His senses slowly came back to him. He eyes were refusing to focus for him. There were people around, he could tell that much. At least his other senses were working. What were they saying?
“… rate normal…”
“… brain activity spiking…”
“… gonna wake up.”
“He’s already awake.”
Suddenly there was a blur in shape of a man over him shining a light in his eyes, “Oh geez!”
“Mr. Davidson, can you hear me?”
“How do you feel?”
“That’s understandable. Somebody get him another blanket.” He started to sit up. The blur helped him, “Careful, you’ve been out for awhile. You’re going to be a little disoriented for a bit.”
Sitting on the edge of the bed he waited for his head to stop spinning. As his eyes finally cleared somebody put another blanket around his shoulders. After another moment he realized he was on a metal bed. Out of habit he ran his fingers threw his hair. It was shorter than he remembered and it was wet. What happened to him? “Where am I?”
“All in due time Mr. Davidson.”
“That was one of your questions right? If I remembered my name?”
The Doctor smiled and nodded, “That’s one I don’t have to worry about. Forgive me,” he held out a hand, “Dr. Harold Freidman. I’ve been with you ever since you been in here.”
“Howdy.” He noticed his arm as he extended it. There were scars he didn’t have before. He glanced at his left and scars were covering it too.
“I’m sure you have a lot of questions. Unfortunately I’m not the one who can answer them for you.”
“The non-medical ones anyway,” somebody else said. “One of your assistants called me the moment he woke up Doctor.” A dark haired man in a suit walked toward them. Jack was getting more confused by the moment. The suit looked him over the turned to Friedman. “Everything is in working order I trust.”
“So far, but we haven’t tested…”
“Right.” He clapped Jack on the shoulder, “I’ll see if I can find you some clothes.”
“So Mr. Davidson, you should consider yourself a very lucky man. Not a whole lot of people can live after what you went through.”
“Live through what?”
“Let’s go a little easy on him sir.” Jack sat up a little straighter when he noticed the green eye blond in the room. The suit smiled at his reaction. “He just woke up after all. I’m sure all of this is a lot to absorb all at once.”
“I suppose you’re right Miss Haily. I’ll let you two get acquainted. You will be spending a lot of time together after all.”
Jack watched him leave the room. He couldn’t quite figure that guy out. A nurse brought him some clothes. Miss Haily excused herself so he could get dressed. He was a little wobbly after getting off the table but he was standing without any problem. Jack saw a mirror on a wall and looked himself over. Hair and eyes were still brown, but scars of various sizes covered his upper body and legs. What happened to him? He wanted some answers and he wanted them now.
“Are you decent?”, Haily asked from the other side of the door.
“Give me a moment.” he dressed as quickly as he could. Grey sweats and a T-shirt along with the mandatory slippers. Jack had been in hospitals before and he never wore anything like this. “Miss Haily…”
“Call me Rachel.”
“Ok… Rachel, where exactly am I?”
She came back into the room. She sat in a chair and motioned for him to do the same. Jack turned it around and straddled it. “I can answer your question,” she began, “but I need to ask you one more question.” He rolled his eyes but waved it on. Anything to get some answers. “What’s the last thing you remember before waking up here?”
“The last thing I remember?” Jack thought about it. Various things floated through his mind. A lot of them didn’t make any sense. “I was hiking with my buddy Richie.” He thought about it some more. “And I think… there was… a… blue monkey?”
The memory of what happened came back to him.
“Come of Jack your falling behind,” Richie called back to him. Jack swore under his breath and quickened his pace. Never bet with a guy when his family owns a casino, that was his new motto. “Hey do you see that part of the mountain over there? Do you know what that reminds me of?”
“You say one thing about those stupid Japanese shows you watch and I swear I’m kicking your butt.”
“Dude I knew you were a sore loser but come on. Besides you don’t know quality programming when you see it.”
“Let’s just climb the stupid mountain.”
