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"Oh, fuck!" Joseph said as he slowly opened his eyes.
The throb of his headache was monumental.
He contemplated staying in his bed, but reasoned that as bad as he felt, that staying in bed wasn't likely to improve his situation.
It seemed to take every bit of his energy and willpower to force his body to move at all.
Before he could take the few steps to his bathroom, he noticed a deep ache in his groin. The sensation made him stop to catch his breath and reassess his decision to get out of bed in the first place.
He couldn't say that what he was feeling was 'pain', in the sense of an injury, but it was more like the ache of an overused muscle or possibly a recent injury that was in the process of healing.
As he came more awake, he was also aware of something else. It wasn't pain, but it was something unfamiliar and it took a moment for his sleep fogged mind to process what it could possibly be.
In a sudden burst of insight, he came to the realization that what he was feeling was the sensation that Jason had described. He felt uncomfortably 'stretched', back there. In that moment, he knew without a doubt that he had been anally violated. It was yet another indignity that he would have to endure and somehow find a way to deal with.
A combination of the throb of his headache and the insistence of his bladder helped to snap him out of his thoughts and compel him to continue on his way to the bathroom.
* * * * *
When he arrived at his destination, he reluctantly looked down at his penis. In the back of his mind he half expected to find himself rubbed raw again. He realized at that moment that he had purposefully not looked down at himself when he felt the initial ache for fear of what he might find.
When he looked, he was surprised to see that his flaccid penis seemed to have been stretched well beyond its usual proportions. Although he was unfamiliar with such things, he speculated that some sort of suction device might have been used on him. Combining the appearance of his grossly misshapen penis with what he was feeling, he concluded that he must have been 'milked' for hours or days on end. He suspected that if he were somehow able to manage an erection and achieve orgasm, that he would probably ejaculate dust.
The urge to empty his bladder once again asserted itself and he finally got about his business.
Once that had been concluded, he walked to the sink and was only mildly surprised to see that the circles under his eyes were far worse than they had been when he'd first arrived. He also noted the pinkness of his cheeks, which looked as though they had been sunburned. Although there wasn't any 'sting', it still looked as though he'd spent too much time outside.
He continued his self-inspection and noticed that he appeared to be clean shaven. It was less of a surprise this time, although it seemed to confirm that he had been unconscious long enough to need a shave. That being the case, he couldn't begin to estimate how long he might have been blacked out.
Looking down to his arms, he found six injection sites, three on each arm. All of them appeared to be fresh, and yet another way of estimating the passage of time had seemingly been circumvented.
* * * * *
A knock on the door startled Joseph out of his contemplation in front of the mirror.
"Who is it?" Joseph asked as he looked out the bathroom door.
"Come on in." Joseph said as he forced himself to step away from the sink.
As Jason walked into the room, he was shocked to see Joseph standing naked in the bathroom, with the door wide open.
"Sorry... I'm just..." Joseph trailed off, not knowing how to explain what he was thinking or feeling in that moment.
"It's okay, Joe. I'm right there with you."
Joseph looked at him with concern and realized that Jason appeared not only to have the same dark circles under his eyes, but also the same pinkness on his cheeks, suggesting that he'd been out in the sun.
Joseph walked past Jason to the white, molded plastic dresser to get a pair of boxer shorts before asking, "How are you doing, Jayce?"
"I'm so tired that I can barely move."
"It happened... Just like you said."
"What's that?" Joseph asked as he pulled a tee shirt on, over his head.
"I've checked on a few of the girls, they're all in pain."
"Have you been awake long?"
"About half an hour, I guess."
Joseph looked at him curiously, then remembered something. After taking a fresh pair of coveralls out of the closet, he quietly asked, "Could you feel their pain?"
"Yeah. Every bit of it. I don't have words to describe it, but from what they've told me, it's like the worst case of cramps they've ever had in their lives."
"I just wish that there was something that I could do to help them."
"Figuring this out and getting us the hell out of here might be a good start." Joseph said as he walked to his bed and sat down to pull on his socks.
"I just realized that our beds are back to like they were before."
"Oh, yeah. I guess that everything gets reset back to zero every time there's a blackout."
"I mean, why would they go to the trouble? Why not just leave the beds where we put them?"
"I guess that it could be another way to throw us off balance, you know, kind of like the creepy repetition in that movie 'Groundhog Day'."
"That seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just to make us feel weird."
"I don't know. Maybe it's a way for them to be sure that we're not hiding something, you know, like when prisoners try to tunnel out of a jail cell. If everything's always put back to being the same, it's less likely that we'll be able to hide our escape plan from them."
"That sounds a little more reasonable."
"Wait! Did you wake up back in your own room?"
"So does that mean that we're not cut off from the other sections anymore?"
"We don't seem to be. At least there weren't any obstacles between the Gray and Purple room and here."
"Thanks for checking on me, Jayce. It means a lot to me."
"After losing my parents, the way I did, then some of the stuff that happened at the foster homes, I guess I got the feeling that no one could ever love me. And that if I ever loved anyone else, that they'd leave me."
"I wish that I could promise you that I'd never leave you, but forever isn't really forever. It's just for as long as we've got. It's up to us to make it count for something."
As Joseph walked into the hall, Jason automatically followed.
* * * * *
"Are we going to check on Kenyon?" Jason asked curiously when he noticed which direction Joseph was going.
"Unless you have some other stops that you need to make first."
"I already checked on Autumn and Karen. There's nothing I can do for them and it hurts me to be around them, so..."
"I'd really like to check on Wade, since we're headed that way. The last thing I remember before the blackout was 'reading' his history. I'd like to see if we can make any sense of that."
"Yeah. I can't remember that very well."
"Me either. I remember kind of going into a trance while I was focusing on Wade and then I woke up in my bed."
