The Adventurer's Guild
Chapter Two: Playing God

by Angela Moseley

Sage wondered around aimlessly, until he found himself in the middle of a bustling city. Reaching into his pocket he discovered that he only had about twenty dollars. He shuddered realizing that he wouldn't be able to make it on his own with no home, and more importantly no job. With a sigh he pressed on, not really having any place to go, or anything to do. Silently he wondered if anyone or anything else in the world was experiencing their life completely turning for the worst.

Unknown to Sage, fate answered that question, a few miles away in large seemingly abandoned warehouse...

However that warehouse was not abandoned, in fact it was just the opposite. It served has a place where Federal Officials, and various scientists, could perform horrible experiments on wild animals, and other subjects without restriction. Various animals could be seen lying in cages. Some were in good health, others were near death.

One such animal near death, was a large young grey wolf. In its small cramped cage, it lay on its side, breathing faintly. Bandages covered its head and neck, and its ears were torn to shreds at the tips. Weakly it turned it's head as a man dressed in a business suit, and a woman wearing a large white lab coat, stopped in front of the cage.

"So this is the one who you give a fifty-fifty chance of survival to?" Asked the man.

"Yes, experiments with it have been going better than with the other wolves, and it might live through the procedure."

"Might? Do you know how much trouble it was to catch a whole pack of wolves?! They are rare in this part of the country, and the laws are enough to get me life in prison five times over. Now listen to me you simpleton, I could care less about these worthless adult wolves, but those cubs are priceless! They can be made to serve our purposes much easier. So perfect giving these adults human intelligence, without sudden death occurring, and the ones who are hardest to control, destroy them."

"Yes sir! But it's too late to give that wolf over there a modification chip. Its spinal cord has been too damaged by the experiments. Yet I think it has a chance if we insert a conductor into it's spine, and trail it up to the base of the head, where the spine meets the skull. From then it should be stable enough to continue with the rest of the experiments."

"A conductor? I've never heard of that."

"A conductor is a thick metal cable, that allows electrical pulses to be carried more freely. It's simple, a hole is drilled at the base of a subject's skull and spinal cord above the shoulder blades. From there the cable is fitted into each end, and made to carry electrical pulses from the spinal cord to the brain. This will allow the wolf to survive the next part of the experiments."

The woman then turned to the wolf, and kneeled down in front of its cage. Upon seeing the woman the wolf snarled weakly at the woman. "Easy boy, you don't want to kill yourself do you?" She picked up her clipboard, and muttered while she scribbled. "The day after tomorrow, Sunday, we will fit you with a Conductor, and continue our experiments. Until then sleep tight."

The wolf whined and turned away, reaching deeply into a fading memory of how fate turned an ordinary life into a hellish nightmare...

That fateful morning had seemed like a normal one, until they came, the men with nets and guns. The peaceful scene of wolves in the early morning mists, was shattered when dozens of men ran into the clearing firing their guns. Most of the wolves tried to run away, but quickly found out that they were surrounded on all sides. An endless stream of bullets cut those who lunged for the men down. One wolf decided to protect the younger cubs, and stood defensively between the intruders and the young. The cubs cowered around him, seeing members of the pack explode from the gun blasts, and the smell of blood drowned out just about everything else.

When the men turned their attention to the cubs, and himself, he lowered into a defensive stance, hoping the men would go away. No such thing happened when, one man lifted his gun, and fired upon him. The shot made him cry out in pain, and seconds later he fell to the ground, and watched as the young cubs were put into sacks, then the darkness overtook him.

His was surprised when he woke up again. But then a cry of horror escaped him when he found himself caged. Looking, around the wolf could see other members of his pack who were still alive, but the cubs were nowhere to be found. Having nothing to do he curled himself into a sad little ball, and stayed that way until time passed. Suddenly the door opened and he was quickly restrained and tossed onto an operating table...

The wolf gasped and shook off the horrible memories, but they wouldn't leave him be...

Else where, Sage rose from his resting place in a tree, and yawned. Feeling the pain of hunger in his stomach, he decided it would be a good idea to find something to eat. Unfortunately he no longer had money in his pocket...

"I guess I should continue walking around the city, maybe I'll find something free to eat. That would be nice..."

So Sage walked until he reached the warehouse district of the city. Seeing no activity, because of the weekend, he started to head back the way he came until, a strange noise caught his attention.

It must have come from one of the warehouses. But I thought no one worked on the weekends here... He thought to himself.

Quietly he creped though the rows of warehouses, until he heard the noise again. This time it was louder, and it sent shivers down his spine. Turning to his right he saw a run down warehouse, it looked abandoned. Was it just a front? Looking around Sage spotted a long rain pipe that ran all the way up to the roof of the warehouse, gathering up his courage he shimmied up the pipe, and stopped next to a window near the roof. Planting his feet of the side of the warehouse to anchor himself, he peered cautiously into the window.

Inside of the warehouse experiments continued relentlessly, and one of the last surviving adult members of the captured wolf pack was the focus of the day. It lay on a table strapped down, barely conscious as the conductor was fitted into the base of its skull, and into its spine above the shoulder blades. Two scientists worked feverishly until the operation was finished. The conductor sparked once with blue energy, indicating that the experiment was a success. The two scientists that had been operating on the wolf paused to chat for a moment.

"Good, now we can finally move onto the final part of the experiment. Soon this wolf's intelligence will be on par with human intelligence." One of the scientists said changing her gloves.

"Aren't wolf instincts, and human intelligence a horrible combination? I mean what if it becomes so smart that we can no longer control it?" said the other.

"Don't worry about it Jimmy. The final part of this experiment will completely wipe out most of this wolf's memory and instincts, thus it won't remember anything after today, and we can bend it's will to our desires."

Without saying another word the one of the scientists placed electrodes on the wolf's skull, while the other carefully placed needles attached to wires around the base of the wolf's skull. The wires and electrodes were connected to a machine that resembled an electric generator.

But stay back, these currents of electricity are very powerful..."

"Ok." said the man while clicking on a switch.

The wires from the generator sparked with power, and suddenly a powerful current was released. The wolf on the table howled, enduring extreme agony, as thousands of volts of electricity were feed directly into its brain and surged down the length of its spine. Its howl became a hunting scream that filled the whole building, and forced those closest to him to cover their ears in pain.

When the machine was finally shut off, small curls of smoke could be seen rising from the sizzled fur of the wolf. The wolf ceased to move, and its captors wonder if it was still alive or not. Outside, Sage stared at the whole proceedings with horror that turned to sadness, as he viewed crumpled creature lying on the table. Silently he wondered what he could do to help, but his thoughts were cut short as the pipe holding him up finally gave way. The sound of the pipe crashing to the ground was enough to capture the attention of those inside of the building. Some of the Federal workers rushed outside to investigate and found Sage lying in a sorry heap.

"What are you doing here?!" one of the men yelled grabbing Sage and hauling him up by the collar of his shirt.

"Just out for a Sunday stroll." he cracked.

"Wise guy huh? How much did you see?"

"If I told you I saw nothing would you let me go?"

The man pulled out a gun and put it to the boy's head. "Get inside of the building. As far as anyone knows, you no longer exist."

Back to the Lab!