“Where am I…?” Vahn muses to himself.
“Ah, I must have passed out again.” he says while looking at the machine attached to the valve on his hip. He remembers the day it was attached six years ago. The Doctors had begun to get frustrated with trying to draw blood from the veins in his arms and legs, so they had put him under and performed an operation to attach a mechanism on the left side of his hip to serve as an easy access to the arteries going into his legs. Now instead of having to attach tubes to his arms, they just had to attach a hose to the release of the mechanism for quick access to his blood. He often worries about the valve leaking, and if it were to get damaged if he would die…
In the last few years, this thought came to Vahn’s mind quite often. The boy, now 14 years old, had an emaciated appearance. Though his complexion hadn’t changed since birth, still almost translucent in nature, it now had an almost unhealthy appearance. Though the Doctors put him on a highly nutritious diet and even had him hooked up to various tubes to feed a cocktail of vitamins directly into his body, it couldn’t hide the damage done by the endless experiments.
Vahn sighs, “Guess I’m still alive.”
He often nurtured the expectation that every time he falls asleep it would hopefully be for good. He had long given up on the possibility of killing himself because the Doctors were constantly monitoring his every action. Once, when he was recovering from one of the more severe experiments, he had tried to take his life by bashing his head into the wall. Unfortunately, his attempt ended in a failure resulting in the walls to now become a padded cell. In protest, he had tried to stop eating, but the Doctors simply injected him with a muscle relaxer and hooked him up to an IV and nutrient drip.
A bespectacled female Doctor with short brown hair spoke, “Awake are we Mr. Mason?”
“Yes, Doctor Keenly. I guess I’m just feeling a little…anemic.” spoke Vahn with a cynical attempt at humor.
Smiling, she grabs her tablet. “That’s good. Don’t worry, the procedure is almost over. How are you feeling today?” she asks feigning concern. She had been assigned to me after my attempted suicide. Even though I know she isn’t really my friend, she is one of the only people that at least pretends to treat me like a human.
“I’m feeling a lot better. I just finished the latest volume of Naruto. When can I get the next volume?” Vahn asked expectantly. He had really begun to enjoy reading manga and watching anime in previous years. Doctor Keenly had introduced him to it after one of their earlier sessions as a coping mechanism of sorts.
“You really do enjoy that manga don’t you? Which one is that…ah, the one with the blonde haired ninja boy, correct? I believe the request had gone through recently, so I should be able to get you the newer volumes soon. That is, assuming you do well in your upcoming tests.”
She often tempts me like this. It was discovered early on that my mental state had slight improvements on the quality of my blood during testing. Nothing significant, but one of the groups within the lab had gotten a grant to observe the effects, so someone must have cared. At least I get something to alleviate my boredom.
Vahn nods his head, “Yes ma’am. I will do my best.” He gives his most practiced smile.
“Very good Mr. Mason. ” she says while making notes on her tablet.
“I’m looking forward to our session this evening. Now, if you’ll please excuse me I’m going to go check up on the status of my shipping request. ” She turns and walks out the secured door, nodding to the guards as she passes.
After she leaves Vahn rests his head on the table, trying to get what comfort he can as the machines slowly drain the warmth from his body.
“I hope I can get the new volume today….I guess I’ll need to put in a little more effort this afternoon.” he muses to himself as he once again begins to pass out. Though he used to fear “going under” now he tries his best to sleep through any procedure he can, especially the ones like this where they cycle blood out of his body.
As he lay back, he begins to let his mind wander to the various stories he had been reading recently. His current favorites are Naruto, Bleach, and Danmachi. He liked to imagine what it would be like to be in the various worlds, away from all the painful machines and experiments. There were even times he prayed to a god which he didn’t believe in, hoping to bring an end to this endless cycle of suffering, as he was unable to do it himself.
As the various images and scenarios play through his head, Vahn’s conscience begins to fade…
*insert random sounds of combat, bullets, and moderate explosions*
Awakening suddenly to the new sounds, Vahn turns his head in the direction they’re being emitted. From the door that symbolizes his imprisonment, he can hear the sounds of dull impacts and vibrations.
Straining his ears, he can hear the shouts of various men and women trying to get control of the situation.
“What’s going on? Those voices sound like the Doctors that are always watching me through the windows…and is that the sound of gunshots?”
Instead of fear at the unknown events happening outside of his room, he feels an anticipation. He had often heard from some of the researchers about various the organizations that wanted to “save” and “free” him. According to some of the rumors he had heard, outside of this cold and hateful lab, there were countless people that treated him like a hero or messiah. This was how he came to understand the concept of what a god was, as some of the researchers had tried to ‘encourage’ him saying how much the research he was ‘assisting’ with was saving lives all around the world.
As he closely watched the door, he could hear the sounds getting closer and closer. After several minutes, the sounds suddenly cut off and Vahn can hear a scraping of sorts happening from outside the door.
*muffled explosive noises*
Suddenly the seam around the door emits a spontaneous ‘coughing’ sound and a mild shock-wave which causes Vahn to wince and become slightly disoriented.
As the door falls, a group of men wearing dark militaristic style clothing rushes into the room. They quickly spread out and two of the men directly approach Vahn who is still hooked up to the machine.
Still slightly disoriented, Vahn looks directly at the men. “A-are y-y-you here to save me?” he stutters with anxiety beginning to build.
“We are soldiers from the organization known as Dawn. Are you Vahn Mason?” One of the soldiers asks while looking over the mechanisms Vahn is hooked up to.
“Yes, my name is Vahn Mason. Who are you?” he asks with excitement.
The man pulls down the mask covering the bottom half of his face. “My name is Maxwell, and yes, we’re here to get you out of here.” he says while smiling.
The second man that had approached Vahn fiddles around a bit with the mechanism attached to his hip, trying to disconnect it. Unfamiliar with the device, he ends up snapping the release near the valve while detaching the tube.
Suddenly, blood begins to rapidly drain from the now unblocked valve.
“NO, please, what are you doing!?” Vahn screams in panic for the first time in years.
All of the men in the room turn towards the now frantic boy while the man named Maxwell quickly tries to seal the wound. Due to the nature of the valve and the fact that it is connected directly to a series of major arteries he is unable to stymie the blood-flow.
In a matter of seconds, Vahn begins to lose consciousness. The last thought that passes through his mind before the darkness grabs him is how he always worried that this valve might kill him…
(You poor child.)