"So, do you think that all that ESP stuff is why we're really here?"
"Yeah. It's the only theory that we've come up with that makes any sense."
"Except that it doesn't."
"If they had us hypnotized anyway, why bring us here and lock us up? They could have collected our genetic material whenever they wanted to."
"That's a good point. There's probably a lot more to it than what we're seeing. But I still think that the ESP is probably at the root of it all. Someone, somewhere wants to breed a psychic army who will be under their control. We're a step on the way to that..." Joseph trailed off as they approached the Blue and Green meeting room.
* * * * *
"Do you know what's going on?" One of three boys, dressed in blue, asked the new arrivals.
Joseph remembered from the previous 'day' that his name was Mark and his mind automatically supplied ...without a 'B'.
"It's impossible to know for sure, but it appears that the girls have had their eggs harvested. Now they're in bed, trying to recover from that. It looks like we have access to the other parts of the station now... that's about all we know so far." Joseph finished uncertainly, then looked at Jason inquiringly, silently asking if he'd missed anything.
"But what about what they did to us? What's that all about?" Mark asked insistently.
"Oh, yeah. I think they milked us for our sperm."
"Through our assholes?"
"I honestly don't know about that part of it, but whatever it is, they did it to me, too."
"What can we do now?" Another of the boys, Doug, asked anxiously.
"Well, Jason and I have a few people to check on. If you guys are looking for a way to help out, maybe you could check the Blue hallway and see how the girls are doing and maybe see if you can tell if we're missing anyone?"
"I can't read you anymore." Aaron said suddenly.
"What was that?"
"Before we... blacked out, I could look at you and if I wanted to know something about you, I'd just know it. Now... I don't."
Joseph looked at Aaron for a long moment, then cautiously said, "I can't do it, either. Maybe we have to be in a certain frame of mind or under a certain level of stress for it to work."
"Or, maybe, they drugged you to keep you from using your new ability against them."
Joseph looked at Jason with surprise at the suggestion.
"They put you under enough stress so that your ability would wake up, but I'm sure that they wouldn't want you to become powerful enough to figure out who they are and what they're up to."
"Now that they know that I've fulfilled my genetic potential, they've psychically blinded me so that I'm not a threat to them."
"I'm saying that it's a possibility. I mean, it sounds reasonable to me."
Joseph nodded, then looked to the others dressed in blue and said, "If you'll check on the other Blues, we're going to make a round of the station. We'll fill you in on what we found when we get back."
"I was working on doing a headcount of the Blues before we blacked out. If anyone's missing, I should be able to tell."
"Thanks, Aaron. I appreciate your help." Joseph said sincerely, then looked to Jason to see if he were ready to go.
A single nod was Jason's only response.
* * * * *
"Is it bothering you?" Joseph asked quietly.
"The pain. Can you feel it out here in the hallway?"
"Only a little bit. Don't worry, I can handle it."
"I need to check on Wade. Would you feel more comfortable waiting out here?"
"No. But if you're going to be checking on too many of the girls, I may need to hang back."
* * * * *
"Wade? Can we come in?" Joseph called from outside the closed door.
"What?" Wade asked groggily.
"It's Joseph. Jason and I stopped by to see how you're doing. Can we come in?"
"Yeah. I guess."
Joseph cautiously opened the door and stepped inside to find Wade in bed with his eyes closed.
"How are you doing?" Joseph asked quietly, suspecting that Wade probably had a headache, much like the one that he had woken with.
"I feel like shit."
"There's a lot of that going around." Jason said frankly.
Joseph nodded his agreement, then said, "A lot of things have happened since the last time I saw you. Let me know when you're up to talking about it."
"I had the weirdest dream. We were cut off from the Blue and Green room and the Yellow hallway. I was at the wall where the door used to be and then I started hearing all kinds of voices... and then I passed out."
"Yeah. That happened."
"What?" Wade asked as he fought to open his eyes.
"There were walls where the doors should be and we were all trapped. Tammy was in the Blue section with us. She was convinced that she could hear you, then she passed out... probably at the same time you did."
"Oh my God! I feel horrible!"
"From what Jason and I have been able to put together, it seems that anyone who demonstrated any kind of psychic ability has been drugged to prevent them from using it anymore."
"It seems that the colors that we were assigned have to do with our psychic potential. If we're right, then you and all the other Greens are potentially telepathic."
"Do you have any idea of how crazy that sounds?"
"Yes. But how crazy is it to imagine that two hundred kids would be kidnapped, drugged and brought to a secret facility from a 1960's sci fi movie? If those two hundred kids had been bred to be some kind of psychic army, how much more crazy would that be?"
"You're nuts." Wade said half-heartedly before throwing off his sheet and blanket and forcing himself to a sitting position.
"Um, Wade..." Jason began to say, but stopped at Joseph's shaking head.
Before Jason or Joseph could answer, Wade followed Jason's concerned gaze.
"Holy shit! What did they do to me?!" Wade exclaimed as he looked down at his grossly misshapen penis.
"Yeah. It looks like we all got milked... a lot." Joseph quietly explained.
There was a long moment of silence. Wade finally forced himself to put his feet on the floor, then tried to make his way to standing.
Seeing that Wade was having difficulty, both Jason and Joseph hurried to his aid and helped him while he found his balance.
"Hold on. I'm dizzy." Wade said as he closed his eyes and fought to take in long slow breaths.
"Yeah. I'm guessing that that's the drugs that they're using to suppress our psychic abilities. They probably use something different or a whole lot stronger to suppress telepathy."
"Do you want us to help you to the bathroom?"
"No. Just give me a minute. I think I can do it." Wade said slowly, then fought to open his eyes again.
Joseph and Jason tentatively let go of Wade's arms, ready to grab him if it looked as though he were about to lose his balance again.
