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Panacea Creepypasta

As I recount the events of the past two days, I can’t help but feel the futility of it all. Sharing my story, warning the world. Would anyone listen? Care? They certainly will once they feel the repercussions of reckless scientific pursuits. No. Perhaps they are the repercussions of empathy, of human emotion. Either way, my existence is a wad of spit on the face of God. If god truly exists, that is.

I woke yesterday morning with a terrified jolt, to blaring alarms. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d heard them, but this time was different. There were no guards. No hoards of doctors, scientists, and researchers, all peeling me out of my prison to unceremoniously shepherd me to “safety.”

The heavy door slowly swung open.

“It’s time, get out,” the silhouetted figure donned in a lab coat barked at me as the fluorescent white from the hallway leaked into my cell.

I slowly stumbled to my feet, and wiped the sleep from my eyes. What time was it? Not that it really mattered. Hours, weeks, years… they’d all blended together. I hadn’t seen the golden glow of sunlight for well over half of my living years.

“Now!” the man yelled, more sternly than before. I raced after him, leaving the thick steel door ajar behind me.

It felt alien, confusing. Seeing all the long sterile hallways that had become my world, empty and barren. I’d never been taken out of that room without an armed escort. Procedure more than necessity, I’m sure. Things around here were always very “by the books.” Rarely did I get the chance to see faces. Even less so, as of a few years ago. Masks were commonplace.

The quick clicking of the man’s hard-soled shoes on the smoothly polished floor drowned out the soft shuffling of my slippers. It dawned on me, who he was. The only doctor who’d ever shown me a semblance of sympathy. Dr. Friedland.

It felt like it’d been a very long time since I had last seen him. Years at least. He didn’t look good. The thin crop of hair he once had on top of his head was worn to a smooth, bald patch. His gait was that of a man deep in the ruins of age. Even from behind, I could tell his bushy brow was furrowed in the way it always did when he spoke to me about my captivity.

As we continued to pace through the white and pale turquoise hallways, I began to lose breath. I wasn’t permitted much in the way of exercise, and this fast-paced maze race was both disorienting, and taxing on my softened, weak body. Even if I did have proper exercise, I’d still struggle in all ways physically. I was more a husk, than a human, since the last round of tests.

Finally, we reached a narrow, steep, steel staircase leading up to a hatch.

I wish I could say that the moment my body was bathed in sunlight was “magical”, or even lived up to the strangely romantic memories I built of it, during my time in captivity. But there was nothing special. No heavenly glow. It was quite unsightly, in fact. My retinas felt like they were burning, and the heat carried on the warm breeze of summer felt uncomfortable on the skin that was so accustomed to the ambient cool of 24/7 air conditioning. Where were we even? Maybe somewhere in the southern United States.

A big shiny vehicle was sitting just a few meters away. It looked clunky, and unnecessarily oversized.

“Get in.” Dr. Friedland spat out, as he closed the huge metal hatch behind me.

The first few minutes of the car ride were quiet. Lightly forested backroads, no people, few animals.

“Put on the clothes in the back seat.”

I nodded, unbuckled, and reached back. A large-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a long sleeve shirt. I suppose they were to help conceal my identity, to some degree.

“So, what’s going on? Is this it? Am I free?” I asked, unsure as to what freedom in this world even looked like anymore.

“I’ll explain when we get to the first rest stop.” he awkwardly said, tensing up, and contorting his face muscles.

“Are you okay-”

I was cut off by Dr. Friedland. He’d burst into a terrible coughing fit. I tried to pat his back, but he slapped my hand away.

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” he muttered, as he slowly pulled his hand back from over his mouth, I could see there were small specks of blood on his palm. “This story won’t have a happy ending, kid.”

We pulled onto a paved road, and Dr. Friedland turned on the radio.

The sun was just setting as we stopped on the cracked pavement of a cheap motel. I waited in the car, as per Dr. Friedland’s orders, while he booked us a room. The rest of the car ride had been silent, aside from the cacophonous ruckus of acid jazz, blasting from the radio. I swear I even caught the doc flinch a few times.

“It’s about time I get some answers.” I thought to myself, as I sat awkwardly on the lumpy mattress. I knew I couldn’t leave. I was bound once more; traded one prison for another. Only this one didn’t have conditioned air.

Dr. Friedland sat at the lone table in the room, elbows on the smooth, marred wood, face in his hands.

“So,” he began, as he ran his fingers over his scalp, “where to begin…”

“I think I’ve got a vague idea of why I was in there. It has to do with when I got sick, as a kid. The doctors all told me that I was a ‘miracle’.”

