When he drew up the plans for the stasis chamber, the original architect had insisted on making it a bright, airy place. The pre-visualizations that his firm drafted (at no small expense to the client) depicted the tall, transparent holding tubes bathed in ethereal light, with even brighter shafts slanting in from the floor-to-vaulted-ceiling windows. Lab workers in pristine white smocks stood in rapt attendance to their charges, some making notes on tablet computers and others appearing deep in conversation with each other, no doubt reveling in the scientific progress they were making for the good of all mankind.

No one told that original architect—now dead of mysterious causes, all archival records of his work for the client vanished without a trace—that the facility was more than a mile underground, where even the brightest of the sun’s rays could not penetrate. Nor would the staff have access to wireless digital computers. The only consistency between the original plans and reality was that it was an expansive room stacked with fluid-filled statis tanks. It ended up looking like everything the architect had worked to avoid: a sepulchral green glow suffused the space, and the poor ventilation—coupled with inadequate environmental systems—contributed to the constant sweat on the windowless concrete walls. The gurgle and crank of mechanical pumps assaulted anyone who had to visit the room, and instead of pristine lab coats the engineers wore industrial grade hazard suits and thick ear protection.

A soundproof gallery hung high above the chamber floor, and though its smoked windows always appeared dark to those below, from time to time a worker could look up and make out a shadowy figure or two moving behind the black glass. No one asked too many questions. They had enough responsibility monitoring their charges to worry about what their overseers were up to.

The chamber had at first held twelve tanks, each with enough space to comfortably contain an adult specimen. They hung in three rows of four, and for the first five years of the facility’s operation housed seven subjects, perfectly preserved in nutrient-rich baths. Then the goliath was born, and the higher-ups knew it would require special accommodation. They replaced the middle row of tanks with a single, oversized version that was three times larger than normal.

The goliath grew to fill it in a little under three months.

2015.03.14 – 2023.10.07

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