"Forced Evolution"
(Cont. from "Complications")

Setting: RAADEJ III, Underground Research Facility, Level 6, Lab 34
Stardate: 63077.1915

Evolution is an ever constant presence in the universe as plants and animals adapt to their changing environment through the long and painstaking process of natural selection.  Even the micro-organisms such as a bacteria or virus cannot escape this method of growth into what would be considered their next stage of evolution.

Unfortunately as technology allowed some to see into the unseen, and touch the untouchable, the natural process of evolution became far too slow and random.  At first the research had been aimed to improve life by eliminating diseases and defects, but the purity of this work did not remain sacred for long.

Instead of saving those few afflicted by a crippling illness, some researchers decided that looking into improving the infection and mortality rates had been a better use of their time and resources. The proverbial Pandora's Box had been opened, and from that point the universe would never be the same.

On RAADEJ III, in a laboratory buried deep down into the frozen ground, a similar research had been undertaken for reasons beyond understanding.  A simple and otherwise harmless disease had been isolated and modified in a way that nature would have never dared to contemplate.

Like so many other researchers before them, the final results of the work had proven to be beyond their wildest expectations as well as their ability to control and contain the fruits of their work.  A simple alarm rang through the lab and echoed in a control room several levels higher, but the claxon and flashing red lights did little to inform those who had witnessed this event as to the sheer madness of their achievement.

The research team watched without concern as the small glob of green bio-matter rested on the top of the counter, free from its container that Professor Xirrus had inadvertently left unsealed before it slipped from his hands.  No one thought anything of this as the same thing had happened many time before, but that changed when one of the researchers reached to scoop the sickly looking mass to see it move away from him.

A second researcher joined in from the opposite side and used a larger container to block the mass' escape.  When the first researcher reached down to scoop the mass once again, this time the green glob was forced to seek a different escape.  Since the horizontal venues had been for the most part covered there had been but a single route left to explore.

A muffled scream came from the first researcher as the glob latched onto his face and bonded with the man's skin leaving him with no hope of avoiding what was to come.  Even as the rest of the research team, including Professor Xirrus, desperately tried their best to rescue their comrade it was clear that the man's fate had been sealed.

The question was: what matter of fate had actually been forced upon him?

Dawn Bohr
Lieutenant JG Akira 'Aki' Mitshiba
Chief Science Officer