“Are you comfortable?” It was a female voice.
The young soldier moved to brush a strand of hair from her face and was caught fast by her restraints. She settled for blowing at it. Good enough. “As comfortable as I’m going to be.”
“Good, though I suppose this will be the last time you’ll be concerned with physical comfort, hmm?” The doctor chuckled, stepping into view. The soldier did not share in her mirth.
The doctor looked over the notes attached to her clipboard. She arched an eyebrow. “You’re getting the experimental treatment! Oh, my but you’re lucky.”
“Am I?” The soldier looked unsure.
“You are. Usually this procedure leaves you with significantly improved strength, agility, and so forth. You lose a bit of your humanity, of course. This new experimental treatment will enhance all those abilities, while also giving you elemental control!”
“Elemental… Like lightning, or something? But it’s experimental…”
“It all is, dear. You’ll be fine.” The doctor affixed a white plastic mask to the soldier’s face, ending the conversation.
The mask had two holes for the soldier’s eyes, and nothing else. Those eyes were widening. “I can’t breathe!” Her voice was muffled.
“No worries! You won’t need to for much longer.” The doctor smiled. She stepped back, nodding to a pair of unseen assistants.
Two men in white bio-hazard containment suits stepped forward. Each had an uncomfortably large syringe. The doctor stepped behind a clear protective shield.
She pressed a button on a control panel behind the shield. The soldier’s limbs were further restrained. The sudden movement caused her to cry out. She was trembling, fighting to breathe.
“Quickly, now.” The assistants jabbed their needles into the upper arms of the soldier, who unleashed a muffled scream. She became very still.
“The apparatus! Be quick about it!” The doctor studied the mask on the soldier’s face. The faintest trace of blue light was glowing up through the eye holes. “Time is short.”
One of the assistants rolled a large white apparatus over the soldier’s head. The other assistant grabbed a disc-shaped device attached to it and stretched it down over the mask until it clicked in place. The assistant stared into the soldier’s eyes. They were now glowing a brilliant blue.
“Get him out of there!” The other assistant grabbed at the first, who shrugged him off violently. The first assistant produced a second, smaller needle and jabbed it into the second assistant.
The second man went limp in the assistant’s arms. He dragged him out of the room. The doctor shook her head. “We must work on that.”
The doctor pressed a series of buttons. The apparatus over the soldier began to hum. The doctor spoke into a recorder. “Experiment four-two-zero commencing.” She turned a dial. The light coming through the mask intensified.
The soldier began to scream. “Unusual. Did we wait too long?” The doctor pressed a large red button and held her breath.
The blue light intensified and brightened, filling the room with a blue-white light. “That’s better.” An alarm sounded from the control panel. “What’s this?”
The light continued to intensify. The doctor drew a shade to block the light, but found herself squinting at the display before her. “My god…”
The soldier began to scream again. This time she did not stop. The light began to take on a crimson hue. The soldier strained against her restraints, snapping one, then another, then another…
Soon the room was bathed in blood-red light. The soldier began to tear at her clothes. The doctor sounded a general alarm in the complex. She turned back to the soldier.
Her uniform was on the ground in tatters, the apparatus separated. Red light streamed through her mask’s eye-holes. She started tearing at her own flesh.
The doctor sighed. She flipped a clear cover up off a glowing red button and pressed it. A stream of brilliant green light particles washed over the soldier. She screamed for the last time. Her body was torn and disintegrated by the plasma beam.
“Experiment four-two-zero, rated as failure. Reason, unknown.” The doctor took a deep breath. She watched as guards poured into the room. “The threat has been neutralized.”
She stepped from behind the protective shield and approached the remains of the soldier. She was little more than blood and ash. “Very unfortunate.” She turned to one of the guards. “Are they still serving pizza in the commissary?”