Ten Speed

November 25, 2008
By James Weslow, Fairfield, CT

“Alright we’ve got a new one for yuh Speed. Get up and be ready in the PCF (Power Containment Field) at 2100,” said a tired, static laced voice coming out of a small speaker just above his food slot. Yet another new formula supposed to work wonders but just ends up making me feel all weird and crazy. When are they going to give me a break? Andrés brooded. Why won’t one of these stupid tests go right for a change?

A metallic female voice coming from the same speaker interrupted my thoughts. “It is the twelfth of December, 2094.” It prompted me. “Would you like anything to drink this morning?”

“I know all you have is water Sharie. Don’t toy with me.” If that lady were actually in the room, she probably would have whimpered from the deep menacing grumble that I answered in. Living at a secret U.S. government testing facility that doesn’t officially exist isn’t always too bad, it is just…boring. Plus the plain depressing gray walls don’t help very much. I can change the wall color in my room but all they’ve got is black, dark grey, light gray, and white which is the most bland color scheme in existence in my opinion. TV and working out gets tremendously dull after a couple of months, so I’ve stuck to singing along with the radio. The only other bad part is that once my time is up (which will be in about 76 years) no one will know I’m alive. My choice was either death, or spending my life as a lab rat in this place until I’m 95 and being wiped out of existence. My family brainwashed, the reporters and citizens there brainwashed, my birth records destroyed, and the people it happened to…well they’re all dead. I accidentally killed 23 innocent people when a plan to retaliate against the local mafia took a turn for the worst. I was trying to get revenge after they killed my big sister. I have this growing empty feeling, for when or if I make it out of this prison, no one will be there to comfort me. I’ll be all on my own.

My nickname here is Speed, maybe because of the way I wear my hair, short and gelled up into deep brown slanted back spikes, but probably because of the fact that I can run up to 160 mph due to a formula thats antidote never worked. The “doesn’t officially exist” part of this facility actually isn’t as bad as you might think because I’ve made some friends, and they are all I need. There is Crash, Home, Itch, and Sckids. They all did horrifying things like me, which makes us kind of close. Most of them got their nicknames from tests gone wrong, but Home just talks about his house in his sleep. Nothing too severe has happened to me so far, but then again I’ve only been here 2 years or so.

The PCF is just a big room with walls made of the strongest metal alloys and coatings in existence and hundreds of volts of electricity coursing through them so if we start going psycho we’ll be out cold for weeks, or might even die. It has an ominous glow emanating from it because of all the electricity and at night its creepy ghost-like appearance spreads around the compound. I really wouldn’t mind testing for the better of our the world if the scientists would actually pretest this stuff on rats or something before they used it on us but of course since we all got ourselves into this place (which is an EXTREMELY bad thing) they must figure, if we don’t exist in the real world, why does it matter if we die? Just for that, if any of us get out, the first thing that goes are those guys.

“Are you ready Speedy?” The voice in the wall asked once I got into position in the PCF, not sounding like it really cared if I was ready or not.

“Sure. Hit me,” I replied sullenly.

“Oh don’t sound so down, Speed. In a couple minutes this will all be over and you can go back to building your biceps!” A different voice said more energetically than the last.

“Shut your mouth and give me the drug already!” I yelled at him. They’re lucky all the cons haven’t formed a squad to go kick their smart butts yet. They think they can treat us like 4 month old dog crud but they just wait. Just wait until we break out of this detention center and feed it back to them! Chink! The vents opened and in poured the scent of fresh oranges. Is this a joke? Since when did these selfish scientists figure out that the smell of acrid smoke isn’t a preferred one? I breathed in deeply allowing the tinted orange fumes to enter through my nose. I stood for a good two minutes, just sniffing. Nothing happened. Just the sweet smell that now filled the room. What’s going on? Somewhere compressed air was released and a long sharp point drove into my spine. All feeling and strength climbed out of my muscles, hopped to the floor, and I collapsed. Now a paralyzed lump on the metal ground I couldn’t understand what was going on. The mist must’ve been a distraction while I moved into the right position for them to shoot me with that needle! Finally the feeling returned and a boiling sensation erupted in my back. Then... nothing. Everything was gone. Nothing hurt, nothing paralyzed, nothing at all. I was not dead, for I was still on the floor of the PCF, but I felt like I was. Rising to my feet I noticed all of the scars from one of my first tests were shrinking away. Practically melting into my skin! I reached around and pulled the needle out of my back and as I squeezed it in my hand, it shattered. The glass pieces poked my skin to the point that they would have sliced right through, but instead broke into smaller pieces. The reinforced door hissed open and a team of “shockers” armed with 5 foot poles that were just like giant tasers marched in ready to defend themselves.

