Precognition Division: Iza and the Precog


Precog Antechamber 5

The neon light of the amniotic stasis fluid flooded the antechamber in a dim, green glow. In the center of the antechamber was the Precognizant, or Precog. Encased in a translucent glass box void of smudges or cracks, the Precog floated in its vat of fluid, unconcerned with the outside world.

The Precog itself was nude, covered in bruises and lacerations that didn't heal quite right in its short time outside of the box. Six sets of clouded, beady eyes grew out of a head the size of a beachball, and those same six sets of eyes remained motionless as the day it was thrown into its chamber. Connected to its body were cables containing neural links that, on occasion, twitched as they stole the Precog's dreams and sent the images through hidden circuitry that projected the images onto a screen. Two pairs of spindly arms with six digits on each hand spasmed as the body they belonged to was assaulted by electricity. Yet there the Precog floated with both infant-like apathy and precognizant divinity.

On the stairs leading toward the center of the room were two researchers, noses buried in clipboards as they scribbled notes onto datapads. One of the researchers, a tall, lanky, black man with tightly woven braids who called himself Iza Montijo, was watching the electrical pulse from the Precog's neural links as it bobbed in its fluid. A second later, there was an image on the display monitor suspended above the glass cube, one showing strange and intricate patterns that would be meaningless to anyone unfamiliar with precognition.

Across the pattern were several flares of black, white, and orange. There were thirteen or fourteen darker spots in the pattern: humans most likely. It was a dream, surely, just one whose meaning was unknown for now. Iza sighed, jotted something down in his datapad, and looked to his left at the other researcher in the room.

Though half of her face was covered by straightened pink and black hair, Iza recognized the frustration growing on Victoria Cerise's visage. The corners of her lips were twisting downward into a snarl, and her left eye was starting to shine pink again. She sighed and placed the datapad down beside her, letting the stylus roll down a step.

"Got anything?" She huffed.

Iza stared at the pattern for a moment longer, tilting his head to the side as to gain a new perspective. Still, the mystery remained largely unsolved.

He shrugged, "Something with thirteen people? Maybe a fire of some kind, I have no idea, Vicky."

Victoria raised an eyebrow, "Think it's got something to do with the Foundation?"

Iza shook his head and stood, setting the datapad down and the stylus on top of it. He approached the glass cube and gently laid his hand on its side, fingers spread. He examined the Precog, searching for answers to the mystery it presented to them in its soft, pink flesh. The Precog's eyes were glossed over and milky white, and yet they still felt like they were boring holes into Iza's very being.

Ignoring the goosebumps that were growing along his skin, Iza placed his forehead against the glass cube and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath and held it.

Come on big guy, work with me!

The silence in the air was palpable, perforated only by the low hum of electricity flowing and the quiet squeaking of the rubber-tipped stylus on Victoria's datapad.

After an eternity of silence, Victoria spoke, "This would be easier if–"

"Vic," Iza interrupted, taking his forehead from the glass. There was a clean circle of sweat there now, which Iza rubbed away with the sleeve of his lab coat, "Director Aleph said that after the incident we couldn't talk about them again. Just… ugh! This is impossible."

"Look," Victoria said, pointing at the fourteen figures amidst a wash of what she determined to be fire, "There's fourteen of them, all in a loose semi-circle. That could be… I dunno, the Council maybe?"

Iza shook his head, "There's only thirteen of them."

"What about O5-0, or the Administrator?"

"I'd rather not dive into conspiracies 'till we've run out of reasonable explanations first."

Victoria let out a quick "hmm" and folded her hands in front of her face. She stared pensively at the image on the display, looking deeper into the flames for any more hidden clues or leads. The silhouetted figures offered her nothing but blank stares in a raging inferno. But then…

A thunderous crash erupted from the Precog tank. The Precog itself moved one of its massive limbs, an event unseen by the majority of the higher clearance Foundation employees, let alone two researchers from the Precognition Division. It grabbed the cables that conveyed its dreams to the outside world and tugged with brutish grace. The cable snapped, and the frayed wiring shot electricity through the amniotic fluid like wildfire. The neon green flashed white-hot, and then cooled to a deep red.

Iza, who was standing closer to the Precog chamber than Victoria, was sent flying face-first into the stairs. The impact knocked the wind out of his lungs expeditiously, and his vision became clouded with black dots. The dots became shapes, and the shapes became people. At first, they were people he recognized, people from the Foundation, but then they became others.

They were strange folk, with gnarled faces and malevolence radiating from their presence. Thirteen individuals stood before Iza, with a fourteenth leading them. At their backs was a fire, brilliant and searing. They were all that filled his vision, and then there was nothing.



Victoria paced outside of the medical bay, tugging at her ear and biting her left thumbnail. The bandage around her leg was starting to irritate her, as were the wounds in her arm where glass shards recently inhabited. She'd chewed the rest of her nails down to the nubs, and had ripped more than a few hangnails the wrong way. She swore as drops of blood got on her datapad, but decided that wiping her screen off would have to wait.

