Featured article #4

S-04 (view original)

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Only members of Special Committee Linnaeus have access to the containment chambers of S-04 specimens. When visiting these holding cells it is mandatory to wear lead reinforced protective gear.

Note: After the incident of the 23rd of February it probably bears emphasizing; don’t bring any pets within S-04 confinement chamber! Dr. Guinness

Description

S-04 is a Type-II predatory outsider capable to take on any animal or human appearance and mimic human sentience. 
It is incapable of speech and at this time it is unknown if S-04 is capable of communication or rational thought beyond its predatory instinct. It is also assumed that S-04 is unaffected by Travelers Decay as long it can sustain itself, by ‘bonding’ with living creatures. 
S-04 forms an ‘emotional’ connection with its prey, designated S4-1. The exact nature of this bond is unknown, but we know it causes neurological and chemical changes inside its victim. These changes depend on the species, causing primarily phobias in non-sentient mammals and romantic attraction in humans, preferably females; no human male victims are identified at this point. When bonded S4-1 wants to be in S-04’s vicinity which, when bonded, takes the form of its respective species. In the case of non-sentient animals is shape is usually of the female variety while in humans cases it takes on the shape of a ‘desirable’ human male or female; possibly depends on the sexual orientation of S4-1. In all cases, S-04 takes on the role of a caretaker to S4-1. This might be the reason why S-04 prefers disabled or ‘distressed’ human females who live in relative isolation, above other prey.

When S-04 breaks its bond with its victim, S4-1 mental state starts to deteriorate over a number of days, depending on the species, until it starts to convulse and die. 

Encounters 

S-04%20Caretaker.png

One example of S-04 was apprehended in Glasgow. It had moved in with a deaf widow. A family member who supported her was not allowed in her house by, 'a strange but very attractive woman’. Without being able to meet his sister-in-law, he could not find out what was going on and after a month of no response to letters or telegrams, he went to the police for help.  

Two constables went to the address to investigate. They too got stopped by the mysterious woman who refused to co-operate. Suspecting her of taking the widow hostage they attempted to apprehend her, but S-04 resisted arrest revealing its alien properties. One of the policemen’s arm has dislocated by a tendril that emerged for somewhere near her thigh and the men fled. They soon returned with reinforcements and the Association was informed. To their surprise, S-04 had made no attempt to flee and acted as if she was not aware of what was going on when policemen entered the door. 

S-04 refused to let them in again, but this time the officers used shock batons and a reinforced sack to capture her and succeeded.  

The widow turned out to be fine and unaware of the fight. However, she became very hostile when she realized her ‘roommate’ was being taken away and assaulted at least three officers, biting one of them in the hand until her teeth reached the bone. At that point, they attempted to stun her with their batons. But she was so voracious they need to tase her till her skin started to singe.  

After the arrest S-04 and S4-1 were both taken in custody by the Association and brought to a safe house near ██████. Over the course of a number of experiments by Special Committee Linnaeus, S-04 was classified as a P-10 Type-II creature that lives off its victims like a parasite.   

Findings

I, Dr. Guinness, been looking into this new Type-II, which we believe has lots of potentials, and decided to designate it S-04. Our experiences with the Subject are, astounding.
It started when I and Dr Gin attempted to interrogate it. At this time we have physically separated S-04 from misses [REDACTED],  S4.1. Of course, we didn’t know what the consequences would be. So, imagine our amazement when we opened the door to the interrogation room and we discovered S-04 had taken the shape of an attractive young man, just sitting there with this fake smile on its face. We sat down and tried to communicate with it. It responded in weird and inappropriate ways as if it didn’t understand a word we were saying. I was so frustrated I didn’t realize Dr. Gin was acting, odd. At the time neither of us really knew how to deal with S-04.
All of a sudden she jumped up, excused herself, and stormed out of the room. When I asked her what happened she said she wasn’t feeling well. I checked her pulse and noticed her temperature was above nominal. Then I noticed her cheeks were flushed and it started to make sense.
I asked her if she was blushing, which she admitted. I continued asking if she was attracted to its male form, which she acknowledged. It came clear that she was falling for S-04 within several minutes. From now on, we don’t allow any more women within S-04's vicinity.
In the meantime, after an incident in which S-04 took the shape of a woman, anyone who is within the vicinity of its chamber is required to wear lead reinforced helmets. 
Dr. Guinness'

