Friday, February 19, 2010

SEED, Part 2

(Serial fiction, sci-fi)

Just joining us? Go back to Part 1.

ultrasound fetus Jason Evans


Jax slogged through the black curtains of a strange sleep. A pain was wriggling in the darkness.

Throbbing.

Growing.

Dragging him awake.

His conscious mind struggled to assemble itself. To reconnect sensations, thoughts, limbs.

It was....

In his arms. Yes. He was sitting, and the pain was in his arms. Bad pain. Cramps digging into the muscles. He tried to pull his hands close to his body, but they wouldn't come.

He groaned, waking more.

Waking more.

He concentrated on the thick weight on his eyelids and willed them to open. Weak light smeared with the darkness. He blinked, but couldn't rub without his hands. His consciousness slipped and slid. He was so groggy. Like something trying to swim out of a pool of tar.

Hot pain knifed in his wrists.

He groaned louder.

The cramps hardened.

"The subject will relax," an amplified voice said from somewhere in front of him. It was all dark beyond the blurred shape of his arms.

The pain now boiled over.

Agonizing.

Unbearable.

Jax shook. Rocketed the rest of the way awake. "It hurts!" he screamed.

"The subject will relax."

A muddy warmth flowed into Jax's wrists and ran like syrup through his arms. It climbed his neck, then spread drowsy comfort up the sides of his skull. When the pleasing sensations met in the middle, the steely contractions released. It was so abrupt, his body jerked in the opposite direction.

He sucked in deep breaths as the lazy euphoria deepened. He tried to lift his arms again, but they were still pinned. His heart felt like it was beating miles away.

"You are awake," the cold voice said.

Not a question. A statement.

Jax swirled with the tumble of thoughts loose in his head.

Awake? Had he been dreaming? When did he go to bed? What day was it? What was the last thing he had been doing?

But there was nothing. Just a cloud of tattered connections.

Seconds passed, and Jax's focus sharpened a little more. He turned his head and perceived something. A thin, milky white line snaked down his shoulders to his forearms. He could feel a light pressure down there. A pull on the hairs of his skin.

"What's going on?" he said, murky.

The voice didn't respond.

A little louder, more agitated. "What's going on here?"

The objects on his arms were tubes. He squinted to see little green wings taped to his wrists. Needles. Intravenous lines.

Had he been injured? Fallen ill? But this was no hospital. Below the IVs, his wrists were belted to a black metal chair.

He attempted to get his legs under him, but his ankles resisted too. And something tight around his middle.

"Let me up!"

Animal panic sparked. Claustrophobia. Trapped.

"The subject will relax," the voice said.

"LET ME UP!!"

"The subject will relax."

Jax thrashed.

"The subject will be...punished."

Heat like hot peppers radiated from his wrists and spread. When it hit his skull, his mouth opened. When it hit his abdomen, a crippling earthquake of nausea slammed into his gut.

The reflex threw him hard against the restraints, and a deep, guttural sound ripped from his throat. He vomited a violent stream. Splashes pattered all over the floor.

The convulsion eased a moment, and he choked in a breath. It was cut by another horrifying heave.

He bent against the restraints. Rock hard. Fuzzy sparkles erupted in his vision. He was frozen in agony. Nothing going in or out.

His mind screamed for the voice. Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP! But his eyes just swelled in their sockets.

"The subject will relax," the voice said.

The change started at the wrists again. Some kind of drug was being pumped into his bloodstream. The euphoria marched back. The hideous, dying paralysis dissolved.

This time when the pain was gone, Jax found himself sobbing. Like he hadn't done since childhood. The magnitude of the pain his body could feel left him in disbelief.

"Don't," Jax said, squeezing tears. "Don't...."

"The subject will confirm information."

Jax looked up. His face streamed and wet.

"You are Jax Hyrysn," the voice said. "You are the Director of the SEED program."

The voice sounded kinder. Almost apologetic.

Jax straightened in the chair. The wave of relief was physical. He was distantly aware of urinating.

He nodded. Fast and eager.

The tears still flowed, but they were hysterical and happy now.

Yes!

Yes, he could confirm that!

And he could do more. Anything more. Anything to keep the pain away.


On to Part 3.

15 comments:

lakeviewer said...

I'm hooked. Each word strings me along. Keep them coming.

Shadow said...

don't quite know who's the baddie here... yet.

the walking man said...

I Particularly related to Jax waking like that. I have been knocked out cold a couple of times (traffic accidents not fights) and that disconnect with random images coming first is exactly what it's like.

I'm with Shadow on the rest of it, need more to tell the positions of the players.

SzélsőFa said...

it was painful, yet not overly gory/violent at all.
the recurring 'the subject will relax' definitely increased the tension. great writing.

Four Dinners said...

Whoa!!! Carry on old bean. This is terrific stuff!!! Got me hooked.

Bernita said...

You've turned on the viseral like a smooth key in an oiled lock.

jason evans said...

Lakeviewer, I'm glad you found it compelling!

Shadow, yes. Not yet.

Walking Man, that's cool that you found Jax's experience well constructed. As for the antagonist, we'll have to piece it together with the characters.

Szelsofa, thanks! The pacing was the key here.

Four Dinners, glad to hear it!

Bernita, every time I read your comment, I smile. :)

Leah said...

And the plot thickens :) Now we're introduced to potential protagonist and antagonist or representatives thereof. But we don't really know yet who is who, and each could potentially be a little of both.

I like how we get a general picture of the action at first (in the first part) and now we dive in much deeper to the conflicts.

It's working! I'll be following :)

catvibe said...

I love this Jason! I'm hooked now and curious to know where it is going. I admit to a large smirk when I first read the words "The subject will relax." Really curious now who has got him. Really curious to know about the infant inside the girl. Promise you won't leave us hanging and will finish this!

Akasha Savage. said...

That is brilliant. Bring on Part Three!

Nevine said...

I do still like the very dry and almost mechanical language you're using. And I'm very intrigued to find out what happens next. What happens when we lower our defenses? What happens when we're ready to do "anything more" just to "keep the pain away." It seems like one of those never-ending scenarios of human existence.

Nevine

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

The very first thing I thought after reading this was... it's so believable. I winced hard reading the torture sequences.

Yeah...who does have him???

Two lines stick out for me:
"His heart felt like it was beating miles away."
Great description!

and -
"The voice sounded kinder. Almost apologetic."
This is exactly how a torturer/interrogator would behave.
I can almost hear the voice.

Mona said...

so that is how it must be on the rack....

Great piece, but greater picture, that baby seems to be looking straight into the 'camera' :)

jason evans said...

Leah, I'm glad the layout is working for you. All the pieces will be moving toward a convergence and reveal at the end.

Catvibe, very cool to see your enthusiasm! My last series was the first one to get off track as it progressed, and sadly, I didn't finish it. I plotted this one out in advance to make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Akasha, I'm working on it. :)

Nevine, I think I do have a facination with how one person can break another down. To disassemble and reassemble a person. My emotions identify with the victim, and my rational mind identifies with the perpetrator. Weird.

Kaye, who has him? That's the big question. :) And why. Hopefully the plot will thicken in part 3. Thanks so much for the feedback on believability! This kind of sequence is hard to write.

Mona, not sure if I mentioned it, but that picture is a ultrasound scan of our younger daughter in the womb. She looks a bit bigger and more fleshy now. ;) She's 8. I have another pose for later in the series.

Antriksh Satyarthi said...

getting warmer...every line opens new layers..