Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta discovery. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta discovery. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016

The desert and its creatures

   Alexa had always been very fascinated by the desert. She had studied all types of animals from it and had done her final thesis back in the university about all of them. So it was very natural, when she finished studying, that she joined a team of proper biologists in order to go to a remote desert region to discover new species. She was fascinated by the fact that a whole bunch of life forms could be discovered just like that, even in these times. She was, without a doubt, the most enthusiastic person to ever work in such a difficult environment.

 Not only was it hard for everyone because of the food and the general living conditions, but because looking for anything meant having to submit oneself to the very hot temperatures of the desert and the dangerous creatures than lived within. In her first week, Alexa was almost stung five times by different scorpions that appeared out of nowhere, every time exactly where her hand was.

 She had become quite aware of those little creatures and was now very capable to know where the animals would appear and also how much time she could stand under the sun before she started feeling really bad. Alexa was a strong woman, willing to resist whatever was necessary in order to achieve her goal of discovering something new in the name of science. She wanted to make history and there was no doubt she could seriously achieve her goal.

 The food was also a big problem in the camp, always tasting a lot like the sand of the desert but she knew never to complain. If she didn’t like something, she just didn’t eat it and tried to exchange with others for things that she had like energy bars. And every guy in her group liked her because she had been careful enough to bring so many energy bars it seemed she would never run out.

 They stayed in the same part of the desert for a long time, without having any success in the discovery front. They had classified many differences between scorpions of the same type but not much more than that. They had also taken numerous pictures and had studied the possible ways that snakes and other creatures could survive the hot temperatures. It was a big revelation to see an actual snake move around the hot desert sand.

 The trip was really fun but the first week went by too soon and they had permission to stay in the desert for three weeks. After all, it was a national park that was protected by a series of rules and regulations in order for people not to alter its stability in any way. The permission they had been granted was very hard to get and they really needed to take advantage of it.

 However the first week proved to be a deprived of any real discoveries. They were all really worried that maybe they wouldn’t be able to fin anything knew. They changed their camp’s location drastically, in order to be closer to an oasis, where some animals may thrive because of the “easier” conditions. However, they found nothing there either except more snakes and scorpions.

 The water, however, was crystal clear. They grabbed some into bottles in order to test it once they went back into their labs and regular work lives. It would be interested to see how many bacteria would be able to live in such a hostile environment and to know if the water was as pure as it seemed to be. Alexa even drank some directly from the pond because she was very thirsty and thought that even catching a disease from the water would be more fun that what she was doing daily, which was nothing.

She was very disappointed in her first trip. She thought that maybe it had not been the best idea to go to the desert in this first time. Maybe it could have been better to get to the forest or even in a boat to some corner of the ocean. She was trying to come up with different alternatives but the desert was the ecosystem that had always fascinated her, maybe because her parents had been born so close to an actual desert.

 Although not nomad or anything of the sort, her parents had the tradition to get fresh dates from the desert when it was the right season for those. They would roam the desert in order to pick them from the trees and Alexa would love it because she really loved the taste of the dates but also the feeling of adventure she had when she was around her parents.

 They weren’t’ scientist or anything like that. As matter of fact, she was the non-artistic person in her family. She had some skill while drawing but that was it. Alexa was a terrible singer, even in the shower, and couldn’t properly paint, write or anything like that. For some strange reason, she had been born without that very characteristic gene that most of her family had. However, she was very good with numbers, so she never felt too bad in school.

Another week ended the day they changed locations in the desert, once again. They were trying desperately to pick up anything. Their walks every day were getting longer and longer and people were getting desperate, even to the extent that everything they saw was a reason to cheer and get excited and then realize they had just seen a rock or a dead scorpion or something like that. By the beginning of the third week, no one was very happy about the results they had come up with.

 However, good things come to people that wait. In one of their long walks, a good friend of Alexa’s was the one who discovered some markings on rocks who had never been registered. By the way they were painted, it seemed the artist had lived a very long time ago, probably when the rock was really above the desert and not buried in it. Although they were mostly biologists, they were all very excited about such a discovery because it was something that could change the understanding of the place they were in.

