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Alexander had never known the world outside of his amino tank.
He had simply observed what he could see of it for fifteen long years.
The cool feeling of the water on his skin comforted him.
It was a sense of security protecting him from the bright wild world he watched through the glass.
Some days, the woman would come. She would smile and mouth words to him that he might never understand. He would mimic the smile, press his hand to the glass, and wonder why water was coming from her eyes.
Alex had never tasted food, felt the sun on his face, or breathed fresh air. All the things he needed were pumped through the artificial cord attached to his stomach.
Nor had he ever walked. Perhaps he never would.
He considered his life something of a bore. When he was feeling extremely depressed, he would bite his arm till blood came so that the scientists would open the hatch at the top of his cylindrical tank.
Alex would stick his head out of the water, smile in the odd fashion he had adopted from the woman, and hold out his arm for them to remedy.
The lights would blind him, the air drying out his face uncomfortably.
But it was worth it.
It was a change from the dull monotone that had become his fragile existence.
That existence was about to change drastically, little did Alex know.
The heavy metal doors into the lab burst open with a clang. Startled, Alex awoke from his deep sleep, which had been filled with strange dreams. He peered through the glass to see a group of people making their way towards him.
There was a female leading them – quite young, perhaps Alex’s own age.
Behind her were two men, very large and muscular.
The one to the left was bald with a permanent scowl and a tattoo of a woman on his arm. The one on the right had very little to no hair with a large scraggly red beard.
Both wore ragged sleeveless shirts and hefted large guns.
Alex didn’t know what a gun was.
He thought the strange black barrels they carried were interesting and he was curious to find out what they did.
He could hear muffled sounds from outside. What were they doing? The man with the beard had put a crowbar to the top of his tank, prying the lid open.
It clattered to the floor.
Alex shrunk down to the bottom of his tank, panic clouding his thoughts.
Above him, the man thrust his hand into the water, reaching for Alex.
He had seen a hand other than his own before, but they had always been gloved. This one, however, was not.
The man was getting frustrated now, swiping the water above Alex’s head wildly.
It stopped momentarily, the hand hanging there.
The man was shouting at someone frantically.
Alex shifted his attention outside the glass to see the other man crouching by the base of the tank. He had opened up a panel and was ripping wires out.
The tank, lit by artificial sunlight, went dark. Alex had never been so scared.
His lungs began to burn, itching and scratching from the inside out. Spots danced before his eyes and with a sudden shock he realized they had done something to his cord, his source of life.
Out of the corner of his eye, a sharp metal object was swung at the glass.
Cracks began to spread across the surface of the see-through material.
With a loud horrendous crash, the water, along with Alex, flooded out spilling onto the cool white lab floor.
The girl crouched by him, holding his head in her hands. She was talking to him, sounds coming from her mouth. But he didn’t understand.
He noticed, in his light headed, almost blacked out state, that her chest was rising and falling.
Maybe if he…
Cool air rushed into his lungs, his gasp filling his ears.
The fire in his lungs ceased, the scratching gone.
Alex shivered uncontrollably for a few moments before his world suddenly went dark.