"So, did you say that they did this to all the Greens?" Wade asked as he slowly walked toward the bathroom.
"You're the only Green that we've talked to. But if I were going to guess, I'd say that they probably drugged any of the Greens who openly displayed evidence of their psychic abilities."
Wade finally made his way into the bathroom on shaking legs and pulled the bathroom door closed behind him.
"Did you guys get something jammed up your asses, too?" Wade asked loudly through the door.
"Yes. I get the feeling that it happened to most, if not all, of the guys."
"What are you going to do now?"
"Right now, we're going to go check on Kenyon. After that, we're probably going to make a round of the station to see how everyone is doing after being isolated from each other."
"Did you check on Tammy?" Wade asked as he stepped out of the bathroom.
"No. You're the first Green that we've checked on."
Wade seemed to be more steady on his feet as he walked through the room.
Jason and Joseph moved out of the way to allow Wade access to his dresser and closet.
"Let me see if I got this right. You think that all of us have psychic abilities?"
"Yes. That's how it seems."
"The Greens are telepathic?"
"That's what it looked like to me."
"What about the Blues?" Wade asked curiously as he moved to the closet and took down a pair of coveralls.
"We can look at someone and see their past."
"We're just going on what we experienced before the blackout, but that's how it seemed."
"What can you see about my past?"
"I can't see anything, right now. I think they drugged me to keep me from using it."
"But I remember you getting some information about Wade, right before you blacked out." Jason helpfully provided.
"Oh, yeah. Um... it's a little fuzzy, but let me see what I remember."
Wade began to pull on his clothes as he waited for Joseph to continue.
"Scituate, Rhode Island... prefab house when you were two or three years old... and your dog, Duke. That's really all I can remember."
"Yeah. That's right." Wade muttered.
"And there was something about camping." Jason quietly added.
"You can do it, too? But you're not Blue." Wade said suspiciously.
"No. I can't do it. I was just there when the Blues were looking at your history and overheard them talking about it."
"Yeah. Jayce's ability is to feel what other people are feeling." Joseph explained.
"Physically. I can't feel other people's emotions." Jason quickly added.
"If you can feel what I'm feeling, I don't envy you." Wade said as he looked Jason in the eyes.
"Joseph and I both felt a lot like you do when we woke up, except that neither of us were as dizzy as you are. I'm surprised that you're able to stand up."
"You really can feel what I'm feeling!"
"Yeah. I can only think of one circumstance when that might be a good thing." Joseph said with a quick glance at Jason.
"What..." Jason began to ask, then his face slightly reddened as he realized what Joseph was inferring.
"I'm guessing that you're heading toward the Yellow and Green room."
"Yes. We'll be passing through there to check on Kenyon."
"I'll walk down with you. I'd like to check on Stone and Alyssa before I do anything else."
"Sounds good." Joseph said, then looked to see if Jason were ready to leave, too.
* * * * *
When they reached the Yellow and Green room, the only people present were two boys dressed in yellow who Joseph hadn't met before.
"How's it going, guys?" Wade asked as they approached.
"I wonder if this is what a hangover feels like." One of the boys said wearily.
"Actually, a hangover feels quite a bit worse." Jason said before he could think better of it.
Both boys looked at him with surprise at the declaration.
"I just know. Okay?" Jason said before shyly looking away.
"You know where to find us if you need us." Joseph said as he looked at Wade.
"Yeah. I'll find Stone and Alyssa and fill them in. Don't worry about things here. I got this."
Joseph nodded, then started walking with Jason down the Yellow hallway.
* * * * *
"It's weird not having the girls around." Jason said quietly as they walked.
"I know. It feels so wrong."
"Have you thought of anything that we can do to help them?"
"You mean, besides breaking them out of this place and taking them somewhere that no one will try to steal their eggs?"
"Yeah. Besides that."
"No. I haven't."
* * * * *
Neither were surprised when they entered the Yellow and Orange meeting room and found it vacant.
"I feel like there's something more that we should be doing." Jason said anxiously.
"I know. But the most we could do right now is wake them up and ask them questions that we already know the answers to. That isn't going to help anyone."
"It might help if they knew that someone was concerned about what they're going through and that they're not alone."
"I think that with the situation that we're in, we don't have the luxury of indulging in empty gestures. If there's something we can do to help, we'll help. If there's not, then we need to devote our time and energy to more productive endeavors that might get all of us out of here."
"Meanie." Jason said with a teasing grin.
Joseph felt his heart melt at the sight.
As they stopped outside Kenyon's door, Joseph quietly said, "After going over all the theories about what's being done to us, there's only one conclusion that I can realistically come to. Our genetic material is being harvested as quickly and aggressively as possible, because they don't intend on keeping us alive to breed us. We don't have a lot of time."
After a moment to consider, Jason slowly nodded, then said, "We need to stay on task."
"Right." Joseph confirmed before gently knocking on the door.
When there was no answer, Joseph knocked louder, then called out, "Kenyon? Can we come in?"
After waiting a moment, Joseph pulled the door aside and cautiously walked into the room.
* * * * *
Kenyon appeared to be fast asleep in his bed.
"Kenyon?" Joseph asked quietly as he walked further into the room and up to Kenyon's bedside.
Again, there was no answer.
"Jason, can you feel anything? Is he hurt?"
"Would you mind standing back? You're still in pain, so if you're too close, I won't be able to feel what's you and what's him."
Jason knelt at Kenyon's bedside and closed his eyes as he began to concentrate.
Joseph waited anxiously, especially worried after what had happened to Kenyon the last time that they'd all blacked out.
Jason slowly began to shake his head as he raised his hands so that they were about four inches from Kenyon's abdomen.
"It's hard for me to see past my own pain to his, but it seems like he's not injured at all."
