The night sky.
He flew upright as the sudden rush of oxygen filled his lungs. Lungs that had stopped. Lungs that were dead.
Hands came to his chest and sides, trying desperately to hold him down, but with little effort he pushed them away. His eyes darted from left to right and continued around the room, his enclosure flashing before him in bright bursts as the visions registered with his mind.
He knew this day had been coming, but why had it taken so long? There was no Blue Lady waiting for him, nobody to protect him. Max had come for the briefest of moments then left again, never to speak a word to him. Zack had done the same. Though his stay had been longer, but Zack was never one for words. Tinga was there, but she had been angry at him, angry for what he had done. He didn’t care.
The hands came to his side again, trying to force him down once more. When he wouldn’t give in to their attempts, he felt the sudden burn of electric shocks bolting through his side. He lent back onto the padded surface he lay, convulsing slightly.
He let the convulsions steady before he looked upon the man who barked the order.
“We just thawed the thing out for God’s sake.”
He tried to talk but the words seemed to be caught, unable to release themselves.
“I wouldn’t bother trying if I were you. It’ll be at least a day before you can speak again.”
His vision blurred, the man before him remaining unfocused. All of his senses were going wild, as though they had just been born into this world.
He could hear the voices around him, voices that would be unheard by the human ear. He tried to listen but the clear words jumbled in his brain, messages becoming mixed as it returned to life. To its function.
The power that he had first experienced drained from his body as the world he had returned to became heavy and he felt himself returning to the darkness. Though not the darkness of death, the darkness of life. It engulfed his mind and body and soon took him into a deep slumber.
His lids fluttered, small shards of light embarking on his eyes. He heard them make the call. To tell the man that he was awake.
That was all White needed to say. He was there, on the other side of the one way glass, watching 493 as he awoke. He couldn’t stop the grin that was resting on his face. A grin at the utter stupidity of Sandeman and anyone else that was involved with Manticore. Sandeman had created the transgenics to stop the familiars, but this one creation lying in the room before him was going to help their plans come to pass. Sandeman and all he now stood for would fail, by his own handy work.
But that was not the only reason for the grin. He was going to finally get 452 and 494 and make them pay for all the trouble they had caused him. After the hostage situation in Seattle, not only had the Conclave looked down on him, the government had as well. They denounced him as leader and sent him on a scavenger hunt, once more searching for any unwanted transgenic disturbance. The Conclave were happy with his new position, in no way helping him to keep his stature. To them he had failed one too many times, but this time would be different. This time he would find the two pieces of transgenic scum and this time they would pay. And it would be at the hands of one of their own.
He marvelled at the sight of it. At the thing before him that had been dead two days ago, but now lay there regaining consciousness because of this whacked up facility. There were others within these walls. Walls that had been hidden from the general public and from most of Manticore’s staff. Walls that held transgenics that had died, their bodies being harvested, tested or made ready to return to this world. 493 was one of the latter, his bones regenerated, awaiting to be brought back to life. All that had been needed was the order and nothing gave an order quite like a gun to the head. White always enjoyed that part, scaring the Manticore freaks into helping him. It’s amazing what idle threats can accomplish.
White raised himself from his seat, straightened his suit jacket and moved toward the next room. It was time for his plan to move into action. Time was of the essence here and he would take all that it needed to finally be rid of 494 and 452. For good.
He heard the door open and the man enter. He opened his eyes slowly, giving them a moment to take in the light. Light that was not as harsh as earlier.
The room began to take a darker tone as the man moved across and dimmed the lights, allowing him to focus on the man who now stood before him.
He was not tall, but obviously strong in mind and body. The people around him cowered slightly when he entered the room. He was certainly a man of power.
“You can see me can’t you?”
He stared at the man and nodded, his form still clearing into focus.
“Good, because I don’t want you to forget my face 493, because it’s the face that will be giving you orders from now on. Do you understand?”
Ben stared at him, without reply.
“Now 493, is that the way you treat your commander? I said do you understand?”
Ben cleared his throat and tried to answer.
His voice was scratchy, but the words formed.
“Good. You are to get cleaned up and report to me in twenty minutes. Do you understand?”
Two guards moved towards him and released him from his restraints. White stalked closer to him, sure to exude power in his step.
“Don’t think of pulling anything either 493. I have no problem snapping your neck. Again.”
With that White, his new commander, left the room. Ben rose a hand to his neck, the scenes in the forest returning to him. He was not sure where or why he was back, but he knew one thing. He was a good soldier and he would obey his commanders orders.