Encrypted Security


Re: Cadet Daart Operation Kid Gloves Witness Testimony

  1. Field Agent Sham
  2. Generation Kymera: Gamma
  3. Directorate of Biogenetic Science
  4. Central Intelligence Agency


The only reliable witness account we have of the final hours of Operation Kid Gloves came from NROTC cadet, Daart. Yesterday, I conducted an interview with him and below is a copy of the transcript.

Daart: I’ve never done one of these before, Sham. Am I going to be in trouble for anything I say, like in those cop shows where the guy needs to plead the fifth?

Sham: Just answer honestly, Daart. No one is in trouble, except the people who abducted us. We need to piece together what happened, and you’re the only one who can solve the mystery.

Daart: Okay, but I just want to say, for the record, I wasn’t offered a lawyer. Am I supposed to have one?

Sham: Daart, please. Just start by telling me what happened when you and Lt. El Ray were at Reed College and Ensign Quillroy arrived.

Daart:  Ok, at 8:04, I mean, 20:04 hours, Quillroy shows up with all these weird looking kids. They are creepy. Not gonna lie, I got scared. Well, I have this thing about liking the Iron Stomach, so I stick him in my pocket.

Sham: The action figure, you mean?

Daart: Duh! Yeah. So, El Ray radios Quillroy. He asks him what’s going on. Quillroy doesn’t answer right away. Then we see you and Albert VII show up. Quillroy finally responds. We can hear him clear as day, but Quillroy tells El Ray he’s getting interference, so we should use secure comms.  

I don’t hear what Quillroy says over the comms after they secure the channel. All I know is that afterwards, El Ray turns to me, and his eyes are jet black—all the way through. I flipped out. Literally! His face looked so weird I jump right out of my seat and clung to the ceiling of the van. 

el ray and daart cropped

Fig. 1 Surveillance photo from KCC Mark IX from January 7, 2050.

“Daart, come down from there,” he orders. 

“No way!” I tell him. I know he’s my superior and all, but I could tell something’s weird with him. I made the call to disobey because something about it reminded me of Iron Stomach Annual #3 where he had to save the other Arbitration League members held hostage by Propagundams. . . You know, the magic-infused mechs that get stronger the more the heroes listen to them? 

Sham: No. . .  I don’t know. 

Daart: Well, El Ray keeps telling me to come down, and I keep telling him no. Then he gets angry. He places a hand on the wall of the van. That El Ray is smart, even when he’s possessed! He uses his bioelectric shock on the metal shell of the van, and it zaps me. I’m out cold. 

I wake up lying on my back with El Ray dragging me by the shorts across the floor of some big, old, dirty factory. I see huge, boxy, metal machines and conveyor belts that look like they hadn’t been used in years. Scattered throughout are wires and electronic parts and old TVs. . . At least I think they were TVs, they are really big and wide and inside wooden boxes and look more like furniture than—

Sham: They were TVs, Daart. It was a TV factory. Could we please move on? Is there anything else you can tell me about El Ray’s behavior?

Daart: Let’s see. . . He still had those weird black eyes. Not like when a guy gets a black eye from being punched in the face. I mean the parts of his eyes. The colored parts, the white parts, the lens thingie, all of it! All black! So I shout, “El Ray! Lieutenant! Stop! Please!” I say. It’s no use, though. 

“It’s okay, Daart. This is all going to be fine. You can trust me. Don’t worry, Daart,” he says in this strange voice.

Sham: Strange how?

Daart: He wasn’t talking with his usual flow. It sounded, I dunno, like he was being shady. . . Like he was trying to con me. The tone of his voice seemed off, too. It was barely noticeable, but I’m positive the pitch of his voice was shifting. Like when you stream music, but you have a bad connection. I heard sounds like that in his voice.

Sham: Noted. He had you by the shorts. . . no pun intended. What happened next?

Daart: He’s telling me not to worry, and for a second, I thought that maybe he’s not really possessed. But then I see those eyes again and realize, no way I’m going anywhere with El Ray or this evil spirit possessing him. I grab some poison slime from my armpits, just enough to stop him, not kill him. I fling it right at him, and It splashes on his chest. I feel his grip loosen as the toxins start to paralyze his muscles. I break free and make a run for it to the other side of the factory floor towards a hallway.

