The Institute

After waking up from his two-year coma, Axel finds himself in a world where he can't find his family, where nobody will help him, and where the entire country has been taken over by a corporation called the Institute.


2. 1

May 18
2:11 PM
New Land Hospital

     My entire body is flimsy and weak. I try to sit up in the bed, but I can’t move any part of my body, except maybe slightly curling my fingers or moving a foot. I just woke up less than a minute ago and haven’t opened my eyes yet, because I obviously can tell something’s wrong when it’s not my mom waking me up in the morning, so I’m afraid of what I might find. But eventually I slowly open my eyes.
     It takes a bit for my sight to get focused on anything, but I can tell it’s pretty dark in here. I turn my eyes to the left, where I can see the light from a white heart monitor--heart monitor?-- next to my bed—or cot. Looking past it, I could see another white cot, with another kid in it. And next to it, another. Then another. My eyes did a full circle in their lids, and I realized I was in an entire room full of unconscious people, sleeping to the beat of their heart monitors. I was in a hospital.

I started to get really freaked out, and when that happens, naturally, your heart starts racing, which triggered my monitor to beep like crazy. I tried calling out ‘Mom! Dad! Where are you?’, but all that came out was a hoarse, uncomfortable murmur. Still, I kept calling, but not one came.
     Suddenly the lights switched on, almost blinding my unalert eyes. I could hear quick, light footsteps headed my way. Next thing I knew, a blonde nurse came into my vision. My monitor slowed down. “Ah, you’re awake,” she said, with no surprise nor joy. “I’ll be right back.”

Assuming she had gone to tell my waiting family that I woke up from…whatever it is that I woke up from, I was disappointed but also happy when she came in with a bowl of soup and water. I just now realized how hungry I was.

The nurse pressed some button that raised the first third of my cot, so I was now in sitting in an upright position. She fed me the soup, which took lot more time than it should, but when we were done, I felt like I could talk more audibly. So I asked her what was on my mind.
     “Whe…way muh…fa…famy?” Which in the new Axel language means ‘where is my family?’

Either she didn’t hear me, or she couldn’t understand, because she took out a pill from her breast pocket and said, “Take this with your water.”
     I said it again. “Whe mah…famiry?”
She still wouldn’t answer. “This will put you out for, the most, 3 weeks. During this time we will be carrying out further procedures on your body. Once every day we will be waking you to feed you, or for physical therapy.”
     She blinked too much when she said that, so it must be a lie. One more time. “Whe mah famiry?!”
The chick still ignored me. “At the end of all this, you will be just as strong as you were two years ago.”
     2 years ago?
This was getting freaky. The nurse extended her hand with the pill in it. I refused. “No! Whe mah famiry? Whey’m I? Whey’m I?”

The nurse tried to force feed it to me, but I kept my mouth shut. She had to answer me. I attempted to struggle, which was probably the most foolish-looking thing ever, but she restrained me and elbowed my stomach. Hard. I opened my mouth in pain and she took the opportunity to stuff the pill inside my mouth. I tried to get it out, but she poured water in my mouth, washing the pill down my throat, knocking me out cold.

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