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A Startling Discovery

Posted on Fri Aug 25th, 2023 @ 11:12pm by Lieutenant Ayana Hillis & Commander Jonathan Grayson

Mission: Damn Dirty Apes
Location: Ape Planet
Timeline: Current

Jon and Ayana continued their trek into the wasteland and a wasteland it certainly was. It was barren and desolate. No sign of life either plant or of a higher order. They had ridden for a couple of hours, stopping several times to rest the horses. No sign of ape pursuit though both Jon and Ayana stayed alert.

it was shortly after their last stop that Jon spotted it. Poking out of the sand. "Ayana look!" He pointed at was clearing the side of a building. As the pair rode closer, they could see it was weather beaten. It appeared to be made of concrete and steel. Dismounting the pair moved in for a closer inspection. It was definitely a building, half buried by the shifting sand. As the pair examined a door was found half blocked by sand and rubble. By moving the rocks and other debris Jon and Ayana were able to gain entrance.

Walking on the badly warped and cracked floor the duo soon realized they were in a medical building or at the very least an advanced laboratory complete with microscopes, Bunson burners. and lab workbenches. "A lab." Jon said as they walked. "A lab in the middle of nowhere." Papers littered the floor, detailing experiments and ongoing research. Jon picked up an upended lab stool. After righting it, he sat on it. When out of the corner of his eye he saw it, a journal! Half stuffed into a drawer. "Ayana, I found something," as he pulled the journal out and found he could read it! "It's in English." He told Ayana as he scanned the pages. "A ship from Earth crashed here. It was made up of scientists, military personnel and civilians. They carried animals and apes along with seeds for fruits and trees." He told her then his face went pale. "Oh my God!" He whispered hoarsely. "This is the result of an experiment gone horribly wrong. They were working on some sort of vaccine, and it ended up retarding human development and speeding up simian development and intelligence. It explains why Deanna said she could sense complex thoughts from the humans she encountered."

Ayana listened intently as she continued to look around the lifeless lab. "It sounds like something from the Eugenics Period. I remember from history class that during that time humanity often experimented on animals, and apes are the closest relative species we have in Earth. It almost sounds like they had a pseudo-arc, like they planned on creating another Earth. That would explain why we have encountered so many native Earth items here, such as the horses and Earth foods like apples and pears. I'm sure Deanna and Sam, and perhaps even Shon would have a field day down here going over all of this."

Ayana walked over to what looked to be a large junction box, similar to something she had seen when they went back in time to 21st century Earth. "Commander, I believe I have located the power systems. I may be able to reactivate things here, which might allow us to gain additional insights."

"Could very well be Ayana. That period was chaotic at best. There is no telling how many ships left that were never recorded and will never be found except by accident." Jon answered. He was still looking at the journal when Ayana mentioned a junction box. "Give it a go Ayana. Let's see what we have."

Ayana did a quick once over before she pulled the lever, and suddenly all of the electronic equipment inside sprung to life, along with the light and environmental systems. She looked at the screen closest to her and used a rag she found nearby to clear off the screen. "This console appears to be a systems diagnostic system. According to this, the solar panels are functioning at 53% efficiency, batteries are fully functional and charged, and water reclamation is active. Something called a HEPA filter is functioning within normal parameters and something called AC is functional and online."

Jon smiled at Ayana. "HEPA is high efficiency particle air filter and AC stands for air conditioning. The room will soon get cooler. Good news about the batteries and the solar panels. All we need now is a deck of cards and we'll be all set."

"Perhaps one of these other computers has some relevant information about what they were doing here" Ayana suggested. "Suppose we can find out while we are looking for that deck of cards."

"We have the time it seems, so this is a worthwhile endeavor. I'd like to learn what secrets this planet holds. We got the appetizer, now let's get the main course." Jon replied as he started looking for a holotape or a DVD disc anything that might give them the answers they sought.