"Then why won't he wake up?"
"I don't..." Jason began to say when Kenyon suddenly grabbed his wrists.
"Kenyon?" Joseph asked, hoping that Kenyon had heard them.
Rather than respond, Kenyon twisted and pulled Jason's wrists, guiding him off the floor and up onto the bed.
"I don't think he's awake." Jason whispered as he followed Kenyon's lead.
Once Jason was fully up on the bed, Kenyon released his wrists, then placed one arm around him.
"If he's still asleep, then I'm guessing that his subconscious has taken a liking to you."
"Should I try to wake him up?" Jason asked as he felt Kenyon's hand stop moving, right on his butt.
"Let's wait a minute. With all the weirdness that we've already been through, this might end up being something significant."
"Um... Are you sure about that? He just unzipped me."
"What's he doing?" Joseph asked, not sure that he really wanted to know.
"Nothing. He just put his hand in there and stopped moving." Jason said slowly, then gasped with surprise before adding, "It's hot."
"Yeah. Don't rub it in." Joseph said grumpily, then added, "If he was awake, he'd probably be doing that to me."
"No, not sexy hot. Thermal, hot. If it gets any hotter, he's going to burn me."
"Does it hurt?"
"I don't know... almost. But, do you know what it feels like when you put a heating pad on a sore muscle and it makes it feel better?"
"That's almost what it feels like."
There was a long silent moment as Joseph watched.
Neither Jason nor Kenyon moved.
Finally, Joseph quietly asked, "How does your ache feel now?"
"I don't know. With his hands where they are and the heat, I really can't feel it."
"What if the 'Oranges' are psychic healers?"
"Do you think that's really possible?"
"When we woke up 'yesterday', Kenyon's dick was all healed up, even though it was mutilated in the last blackout."
"So, right now he's healing me, in his sleep?"
"Yeah. That's what it looks like to me. But you're the guy with the physical empathy thing, you'd probably be able to tell that better than I could."
"What if his healing makes him weaker? That might be why he hasn't been able to wake up, he's been using all his energy healing his own damage."
"Or, maybe he can only heal while he's sleeping. When he healed his dick he was asleep. That's the only other time I know of him doing it."
"That seems like a really weird limitation for a psychic ability."
"If a psychic ability can have any limitation, then one is as realistic as any other. The people behind this are forcing genetic patterns together hoping for a specific result. It's reasonable to assume that unforeseen things like a bizarre limitation could happen in the process."
"Do you need help getting untangled?"
"Um, yeah. I don't want to wake him up if I don't have to. Could you move his hand off my butt?"
"Yeah. I've got it."
"I think you're right. Now that I don't feel the warmth anymore, I really do feel better. I think that he actually healed me." Jason said as he slowly worked his way out of Kenyon's bed.
"Um...Jayce? He got me."
"What should I do?"
"Go along with it." Jason said as he took a few steps back, so as not to get into Joseph's way.
"But what if this is hurting him or draining his energy?"
"We don't have any way of knowing that at this point. For all we know, this could be helping him."
"Well, if we're going to do this, why don't you get over here and see if you can see what he's doing while he's doing it?" Joseph asked as Kenyon seemed to be trying to get him settled into place.
"Yeah. There's a chance that we'll be able to get some answers."
"I'm betting on more questions, but I still think that it's worth a try. But if you see that it's hurting Kenyon in any way, I want you to tell me."
"There he goes. I can feel it."
As he heard Jason's words, Joseph could feel the warmth that Jason had described. As he thought about the sensation of having a heating pad on sore muscles, he had to agree that the feeling was much the same.
"How's Kenyon doing?"
"I'm fine." Kenyon answered.
"How do you feel? Do you want me to move?" Joseph asked as he turned his head to see that Kenyon was looking at him.
"No. I don't want you to move. In fact, I wouldn't mind waking up like this every morning."
"How do you feel, Kenyon? Are you in pain? Do you feel any weakness?" Jason asked as he tried to 'read' both Kenyon and Joseph's condition.
"No. I feel wonderful, like I just had the deepest, most amazing sleep ever." Kenyon said with a warm smile, then glanced down and was surprised to find that he had one of his hands inside the fly of Joseph's coveralls.
"When I walked up beside your bed, you kind of pulled me in."
"So this is all my fault?"
"Well... I was helping Jason... I mean, you did the same thing to him... first."
The playful look fell away from Kenyon's face as he looked toward Jason and asked, "I didn't do anything to hurt you or anything that you didn't want, did I?"
"No. You didn't hurt me at all. In fact, you healed me."
"Do you remember 'yesterday', when we figured out about different psychic abilities? It looks like you have the ability to heal yourself as well as other people."
"I think I must be missing something. How does me possibly having a psychic healing ability explain me waking up with my hand wrapped around your dick? Not that I'm complaining."
"You remember the 'milking' and all of that? It happened again. While you were asleep, you seemed to instinctively know where I was hurting and you put your hands there to heal me."
Kenyon thought about that for a moment, then noticed that he still had one hand firmly on Joseph's butt.
"Did they..." Kenyon trailed off, not sure how to phrase the question.
"Yeah. From what we've been able to tell, this time around they did it to all the guys."
"But that's nothing compared to what happened to the girls." Jason quietly added.
"Just what we'd guessed might happen." Joseph regretfully answered. "Behind some secret door somewhere, there's a whole lot of full egg cartons."
"How are the girls?"
When Joseph didn't immediately answer, Jason quietly said, "They're in a lot of pain."
"So, since I have a healing ability, I should probably go and help them."
"Yes and no."
Kenyon turned his attention to Joseph and looked at him inquiringly.
"Until we know a lot more about your ability, we'd do best not to use it foolishly. I know that we'll all want to help as many people as we can, but I think that, at least until we know more, we're going to need to prioritize who gets helped first."
