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The Magistrate

The Laboratory

By Jose SanchezPublished 10 months ago 7 min read

They called it The Laboratory and we never knew why. It seemed like an abandoned warehouse. The light was this eerie green and we honestly rarely saw anyone go in or out. Everyone told stories about alien experiments and government secrets. A couple of mixed drinks, a game of truth or dare and the chance to kiss a pretty girl led to a trip outside the lab. We didn’t know what we’d find but we didn’t care either. We were just college kids. What did we have to lose?

Personally, I didn’t think we needed a plan. Storm the door I’d say. What can they do to stop us? Especially at night? Psh. We’d break through with a full head of steam and the bodyguards never looked tough. Todd and Kevin could take on any of the ones we’ve seen. Strength in numbers could take care of the rest. In hindsight… strength in numbers is what took care of us. *1

I worked in the laboratory at the time of the Oaksville Teen incident. The story that was released was far from the truth. Kids found trapped in the vents. Heat had done enough damage that the kids were “unrecognizable.” Even on this side, I have a horrible guilt about it all. It’s the only reason I still walk.

For weeks before everything was going off without a hitch. Our experiments were far from kosher, but it’s what The Magistrate wanted and he paid us HANDSOMELY. My wife and kids thought I was the world's highest paid food science technician. They were basically right. I was TECHNICALLY working with food and doing science at the same time. Putting sedatives in things like water, certain cheeses that could handle it and mask the taste of the heavier doses, and of course… good ol’ beer. Those were the big three anyway. In our country people couldn’t get enough beer and cheese. It was like the whole place was Wisconsin. Water was just for the health nuts or the extremely poor. The awful thing is that the pay was enough to keep me doing the right thing. I just kept poisoning my kinfolk because… well… I had to feed the family. *2

We ended up deciding on waiting for the shift switch. We’d run up and ask for help with a tire. The girls would be dressed to impress. We’d slip in as the guards got tugged away to a car. We’d find another entrance and let the girls in. It would be like a movie. Only this movie was an indie film. There wasn’t a happy ending.

So there I was just standing guard. It’s my job every day to watch the door. When my relief comes I let them in, wait for them to come back, go punch out, and I go home. I don’t even really know what goes on in the building. I don’t get paid to know. I get paid to watch.

Being the only female guard doesn’t even bother me. Why would it? I’m a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu black belt, a Muay Thai Brown belt, and a regional champion Judo practitioner. I can throw someone 3 times my weight. I’m not scared of SHIT. My job is usually easy. It’s very rare I have to turn away a drunkard and when they start to get handsy I just throw them over my shoulder and step on their shoulder and they’re more than happy to get the fuck out. I honestly think a fence would be cheaper than paying me like they do but… maybe that’s not what this new magistrate wants. Maybe he wants people to know not to fuck with him or people like me will dislocate their shoulders. *3

Boy of all the nights for there to be a female bodyguard. We rushed the door as the girls pulled the guy away and didn’t realize that the bodyguard that was there the whole night didn’t care how hot our ladies were. She threw me like… 7 feet. No joke. The other boys plowed past her into the door. Mission success. “If they got a good look we didn’t even have to be in there,” I thought with my surely broken tailbone. “They could just tell us and our dare would have been fulfilled.

One night as my shift was changing a couple of floozies came up and snatched my relief away. “Ugh,” I thought. “I just fucking wanna go home. I’ve been up since the buttcrack of dawn and I have to be up soon anyway.”

Next thing I know 3 kids are at my doorstep. I had like 3 seconds to react and I hip tossed one of the skinnier ones. I heard him hit the ground but I didn’t see where. By the time I had turned around it was too late. The other two were already inside

I continued my work but I started a side project. I figured if I came up with something new maybe they’d pay me out and let me out of my contract. I bought a blender, some fruits, and peanut butter on the way to work. Who knows ya know? Maybe they’d let me start a smoothie chain or something. Excited, I worked harder than I think I ever have. I put myself in a tunnel and buried myself in my work. It felt like I had been working for 30 minutes by the time my shift was nearing its end. In a rush I cleaned the blender and stuffed it into my knapsack. Forcefully, I opened my door and well…

Next thing I knew I was being carted into the building by my neck. My head still in a mess from my impromptu tumbling lesson, I noticed all the doors had a slot for a key card. I hear a call go through the PA for the “inner guards.” We’re just kids… Why are they ramping up security? I got thrown into this room and tied to a chair all James Bond style. My buddies were already there, one with a bloody, broken nose. I was panicking at that moment. I knew something was about to go wrong. We were just some kids and we had gotten in WAAAAAY over our heads.

I dragged the one kid into our holding cell. I didn’t know we had one until now. He wasn’t sayin much. I’m sure that hip toss rattled his little pea brain. I got escorted to the cell by inner guards. They had assault rifles and that caught me off guard. What’s going on in here that these guys need an assault rifle? And furthermore, why didn’t I get an assault rifle? Things were escalating quickly and I didn’t even have a second to realize how quickly they were escalating. I just sat and watched as everything unfolded. It was… a quick blur of bad things to come.

The inner guards tied these poor kids up. As soon as they did I knew what was going to happen. The Magistrate has a zero tolerance policy for people finding out about the work they’re having us do. These kids were dead. I just kept reminding myself that I have a family to feed. The inner guards were muttering to each other and finally they approached me. One of them handed me a pistol. “We’re not going to pull the trigger. Our fingerprints have been on these guns while you’ve been wearing gloves. Kill these kids and get back to work.” I knew it wasn’t an optional thing. I had never killed anyone before. With a gun pointed to my back and my family in the back of my mind I ended the lives of five college kids. The news reports said they were found in the vents. That’s what scarred their tissue beyond recognition. It was acid. The guards made me do that too. Before long I returned to my work routine but it was too late. The guilt had rotted my core. One day leaving work I mentioned to a guard that the guilt was eating me alive and joked about going to the press to relieve my conscience. Before I left that day I felt someone following me. I didn’t even turn around before I heard the last thing I’d ever hear. “Sorry, I have a family to feed,”

I wish I could tell you this was a story about how some kids got in way over their head but through their quick wit and survival instincts ingrained in them over thousands of years of evolution got them out. It’s not. It’s a story about how a couple of kids got in way over their head and a man who tried to do them right. It’s a story about how I was given a choice. Kill him or lose everything I love. The crazy thing is… both happened. Over time granted but that’s why I joined the resistance. The Magistrate must be stopped.

*1 perspective #1. One of the college kids involved in the Oaksville Teen Incident

*2 perspective #2. A scientist who was rumored to have involvement in the Oaksville Teen Incident

*3 perspective #3. The female bodyguard who was relieved of her duties after not seeing the kids sneak onto the premises

Short Story

About the Creator

Jose Sanchez

Howdy! I’ve been writing for about 9 years now. Everything from plays to graphic novels to short stories to haiku’s about hating retail. Thanks for the support! Feel free to follow me on social media. Enjoy

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