The doors to the medical bay slid open, and Doctor Medea Cine walked out with furrowed eyebrows and a dour expression written on her face. Her focus was on her clipboard, rigorously checking the diagnosis over and over and over again, shaking her head fervently with each read.

"It doesn't make any sense," She muttered, "It doesn't make…"

It took her a minute or two to realize that Victoria was standing in front of her, arms folded and fingernails still bleeding. Medea cleared her throat, "By all accounts he's fine. A little banged up but nothing he won't recover from."

Victoria snapped, "What's the concern?"

"I've run a thousand tests a thousand times already but honestly, Victoria, the writing's on the wall. Iza's eyes are purple."

Victoria's lips tightened to a thin line as she inhaled.

Medea didn't meet Victoria's eyes, "I've already taken some Type IIs so your secret's safe for now. They'll probably kick in soon." She half-chuckled, "Been a while since we've seen a Visionary around, huh?"

Victoria found herself twirling her hair around her finger. "What the fuck am I going to do about this Medea?"

Medea shrugged, "I'm not the best at illusory thaumaturgy but I did the best I could with him post-op. I don't really know how the… Visions… will affect him in the long run but," She shrugged and offered a weak smile, "well let's just hope for the best, shall we?"

"Thank you, Medea. Truly."

Victoria held Medea's hands in hers as confusion grew on her face, "Thank me for what?"

Victoria shook her head, "Nothing."

The medical bay doors slid open again, and this time Iza staggered out. The gauze wrapped around his head was tainted with blood, and he was holding his ribs with one hand. He held his head with his other hand, squinting as the fluorescent lights of the hallway assaulted his eyes.

When he adjusted to the light, Iza's eyes were as brown as the day he was born. Victoria sighed and stopped winding her hair around her finger.

"Let's not do that again," He said. Then he offered a thankful nod to Medea, who moved past him and back into the medical bay with a smile on her face.

"How are you feeling?"

Iza rubbed the back of his head, "Like I got exploded into a set of stairs, Vic."

"I got that, I mean do you feel any different?"

Iza thought for a moment, reviewing the last few hours in his mind with more clarity than he ought to have. He realized upon further examination, that not only was the past perfectly clear to him, but events that had yet to transpire were now flooding his memory as well.

He peered at these memories-to-be, noticing that Medea would exit the medical bay and talk to them about something in a few seconds. Iza walked next to Victoria and leaned close, whispering in her ear, "Medea remembered something and she's coming to tell me."

"You sure she didn't say anything about that while you were getting patched up?" Victoria asked, raising an eyebrow.


As if on cue, the doors to the medical bay opened once more and out stepped Medea with a harrowed look on her face. She frowned, "Oh, almost forgot. Director Aleph wants to talk to you about the incident with the Precog. Said it's urgent."

Iza nodded, "Thank you, doc."


Site Director's Office

Iza stood outside of Director Aleph's office, reading the bronze plaque bearing their name for the hundredth time. He wiped a bead of sweat from his cheek and flicked the droplets on the floor beside him. His mouth was dry and yet he found himself swallowing.

The intercom buzzed, breaking Iza out of the trance he found himself in, "Come in."

Iza let out a breath, stiffened himself, and turned the door handle.

Not many found themselves inside of the Site Director's office unless they were there to steal something or if they were getting terminated. Iza said a silent prayer to whatever god would listen and closed the door behind him.

The room itself was bland, occupied by a mahogany desk, feather quill, and a stack of papers about as thick as two Bibles stacked on top of one another. There were a few paintings on the walls, some of notable researchers and directors, some of the more important historical figures, or at least that's what Iza assumed. In truth, he recognized none of them, save for the one painting sat behind the mahogany desk, looking down at whoever entered the room: the O5 Council.

The person sitting at the desk was too busy signing documentation to meet Iza's gaze as he walked to the other side of the desk. He eyed both of the chairs on either side of him and elected to stand with his hands meekly clasped together at his waist.

"Sit." Director Aleph commanded.

Without objection, Iza sat in the chair to his left, careful to position himself into the chair rather than move it himself. He tried to look at the Site Director, observing their black hair with more streaks of grey in it since the last time he saw them. There was another wrinkle on their forehead, and their hand moved ever so slightly less graceful than he imagined they would when they wrote.

Fifty sheets of paper moved from one pile to the next passed before Director Aleph spoke again, "Tell me what happened."

"The… uhmm… the…"

Iza jumped as a closed fist slammed on the desk's surface. The wood cried from the impact and the inkwell wobbled in place.

"I needed these predictions yesterday, man. The Council is breathing down my neck," Aleph paused, inhaling deeply, "Now tell me what happened."

"The Precog moved," Iza took a breath, "It moved and it uh… it appeared to… grab one of the neural links and disconnect it."

"So it just… moved on its own?" Director Aleph asked. They were looking at Iza now, conveying disbelief and hostility with their stare.

Iza swallowed, "That's correct."

