Be Careful What You Wish - Page Two

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Be Careful What You Wish
Be Careful What You Wish
...

Chapter Three

Victor was awake since before dawn. As usual, he lay in his bed staring at the cracks in the walls that were thickened with decades of gray paint. The walls and the day's frigid repetition, offered disparaging hope to all the souls that dwelled inside.

He got out of bed and sat down at the table that was fastened to the wall, eying his breakfast tray that a guard served early every morning. He knew his yearning appetite would be denied any satisfaction, it always was. Meals were the only thing to look forward to, except mail time. Even though he usually ate it all, the meals were less than appetizing. It was a part of his redundant life within the bowels of death row.

Set on the tray, was a brown-stained bowl, full of soggy cereal flakes, swollen from warm milk. He thought it would be nice to have French toast, or waffles-- something different for a change, besides the token eggs on Sundays. Anything other than soggy cereal. He despised cold cereal, having been raised on it.

Victor quickly devoured two slices of nearly-burnt toast, then wet his arid mouth with the sweetened juice and the lukewarm, black coffee. He hadn't had hot coffee in a long time. Then he slurped the milk from the bowl, abandoning the soggy flakes with a contemptuous disgust.

He opened his writing tablet intending to write a letter to his sister, Trisha, and grabbed the one and only pencil allotted by the prison for correspondence. Pushing the breakfast tray to the side, he was blank for anything to write. What do I have to say? he thought, one day is the same as the one before it. There's nothing new, nothing different or good to write her. He wrote the same thing he always wrote, masking his agony with idle niceties, and finished the letter signing off with their customary ending, 'Aquene.' It was Indian, believed to be Sioux, and meant, 'go in peace,' which was better than
'good-bye,' or any other ending they could write one another. He didn't believe in good-byes. It was too final.

He sadly took one last glance at the letter, then held it briefly to his heart. He tucked the flap inside the envelope, not sealing it. Prisoners weren't permitted to seal mail. As he printed his sister's name and address on the front, he realized the reality of his whereabouts once again. With a tormented longing for home, he gently laid the letter on the desk where a guard would later pick it up.

Today was shave and hair-cut day. Guards handed out disposable razors and stood watching inmates, like mesmerized little boys watching their fathers shave. They presumed inmates would cut their wrists, or kill each other, if given standard razors with detachable blades. Yeah, right, he thought, wishing he could slit his wrists and end his own misery.

Down a far west corridor, on the first level, Mr. Chance signed the log-in book while noting the time and date by the name of the prisoner he intended to visit. The guards escorted him to the visiting room, and one guard informed him, "It'll be twenty minutes before the prisoner will be brought in."

He was a patient man, he could wait. No problem.

Annoying, loud electronic doors, opened twenty-two minutes after he had been seated late. But, prompt enough considering, he thought, looking at his Rolex.

"Come in and sit down, Mr. Jarrett," Chance ordered Victor.

Released from his shackles, Victor hesitated and sat down on the edge of the chair. He looked suspiciously at the stranger, trying to size him up. "Who are you?" he asked, politely offering his hand.

The stranger ignored Victor's outstretched hand, and reached into his coat pocket for his gold, cigarette case, then offered Victor a smoke.

Victor shook his head and waved his hand. "'Don't smoke. Who are you anyway? And what do 'ya want with me?"

"Who I am, does not matter, Mr. Jarrett. My name is not of any importance to you. However, if you must have a name of sorts, you may call me, Mr. Chance. This is not a social call, Mr. Jarrett." Chance lit his fancy cigarette.

Wondering if that was the stranger's real name, or a pseudonym-- since the man put no credence to names, Victor wondered, if this isn't a social call, then what the hell is it? And, why is he here?

As if he had read his Victor's mind, the stranger continued. "I'm here to make you an offer, Mr. Jarrett. An offer you cannot refuse. If you do refuse, you will most certainly  die, Mr. Jarrett... most definitely die."

Jumping to his feet, clenching his hand into a tight fist, Victor blurted, "I don't understand. Are you threatenin' me or somethin'? Who the fuck are you? What do 'ya want from me?"

