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They woke him up again! He was surprised. Why had they come so soon?
“Because time has no meaning in the Asylum.” Tristan answered his own question. He was barely conscious as they walked him down to the Laboratory because he was so tired! They couldn’t have let him sleep? When he saw Damien and Dr. Lucio, he woke up instantly. There was something malicious in Damien’s eyes, something that promised no good.
“Tristan, I think we figured out the kink in the system and since you had the best result, you get to try first.”
“Ah, there is so much joy in being a lab rat.” He said sarcastically as Miles and Tommy strapped him in the chair. He sighed and mentally went through the steps to get the machine working. Lift the lever, push the blue button, slide three slidy-thingies simultaneously and twist the dial. The out-of-body experience was something he did not expect to happen. Good, he could figure out the danger from Dr. Lucio.
“Damien is planning something big, and it’s up to you to stop it.” Dr. Lucio’s voice told him urgently. “After this session, escape immediately and go to Acercarca. You’ll be safe there.” Before Tristan could ask him to explain everything, and odd noise accompanied by smoke distracted him.
“Uh, oh. The danger levels are extremely high.” Dr. Lucio called. “Should I unhook the boy from the machine?”
“No, leave him. I want to see what happens.” Damien replied. “What will happen? Well, if the boy dies, it will be in the name of science.” Tristan fought a rising panic.
“I’m going to die!” He thought. A sputtering told him it was too late. The machine was about to explode. The explosion, to him was not really like an explosion at first. He felt a tingling all over, followed by warmth and a peculiar sensation of snapping threads in his head. Then, as the last string broke, his mind was in agony. It was utterly disconnected to his body and was not used to this openness! It was overwhelming and painful. He became aware of the various needles and straps pulling at his skin and creating small, painful bruises on his arms. His left side felt like it was blistering but a quick glance reassured him that nothing was wrong. No one else was in the room; they had all rushed from the explosion. He experimentally pulled at his straps and they crumbled, charred and destroyed. That was funny. He didn’t feel burned to a crisp like he should be. He was glad he had his shoes on as he ran down the hall. No need to be stealthy-they would know he was gone in a couple of minutes. He threw the door open and he was out! He ran down the alley, breathing heavily. He only had a few seconds before they would catch him. If he could only get out into the open they wouldn’t be able to find him. He could escape onto a bus and just get out of town.
“Al…most…there!” Tristan panted. He could see the daylight ahead and people going about their business. No one paid attention to the dirty boy emerging from the dark alley and blinking in the sunlight. No one noticed that he was pale and skinny, their eyes slid over him because they thought he was just another beggar waiting for food. Tristan wove his way swiftly through the crowd and luckily found a bus pulling up to the sidewalk. He quickly made a beeline for it and plopped down on an empty seat next to a teenage girl. He was preoccupied with the frightening feeling of an unlimited mind. It felt as if his mind was a blanket, covering a vast amount of people at one time and a sponge soaking up thoughts.
“…looks like he’s in pain or something.” He noticed a woman glaring at him distrustfully. He got a mental picture of himself- his forehead was creased and his eyes were tightly shut although he didn’t feel blind in the least.
“Ha!” His head whipped around to look at the girl beside him. She was a little darker than he was and her eyes were a deep brown color that was haunted with untold tales. She smiled a little although her forehead was furrowed in an emotion that looked like fear or confusion. He was confused as well. Why was she laughing at him? He listened harder but he didn’t hear anything. It was if she wasn’t even there. Tristan strained further. Nope. Nothing. Hmm, strange. Just as he was about to give up, something slipped and he could hear a song playing. The radio wasn’t on. Even stranger. There it was again! Only this time, it was a few high notes mixed with some mysterious tune. It seemed to come from the girl next to him. Why would it be originating from her? It didn’t sound like she was singing in her head but rather a CD was playing. Then, suddenly, a voice started to sing.
“Take the 88 bus, go to the end of the line and someone will tell me how to get to the Asylum.” Wow, this was so weird. It was some random directions but it was in perfect harmony. Tristan bolted straight up in his chair. Did she say, think, uh, sing about the Asylum? She couldn’t go there!