 The most interesting part of the drawings was that it depicted humans and also other creatures hat seemed to represent the ecosystem of the desert. There was a drawing of a scorpion, another of some kind of bird and also snakes. All of those were pretty common. But then, there were drawing of several insect like creatures that had never been registered in that desert. So from that day, the biologists decide to help and clear the rock formation from sand in order to see if they could find something interesting to their field.

 And that’s exactly what happened. Four days before living, one of Alexa’s partners found the rotting body of a huge beetle the size of an adult’s hand. Several pictures were taken and the specimen was treated with a special solution in order to put it in a box and take it to the laboratory. The most interesting feature of that insect was the color: it was golden, just like the sun and the sand. Nature was very bright.

 Some other insects were discovered in the area and those were actually alive. There was a big thick worm it red antennae and some kind of really big green ant. They were all preserved carefully in boxes and jars for further study. In a few days, the would be back in their usually work attire, not shorts and shirtless like in the desert, typing in to computers and using several machines to understand what they were seeing.

 Alexa’s discovery came on the very last day and it happened to be a very dangerous one because it was a total accident. The creature was basically a scorpion but the difference was it was as big as a human baby. Its eyes were bright red and its body was very white, probably because it lived beneath the sand. Sadly, the creature had to be killed in order to take it back to the lab. But not only because of that but because it had almost stung Alexa with its tail.

 She took a picture of the creature and would later print it and put it in her workstation in the lab. She was very proud of her discovery but she couldn’t help wondering if what she had discovered was a natural creation or if it was some kind of mutation. She was really looking forward to solve that problem too.

jueves, 9 de junio de 2016

Scientific discoveries

   The water was very cold. It wasn’t surprising at all as the lake was located very high into the mountains, far from any real source of heat. Besides, the area was often covered with a thick fog that didn’t really let the sunlight pass. The group camped on the edge of the lake and was careful enough to put everything near them. It wouldn’t be very nice if an animal decided to steal their food or if they lost things that were just in front of their noses. They would stay only one night and then continue their journey.

 Their destination was a high plateau, located on top of a flat mountain. Rumor has it that many species of plants and animals lived there and that most of them had never being registered by science. The five people in the group had the mission of arriving to that area, after climbing completely vertical walls, and do the most thorough job in identifying new species of animals and plants. They had to bring pictures, drawings and even samples if possible.

 The day they arrived at the lake was only the fourth day of their journey. They had already crossed through a deep humid valley where one of them had been bitten by a snake and had to be airlifted out of there. Where they started the mountain section of their trip, they often had problems falling to the ground and hurting their hands and knees. It was a very difficult job, especially for the ones in the group that had never really gone out in a mission like this.

 Two of the camper by the lake, one man and one woman, were teachers and real professionals in biology. They had already travelled to every corner of the world, they had categorized many species and each had discovered quite a few, so they were the visible heads of the expedition as experience was always most appreciated. The rest were four students and interns, five originally, that had decided to enter the ballot to get into the trip.

 The two professors interview several people for the trip. They were essentially looking for people just like them, people that didn’t mind having no food in a day and knew how to walk in a jungle, a forest or the mountains. They rejected many almost immediately. Most of them thought it was going to be a nice little trip with hotels and cars and video cameras and many other nice things. It wasn’t.

 They had only one cellphone that had to be used only for emergencies. Everyone could bring their laptop but, obviously, there wasn’t going to be any Wi-Fi or anything like that. The computers were just for keeping track of their discoveries and have a copy of the pictures they took every single day. It was a useless brick aside from that. No makeup, no artificial elements, nothing like that either.

 The guy that had been bitten by the snake was the one the professors had thought was really one of a kind. He was very brilliant and had actually collaborated with a couple of amazing scientists from other universities. He was very well versed in every single aspect of a mission and was looking forward to the one they were interviewing him for. He was even tested by showing him several pictures of different species and he had answered everything correctly.

