Later that evening, long after lights out, he heard his ‘father’s’ voice. Deep and guttural.
Tonight is the night, my son. It is the night you begin your ascent to the seat of honor. Prepare yourself.Still asleep, his muscles began to involuntarily contract. First, a slight tremor coursed through his body. Then his limbs twitched. His hands and feet followed, jerking up and down in quick, sudden movements. Fully awake, the twitching grew more exaggerated. Soon the spasmodic movement contained itself to his torso, it quaked with such force the security officers were afraid he would injure himself. Soon, he convulsed to such an extent that his entire body rose above the bed before crashing back down.
An officer grabbed the in-house phone and dialed #001. “Doc, you better come see this.” No response. He pushed the panic button that rang in Dr. Osgood’s residence and summoned the guards.
“Doc,” security screamed, “there’s something wrong with 54112. Looks like he’s having seizures.”
Dr. Osgood threw off his bed covers and grabbed the phone. “On my way. Nobody is to enter the cell until I get there, understood?”
“Yes, sir, I’ll relay that message.” He turned his attention to the intercom. “All personnel are to stand down, I repeat, stand down. No one is to enter cell 54112 without Dr. Osgood’s permission. This is a direct order.”
The thrashing settled into a rhythmic movement, the muscle twitching took on a certain cadence. Standing in his cell, he stared directly at the security camera. Following each contraction or thrust, a non-intelligible noise emanated from his throat. The more he screamed and convulsed, the more non-human he appeared. His mouth foamed and his eyes rolled. His mouth and eyes were as white as the rest of his room.
Dr. Osgood stormed into the observation room. Without addressing the security guard, his eyes locked on the screen.
“What’s going on, Doc?”
He looked away from the live feed long enough to answer. “I can’t be sure. I think he may be having some sort of physiological reaction to the major breakthrough that occurred in yesterday’s treatment session. He must be restrained before he self-mutilates.” Osgood bit the corner of his lower lip in concern. He may be having an adverse reaction to the drastic increase in the psychotropic drug dosage I administered.
The guard took immediate action and depressed the intercom button. “Attention, we have a Code One in cell 54112. Restrain the inmate and wait for further orders from Dr. Osgood.”
Osgood left the observation room, and ran down the hall toward the incarceration wing. By the time he arrived, the inmate had already been placed in a straightjacket. The restraint however, did nothing to stop the convulsions, nor did it stop the screaming.
When the doctor looked at the inmate, he swore the man was telling him something, but all he heard was verbal chant that was neither intelligible nor communicative. The doctor was so concerned with the quality of the voice, he didn’t pay attention to the words or utterances. He was accustomed to the man’s non-emotional, high-pitched, effeminate voice. This voice was base and guttural. It was though someone else’s voice was coming from his patient’s mouth.
“We’ll have to sedate him,” Doctor Osgood said, pulling a syringe from his lab coat pocket. “Hold him down.”
The guards grabbed the inmate. With every ounce of their strength, they pinned the already-restrained inmate to his bed. Dr. Osgood injected a fast-acting sedative. The effect was almost immediate.
“Get a gurney and transport him to the medical wing. There, I’ll be able to run some tests.”
The prisoner was lifted from bed to gurney where he was strapped down and shackled for safety. The guards wheeled him to the psych ward, or ‘laboratory,’ as they called it, the same area they had retrieved a calm, well-mannered prisoner seven hours earlier.
The doctor, the only person with keys to this area of Dreamland, ran ahead to unlock the doors to the medical facility. By the time the guards arrived with the inmate, he was busy filling another syringe with two more medications.
“What’s that, Doc?”
“A long-lasting sedative. Roll him on his side, please.”
As they followed the doctor’s orders, 54112 awoke and immediately began screaming and thrashing. Angrier and harsher than before.
“My God, hold him down before he hurts himself!”
“We’re trying,” the first guard yelled. “It’s not him we’re worried about.”
Struggling to hold him still, the other guard yelled, “You’d better be quick with that needle.”
Dr. Osgood drove the two-inch needle deep into 54112’s hip.
“Argh,” the inmate screamed as the needle penetrated his muscle. Doctor Osgood depressed the plunger, releasing the medication into the man’s bloodstream. Within seconds the fight left him. He lay still and quiet as a corpse.
“Is he dead?”
“No, but he’ll be dead to the world for about twelve hours. You can let go of him.”
With hesitation, the guards released prisoner #54112, half expecting him to wake up and start his wild movements again. They stepped back and took a deep breath, relieved their fears hadn’t come to fruition.
“Excuse me, Doc,” Mickey said, “but if you don’t need us anymore, we need to report back to our posts.”
“Hmm?” Dr. Osgood’s mind was elsewhere.
“Hmm, yes, I apologize. You’re dismissed. Thank you both for your quick response.”
“That’s what you pay us for,” Mickey said. He looked at the unconscious inmate, “Are you sure he’s not gonna wake up soon?”
“Highly unlikely. Jonas…” his voice trailed, knowing he had made a mistake. Dr. Osgood hesitated for a second, waiting to see if either guard reacted to what he had let slip. When they didn’t, he continued, “Inmate 54112 will be out for at least twelve hours because of the sedatives he just received.”
As the guards turned to leave, the doctor said, “One more thing. Please remove the restraints so that I’m able to perform the medical tests I need.”
They looked at each other, disbelief on their faces, then at Dr. Osgood. “Doc, that’s not a good idea,” the second guard said. “You saw how violent he became, even after you gave him that first shot.”
“Jim, I appreciate your concern, but I know what I’m doing. Please remove the inmate’s restraints.”
Jim looked at his partner and shrugged. “The Doc’s in charge, Mickey. Let’s do as he says.”
“Whatever. Let’s just get it over with and get out of here. This place gives me the creeps.”
Once they’d removed the straightjacket, Jim said, “I’m gonna leave the jacket here, just in case. If he stirs, hit the panic button. We’ll be right back.”
“Thank you. You’re dismissed.”
On the walk back to their posts, Jim said, “Hey, Mickey, did you hear what he called him?”
“Yeah, sure did,” Mickey replied in a muffled tone. “He called him Jonas. That psycho really is the Omega Butcher. I never would have believed it.”
“Me neither. He’s so small. He looks almost like a boy, ya know?”
“Yup, I was thinking the same thing. Where the heck did all his strength come from?”
“I don’t know, but we now know how he was able to overpower those poor girls.”