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I can still feel the dogs’ teeth grinding against the bones of my ankle from a physiological memory of the attack.  My fingernails are filled with dirt which is deeply compressed between the skin and the nail.  I wouldn’t be surprised if my nails fell off.  When I cough, I taste the earth coming up from my lungs.  Slowly I slide my hand down to my crotch and begin to feel below my testicles.  There is moisture.  I bring my hand up to look at my fingers, and there is blood.

Exhausted, my hand drops by my side and I think this is it.  I’ve no more fight, no more energy, nothing to hope for.  I don’t understand what that man was telling me about my ability to regenerate, or why he was calling me a monster.  I’m afraid he was another fabrication of my mind.  If I could heal myself and regenerate, why haven’t I healed myself from the surgery.  In other words, if he fixed me so I can’t reproduce, why can’t whatever he did be fixed within me so I can?  And why haven’t the surgery wounds healed yet?  If I could regrow a limb, so he told me, how would that even be possible if it takes so long, wouldn’t I bleed to death by the time that happens?

I told myself at the time I wouldn’t trust and couldn’t believe and didn’t know what reality was.  In retrospect, my desperation to have answers made me believe every word he said.  I thought I doubted at the time, but now I find myself referring back to all the information he shared, and trying to find either validity, or a route by which I can get myself out of this situation and rescue Fay.

All my thoughts begin to mesh and disintegrate, though I don’t realize I’m drifting off into sleep until I hear “Hey, Doan, hey, it’s me.”

I can’t open my eyes.  The voice is a disruption of my fleeting consciousness.

The voice speaks again, “Doan, you need to get out of there.  They’re coming for you.  Doan, wake up, it’s me.”

All I can think is, but I don’t know anyone, I have no allies.  Then I hear a vehicle and voices and footsteps.  It all sounds so far away, sounds swallowed by distance, each left indistinguishable from the next.  I continue to lose consciousness until I begin to get kicked repeatedly.  The vehicle, voices, and men have come to me and I’m surrounded and they kick me, in the face, the abdomen, the back, whatever part of me is exposed as I squirm to try and shield myself.  Every attempt I make to stand, I’m kicked back down.  The kicks in my head cause the most damage and make me weary and disconnected from my surroundings.  The kicks to my body begin to numb and hurt more internally than externally.  They stop and laugh at me as I try to crawl away.

“Where are you?”  I whisper to the voice that spoke to me just before these men arrived.  Please, I beg inside myself, please, I need an ally.  “Please…”

I crawl along the pavement on my belly.  Attempts to get up only cause me to fall over.  The men laugh at me.  I hear one of them say, “I don’t know why he’s considered so dangerous, he’s a pussy.”

Yeah I’m a pussy all right and I don’t know what the hell is going on, or why I’m considered so dangerous.  What ability do I have that I don’t even know about.  Perhaps they’re just mistaking me for someone else.  I’m only human, I have found no evidence of the contrary.

One of the men says, “No not that one, it has the mercury bullets, use these.”  Then they shoot at me.  I’m struck in my right leg twice, my left leg once, my lower back to the left of my spine, and my right shoulder.  They continue to laugh.  I deduce that they are here to kill me, but they plan to have some fun with me first.  I am about to suffer a long, slow, painful death.