 So it was more than a surprise, more like a disappointment, when he had stupidly left the tent to pee in an area that hadn’t been checked yet. According to what he said later, it seemed like he had urinated on the snake and that’s why the animal had reacted so violently, biting him in one of his thighs. He knew the venom of that particular species was not one that acted fast but it was venom all the same. The helicopter arrived soon as they were only a day away from their departure point.

 Secretly, the other four students and interns laughed at what had happened. They hadn’t like him at all when they had met him some days before the journey started. He seemed pretentious and so full of himself, telling them every single part of his experience with other scientists. It got boring very quickly and he probably knew right away that he was going to be talking only to the professors during the trip. But no one would never really know that as he had left so early, in such a particular way.

 By the lake, they decided to check the water with a special machine that was equipped with sonar. They wanted to know what kind of wildlife lived there and if it was possible for them to bathe there. They already smelled very strongly and they had to, at some time, have a bath to clean themselves up or else every animal in the jungle would know they were there.

  The sonar didn’t pick up anything big. So the professors decided to fish for a while, as the four students entered the water and swam just in front of them. The funny thing was that they couldn’t almost see each other. It was very difficult to move without hitting a rock or tripping on some formation no one had seen. In the water it was the same and it felt dangerous too, so they only were there for five minutes, enough time to feel refreshed.

 When they were done, as they dried their bodies on the shore, the professors announced they had capture two fish but none of them was a new species. They were some kind of anchovy related creature, very small and really smelly. They took pictures and returned the animals to the water. Sometimes discoveries took their time to happen.

 The next day they moved away from the lake in order to get to the plateau. As they had already lost some time because of the snake and the lake, they decided to walk two days in a row, without resting or at least only resting for a few hours. No more camping. They walked for three straight days. They descended the mountain on the other side and had arrived to the jungle again, were they discovered a couple of new insects and saw a couple of snakes that resembled the one that had bitten their partner.

 Finally, one afternoon, they arrived to a very tall wall made of rock and dirt. They tested the surface with their climbing gear and discovered that area was not well suited to climb to the top. Several rocks fell once they tried to climb onto the wall. So they had to walk along the wall until they finally camped to wait for sunlight. First thing the following morning, the professors found the perfect area to climb. It was going to be very difficult and they had to get everyone up there so the plan was complex.

 The experienced climbers had to go first. That meant the two professors and one of the students had to climb almost with no instruments or equipment, at least to a certain point. Then, they would help the others with ropes and all the climbing equipment they had carried from their base camp. None of the leaders were nervous about it. They simply began climbing. By midday, the three scientists had climbed at least fifty meters, which was very good. They installed everything there, on a special hard part of the mountain and kept going as the other three just started.

 As expected, nightfall arrived as they were still working on the mountain. Their fingers were numb and some had awful bruises that made it difficult for them to climb. The student that had joined the professors was the first one to arrive and he helped bring his two companions on top. When they were all there, they helped the remaining three. Two of them were bleeding a lot when they came up to the top.

 They decided to form camp not very far from the edge. The idea was to rest, cure their wounds and start real work on top of the plateau. They almost couldn’t sleep as they had arrived to the place they had wanted to visit for a long time. No other human had ever been there and it was certain that they were going to encounter very special creatures. They were about to enter scientific history.

 However, the night did not only bring the best wishes from them. It also brought heavy sleep, provided by a plant they had ignored, just by their camp. The plant released spores that made people extremely sleepy, almost putting them in a coma. This was used by a certain kind of spider, an undiscovered species, to kill all the campers with its powerful poison.

 The bodies wouldn’t take long to decompose. That’s how powerful the venom was. And all the machines and equipment would be destroyed by powerful gusts of wind and other animals, completely erasing any trace the scientists had ever been there.

martes, 31 de mayo de 2016


   Mister James arrived in the late flight. Mrs. Nakamura was there to receive him as soon as he stepped out of the baggage claim area. She was very nice, greeting him with a sign with his name on it in both Japanese and English. She asked him about his journey as they walked towards the door. Not even a minute later, as they were talking about how difficult it could be to sleep on a plane, a small black car, which seemed brand new, appeared out of nowhere and parked in front of the two of them.