Ayana began searching the building, cleaning off tabletops and screens. "You seem fairly knowledgeable about technology from this period. Is it some sort of hobby?" she asked. She continued to clean things as she waited for Jon to answer. She found a computer screen that had terminology she was unfamiliar with. "Do you know what a VR room is?"

Jon walked around the room. He still had the journal in his hand. Like Ayana he was looking for a tape, a disc anything that would hold a prerecorded message. He nodded at her question. "Yes, I had ancestors who lived during those times. It is really a fascinating period." He stopped as she mentioned VR room. "A VR room? It stands for virtual reality. A precursor to our holodeck. Why?"

"This panel here appears to control this adjacent room, which is apparently a VR room. I am pulling up the file headings." Ayana continued to work on the panel. "These appear to be genetic projects of some sort. I'm afraid I don't know enough about this sort of thing. We need Deanna, or perhaps Sam even to decipher this material."

"That isn't going to happen anytime soon. They can't beam down, and we can't get back to the ship. It is just us. We'll just go through the files. There has to be some useful information we can use to help us understand what is going on" Jon pointed out.

"Well, I am happy to pick one and let you take a look" Ayana offered.

Jon chuckled at Ayana's offer. "Alright, let's do this. Pick a file and I'll go into the VR room and we'll see what happens."

Ayana looked at the file headers. She saw two that were interesting to her, labelled Eden and Caeser. "Alright, how about this one called Caeser."

Jon nodded, "Caesar it is." As he went into the other room. He found a wall mic and toggled it on. "Okay Ayana, put the file on."

"Activating the file. Please tell me it isn't about ancient Rome" Ayana quipped.

"I will." Jon promised. At first there was nothing then he was standing in front of a middle age man in a white lab coat. He was tall and had piercing blue eyes and wispy brown hair. "My name is Dr, Robert Neville and welcome to Project Caesar. The first step in increasing ape intelligence."

"Ayana, get in here now!" Jon yelled into the wall mic.

"Come and meet Caesar." Neville said and waited for the viewer (Jon) to join him. They walked to a cage where a chimp sat contently. "I think my fellow scientists you will be quite impressed with what you are about to see and hear." He unlocked the cage and took the chimp out. "How are we today, Caesar?" The chimp stared intently at Neville and then in a slow but clear voice said. "I am good. Dr. Neville."

"AYANA! NOW!" Jon yelled.

Ayana entered the room and was integrated into the VR simulation. She immediately saw the talking chimp. Walking next to Jon she whispered, "Are we seeing them use eugenics to increase a chimp's intelligence? Somehow I have a feeling that is a mistake."

Jon nodded, his eyes still on Neville and Caesar. "I think so Ayana. It is a mistake. I'm sure of it. No, good can come from this. None." He said firmly as he watched Neville ask Caesar questions and do some math problems which the ape did without a misstep. "They are going down a slippery slope Ayana." As the pair watched more, Caesar's intelligence was more pronounced and Neville seemed to be having more difficulty, remembering details and such. Along with looking tired and worn. "So, it begins." Jon said quietly.

"I wonder if this is the same thing we might expect to see in the Eden file" Ayana pondered aloud.

"I don't know Ayana. Only way to find out is to play the file and see if Eden truly is." Jon replied, his eyes still on Caesar and Neville.

"I'll go put it on" Ayana replied as she made her way over to the console. She worked the controls and a few moments later, the scenery changed as the Eden file began to play.

As the file played, A picture od lush green fields and forests full of trees came into view. It was followed by a picture of a group of children of all colors and races playing in the bright, clear waters of a lake and a voice began to speak. "This is Eden. A new world, to start fresh. To leave the old world and its problems behind. Eden is a new beginning where man can live in peace and harmony."

A scene changed and it showed apes cleaning, gardening doing other odd jobs while human sat around and drank and held parties. "They made the apes slaves. Increase their intelligence enough to handle the jobs and commands they were given." Jon said through gritted teeth, his anger evident.

