Categories > TV > Dark Angel > Early Days0 Reviews
A six-month stint in Psy Ops finally comes to an end.
Without warning, the door to his cell was flung open. Two guards, X4s this time, their tufted ears and slitted pupils regarded as too outlandish to allow them on covert missions, filled the doorway, tasers loosely held in their hands.
494 froze, watching them warily. They were early today; he hadn't even had the chance to finish dressing after reveille sounded, and facing them barefoot dressed only in army issue boxers did nothing for his confidence. Yet he kept his face passive, careful not to show any outward emotion. It was probably another trick from the seemingly bottomless well of methods to keep him on his toes and upset his mental state.
How long since they dragged his ass into Psy Ops? He couldn't be sure--some of the time had been spent in a drug-induced haze--but it had to be close to six months. How much longer were they planning on keeping him? And what the hell had he done wrong to end up in this hellhole in the first place?
Another person stepped into his cell, his appearance surprising 494 out of his reverie. Instead of the bulky orderlies he had expected, their job to drag him off to whatever the day's tests would involve, the man who entered was slight, wearing a white lab coat that instantly identified him as one of the shrinks. The X5 couldn't put a name to the face; they never bothered to introduce themselves before the torment began, but he did have a vague recollection of this man watching stoically, clipboard in hand, while non-existent demons that his hallucinogen-drugged mind had conjured up at the X5 alive. It wasn't an experience he cared to repeat. Some day, 494 vowed, he would like to see their roles reversed. See how impassive the doctor could remain then.
Of course, none of his thoughts showed on his face. He knew the drill too well to fall into that particular trap. Keep your thoughts to yourself, and give them what they want. The maxim had kept him alive for twenty years and he wasn't about to abandon it in a moment of futile desire for payback.
He snapped to attention, knowing it was the expected response even though the doctor held no military rank.
"As you were, soldier," his visitor said.
494 relaxed his stance a bit but did not lower his guard. Anything that broke the uncomfortable routine of the last months was likely to be unpleasant. He carefully kept his gaze on the wall, a few inches over the psychiatrist's left shoulder.
"I have good news, and bad," the doctor said. "Which do you want first?"
494's brow twitched, wanting to frown in confusion. He risked a quick glance at the man's face to see if he were being goaded into some kind of response. A faint smirk played around the shrink's lips. More games, then.
The psychiatrist chuckled. "All right. Congratulations, 494, you have been cleared for reassignment, meaning your stay as our guest has sadly come to an end. We've given you a clean bill of health, no mental disorders lurking in that precious DNA of yours."
This time, 494 failed to keep the surprise from showing in his expression and his eyes snapped to the doctor's face. They were letting him out of Psy Ops? About damn time.
And assuming that was the good news, what would be the bad?
His visitor did not keep him wondering for long. "You understand that your return to active duty is still to be confirmed by the director. And to tell you the truth, we have recommended you're to be terminated. You may not have a mental disorder, we have failed to rid you of your intractable nature. No, don't give me that look." The doctor smiled, mildly amused. "You don't fool me with that act. And I doubt you'll fool Director Renfro."
Well, wasn't that just great. They'd release him from Psy Ops only to put him down like a rabid dog. Despite the pain they put him through, the drugs, the harsh treatment, 494 did not want to die.
"Well, get yourself dressed," the doctor said with a nod to the camouflage pants dangling from 494's hands. "These soldiers will escort you to the main compound, where your fate will be decided." He turned to leave the cell.
"Sir?" 494 tried.
"Yes, soldier?" The doctor turned back.
"Sir, why was I here in the first place?" He had to know whether it was something he had done, if only to avoid making the same mistake again.
"They never told you?" The man's surprise was genuine and his features softened, giving him an almost sympathetic appearance. "It was your twin, X5-493."
"The one who escaped in '09."
"Yes. He went insane. Turned psychopath. He killed a bunch of people in cold blood."
And how's that different from what he was designed for, what /I /am designed for?
Of course 494 did not voice the question. Instead, he straightened in a semi-salute. "Thank you, sir."