Minute later, the car was on a highway, speeding next to many other cars and motorcycles. Mrs. Nakamura was talking on the phone and he didn’t know whom with. He was too fascinated with the view from his window to care: the city rose in every way, buildings all over. It was impossible to see the moon in the sky. It was late but there were lots of cars in the road. As they approached the core of the city, the denser it became.

 When Nakamura hung up, she smiled again and explained where they were going and the name of his hotel. It was a very prestigious five star hotel with every single commodity a person could ask for. He personally thought it was a bit too much for a four days stay but he didn’t say a word. He knew Japanese people loved to be hospitable and it would be rude to say anything against it. So he just smiled and said that the city was very impressive. It was extremely big in every way.

 Soon, they crossed the most popular neighborhoods, where people gathered to have a drink after work and the young ones paraded around to have fun, whether it was on the numerous arcades or on the specialized stores that sold comic books and other anime and manga related items. There were so much people, more than Mr. James had ever seen. He had being born in a very small city and had only left after high school so he was still impressed by large cities.

 They arrived in the hotel just a few minutes afterwards. The building was beautiful and someone, a small man, came out of nowhere and took James’s suitcase. He almost went running after him but it was obvious he was an employee and he was only looking to be efficient. The driver left and Nakamura joined him in the reception for the check-in procedure.

 The lobby of the hotel was very big, filled with flowers. There was no one around except the staff who was also very nice and smiled every single moment. It was late and they were probably tired so it was a very nice thing of them to keep smiling. The short man took the suitcase to the elevator and took them directly to the assigned room. It was locate on floor number 44. The view was outstanding. He almost didn’t hear when Mrs. Nakamura told him she would be there by seven in order to take him to the conference.

 Once alone, he checked his suite: it was almost like a proper apartment with a living room, a small kitchen space and a large bedroom with a very comfortable bed. The bathroom, which had a circular Jacuzzi type of bathtub, had a window overlooking the city. He felt tempted to have a bath but he decided it was better to rest as he had an early day the next day. He took of his clothes and hopped into the bed. There, he stared at the window for a while and realized the bed was big enough for two. So he put a hand on the space next to him and fell asleep.

 The conference that was being held in the city lasted all the four days he was going to be there and would take most of his time. When Nakamura came in to take him there, he was sad he couldn’t walk around the city first. But she noticed something in his face because she told him that they were going to have lunch in a traditional restaurant and dinner in an interactive place where many foreigners love to go. So he decided to look forward to both those activities.

 The conferences were about security in the XXIst century and how could people feel safe in every single one of the spaces they frequented the most such as public transportations, shopping areas, recreation venues and so on. He had given the same conference once and again and again for the last five years. James was considered to be one of the experts in the subject, always invited by television networks to talk about terrorism and how it worked in urban areas and so on.

 Sometimes, he grew very bored of hearing his own voice. And he knew that he also bored many people, no matter how interested they were in what he was saying. It was one of those traits that are impossible to erase from the personality. But he was looking forward to lunch so he decided to be as gracious and nice as he could.

 He was awarded by the most delicious meal he had ever had, at least in recent times. There was some sushi but also ramen and noodles of all kinds and various cuts of fish and seafood. There were also sweets made of what he thought were strange ingredients. But he tried every single thing and was commanded by the chef for being such a good sport with everything. They even took a picture of the whole table, James smiling.

 At night, Mrs. Nakamura took him to the strangest place he had never been in: it was called a café but it was more a hybrid between a bar and a restaurant. They had a live show featuring some people in costumes and the food was all filled with sugar:  milkshakes, ice creams, sweet cocktails, cheesecakes and all kinds of desserts to enjoy as you watched the show.