“Yeah, a miracle…” The doctor lifted a bony hand, with a plastic remote loosely in its grip, and turned on the television. After a moment, he lowered the volume to a muffled din.

“You have cancer, Robert. Plain and simple, you’ve had cancer since you were around ten years old. Terminal. Well, it should have been.” He paused and took a deep breath, as if pondering his next words very carefully.

I hadn’t been called by my name in so long, I almost didn’t make the connection. Robert…

“You’re the next step in evolution. Your body, somehow, manages to fight off the cancer. Invariably, every test they… we… put you through provided the same results. The cancer would grow rapidly. Faster than anything we’d ever seen, but your body would eat away at the tumours. We began to test more infectious and virulent diseases on your body too.”

“Why was I in that place…” I began to ask, although already suspecting the answer.

“I think you know, by now. You were a guinea pig. We were running tests on you to try to see how much your body could take.”

Why? Why was I taken away from my life, my family? How did you people get away with this?” As I began to raise my voice, Dr. Friedland put a hand on my shoulder, in an attempt to calm me down.

“The people who took you, the people I used to work for, are part of a semi-clandestine conglomerate known as Corporations for a Better Tomorrow. One small branch, the one I worked for, is responsible for the vast majority of new pharmaceuticals, and ‘treatments.’ They have influence over many of the world’s governing bodies, and incur very little oversight. For lack of a better way to put it, they’re above the law. In theory, kidnapping would be a walk in the park for them.”

“Is my family okay..?”

“I don’t know. They try to compartmentalize their staff, so as to not cause us to become attached, or too invested. Hence why I was taken off of the project. Your project. Anyhow, I tried searching for information on your family, but nothing turned up. Records of the ‘miracle boy,’ and anything pertaining to him were thoroughly scrubbed.”

Silence fell over the room. I’d cry about it, cry about my family. But I couldn’t. I’d shed so many tears in my first few years of captivity, but now, I was far too detached from emotion. I couldn’t even remember how to cry.

A strange thought popped into my head regarding something the doc said, when we first got on the road.

“You said this story ‘wouldn’t have a happy ending.’ What did you mean?”

Dr. Friedland sat up straight, breathed a deep sigh, and braced his elbows once more on the table.

“This ‘freedom’ won’t last long. I didn’t rescue you to live happily ever after. That can’t happen. You’ll never be able to outrun them. I rescued you to give you a choice.”

A sinking feeling formed in my gut. I knew where this was going, but I had to ask.

“What… what sort of choice?”

“Inevitably, they’ll find us. All I can do is try to buy us time, but I’m getting weaker. Faster than I expected, but there’s nothing I can do about it now…”

Dr. Friedland’s explanation was cut short by another coughing fit, this one more violent than the last. He turned to face me, and I could more clearly see the shape he was in. Pallid as a corpse, he was a dead man walking.

“I was given a year to live, I’m dying of one of the many ailments your body can miraculously fight off. Too bad we don’t make cures, only treatments-”

“I’m sorry,” I interrupted, as the doctor stared down at the cheap, shaggy carpet.

“No matter, I still owe you explanations. The reason I’ve freed you is to give you a choice that you’ll never get again. Once they ultimately catch us, you can go back to living the rest of your days as a lab rat, or…” he drifted off, before lifting his head up in a struggle, to meet my eyes.

“Or, you can take your own life.”

Before I had a chance to respond, he grabbed his belongings, and ushered me to do the same. We left that motel shortly after.

We’d continued driving until we found another motel, where he booked us a room again. He made me come in with him this time. He flagrantly showed me off, as to make it clear we were staying there. Then we drove off once more. He assured me it would help throw off our pursuers, and buy us more time.

“Why even bother staying on the run. Why don’t I just off myself, and we’ll be done with it?” I asked, frustrated with the state of things.

“I suppose… that I’m a selfish old man. They won’t take me back, they won’t treat me, or cure me. Once they find us, I’m dead. I’ve given you a choice that I’ll never have. Yet I don’t know if I could make the same decision.”

As we continued driving into the night, it was more and more apparent that the doctor’s condition was deteriorating.

Once we arrived at our final destination for the night, an old campground, a thought was virulently spreading in my mind. I had to have answers.

“Doc, about the experiments…”

“Yeah?”

“There was one, worse than the rest. It made me feel terrible every time. It was after you stopped seeing me, but I figured you may know.”

