Chapter 1

Scott Collins

            His life so far had been anything but boring. He had grown up in a small town, son of a single farm girl, who despite the odds turned into workaholic businesswoman. At the age of four his mother was married to an ex-marine. Things between father and son were always rocky, but had the potential for a great finish.

            As far as he could remember he thought he was destined to become a warrior, it was how it was supposed to be. His father and adoring grandfather taught him to hunt; fish, shoot, ride, and the best of all they taught him to use his mind. Through junior high and high school he read every adventure book he could find, and used classroom to expand his knowledge. By the age of ten Scott was working on farms landscaping, building his slender body into a working machine.

At sixteen he owned his own business. His not quite mature mind leading him on a path that should have been foolish to follow, a path where there was no place for him. Perceived and predicted he was going to end up working some dead end job living day-to-day and raising children with or without a wife to help him. That was the American way  

            Just before graduation early in his seventeenth year, his life turned upside down. For the first, but not last time. Scott had become a box-boy in the off-season, for reasons known only to the boss he was fired. That evening, his mother claiming he was depressed, threatened to send him to a shrink. He refused. And was promptly kicked out of the house.


A few weeks later he found himself living with a drug dealer, calling her Mom and most of the two bit hoodlums in the town brother or sister. Learning the hard way what it meant to be poor, Scott grew up fast, learning more in half a year of hardship than he did in six years of self dedicated labor.  He had lived with the best of society, and then he lived with the worst. Sadly some of the good people that he had grown to trust turned to be among the bad. His fathers boss bought drugs from the house he was living at, the cops took petty bribes, and the poor down and outers saw this, that in itself was the driving force that kept them going. “If the wealthy sell for fun, I’ll have fun getting wealthy”

Scott, no matter how much he did was untouchable. The truly good people never believed he was doing wrong, and the others covered for him. As hard as he tried punishment only came when he attempted to help others and failed, his adopted mother beaten, her daughters pushed back and fourth between family, friends in jail, a beautiful young fiancée raped, and Scott wandering without a purpose.

            Later that year

            One of his few true friends found him, drunk, sick and mentally broken. He was bleeding from many self-inflicted cuts and had begun to live in his own personal world of torture and punishment. Oddly it was this world that led him into the Deathlands.

            Three months passed and he was up and running again, this time in a new direction. A military family he turned to the one direction that could set things right again. He set out for the Navy. Fate it seemed had smiled upon him and he was offered the job of his dreams. An Intelligence Specialist, a Spook, Men in Black. It turned out that he was a glorified secretary.

            His personal world caught up to him within six months. Scott was sent to see doctors and the shrinks. What came out of it? Most of them told him the same thing. “A genius or a total Nut case I can’t decide if he is telling the truth or lying out his ass.” Recommendations for discharge flooded the CO’s desk. But he was far from getting home. Which was the driving factor behind his “Madness”.

            Sadly intelligence specialists are not allowed to be crazy, IS3 Scott Collins was taken to a place even he could never have imagined.      


            Forced to take medication that they claimed would “Help with the Depression” He was drugged and transported to a secure facility in the high Cascade mountain range.  No memories exist of his first few weeks at the redout, but vivid and horrifying images bombard his sleep. His first recollection was of the drugs wearing off. He was lying in a scantly furnished room. One small cot, a dresser, a bathroom (head in Navy terms), and a small desk. Really all he needed but nothing that would tell him about where he was or what he was doing. Normally he probably would have panicked but the drugs, not yet gone subdued his anxiety.

            After days alone two white coats lead him into a padded room. As the tests began he was forced to take pill after pill some varying in size, shape, and color, and all differing in their effect. Most of the early meds deprived his mind of all contact to the outside world. He could not see or hear anything. And although he was not alone in the room he had no way to communicate with the people studying him. Two weeks of solitary torture turned his mind inside out. In theory, during the differing stages of Sensory Deprivation his mind would search out new ways to communicate with the body and the people around him. There theory was correct     

            The next phase in the program was without pills, he was thrown in the Sensory Deprivation tank for three days. The water he floated in was kept at the same temperature as his body, and a special facemask covered his eyes, plugged his ears, and fed him nutrients. 

In the fourth step he was locked into a room with several men and women who where on the first step in the program. He could see them feel them, and hear their screams and wails, but in no way could he communicate.  

Outside contact has been removed and the ability to communicate not possible, his mind began to adapt, or rather awaken. Tests taken with advanced sensors placed within the room showed activity in parts of the brain that lay dormant in nearly all humans. Impressions almost like words began to leak into his head from an outside sources, feelings of fear anger hate seeped from the bodies that occupied the room with him. And feelings of excitement, love and appreciation came from outside after positive reactions to tests they had set up.

