Todays’s NaPoWriMo prompt asks me to write something I wasn’t really keen on. So I wrote something else instead (which is why these prompts are optional)!
I wrote a poem about a research subject that had been injected with experimental nanobots and put through tests to discover the limits.
It started small.
Cuts. Abrasions. Even hangnails.
All of them vanished in seconds.
Vanished is my word.
It’s really the process of having the bleeding gash in my skin knitted back together by an army of tiny bots.
Tiny is too big.
We’re talking nanometers — machines only one one-billionth of a meter in size.
“It’s the histamine,” Dr. Blake told him once. “It brings them like wolves to a dying deer. If anything breaks your skin and triggers a pain response? It’s their dinner bell.”
They were an unseen force feasting on my all too real and visible damage.
Millions of little hands lashing and weaving the wound closed, leaving only new skin and meat in its wake.
But not without pain.
Oh, No! Not by a long shot!
I believe the technical term is “hurts like hell” when compared to cuts from my past.
Each instant repair would flood my brain with pure agony.
The kind of pain that makes you grit your teeth hard enough to break something.
On the bright side, cuts turned out to be the easy tests.
I wished for the days when they would just cut me.
Cuts are tickles compared to gunshots.
It started with a single bullet.
They would aim each shot at a different part of my body to gauge the reaction, time the response, push to limits.
Consciousness was a privilege in those days.
Especially when the bar kept being raised to include three-round groupings, center mass hits, and the time they tried the “cloud of metal”.
When bullets hit you at close range sometimes the pain reaches you before the sound.
I would like that memory to only be about the flashes the array of automatic weapons made and nothing more.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the most pain I had ever felt.
It’s amazing how one bullet can make you pass out, but a dozen will give you razor-sharp focus.
Maybe it’s my fight or flight response trying to save my life.
All I wanted to do was forget and here comes my brain to give me a hand in my darkest hour.
Where were you when I wanted to pass out?
You were helping me enjoy every minute of an otherwise horrifying day.
Only that day was about to pale in comparison to this one I was about to have.
You could call them sadists, but sadists get pleasure out of this kind of torture.
Instead, these guys put on a lab coat and called it science.
Thankfully, my brain allowed me to check out on a few of those days.
What I really wanted to do was turn the pain off completely.
The kept saying that it was “theoretically possible” but that by keeping the pain turned on, it allowed them to measure my body’s response system more efficiently.
See? Pals all around!
What does “theoretically” even mean?
To me, it sounded like they could do it, but didn’t just tho see the expression on my face.
I wanted to use the same power that arrives time and time to heal my broken body to turn the dial down the pain.
Even if it’s only for a moment.
And all they could say was: “Sorry”.
They would say it had something to do with the process that uses my neurotransmitters to communicate with the Q.
That’s geekiness for, “Maybe in version two.”
Instead, I was getting a full helping of all the raw suffering that cutting edge science has to offer.
That’s when I knew they loved The Q more than me.
A fancy term for the microcomputer they had fused to the base of my skull over 6-months ago. Or has it been a year?
The QBD is really they’re shorthand for the Quantum Boss Driver.
You would think the propeller-hats would call it QBD like a proper military man would.
The nerds nicknamed it “The Queen” — “Q” for short.
They think of it as a “her” and likened her army if little helpers – my personal hoard of pain faeries – to a hive of bees.
It’s fitting when you think about it.
They do sting like a thousand bees as they work.
Without The Q, none of the sufferings they’ve put me through would have healed.
She controls all the magic flowing through my blood.
It’s not real magic, but the unbelievable stuff you find in science-fiction novels — the horror genre kind.
Over a hundred of the little robotic pain monkeys can fit onto the head of a pin, or at least that’s what the propeller-hats tell me.
I’m the home to about 8-million of them.
They’re what these guys are really focused on.
I’m just the host to they’re little science project.
The Q and her hive mates are living rent-free in my body.
I’m just the exciting container they drag to all their dog and pony shows.
“Come look at the freak who can’t die!”
“Two bucks to see Thomas take a bullet to the grill and come up smiling!”
Some Astronaut I turned out to be.
Now all I’ve been lately is a sideshow spaceman with a bloodstream full of expensive gadgets.
“Today is a special day, Thomas.” Dr. Blake smiles when he lies.
I play along. “Why’s that? Did you decide on bigger bullets?”
“No. Today we’re moving on to Phase 4.” Dr. Blake shows me the large tomahawk he had hidden underneath a surgical draping.
“Phase 4 will test The Q’s capabilities with regards to limb detachment and regenerations.”
Awesome. My hosting costs continue to go up
Maybe I should have paid the bill.
Instead, I get to be wrong about the bullets.
Bullets used to be the worse thing that they had ever put me through.
Welcome to the land of much worse.
Population: me… and 8-million of my closest friends.