1 - Fire in my Veins
There are many ways to torture someone. You can beat the person or give him electroshocks. You can even burn him or make him feel pain in other ways. You can let him watch how you slowly kill his family or his friends. You can refuse to give him water or food. You can even torture someone by giving the person no chance to sleep. There are many ways to gain information violently. Humankind had tortured members of it's own race since their beginning and all the time developed more effective types of horror. Sometimes people resist long enough to die before they give away the information, but in most of the cases the torturers get what they want. Lately the most effective torture consisted in pain, but now there is a much better thing these men can do. If they want information, they won't harm you or your family, but they will destroy your entire life. My story is nothing for wimps, so these might not continue here. As for the rest try to see the things like saw them...
I was living in a small town near nothing at all. The next major city was fifteen miles away and on the way you might only find fields and rocks. The only reason to live here was the calm atmosphere and the bio-laboratory a ten-minutes drive away. I was working there. My job was quite simple. The professors, doctors and other high-status researchers came to me, gave me some syringes with some substances and I needed to inject these things into animals. Then I only needed to write down what happened. It was a stupid job, but a well paid one. I owned a little house at the borders of the town and lived there with my wife and my little son. I had married three years ago and my wife, Helen, and me were happy. Our son, Julian, was four years old and already very smart. The day, which gone all wrong, had started like every other day. There were no signs that this day would be the last normal day in my life.
The alarm clock rang at six o' clock in the morning and I just didn't want to get up as always. When I finally convinced myself of getting out of the bed I dressed myself and prepared the breakfast. Helen was still asleep and I didn't want to wake her, so I left without saying goodbye. I opened the door of my black car and entered the cabin. The air was cold and so I shivered when I started the engine and drove away. I did not really care about the white van parked in front of our house. I stopped asking myself what would have happened if I would have cared. But so I drove out of the street, out of the town and over the road to the facility. When the buildings of the compound towered over me I didn't noticed how the guards, who opened the gate for me, stared at me. I drove to the next parking lot and left the car. The morning was still cold and the white clouds hurried across the sky, carried by the frozen wind. I ran towards the building I was working in and opened the door. Warm air welcomed me through the door and I entered smiling. On my way towards the labs I passed several offices. The persons in them looked up when I passed, I felt their stares in my back. I felt uncomfortable, but even so I entered the laboratory and looked around. Everything in the right place. Then all went black.
When I awoke I didn't know what had happened. I was seated in a metal chair. The air was freezing. I tried to move, but my hands were bound tightly. I started to panic. Where was I? The room was lighted by a single lightbulb dangling on it's cable right above me. I couldn't make out the walls, so the room must have been huge, but the light was so bad I couldn't tell. I tried to relax. There had to be a reason for all this, a strange, weird reason. I waited. It was the only thing I could do. I was tightly bound to the chair and this was bolted to the floor. I closed my eyes and concentrated. What might have brought me here? Suddenly the room was brightly lighted. The burning brightness pushed through my eyelids and nearly blinded me. I didn't dare to open my eyes.
"So", a male voice next to me said, "what do we have here?"
I didn't know from where the man came, I hadn't heard him enter the room.
"Mr. Anderson do you know why you are here?", the man continued. "You are here, because you robbed us. You are here because you stole important information. Information is a very valuable good nowadays. But as an intelligent man you know that, am I right Mr. Anderson?"
I dared to open my eyes. The light came from above me of the room, the entire ceiling was a huge light. In the wall opposite to me I could see an open door. The man now in front of me was wearing a suit and black sunglases. He seemed to be one of the agents of the matrix. I laughed at the thought.
"What is so funny, Mr. Anderson? Do you think I'm joking?"
The man walked around me and stopped in my back. Suddenly I felt his hand pressing on my shoulders.
"I will be straight forward, Mr. Anderson. We have evidence that you possessed the information. The only thing we need is the knowledge about to who you sold it. But As you won't be very trustworthy we brought a little... insurance."
He walked in front of me again. Strangely he still seemed to press my shoulders, even as he wasn't touching me. I shook myself to get rid of this unsettling feeling. It didn't work. The man gestured towards the open door and another man wearing a suit appeared. He was pushing forward two persons. The older one, a woman, held a little boy. My heart froze when I recognized them. The man pressed my family to the floor. There kneeling in front of me were Helen and Julian. The men smiled.
"So now I have your attention", the first one said.
The next hour the men were questioning me. They asked questions I couldn't answer them and every time I told them I don't know the answer. They shouted at me. I was feeling sick because I was getting my family in such a great danger, but I was telling the truth, I really didn't know what was going on. At some point the man who brought my wife and my child produced a gun of his suit and pointed at Helens head.
"Tell them! Tell them what you've done!", she shouted at me and I only could stare at the weapon.
"So, once again", the first suit-wearer said, "did you sell the information, or did you not?"
"I already told you!", I shouted, I hoped the men would finally accept the truth.
"You're stubborn, but we will break you", the man in front of me said.
