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Sneak Peek! Chapter 2. Forging Humans: Broken and Surviving

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Chapter 2

A weight formed in Sadie’s chest. The accident had flashed before her eyes, and her heart trembled. Joy and tragedy returned to her dying spirit. Her body grew cold as she closed her eyes and embraced the moment.

Soon, I’ll fall asleep. The chains rattled, and the guards released her from the cuffs. She landed on her feet, but her legs gave out, and her head slammed against the floor.

“Let me die!” Sadie kicked the man closest to her, and he fell over. Her wrath gave her strength, and her body instinctively wasted it, but the action startled and woke her dying mind.

“Sorry, T4, there will be time for sleep later,” said the elderly man over the intercom. “So, stop the melodrama. You’re not going to die anytime soon.”

Sadie didn’t believe him, because it was impossible. Her heart didn’t stop. It pumped faster with her outburst. Bruises covered her body, but there wasn’t a single drop of blood on her skin.

Both guards walked over. The man that she had tripped told his colleague to wait. He glared at her and offered her a hand up.

Did they make me this way? This can’t be natural, right? She poked a bruise on her thigh. Metal bullets should’ve buried themselves into her flesh, yet somehow, they only left coin-sized bruises on her skin.

As she hesitated to take his hand, he kicked her square in the nose. Sadie was laid out on the floor, and the man kicked her again. She curled up as he wound his leg back to strike her again.

“That’s enough!” said the elderly man. “The test is over. Don’t get carried away. Take T4 to its room. We have a schedule to keep.”

“Hey, the director is serious. Quit playing around,” said the nonviolent guard. They lugged Sadie across the floor and carried her through the hallways. The angry guard ordered his colleague to open the door. Once open, he threw Sadie into the room. She fell on to the floor, and the door slammed shut behind her.

Sadie’s muscles and skin flared with the tiniest movement. The concrete eased her mind and cooled her body. Why did hell come into her life?

The pain tore the simple pleasure away. She crawled to the bathroom and climbed into the shower. Too tired to remove her clothes, she sat and soaked in the shower.

It soothed her injuries until her body became numb. She wanted to stay in the water. However, her chattering teeth and shivering arms disagreed. Between the cold and the injuries, she somehow managed to reach her bed.

After she failed to climb on to the mattress, she yanked the blanket off and wrapped it around her body. Sadie leaned on the bedside. All the events pounded into her life had given her a confusing headache.

She laid next to the bed and pinched herself to clear her mind. Disgusted by the wall, she turned and faced the underside of her mattress. It was clean, which allowed her to see through to the other side.

A new gown and a tray of food sat in the far corner of the room. The food hadn’t been there when they’d taken her from the room. She didn’t want to eat anything they gave her, but she had no other options to recover her strength. If Lars or her friends were going to find her, she was going leave this place and live the good life.

It was a few feet away, and Sadie exhausted herself before she could reach the plate. Instead of wallowing, she dragged her stomach across the floor. The food was a red, green, and orange goop served on top of a paper plate.

Ok, it doesn’t smell bad and I need to eat. She dipped a finger in the red stuff and stuck it in her mouth. It was mashed beans. The others were mashed carrots and spinach.

The plate was a meal for babies, and it disgusted her. A powerful bellow rumbled inside Sadie’s gullet. She swiped another finger through the goop, tasted it, and scooped a bit more with two fingers.

Her appetite consumed her, and she shoveled the food into her mouth by the handfuls. Sadie guzzled it as fast as she could. She licked the plate clean and sucked on her fingers.

I’m starving. This is my body, but it doesn’t feel like it’s mine. A prickling sensation crawled all over her. The itchiness went through her skin and into the core of her bones.

Sadie returned to the bed and tried to climb on to the mattress. Thanks to the food, she had the energy to stand and plop herself into bed. She closed her eyes, but her mind and body were restless. Although sleep was impossible, a soft bed was her favorite place to think.

There were many doubts in her mind. She pushed them aside and tried to focus. Her exit was a locked door. The guards had the keys, and they would stop her if she tried anything.

Where was the building’s exit? The maze of hallways had no signs or defining features. It was a concrete structure with no windows, and no one cared about her screaming. San Diego had some secluded areas, yet the police couldn’t drive by and visit every location.

Things grew complicated with each detail, and it drained her energy. Sadie started to nod off, so she sat upright. When nothing came to mind, she squeezed the pillow tight as she could and shouted into it.

It didn’t relieve any of her stress. She threw the pillow, and it stuck to her hand. The cloth casing was frayed, and the loose threads were caught by her fingernails.

Wonderful, they couldn’t give me a decent meal or a pillow. Sadie inspected the blanket and ran her fingers across it, wondering if she could find any bedbugs. Her fingernails snagged the cloth and tore a hole in the bedding.