The hallways of this place are a maze. It’s dark, and if there were exit signs, I couldn’t see ‘em.

I hear footsteps, so I duck into one of the offices. I pick one that had some humming sounds coming from it, thinking the noise might keep anyone from hearing me. The soft thumps of the footsteps get closer. 

“Daart, will you come out. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Will you please stop hiding?” the possessed, Evil-El-Ray says. Again, something inside me felt like going with him even though I’d seen him do that weird, creepy eye thing; even though he zapped me in the van; and even though he wasn’t acting like himself. Something inside my body and brain just felt like it’d be a relief to just give myself up. I fight that feeling by remembering that what’s happening isn’t right, and suddenly the feeling is gone. But then I am just plain scared. I admit it. You’d be too if your commanding officer was possessed by some sort of evil demonic spirit!

The humming in the room came from some equipment. Some of it I didn’t recognize, like the big, winding, metal things. They were labeled High-Voltage, so I didn’t mess with them. One thing I did recognize was a computer server. Its LEDs were the only lights in the room. 

I didn’t dare leave the room until I was sure El Ray was gone. While stuck there, alone with my thoughts, I realize demons don’t need to use computers, since they obviously have evil supernatural black-magic powers. There’s a keyboard and monitor mounted to the server’s rack. I tap a key to wake up the monitor from its power-saving mode, and that’s how I figure out who is behind this whole thing.

I use one of the apps the Navy provides on our AssaultComm to crack the server’s password. The last person that used it had a map on screen, with a pin on every missing kid’s home. I figure it out because one of the addresses is that Chow Mein street Albert joked about in our mission briefing. Red lines from each home lead down streets to one single location: Union Station. 

Sham: And how did you figure out VYRUS was behind it?

Daart: Oh, that was easy. They put their manifesto everywhere. It’s like a million pages and 100 chapters, and they made backups of it all over. It’s like they really wanted to make sure it was seen by the whole world and never ever lost, but who’s going to read all that? They could just write like one sentence “We want to destroy civilization because technology is bad. The end.” Well, I guess that’s two sentences, but you know what I mean. 

Sham: It’s a bit more complicated than that, Daart. Although I disagree with their actions, I find their motives intriguing. You see, they believe that technological progress is leading to a sort of dehumanization of the individual, which, on a collective scale—you’re not listening, are you?

Daart: Huh? Sure I was! You were talking about descaling humans, right? That’s cool, man.

Sham: Let’s move on. How’d you escape the server room?

Daart: I didn’t. Not exactly. Toxica and some old guy in a lab coat and wearing an eyepatch over his face, which, by the way, made him look like an evil Colonel Sanders—

Sham: You’re referring to Dr. Syd? 

Daart: Is that his name? I guess. He and Toxica were arguing as they headed my way. She’s mad at him because I outsmarted them. She’s demanding to know how I escaped. He says El Ray’s influence wasn’t strong enough on its own. She doesn’t believe his excuses, though. She screams at him, “You told me it always works on young people!”  

Dr. Syd doesn’t let the screaming bother him though. “I told you impressionable minds are the most susceptible. I didn’t guarantee anything. Daart never accepted the initial command.”

Toxica doesn’t care what he has to say. She just wants to get me! She demands he “bring all of the kids here” before I “mess up everything.”

Well, I’m definitely in over my head. I’m the last one on the mission who’s not under mind control and VYRUS is bringing reinforcements. I figure I have to call for my own backup. 

“Cadet Daart calling SNI Command. Commander Stone, do you read?” I whisper quietly. I get no response. I keep calling and get nothing. I feel my stomach drop to my butt. I guess I got a little worried.

I keep trying to reach San Nicolas Island every few minutes. “Commander Stone, please come in!” But then, the fluorescent bulbs overhead light up the whole room.