"Sit back down, Mr. Jarrett. Relax. I'm not threatening you at all. I'm merely explaining how it really is. And the truth is, Mr. Jarrett, you do not have a choice, unless you have a death wish, sir."

"Oh, I gotta choice-- I gotta 'nother appeal that'll get me a new trial! And, that'll prove I'm innocent. My lawyers got a new break that's gonna prove I didn't do it. It's in the bag now. It ain't gonna be much longer-- I just know it ain't."

"Wrong, Mr. Jarrett. They have nothing. Absolutely nothing. You will not get a new trial. You will however, get the fatal honor of sitting in the electric chair, in exactly six days, sixteen hours and," glancing down at his Rolex, adding, "fourteen minutes. Undoubtedly so."

"That's not right. You got it wrong. It's not for another sixty-five days, and that's 'nough time to get a new trial."

"That 'was' exactly right, Mr. Jarrett. The key word here, Mr. Jarrett, is 'was'... but, all of that has changed, don't you see? This is bigger than your attorneys, the judicial system, even the Governor of our fine state, Mr. Jarrett."

"What the hell are you blabberin' 'bout? "Bigger than the Governor," and all the rest of-- whatever you said. I don't understand a damn thing you're talkin' about."

"Shut up, Mr. Jarrett! Listen to me. Listen closely. I'm only going to tell you this once. And only once. So you need to concentrate and look at me when I'm talking. Do you understand, Mr. Jarrett?"

Victor was scared of this stranger. He didn't understand what was happening, and wondered why the prison allowed this nut to visit. Attorneys and family were customary, not nuts like him. What kind of power did he have? Victor knew he had to remain calm and not appear intimidated.

"Okay, Mr. Chance, I'm listenin.' But I wanna ask you a question first."

"All right, Mr. Jarrett. Ask me your question."

"Who you representin' and, on what kinda authority?"

"Tisk, tisk, tisk. Not fair, Mr. Jarrett. That's two questions. But, I will be gracious and answer both inquiries. I cannot divulge to whom, I represent, or, of what extent my authority entails. However, Mr. Jarrett, it is far beyond your capacity to comprehend. Do you understand some of what I've told you? Does that suffice?"

"No-- no, it don't. Not really. But, if that's all you'll say 'bout it, then I guess I got no choice but to swallow it."

"Excellent, excellent. All right, here it is, Mr. Jarrett. My organization has the authority and ability to intercept your case. Not merely impede or hinder its progress, but to squash it entirely. Do you understand?" Chance took a long draw from his cigarette as he appraised his word's effect on Victor. "Your execution date, will be thrust ahead to exactly six days, sixteen hours, and the necessary minutes from now, with one phone call by myself," he told Victor, brushing the lapel of his suit. "And, there will be no last-second pardon from the Governor. The electric chair switch will be engaged, and the necessary voltage will be introduced into your miserable, vulnerable body, frying your brains, eyes, and your hairy balls. Not necessarily at the same time, or in the same order, I might add," informing Victor with a sadistic tone. "Then, your sister, Patricia, a.k.a. Trisha, your Uncle Ed, your brothers John, Lucas, and Charles, your feisty little attorney P.J. Cockrell, and her assistant Richard Morehead, will all go to your funeral. Closed-casket ceremony of course... no one wants to remember you with fried eyes and balls ..." he paused, inhaling another draw from his cigarette. "Then, the gravediggers will lower your fried remains six feet deep, and shovel dirt on top of you. The End. Isn't that a nice little bedtime story?"

"You son-of-a-bitch!" Victor shouted, reaching across the table, grabbing him around the throat. "You damned son-of-a-bitch- I'll kill you-- I'll choke the stinkin' life out of your fuckin' scrawny ass!"

Guards pulled him off Chance while Victor continued to curse and threaten him. They shackled his feet again, cuffing his hands, locking them to his foot shackles, proceeding to lead Victor to the door, taking him back to his cell.

Wait. Leave him," Chance instructed the guards. "As long as he's in restraints, he can't harm me. I've not concluded this visit yet."