She was upset, though somewhat grateful that her situation wasn’t worse. Then she slid her nails across the blanket. They weren’t sharp enough to cut, but the pressure and sawing motion made it possible to rip the material.

So my entire body is tougher now. I would’ve cracked my nails if I’d tried the same thing before all of this. She clawed the blanket until she shredded half of it into long strands.

Her weariness became boredom. Sadie braided the strands into a cord and tucked it into the waistband of her underwear. The cord was barely a foot long, but it was durable and easy to handle. She closed her eyes, and the sores prodded her until she drifted into dreamland.


Sadie woke with a cold sweat and leaped out of her bed. The worst nightmare of her life had returned to her dreams. She hadn’t thought about that terrible day ever since her first semester at the university. It had haunted her for many months, and Lars helped her defeat the depression.

Lars wasn’t here for Sadie, but her memory and future provided the morale support to quiet her phantom. The worst day was nothing in comparison. This place will also become a bad memory. I’m going to get married and grow old, and be happy.

The black door opened, and a pair of guards walked in. A thin man who wore a white coat followed them inside. He shut the door and said, “Please, sit up, T4. You require a medical checkup.”

“My name is Sadie.” She sat on the bed when the guards stepped closer to her. The men stood beside her, ready to attack.

“Let me see your arms.” The doctor took hold of them and poked the bruises with his bony fingers. He did the same with her legs. “Your injuries are light, and they’re healing quite well. Please lift your gown.”

“You can’t be serious!” Sadie changed her answer before the guards could touch her. She had no choice, so she asked for some privacy. The doctor told the guards to give them a moment.

It took a minute for the doctor to convince the guards to turn around and stare at the door. Sadie lifted her gown and bit her lip. The doctor’s sunken eyes scanned her body. Although he couldn’t have taken more than twenty seconds, it was longer than necessary.

She waited for the doctor to turn around before she pulled out the cord in her underwear. Sadie threw a loop over his head and twisted it around his neck. The man struggled, and she tightened his noose.

Both guards noticed the fight and moved in to stop her. Sadie stuck to the doctor and dragged him with the noose.

“Back off, or he dies!” She tightened the cord, and the doctor yelped.

“Release him. You’re not getting out of here.” The potbellied guard pulled out a stun gun, and his associate sprinted around Sadie. She rammed the doctor into the fatter guard and pushed them to the floor.

Then she grabbed the guard’s weapon, a shocking pain coursed through her body, and she spasmed out of control. Sadie, the doctor, and the guard were electrocuted. She suffered, and the men felt the worst of it.

When the merciless convulsions stopped, the guard behind Sadie handcuffed her and dragged her to the corner. Two men were unconscious, while the conscious guard put a new cartridge into his stun gun.

Another pair of guards had come in. They carried Sadie away into the same dreadful room where they had used her for target practice. After they chained her to the ceiling, she noticed there were no guns in the room.

They had wrenches, knives, saws, and other tools on the table. The items were normal. However, it didn’t make the situation any less disturbing.

“That was uncalled for, T4,” said the director over the intercom. “The doctor reported that you’re in good health. Then again, he might just want you to suffer. Start the testing. We’ll know soon enough.”

A guard grabbed the crowbar and swung it into Sadie’s gut. While she coughed and tried to breathe, the man stabbed her in the breasts with the sharp end of the bar. It prodded her lungs and made screaming burdensome.

The other guard grabbed the ax and struck her from behind. He struck her thigh and drove the momentum into her bones. Then he swung his ax as if he were trying to chop down a tree. Her entire being trembled with each blow.

She shut her eyes and gritted her teeth. The tools hit deeper than any bullet, and yet they couldn’t kill her. Whenever something challenged her in the past, she would power through it or would find inspiration over the course of time. As long as she lived, there was hope.

Sadie lost her focus and screamed with agony. The man had struck her spine with his ax. He continued to strike her spinal cord, and for a split second, she wanted to die.

The injuries battered her brain. Near-death flashes came and went. A bizarre mix of fear and adrenaline overwhelmed her.

“Please…stop.” A heavy blow struck her head, and she bit the inside of her mouth. When the taste of blood oozed from her tongue, she heard someone shout.

Her body felt broken, yet she raised her head to see what had occurred. A guard was bleeding from his shoulder. The ax was broken, and blood had coated the blade. Sadie laughed. It served them right for what they had done.

Although the guard was bleeding, he declined first-aid from his colleague, and he took a hammer from the table. He ran over and bashed her in the jaw. Then he grabbed her hair and hammered her nose.

Hours dredged on forever until the guards were told to stop. They were ordered to carry Sadie to her bed. She smiled when they tucked her in for the night.

They beat the hell out of me, but I’m alive. Those guys were big and muscular yet they were tired by the end of it. After I eat, I’ll figure out how to escape and make them regret everything.


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