Lab Rat part 19

Posted: January 29, 2011 in Fiction, Mental health, Test Subject

“One thing’s been bugging me, Doctor,” I say as I cycle the injector to the fire power. “You’re basically turning me into a kind of a – .” I break off in mid-sentence and wince as the chemical courses through my bloodstream. ” – A one man army.” My skin gets warm, then hot, then feels normal again. “How did you know I wasn’t going to use all this in a bad way?” My voice has turned to a stage whisper.

“A strange side effect. No matter.” Ally is still staring intently at her pad. “I need you to cool off.” My sigh sounds like a damp log hissing in a camp-fire. I’ll ask again later. I breathe deep and slow and clear my head. I hang my head and relax my neck, then slump my shoulders. It takes a moment, but I do my best to unstring all the tension in my muscles. I look at my feet. The tiles on the floor are still glowing orange from contact with me.

“Any change?” I hiss.

“Nothing. Relaxing doesn’t seem to have any effect,” her canned voice doesn’t give any hint as to her thoughts. I try a new approach. I close my eyes and picture myself. In my mind’s eye I draw a picture of me not on fire. I draw as many details about myself as I can on the image. This is a lot like the way all of the more mind-oriented powers work. I’ve read about mentally controlling fire; maybe this is like that. I keep that image at the foremost of my thoughts and open my eyes. “You’ve dropped a few degrees,” Ally reports. A few degrees. Great. Now I can parboil someone just a half second slower. “Only one minute left, Asher. You need to try something else.”

My mind races. All the other powers just work when I tell them to, and stop when I don’t need them. How is this one different? I still don’t have any answers when the orange glow of the room gutters and fades back to the usual white fluorescent. I suddenly feel a little dizzy. “Hey, Ally, I think I need to eat something.” I slump to the floor to avoid falling on my face.

I hear the airlock cycle, and I guess I black out. The next thing I’m aware of is Ally’s gloved hand holding a sport bottle full of some vile green liquid to my face. “It’s Doctor Allison, Asher. And we’ll wait a bit before round two.” She hands me the pad. A playback of the readings is running on it. “This is what I saw. Figure out what you were doing when your temperature dipped. It looks like control is possible, but we need to figure out how.” I take the bottle from her and she stands up. “I’m going to go get more food.” She walks through the airlock and it cycles closed.

I haven’t been sleeping well. Every night, it takes me longer to get to sleep than previously. Every morning, it gets harder to wake up. I get the correlation. I don’t get why I can’t go to sleep. The other day, I actually managed to get up on time and go to work, and it turned out that I did not open. I came home and started writing instead of going back to sleep. I was pleased that I was so productive, but disturbed at my total lack of memory as to what I wrote. My memory isn’t hanging on to anything and I’m completely fucking scatter-brained. I’m thinking that a lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m pretty much already on vacation in my head.

If you need to reach my mind, please leave a message, and it’ll get back to you as soon as it’s functioning properly again. *Beep*


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