 When he arrived at the hotel and Mrs. Nakamura left, he had a big smile on his face. The place they had been last was filled with typical tourists and also younger people but he had a lot of fun looking at the costumes and the very creative show they had put up. He was a bit drunk because of some funny colored drinks he had but the first thing he did when he arrived at his bedroom was not to fall asleep but to grab his tablet and start looking for everything he wanted to see all around the city.

 He had decided he wasn’t going to waste any time, no matter how short or if it had to be done at night. He wanted to see every single landmark that was worth a watch and also visit more places like that café, places that felt unique and special. He had gotten such a good vibe out of that place and maybe it was because he had never been in such a fun place, filled with color and with people having fun.

 As he finally got into bed, he realized his job had its perks. It was depressing to talk about security every day but he got to visit such great places and have a fun time. It was always better that been at home where he had no one to come home to, where he had long nights in which the old insecurities came back to hunt him. No, when he travelled he was always happy and had the most fun he had ever had in his life. He wished it could always be like that.

 The second day they went to the shopping areas and James decided to splurge a little. He wasn’t a fan or anything of the sort of manga but he decided to get advice from the owner of the largest store of manga they saw and ask him which ones he recommended to begin with. He bought four books, all in English so he could understand. The owner, as all the other people, was always very nice.

 He also bought some clothes, making Mrs. Nakamura help him with the sizes and telling him if he looked good in them or not. At first, she had been a little apprehensive that he was not as she had expected him to be. But after some conversations, she realized he was lonely person, which wasn’t all that uncommon in her city, in her country. So she decided to help him as well as she could and follow him to all his adventures.

 The night before he had to leave, they went to a very quiet sushi bar which she had recommended as she had dinner there with friends quite often. They discussed his schedule for the last day and when she mentioned his flight, James smile disappeared. He obviously didn’t want to leave yet. She promised to take him to a special place the next day, before the flight and he smiled to that.

 James last night was one of almost no sleep, mostly thinking and thinking. And when he was done doing that, the sun was about to rise. By the time he arrived to the conference hall for one last lecture, he had taken the decision to change his life and to make that presentation the last he would ever make.

lunes, 15 de febrero de 2016


   The situation was becoming more and more uncontrollable. Bodies had ben found everywhere now and people were starting to wake up, to ask questions and to really ask the questions that they should have been asking for years. They were protests all around, riots and even murders due to the revelations that had occurred recently. All wars, all confrontations of any kind, had been stopped. It appeared to have been a miracle but it had nothing to do with that. Miracles didn’t exist anymore, magi died and only truth was there to comfort the lives of so many people that now found solace in the new reality that was hitting everyone straight in their faces, in their families and communities. Everything was there and people had to take their stand.

 The director of intelligence reunited with the president that week. No one knew about that meeting except top officials in the government. The two men discussed the best course of action. As predicted, the intelligence leader wanted everything to be covered, to be hidden from the people and blame everything else for the deformed bodies that were being found. But the president knew very well that the people knew the truth and they weren’t going to throw it away just because two men said something that was obviously not true. They had to find the way to reveal the truth but in the best way possible. That was the idea of the president and he knew he had no choice in the matter.

 The announcement was done the following week and everyone in the country, and the world, was shocked in the most violent way. People knew but they still couldn’t believe it. It was too much for many and the predicted suicides happened, impossible to be stopped or prevented. Some murders too, in the name of so many things that people didn’t even understand. Others, in the other hand, turned to science and objective thought and tried to adapt to the new reality but no matter how smart a person was, the concept that they were dealing with was too grand, to big to understand in one take. It was obvious humanity would take several years or centuries or who knows how much to understand what was happening and its consequences.

 The first case, the newspapers said, had been the one of Michael Collins and his sister Colleen. They were two teenage kids that had wandered into a deserted area and had been the first to be found dead and deformed by a local policeman. The case was almost a cover up if it hadn’t been for the pictures that policeman took before his companions and members of military intelligence arrived. That case was twenty years old and the man had hidden the pictures for eighteen of those years until he decided he needed money and attention and revealed them to the world. However, the world thought it was a hoax.

