In a time and place like our own, an alien ship crashed into the atmosphere, burning on impact. Or so the people believe. Truth is, a series of alien devices were able to withstand the landing, alien devices that attached themselves to unsuspecting human hosts and made them susceptible to alien experimentation-giving them heightened senses and superhuman abilities...and working to alter their minds.

Things had been perfectly normal that day, or at least as normal as they could get.

Being an intern at one of the world’s best scientific facilities, Rin never knew what to expect. All she usually did was prep equipment or do some cleaning, but did catch the occasional glimpse of a specimen. And those were the days that made all the slaving away worthwhile.

“Rin, could you set up lab three? And get some security around it too?”

Rin glanced up from the tale she was sanitizing, smiling politely at her boss, the well-known and brilliant, if not vain researcher Nikita Petrova.


Nikita smiled and rushed out the door, calling a curt thanks over her shoulder. Rin put the rag and spray bottle back in the cleaning cart beside her, wheeling it to a back room before proceeding to boot up the machines in said lab three. The lab in itself was the size of a soccer field so, the building having twenty labs, a particle accelerator, a massive microscope, and a telescope even larger than the microscope, was huge. To put things lightly.

After getting some security as asked, Rin watched with interest as the lobby’s front doors slammed open, Nikita leading a group of government agents who were all surrounding a metal container the size of a garbage can being wheeled in. The five-or-so group were quickly ushered into lab three, the door instantaneously locked. Rin stared at it, annoyed. The best action she’d seen in weeks and she wasn’t even going to get a look at it. Figures.

Taking the cleaning cart back out from its place, Rin continued her methodical swiping and swishing, sneaking glances at the lab doors every so often. She was nearing the end of her shift when all four government agents and Nikita stepped from the lab, conversing in hushed tones. The agents left swiftly, Nikita searching the threshold with the look that meant she wanted something done.


Hearing her name, Rin left the cart to speak with Petrova.


Nikita looked around warily, before finally talking, speech slow and quiet.

“I need you to help me with this. Watch over the lab for ten minutes? I need to grab something, and I don’t want any of these idiots going sightseeing inside.” she said, pointing at the security guards.

Rin glanced at the lab doors, pushing off a rising feeling of excitement.

“Yeah, no problem.”

Nikita rushed off again, not bothering with a thank-you this time. Rin walked to the doors, and, feeling an unbearable amount of curiosity, waited until the guards had strolled just around the corner, and slipped in silently.  

The lab was dark except for the one light in the middle of the room, the canister nestled just below it. Rin neared it, hands quivering, and pulled on a pair of disposable gloves. A push on the release button made the lid flip open with a slight whoosh of air, odd, pulsating light coming from inside.

Rin knelt down beside it, squinting to try and discern the shape inside. The light was no larger than a coin, but pulsed steadily, comparable to a heartbeat. Before she knew what she was doing, Rin had reached a hand down into the container and scooped it out, holding it up to the light.

It was a small metallic object, the likeness of an insect with long, leg-like limbs and a slim disc holding them together. The light that came from it had no apparent source but seemed to emanate from every part of it. Atop the dime-sized disc was what looked to be an engraving of a spider, oddly familiar but too vague to place.

Rin was about to put the specimen back into its housing, realizing she was halfway through the ten minutes, but as she did the thing suddenly let out a beep and skittered up her sleeve, making her yelp and jump up, trying desperately to whack it off. She suddenly felt its metal limbs on her neck and froze, panting from her leaping about. It crawled higher, until it was mid-neck on her left side, and stopped. And sank its spindly legs into her skin.

As tempted as she was, Rin didn’t scream. It felt like she was getting eight vaccines at once, right on the side of her throat, but she managed to bite her lip and keep it down, using a hand to try and pull the thing out. It didn’t budge, but sank deeper until the only thing above the surface of her skin was the disc.


The sound of Nikita’s muffled voice made Rin panic, closing the container and dumping her gloves into a bin. She whirled about and, seeing a window, pushed it open and jumped out, running as soon as her feet hit the ground. A few seconds and she was already down the street a block, too preoccupied to notice her speed and stamina. Turning to look back at Avocet Laboratories, Rin could see government agents swarming around the place already. She glanced at the window of lab three, before her mind made a disturbing realization. It was on the fifth floor.

The End

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