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“Wait!  It’s happening…”

These are the last words I hear before I slip away.  I don’t become unconscious, rather I enter a new state of consciousness.  It is a realm that is so isolated, I have no awareness outside of my body, it seems.  Part of me is afraid because I am surrounded by men with the intentions of torturing me and eventually killing me.  The man with the axe is eager to decapitate me, but whatever it is that is happening outside of my awareness must be fascinating enough that they wait.

After he chops off my hands and feet, I feel nauseated, more sick than in pain.  Then the pain comes and radiates throughout my body.  Every muscle aches.  Every wound and injury throbs.  Each agony feels like I am being stabbed relentlessly from head to toe with a long dagger.  I don’t want to move because I am naturally prompted to use my hands to prop myself up and my feet to run away.  These actions are not possible, evidently, and this is the last thought I have regarding the outside of my body.  As my grasp of my surroundings dissipates, so does the inclination to concern myself with the state my body is in, and the pain subsides.

I am in a world of golden light.  I can almost smell and taste it.  It feels like warm, liquid silk.  My wrists and ankles pulsate and trigger a rush throughout my body that reaches each point of injury.  Every part of me that requires healing begins to tingle and endorphins surge through me repeatedly.  It feels so good, like a full body orgasm, especially since my scrotum is healing as well.  In fact, I don’t recall ever experiencing such physical pleasure before, not even during sex.

I hear sounds, like shots being fired, and I don’t know if it is the external world penetrating my cognizance or if it is dendrites and synapses snapping in my brain.  An undulating force rides up and down my body, encompassing my form and it is as if I am hovering above the ground and not touching it.

Then there is black and nothing but my physical body again.  The residue of ecstasy cascades within me, slowly dying out.  Instinctively I move my hand down and begin to rub my penis over my underwear.  It’s as hard as a rock.  My oblivion compels me to masturbate, but as I move to slide my hand into my underwear and pull out my penis, I hear a voice.

“All right Doan, you’re done, come out of it now.”

I sit up and the world I was in is so vague and distant now, as if it was a memory from long ago, yet it only just happened, I think.  Then I realize I have my hands and feet.  I glance around and all the men are dead.  I see my original hands and feet in pools of blood around me and it gives me a shudder.  Behind me I see the man who brought me to the cabin.  The man I thought was killed when the men came for me.  He crouches down and starts to unbutton the shirt of one of the dead men.

“He looks about your size.”

I’m dazed and the warmth of my full body orgasm continues to move through me.  I examine my hands and they look the same, my hands.  I slip my hand back into my underwear to feel my scrotum and it seems as if the surgery wounds are also healed.

“Doan, no more of that.”

“I was just…”

“I know.  It was a joke.”

He tosses me the man’s clothing, including socks, shoes, and underwear.  I drop the underwear and say, “Uh, no.”

As I dress, I say, “You need to fill me in on a lot of things.  I thought you were dead.”

“I was, in a way.  I’m a bit like you.  Only you’re a new and improved model.”

He tells me that basically if we are killed, we die briefly.  The death of the body triggers a sort of shock.  Yet the shock evolves backwards.  In other words, it begins from the slower heart rate and the shutting down of the organs and these biological activities increase in productivity, bringing us back.  The adrenalin prompts a healing and/or regeneration.

This man also tells me that I can control this.  If I had wanted to heal my surgery wounds, I could consciously bring that healing on.  I just don’t know how.  He said that in death or blood loss, the process happens automatically.  This is why mercury is the only thing that can kill us.  It shuts down the brain.  First we experience paralysis from the neck down, and only conscious thought, hearing, smelling, tasting, and speech are functional.  And we still feel pain.  Yet as our body commences the process of healing, our nerves are hyperactivated and therefore, the pain is intensified 10-fold.  He tells me that this is how we came to be.

We are the results of scientific experiments designed specifically to inflict extreme torture.  Through tactical and controlled use of the the mercury, death can be staved off until a person serves their purpose.  These were independent contractors, a cult of scientists in a way.  They were experimenting independently from the government, with the hopes to develop methods and warfare to sell off, if not to the government, then to other independent militants, regardless of whose side they would be on.  But as our existence has develped into something more, an extention of their initial endeavors, experimentation has continued.  Fay is the only offspring of test subjects, and she is vital to their project.  When I was in the car with the woman I believed to be my mother, the woman who mothered Fay, we were escaping and she was trying to help me.

This man promises me he will give me all the answers to all my questions about my past.  The man also assures me that he will explain how he came to be on their side, utilized for the purposes of finishing me off, and why he has chosen not to.

As we collect guns and ammo, and whatever provisions the men had such as a couple of canteens of water and sandwiches, I ask him about decapitation.

“If he had cut off my head…that wouldn’t kill me?  I mean, could I possibly grow back a new head?”

“That is an excellent question.  Hypothetically we would assume you wouldn’t die and would regenerate.  However, since the regeneration ability stems from your brain, it would seem that, rather than your body growing a new head, I believe that your head would grow a new body.”

“That…is really weird.”

“Yes,” he laughs, “yes it is.”

I laugh as well, and it is a refreshing moment, however brief.