“Whoever opens this box will be turned into brimstone and ashes.”
-Dr. Soberin in Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Teenage girl develops dangerous powers.
In 1983 Americans are scared to death of Soviet attack and nuclear war. To combat the Soviet threat a joint team of CIA and military personnel has been developing a new kind of weapon in a secret test lab. This weapon is Iris Lindstrom, a teenage girl with newfound psionic abilities. The team, headed by brilliant psychologist Dr. Sands, is trying to research, magnify, control and ultimately duplicate Iris’ power. In practice, this means endless tests in a sterile environment. The lab complex itself is hidden under a remote farm in Iowa, surrounded by an endless plateau of cornfields.
Iris’ mother June lives with her in the lab complex. June is a divorced waitress who sees the project as an opportunity to finally have some financial security, even if she dislikes some of the tests her daughter is subjected to. No matter how much Iris resents June now, years later she will understand, June believes.
On the screen of the small TV of the forest-colored lab lounge, an endless array of missiles is saluted by a cadre of ancient generals. Under a Wham poster there’s a pristine pair of skates, never used. And in the test room, without anyone witnessing it, a wall of green glass shatters into pieces.
Iris is a long way from her classmates and her home in Minneapolis. She doesn’t hear from her real dad any more. Her dad here is Dr. Sands, a chilly man in white coat whose orders everyone always waits. During Basic Physical, she steals glances at a soft-skinned lab tech. He looks almost like Richard Gere.
No one is quite sure what is the limit of Iris’ abilities.
She has a strict exercise regime.
They talk like she’s not even there.
If only she would smile more.
|1|| Under control
They never ask Iris.
Wouldn’t you be?