The Mind Manifests Part 10
I opened my eyes to see energy coursing all around me, and even through me. The energy died down, and I looked out to see a scientist "ah-ha, number 9051 programmed and ready to ship, just forty nine to go, and we get paid, see, I told you this would be an easy job."
From behind me I heard a voice replying to him "You say that now, but I still think ten thousand of these in the wrong hands could spell the end for a whole planet."
"Not our problem, we're just doing our jobs."
"You mean to tell me it doesn't frighten you? These are people's lives we're toying with, you know about 90% of this order is likely going to be used on unwilling slaves."
"Actually, from what I heard, our company is actually only filling a small piece of a bigger order, somewhere in the number of one million."
"Good lord, who would have need of that many of these blasted things?"
"Like I said, not my problem, just pack it, and prep the next one for download."
The device I was in was opened, and I was pulled out, before being put into a canister. The lid was placed on it, and everything went dark.
I woke up in a cold and dark place, dizzy and disoriented, and I faintly heard a muffled voice "It's awake, go tell the commander, quickly"
I sat up, my head pounding, and rubbed my forehead to find a leather strap there. I felt around and found a muzzle over my face, with a metal cap around the end. I felt around where the latch should be and found a lock connected to a chain. I traced the chain and found where it met three others, one leading to shackles on my ankles, one leading to a sheath of some sort over my tailblade, and one leading to the wall.
I felt at the wall, it was smooth and cold, it had to be concrete. I reached to pull my wallet out of my pocket to retrieve my bobby pin to pick the locks, which I keep for exactly this sort of scenario, only to find I was naked.
I just sat down like a dog and grumbled, my ankle was still sore, and my wings were throbbing, plus my head felt like it was about to split, and now I was getting dizzy, this was turning out to be a wonderful day.
Just as I was getting impatient, blinding lights came on, shining right in my eyes, and I let out a hissing growl in protest before closing my eyes and stumbling back, instinctively putting my wings between my sensitive eyes and the lights. I called out, having to supress my own growling "Turrrn thossse damn thingsss down! You'rrre gonna blind sssomebody!"
The lights dimmed slightly, and once my eyes adjusted, I was able to see that I was in a room with one door off to the side, a large mirror, two spotlights which were shining on me, a folding chair, and two cameras, right next to the lights. I just snorted before saying as clearly as I could "You mind telling me what I'm doing here?"
The door opened, and a man in a suit walked in, holding a canister in his hand, I focused on it, and I felt that tugging sensation, it had to have my crystal in it. I just watched silently as he took it over to a shelf that came out of the wall, and set it down, before sitting down in the chair, and opening a dossier.
"You know, it's amazing what you can find out from the contents of a wallet, we know all about who you used to be, but what interests me is, what are you now?"
"I'm Daniel B-------, Age 19, male."
"You mean you were Daniel, but what are you now?"
"Dammit, I'm not going to sit here and play your fucking mind games! You want intimidation? Congratulations, you got it, I'm cold and alone, in an incredible amount of pain, sick to my stomch, and I know I'm powerless to resist, but dammit, I'm not saying a single word until I get some clothes and my crystal back!"
"Such anger...though we should thank you."
"Well, before you were captured, the officer informed us what you said about the crystals, we haven't had any mutants die of deprevation since, you saved the lives of your comrads, now tell me what you're doing here."
"you tell me, I was knocked out and drug here"
"I mean on our planet"
"Fuck if I know, I'm still trying to figure this new body out, I haven't had time to think about where the crystals came from, and further- …oh…I see what you did there…"
"What did I do there?"
"You tricked me into continuing, so I say screw you, your boss, his wife, all cousins and uncles, and anyone watching through that two-way mirror behind you, I want clothes and my crystal, or I'm not talking."
"Are you sure of that?"
I didn't respond, I just stared at him, then sat back down on my haunches, mostly because the room was now spinning and my headache was getting worse. He just stared at me for a while, and I stared right back, not blinking. After a deadlock of several minutes, he stood up "I admire your resolve, but we'll see how cooperative you are once you're in the middle of a withdrawal."
He walked to the door, and exited, I could hear a deadbolt sliding into place on the other side, and then I looked around. He had left the crystal in there, just to toy with me. It was well out of my reach. I just sat there and waited, tapping my tail on the floor, how the hell was I going to get out of this one?
What felt like an hour later, I was having a hard time simply sitting up straight, so I started thinking about how I could get to that crystal. I tugged on my chains a few times, that was no use, they were heavy logging chains, likely rated to a ton or more. After some thought, I looked at the chair, that could work as a tool.
I got to the end of my chains, and reached out as far as I could, it was no use, it was a good three feet away. A moment later, I had a mental facepalm, I had wings now. I stretched them out, wincing as the damaged and now scabbed membranes stretched, starting to bleed again in a few places, and then reached out with my right wing, the less damaged of the two, I was only inches away.
I stretched as far as I could, fighting off muscle cramps, it was just barely too far, I could brush my wingtip against it, but little more. I tried several lunges, trying to optimize my reach, and I still couldn't quite bump it, it took five tries before I managed to slide it a little, coming closer. Another lunge, another couple inches.
It got a little easier each time until it was in arm's reach and I finally pulled it in. I quickly started torquing the weak spots, breaking it into pieces as I shook my head to stave off sleep and disorientation. I soon had it dismembered down to the central rectangle of metal pipe around the seat, which I managed to wrench into a straight six foot long piece, with a few bends in it.