Richie chuckled as they headed toward it. They walked up it for awhile when Richie pointed at something, “Hey what’s that thing?” Whatever it was it was jumping all over the place. Gunshots could be heard right after they spotted it. “Maybe we should go now.”
“Smartest thing I ever heard you say.” Before they could turn around the thing stopped. About then they saw the guys dressed in black further down from whatever it was. They were trying to fire at the thing, which from his vantage point looked like a large blue monkey. “What in the world?”. The monkey looked at the scene before him then at the mountain around him.
One of the guys said, “Shoot it!”. The monkey jumped up and back to avoid the shot. Jack wasn’t sure but he thought it was holding something. Several section of the mountain below it exploded causing a rockslide.
“Run!!” Jack turned to run when another set of explosive went off about twenty feet above them. A rock the size of a baseball hit him between the shoulder blades. He went down but Richie picked him back up. Richie looked behind them eyes going wide. He pushed Jack away from him before a mass of rocks covered him. A boulder landed on his legs pinning him to the ground. Jack screamed in pain as he laid there. Another boulder came down and crushed an arm. His vision started to go blurry when the monkey landed by him. Jack looked up at it. Before everything went dark he thought it turned into a blond haired man. The next thing he knew he was waking up here.
“Richie.” Jack shot out of the chair, “Where’s Richie?”
Rachel looked down slightly, “I’m sorry…”
“No! You saved me.”
“You were barely alive when we our search team found you. Your legs and left arm were crushed.” He looked at his arms, that explained the scars on one.
“So you people thought I want a matching set!” She didn’t say anything. “And my legs were crushed, you said so yourself. Why am I still standing?” During his rant he realized something. “Wait, why would you have search teams out? You were after that thing weren’t you?”
“One of our teams were.”
“What in the hell is going on? Why am I not in a wheelchair? Why are there blue monkeys blowing up mountains? Who are you people?”
A little too calmly for his taste she answered, “I can answer two of those question for you right now. Like I told you, you were in pretty bad shape. You already lost a lot of blood when they found you. Nobody thought you were going to make it much longer. Mr. Anderson suggested a project R&D was working on.”
“Anderson, that was the guy in the suit right?”
“Yeah that was him. We developed an experimental treatment for cases like yours. Well not exactly like yours, it was a military application. Look you have to understand nobody knew if the Fusion Project was going work. Mr. Anderson took a…”
She let out a breath, “A fusion of man and machine.”
Jack laughed, “So am I worth six million dollars now? Or did that price go up because of inflation?”
“I’m glad you’re finding this funny,” she snapped. “I’m sorry, I realize this is a lot to take in. I mean I spent the past couple month getting ready for this. Before you ask it’s been six months since your accident.”
“Six months.” He dropped back in the chair. “But my mom…?”
She looked down at the floor again. “She thinks your dead.”
He shot out of the chair again, “What!?”
“After we identified you somebody sent word to your mother that you died in the avalanche.”
“So everybody I know thinks I’m dead?” She nodded as he walked away. “So your boss decides to put my nearly lifeless carcass in a program nobody knew was going to work. That’s just really convenient for you people.”
“You’re right.” Jack looked at her as she got up and joined him by the window. “Somebody messed up badly here. I’m going to everything in my power to get this fixed.”
He calmed down a bit after hearing that, “Thanks.”
“Hey not everybody here at World Inc. is trying to mess with you.”
“Never heard of it.”
“World Inc. policy is to stay away from the public eye as much as possible.”
He snorted, “A major corporation that doesn’t want publicity. There some rotten stuff is going on in here alright.”
“I don’t get down to R&D much, so you might be right. They could be growing a vampire down there for all I know,” she said with a smile. “You hungry?”
“After six months you figured I’d be starving.”
“That was the nutrient bath we kept you in. It basically feed you and kept your muscles from atrophying.” He shook his head as they headed for the door. “We’ve made a lot of advances in the medical field the world doesn’t know about. We want to make sure things are close to perfect before they are released. The bath seems to work just fine, it should be in hospitals before you know it. Probably should be in hospitals already.”