The guards nodded to Chance and left Victor's feet and hands shackled together, and left the room.

"Mr. Jarrett, now that you've gotten your pent-up feelings outwardly expressed, let's continue our little visit, all right? If that scenario upsets you and isn't to your liking, or satisfaction, I can offer an outstanding counter offer. Freedom from your incarceration."

"Freedom? Counter offer?" Victor asked. "You're threatin' me and won't tell me who you're with, or who you are. Why should I trust you?"

"I certainly sympathize with your concerns, Mr. Jarrett. However, this is all that you will be told. Death by electrocution, or freedom."

"What freedom? You mean free to walk out of this place? See my sister, and live happily ever after?"

"Well not exactly, Mr. Jarrett. You will be free from this prison. Free from the confinement of your cell."

"What do you mean, "not exactly"? Free from this prison and my cell?' There's only one kind of freedom-- best of my 'nowledge."

"Your freedom is not without boundaries and restrictions. Limitations, if you will. I won't deny that, Mr. Jarrett. It's freedom from this particular incarceration, and freedom from your inevitable execution in six days, sixteen hours--"

"Yeah, yeah, I know-- So, what kind of freedom you talkin' 'bout? What are these conditions of this freedom, 'you're offerin'? Just tell me that. These restrictions? What do I gotta do to get this freedom? And, why are you offerin' it? What do you gain out of this deal?"

"The only condition you will have, Mr. Jarrett, is a condition of confinement in very luxurious surroundings-- living  extremely well," Chance told him, ignoring Victor's last question about what he had to personally gain.

The bastard's lying through his store-bought teeth, and hiding something from me, Victor thought with contempt.

Chance grinned a Cheshire cat grin. "Does that entice you and please you?"

"I need to think 'bout this." Victor knew something didn't add up right. I smell a rat, he thought.

Rising from his chair, Mr. Chance ran his well-manicured hands across the front of his pants, smoothing the wrinkles from his expensive Italian suit. He smugly informed Victor, "This will be, and is, my final offer. And, this will be, and is, your final chance. You see, Mr. Jarrett, I am your last chance-- no pun intended." Chance nodded at the surveillance camera, signaling his request for an exit.

Victor sat staring, unaware of the door opening and Mr. Chance leaving. What the hell just happened here? This can't be real-- it's just a fuckin' dream, he thought. Who is this stranger and why'd he give me an ultimatum? Why not offer this to someone else--why me?


Chapter Four

Gloomily, the saddened day surged a chilly rain like it had at Trisha's mother's funeral. She knew it was her brother's debut into Heaven to be reunited with their mother, and Victor would finally be at peace. She tried to convince herself of that, as the preacher delivered his final prayer, and everyone concluded with an, "Amen."

P.J. and Richard, gently cupping an elbow each, guided Trisha over to Victor's casket,where they each respectfully laid a rose on his coffin. 'Trisha previously wrote a letter to Victor, not being given an opportunity to mail it before his final days, and placed it under the roses that adorned his coffin. The letter signed off with their usual, 'Aquene.' But this time is was good-bye.

******

Back at Facility's lab, Audrey prepared the necessary vials, syringes, and instruments, she needed for the day. She planned to extract blood and tissue samples from her volunteer for examination and research.

Computer announced in its calm, and composed voice that her volunteer had arrived on time.

Her heart fluttered, skipping its normal rhythm, as she gathered her clipboard of notes, IQ tests, and questionnaires. She located the flash cards and an old-fashioned ink spot test, then changed her mind about the latter. The cards were much the same, however more reliable in its interpretation of an accurate evaluation.

She hadn't anticipated the fortuity of being so nervous. There was the ominous possibility of failure. The long and tedious hours with sleepless nights, and her high expectations with terminating disappointments, had been like an emotional roller-oaster ride. She should've been used to it, but wasn't.

Two robotic sentries came through the lab door escorting the volunteer. He was securely clutched in their mechanical hands and was blindfolded. Sizing him up in a brief moment, she thought he appeared to be everything Chance had described. Her wish had come true.

"Remove the blindfold, Ethan," she ordered one robot.

