The complex I have called home for so many years seems endless to me as I wander its many halls and rooms, slipping through walls and floors like a haunted, lost soul. And indeed I am a lost soul. The reality of that hits me hard in this state. As I search for the man I call “Father” I begin to contemplate my sudden awareness of who I am, for though I have memories and knowledge that go back 20 years or more, I realize that it was not until a couple of days ago that I became alert to the reality of my existence. Though I had functioned for years, learning information and growing physically, it was as if I had been sleep walking and then suddenly and unexpectedly woke up.
It was that change in awareness that brought the change in my world. With self-awareness and conscious thought came color and with color comes emotion. I do not understand it all. What has happened to me?
For the hundredth time my mind drifts back to Azurite and his friends. Somehow, I know that it is they who bring color into my world. It is their arrival here that has triggered something in me that… hungers. Again, I find myself wondering how Azurite is fairing on his mission to bring his friends to help us. And once again I think about Father. If anyone has answers it is him. I must find him.
It seems like hours since Azurite and I parted, though time is hard to ascertain in this form. I feel as though I am moving faster than the cumbersome physical forms that walk the halls around me, like time is moving faster for me than for them, yet somehow I know that isn’t right. It is only perception.
In my hauntings, I have learned much, but nothing that seems important to me or my friends. I have discovered that this facility is a military research base that is comprised of nearly 20 sub-levels underground. There are labs of every kind researching & studying everything from biological warfare to conventional weapons, cures for cancer to space exploration. The size of the underground facility alone is staggering, and it houses maybe thousands of employees, both scientific as well as military.
There are also weapons testing facilities and troop training facilities, gymnasiums like the one I’ve always been trained in, but more than one. I’ve found barracks and living quarters for staff, storage facilities with top-secret containers, weapons of every kind and a vehicle hangar with prototype machines as well.
It was this last discovery that led me outside where I ventured at last. It was the first time I can remember that I experienced the outside world for myself. I was aware of the outside world, had learned about it, seen pictures and video of it, but never had I tasted of it, felt the life it contained, seen the color it possessed. I now realize that whatever else has happened, I am fully alive and I will not go back to that sterile world of dull senses.
The urgency grows in me to find Father and to be rescued by Azurite.
And then I make another startling discovery. Not everything belonging to this military operation is underground. Leaving the vehicle hangar, I follow a road about a half-mile to a town where there are houses, stores, businesses, even restaurants… and people! Not scientists in grey coats, not military personnel, but regular people wearing civilian clothing, going about their daily lives. Their presence seems so strange to me. They seem so out of place here.
But as I explore further, I realize that it isn’t so strange. This town exists to support the people who serve this facility. I soon realize that these are the families of the men and women who are employed by the military and their research. The town is centered around a small airport and seaport full of military looking planes and ships, but the town itself looks as I would imagine any other town would look. There is even a school for the children.
Children. I have never met a child before. I find myself distracted by the thought of observing them and move toward the school. It is a large building and empty. I realize how foolish I’ve been, thinking I would observe children in the middle of the night. But as I check it out, I discover that there is activity even in this building.
Scientists move in and out of computer rooms and research data in an isolated branch of the school building. I find this curious. What would the military be researching and studying in the building used to educate their own children? I know I don’t have a lot of time to waste. The thought suddenly occurs to me that my body might be rescued by Azurite and his friends while my spirit is away. If so, would I automatically know where to find it or would I be forced to wander this island until I found it like some displaced spectre? Besides, I didn’t know if there was a limit to the time I could be away from my flesh.
As if thinking about it made it real, I suddenly begin to feel weariness settle in my spirit. I needed to get back soon. But what is going on in this school? Surely I could take just a few minutes to check it out…