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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 11, 2019

Reads: 53

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Submitted: June 11, 2019




The struggle is over. The struggle begins. 


It was the beginning of the end, again. He knew by the way they looked at him. Arrogant pity—the type of expression reserved for an ill yet annoying pet. The fact that his research was right only made them pull tighter on the straps. And as they pulled, he abandoned any remaining effort to understand their kind. He had lived long enough to suspect they were wholly immune to logic--now he had his proof. So, he lay still with the thoughts in his mind.

All the doctors had to do was wash their hands before touching the cells, not to mention the patients. Was that so hard, for eternal life?

Of all the technology he had worked with, this was the simplest—and cheapest. But they claimed that they didn’t carry death on their hands. They were the healers--how dare he insult them by suggesting otherwise? In this way he had watched his research systematically destroyed by contagion of the basest kind. It would be a lifetime—maybe more—before he found another cell line of that caliber. If he found it. Perhaps he would have to learn how to synthesize it himself. But not here, and not now. 

Here, with its dirty mattress and foul slush in a bowl three times a day. Now, with the four walls and their peeling paint. And the rats. Unctuous, mocking things with the ugliest teeth he’d ever seen. They reminded him of the people he’d tried to help. The people who laughed. Who assassinated his character, slice by razor-thin slice. All because he’d claimed a way to circumvent cellular senescence—to keep cells alive forever.

Of all the unpleasant sensations that plagued him, the hunger was the easiest to ignore. He carried with him the memory of ambrosia, and it sustained him. As did the knowledge that he would have it again.

Outside the cell door, he could feel them moving in his mind. Family. They had found him, again. Which meant that they were closer to the final missing piece. Their voices dripped with psychopathic, shapeshifting glamour--and judging by their responses the orderlies were swallowing it whole. Acid saliva surged into his mouth. They hadn’t discovered how to kill him—yet, but they had mastered the whole torture bit.

Now I know how Prometheus felt, he thought.

You have no idea, brother, the saccharine-cyanide thought came in return. 

He recoiled. It had been a human lifetime since he’d been close enough to give and receive thought, and it came like a stinging insect. Pushing all thoughts out of his mind, he fastened the bed sheet around the rafter. His overgrown toenails snagged on the corroded headboard as he hoisted himself up. Securing the stained necktie, he leapt and with all his force swung himself toward the window. 

Contact. Glass searing through tendons, then a silent, neural emesis as the screams of a hundred years fled from his brain. He hoped they heard that.

A synchrony of nauseated groans issued from the corridor outside. Yes, they had heard. A voice spat out profanities as keys fumbled metallically in the padlock.

He was grinning when they found him swinging back and forth.

In his mind, he heard a series of curses in ancient Greek. But all mouths remained silent as his siblings postured for the staff. An illusion of stillness filled the room for a moment, as if life moved only beyond its borders. Then the orderlies rushed in, cutting him down and calling for a doctor. His siblings exploited the chaos to conduct a thorough search of the room. He knew exactly what they were looking for. They wouldn’t find it anywhere in these walls, or in the morgue—where he knew they’d come looking for him later.

The key was far away, and it was safe.

The smile on his face grew in increments. He would return here, eventually. Now, it was time for his next move.



© Copyright 2019 W.P. Voltz. All rights reserved.


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