"Yes, Dr. Towles," the perfunctory sentry compliantly answered.

After the anthropomorphic creature did as she'd told him, he stood in wait of his next command as programmed.

"Who are you-- where am I?" the subject asked her, while looking around the room. "And why'd I have to be drugged and knocked out?" he added, frightened and groggy from the Thorozine.

"I'm Dr. Towles. You're in my laboratory. Sit down and be comfortable. It was necessary to drug and blindfold you in order to keep the Facility's location unidentifiable. It's in your best interest. We have some tests to begin before we proceed further," telling him politely with an entwined question of courtesy. She offered him a stool to sit on by the counter where a tray of gleaming instruments laid coldly in waiting nearby and ready to perform their dutiful jobs.

He sat down, not because she had told him to, but because he needed to. He felt like he'd seen this place somewhere before although he didn't remember where or when, or how it could have been possible.

Audrey picked up her clipboard, logging the date and time and wrote other essential data, then began to explain what she'd require. Without looking up, she informed him, "I don't know your full name or any of your personal data as yet. So I'll be asking some questions. Try to answer them as accurately as you possibly can, all right?"

"Victor? Victor what? I need your middle name, Mr. Jarrett. I already have your first and last name."

"Mark-- Victor Mark Jarrett. What else ya wanna know?"

"Thank you, Mr. Jarrett. I need your age, birth date, and medical history. I'll need you to fill out a medical questionnaire, just like the one you would complete at a doctor's office. Quite routine. All right?"

"I'm thirty-two, born November second, obviously thirty-two years ago," he snapped with acerbity, as referencing the year could make any difference after quoting his age.

"Good, Mr. Jarrett. Here's a pen and the medical questionnaire," she told him, handing them to him. "Go ahead and complete it for me, please. As soon as you're finished, let me know. I'll be over at the computer. When you're finished, I'll draw a sample of your blood for typing. I'll also obtain a small sample of tissue," she told him nervously. She didn't like his sarcastic attitude and couldn't understand why he made her feel so uncomfortable, but he did, "When I'm finished, Mr. Jarrett, we can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together while we talk, then I'll do some simple tests."

She made a fresh pot of coffee while thinking that Mr. Jarrett was a little laconic and caustic for a man who volunteered for research. He looked somewhat unusual because he was bald. She hadn't had contact with the outside world in a long time, and wondered if it were some new fashion she was unaware of.

"Why do you need my blood and tissue samples? What's this all 'bout? What are you gonna do to me? What am I, some kinda of guinea pig or somethin'?" Victor asked, scared and worried about what he'd gotten himself into. Chance conveniently hadn't told him about any medical testing. Figures, he thought, Chance wouldn't tell the truth if his own mother's life depended on it.

"The samples are routine and necessary for my tests. I'll explain the rest of the procedures as we move a long, Mr. Jarrett." She didn't understand his line of questioning. He volunteered for the job. Didn't he understand what it entailed? she wondered, or did Chance not tell him everything? I certainly wouldn't put it past the bastard. It fit his egocentric forte.

Audrey extracted a few vials of Victor's blood and harvested a small tissue sample for the DNA study just as she had explained. It was time to evaluate his psychological aspect then gather the data necessary to begin her experiment.

"All right Mr. Jarrett. Join me over at my desk for coffee and some questions. They'll sound silly and might insult your intelligence, but don't let it offend you. I promise they're just routine questions and tests. There's really no right or wrong answers."

They seated themselves opposite each other at the desk. She poured coffee, placed a mug in front of him, and picked up her flash cards to begin.

"I want you to look at the card then instinctively tell me the first thought that flashes through your mind. Don't think about it and don't hesitate. That's why they're called 'flash cards' all right?" she asked him, as cordially as she could, trying not to affront him.

She turned on the cassette recorder and held up a card for him to view. "What does this remind you of?"

"Looks like a field-- a grassy field-- like a meadow," he responded, trying to appear as intelligent as he could. He knew he wasn't really stupid, but sometimes people thought he was because he wasn't educated. He knew he wasn't the brightest star in the sky, but wasn't dumb.