"And I'm just supposed to believe that?" Director Aleph threw their hands up and shrugged their shoulders, "What about the dream? Did you or the other one find anything useful before the Precog went all pwoosh?"

"Something about fire," Then Iza thought for a moment, "And maybe the O5's. But there was…"

Director Aleph raised an eyebrow, "I didn't call you in here to waste my time, Doctor Montijo."

Iza tried to reflect on the fourteenth figure in the image, but found it difficult to draw the memory as clearly as he could before. Then, as if stuck by lighting, he recoiled in excruciating pain. Iza clutched his temples as his mind was flooded with images of a future yet to come. In his vision he saw the fourteen figures in more clarity, each of them wearing a signature Foundation lab coat emblazoned with the insignia of the organization. Floating in a shimmering wave behind the head of each figure were the words "O5-1" through "O5-13", like a halo.

But the fourteenth figure leading them was different. They felt like Foundation, Iza could see that in the way they walked and carried themselves. But the voice, garbled as it was, was distinct and alien. Looking at it, Iza could feel his eyes starting to peel away from his eye sockets and his heart started skipping beats. Soon he was a shriveled mass of sentient flesh standing before what must have been a god. The fourteenth figure turned its head, looking down at him with absolute apathy.

And then, heat. Heat so intense it melted Iza's muscles and bones together. Heat that perforated through space and time itself to reach the darkest, coldest depths of Hell. Flames of unholy magnitude raged behind the O5 Council, but they too, showed divine apathy. If Iza had lips, he would have quivered at the sight.

As the figure led the O5 across the world to him, Iza could finally see their face. It was an egregious amalgamation of a thousand contorted expressions gnashing their teeth with sickening, ravenous hunger. A hundred eyes focused on him, drilling into the fabric of his soul with profound hatred beyond that exceeded human capability.

Iza gasped as he saw the shimmering lettering that floated behind the figure's head. It was–

The floor.

Iza blinked, slowly at first, then faster. He rose into a crawling position and vomited on the rug beneath him. When he finished, he gulped in oxygen as if he had just emerged from underwater. He felt his torso, checked his legs, his throat, his head. All was well.

Save for Director Aleph standing over him, arms folded, and a scowl on their face.

"Get up, and get the fuck out. Come back when you're more," They paused, searching for the word, "Composed."

Iza collected himself, gave a curt bow, and fled the Site Director's office as quickly as his legs allowed.

Site 09

Precog Antechamber 5

Victoria stood at the entrance to the Precog chamber with her hair wrapped so tightly around her finger it threatened to tear a clump out. The chamber was a mess; maintenance hadn't gotten around to cleaning up the neon green amniotic fluid and likely wouldn't for a few more hours at best, and a day or two at worst. The place reeked of molten flesh and putrid liquid, and the stairs leading to the glass box were coated in the stuff. Victoria sucked in a breath of fresh air and started, slowly, down the stairs.

She wasn't exactly sure what the charred remains of the Precog were going to tell her, but her instincts led her back here and she was not one to ignore a good "gut" feeling. With a yardstick, she flipped over a limb; whether it was an arm or a leg she could not tell, and found naught but more sticky fluid that threatened to stain her pants for good.

She groaned, sucking in a breath of nigh-noxious air, and continued flipping over scorched pieces of meat in hopes of finding whatever her gut told her was there.

The massive head of the Precog stared at her from the center of the pile, still coated in a layer of goo that somehow protected it from the worst of the explosion. Its beady, milky eyes stared at her. Even if it wasn't alive anymore, it somehow seemed to exude life in a way that made Victoria uncomfortable.

Still, she approached the head and knelt down in front of it.

"Why'd you do it, huh? Do you realize how badly you've screwed this up for us? All you had to do was dream and you somehow fucked that up! Now we're paying the price. Iza's a Visionary, and for what? What was so god damn important that you had to pick right then to move?"

The head of the Precog offered no response. Victoria scowled.

"You're useless. Useless!" She shouted as she shot to her feet.

As Victoria turned to leave the antechamber, she noticed someone standing in the doorframe. The person sniffed the air and groaned before descending the stairs.

"Ugh, it reeks," Iza said. He scanned the room as he walked to the remains of the Precog, "And this stuff is everywhere! Maintenance hasn't visited yet?"

Victoria shook her head, "How'd it go with Director Aleph?"

"I think I had a Vision."

Victoria squinted, "A vision or a Vision?"

"A Vision, Vic. I saw the Council and O5-0. The flames, Vic, they're going to destroy the world."

Iza walked past Victoria and placed his hand on the Precog's head. He groaned as the amniotic fluid coated his hand, but did not take his hand away. The Precog's eyes started moving then, tracking both Iza and Victoria independently. Goosebumps grew on Victoria's back, and the room felt much colder.

"I wonder if that's what the Visionaries saw before they became Precogs." Iza pondered.

"Maybe." Victoria said.

"What are we going to do, Vic?"

"We lie."

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