 But months after he revealed his pictures, more images and proof started being revealed in other countries, less prone to cover ups. And then it happened, bodies began to pile up very high or so it seemed. They were everywhere, appearing in forests and rivers but also in homes and office building. There was a famous case when four bodies were discovered on top the tallest building of the capital city. No one ever knew how they got up there, especially because the bodies belonged to four farmers from a remote region. But there they were, deformed ad the rest. It caused so much sensation and fascination that it became the case that everyone went to when talking about the subject as whole.

 The medical colleges reunited to settle how deformed all the bodies were and which were the main characteristics. They agreed that the most obvious new feature on the bodies was the loss of both eyeballs on the victim and the elongation of the eyeball cavity by several centimeters. The head of every victim was also modified, now looking a little bit larger, to adjust to the new cavities in it. The mouth in all victims had dried up, the lips almost disappearing. The nose of many had shrunk somehow, probably asphyxiating them if they weren’t dead by then. All extremities were incredibly thin, as if they had been deprived of everything a human needed to live. And another shocking fact was that none of the victims had their sexual organs. Everything had been removed.

 When that report had been releases by the medical associations, even those that still did not believe in what was happening was caught by the amount of detail and proper investigation these men and women had done. They had checked over one thousand bodies for their report and had no way of being wrong or been exaggerated. Every single body had the same issues and one more, with which they closed the inform: every body was radioactive. They had discovered this by accident with one of them but then checked them all and every single corpse was deemed extremely toxic. Of course this was very bad news for the teams working on the matter.

 Every doctor and nurse was checked for radioactivity and no one was found to be seriously contaminated, although some did have some in their bodies. The government guaranteed they would be well taken care of by the state but no one believed in anything the government said anymore. Now it was obvious they had been covering everything up and people wanted head to roll. Elections were scheduled within the next month and a new party, founded by the people, won the election. The new president was one of the women that had done the autopsies on many of the corpses. People trusted her.

 But the new president was also bombarded with questions. What was happening and why was this happening? Were there new cases? Were there under some kind of attack? Of course, she was unable to answer any of those questions. She had no idea about any of that and the scientific community was as confused and restrained as the rest of the world. They had no idea how to deal with everything, trying to help people as well as they could but that wasn’t enough. Most were just shocked and would never be okay again. They had seen their family members die and didn’t know how and it was obvious there was something else beyond all of this massacre and mystery but it was difficult to figure out. That was until one last piece of the puzzle came to be.

 That piece was another finding of bodies. A large mass grave in a remote area. A native community had found it and all the forces of security converged there as well as the associations supporting the families of the victims. They wanted to know who was the victim now but they found out much more than that. They dug up a huge piece of the land, discovering not only human corpses, deformed as the other ones, but also animal corpses that had been horribly modified. Some people screamed when they saw those, unable to understand what would cause nature to mutate like that, to create some sort of monsters. The answer was close by and it was discovered by the end of that year.

 More bodies but these weren’t human. They were something else. They did not seem to have been dead for a short time and it was concluded they had died at least a thousand years ago but the other bodies were recent. It was a mystery no one ever solved but it didn’t change anything. Because the world confirmed what it already knew. Creatures from beyond the star were there and they had been killing people, no one knew if intentionally or not. Those bodies confirmed they had been there for a while and that maybe that had found a way to adapt to society. Maybe they had found a way into the human heart.

 Further investigations revealed that all the deformed bodies belonged to former extraterrestrials. Apparently, they had found a way to adapt their physicality to our own and had been living with everyone else for years and years. They had no sexual organs and it was confirmed that none of the victims had children, only adopted ones. How people overlooked that important fact seemed strange. But what was even stranger was that those creatures had been living on Earth for so long that they had to become humans. They had to turn themselves into something else because they had been left there, stranded probably. And people know begged them to reveal themselves completely but that didn’t have to happen because they were all dead and no one knew why.