Audrey continued holding cards up, one after another, as Victor responded.

"A man on a horse-- like a knight or somethin' A child swingin' on a tire swing. A table with books scattered on it. My barn on the farm, like the one that I grew up on-- this place--- cold and blank-- a hideous monster, he answered spontaneously, over and over again, as she held them up in view.

"I think that's enough for today, Mr. Jarrett." She'd become upset at the direction the test had taken. She noticed Victor's voice had changed, sounding eerie as he described the cards. The tone made her feel creepy.

She summoned the robotic sentry, Teeger, who would guard Victor and hold him directly in custody twenty-four hours a day. "Mr. Jarrett, I would like to introduce you to Teeger, your companion-- Teeger, this is Mr. Jarrett," she said, inaugurating them. "Teeger, place the neck band on Mr. Jarrett, please."

"Wait a minute! Neck band-- what neck band? What the fuck? What's is it?" he yelled in protest. He tried unsuccessfully to grab the neck band and fend off the robot at the same time.

"It's a necessary precautionary measure, Mr. Jarrett. That's all. It won't harm you as long as you obey the rules. And please, don't try to fight the sentries. You won't win. I promise you. They're designed to defeat any, and all, aggression and hostility. The robots have preprogramed computer brains. You can't out smart them, out fight them, control or dominate, any given situation," she warned in effort to keep peace.

"If this is som' "precautionary measure," Victor mocked, "that means it's goin' to hurt me and do somethin' to me. I'm not stupid, you know. What'll it do-- how does it work? And why do I have to wear it 'round my neck?" he asked, blindly examining it with his fingers while inimically demanding answers from her.

"It's operated by our main computer, Mr. Jarrett. Everything in the Facility is. If you should try to voluntarily leave, wander about unescorted, or become violent and threatening, Computer will activate the homing device and get matters under control."

"A homin' device? How will 'puter get matters under control?" he asked, mimicking her again. He was now more concerned about his present situation than he'd been just moments earlier.

"Computer can and will, activate the program to either-- subject you to an electrical shock rendering you unconscious, or to render you dead. It's Computer's discretion," she informed him. She'd hoped her vivid description would have an deterrent effect.

Teeger escorted him to his quarters where he would remain confined until Audrey could evaluate the psychological tests and study his DNA samples.

She didn't like the regulations or like the necessity of keeping Mr. Jarrett under custody. Or the need for him to wear a neck band. She knew it had been designed for her safety in case he should have second thoughts about volunteering. But it didn't cause her to like it anymore.


Chapter Five

Chance lingered in telecommunication limbo while Computer published his astringent presence to Audrey. She hadn't been able to digest her conversations with him, regardless of the years of his counterfeit niceties.

"Put him through, Computer," she announced, agitated.

"Audrey, my dear-- I trust the subject has arrived and testing is underway. Isn't he everything I said he was?" he boasted, drawing from his special blended cigarette in his usual arrogant fashion.

"Chance, I don't have time for your charades-- and don't be so translucent. You're quite aware of my current status. What's this call really about?"

"I can appreciate your momentous and valuable time, so I'll get to the point. D.D. wants you to take the experiment to a more broader level. Further than simply an increased IQ."

"What "broader level"? And for what reason?" she asked, chewing on her pencil. She realized what she was doing and stopped, laying the gnarled pencil down. She didn't trust Chance or the D.D. and knew anything they could ask for and want, wouldn't be in agreement with her principals and morals.

"D.D. wants your subject to have increased intelligence, as you've already consummated, and also an aggrandized physical strength with greater infrangibility," he told her, evading her last question as he customarily did. He loved playing these games with her. It was such a challenge of minds, although he knew he was far superior.

"Chance, this could take time. I'm not sure of success in this area of recombinant genes. Why does the D.D. want such exaggerated elements?"

"Your goal is to produce the ultimate soldier for battle. He must be the ultimate fighting machine with superior intellect, superior strength, and a superior capacity, to survive disease and even survive germ warfare. You can obtain data on the research from the Germ Warfare Department in Section 4-G."