“They might be using it to feed the vampire.”
“Maybe we’ll see it in the cafeteria. Besides there still some things I need to tell you about the Fusion Project. And about your blue monkey.”
Anderson entered the security control room and watched the screens that filled the wall. He looked at each screen until he found the one with Haily and this Davidson. They were talking from the look of things, Davidson seemed rather animated at times. Times like these he wished these things came with sound. He would talk to Haily about it later. The more he knew about Davidson the better. An unknown in his organization would not do.
He waved a man foreword and pointed at the screen. “I want to follow these two. They’re leaving the room, hurry.”
“Over here sir.” He was lead to a desk in a corner that had an independent monitor. The guard typed a command into the keyboard and Haily and Davidson were on the screen. The view kept changing as the different cameras watched them. Turning back to the wall he looked for the appropriate screen. There he was, screen eighty seven. The monitor said Haily and Davidson were on camera seventy five, perfect.
He calmly walked over to another wall with a selection of phones and picked up the black one. The first ring just finished when he got an answer, “Yes Mr. Anderson.”
“Mitchell, we have slight alteration in the plan. I want the target engaged in section… ,” he looked at the monitors again, “section K. Don’t let the situation get too out of control unless you have to terminate the target.”
Anderson replaced the phone and returned to the monitor. Soon, all he had to do was wait.
“Sir?”, the guard spoke up. “Are you sure this is wise?”
“Probably not,” he admitted. “But I put a majority of the company finances into this particular project. I want to see if I got my money worth.” The guard said nothing else and left him alone with the monitor.
“Wait show me that arm movement again,” Jack said as he leaned against the wall. Rachel sighed as she raised her left arm across her chest. As he moved it to the right she brought her right arm up to her face. Then she brought her right hand down on something on her waist. “One more time.”
“Let’s just go,” she said as she walked off. Jack caught up with her. “You need to stay serious about this.”
“I’m sorry but it’s a little hard to take this seriously. You just told me I have an active military prototype keeping me alive. That, might I add, I can turn on by doing that stupid arm movement.”
“And saying the activator word,” she informed him. Jack just snorted. “It was done to make sure that whoever was bonded to the system couldn’t activate it accidently. I mean we don’t want a guy to power up every time he get’s angry.”
Jack waited a couple of beats before saying, “Well if he gets angry couldn’t he do the arm movements and say the word anyway?”
“No… well… ah… I.”
“Quite a few bugs you have to work out of this system.”
“I’ll send R&D you comments,” she said dryly. She was quiet for a few yards. “Ok it sounds really stupid. I don’t know who thought that up.”
“Anybody in R&D watch Japanese TV shows?”
“Just a hunch.” They turned into another hallway and he noticed something was different. So far Jack had seen a guard or two in every hallway they been in. So where was the guard for this one? The only other person was some janitor. Jack looked at him as they passed. Suddenly men wearing black and holding guns came around the corner ahead of them. Jack looked back to the hallway they came from, there was more coming around that corner too. He held up his hands, “Whoa.”
Rachel did the same thing but walk to the guy he thought was in charge. “Mitchell, what’s the meaning of this?”
“We got an intruder. I have orders to take care of it.” Mitchell had his gun pointed at the janitor, who was apparently going about his business like these guys weren’t even here. “Hold it!” The janitor stopped where he was. “Good now lay on the ground now.” He slowly turned to face Mitchell. “Don’t do anything stupid.” Jack knelt down in case the bullets started flying. The janitor cracked his neck and turned into a red bull.
“Oh my god,” Rachel blurted.
“Holy… ,” Jack started to say before the shooting started. The bull snorted and charged Mitchell and knocked him back. His men kept firing as the bull started toward the other group. The bull stopped and roared at the guard before crashing through a door.
