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Aberrant: Afterlife - The Lottery - Afterlife: The Lottery

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The sound of the light switch echoed suddenly in the cavernous, clean room. Carefully adjusting his black Lycra mask, a man dressed in a white lab coat walks slowly across the room, counting the silver cryogenic stasis tubes as his steady pace brings him to a control panel in the far wall.

Time to wake up the fresh meat….

Reaching up to the control panel, he flips open the cover of a toggle switch. Looking at his watch and waiting for just a moment before flipping the switch. Instantly the room is filled with the noise of running pumps and pneumatic hisses. Shaking his head, the man walks across the lab to a table with chairs (in fact, it was the only other furniture in the room besides the cryogenic units) and sits down. Out of the lab coat pocket the man withdraws a newspaper and starts to read what great thing PU had done recently.

[Much… Much Later]

The newspaper was spread across the table after each section had been carefully opened to read, and then disposed with little care. A zip lock bag with a half eaten sandwich sits on top of those. The man holding a single page of the newspaper glances up when the humming of the pumps quiets down, getting up to walk over to the nearest cryogenic tube. Knocking on the glass and waving down at the person within, the man grins knowing his job is almost done.

[Later Still]

The group of people assembles around the table, covered only by simple bath robe given to each one them by the masked man before them. His face still covered by the mask, the group was confused and hungry, but the hunger would have to wait for the confusion to subside.

Everybody, I want to welcome you all to your Afterlife. I know you all are trying to remember who, where, and why you are here. All I will tell you in that regard is that you are here of your own free will and that you are being well taken care of. I say this is your Afterlife because each of you was diagnosed with a terminal disease and approached by my organization. You have undergone an experimental treatment that has on 87% of the time produced a positive change in the patient. Unfortunately, that same treatment has left you with your current lack of memory and will most likely be permanent. This is the real hard part for me, I want you each to know that your loved ones are being taken care of, but you can never go back to the life you once had. It would be… a very bad thing. At this time I will give each of you a video chip with your name on it, when everyone has their tape we will precede to the viewing room. I know you have questions, but please keep them until later.

The man starts handing each person a chip that has their name and face on it. Once everyone has their chip, the masked man has them move into the next room and one by one watch their story.

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OOC: I'm just going to post something different, since I don't think I can remember what I posted the first time.

At the table sits a man of slightly above average height and weight with short, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He looks extremely subdued, like the others at the table, and with good reason. He is incredibly handsome and looks dashing and in-control even in his extreme confusion.

“Everybody, I want to welcome you all to your Afterlife. I know you all are trying to remember who, where, and why you are here. All I will tell you in that regard is that you are here of your own free will and that you are being well taken care of. I say this is your Afterlife because each of you was diagnosed with a terminal disease and approached by my organization. You have undergone an experimental treatment that has on 87% of the time produced a positive change in the patient. Unfortunately, that same treatment has left you with your current lack of memory and will most likely be permanent. This is the real hard part for me, I want you each to know that your loved ones are being taken care of, but you can never go back to the life you once had. It would be… a very bad thing. At this time I will give each of you a video chip with your name on it, when everyone has their tape we will precede to the viewing room. I know you have questions, but please keep them until later.”

The man snaps, "What?"

He pauses for a minute to choose his words, then realizes that he has precious few words to ask, and shrugs in a "fair enough" way.

"Okay."

He waits for his microchip, but is instead handed a sealed envelope. He gives the masked man a weary look suggesting that he has more or less had it, but accepts it and opens it.

Note to self:

Well, welcome to the other side. You're undoubtedly wondering exactly who and where you are, and exactly why you can't remember who or where you are. Cleverly put, huh? I'm a clever guy. Now you are too.

You also have a cool name: Hank Joshua Spenser. I picked it out for you myself, so you'd better like it. All things considered, it'd be pretty ****ing weird if you didn't. Anyway.

I guess I can't tell you anymore. You get the very, very short end of the stick there, I'm afraid. I hope you can handle that. Personally, I think you probably can. Then again, nobody knows quite how different you're going to be from me.

The letter is not signed.

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*Thump, Sheeeet, vrrrrr*

Each sound ran through the boys skull like railroad spikes being driven into his eyesockets. His first few seconds of his new existance were pure agony. So many sensations and senses that he had not felt or seen in...who knows how long.

He slowly opened his eyes and sat up, rubbing his left eye with his left hand.

He cursed in korean briefly, complaining about his headache, his joint pain and his general discomfort (that bed he was in is *COLD*). He put on the robe that is handed to him. No wonder it was so cold! No blanket and no clothes! Where was he?

...

...

Wait...who was he? His eyes dart around finally taking in everything and realising that he couldent remember anything. What happened?

