During the final years of the Institute my father was able to take over a third unit on the Docks. U3 was nicknamed the ‘The Overflow’ and reserved for the specialty suicides, the ones that had become refractory, distracted. They were true agents of decay, without appurtenance to time. I suppose that is his favored route to this day and how he clings to my life as the purest tincture of pain. But then it was all for science and the furtive glory of the Cabal.
We’ve all seen footage of Subject C AKA ‘Mr Amplitude’. Father adopted the expedient of placing him alone with a surgical knife in a large partitioned section of the warehouse. Subject C was not so much generously endowed as rarefied. You could see it in the way his suit flopped around him, sometimes filled and ballooning, at other times like a flag in sullen wind. Father and the Interns incited him, taking turns at the microphone in the observation lounge. It became jacked as some years end office party. We waited for him, hesitating at the center like a stone wave. Gradually, the imprecations worked though. Subject C began to strip off the suit, solemnly folding it while he acted out.
He was almost naked, his flesh gauzy grey and flowing like chiffon under the elasticated harness he’d improvised. Smiling at us, free to radicalize his potential, he began to experiment, injecting his body with his hands. They became nebulous fallopians, his intoxication bursting between the hot nylon and lycra that had contained him till now. Alas, the knife was wasted. I think Father had hoped Amplitude would cut off pieces of himself, forming a swarm intellect with which leverage the suicide. He retained a certain zest for paradox. But Amplitude was too vague for self-harm. His face was blotchy with one too many mouths and the rest of his porousness was floating above the black ceramic, fuzzing and dislocating as numinous phases wanked in open rebellion.
This was not death as we knew it, but the beginning of an endless round of decay. We had to close off the chamber in the end before the sheer boredom of this catastrophe got to us. Ironically, this was the new opening, the first canonical expression of the Grey. Later films imply a shower of mold enfilading a sky without relation to anything.