A to Z 2016 : THE X FACTOR

It was difficult to know if he was literally seeing red or if the strobing lights of the alarm system was giving that impression. He tugged playfully on the man's arm, feeling their shoulder beginning to pop out of its socket, the ripping of tendons. His plaything's body went limp, eyes closing, but head stuck in position by his assailant's other hand. Whether passing out from sheer pain or fear, either way was disappointing to Sam. He preferred his torture to be endured by someone conscious enough to appreciate his work, he had learned so much in such a short period of time.

The door burst open and he released his grip, the doctor's body crumpling to the floor. "Well, it's about damn time. I was beginning to think you didn't give a damn about your own people." As he spoke he noticed a small hole, giving a minuscule view behind a damaged one-way mirror. He could make out two men in the adjacent room, both with the same bleach white jackets as his friend lying at his feet. So I still have an audience after all...

Two security guards attempted to tackle Sam to the ground, a wave of dark blue and muscle, but he barely budged. He felt like a human boulder, his skin grafted with diamond, impenetrable. He allowed them to struggle for a moment, wondering what the exact protocol was in this kind of a situation. They had holstered weapons on their hips, but obviously attempting to subdue was the main objective. How does one subdue pure rage? He turned towards them through their frantic grappling, grabbing both by the front of their uniforms, one in each hand. Panicking, they shifted attention to breaking free from his grip.

"Are you watching in there? Lesson one." He crouched down slightly, drawing his left arm down, dragging a guard with the action. "Violence," in the one fluid motion he threw his left arm up, launching the man into the air, as he continued, "begets violence." There was a shattering and explosion of glass as the security guard slammed into the florescent lighting above. "Begets violence." Sam let him drop, a heap on the doctor's legs, in a flickering of sparks and raining shards.

He noticed the second guard had stopped struggling to get free of his hold and was instead reaching down for his weapon. A bit late for that, my friend. Sam lifted him into the air, twisting him around and grabbing him by the belt as well, before extending his arms upward. Hefting the guard above his head, he turned to face the webbed mirror. "Begets violence." With that statement, he hurled the guard through the weakened barrier between the two rooms in another spray of reflective, jeweled chunks.

The entire one-way mirror was destroyed, the thrown security guard disappearing over a control console where one of the research analysts had been sitting. He was gone, but another familiar face remained. Sam and Dr. Killjoy kept a steady gaze between red flashes and flinging sparks. He couldn't see or sense any fear coming from the doctor. His stature relaxed, but eyes stoic. Becoming disgusted with the notion, Sam maneuvered around the motionless bodies sprawled on the ground, his bare feet resisting the sharp edges of the debris. He climbed through the window and swung his legs around, landing inches from the body of the second security guard.

"I think your friend had the right idea when he got the fuck outta Dodge, Doc." Sam advanced towards the doctor, who remained unscathed. What's this guy's damage? The lack of reaction infuriated him. He stood just inches away, the room much darker, even when lit by pulsing lights. Maybe he needs a closer look before I wipe that blank stare off his face.

"I don't have any friends," the doctor stated matter-of-factly. Sam wanted to choke him out, it was becoming a constant theme. Feeling his fingers wrapped around someone's neck, their pulse surging, before cutting it off, along with their ability to breathe. His hand was already making a move on its own. "You don't have much time before people much better equipped for such situations arrive." His hand paused. "People who won't want to merely contain, but eliminate."

What the hell is this guy talking about? "What the hell are you talking about? So quick to kill your little experiment? You're the ones who created this. Me." He spat his words in the doctor's face.

"That's not entirely accurate," Dr. Killjoy said, as he pulled out a handkerchief from his coat pocket, dabbing his face, never taking his dark, beady eyes off his. "You've never actually been given any medication. Trinity was never a part of your trial."

"What the hell are you talking about?" He wasn't really wanting an answer. It's all bullshit and all lies. You can't believe anything he says.

"Dr. Geist didn't even want you participating, but I insisted. I felt it was an important part of the research. I'm not a complete idiot, however. I understood the risks involved and so it was agreed you'd receive nothing but a placebo." The doctor leaned towards him some. "Are you understanding what I'm saying?" Sam began shaking uncontrollably fighting the desire to end Dr. Killjoy's life and running. He thought it may be possible to do both, if able to resist the urge to make a festivity of it. "No one created you, Mr. Williamson. This is you."

Sam couldn't focus, conflicting thoughts swirling, but he could still feel the anger breathing in the background, it wasn't going to be quelled. Something was thrust against his chest. He looked down to find the doctor holding something against him, his other hand holding one of the injection guns that he had been subjected to numerous times during the clinical trial. In the hand pressed against his chest was a glass vial of clear liquid.

"Look how strong you are on your own volition. No drugs, no outside influences. Quite possibly the next step in Human evolution. Now imagine what you could become with Trinity." He began to understand what Dr. Killjoy was saying, but it didn't make sense in the context of everything. He's not trying to help you, he's trying to trick you. Just like Geist. The doctor raised his voice, stressing his words, above the alarm. "Unleash your full potential, Mr. Williamson. Embrace the true you."

He's stalling. You need to get out of here. Sam greedily ripped the items from the doctor's hands and pushed him back. "You're lying to me, Doc."

After staggering and regaining composure, lightly patting the front of his jacket, Dr. Killjoy asked, "Am I?" Even this close to death the man didn't seem to care. It baffled Sam. "There's only one way to find out. And you're running out of time."

With his head pounding, trying to decide what he should do, Sam lashed out with a kick, landing square in the doctor's gut. Dr. Killjoy flew back against the open door and fell to the ground, arms wrapped around his stomach. It was hard to hear over the alarms, but he knew the man was struggling to catch his breath. He fought against pummeling the doctor again, knowing that he was telling the truth about one thing. He was running out of time.

Bare feet slapping on the smooth tile floor, Sam exited the room, attempting to find a way out of the compound, a mysterious vial and its companion in his hands.


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