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.


8. 7

It doesn’t take long for me to realize that I’ve been paralyzed. Temporarily, I hope. I can talk, but yelling for help is hard and painful the first few times I tried, so I can’t struggle in no way whatsoever, except for maybe imagining obscenities to my captors. So I decide to take some time in reviewing what has I know and want to figure out so far.

     What I know:  1) my name is Axel Mullin, I have 2 parents and 1 brother, Knox. We live in a 2 room apartment in a worn down city, we have no insurance for crap, and we get most of our money from my dad’s job at the gas station and me and Knox pickpocketing.

     2) Apparently, 2 years ago, I fell into a coma for unknown reasons. I am 19 now, I guess, and I’ve woken up, stronger than I ever imagined.
     3) Either I’m on some other planet, or the world has changed drastically, because this place is so much different than the place I lived in when I was 17. Some differences? Everything, and I mean everything, is white, anywhere you look. Also, everything seems like it’s timed to some beat. Everyone moves at the same pace. And no one answers a guy when he needs help. Shame!
     4) Either my family can’t keep their phones for crap, or this…”Institute”, has done something to them. I think it’s the latter.
     5) Some guy named Ln. Riggs, who I think works for the Institute, has arrested me for unknown reasons. I gave him a bloody nose and he said to take me to “the Institute’s main headquarters” and that “Master Kings” knows best. Now I’ve been temporarily (I hope) paralyzed.

My questions: 1) how did I fall into a coma?
     2) Where’s my family? Are they thinking about me?
     3) What’s the Institute and are they the reason everything is so whacked up right now?
     4) Since patients from comas are supposed to be really weak after they wake up, why do I feel like a professional wrestler?
     6) Why is everything so…neat and organized?
     7) Why did everyone pretend not to notice me when I was asking them questions?
     8) What does he want from me? Does he think I’m some sort of rebel? Why would there be any rebels?
     9) Why did every normal citizen clear the area when Riggs and his soldiers show up?                                   
        10) Is this paralyzed phase temporary?
     12) Aren’t the people at the hospital supposed to notice that I’m gone by now? Why was that brunette nurse so casual with me?

As I begin trying to connect any dots, the car stopped. 10 seconds later, Riggs opens the back door. When he sees me, he bursts out laughing. “Now you’re in for it!” he says between laughs. “You’ve picked a fight with the wrong crowd, fool. When Master Kings is through with you—“
     I cut him off. “Listen, sir. You’ve misunderstood. I just want to find my family. I don’t even know where I am—“
     “Shut your trap, kid! You’re strong, I admit it, but pretty stupid for someone who threatens the Institute. Don’t worry. Master Kings will tell ya everything ya want to know, before he kills ya of course.”
With that, he shuts the doors and we drive away.
     Before he kills me?
Terrible thoughts run through my brain and they bring me to sleep.

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