Addendum:

S4-1.1 has died today. Over the course of a week, she has been acting irrational to the point of hysteria, constantly attempting to break out of her room and screaming like a Banshee during all hours of the day. Three days ago she slumped into depression and today she started to convulse, as if she has an epileptic fit, and died.      
We started observation of Dr. Gin’s health. Fortunately, she seems to be alright for the moment. However this bonding thing works, she wasn’t exposed long enough. S-04 meanwhile has turned into an amorphous shape of indistinct color.

      

Summary Experiments S4.2 to S4.5

S4.2 through S4.5. A dog, a cat, a ferret, and a snake, were bonded with S-04. Fish and birds were proposed but these ideas were rejected. During the first experiment, all caged animals were introduced simultaneously to S-04’s containment chamber. S-04 took on the form of a female dog. The dog, S4.2, started to alter its behavior within three hours after exposure. It showed signs of extreme duress, that subsided when released from its cage and allowed to be with S-04. Researchers in lead-coated suits and armed with shock sticks then removed S4.2 from the chamber, to which S-04 tried to resist. Just like in the first encounter S-04 produced a number of tentacle-like appendages, but was put down by the electric weaponry.

Just like in the first case, S4.1, S4.2 first showed excessively violent behavior followed by paralyzing depression and finally death over the course of three days.

The experiments that followed were conducted with the remaining animals. In order of the experiments, S-04 first picked the ferret, then the cat, and finally the snake. The mammals showed similar behavior in the presence of S-04. And when removed from S-04's cell, they all died in the same way. The snake, S4.5, however, acts very territorial around S-04 but doesn’t seem all that in need of S-04’s presence. S-04 on the other is very dormant, even for reptilian standards. This could indicate snakes and other reptiles barely sustain S-04’s needs."The preliminary conclusion is that S-04 prefers to bond with social mammals, possibly for their empathy or increased levels of distress when isolated; which would explain why it would prefer humans and pack animals. Special Committee Linnaeus, therefore, decided that S-4 is only allowed to bond with reptiles unless experiments require other animal species."

A request by Dr. Gin

S-04 is with us for three months now, and there is still no sign of decay. The reptiles that have bonded with S-04, on the other hand, wither and die in the course of weeks, regardless of nutrition. Although they don’t turn to powder like typical cases of P-05, the process seems similar to early and advanced symptoms. I wish for the Special Committee to sever its current bond and observe if S-04 will start to degreed in any way or form. If our suspicions are correct, we may need to find more specimens to investigate the nature of its abilities. We could probably develop ways to stop Travelers Decay from occurring in our associates.

Dr. Gin

Dear Doctor Gin,

I understand your enthusiasm. However, such an experiment will teach us nothing at this time. At least until we found more specimens, we must keep this one alive as a test case when other live specimens of S-04 have been recovered.
Meanwhile, we start our recently developed experimental procedure. We’ll start by severing the bond between S-04 and reptile specimens of S4-1. Then we’ll inject the reptiles with █████ and observe them for about a week. If multiple subjects survive we will test the treatment on mammals until we believe it is ready for human testing.  We believe we can acquire the knowledge you seek this way.

Yours truly,

Dr. Guinness

Experiment S4:31

In 1867 another instance of S-04 was recovered. S4-1, in this case, happened to be a crippled young woman (17 years of age) who was restricted to a wheelchair and afflicted with Neurasthenia. She also could not handle social interaction very well. Therefore she would not join her mother and older sisters when attending social gatherings. Her father was a traveler who explored the Dark Continent. As a result, she spent most of her time on her family's estate in relative isolation, apart from interacting with the servants who took care of her.

