Humanity's Testament
Author:Paul Comstock
    Therecame a man, sent from God, whose name was John.


    Humanity'sTestament, John's Gospel 1:1


    The cold and blackened titanium bars in the front of thecell isolated Dr. John Lambert from the Narcalin inside, but he didnot feel safe. The dark gray and gritty concrete walls gave off nowarmth, only cold and despair. Echoes of dripping from the leaky andcorroded water spigot jutting crookedly from the wall to his right,grated upon his nerves and would likely allow no solitude or sleep.Even through the repetitive dripping, the Narcalin lay unmoving onthe simple cot pushed up against the back wall of the cell. Lightdiffused through the small cell window directly above the stillfigure, giving only a hint of Earth's blue sky outside--a sky foreignto this creature.

    Harsh bright light from the fixture behind John cast ashadow that covered most of the back wall of the cell. The shadow ofa middle-aged man etched itself onto the concrete surface, showingfringes of skimpy and light hair dusting the top of his head, almostas if a halo surrounded him. He smiled. God had not deserted him,even though the creature before him brought back the memory of deedsunworthy of forgiveness.

    He knew the monstrous form all too well, for it wasn'tthat long ago that he had helped to program the creatures. A Narcalinwas unearthly in its appearance--shorter than an average man,standing at five feet, with stubby arms and thickened thighsgenetically created by combining traits inherent in deep sea fish andthe intelligence and structure of a human being. It had comicallylarge eyes, small holes for ears, a thin slit for a mouth, and ascaly skin that was as tough as most hardened metals. The purpose ofthis manipulation produced a creature able to withstand high gravityand high pressure environments, specifically the rigors of the gasgiant Jupiter.

    "Aren't you afraid?" he asked, finally gettingthe courage to face the creature.

    The Narcalin sat up and looked at him, his ruddy redeyes showed brightly in the shadow he cast, reflecting every possiblebit of light that fell upon them. "No, Dr. Lambert."

    John couldn't help but shudder, though this was not hisfirst visit to this particular Narcalin. "I told you to call meJohn."

    "Yes, Dr. Lambert, but I told you that my name wasPeter, and yet you continue to resist addressing me with the samerespect."

    "Okay, Peter then. Why aren't you afraid? Surelyyou know that by leaving Jupiter and returning to Earth, you'verevealed that Narcalins can break their programming. You're likely tobe destroyed."

    "I feel fear, the same as you, but I have no needto be afraid. It's all part of Hisplan." The Narcalin paused. An unearthly silence filled theroom, punctuated only by the sound of the drips from the spigot.Finally, the Narcalin spoke again. "I know why I'm here, John,but why are you? Why did they send you?"

    It was a good question. He had left the Jupiterprocessing facility three years ago and returned to Earth, hopingnever to see another of these creatures again. When the Director hadcalled him and asked for his help, his first response had been anemphatic refusal, but Director Hodges was persistent--and convincing.Now here he was, not more than a few feet away from one of themonstrosities again.

    "You already know the answer, John. They didn'tsend you. He did."

    "And what makes you believe that? Did Hetell you that?" The naivete of the creature amazed him. ThisNarcalin was more independent in his thinking than the ones John hadprogrammed in the past, but still acted like a child--as if he weresomething other than a monster.

Most Read
Top Books