"Lets see what you're made of, Kai Fukami"
He was strapped down and restrained on a hospital stretcher, still unconscious, only now he had a number of cables attached to different parts of his body, as well as a cannula in his wrist. A nasal cannula was attached to his nose and he was given a mouth guard to stop him from biting his tongue.
Akane injected him with saline solution, then a sedative, before she flicked a switch and booted up what appeared to be some sort of conveyor system and aligned the bed with it. With a loud 'CLACK', rolling arms latched to the supports of the bed, moving it towards the opening to the decompression chamber, just large enough to receive it.
Attached to it was a much larger chamber housing the anomaly. Its walls were just over 2 feet thick, a layer of lead brick sat sandwiched between half inch thick steel plates.
A variety of additional layers of protection, mostly in the form of different types of insulation were present in and around the interior of the room. In addition were a series of pipes that ran deep underground circulated constantly with water as a heat sync.
Akane sat before the control panel and began running through a procedural checklist, before activating the magnetic arms attached to the stretcher, taking it through to the decompression chamber.
The room was pressurised and the arms moving magnetically made the rooms final design much easier to seal. This along with the heat sync was designed to minimise the risk to the facility in the event that the anomaly combusted as it did 32 years ago, the incident which led to the destruction of the shrine above and its eventual discovery by the government.
Records indicated that those maintaining the shrine had been protecting the anomaly for centuries. Its founding seems to date as far back as the late 1300's. Apparently it is said that many heroes and villains of folklore disappeared here and many other places like it, but despite extensive investigation, the government hasn't been able to find anywhere else like it.
Several attempts to send small animals through were well documented by her predecessors. None were known to have returned. Akane smiled, the crimson in her
cold glare was showing. She had already seen what happens when
you run a living human through it anyway...
Pressurisation of the interior took about 2 minutes before the pumps finished with an abrupt 'CSHHHTC'. Standing up to check the analogue pressure gauges, tapping them lightly to be sure, then returning to the control panel for the digital readings, Akane was satisfied.
Now observing everything through several security monitors, she pushed a button and the door between the decompression chamber and the interior released and swung open. The stretcher began rolling forward into the room with the anomaly present, a black orb, about 2 metres in diameter, humming with energy.
Occasionally, a bolt of energy would race across its surface with a crackle. The orb also
produced a dark mist within its vicinity, something it only did when
the chamber wasn't pressurised.
Though she could have left him alone and let him be affected over time, Akane was very methodical in her approach. Wherever he was in the facility, he would develop the beginnings of his powers regardless within about a 2 month period, 1 month if the chamber wasn't pressurised, which was originally the case until she took over.
Occasional day visits to the surface level were safe enough, Principal Nakayama was the only civilian example who could. He had been of great concern to her recently with his insistence on being involved in the interview process. Her biggest mistake was in establishing the program in any official capacity.
It allowed her to take a variety of shortcuts in terms of the beurocracy involved with getting her hands on the right kids for the program, but her mistake was in assuming there was no-one who could resist her powers.
Principal Nakayama could sometimes resist them partially, then other times go completely against her wishes. Sometimes on the other hand he would obey entirely, she was unsure why these variations occured... But if he were present for long enough to develop powers...
She shivered in irritation just thinking about it.
Keeping unwanted attention out was an important part of maintaining control for Akane.
Comparatively, she would otherwise not deliberately speed up the process of exposure with someone. In fact, keeping everytone as weak as possible would have been ideal, but the benefits of controlled exposure come with the data you can gather.
Records from her predecessors conclude that the initial surge in energy when a subject's powers unlock are an indication of their overall potential. Mild mannered personalities normally manifest the weakest and after reading Kai's surface thoughts, she was convinced he was no threat at all.
Furthermore, so far, military training as well as her own has so so far indicated it takes about 2 to 3 years for a subject to develop combat-ready powers and she was limiting her experiments to 1 year before termination. And if Fukami would prove dangerous early on... Early termination was always an option.
She ran her hands through her hair with a maniacal grin.
"My perfect little helper"
A flash on the monitor and he had started convulsing.
Her hands thread through the rest of her hair and stopped outstretched beside her. The readings were all coming out as she expected.
Suddenly, a bolt of energy lashed out, gripping Kai around the stomach as he began a muffled scream. Smaller bolts fractured again and again into tiny threads of energy that appeared to riddle his body all over.
ceased at this point, especially when she saw his heart rate monitor
begin to chime.
If it doesn't kill him, direct contact will provide plenty of exposure.
She immediately started operating the controls, the stretcher pulling away into the decompression chamber as the arc of energy raked a chaotic line all the way down his leg, desperately trying to keep hold of his foot for a moment before the chamber closed, the bolt snapping back to the orb with a flash.
The only other person the anomaly made direct contact with in the past was her. She took out a syringe labelled 'epinephrine' and quickly prepared it, glancing back at the monitors. His heart rate had reached dangerous levels and she was concerned about the possibility of cadiac arrest...
She hesitated for a moment before making her decision; examining his other readings, which continued to measure as below average.
Moving over to the stretcher as it emerged, she gave Kai a small dose of adrenaline, watching his heart monitor and taking a breath when she saw it begin to slow.
"Tch, you may be more hassle than you're worth Mr Fukami, oh well. We'll see."
Back at the control panel, she checked his results once more, nothing out of the ordinary. She took her glasses off, rubbing her eyelids before buzzing Mr Toki with the intercom to come and collect him.
then stood up and left the room, uncertain about something for the first time in