Who Went There: the
by Andrew Lopez
Helicopter pilot Palmer sat there, deep in his own world as he listened to some
Led Zeppelin and puffed smoke, waiting for Childs to return with some more of
their stash from the greenhouse. Shortly before they had left for this dump on
ice, Palmer had heard of that new album by that child star-turned pop singer
Michael Jackson. "Thriller" it was called. Its songs were kind of catchy. Ha, he
laughed at the thought. All he needed was some good old rock. Something brushed
his leg. He looked down to see a dog, the same one those Norwegians had been
chasing in the morning. Clark must've forgotten to lock it up with the others.
He stroked the little guy, "Hey boy how ya doin'?" he asked. As he looked down
at his Walkman to change the song, he felt something strange. Something wet. "Is
this mutt really pissin' on me?" he thought. But as he turned to see what it
was, he was shocked, barely able to trust his own eyes. Where he had expected to
see the friendly face of a dog, there was now a starfish of bloody flesh and
teeth that inched towards him. "Guys," he said calmly, "hey, you guys," his
voice raising in intensity, "guys, GUY-" as a long red snake of a tongue leaped
out and took hold of Palmer's. It recoiled with the utmost speed, pulling Palmer
into what was now a bloated red mass of tentacles and legs. Palmer squirmed and
made muffled shrieking sounds as the life was squeezed straight from his body.
Then, almost as quickly as it had begun, the bloody pile turned itself inside
out, exposing fur, and after all the "bones" had settled in its body, the simple
appearance of just another dog had returned. One by one it spit out pieces of
its child which pieced themselves together, followed by the shredded clothes of
Palmer. It was complete. The Palmer-thing now had but one thing left to do. It
redressed in some other pajamas and took the shredded ones to the kitchen,
carefully removing the nametag as he went. Nauls was there, stirring some stew
behind a counter. "Case of the munchies now, Palmer? Hahahah." Palmer gave a wry
smile and shook his head as he opened the refrigerator door at an angle so as to
block Nauls's view. "Better let doc check ya out, and Garry might like to know
'bout that too. Ahahaha. Contraband!" Nauls joked. "You know you're a funny guy,
Nauls," Palmer said as he dropped the tattered clothes around the side of the
fridge, into a trash can, "a real funny guy."
His heart was racing like it hadn't done in years. Any one of them could be
lurking, planning their next move. He knew they were, or they were bound to do
so. It's inevitable. They already tried this once, and he wouldn't let it happen
this time. Palmer was anxious, he had to think of a way to get that damned key
from Garry. That blood was the best chance they had at discovering him. As he
walked down a corridor towards the rec room, a deafening siren rang out. "What
in the hell? Something's wrong with Bennings!" yelled Copper as everybody rushed
out to investigate. Palmer wanted to follow, but as he went to get his coat he
noticed something from the corner of his eye. Something shiny. The keys were
right there, waiting for him. He quickly took them and ran to the storage room,
opening the refrigerator and popping each packet of blood. After locking it all
back up, he headed back towards Garry's desk. Just as he was about to place them
back on the desk, a voice startled him. "Palmer," Blair said, "let me see those
keys. I need them, I'm working on a test." "Yeah well you better work fast,"
Palmer said as he handed Blair the keys, "look!" Blair saw a mutated figure
through the window. "Is...is that Bennings?" he asked. As he turned back he felt
a quick slap to the face, and then a sizzling sensation festering throughout the
entirety of his gums. He realized too late that his gaze through the window had
been a fatal error. He blacked out as he and the Palmer-thing became one. Not
for long, though, as Palmer had plans for him.
His job was not done yet. Framing Copper and assimilating Blair was not enough.
They were still hot on the trail with Mac firmly in charge and Fuchs working
diligently on a new test. Those both had to change...
Night was upon them, and the fuse box for the entire station was right there, in
plain sight! Unwatched! He knew just what to do. An easy cut of the wire was all
it took. Everybody was caught off guard, all but one crucial...witness. He had
not anticipated this. That fat oaf had somehow managed to stumble upon the
perfect crime. "P- Palmer? What's going on?" he asked. There was no reply. None
but the horned appendage of a monster that flailed from the darkness, going
straight through the head of Norris, the nice, innocent, unsuspecting Norris.
Hm. He may be useful after all. As they merged together, Palmer realized there
was no time to split, and nobody would see him in the dark anyway. There was
more work to be done. He still had Mac's pants, the pants he had borrowed for
the flight to the crater. He zipped by Fuchs towards the outside, where he
dropped the ripped pair as he proceeded towards the shack where Blair had been
locked up. He brought more supplies for the journey, final preparations were
being made. On the way back, though, there was a problem. The wind had moved the
pants out into the open, out to give Fuchs a perfect view of the perpetrator(s).
Palmer/Norris rushed towards Fuchs, twisting his hand back and taking the flare
straight from his hand, subsequently shoving it down his throat. He collapsed as
the flames began to spread throughout his choking body, burning the rest of him
away. Ugh, one more chore. Mac's shack was the perfect new spot to place the
evidence, though. Right in plane view of Fuchs's last appearance, and even more
luring with the light on...