“I can’t tell you anything without having more details…” he chuffed in frustration, as he struggled to set up a tentpole.

“I know, I know, just let me finish. There were multiple injections, and they would keep me hooked up to a lot of devices in another room, like a hospital. Usually, they’d run a few tests and send me back to my room but this time they-”

“What? Did they expose you to dogs?” Dr. Friedland cut me off, surprise and desperation in his voice.

“Yeah! I thought that was weird. They let me play with a puppy, about an hour after each injection!”

Dr. Friedland froze, tent pole still in hand.

“Why, what’s the significance of dogs in this whole thing, why did they-”

“I’ve made a terrible mistake…” he muttered.

“Why, what’s wrong?”

“I never thought they’d seriously consider doing it, I thought I convinced them not to.”

“Doing what? What's going on!” I demanded.

“In releasing you, in exposing you to the world… No, exposing the world to you, I’ve quite possibly ensured the annihilation of our species as we know it…” he said in a quiet, realizing tone.

He sat down on the cold earth, and began to weep. A grave air of doom fell over our barely erected campsite.

“I don’t understand.” I lied, hoping to get as much information as I could.

“You imbecile!” he screamed, as he leapt to his feet, “you have no idea what we’ve unleashed! That experiment? They were testing bio-weapons on you. They were stuffing the worst war-crimes mankind has ever conceived, into your body, one after another! Testing the limits of how much you could take!”

“But… I’m okay-”

“Yeah, no shit you’re okay! It’s all highly infectious, and you’re the only person who can survive it! You’re a carrier, and now I am too. If I wasn’t given a death sentence before, this would be it!”

“If I was this dangerous, how were you able to break me out so easily?”

Dr. Friedland paused.

“I suppose I thought I was terribly clever, orchestrating this ‘prison break.’ I’d put so much thought into it, had so many contingencies… but you’re right. It was too easy. As if they wanted to cause an outbreak. My god, how many have we infected..?”

Dr. Friedland wheezed heavily, before collapsing on all fours, trembling.

“Are you okay?” I asked, reaching a hand out to help him up.

“I’ll never be okay again. At least I can do the bare minimum to correct my mistakes. The mistakes of my fellow researchers.”

Dr. Friedland slowly stood, using the un-planted tent pole for support, he shambled back to the car. Opening the glove compartment, he revealed a small handgun.

“I’m sorry we did this to you…” he said softly, as he stared into the sky. I still don’t know if he was apologizing to me, or to the world at large.

"PANACEA"_-_EXPERIMENTATION_CREPYPASTA-2

"PANACEA" - EXPERIMENTATION CREPYPASTA-2

In a flash, his arm raised, a shot rang out, and his body crumpled to the dirt.

If I was a normal person, if I wasn’t more at home in a cool, dark cell than out in nature, I’d probably have screamed. Maybe cried. Instead, I stood and stared at the limp body of the closest thing to a friend I’d ever had.

After a moment, I approached the withered corpse of the man who’d set me loose on the world and saw something curious beside his body. Next to the pile of mud that the gun laid in, was a picture. It was Dr. Friedland and a woman. On the back it read “Mark and Judy, 2016.”

I never knew his name was Mark. I never even knew he had a wife. Maybe a girlfriend.

There’s so much I never knew, even more that I’ll never learn. I found a pad and paper in the glove compartment where the gun was, and began to recount the events. Which brings me to now.

—-

As I place the notepad and pen back down on the passenger’s seat, I turn to see the muddy gun on the ground. A thunderous gale can be heard in the distance.

“I suppose it’s time to make the choice”

The wind grows even louder. It sounds… off somehow.

Looking up, I see the source of the noise. A black helicopter with the letters CBT on the side, flying overhead. Two ropes drop down as I see darkened figures begin their descent.

I race for the gun, snatching it out of the mud, and hold it up against my head.

“Don’t come closer,” I yell, as I stumble backwards toward the car. But the darkened figures’ advance has not faltered.

Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and pull the trigger. Nothing happens.

“Go go go, get him now, it’s jammed!” I hear yelled by one of my pursuers.

I’m grabbed from behind, and the last thing I see in my brief stint of freedom is one of their dark, soulless masks staring back at me, as something is put over my head.

“Six confirmed infections, sir.” I hear from a radio.

“Excellent, everything’s going according to plan. We’ve got the boy. Torch the car and the campsite. I want this scene wiped clean.”

I feel a sharp prick on the back of my neck, then the world turns dark.

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Written by Tewahway
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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