I felt the adrenaline flood my veins. The way he squirmed and shifted on the floor as the pain spiked through his nerves. Jerking on the floor, his hands clasped over his head like he’d be able to prize out his brain just to end it all. An arm punched up into the air as if he was being shot with a thousand bolts of lightning all at once, but the source of his agony was invisible. It was the perfect weapon.
I was the perfect weapon.
"Doctor Abiona Gratis, you have been successfully upgraded."
I opened my eyes to the sound of the speaker clicking off the robot's voice. Those sweet words were music to my ears. Their echo in my mind, their promise in my heart... It was true beauty at its peak.
The body in front of me buckled, limbs smacking to the ground. He shrunk into a ball like a frightened child and pulled his arms to his rapidly rising and falling chest. I was deaf to the soft sobs from the lump of muscle.
Despite all the cameras that watched me, the only thing that stopped me from jumping up and dancing around the white-washed room was my absolutely energy drained body. After ten long weeks of athletic training, mental defence training, psychological tests, physiological tests... even thinking back about the whole ordeal was exhausting. It was a struggle but I made it, bathing in the glory of this moment that seemed so impossible to reach for the rest of the world.
I rose from the chair as a new person. I was the new hope for eradicating the Visions that plague our world.
“Good work, Doctor Gratis.” A door revealed its hiding place in the wall and a small crowd entered cloaked in white coats and hoods. The voice was muffled from behind a surgical mask but my ears could never have missed any of the rare words approval in my direction.
The group diverged, the man I had always wanted to meet coming closer to me. He outstretched a gloved hand and shook my own. I was still trembling with the power I had just demonstrated, but I tried to conceal my self-indulgent joy. I was finally facing our hero; The Commander.
Removing his mask, the elastic smacked against skin so loud in the silence. He waited for the screams in the background to stop as the door camouflaged itself to the wall again. “So, Doctor Gratis, are you sure you thoroughly understand your task?”
“Inside out, Sir” I couldn’t hide my childish smile. I felt on top of the world, but my warmth of confidence didn’t spread to the Commander’s stone-like face.
“It is very important... You must understand the consequence if this goes wrong.”
“I know and I won’t let you down. I don’t fail, Sir.” I tried to suppress the snappy tone in my voice.
He nodded slightly. Why can’t he just accept that I’m in this to win? I didn’t give up trying to coax him into trusting me as I pulled out my well-rehearsed lines, “Although I’ve taken on a curse, I understand that Visions need to be removed once and for all, and for the future of this prosperous town, of the entire world’s population, this is a sacrifice I’m honoured to make.”
He blinked slowly at me. “But you won’t fail?”
I didn’t break the silence as I sighed to myself, “No, Sir, I won’t.”
Moving backwards, the door revealed itself again but he didn’t turn just yet, the eyebrows furrowing again to the centre of his forehead, “There’s still time for us to revert the process-”
I squeeze my eyes shut. The Visions overcome my mind without me even trying to stop them.
A rumbling sound comes from within me and spills from my mind. Like a herd of stampeding animals, the noise becomes louder and louder, echoing off of the walls, surrounding us.
“That’s enough.” The Commander’s voice quivers as just a whisper in drowning in the thunder. My Visions grow even with my eyes shut. My nose twitched a faint smell of smoke and fire burns it. The rumbles cascaded through the ground beneath our feet and I could feel the vibrations slither up from my toes to my head.
“That’s enough!” The world I’d created crashed down around me. I blink as the image of the Commander’s angrily pursed lips forms in my blurred sight.
As my head slowed its spinning, I noticed the various guns that had appeared in the corners of the room.
All of them pointing directly at me.