“Thanks for leading me right to you, Daart.” I recognize Toxica’s voice before my eyes adjust to the light. “I’m afraid your message didn’t get through. You see, we’ve taken the airwaves. We’ve known GK Deltas whereabouts since you arrived in town.” Toxica and Dr. Syd enter the room followed by a pack of kids. 

“Making slaves out of kids is low, even for you, Toxica.” I say. 

“Temporary and justified. Technology has been slowly enslaving mankind since the Industrial Revolution. It has made him docile, robots, programmed by the powerful to serve their goals. VYRUS is simply beating the powerful at their own game,” she says gesturing at the kids. “These people, under our influence, will be transported to strategic locations around the country to bring the ruling elite under our control. We will bring down the entire system without us having to fire a single shot.”

“That’s wrong, Toxica!” I think she was waiting for me to say more, but I had no idea what she was talking about. I’m no philosophy major! We kinda just stood there staring at each other for an uncomfortable moment. Then El Ray, Quillroy, Albert VII, and you came in. 

“Your team has come to see it my way, Daart.”

Dr. Syd speaks into a flat, circle device under his wrist. “Don’t be afraid, Daart. Why are you resisting us, Daart? Come with us Daart.”

“Don’t be afraid, Daart,” one of the kids says.

“Why are you resisting us, Daart?” another kid says.

“Come with us, Daart,” adds another.

The group of kids all start repeating different parts of Dr. Syd’s statements. Even the other Deltas and you were saying it. The more they talk, the more I can feel that sensation of needing to give in.

Sham: You keep talking about a feeling. Could you elaborate?

Daart: Well . . . It’s kind of like when you’re craving junk food, but you know if you eat it you’ll get a stomach ache. Or, when you’re sleepy, but you know you have to stay awake. It was like that. My mind knew this was scary, and that if I gave in I’d be a mindless zombie, but there was a feeling that it would feel better if I just gave in. I had to fight it with all my intestinal fortitude.

“Why are you resisting us, Daart?” Albert VII asks.

“Because . . . Ugh.” I say with a sigh. I knew what I had to do. I held up my Iron Stomach.

“Agent Alert! Daart is a dork! Repeat, Agent Alert! Daart is a dork! Blurrrrrppppp!” 

Well, El Ray was right; being more humble saved the day. First of all, Albert VII snapped right out of it, giggling like a monkey when the toy started making fart sounds. Second, the broadcaster must’ve scrambled the circuits like an omelet!

One by one all the zombie-brained kids snap out of their daze in a chain reaction. 

“What is happening?!” Toxica screams at Dr. Syd.

“Something is jamming the frequency!” he says.

The distraction is enough for me to get a clear shot at Dr. Syd, and I throw my bola at him, binding him before he can issue more commands. Toxica tries to reach for him, but I hit her with some paralysis goo, and she falls on her face.

As more kids snap out of it, I hear their murmurs of confusion. Now’s my chance to be a real hero. My chance to be a real leader to other kids like me. A moment like this calls for an inspiring speech. 

“Citizens! The evil internationalist terrorist primalist organization, VYRUS, has taken control of your minds for their nefarious schemes!” I say. “They think just ‘cuz we’re kids, they can manipulate us into doing their evil bidding! Well, as the Iron Stomach would say, it’s time we give them their just desserts!”

“Dude, it’s a talking frog,” one kid says to another.

I guess my speech sounded more inspirational in my head than it did to them. Luckily, you and the Deltas started snapping out of it at that point, too. 

“Guys! Quick! We gotta destroy all this high-tech equipment before VYRUS puts us under mind-control!” I say.

“Destroy high-tech stuff you say?” Albert VII says. “Quillroy, it’s finally your time to shine.”

You probably remember the rest, Sham. You, me, and the Deltas broke that stuff in a hurry. Some of it was high voltage and caught fire. The kids freaked out, maybe from the fire, maybe because they think we’re weirdos. They stampede out and Toxica and Dr. Syd escape with them. The rest of us high-tailed it out of there and back to the van before anyone could catch us on camera again.

Sham: Thank you, Daart. I have no further questions.

Submitted by:


Date: 2050-01-10

File Directory

~/SNI Zero Zero/