  By day seven of eleven in the room he had separated the feeling to different locations. There were no faces to them but he could sense them as they traveled around the room watching him through two-way mirrors. One displayed satisfaction; another it felt to him was a young female showed regret and at the same time excitement, an older presence seemed to beam with pride and self-confidence, and somewhere deep within the redout he could feel two souls calling out to him.  On day eight the six of the ten men and women in the room stopped yelling. And began to sleep peacefully. 

Day nine. The first contact during his stay in the room was over joyous for the team of whitecoats.  In exchange for an hour of music Scott willingly played a game with them. They held up a card and he matched it. Tests during his interviews before he was brought to the redout had revealed an average aptitude for matching the symbols, this time he made no mistakes.

On day ten the unthinkable happened. Acting on anger and desperation Scott walked over to the wall nearest where the old man stood, looked him in the eye, even though he couldn’t see him physically and sent an impression. An unmistakable image that hammered through the whitecoats skull. In his mind Scott created a picture of a cage then summoning all the willpower anger and fear he had he yanked the door of its hinges.

The old man fell to the ground, his mind replaying the groaning of mettle and then the deafening explosion as steel gave way and the cage door burst outward over and over again. Robert Scott Grey stood there looking at himself in a mirror nose bleeding physically exhausted. But he had got his message to them, he wanted out.


Phase four had never been completed before. Since literally none of the other “Lab Rats” had survived a solid month of mental torture. Scott was again loaded with pills of varying size, shape, and color.  But this time it was different. They were psychedelics, mood enhancers, performance drugs, speed, ecstasy, acid and many other untested platform drugs.     

Fueled by these Scott’s mind opened once more. Unspoken voices some real and some not, filtered into his now fully active brain. But it was the last drug that he took that opened the door forever. During his life Scott had studied the martial arts he had learned to meditate, he had studied Eastern medicine through books and had adopted and created an amount of mental control. Many times while experimenting with ecstasy he had meditated using the drugs effects to lead himself into a trance. When the powerful effects hit him and he did what was natural. He went within himself and began to explore. Slowly he tossed away the garbage that cluttered his mind, rearranging what was out of place, breaking down walls and building new ones. He found and used the chi that he had believed in and always sought without luck.

But now fully aware he could feel the luring power. It felt almost like a different person. This was the creation of years worth of mental and physical punishment. Finely he had tapped the primal force hidden within. Deep in meditation he whispered a line from a poem he had read long ago. “And I eat of my heart because it is my own, and because I like it”

The drugs wore off sooner then they should have, Scott arose from his position on the floor looking strong and healthy, his skin was no longer pale and is eyes once again had that piercing gaze that won him many female friends in times past. When the doctors came in to get hem he walked without help, he did not sake out of anger or tremble in fear when they got close. Then calmly and thoughtfully he asked to go home.

What he took as the answer was not what they intended to say, and was not directed at him. In there moment of triumph, they had found there demise. In front of them was a perfect specimen, physically fit mentally strong and now awake.  The laughing set him off; the one thing that he had hoped for the last year and a half was to go home. He had given them what they wanted; “results” and now they were not going to give him what he asked for.  Not acceptable.

Andrew the old one died from a crushed larynx, Max survived loosing the use of his left arm after Scott dislocated it and bent it the wrong direction over his knee.  Amanda was the luckiest of the three, Scott as primal as he was at the time felt her fear. And for a few seconds held back his furry, those few seconds were more than enough; six armed guards who were posted outside tackled in unison, striking him with clubs and stun batons.  .



Scott didn’t know what occurred just before he awoke. What he was able to piece together from memory told him that something big had happened.  The general quarters alarm was blaring and the intercom spat numbers and alarm names and states of readiness reports for at least twenty minutes. While onboard the USS Enterprise Scott had done the drill many times. But the fear that hit him in waves from every direction told him it was real.

An hour after the alarm first went off Scott was hauled down the white hallways for a while, and then he was thrown onto a Master At Arms “Go-Cart” and driven down to the lowest level. Physically and mentally exhausted he had no care in the world, and what was happening around him made no sense. But then again it didn’t matter to him

Held up by two armed sec men Scott’s battered and bruised body was thrown in a small six-walled chamber. Semi conscious he heard the officers speaking.

Words that he heard physically

“We needed a test subject, so I found one” Colonel Brook sneered

“Are you sure the Matter Transfer Unit is ready?”

“That is what he’s for” Almost laughing

“The missiles are away.”

“I’m tracking two to this location”

“Start the dammed thing so we can get out of here”

The words he felt

            “He killed doc, if he dies he dies”

“I’m not getting in this thing unless it works”

“I’ll get in and shut the door. By the time the unit is ready again this redout will be long gone. Just remember Brook 352, and 253 to open or close the doors.

“Oh my god, they are going to kill us all!”

“Ohhh god, please hurry.”

Sitting in the chamber he watched the doors close, he saw the fog appear, noticed as the floor and ceiling began to glow, Scott herd the young Crypto Tech say that there defenses had failed and he felt the ground begin to rumble. But that was the last memory he had in January of 2001.

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