The sound of an alarm blared into the small room where Jack McCoy slept. Its shrieking pulse jarred him quickly from his sleep. He sat up from his cot and rubbed his face in tiredness. He could hear dragging footsteps and dry coughing from other Subjects just on the other side of his door.
“Everyone out to the main room now!” came the voice of Dr. Roberts.
Jack yawned, stood up and changed into a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. He grabbed his toothbrush and headed out into the hallway where he crossed paths with his friend Randy, who slapped him in the ass as he passed by and jokingly said, “good game!”
“Prick!” Jack shot back at him.
“Fucking right buddy!” Randy hollered distantly.
Once inside the muggy bathroom, McCoy placed his toothbrush and toothpaste onto the sink and then found the toilet to relieve himself. The shower closest to the stall blasted full force with steam hovering quickly to the ceiling appearing like soggy, chimney smoke.
“You using any cold water or you just trying to melt your fucking skin off? Jack hollered above the torrential water as he pissed.
Jack flushed, zipped up, turned toward the shower stall and then hesitantly tip-toed to the still curtain. He stared at the white drape for a moment and twisted his head slightly to listen for anything from within beyond the sound of gushing water. Hearing nothing, Jack bit his lower lip, crinkled his forehead and scratched the prickly stubble formed on his right cheek. Something isn’t right he thought. He gripped the shower curtain, took a moment to breath and ripped it open. He looked down and saw a small Asian boy laying over the drain in the fetal position staring up in horror.
“What the fuck!” McCoy shouted down at the boy. “Who the hell are you? How did you get in here?”
The child did not respond and simply continued to stare into the air with wide eyes and mouth fully agape. Jack reached down to touch the boy’s arm and as he laid his hand upon him there came a flash of light and the next instant, the boy had become a man. Jack revolted from the new shape that had formed in front of him, it was the figure of Frank. Frank was one of the other subjects in the trial. Frank was an Asian man and the only oriental person in the group. Jack had never had the chance to speak with him, because Frank was usually off in the corner and completely out of contact with everyone.
“Frank… what the hell are you doing?”
Frank stared at Jack and stood up slowly. The naked man covered his private parts and shook his head in what appeared to be confusion.
“What the fuck just happened? I saw you as a boy, then I saw… you. Are you… feeling effects from the drug? Or is it me?” Jack asked as the five-minute timer clicked off and the water abruptly stopped.
Frank reached a shaking hand to his face and wiped the water off and combed back his dripping hair with his fingers. The Asian man, clearly shaken, inhaled slowly through his nostrils and exhaled from his mouth. He narrowed his dark, brown eyes as if looking for something inside of his mind. Then he looked into Jack's blue eyes, leaned in closely and whispered, “Everyone is… on drug,” with a thick Japanese accent. Frank then pushed Jack aside and rushed out of the bathroom saying not another word.
Jack scratched his head, utterly confused. He walked to the mirror where squeezed a glob of toothpaste onto the bent bristles of his brush and began scrubbing his teeth slowly and meticulously. His mind raced with many ideas about what had just happened. His thoughts splintered into a thousand different possibilities which made his stomach start to churn and his forehead burn-up. A few moments later, Jack shrugged and completed his business at the sink. He rubbed cold water onto his face, through his hair and gave himself a dead-eye stare before turning to leave. As he exited the latrine and headed to the common room he felt a deep chill tingle up his spine almost as if something was trying to alert him to danger. Something fucking weird about this shit right now he thought.
As Jack entered the common room he saw all the doctors and subjects huddled together in the center of the room, he breathed a little easier in the assurance that he wasn’t alone, but questioned what exactly was happening. Jack noticed Doctor Nelson break away from his associates and come to stand before him.
“It’s about time young man, we’ve been waiting for you. We need to get started on today's new psyche and IQ tests.”
Jack’s eyebrows raised high on his forehead. He scanned the room and saw Frank again, huddled in the corner staring down at his feet. He then looked directly into Dr. Nelson’s eyes. “Are we all on this fucking drug or not?”
“What… does that mean?” Dr. Nelson responded and Jack noticed that the doctor's eye twitched unnaturally.
“Never mind for now. You can read all about it in my entry later.”
With that, Jack entered into the group and found Randy and as he did so, he noticed Dr. Nelson hadn’t moved or taken his eyes off of him.