"Lisa, Mary Nicole and Valerie, then if it's possible, Alyssa and Zarah next."
"Because, if you help the leaders, then you can leave them to each help their own people." Jason said with a nod.
"I see what you're saying, but if we run into someone who's suffering along the way, don't expect me not to help them."
"It's your body and your gift. I'm just telling you what I think is the most reasonable course of action."
"Okay. I'll keep it in mind."
"Are you feeling well enough that we can go? We need to walk the station to see what else has happened since we were all isolated from each other."
"I'd also like to check on Jude." Jason added.
"Yeah. I feel great." Kenyon said, then moved in to give Joseph a quick kiss before continuing, "And I wouldn't mind you waking me up like this again, sometime."
"I'll see what I can do."
* * * * *
"Is it just me, or is this hallway creepier than usual?" Jason asked as they walked.
"If you're right about the colors and the psychic abilities, then all the other Oranges might be healing themselves right now." Kenyon said thoughtfully.
"Should we wake them up so that we can get them to help the others?" Jason asked as he glanced in Joseph's direction.
"No. I think we need to see how this thing works, first. Once Kenyon's healed one or two people, then we'll know more about what to tell them about how to use their abilities. Plus, they'll probably need all the rest that they can get to be at full power."
"Hey! Do you guys mind if I go with you?" A boy in yellow asked in a rush as he approached them from behind.
"Sure. I'm Joseph..."
"Yeah. Jason in gray and Kenyon in orange. Wade told me in the Yellow and Green room. I was getting a little freaked out with it being so quiet and I haven't walked around the station yet. And after some of the stories that I've heard, I didn't want to walk around this place by myself."
"That's probably best. We're happy to have you. What was your name?"
"Oh! Yeah. I forgot to tell you that." The boy said enthusiastically, then quickly added, "I'm Kyle."
"We're going to be making a few stops along the way to check on some people."
"No problem. It's not like I've got someplace else to be."
"Why are you so happy, Kyle? After everything that's been done to us, most of the guys are just about fed up." Jason asked curiously.
"Yeah. That's another reason that I didn't want to hang out in the Yellow and Green room. They're pretty gloomy, back there. I'm not 'happy' about what's happened to us but I'm not as miserable about it as they are."
"So you're not headachy or dizzy at all?" Joseph asked then glanced at Jason inquiringly.
"Nope. I felt a little drained when I first woke up... and I don't mean just my dick. I felt tired. But once I got up and moving around, I started feeling better."
"What about your ass?"
"What about it?"
"Were you messed with... back there?"
"No. Not that I know of. Do you mean that you guys were?"
"Yes. That happened to all the guys that I've talked to so far."
"No wonder everyone's so pissed off. I'm sorry if me not getting ass-raped in my sleep makes you guys feel bad or something."
Joseph felt an unwilling smile cross his lips and he finally said, "It's okay, Kyle. You don't have to be ass-raped to walk with us. Just be yourself and we'll deal."
Joseph glanced at Jason and Kenyon to find them both also smiling.
* * * * *
As the group walked into the Red and Orange meeting room, their good moods immediately dissipated.
"I should have known that you'd be walking around again." Korbin said wearily from his seat at one of the tables.
Rather than go through the formalities, Joseph decided to get straight to the point, "They're stepping things up. I have the feeling that our time is limited."
"Yeah. I'm getting that, too."
"We were all blocked off from the other sections 'yesterday'. How did things go in here?"
"I wouldn't know. All the Reds were locked in our hallway, we couldn't get into either of the meeting rooms."
"Really? The Blues had access to the Blue and Green meeting room. I wonder why they locked you out." Joseph said thoughtfully.
"From what I heard about the Red and Black room, I didn't particularly want to go in there. But they could have let us have access to this room."
Joseph looked around to verify what he already knew. The two other people in the room were 'Reds' and they were both male. "Have you checked on the girls?"
"Yeah. They're hurtin real bad. I wish that there was something I could do. I don't even have any aspirins that I could give them."
"I don't know how much Randa passed onto you about the mass meeting that we had, but we sort of predicted this. I think that what the girls are feeling is what was done to them to 'harvest' their eggs."
"I don't know what to do."
"Try to come up with ways to get us out of here. Our worst worst case scenario seems to be coming to fruition. Now, here we are with a decently well reasoned idea of what's happening to us, but still not knowing one single thing that we can do about it."
"Lay it on me. What's going on, from your point of view?"
"Back fifty or more years ago someone must have made a massive effort to test people and found a bunch of them with low-level psychic abilities. Using drugs or mind control or... I don't know, maybe they just paid them. However they did it, they got people with similar abilities to breed, so that their offspring would be more likely to have that same genetic potential."
"Which is us?"
"Which was our parents or grandparents. I really don't know how long this has been going on. We guessed the 'eugenics' aspect of this early on, but the psychic thing didn't come into play until they heaped enough stress on us to cause some of us to 'activate'..."
"When I'd look at someone I'd suddenly know all kinds of things about their history. It was stuff that I couldn't possibly know."
"Can you show me?"
Joseph shook his head, then said, "Just about anyone who demonstrated an ability woke up drugged and found out that they couldn't use it anymore."
"So, we're all psychic?"
"Potentially. It appears that we're sorted by color according to what kind of psychic 'gift' we're most likely to have. So far, all the Blues that have manifested have had the ability to see into people's pasts."
"What about the Reds?"
"You'd be able to say better than us. Have any of your people said or done anything that might be considered 'supernatural'?"
"No. Not that I can think of."
"What about the Yellows?" Kyle asked quickly.
"When we were all isolated, the Yellows were completely blocked off from us, so I don't have any idea what type of 'gift' they might have discovered. Like with Korbin, you'd probably know better than I would."