"What time frame am I to work in? Do I have a window to factor? And, is Mr. Jarrett willing to go that far?"

"Oh, Mr. Jarrett will cooperate with your experiment. If there should be any reluctance or resistance, let me know. I can handle Mr. Jarrett just fine. After all, I did recruit him didn't I?" Chance bragged, as he inhaled his cigarette. "Your time frame was yesterday, Dr. Towles."

"All right, Chance. I need to cut this short at this point and start my work and the new research," she told him, terminating their conversation abruptly.

Audrey introduced her new IQ gene that she'd treated with 'B-4,' into Victor's chromosomal gene sample and inserted the petri plate in the ECU for the necessary environmental control it required. It needed to be perfect for the gene to join his DNA fragments in order to produce the ultimate gene. If successful, she would name it 'Ultra IV.'  She'd know if it was
successful by morning if all went as she'd calculated, and all that was left to do was add the plasmid and inoculate Victor tomorrow.

She turned on audio mode. "Computer-- analyze DNA. Subject, Victor Mark Jarrett. Analyze 'B-4,' new IQ gene-- conjoined. Give data results," ordering, hoping to get a jump on tomorrow's results. She needed to know Computer's evaluation. Would it be the same as hers? she questioned.

"ANALYSIS HAS BEEN COMPLETED.

WOULD YOU LIKE THE DATA RESULTS NOW, DR. TOWLES?"

"Computer-- yes. Print hard copy and display on monitor, please."

Computer's monitor screen displayed its logical results:

DNA SUBJECT; NEW B-4 GENE = CONJOINED B-4 GENE SUCCESSFUL

NEW GENETIC LIBRARY AND GENE CLUSTERS SUBJECT'S MULTIFACTORIAL

CHROMOSOMES CONJOINED WILL RESULT IN SUPERIOR INTELLECT IQ

UNLIMITED IN THIS SUBJECT

According to my theory and calculations, the result will be successful tomorrow. It'll splice with his chromosomes and reprogram his genes producing superior intellect, she thought.  But she had failed to comprehend Computer's data had displayed "IQ UNLIMITED IN THIS SUBJECT."

 

******

Victor Jarrett wasn't agreeing with his new surroundings quite as much as he thought he would and previously had anticipated. It was nice, but eerie. It felt as confining as his cell had been, only larger. He figured just about any place would have been better than the restrictions of his cell, but he might have been wrong. And he disliked the damned robot, Teeger. The stupid thing stood staring at him like the guards did at the prison. The eeriness only added to the apprehension he'd already felt, and he was becoming more nervous and edgy about being there. At least at the prison, he'd had control of his surroundings and was used to it.

He looked down at the circular bandage and gauze patch on the crease of his arm, both which Dr. Towles had carefully placed, and suddenly felt like he'd gone through some kind of expensive, elaborate tests. He felt like a patient that had checked into a swank, private hospital, or a resort for the rich, but with restrictions. He knew it was different, and not as it appeared.

But, if it was a resort and not this damned place, I'd have benefits that only the fuckin' rich had. I could get gorgeous women to come in and give me an oil massage ... and room service with som' female one-on-one recreation... It'd be really great 'cause I've spent six fucckin' long years without a woman's company, he thought, using his power of thought control that he'd perfected throughout the years of incarceration. It was an acquired method of survival; the way to keep one's sanity in an insane and unbearable situation.

Victor acknowledged his quarters were beautiful and luxurious beyond his expectations. Chance hadn't lied about that. But he couldn't figure out why there weren't any windows. That's one thing he had looked forward to-- windows. A lot of windows. He didn't know what was going on with the tests and robot and his required confinement. He knew Chance had set him up for something he'd probably not liked but, had figured it would be better than living in prison and waiting to be executed. He seemed to be figuring everything wrong. This wasn't exactly what he'd imagined, or he'd bargained for... He felt like he'd sold his soul to the devil. And Chance was the devil.


Chapter Six

Victor looked around his new quarters. He found a device mounted on the wall. Not knowing what it was, he took a closer look. It was a service elevator with instructions mounted on the front. It explained the procedures for ordering food and beverages. What the fuck? It's built-in room service. He read them, then punched his selection in the keypad.