"This must definitely be from the Eugenics period. Such mindsets were prominent as I recall from my history class" Ayana replied. "Look, they are growing apples and pears. That looks like the orchard we found on the way here."

"Fools. Arrogant damn fools! That is what they were Ayana!" Jon's voice was full of bitterness and anger. "How supposedly smart men can be so stupid is beyond me." He looked at her, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions Ayana. except these weren't good intentions. They may have thought they were improving human life but at the cost of creating a new class of slaves!"

Ayana looked almost taken aback. "It is a prominent part of human history unfortunately commander. My ancestors had a front row seat to it. This sort of thing almost is tailormade if I remember my Earth history correctly to the what the Nazis wanted to do. Something definitely happened here that wasn't in the plans that has caused a major issue. The eugenics likely had something to do with it, but we still haven't found a definitive reason for why things are as they are here now."

Jon shook his head, "The Nazis wanted to exterminate the Jewish people wipe the entire race from existence. The American Civil War was fought because one group of people thought another group should be slaves just because of the color of their skin." he sighed. "You are right Ayana. Something went wrong somewhere to cause what we're seeing now."

Ayana smiled. "You are focusing on certain aspects of the Nazis without looking at everything they did and wanted to do. Jewish people were the primary group targeted, but they were not alone in their harsh treatment or their experiments. And the Nazis weren't looking to wipe out everyone, only certain groups. They planned to essentially enslave those that they didn't eliminate, such as the British and the Americans." She continued watching the VR presentation, "Look at the soil they are planting in. Something about it looks strange."

"Ayana, I didn't say that the Nazis were looking to wipe out everyone. Just the Jewish population. Please don't give me a history lesson." He looked at the screen and specifically at the soil. It had a strange tint to it. "It is irradiated with radiation to hopefully speed up plant development and yield."

"Yes sir" Ayana replied after the sudden scolding. "I'm going to go see if I can find anything else of note on the other terminals" she said as she exited the VR room.

Jon sighed. He hadn't meant to sound harsh or to hurt Ayana's feelings. He followed her out. "Ayana, wait." He spoke. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound like I was scolding you. I apologize."

"It's fine sir. The topics in question often bring out strong emotions. I'm going to see if I can find anything else out, perhaps check on the horses as well" she replied.

"Thanks Ayana. The only strong emotions I have, is despite the great advancements we've made in technology, some men are still lamentably stupid."

Ayana checked on the horses, gave them each a pear, and then returned inside to check the computers. After looking over the various computers, most of which had security protocols in place, she suggested they get some rest.

"A good idea Ayana." Jon answered as he looked at the picture that showed beautiful, fertile fields of green and the promise they held for a new beginning. How had it all gone so wrong and ended up like this?

Ayana fell asleep against a pillar with a view of the entrance. She intended to just rest, but her injury and the strain of the day put her into a deep sleep. She was suddenly awakened by the group of apes that were howling and pawing at her and Jon as they moved to restrain them.

Jon tried to fight back, get to Ayana but there were too many apes, and they were too strong. "Get your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape" He growled at them as his hands were pulled behind him and tied tightly. Then his ankles were locked in leg irons so he could walk but not run. He noticed Ayana was being similarly tied. "Quiet human!" A burly gorilla replied. Your alive because the general wants to see you. "Say another word and you'll both be gagged."

Ayana and Jon were taken outside and tossed onto their horses. As Ayana was put on her horse, she swung her legs upward and smashed a gorilla in the face, knocking him to the ground. Another gorilla, obviously the leader of this group gripped her by the throat, "By Caesar you are lucky that the general wants you alive. But try another stunt like that and you'll arrive in less than pristine condition."

"If you want a fight, untie me and I'll give you one" Ayana replied defiantly.

"The general will like this one. She has spirit" the gorilla said aloud. "Move out!"


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