"When we figured out that we were blocked in, I think all the Yellow guys pretty much stayed in their rooms... at least, I did. You know how the girls in my neighborhood are. They don't want to have anything to do with us."
"Yeah. That's part of why I usually don't stop and visit when we're passing through 'The Amazon'."
Korbin looked at Joseph speculatively for a moment, then cautiously asked, "I bet you named all the rooms, didn't you?"
"We named the rooms, not just me."
"Thought so." Korbin said with a reluctant smile.
"We need to keep our focus. For fifty or more years they've been breeding a... let's call it a psychic army. Then, something happened in the world and rather than lose this 'crop' of potential psychics, someone pushed a button and we were all abducted and brought here."
"That makes better sense than I want it to."
"You think that's bad? Try this. With them milking us and harvesting eggs, the only conclusion that I can come to is that they don't intend to keep us alive. They're harvesting the genetic material that they've been cultivating. Once they're done, we're expendable."
"In fact. We're all evidence of what they've been up to. From a certain point of view, we could be looked at as 'loose ends'." Jason added.
Korbin slowly nodded, then said, "So, whatever we're going to do, we need to do it. We may not get another chance."
"We may not get even one chance. But we can't let that stop us."
"And you're counting on me to get us out?"
"No. We've all got to do whatever we can. I'm just saying that, given your nature, you've got the best shot at making this work. Most of the rest of us 'think about' things. You 'do' things."
"I think that there's a good chance that the Reds and anyone else that I can get to help me might be losing their meal privileges today. Would you see what you can do to help us out with that?"
"Honestly, I don't know how much longer they're going to bother with feeding us. But for as long as I have food, you'll have food."
"Then, I guess it's time for me to get a crew together and start ramming some walls."
"If you don't need someone who's big and strong, I'll help you." Kyle said quickly.
Korbin looked him up and down one time before saying, "You may not be bulky, but I'm betting that you're scrappy. You'll do just fine."
"We're going to go check on some people and see what else is going on. Remember to let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
"Jackhammer." Korbin responded with a grin.
"I have the feeling that we don't have time to wait for one."
"Then we'll just have to make do."
* * * * *
"Number twenty-three, right?" Jason asked cautiously.
"Yeah. He's in the reverse room."
"I feel like we should be doing something." Kenyon said as they walked.
"You're our healer. You're going to have plenty to do. We just need to check on Jude and Ryan before we put you to work."
* * * * *
"Jude! Can we come in?" Joseph called after knocking.
"Yes. I've got Jason and Kenyon with me."
"Give me a minute."
After a long moment, Joseph cautiously asked, "How are you?"
"Defiled, it seems." Jude responded, and from the tone of his voice, Joseph could easily imagine him fighting back tears.
"The same thing happened to us, Jude. You're not alone."
The door slid aside, revealing Jude wearing a pair of red coveralls, fastened to his mid chest, revealing that he wasn't wearing a tee shirt beneath.
Joseph glanced down and saw that Jude had boxer shorts, a tee shirt and socks gathered into a bundle in his hand and that he was barefoot. "Tell me if there's something that I can do to help."
After a moment to consider, Jude slowly asked, "You walked all the way around the station to check on me, didn't you?"
"We're walking around checking on how everyone is doing after the isolation, but we made a special point of stopping in to check on you."
Jude smiled, then quietly said, "Thank you."
"If you'll go ahead and finish getting dressed, I'll fill you in on what we've discovered and deduced since the last time we saw you."
"Would you mind if we stopped by Tanner's room to see if he has been returned?"
"Do you remember his number?"
"No problem. That's on our way."
* * * * *
"It's a lot different than the last time we were here." Jason said as he looked around the Red and Black meeting room.
"Yeah. Which is a good thing." Joseph confirmed.
"It looks like nothing happened." Kenyon said slowly.
"Reset to zero." Joseph said with a significant look at Jason.
"Do you think that everyone else is asleep?" Jude asked cautiously.
"Yeah. Either that, or they're staying in bed because they're feeling so crappy." Joseph confirmed, then looked downward and asked, "Did you get your boots back?"
Jude was surprised by the question and looked down at his feet before saying, "It appears that I did."
"Would you show me the sole of your left boot?"
Jude unsteadily twisted his leg so that he could let Joseph see.
"It has a sticker. They gave you brand new boots."
"Considering what was done to my old ones, I can't say that I'm disappointed."
"I'm just trying to figure these people out. They do the cruelest things to us, but sometimes it seems like they're almost compassionate. It just doesn't make any sense."
"Maybe we've been captured by bipolar Nazis." Jason quietly suggested.
"Yeah, that must be it."
* * * * *
After a knock on the door, Jude quietly called, "Tanner? If you don't answer, I'm going to come in."
"I'm here." A groggy voice responded.
Jason, Kenyon and Joseph all looked at each other with surprise.
"Tanner?! Are you alright? May I come in?!"
"What? Yes. Um... come in."
"I have others with me. May they come in as well?"
"What's going on, Jude? Who did you bring with you?" Tanner asked as Jude hurried into the room.
"You've been missing for... I don't know how long. How are you? Are you alright?"
"I've got the worst headache of my life. Would you please be quiet?"
Jason eased slowly into the room, then quietly said, "His headache is a lot worse than any of ours were."
Tanner tried to sit up, but immediately gave up and laid back down.
"Do you want me to help?" Kenyon asked uncertainly.
Joseph saw the tears beginning to fall from Tanner's closed eyes and quietly said, "Go ahead."
"What are you going to do?" Tanner asked cautiously as he opened his eyes and fought to focus on the strangers in his bedroom.
"We've found out that Kenyon has the ability to heal people. He can help you, if you'll let him." Joseph quietly answered.
