Elijah Kane had enjoyed such a resounding success that his name would undoubtedly be in all the journals, his achievements lauded by those who once scorned him and his legacy to live on through the ages.
The problem was that none of it would happen.
He paused at the doorway to his research laboratory and leaned up against the door pillar to suck down a few deep breaths, his legs aching with the sudden burst of activity and his mind awash with the difficulty that now faced him.
He had to flee the doomed underwater research station.
They were loose.
Not just one or two which could be neutralised quite easily, but the whole lot of them, and they’d begun to swarm through the station with relish as their base instincts took over.
Crewmembers had fallen but he did not care, for none had seen fit to treat him with kindness or respect. In turn, he did not mourn their passing but saw them as useful diversions to delay his creations and give him time to flee.
Kane turned a little to stare up the long corridor he’d just run through and felt the heavy thud of his heart in his chest as the lighting began to flicker, then die in sequence from the furthest fitting to the next, each time moving that little bit closer.
He was trapped.
It seemed he’d overestimated the usefulness of those he once served alongside.
He stepped inside the lab and stabbed at the panel to seal the door, enabling the forcefield to buy him a little more time. It was a basic containment field, but good enough to keep small marauders out for the time being.
Fear gripped his mind as he darted across to the workbench and swept unfinished items onto the floor, his hands scrabbling to find the project he’d been working on that would save the most precious thing he coveted most of all, which was his intellect.
His private lab upon the surface was all prepared with an artificial body in situ, but he had yet to test his work. He silently wished he had more time.
The forcefield flickered and sparked.
He snatched up the headset and checked its design, making a few final adjustments with hands that trembled with a mix of dread and anticipation before placing the device on his scalp and flicking the switch to begin.
The vast cabinet to his left hummed with power and light flickered over its surface as the mind of Elijah Kane was scanned and recorded, his genius digitised and on its way to the surface in a tight-beam transmission to his waiting equipment.
Then the forcefield failed.
Sparks erupted as he swept around to see the walls around the doorway darken as his creations made their way into his laboratory, the thousands of bodies moving swiftly toward his position.
Soon he would be reborn. He would survive.
Kane laughed as they swept over him.
He. Would. Survive.
“From the Depths” © 2019 Paul J. Fleming