“Hey fellas!” I said cheerfully. I had never felt better. “I think this one worked out ok! I’m feeling great and my scars are healing themselves. Hellooo? What’s wrong?” I looked down at my arms again and saw laid back pulsing red crystals protruding from underneath my skin forming rows of serrated knife looking spikes. “Oh god! Wait don’t shock me yet! I’m still in control! Please don’t stab me!” Fear pumped adrenaline through me causing my body to completely freak. I started to uncontrollably sweat and as I wiped the salty beads off my forehead I realized my hair had changed into the serrated pulsing spikes as well. This is not good! I will probably die if they push me into a wall! I’ve got to stop this! The first shocker lunged forward with his staff and I dodged it by milliseconds. They formed a circle around me but every time they stabbed, I was always a few seconds ahead of them, and getting faster and faster. Another shocker lunged and this time, I caught it. I caught his staff in my bare hands and shoved it back into his gut, forcing him to the floor. A different shocker knocked me to the ground with his feet and kicked me towards the wall. I slid on my back staring at my doom, scrabbling to get a hold on something. Maybe I can grip the floor with these spikes! I brought my arm down to the solid floor and came to a skidding halt a couple inches away from that wall of death. But as soon as I got to my knees the nearest shocker kicked me backwards. My back slammed the wall and I clenched my teeth, ready for the torture that would follow. But it never came. I felt the vibrating of the walls activating and bright white electric bolts jumping off the glossy surface, but no pain whatsoever. Climbing to my feet, the rest of the shockers took out their guns and opened fire. I felt the bullets hitting, but not piercing. Again, that lack of pain. Time for a little payback I think. Out of no where nine more of me sprouted around the room. “We” all moved as individuals, taking out every last one of the shockers in our own style. It’s like ten different people that are all that same. Yeah it doesn’t make much sense to me either. Shockers down, scientists and a facility to go. The first group of scientists dropped like flies. They never expected anyone to get out of the PCF.

I ran down the hall looking for the control room and ran into a couple more shockers but I let my “others” take care of them. The excitement of rebellion rippled through me like an electric current through a copper wire. Even though it had only been two years since I was imprisoned, the impulse of revenge felt just as strong as it would have been if I had wasted my life in this facility. My hatred for the workmen and government at the plant was equally engulfing and it took control of me as soon as I figured out my new powers. Nothing could stop me now, for I was ten invincible men, out for fresh blood. No one would be leaving today. No one.

Ordering two of my “others” to prime a couple hundred packs of C4, I entered the main lab. Thirteen more scientists sat at their stations bickering about whose turn it was to use the Carbon Inflictor. (A massive machine that filled half of the already monstrous testing lab that combines different materials with practically super nova heat) Ha! Now you will pay for the pain and suffering you have caused me. “Get them boys,” I ordered, “but leave that one to me.” I added pointing to the head scientist of the facility, the one who made the antidotes and major drugs. I grabbed him by the throat and threw him back against a control panel packed with rows of blinking dials and switches. A rather long switch erupted out of his shoulder, but I wasn’t satisfied yet. Lifting him again, I opened the Carbon Inflictor, and tossed him right in. A couple flicks of switches and the scientist spontaneously combusted into dust.

Out of the corner of my eye a scientist was fighting one of my “others” back with a syringe when another “other” decked him into a vat of liquid nitrogen, freezing him in mid scream. The last scientist clumsily clawed for a small remote on the floor a few feet away as an “other” whacked him in the stomach with one of the many fire extinguishers from around the room. He clipped the remote’s dark red button as he skidded backwards and slumped as he smacked the wall with a crack. Slowly breathing, he fell to his side. As I raised my fist, veins popping out like Jiffy, to finally get my complete revenge there was a click and vents around the room opened. “What are you going to do?” I asked mockingly. “You can’t shoot me with a needle now can you?” For the second time that day orange gas clouded the room. I breathed in and that paralyzed state came over me once more. The sharp pain erupted in my back, but not from a needle. It was just pain. They found an antidote! My brain screamed in fear. Then everything was gone. Just like before. Nothing hurt, nothing paralyzed. My eyesight quickly blurred and grew steadily darker, nearly black. Then, there was a great flash as the C4 detonated and blue ravenous flames consumed my dying body, as well as all of those around me. The only difference from the last time I had smelt those sweet fruity oranges, was that this time, I didn’t get back up.

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