"How sure are you that this will help?" Jude asked dubiously.
"This will help him or it won't. Kenyon isn't going to do anything that could possibly hurt him." Joseph explained.
"Jude, I'm really hurting. If he can help me, please let him try." Tanner whispered.
Kenyon stepped forward and tentatively extended his hand.
After a moment, he withdrew it and said, "I don't know where to start. Jason, can you tell me where it's hurting most?"
"Yeah. Try putting your hands behind his ears, about halfway up his head. I think that if you can stop it hurting there, the rest will ease on its own."
Joseph, Jason and Jude watched as Kenyon carefully and gently cupped Tanner's head in his hands.
"Your hands are hot."
"Do you want me to stop?"
"No. It's not bad. Go on." Tanner said and some of the tension seemed to ease from his expression.
"How are you feeling, Kenyon? Is it too much for you?" Joseph asked as he watched the proceedings.
"I can feel the energy pouring out of me. But it's not bad."
"Jason, will you keep an eye on what Kenyon is doing and tell him to stop when Tanner's pain is manageable?"
"It's still pretty bad, but he's making progress."
"You can see my pain?"
"Jason can feel where your pain is. We're theorizing that all the Grays have that ability." Joseph said, consciously keeping his voice low, so as not to aggravate Tanner's headache.
"While you've been gone, we've discovered that the colors we wear identify the type of supernatural abilities that we may be capable of." Jude quietly explained.
"Do you have an ability like that?"
"Not yet." Jude admitted, then looked to Joseph and asked, "Did you find out about the Reds' ability, on your way here?"
"No. We talked to Korbin and so far none of them have experienced anything like that."
"What about the Blacks?" Jude asked as he looked at Tanner with concern.
"No. Tanner is the first Black we've seen today."
"Kenyon, why don't you pull back now. If you keep going, you're going to pass out."
"How's his pain?"
"Much better. He should be able to endure."
Kenyon slowly released his grip on Tanner's head and noticed that his hands were slightly shaking.
"How are you feeling, Tanner?" Jude asked tentatively.
"I feel a lot better."
"Good. I'm glad." Joseph said with a smile, then cautiously asked, "What's the last thing that you remember?"
"Jude and I were in the Red and Black meeting room. We were telling the others about what a wonderful thing was happening to us. It was beautiful... everyone was so happy..."
"Then you woke up here, with a headache?"
"Yes. I feel like I had some vivid dreams, but I don't remember them."
"What you remember happened... I don't know, two or three weeks ago, probably. We really don't have any way of judging the passage of time."
"I've been asleep for weeks?" Tanner asked uncertainly and looked to Jude to explain.
"Yes. When I woke up from the blackout, I came here to check on you, but your bed hadn't been slept in. I searched everywhere, but I couldn't find you."
"You weren't the only one missing. There was a girl from the Yellow section, named Kimberly, who went missing when you did. For all we know, there could have been more and no one noticed." Joseph supplied.
"What happened while I was... gone?"
"I think that maybe you'll want to be a little stronger before we talk about that." Jude said quietly.
"Why don't we step outside for a minute so that you can have a chance to get dressed?" Joseph suggested.
Tanner looked at Joseph with confusion, then realized what he meant. He tentatively peeked under the sheet and blanket and froze with surprise.
"Oh, yeah. Um, it seems that they did a lot of sperm collecting while we were blacked out..." Joseph began to say, but was interrupted.
"Among other things." Jason said darkly.
"Let us know if it's a problem and we'll do whatever we can."
"Thank you, but I think that I'll be alright."
"Do you want for me to stay and help you?" Jude asked quietly.
"No. I'm feeling much better. I'll be ready in just a minute."
Taking Tanner at his word, Jude, Joseph, Jason and Kenyon filed out of the room.
* * * * *
"So far we haven't figured out the Yellow, Red, Black or Purple psychic abilities. Does anyone have any insights?" Joseph asked the group that were waiting outside Tanner's room.
"If it weren't for the psychic abilities, I would have guessed that the colors represented personality traits. The Yellows are enthusiastic, the Reds are frenetic, the Blacks seem to be passionate and the Purples... they're just a little off the wall." Jason said slowly.
"When you consider that a group of people have their brains wired the same way to do a certain thing, maybe it makes sense that they'd have personality traits in common, too." Kenyon said thoughtfully.
"Be careful. You're letting it show." Joseph whispered in a warning tone.
"Oh, yeah." Kenyon said abruptly, then added, "Or maybe wearing yellow just makes people feel perkier."
"That must be it." Joseph said with a grin.
"Do you think that, while we're here, we might be able to stop in and check on Julie?" Jude asked cautiously.
"I don't know who that is, but it's fine if you want to." Joseph said simply, then looked to Kenyon and asked, "Are you up to giving it a try?"
"Yeah. I was just tired for a few minutes, but I'm better now. I can feel my energy coming back."
The door beside them opened to reveal Tanner, dressed in his black coveralls.
"How are you feeling?" Jude asked with concern.
"I think that something else was done to me while I was asleep." Tanner said darkly.
"Yeah. They did that to all of us." Joseph confirmed.
Tanner looked to Jude and quietly asked, "Why would God allow these things in His paradise?"
"Since you've been gone, I've realized that we misread the signs. This isn't the end of days, it's a science experiment and we're the guinea pigs."
At the uncertain look on Tanner's face, Joseph felt compelled to explain, "We've been genetically engineered or selectively bred to have psychic abilities. If God is behind this, then he's got some real scumbags working for him."
"Maybe it's like you say, but I still have to believe that this is all part of God's plan."
"God might have a plan. I'm just saying that from all that I've seen, it looks like this doesn't have anything to do with that."