Mitchell got back up to a knee and yelled into a microphone in his vest. “He’s running! I want all teams to intercept that thing!” As his men followed the bull he looked at Jack and Rachel. “Is that guy in the project?” Jack nodded. “Well get on the case dummy.”
“He’s not ready yet,” Rachel countered. “He’s nowhere near prepared for this yet.”
“Nothing better than on the job experience.”
“Is that thing with the monkey I saw?”, Jack asked her.
“Well yeah, but…:”
“What the activator word?”
“We don’t have one yet. They were going to input one when we tested the weapon systems.”
“So any word will do?” She nodded and Jack got up and chased after the bull. It crashed through a wall and into the next room. Was not going to be hard to follow that trail, that much was for sure. Going through room to room he tried to think of a word to use. When he caught up with the guards and the bull they were in a garage of some kind. And in all that time only one word rang through his head. “Damn you Richie.”
Jack stood there and raised his left arm like Rachel showed him. A belt with a grey, oval metal buckle with a red face plate and two grey pods at the sides appeared around his waist. Moving his arm to the left he brought up his right arm. He looked right at the bull and said, “Henshin!”, and slammed his right hand on top of the belt. He lowered his hands as the belt scanned his body. A black body suit with blue armor around his chest, top of his forearms, shins, feet and the back of his hands covered him. His vision had a tint of red as he looked out the helmet that covered his head.
In the security room Anderson smiled to himself. Everything was coming together perfectly. Now if the project worked like predicted things could go foreword.
Rachel had just come through the hole with Mitchell as Jack charged the bull. He punched it once and then kneed it in the side. Jack backed up then kicked it right in the snout. Suddenly he stopped attacking the bull when he saw his reflection in a windshield. “What are you doing?”, she shouted in disbelief.
“I look like a bug.”
“He kinda does,” Mitchell said, “with those antennas on his forehead.”
“You’re not helping,” Rachel told him. The bull recovered, grabbed him by the neck and tossed him. Jack landed hard on the hood of a car. The bull ran toward him with it’s fist over it’s head. Jack rolled out of the way as those fist slammed into the hood.
“Glad that’s not my car,” Mitchell commented.
“Shouldn’t you be making sure nobody else gets involved?”
“All teams secure the area,” he spoke into the mic. To her he said, “You think I’m going to miss the grand debut?”
Jack backed up against a railing as the bull charged again, “Oy.” He dropped down and flipped the bull over his shoulder and over the railing. It landed with a sickening thud on the concrete below. But it was still getting up. “I must be crazy.” He climbed the railing jumped on top of the bull. As it fell to the ground from the impact Jack started raining punches on it. One of his punches was caught and he was flung off. The bull slowly got to it’s feet but Jack was paying attention to something else in his vision. “I got some kind of meter going crazy here!”
“You have a excess energy build up,” Rachel shouted from the upper level. “The belt was designed to do that.” The bull swung at him again. He ducked and rolled under the arm and kicked it hard in the back. It stumbled foreword and fell on it’s face. “You have to reroute the energy, there’s a button under the belt.” The bull got up and tried to punch him, Jack caught it’s arm and threw it. He reached under the belt and found the button and pressed it. Two mini turbines in the belt stated spinning. After a moment he felt a charge run down his right leg.
“No way.” Jack looked up above him and said, “I’m only saying this one time for you.” Jack took a few steps back and started running at the bull. About halfway he jumped up high in the air. On the way down he extended his right leg and yelled, “Rider kick!” The bull looked up and his foot came into contact with it’s chest. Jack landed on his feet as the bull flew backward and exploded. He stood there and watched as the remains burned. What did he just do?
Anderson smiled at the scene on the monitor. The project worked as predicted. Now things could proceed as planned. “Send a clean up crew to the garage, and make sure nobody enters until they are done. Have Mitchell check the area for any unexpected witness, I don’t want this getting out.” He looked at the remains one more time. “And make sure he gets the proper respect he deserves. I’ll handle the ceremony myself.” He left the control room very satisfied with things. All of his plans were coming together.