Challenge #02222-F032: Snapping PointsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  13 days ago


(Sorry for everything bad in this prompt. My grammar isn't perfect. Anyway English isn't my native language :/)
Obsession about humans is almost natural in some species. Scientists literally love watching their human beings on tests. But some scientists went too far, when they ask: How much pain can human endure before they give up? -- Anon Guest

[AN: No worries, Nonny. When I encounter a prompt with obvious grammatical or spelling errors, I fix them up so that the soul of the prompt is just that little bit clearer for my readers. BTW English is hard because it steals lexicons from other languages and pretends it was always that way. Congratulations on mastering a good chunk of it.]

There is a saying, Anything can happen in the Edge. On the edges of Alliance space, where the laws are arbitrary and the morals don't always matter, people are more likely to interact in their own self-interest rather than consider another's concerns. You can find anything in the Edge. Things that would be illegal, immoral, or unhealthy in other regions. Things to satiate desires both subtle and gross.

You could, at a certain time, find installations like the Interstice Analysis Institute, where cogniscents fascinated by humans could study these self-confessed 'space orcs' and their patented survivability in controlled scientific conditions. The Humans within volunteered, and in return they received medical care, proper nutrition, shelter, entertainment, and sociability. In return, the scientific minds in charge ran the volunteers through assorted wringers. Humans sometimes came close to death, but the ideal was to never drive them past their own danger signals.

On its last month of operation, they were testing Human Endurance. A succession of increasingly complicated obstacle courses, where the teams of Humans were comprised entirely of individuals who would not get along in any given circumstance. Their conversations were monitored, as were the tonal inflections and biological stress indicators. In respite zones, the Humans had noticed that those zones were getting incrementally smaller.

Joff gave the observation cams a rude gesture. "Urge to kill those flakkin' lizards... rising."

Kym, who had been hunched over their own knees and catching their breath, looked over to them. "Y'know... that's a thing we can agree on."

Lem, huddled on the floor, didn't even open their eyes to say, "Same."

Orz put their feet up on the wall while their back was on the floor. "I dunno about you... but I want to flakkin' kill these guys."

This phrase, it might be noted, had been uttered so often that it had become static to those gathering data. This time, though, given the stresses and the state of exhaustion in the team, sparked it into an idea.

This team of enemies had a common cause they could ally with. They concocted plans. Employed what they knew. Sabotaged the devices set against them. Escaped, of course, and immediately set to venting their frustrations on the scientists who had set up their suffering.

By the time replacement teams came to investigate, there was nobody left alive in the base. Three vessels were missing, but there was a clear trail of violence that showed the forensicists what had occurred, even after the Humans had sabotaged the recording devices.

The message on the wall, left by the departing Humans, told more. It was written in the blood of the scientists who had kept them there. Two words told it all.

We quit!

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / aLunaBlue]

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