The Test Chamber


The green streaks of electricity caused by the reaction. Photo by Mercer R. Brugler.

It was the day of the test, and Joshua Matteson was running late. Joshua put on his radiation gear and ran to the test chamber. He had heard word of trouble in the test chamber, but he elected to let it be, figuring the tech eggheads would work it out before he got there.


He stopped in the control lab to speak to his work friends. Holly and Isaiah specialized in theoretical physics. Robert was the lab technician, and Benny was a security guard. 

“Oh, that’s nice. Of all the days to be late, the day of the test!” Isaiah sighed.


“Late again, are we Matteson?” Holly smiled, “The eggheads in the control booth are charging it stronger to make up for the lost time.”

Joshua rolled his eyes, trying to ignore the feeling of his sock sinking down his calf a little. “My alarm didn’t go off. I think there was a power outage.”


“Normally, Benny is the one who’s late. Nice change of pace,” Robert said as Isaiah laughed to himself.

Benny looked up. His eyes had dark circles under them that tended to show a bit more in this kind of lighting. “Uh, I do not… not appreciate the… uh- the attitude coming from your direction right now.” 

Benny tended to stutter and forget what he was saying mid-sentence. Unlike Isaiah, who spoke quickly and decisively. “Have you met the new hire yet?”


Joshua shook his head, “No, Wayne mentioned something about him, though,” Joshua checked behind his shoulder to ensure no unwanted listeners were eavesdropping. “Heard he was a little odd, though.”


“Yeah, I heard he is the son of-” Before Robert could tell the new hire’s relation, a robotic voice rang out.


“Doctor. Joshua. Test. Chamber. Now.” It spoke. 

Isaiah rubbed his temples, “They really need to expand the bot’s vocabulary.” 


“They need you down there pronto. I’ll see you after the test,” Holly said as she turned to her station as one of the eggheads in the control booth.


“Okay, I’ll see you guys after the test.” Joshua waved as the other two seemed to give worried looks. They knew something was off too, but they did not want to worry Joshua. 

He entered the test chamber, and the smell of cold metal greeted him. Isaiah and Robert spoke to Joshua through the intercom, “Alright, Joshua, the testing material will arrive shortly.” 

Through the floor came a block of something. It was a yellowish color and had jagged pointed sides. Joshua approached it slowly as Isaiah spoke, “Okay. You know what to do. Just push it into the spectrometer.”


Joshua gripped the handle and pushed it into the beam of energy. Just as it came in contact, the ground began to shake. Joshua stumbled and looked up at the control booth. “It’s happening!” He heard Holly say, far from the intercom. 

“Joshua, get out of there!” Jeremiah yelled. 


Flashes of green electricity took over the room. Joshua’s hair flew back, and he covered his face with his arm. He swore he saw flashes of people and creatures next to him, but he was too busy running to the door in an attempt to escape. There was a burst of energy that dispersed throughout the chamber. Joshua fell to the ground unconscious as he heard Benny yell his name. 


Joshua woke up, surrounded by the rubble of the destroyed lab. He could smell fire and chemicals. A strange growling came from outside the test chamber. He hobbled out of the testing room, head pounding and probably bleeding. He saw Benny giving CPR to someone and counting under his breath. Joshua looked around to see they had lost power. The building was full of smoke. Leaning against the wall were Holly and Robert. Both covered in soot and ash. Holly’s arm seemed to be bleeding, and Robert’s leg was not looking good. The two scientists looked at Joshua and said, “Shh! They’re just down the hall.”

“What have we done?” Joshua muttered.