Seeing that Tanner wasn't convinced, Jude quietly added, "The horrors that we've witnessed could not have been perpetrated by a good and loving God. If you honestly believe that this is something supernatural, then it seems more likely that we're at the mercy of the Father of Lies."
"What do you believe?"
"That this is what it appears to be. There is nothing divine or diabolical at play beyond the motivations of flawed mortal men."
"Have you lost your faith?"
"No. I have simply realized that not everything has a mystical reason behind it. A series of things happened and naturally fell into an order. From inside, it's easy for us to look back on events and construct the idea that there was some overarching plan at work. But I believe that some evil people made some selfish decisions and that where we are and the situation that we are in is the consequence. I don't see any 'reason' beyond that." Jude said seriously.
"Where is the person you were wanting to check on?" Joseph asked Jude, trying to get them back on task.
"Right there, number thirty-three."
"Do you want to do the honors?"
Jude nodded, then looked to Tanner and quietly asked, "Will you help me? I believe that our sister in the faith may need our understanding."
Tanner looked at him uncertainly for a moment, but finally slowly nodded his head.
Jason looked at Joseph inquisitively as they silently followed.
* * * * *
"Julie? It's Jude. May I come in?" Jude asked after knocking.
After waiting a moment and hearing no answer, he looked to Joseph, obviously wanting his guidance.
"If she's unconscious, then it's better to find out sooner rather than later."
"Julie! I'm coming in! Don't worry. I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to be sure that you're alright."
Joseph, Jason and Kenyon shared a look and silently decided to stay back and allow Jude and Tanner to check on the condition of their friend.
"She's not in here." Jude said a moment later.
"Does it look like she slept in her bed?" Joseph asked as he resisted the urge to go in and see for himself..
"No. The bed is perfectly made and there's nothing at all that seems to be out of place."
"Is she a really close friend of yours?"
"No. I was just worried about how she might be feeling after everything that's happened. The last time I saw her, she was calling herself 'The Whore of Babylon'."
"And now she's missing. I wonder if that's a coincidence."
"Where to next?" Jason asked, as much to confirm his understanding of the plan as to attempt to keep them on task.
"Oh, um... Ryan's room, number forty-four."
Jason started walking in that direction and the rest of the group automatically followed.
* * * * *
"Ryan?" Joseph called after a knock on the bedroom door.
"Don't tell me that he's missing, too." Jason said wearily.
"This is really starting to suck." Kenyon added.
"Starting?" Jason asked incredulously.
"Let me go in and take a look." Joseph said before sliding the door aside.
After a moment, Joseph returned to the hall and said, "He's not in there, but his bed has definitely been slept in. Let's go check 'Area 51' and see if he's there."
"Area 51?" Tanner asked with confusion.
"We named the rooms so we wouldn't have to keep referring to them by their color combinations. We call the Purple and Black meeting room 'Area 51' because they were investigating the theory that we were abducted by aliens." Jude explained as they walked.
"In the end, they reached the same conclusion that I just told you. There's nothing extraterrestrial, just evil, selfish people exploiting us for their own reasons." Jude explained to his friend.
Before the conversation could continue, they arrived at 'Area 51'.
* * * * *
"Ryan! How are you doing?" Joseph asked happily when he saw Ryan sitting at the table with one other guy dressed in black and two in purple.
"My head hurts, my dick's nearly been stretched off of my body and I'm guessing that someone had a pretty good time with me while I was passed out. All things considered I'd have to say that I'm doing pretty fucking bad."
"Blacks are passionate, huh?" Joseph asked with a look askance at Jason.
"Passion isn't always positive." Jason said in his defense.
"By the way, it's good to see you again, after the disappearing doorways and all of that." Ryan quickly added, then continued by asking, "How did you guys do?"
"We found out that we're psychic." Joseph said, then waited to see Ryan's reaction.
"Huh?" Ryan asked cautiously, not getting the joke, if there were one.
"When we woke up and were cut off from everyone else, I guess it was enough to push us over the edge and activate our psychic abilities. We figured out that each of our colors shows which ability that we're likely to have."
"What ability am I supposed to have?"
"I really don't know. We figured out a couple of the colors, but not all of them."
"Let me guess, you're walking around, checking on everyone?"
"Yeah. We're doing our best to figure out what happened when we were all separated. I don't know how much help it is, but I guess it's better than doing nothing."
"I checked on Kenna right after I woke up... I'm just about done with this. I don't know what they want from us, but whatever it is... they can just fucking take it. I'm done playing their games and jumping through their hoops. I'm just... done."
"I understand. But I have the feeling that as soon as they've taken everything that they want from us, that they'll have no more reason to keep us alive. I plan on fighting and looking for a way out until the very end. You deal with it however makes the most sense to you... Just don't waste it."
There was a long silent moment, then Ryan finally asked, "What are you going to do next?"
"I was thinking about stopping by and checking on Lisa. There's a chance that we might be able to do something to make her feel better."
"What are you going to do?"
"You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you. Why don't you come with us and see for yourself?"
Ryan seemed to be about to answer when a low vibration could be felt through the floor.
"What's that?!" Joseph asked as he looked around.
The tables and chairs were vibrating on the floor, making a clattering sound and Joseph had to fight for balance as the vibration became more intense.
"WHAT IS THAT?!" Joseph called out, but couldn't hear if there were any response.
To Be Continued...
Wow, so much for not ending every chapter with a cliffhanger!
I sure hope they can figure a way out of this, or that something happens that will help them and not hurt them any further.
I sure feel sorry for the girls. (Well, maybe not all the girls.)
I think maybe something is coming to a head, or maybe whatever it is that triggered the powers that be to kidnap the kids, and bring them to the bunker, has jumped up a notch, or maybe several notches.
I guess we will just have to wait for the next chapter to learn more.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher