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Pain: so sharp it erases everything with its presence, turns my senses numb. I’m screaming, flailing – pulling against my restraints.

“Subject 23 going in. Note length of entrance, and if she’s still seizing in two minutes, dose her again.”

“Subject 27 unresponsive; unhook the monitors and put him with the others.”

“Subject 20 is connected and stable.”

The voices filter through the muffled roar in my head. My body seizes again and again involuntarily as my consciousness hovers above, a helpless observer.

Slowly . . . slowly . . . my body settles. My mind quiets and the pain dims, taking the voices with it. I want to blink, to wiggle my toes – something to prove I’m still in control. That I’m still here in my body even though my mind feels a million miles away.

Light spears through the black. I try to wince, to hide from it.


“23’s pupils are unusually responsive. Give her anot–”