Fifteen minutes later, a computerized voice announced his selection was ready for removal. Removing the tray from the compartment, he set it down on the table and looked at it, enjoying the luxury of its convenience. It had dramatically changed his mood for the better.

The tray held a plate, fork, spoon, and knife-- all were disposable and not any different han prison utensils. He finished the full dinner and dessert, all of it like he always did, admitting it was good food, and was a nice amenity being able to order whatever, and whenever he pleased on a whim.

Deciding to check out the rest of his quarters, he found the built-in television, including programmable movies-- but it didn't have national broadcasting. Yeah, I can program anything I want, and no more fightin' som' jerk over what to watch, he thought as he continued checking things out like a child in a toy store. There was an exercise machine built into the wall, like everything was, and was very high tech, obviously better than the manual push-ups he was accustomed to every morning.

There were books, a lot of books, and artificial plants and trees, a built-in saltwater aquarium covering one wall, a shelf full of video games, and a computer. He hadn't seen a computer before, and didn't know how to use one, but there were instructions and a list of the games in alphabetical order, including checkers which he enjoyed. He thought about how he
wouldn't miss playing with the jerks at the prison and their mindless strategy, and cheating.

The bathroom was like something out of a sci-fi movie, it had a computerized shower, a sunken bathtub, and a hot tub. There was a urinal and a shitter in separate rooms, and protruding from the wall as if suspended, was a sink with weird attached devices. There wasn't any running water for the sink, but instead, used a laser for sterilizing your hands.

The prison served small quantities of food, which didn't satisfy his big appetite, and he hadn't been used to eating so little. But the full dinner made him sleepy. Victor walked into the bedroom and saw the bed. It had a built-in vibrator to gently massage him to sleep, and plush bedding, Much better than a damn hard cot, he thought, fluffing his thick comforter. He laid in peaceful, vibrating comfort, staring at the ceiling thinking he hadn't seen any possible opportunity to escape. But after all, it was just the first day.

Audrey neatly tucked herself in for the night. She elected to take a sedative along with a cup of her favorite chamomile tea, envisioning a peaceful nights sleep. She was feeling soothed and satisfied, and possessed the notion that a beneficial eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, would make her a new woman. She knew she had to get to the lab early, then finished her tea and turned out the lights. She wiggled down beneath the covers for the night, lying in the dark, thinking about how she wanted to use her research to benefit the mentally impaired. It would be a wonderful breakthrough for victims of Down Syndrome and mental retardation. But, my research isn't to help the impaired, but to create a killing machine for D.D., on that last horrid thought, she fell asleep.

******

Victor Jarrett sat nervously as Audrey tightened the elastic band around his upper arm, preparing to inject him. This is it. In approximately twenty-four hours, give or take an hour, I'll know the results. This was what she'd wished for. Now, she was wishing that it wouldn't take more than another cup of coffee to get the results.

"What's that?" Victor asked, looking at the syringe. He was hoping it was just vitamins or something, but figured it was something else that he wouldn't want. Something he wouldn't have asked for, if given a choice, "I don't want any shots. I'm fine-- I'm not sick."

"I've developed a serum, Mr. Jarrett, that if successful, will increase your current IQ to a possible genius status. Wouldn't you prefer to be more intelligent?"

"Genius? You mean like som' weird Einstein or somethin'? But why? What's your reason for wantin' me to be so smart? Aren't you afraid I'll be smarter than you-- then you'd be my subject--  and I'd be the scientist?"

That statement shocked and worried her. She hadn't thought about the subject becoming superior to her. She'd been so wrapped up and buried in the possibilities and probabilities of the experiment, she hadn't considered any potential hazards. She quickly assured herself of the fact that she had the upper hand, regardless of his probable superior intellect. He was controllable and proffered no threat. She ordered Teeger to take him back to his quarters where she would monitor him by video camera-- just in case there would be any serious or unforeseen side effects.

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...she hadn't thought about the subject becoming superior to her....

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