I held it out as far as I could, and to my dismay, I was still just a little short. I just sighed and dropped it, they were smarter than that, they wouldn't have put it where I could reach it. I got slightly angered at this, and eventually just threw the seat of the chair at the canister, knocking it down and onto the floor, rolling closer to me.
I quickly picked the pipe back up, and nudged the canister, eventually getting it to roll over to me, and I picked it up, embracing it. I started wrenching at the lid, but it didn't want to open. I looked at it and found a keypad. "Oh you've got to be kidding me!"
I quickly got to work trying to find the four digit code.
I tried again and again as fast as I could, as every second counted at this point, I was fading rapidly.
It was growing pointless, unless the first number was a 0 or a 1 I'd be out long before I guessed it. I had to keep trying, though, I had no option.
the lid clicked and popped open, and I eagerly pried it the rest of the way open, turning it over, my crystal falling out, the cage that David built having been removed from around it. As soon as I picked it up, it shocked me and my strength returned. My wings started tingling, and I looked at them to see the tissue rapidly healing. I just watched in awe as the holes mended themselves. "Advanced healing? I'm actually liking these things now."
I flexed my ankle a few times, it had stopped hurting as well, the energy from the crystal had healed me completely, but it was also now completely drained. I just laid down and curled up around my crystal, I wasn't going to let them take it again.
Some time later, another man walked in, wearing a lab coat and a name tag "Dr. Maxwell" He examined the debris from the chair, before grabbing the pipe and placing it where I couldn't reach it.
"Subject number 26, Daniel B-------, reptilian type, green wavelength, shows advanced intelligence and problem solving ability"
"So you've caught 26 of us so far? How many have you dissected?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Don't bullshit me, doc, I know what the government does behind closed doors, how many have you cut up?"
"So, how long do I have before I'm number 8?"
"You're not going to be dissected, command wants to see just how intelligent you really are, the very fact you can carry on a conversation is proof you're unique."
"How so? That fox that came in with me is just as smart."
"I don't see how, they haven't spoken a word since they arrived, and show violence against all handlers, just like every single other mutant."
I winced "Dammit, stop calling us mutants! I'm not a mutant. I'm not human, but I'm definitely not a mutant!"
"abnormality, anomaly, alien, varience, modification, whatever brand you choose to go by, you are not human and clearly sentient, so we must find out more about you, first off, what are you?"
"Oh good lord, you're just a different face with the same questions…and I still don't have any clothes!"
"You'll get clothes when you answer the questions."
"fine, we'll trade, I'll answer one question in exchange for pants at least, I'm a dragon, I became a dragon in a series of four very painful transitions, now where's my pants?"
He nodded, and left the room, leaving me alone for several moments before he returned with two soldiers, both holding full auto combat shotguns. He handed me a pair of pants and a key "you can take off your ankle and tail restraints so you may dress, but if you try to remove the muzzle, you will be shot, I have no say in this, it's protocol."
I nodded, taking the key, and I set my crystal down behind me where none of them could get to it, before removing my shackles, rubbing the irritated scales underneath. Just because I had scales now, that didn't mean that them constantly being shifted around couldn't irritate the skin underneath, like wearing a tight hat irritates your head.
I slipped my pants on, enjoying the feel of fabric again. Once they were in place, I tossed the key back to him. "Now put your restraints back on."
"Oh come on, you have me at gun point, wearing a muzzle, in a concrete room, likely in a bunker miles below ground, do you even have a conception of the word overkill?"
"You can't be trusted, you were talking normally to the officer who captured you one second, then the next you were bathing him in fire."
"Only because he was ordering me to his cruiser, so I could be locked up and taken here, I was attempting to flee with the only weapon I had at my disposal."
"What about your claws?"
"Two problems with that, one, he'd have a chance to get a shot off, and two, I didn't want to hurt him."
"You breathed fire because you didn't want to hurt him?"
"For a doctor you don't understand human psychology that much, it's a reflex in an extreme high temperature environment to clench the eyes shut and cease breathing, to prevent eye and lung damage, plus he was a police officer, so obviously was smart enough to drop and roll, the worst case scenario there was first degree burns, which heal quickly, it was the escape route for me that left him with the least wounds."
"So if you thought it would save you, would you attack me?"
"Damn straight, but I know that trying to escape from here would be stupid and would just get me killed."
He contemplated what I said for a moment "Fine, you can leave the restraints off, but the muzzle remains. I'll give you as much rope as I can, but if you slip up even a little, my superiors will hang you with it, and not in the metaphorical sense."
"Thank you, and could you let the officer know that I'm sorry for having to burn him like that?"
"I can once he wakes up."
"What do you mean?"
"His burns were severe, he suffered second degree burns to the face and forearms, and first degree burns to a good portion of his body."
"Oh, oh god, I didn't think my fire was that potent."
I collapsed to the floor and continued, holding back tears "I honestly didn't know!"
"As odd as it is, I actually believe you."
he came over to me, and walked around behind me, so I quickly wrapped my tail tightly around my crystal, and he stopped, saying quickly, "Relax, I'm not after that, you earned it after you showed your ingenuity, I'm simply removing your chain."
I leaned forward, and held still so he could remove it. With a loud click, the chain fell to the floor with a very satisfying clatter. "Thank you, so what now, more questions in exchange for a shirt?"
"No, first, I'm taking you to a more comfortable place, not this interrogation room, I've been given custody of you, and I get to choose your holding pen."
I stood up slowly, careful not to startle the two soldiers with guns, and passed the crystal from my tail to my hand, then placed it in my pocket "Alright, I'm ready to go whenever you are."