Chapter 8:

"Oh, so you'll go?"

FICTION: If you held the power of god in your two hands, would you save the world? Would you doom it? Or would you watch from the sidelines, just as you had done before?

He awoke.

White ceiling; white walls; white sheets on a white bed, stained with the sweat of a young boy’s restless nightmares.

White lights.

In the confines of a small, scarcely furnished medical room, the boy paid no mind to the various tubes and wires implanted into his back as he sat up. The blaring, uncomfortably bright lights above him were like needles in my eyes; I’m sure he felt the same. Though he had long gotten used to the routine of waking up to an intrusive blast of photons, I could just barely still see the slight hints of discomfort slip from his expressionless face as he took them in.

How long had he been confined in such a space? How long would it be until he could either die, or be released? Well, the latter was likely not possible at this point.

Or at least, I figured that was what he thought. But I could only really get a vague sense of peoples’ emotions. If I kept training the ability, perhaps it would become more focused, and more accurate. That’s what it felt like.

Of course, I knew the answers to all of the questions one could have about such a room, and the facility that lay beyond even without anything like mind-reading. But no matter how close I looked him up and down, I still wondered if he even had conscious thoughts. With the endless drugs and serums behind pumped into his body as he slept, perhaps his brain began to work differently.

I’m sure he was able to sense things by this point that no normal human was. I almost felt bad for the poor thing.

Actually, I did feel bad. Because all I could do was watch as he unplugged his extra extremities one by one, paying no mind to the pain of it all. The boy drooped down off of his bed, planting his feet onto the unpolished tile below him, and began to walk towards an open door.

It would be another day of tests, of course. Just like any other day.

Down the hall, take a left, two rights, and then the fifth door at the end; the huge, solid steel one. It slid open like one of those sci-fi doors you’d see in Star Track.

It didn’t make the schoomp noise though. Disappointing.

His medical gown (which might as well not have even been there, it was so thin) and fluffy, gray hair added to an overall frail image. Of course, he was pretty bony as well; not that he wasn’t getting his proper nutrients, but the body’s health is often a reflection of the mind which inhabits it. Poor physical health can often be no more and no less than just a weak mindset. Even without a sixth sense, any other human would be able to tell that he had already resigned.

But make no mistake, he was just about anything but weak. In fact, he was near-indestructible. Untouchable to the point where you would almost not even call him a human being anymore. As I looked him right in the face; at his lack of expression; I often found myself thinking that he might even be less human than I was.

“Test subject number three-two-eight. Congratulations! You’re uhh, more or less the only one who has survived up to this point in the process.”

A loudspeaker tapped in from the massive testing chamber’s top left corner.

“That said, we still don’t quite understand why the formula was only able to stabilize when absorbed into your body. And, well, you’ve probably figured by now, but you aren’t exactly a total success either. So, we’re going to continue to conduct the same initial testing that we do every day, and then we’ll get to squeezing every bit of data we can out of that body of yours.”

He paused.

There was no reaction. At least, nothing that you could see outwardly. Changes in pulse; vibration of the ear lobe; and certain neurons firing around the brain; they had quite a few pointers that he could at least hear them.

“But well, this is a turning point! We know that something worked for you where all others failed; that means after we’re done gathering data, you’ll get to be, you know, allowed your freedom like the others.”

Another pause.

“Well… You–already know what that really means, right? I mean, does it even matter? Is there anything going on up there in that head of yours? The only reason we’ve kept you around is because you still respond to your five senses, but I still don’t really understand how that works either. Well anyway, I suppose that’s what we’ll get to figuring out next.”

No response. What an irresponsible intern, to go and say all of that. Who did he even think he was talking to?

“Alright. Test one, start.”

Immediately, a small opening at the far end of the room revealed an automatic turret, which sent a barrage of light rounds directly at the adolescent’s body. Of course, they all ricocheted off without so much as a scratch on his body.

“Test two, start.”

This time, the turret was replaced with a heavier duty one, which shot–go figure–heavy rounds.

“Test three, start.”

Next, a shotgun.

“Test five, start.”

Steel bolts.

“Test eight, start.”

A grenade.

“Test twelve-”


It continued on like this for thirty two different total trials, more or less all different and more severe forms of artillery, or other creative forms of harm to test his body’s resistance, and record any abnormal reactions or instability.

And while the lab assistants didn’t know nor care–well, even if they did, he couldn’t exactly speak–about his mental well being, he could feel every last bit of pain from each impact. And yet, as his body got flung around from one end of the room to the other, he didn’t even lift a finger to try and resist.