"I listened to another episode The Daughter of Spring-Heeled Jack. I swear the plots are getting worse… I guess they need to keep the show going. If only there was a way to record broadcasts. That I wouldn't have to chose what radio program to listen to. The BBC announced they are going to make a prequel of Doctor Watts. A prequel! Now I understand why they killed the character in the original show. So they could not make a bad sequel!
It seems anyone can write for radio these days. Maybe I should try my hand at it. I think I really should. I love the idea of getting my voice heard! Maybe I could even perform. Even if it would be a small roll. Just so someone out there would acknowledge my existence."
*
"Trying my hand at writing again today. But all I could manage was a few lines before proclaiming I just want somebody to take me out of here. The other one was about a girl that could walk again. And then there was a 'genius' in a wheelchair. This is all I know isn't it? I don't even know why I bother getting up in the morning.
I wish father took me with him. Being on a boat would be better than wasting away here.
Also, I am stuck with this stupid song in my head. As if I didn't have enough distractions. 'Watching Flowers in the Rain'. Guess it's because that is how I spend most of my time. Now I can't stop humming it."
*
"For once I am actually happy I got out of bed. Today this young man was working in our garden. When I saw his bright smile, I could help but blush. He is strange though and he doesn’t say a word. I tried talking to him as we walk by the cabin, but he just smiled and gave me an acknowledging nod. But it was enough!
I just can't stop thinking about him. When I close my eyes I just start imagining his smile. I feel so silly. I wanted to get up early this morning just to he was working in the garden. And he was! I really hope he will stay."
*
"He was working in the glasshouse this afternoon. I tried conversing with him, but I think he is mute. I tried asking the staff about him, but they don’t know anything. Gretta assumed my mother arranged for him… But mother complained this morning Gerald is taking on anyone these, referring to him. Mother thinks he is not well. I didn’t get into it. I don’t want them to send him away."
*
"He brought me flowers today. I wish these would not wither. Maybe I should dry these now these are still beautiful!"
*
"Something odd is going on. I noticed a strange man observing us. I could see that the man is making him uncomfortable."
*
"I saw someone again. I brought it up during dinner. Mother told the staff to be on alert afterward. This afternoon she claimed the staff hasn't seen anyone suspicious. But I have… I don't trust her, or anyone else… I hate this! I tried to tell him, but I don't think he understands. How can he not understand I want to get out of this place!"

The following segments were taken from subjects S4;31 diaries after she was taken into custody. The Association managed to contact the family under the guise of being local law enforcement and explained the situation. The mother was convinced that the boy had a negative influence on her daughter and agreed with an intervention. S4-1 was drugged and while she was paralyzed and Associates captured the S-04 instance using shock weaponry.

Both S4-1 and S-4 and were transferred to site 12 for observation. It was quickly decided that S-04's bond needed to be severed before symptoms of degradation could set in and begin the experimental treatment.

Report S4:31 by Dr. Stout

"The patient is docile as long as we don’t separate her for S-04. The next step is to find a way to sever this bond without killing her.

[…] We had positive results injecting reptiles whose bond was severed by injecting them with plasma taken from S-04.

[…] Before we start the treatment we have decided to tell S4-1 everything in the hope she’ll be able to cope better with the separation."

Addendum: audio log
"(sigh) This is Doctor Stout. Just got from talking to miss [Redacted]. We attempted to inform S4:31 of the specifics of her condition… As expected she didn’t take it well. The poor lass is love-struck. More surprising, or rather shocking, as she didn’t mind dying if it meant breaking the bond; or maintaining it for that matter. We tried to explain to her that the feelings she has for, it, are nothing but an illusion. But I have to admit, I had a hard time convincing myself that this isn’t the case for feelings of love and affection in general. This girl is desperate to hold on to the only feeling of happiness she has ever known. Even if our treatment works on humans, it is back to a life of constant pain and isolation. S-04 probably chose her because her existence is close to a nightmare, to begin with… Someone once said to me, losing love is better than never been loved at all. But that is easy to say if the only thing you have to look forward to isn’t comprised of constant suffering."

Addendum: audio log 2
"This is Doctor Stout. The experiment was successful in keeping the patient alive. However, the girl might be awake and aware, she hasn’t said a word since the separation. She is docile for nearly two weeks now. All she has been doing is listing to the bloody radio, and barely responds when we are in the room with her. (Sighs) I guess we should call that a success… Observations continue for another week before we return [Redacted] to her family. The Chair has agreed she'll be supplied with the medicine as long it is, deemed necessary… Whatever the hell that means."     

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