Coming to, Michael saw before him a gray slab of concrete, moisture had turned some parts of it a darker shade than the rest. Groggily, he turned his head over to his right and saw a slew of men in white coats, all piling over computer screens and periodically peering in his direction.
“He's awake,” one of them said. “Get Smalldridge,” another said, at which point one of them scurried off into a nearby corridor.
Michael acquainted himself with the situation. He was tied down to some kind of gurney, slanted at a forty five degree angle. Among other things, he felt a familiar burning sensation in many areas of his body, on closer inspection these were small needles, like acupuncture, sitting in his flesh. Off of each of them were thin wires that snaked out to a table where they met at some kind of junction box. He felt like Frankenstein about to be brought to life for the first time. All that was missing was the mad scientist. As if on cue, Dan entered the room.
“Good afternoon Captain.”
“Go to hell,” Michael said, his words slurred by the drugs, or perhaps the hangover and withdrawal.
“No thanks,” Dan joked, smiling at him.
“Your last name is Smalldridge,” Michael said, which caused Dan's smile to wither.
“Let's get him prepped.”
“What are you doing to me Dan?”
Dan was at the hub of wires, reading monitors and writing down notes. “You're going to be a good boy again Michael, none of these incessant questions. Consider this a gift, this way you don't have to live with the depressing reality of your situation. You won't remember a thing.”
Michael wanted to fight, wanted to break out of his bonds and rush to freedom, but he didn't have an ounce of energy. “Does this make me better at it Dan?”
Samlldridge looked up from the screens. “No, but it makes you less of a liability.”
“What if I forget how to do it Dan, what then?”
“Oh, you won't forget how to do it. Even if you do, we know how to trigger you now so it doesn't matter.”
A tear ran down Michaels cheek. “Why do I come back?”
Smalldridge shook his head. “To be honest, we don't know. You just do. Here it comes Michael, are you ready? Ah who am I kidding,” Smalldridge said, sticking a rubber guard into Michael's mouth before hitting the button abruptly.
Electricity coursed through the wires and entered Michael through a series of needles placed throughout his body. His back arched unnaturally from the muscles contracting simultaneously. After a few seconds, he came to a rest.