stealth and
subtlety, where 'Black Womb' is about brute force and carnage."
"Well then it's a good thing the board is paying you for your research and not to decide
Engen policies isn't it Dr. ?" Said The Director flatly. "We have decided to keep Project
Black Womb online for now, and if we decide that you should absorb it into your own
project then you'll just have to find a way won't you?"
"Yes Sir." Samantha replied.
"Good. I'm glad that we understand each other."