Chapter One: The Oracle Drug
The two men thought of themselves as “scientists”. The figure on the table, when she could think at all, thought of them as “monsters”. Of course, at the moment, she couldn’t think at all— at least, not coherently. Her mind was filled with nightmarish images. A sound somewhere between a whimper and a gag tore past the feeding tube in her throat.
But the two men didn’t care; they didn’t even really care about the experiment. All they cared about was profit.
And profit they would have in abundance, if they could get the Oracle Drug working.
One of the “scientists” checked the test subject’s vitals while the other checked the feeding tube. A thick, black sludge oozed through it, down the subject’s throat and into her digestive tract, from there entering her blood and seeping into her brain. This, the viscous, dull fluid before his eyes, was the Drug itself, the product of years of study and experimentation.
It was the source of the girl’s nightmares.
It was a poison of both body and mind.
The men in white coats didn’t care.
The drug was slowly, agonizingly killing the girl.
The men in white coats just didn’t care.
The test subject let out a strangled wail.
One of the Whitecoats glanced down at her, unconcerned. “It’s dreaming,” he said simply.
“It”. Never “she”. If they called it “she”, they might start thinking of it as human. They might start sympathizing with it, and sympathizing with the lab rat was unacceptable.
The wailing escalated, and the shorter Whitecoat winced. “Maybe we should unhook it. For just a little while.”
“And mess with the data? No.”
“Wait a minute— I think it’s saying something! It’s got a prophecy! Write down the time!” He pulled out a digital recorder and yanked the tube out of the subject’s throat. She made a slight retching noise, then spoke in a harsh, rasping voice—
“— And pain and blood and madness, and darkness and pain and blood and madness, and darkness—“
The taller Whitecoat slapped her. “Prophecy or tube,” he said, holding up the feeding tube to emphasize his threat.
“All I can see is him,” she said, in hushed tones. “He is condemned, like us—” she shifted her gaze to the shorter Whitecoat, and he saw black veins in the whites of her eyes— “and if you touch him with this drug, I will kill you myself.”
The taller Whitecoat growled, “Hold her mouth open.” The shorter man obeyed, prying her jaws apart. She thrashed for a moment, but soon gave up. The Drug hadn’t weakened her body much yet, but it had weakened her will.
The taller Whitecoat jammed the tube roughly down her throat, eliciting another gag.
Then everything went black.