He gestured towards his colleague and this one pointed with his gun and fired. My wife shouted in pain as she broke to the floor. The bullet had penetrated her leg and the wound was bleeding fiercely. I stared at her. I couldn't do anything but stare. She was holding her leg, crying. The puddle of blood spread across the floor. Some moments later the men left, dragging my son with them.
"If you don't want your son to share this fate, then I would begin to talk", he said just before he disappeared.
Helen stopped crying I feared she might try to find our son, but she just turned to face me. She looked at me with this sad stare and silently asked "Why?".
After a few more minutes Helen fell unconscious, due to the constant loss of blood. I feared her death, but I knew there was nothing I could do. This simple truth drew me mad. I tried to break the strings holding me and tried to stand up breaking the bolts of the chair. Useless. So the life of my beloved wife vanished. The blood reached my shoes and I finally looked up and cried out my sorrow. I promised to myself I would kill these men. At this moment I didn't know how to do it, but it didn't matter in this second. The only ting that mattered was my endless rage.
I tried to find some sleep. If I would try to free myself, save my son and take revenge, I would need all my strength. I closed my eyes, but the white light couldn't be shut out. It was impossible to sleep, when I deemed away horrible pictures tortured me. Then the man holding the gun had my face and was grinning at me when he fired. No, I couldn't sleep. When two men in overalls came and carried away the body of my wife I didn't protest. I waited for the men, but they didn't come. In the white room one looses all sense for time. I had no idea how long they held me there. It might have been months for all I know. When the men finally returned they brought my son with them. They sat him against the wall, and then one of them left again. He locked the door behind him.
"This poor child had seen his mother die", the other man said and touched Julian's head, "do you really want him to die, too? Or let him watch his father die? I can't imagine you want that. So why don't you tell me what I want to know and we all can go home?"
"Shut up bastard!"
I insulted him, I hated him.
"Mr. Anderson... I hoped the death of your wife would make you more cooperative. Unfortunately we don't have much more time, but luckily we had a little breakthrough at one of our research labs. We have developed a mutagenic substance, which I will inject you. I have an antidote, but it won't be able to return you to your true self forever, so it would be nice of you to speak quickly. Oh yes, I will turn you into a monster right in front of you son. If you don't tell me what I want I will destroy your life."
The man stepped closer and reached into the pocket of his jacket and suddenly held a syringe in his hand. It contained a clear substance, like water. I knew this wasn't water, water wouldn't kill me, wouldn't harm me. The man reached out and the needle entered my neck. I felt the liquid enter, but there was nothing I could do. In horror I stared at the man, who was destroying my life for something I didn't do. My last sight I had as human was my son sitting at the wall in fear of what was happening to his dad. I looked down at my hand, I felt an annoying itching in it. The suit-wearer reached into his pocket again and produced another syringe. It looked exactly the same as the first one, but instinctively I guessed it was the antidote. The man shook it when he asked again.
"Well Mr. Anderson? Will you help us now? From where did you get the information? We found it on your desk! From where?!"
I ignored him. The itching became worse and my entire arm went numb. Like tiny rubies red scales appeared on them. Interested the man looked at my arm, too.
"Here you have the proof that I was not lying. Will you help us now or will you not?"
Suddenly the numbness disappeared and unbearable pain took it's place. More and more scales disrupted my skin. I pressed my teeth together. I didn't want to scream before my son. By now my arm was covered in fire red scales and it continued to spread across my upper arm and shoulder. Suddenly long, sharp claws pierced through my fingertips, sending some blood to the floor. The pain grew as the transformation got faster, spreading across my body. I gritted my teeth harder. In a moment my hair fell out replaced by scales. Tears ran down my face as I looked down and saw the scaly hide of my arms. What was I turning into? Finally I screamed when my muscles began to flex and grew in size and power. The strings holding me snapped, but my sorrow was so great I didn't even notice. I fell to the floor, when a long tail erupted from my back pushing me forward. I landed on all fours and suddenly noticed that my hands had turned into paws. I was supposed to walk like that. I stared down in fear when the bones in my feet snapped and grew longer. I looked back and saw them pushing through my shoes. They had no longer five toes, but four with long claws. The pain returned, worse than ever, in my back. I felt the bones shiver and replacing themselves. And just a second later two large wings erupted from my back. I broke down to the floor, crying. They had stolen me everything I possessed, even my humanity. I looked up in anger. Suddenly my sight blurred and in an instant I knew my eyes had turned yellow and my pupils had become slits. I growled when my head grew longer forming a muzzle, consuming the last of my humanity. The man looked at me satisfied, but his stare became more unsure when I reached out for him. Finally he let out a long painful scream, when I crushed him in my jaws. My son stared at me in fear and I was sorry I couldn't hug him.
"Come here my son. Give me a hug", I growled and hoped Julian would understand I was still his dad.
He came running towards me and hugged me as strong as he could. He was crying. Until today I can only guess how terrible this time must have been for this four-year-old, but he is still at my side. When we escaped through a hole I ripped into the ceiling I sat the entire complex on fire. As I was turned into a dragon I found it easy to breath fire. Julien is now sixteen and his greatest desire is to be like his dad. I'm still smiling at the thought.