If you picked up this story hoping to see reality as something light and fluffy, something you can expect, as you probably always have, stop reading. I don't want to disappoint you. The same goes for those who picked this up thinking that there will be a clear good guy or bad guy. But if you picked it up to see a new reality, one where good and bad is blurred, where the world is dynamic, always changing, never predictable, than it all started in a lab.
I shot up from the water, gasping for air, screaming in pain. Where was I? Come to think of it, who was I? And what was I doing here?
"HIS BODY ACCEPTED, BUT He IS IN A STATE OF CRISIS!" yelled a voice behind me.
"I thought you said you broke him, both physically and mentally! Why is his mind not accepting?!" demanded another.
"HE WAS REDUCED TO NOTHING WHEN WE PUT HIM IN THAT CELL!! COULDN'T EVEN REMEMBER HIS OWN NAME!" screamed a third. "There was no hint of him rejecting this!"
"SIR, HE NEEDS TO BE CALMED DOWN FOR THIS TO WORK!" cried the first voice.
"Sedate him" said the second. Clearly, he was the one in charge of this whole operation. "I'll deal with you later"
And just like that, I was out like a light
I woke again, this time behind the bars of some sort of cell, most likely the one mentioned before. There were guards in heavy armor in there with me, and a man hovering over me. He had silver hair, and some beard stubble. He wore a lab coat and loafers, as though he were a doctor of some sort. But I knew all too well, he must have been the second voice from earlier, the one in charge.
He looked straight at me, then he looked at one of his guards. "Shoot his arm" he commanded.
Just like that, without a moment's hesitation, he shot me. But it was odd. The bullet stopped part of the way into the arm.
"Hit him with your baton" the man said.
As soon as the baton hit me, it broke like it was nothing.
"Based on the evidence, I'd say... Only a 75% acceptance rate. We can't have that, now, can we? Another failure, though this is our highest acceptance yet... The others were only 20-30%... Bah. Starve him like the others"
The guards grabbed me, but my instincts took over, and I fought back. I elbowed one the guards to free one arm, and used my free arm to punch the other guard. But it was strange. It was like my punches could be fatal if I put the effort into it.
I looked at the bullet, still lodged into my arm, and pulled it out. Just then, the man in charge attacked, but a simple push stopped him.
The alarms went off. "ATTENTION ATTENTION. CODE BLACK. SUBJECT IS ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE. ALL PERSONNEL. SUBJECT IS ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE"
I ran down the corridor, only to realize I had no clue as to how I would get out of there.
This should go without saying, but escaping was no easy task. There were guards everywhere, and it's not like this place had any maps around. I ran about, often finding myself cornered, fighting my way through, desperately trying to find some sort of escape, but there was nothing. Not one vent, and every door only seemed to lead to one room or another, but never an exit.
"Give it up" said a voice behind me. I remembered that voice. It was the one who supposedly "Broke" me before. "There's no way to escape. You triggered a lock down. The exit has been concealed behind three feet of cement, and not even you can punch through that"
I turned around to see the man who broke me so hard. He was a bit scruffy-looking with his stubble-beard and wild bed-head. He was flanked by guards, but that was no concern to me. What I was most concerned about was his arms. They were coated in plated steel, polished enough to blind you in the sunlight.
"I see you like my arms" he said, noticing my gaze.
"Where am I?" I asked. "What's going on here?"
"I'm not at liberty to discuss those topics with you" he told me.
"I could kill you" I threatened.
"Give it your best shot" he said. Just then, I charged at him. As I was charging, I noticed his guards weren't even protecting him, then it hit me all to late. As I was throwing my first punch, he simply stepped to the side and grabbed my arm. Then he pulled my arm in and kicked me in the belly, sending me flying with one kick.
I got up slowly. The only word I could manage was "How?"
"Get used to it" he replied. "It wasn't long ago when I was in your shoes... You really want to know what's going on here? Fine, I'll tell you. You're an involuntary part of a program designed to create super soldiers. And, had you just accepted the treatment, I would have been your leader. You would have been protecting the people of earth from the greatest menace known to society - the nuclear powers that be. But I guess I have to kill you now either way"
His fist came at me with full speed, but I grabbed it somehow. It wasn't even a thought, it just... happened. "Work for an agency that kills people who don't fit their regimen? I don't think so"
"I think you've proven yourself worthy of life, friend" said someone from behind the guards. It must have been the man in charge again. "But if you don't won't want to work for us, maybe you can work WITH us from time to time"
It's been about a week since they set me free. I've adopted the name "John Doe" for myself, and made a home in a back alley in the nearby city. I don't know the name of the city. I get through my days by walking around, talking to some of the locals, stealing what I need like food and clothes.
A couple days ago, a little boy asked me where I come from.
"I don't know" I told him.
He had ratty hair, the color of dirt. He looked at me as though he were looking for something, maybe just a friend. He couldn't have been any older than 6.
"Why are you homeless?" he asked.
"Because I don't have a job" I told him.
"Do you have a family?" he asked.
That was it. That was the question that brought the pain around. I don't know why, but I knew I had one. Or at least, I used to. And I knew there was pain associated with them.
"Mister?" the boy asked as he poked me.
"Please leave me alone" I demanded.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"LEAVE!!" I yelled. And with that, he ran off crying.
Who were they? Why did I remember that they existed? Did I have children? Was I married?
I had a family. Where are they now?
I had so many questions since then. It's all I could think of since I saw that boy. Curse that boy. Why did he have to ask that of all questions? Why the one question that would set me off?
What day is it? Thursday? I don't know. I've lost track since I got here. It's become the last thing on my mind. But that kid kept showing up. And without an adult. One day, I decided to investigate.
"What's your name, kid?" I asked him.
"I'm Trevor" he told me.
"What's your last name?" I asked him.
"Last name?" he asked, clearly confused.
I hesitated. "Never mind, then. Nice to meet you, Trevor. I'm John"
"Nice to meet you" he replied.
"Trevor, I got a question for you. Where are your parents?" I asked.
"One day, they told me to wait while they go to the store. Then there was a loud noise, and my mom was dead" he told me, clearly holding back tears.
"And what about your dad?" I asked.
"He left and never came back" he told me.
I motioned for him to come closer, then I gave him a hug. He collapsed into me and started to cry.