He had done so, at one point, but the scientists liked to figure that he had gone numb. Well, it’s not like I understood what was going through his mind, but I knew that it was still capable of processing the body’s signals; and a lot more than that, too.

Honestly speaking, this routine of watching these patients had become boring for me. I had stuck around from the time I found the underground government facility in the outskirts of China which conducted human testing, but it wasn’t really too special for the most part. Every first-world country had that same sort of thing, and they were more or less doing the same kinds of tests as well. I had become quite numb to cruelty and gore myself by this point, But it also didn’t mean I exactly enjoyed just watching innocent humans get hurt, either.

But few had attempted to escape, and those who didn’t didn’t get far. This place had pretty tight security, and they did a good job of keeping their subjects entirely in the dark as well. There were facilities in far poorer conditions, where many more interesting stories took place. This place was just too… regular.

But these trials, and these subjects in particular, were working with something a bit different than the rest. They actually had gained a proper lead into studies of immortality, particularly using cells of one of my kind, which had been anonymously sent in. Well, I knew who did it.

It was the guy who abused drugs and pills all day and called himself a scientist. He was the most wacko one of us I had met so far; not really my type.

“This… is this really going to accomplish anything?”

The intern looked at his clipboard from a room in another facility, a few miles away. Of course he wasn’t actually here, lingering around something so dangerous.

“You know, these tests, they’re just torture, aren’t they? Really. We already know you’re more or less impervious to damage. I don’t see the point to this kind of thing, really.”

He looked at the screens of the machines in front of him, pertaining to the subject’s responses; the ones that still ran Mado 96, despite the multi-million dollar price tag to make them. Whenever he deviated from the script; whenever he said things that he wasn’t supposed to say, there was a bit of a different reaction. Though it wasn’t necessarily a positive one, it was different. And that’s all it needed to be, to trigger some sort of interest from the young scientist.

“Hey, three-two-eight–I’m… going to go see you there. In person.”

There was silence in the testing chamber, once again.

Some few hours later, the same steel slide-door opened once again, this time revealing a young, violently shaking twenty-something in a typical salaryman button-down. He was accompanied by flashing lights and evacuation sirens blaring behind him; red lights now staining the otherwise white rooms and hallways.

There was blood all over him, several keycards around his neck, and a box cutter in his hand. None of which belonged to him.

He looked traumatized, but the expression on his face leaked satisfaction, as well.

The cutter fell from his hand.

“I, uh… Well, I wasn’t really planning on this much…”

He looked at his hands and suddenly felt self-conscious, despite three-two-eight paying him no mind.

“O- one thing led to another, and well…”

He paused, and walked forward; the fear and uncertainty all left him, leaving his adrenaline.

“It’s really you, huh!”

He got close without a care in the world, and looked the test subject up and down while walking circles around him. Surely, this was more in like with the types of observation he wanted to be doing.

“You’re real. Really really real. Woah… Can I touch you?”

He grabbed the boy’s arm, transferring a bit of blood onto him in the process. He felt around, almost just to confirm for himself that the subject was actually a real, tangible thing; as if he was just some sort of fairytale up to this point. Meanwhile, there was still no expression from the white haired subject; naught but noise in his head.

“Ah, sorry. But wow, you’re the real thing, huh? Still feels pretty normal. Wasn’t expecting that.”

The intern touched his cheek, and looked at his face a bit.

“You can still see and hear, right? Despite your face. Well, I know you can. Let’s get out of here, huh? Ahh, but I wonder if you’ll come with willingly?”

He tugged a bit, and the boy followed.

“Oh, so you’ll go. It’d be nice if I could know what was going on in that head of yours.”

He kept talking, with a fire in his eyes like nothing else. Words left his mouth like an encyclopedia of nerdy banter as they left through the loud halls, suddenly making him seem a like a little more than stupid.

“You’ll have to keep me safe if anything happens on our way out, okay?”

It was as if he was leading a mannequin out of the building, while bloodied and beaten. Well, nobody stopped them really. They were able to get out without so much trouble, when they left so calmly.

It was amazing really, that they hadn’t been caught. What the human brain is able to filter out when it thinks it’s in danger is uncanny. After all, test subject three-two-eight didn’t have so much as a face.

But no other evacuating employees caught that. They just left.Well, it’s not what I came to see, but this sort of thing was interesting in its own way.
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