He had to run if he wanted to make the 2 o’clock train. A torrential rain had turned the sidewalk into a treacherous obstacle course and his Italian leather loafers were drenched, soaked through to his socks. Risking a fall, he leaped up the stairs two at a time and into the station. The Bulova on his wrist read 1:59. A horn blasted through the vaulted ceilings and his train began to pull away.
As he burst into the station and sprinted toward the platform his legs were suddenly taken out from under him. Falling as if in slow motion, he caught a glimpse of his assistant’s balding head. The image was short-lived however, as his head slammed into the concrete floor and his consciousness went out like a light flipped off.
Waking proved to be less than pleasurable, not only due to the throbbing in his head but because he couldn’t feel his arms and legs. He couldn’t move. Regret for not leaving last night tried to infiltrate his cloudy mind, like gas seeping into the room? What’s that hissing sou…
When he woke again, his thoughts were a bit clearer, unfortunately the scene was no less horrifying. As he strained to raise his head enough to view his surroundings, he realized why he’d not been able to feel his arms and legs. The were gone! He was a torso with a head, connected by wires and cables to a variety of buzzing, clicking, and wheezing machines with blinking lights in horizontal rows. He’d never dreamed the Burrell family could be so ruthless. He remembered his wife and child, waiting for him in Sao Paolo. Were they still safe? Did they even know what had befallen him? Would they ever know? He was sure he would never see them again.
He didn’t have to wait long to discover his fate. Dr. Burrell entered just then wearing a silver, hooded, hazmat suit. As the Doctor approached the table he was releasing a greenish mist into the air around him from a hand-held spray bottle.
“I’m glad you could finally join us, Stephen,” Doctor Burrell said, his face a leering grin inside the suit. “We do hope you’re quite comfortable, though it wont matter much longer. You’ll be dead within the hour.” Dr. Burrell laughed maniacally and began adjusting dials on a nearby machine.
Stephen felt like his head was sinking into the table underneath him as the gas saturated his brain cells. His eyes suddenly watered and his focus wavered. Within a few more seconds he was blind! His last thought before he died was, strangely enough, not of his wife and child waiting for him in South America, but about the C4 explosives packed in the dental bridge in his lower left jaw, set to detonate once his brain waves ceased firing:
They’ll get a real bang out of th…