Horizon Chapter 1: Awakening
‘We must succeed.’
This was my first thought when the patient was brought in. As Captain of the army, I was responsible for the crucial success of this experiment, seeing as it could provide our army with strength and be a turning point in the war. That’s how important this process was, and why we must succeed. Our forces were barely holding off against the enemy’s army in a war we could not afford to lose.
“Captain Dotoh,” one of the white coats said after running up past other white coats in a hurry. “The patient is beginning to wake up. What are your orders, sir?”
Passing the informative white coat without acknowledgement, I walked briskly down to the tank holding the patient. ‘This boy’, I thought, ‘is extraordinary.’ He came to us a few days ago, just suddenly showed up and insisted on being the patient for Project H7. I remember that his appearance convinced me that he could possibly be a survivor of this experiment. We have had so many test subjects, but none of them succeeded. In the end, we were going to shut down this Project once and for all because of the 100% failure rate, but then this boy showed up. He passed all requirements for the Project and even accepted the risk of memory loss from the intense preparation this Project requires. This boy, spiky blonde hair with black roots, not much older than 18, physically fit, with no relatives, makes him such a mystery. But yet, he is a blessing. A miracle, for us.
“What is his status,” I finally acknowledged the white coat when he finally caught up to me.
“Sir! The patient is stable. His heartbeat and blood pressure dropped momentarily, but something was able to regulate it. It was not our doing.”
The patient was wide awake now, and soon he would notice what was going on.
“That doesn’t matter, as long as he is in acceptable condition for the next process. Any indications about memory loss?”
“We are not sure yet, sir. We cannot tell if a person has memory loss based on their brain waves, but his brain waves are abnormal. It is possible he experienced some, but we are not sure how much.” The white coat nervously looked over his charts again.
“We will know soon enough. For now, just observe him.” I had a feeling memory loss was a given with this experiment, but it should be no more than a few months worth.
The patient didn’t seem to notice me. I was wearing the army’s onyx uniform, so it could be impossible for him to notice me, especially with all of the doctors and experimentalists running around in identical white lab jackets. He started getting a bit antsy at first, then looked around frantically like a lost baby looking for its mother. That was when I realized there was memory loss, but I did not know how significant it was. As soon as I suspected the memory loss, the subject started thrashing around violently, then did spurts of screaming. He’s becoming more uncontainable. We need to start the experiment now.
“S-sir, the patient--!,” screamed the white coat after stumbling a few times in order to reach my location.
“Yes,” I replied. “He’s going berserk. We need to start the experiment now.”
“But sir! He came out of sedation. Should we apply 60% more sedation?”
“No, it would be too late to start the experiment then. Besides, he already ripped out the sedation wires that leads directly into the blood. Start the experiment.”
“But sir… he might not survive without the serum! We can apply it though his oxygen mask--.”
“It’s too late! Start the experiment!” I yelled, filled with annoyance at the white coat.
The man in white shuddered and backed up a few steps, then after regaining his composure announced to the rest of the white army to begin the experimentation.
‘Nothing can go wrong now,’ I thought. ‘You need to pull through this on your own. You need to bring out another miracle, Neix Zetor.’
* * *
‘That’s all I am, an experiment?’ No, it can’t be. I didn’t believe it, nor did I want to believe it if it was somehow true. The fear made my mind hazy and confused, but I knew that I needed to get out of here right now. I was not an experiment. I have a name, Neix Zetor, and I am going to find out about my memories, and no experiment can prevent me from doing so.
I couldn’t stand it any longer. I would break the bones in my hands in order to escape the shackles around my wrists if needed. After a more contained thrashing, I noticed the chains attached to each wrist started to slightly pull apart at the seams. I can do this! I stopped thrashing and focused on using my strength in my arms to pull apart the rest of the chains.
“Calm down, Neix.”
This deep, threatening voice sapped all my strength, forcing me to stop. Time felt still. Slowly, I looked up at the creator of that ominous voice. He was a man wearing full black armor, an older gentleman, and yet, with one look I knew that he could take me out with one fist. He stood right in front of the tank, staring at me with cold, heartless eyes. How did I not see him before, in the midst of all the white coats?
“Good, you calmed down. If you don’t calm down during the next process, it could cause permanent damage to your nervous system. Understand?”
I blinked, paralyzed with fear. I made no gesture to acknowledge his explanation. What was going to happen to me? was the only thought that went through my mind in that exact moment.
“I assume you understand me, but I also believe you have experienced some sort of memory loss?”
This I reacted to, and the guy in black noticed my reaction.
“So it seems. Well, I cannot explain what we are going to do to you because there is not enough time. We need to start immediately. If you survive, then I will explain the process afterwards.”
If I survive?!
The man continued, “I am sorry, Neix, but this might be a bit painful. You detached the sedation wires so we cannot ease the pain through sedation. Please try to bear the pain, and please, for everyone’s sake, survive.”
His expression changed as he said that last line, and I knew this process was going to be life or death for me. I watched in horror as he put a fist up in the air, feeling like this would be the last thing I would see. His signal made the all the white coats scurry around, each going to a specific station, almost as if they were trained to do this everyday. The stations that they went to each had monitors and dials, things which I remembered were called computers. I didn’t have time to remember things for too long. A second after the white coats scrambled to their stations, I noticed lights were turning brighter in the tank. These lights started producing electricity, which ran through the black wires at the top of the tank and made their way to where the lines connected to my body. I don’t know what was going on, but all I knew was that I was screaming from the pain, and I thought I could hasily make out a slight smirk on the man in black’s face before my mind went completely blank from the pain.
* * *