Story Excerpt
Beyond Eternity

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Brandon awoke slowly. He blinked several times against the glare from the bright lights in the ceiling. They made his eyes hurt. They were way too intense. When his vision adjusted, Brandon scooted up and looked around.

Once again, he found himself surrounded by white. He sat on a thin mattress on the floor, covered by a white sheet. Even the scrub-like clothes on his body were white. Brandon was really starting to hate the color white.

He climbed to his feet. The room began to spin. He quickly planted his hand on the wall for support. He stood still for a moment while he tried to get his bearings, and then crossed over to the door. He wasn't surprised to find it locked.

Brandon wasn't sure anything would surprise him, not after his promotion. While things were a bit fuzzy, he still remembered every little pinprick of a needle, every insidious procedure done to his body.

And he was pissed.

Brandon looked through the small, wire-mesh window. He could see a hallway—and more white walls—but from his vantage point, he couldn't see anything else. There were no people, no doors, no windows, nothing.

"Hey! Let me out of here!" he shouted as he balled up his fists and banged on the door. "Let me out! This is kidnapping, damn it."

Brandon banged some more. He slammed his fists on the door until they started to hurt. Slumping with his back against the wall, Brandon slid down to the floor. He dropped his head into his hands. How in the hell had he gotten into this predicament?

A sudden, sharp pain shot through Brandon's head. He cried out and gripped his skull tighter between his hands, but the pressure didn't help. The pain just got worse, bigger, until it thrummed throughout his entire body.

Brandon felt like he was being skinned alive. His skin burned, ached. The muscles in his arms and legs contracted in the biggest muscle seizure he ever experienced. The pain started at the top of his body and shot right down to the arches of his feet.

As suddenly as the pain came, it left. Brandon sat there, the breath entering and leaving his lungs as he sucked in great gulps of air. The aches in his body slowly faded away, the spots before his eyes clearing.

Brandon leaned his head back against the wall. His heart hammered. The pace slowed, but Brandon had a hard time catching his breath. His chest ached and felt restricted, like someone sat on him.

After a few minutes, he rolled to his hands and knees, ready to push himself to his feet. A beep sounded, and the door opened, admitting the man in the white coat from before and another armed guard.

"Ah, Mr. Thomas," the doctor said, "you're awake. Very good."

Brandon scooted back on his hands and feet as the doctor advanced on him. He hit another wall, jerking when the armed guard reached for him. The guard pulled Brandon to his feet and escorted him by his arms over to the bed, then forced him to sit down. Before he could get up or protest, the doctor stood over him, taking his pulse.

Dr. Carson shined a bright light in Brandon's eyes. He blinked several times, large spots clouding his vision again. Brandon slapped out with his hands, trying to push the doctor away. The guard instantly stepped to Brandon's side and grabbed him by the wrists, twisting his arms behind his back.

"Now, now, Mr. Thomas," Dr. Carson admonished, "we both know what happened the last time you were combative. Do I need to give you another sedative?"

Brandon shook his head. "Why are you doing this to me? This is kidnapping."

"Tsk, tsk, tsk, Mr. Thomas," the doctor replied as he shook his head. "You apparently didn't read the fine print in your employment contract."

"I didn't sign up to be a pin cushion," Brandon snapped. "I'm an orderly."

"You are an employee of Gervais Institute of Study, Mr. Thomas."

And that means what, exactly?

"As such, you are subject to the rules and regulations of this institute, which state that you must voluntarily submit to examination and transfer of duties at any time."

"I didn't volunteer for shit."

"Ah, but you did, my dear boy, when you signed your employment contract." Dr. Carson patted Brandon's arm, then reached into his pocket to pull out a syringe filled with red liquid. He pulled the cap off and squirted a bit into the air.

The doctor nodded to the two guards. Oh, hell no. They weren't sticking him with any more needles. Brandon started to struggle, but they flipped him over and held him down to the small bed, one of the men jerking Brandon's pants down and off his legs. They just as quickly removed his shirt.

A moment later, Brandon cried out and went stiff as the needle sank into the soft flesh of one butt cheek. Intense pain followed the injection of the liquid in the syringe. Brandon didn't know what it was, but he could feel it burning through his body like acid. It made him feel hot and achy...needy.

He inhaled sharply as what felt like hot lava started flowing through his body. The guards holding Brandon down let him go and stepped toward the door. He quickly rolled over and glared at the doctor.

"Wh-what did you do to me?" he panted.

"I've given you a wonderful serum I constructed, something to insure your compliance." The sinister grin on the doctor's face gave the impression the man was proud of what he created.

"Compliance with what?"

"We're conducting a little experiment here, my dear Brandon," the doctor said, "and the genetic anomaly in your DNA has just made you a major subject in that experiment."

"What experiment?" Brandon cried out. "What anomaly?" He really didn't like the smirk on the doctor's face. The obscene look sent a cold shiver up his back and made the hairs on his arm stand up.

"Ah, but see, you did volunteer. When you were examined for your position as orderly, you voluntarily gave us a sample of your blood, and we discovered you have a genetic anomaly that makes you unique in the human population."

Human population? What the fuck?

No doubt about it, the doctor was not playing with a full deck. He was nuts. Brandon scooted back onto the bed and held up his hands. "Hey look, I don't know what you're into here, but I want none of it. You gotta let me go."

"I'm afraid that is impossible, Brandon, we have established that your DNA is compatible with one of our test subjects. Since only one percent of the world's human population has compatible DNA, we need you for this experiment. Now, I don't want you to worry, we've learned a lot from past experiments and have taken actions to insure a successful union."

"A successful union?" Brandon's eyes widened. "What did you do to me?"