Two burly men dressed in all black entered the small clinical room with a glass wall. They proceeded to put the scrawny young man who was in his early twenties into a black body bag. The boy had been the latest to fall prey to their hunger for scientific discovery. They zipped up the bag, and wheeled him out of the clinical room, into the common area and out through the main door. Philip stood in the common area with his arms crossed across his muscular chest. He felt anger and pain at yet another young soul losing his life so prematurely. What was the purpose of so much loss of life, he thought to himself? He knew they were doing all these experiments to be able to replicate his abilities in others. Which left him with a sense of guilt and responsibility, as if he was an unwilling participant in their brutality.
“Still standing here I see?” said a graying Mr. Rutherford, the head scientist of the organization known as BioOrg.
Philip just peered at him from the corner of his eye and didn’t say a word. He hated the man with every fiber of his being. He was both the jailor and the executioner.
“Well, subject 1, you should get some rest, we will need to get another fresh sample from you in the morning, and perhaps our scientists will finally be able to stabilize your DNA enough so that it’s not as deadly as it’s proving to be thus far.”
As he finished his sentence, he proceeded to leave through the main doors out of which the young man had been wheeled just moments before. Philip continued to stand there figuring he owed the young man a moment of silence, or a simple prayer, he wasn’t sure which. He then turned around offering the handful of remaining comrades a brief look before he retired to his room.
His dreams were interlaced with memories from the times he used to spend outside the facility when he was a child and things he had imagined from the books that he read, and then the face of the red-haired young man that had spent a couple of months with them in the facility. His name was Jordan, he was fun-loving and witty, flirted with all the ladies, and seemed to enjoy the fact that he was in this imprisonment. He had faired fine with the first injection, so Philip wasn’t quite sure why his body rejected the second one so violently, he was gone in a matter of seconds as soon as the injection had been administered. He woke up from his sleep angry and frustrated. He wished that there was something he could do. A way he could save these people who were walking like lambs to the slaughter.
The familiar voice of his childhood nurse rang in his ears. “No matter what happens, just know that it’s not your fault Philip, just keep living.” Nurse Kim was the only one he had felt genuinely cared for him. She was the closest thing he had to a mother, and he hadn’t seen her in 15 years. One day she never came back. But the memory she left him with was priceless, it was she who named him Philip as opposed to Subject 1, and she was the one who taught him to read and write. He remembered how she had begged Rutherford to take him outside to see the sun and feel the grass. The memory of the final time he was allowed outside came crashing to the forefront of his mind and left him with a sense of guilt. He was only 14 at the time and he thought he could finally make a run for it. So, he did, he ran as fast as he could away from the facility until the metallic cuffs around his wrist produced enough electricity to stop a human heart. In seconds he was on the ground panting from the searing pain. The electricity didn’t stop like it usually did, instead, it continued its agony until he had blacked out completely. Since that day he had never again seen nurse Kim. But he hoped that she just quit and was living a nice quiet life somewhere far away from here.
He had felt that he could be himself around her. He would do whatever she asked of him as a child. She was the only one who could get him to use his blue fire. He would practice with her daily and showed her the full extent of his abilities. Yet, the more they found out about his abilities the more they wanted from him. The tests grew in frequency, he was poked and prodded multiple times a day as opposed to just once. Then the injections started. Every few months they brought in a person to inject with a serum that Philip later learned was synthesized using his blood.
Philip realized that the people were dying as soon as they were injected. Then the scientists would go months before bringing in another willing participant. At first, they were using people who were terminally ill. Lately, they were recruiting young individuals without pre-existing conditions but who were homeless and desperate.