He was about to ask what happened when the scientist gave his speech. Did that seem prepared? She shook his head in disbelief, but held out his hand in turn.

The chip had a picture of a handsome asian boy who had his tongue flatly poked out and a tall mohawk standing on his head proudly. It bore the title, "Choi, Hyun". Hyun. The hell sort of name is that? Wait...its...oriental...

He looks noticably suprised as he realises that what he was saying earlier and the language that the scientist spoke were different, and he understood both.

He makes his way into the viewing room, and takes it unto himself to go first. He walks over to the player and looks at the machine, then the chip.

It works like...this...

He inserted the chip and pressed play. At least he remembered that...

The screen blinked on to show the face that was on the chip, except it was very pale, very gaunt, and bore many healed scratches on the left side of his head. The image looked starved and his eyes were on the verge of verge of showing how much of his mind was really gone.

"Hey man. I guess they already told you. Im gonna die. There is really no way around it. No way...We have tried everything. I have AIDS...they say is a new strand...one they havent seen before. None of their cures worked. Its been so long since I was diagnosed...It even skipped the first period...the uhhh...HIV stage. They couldent fine anyone who had it...they said it mutated in me or something. Who knows..." The boy looks down, as if he world ended.

"All I know is that its too soon for me. I need to do more good. I need to live! I need to show everyone! Show them that I am good! Better! I need to do good so that my karma is goo..." The video ends upruptly as he starts to shout and move around more. It was like a bomb of energy went off in him when he started to talk about his fate.

Its a few seconds before the black screen that proclaimed 'Please Wait..." came back on. The bed was slightly dissheveled, as was the boy.

"...You must do good in this next life. This was the only way that I could get the time I needed to do good. To get good Karma. To show them all how good you are! You need to do good. Remember that....show that..."

The screen goes blank again. Was this him? Had he ever acted so out of it...so senile?

"Show them all. Show them all that you can do in your next life. Go on and show them."

The boy picks up a small silver unit, and hits something on it and the screen goes blank. The chip slides out.

Hyun looks at it for a second. He wasent sure wether he wanted to take it or to put it back in to see if there was more. He took hold of his chip, and took a seat. A thousand questions went through his head...but he couldent bring himself to ask any of them yet. Was he really supposed to be dead? Was that really him in that maddened state? What happened? Who was he?

That was the question that seemed the most important. Who was he? That embraced so many aspects of a persons existance. For right now though...he could only wait and see.

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The video starts.

An ancient man stares into the camera and laughs without humor.  He says,

“Your name is Joe Brickman.  You were born in 1916.  You fought in the big war, the cold war, and you have outlived all your wives and children.”

Joe switches to French mixed in with Russian and continues,

“And these idiots think I don’t know I’m incurable and a poor candidate for this.  It’s a race to see what will kill me, and I chose not to rot inside my skull.  {He continues but doesn’t say much else…}

Somewhat healthier, but still obviously in pain, Joe looked at this video “log” with an expression of dismay and anger. He had no problem following the English, French, and/or Russian, and he easily recognized the person on the other side of the screen as himself.

In a combination of English, French, & Russian he shouted, getting angrier and angrier as he went along.

“That’s IT!!! That was the plan you stupid oaf? I’m still in pain, I gave up my past, and THAT’S IT!?!”

“Now I still have the same problem AND I can’t even be consoled by my memories? What good is that?! The plan failed!!! Afterlife indeed! I wanted to end it.”

“NO, I WANT MY YOUTH BACK WITH ITS INFINITE PROMISE!!!”

There was a flash of light.

{12 Hours after the event}

Voice #1: We still can’t get in?

Voice #2: No. The door won’t open and it can’t be broken.

Voice #1: How about drilling a hole in the wall?

Voice #2: Tried that. The drill halts less than one inch into the wall. Drilling in from the above room does the same thing. Nothing gets in. This is why the sinks, toilets, and showers in the rooms above don’t work. The water pipes go through that room.

Voice #1: Have we tried looking in the window?

Voice #2: Yes. The TV is frozen on a frame towards the end of Brickman’s video. We can see a shadow of him and it looks changed, but we can’t see him directly from the window, and we can’t break the window either. What does science say about this?

Voice #1: The closest thing on file is a Time Stop created by temporal novas. We think he is still erupting.

Voice #2: I thought this kind of eruption was instantaneous?

Voice #1: It is.

Voice #2: Uh?

Voice #1: Inside the bubble no time is passing at all. From his perspective he is having an instantaneous eruption.

Voice #2: I’m getting a head ache.

Voice #1: Me too. Still, this is already one of the longest time stops on record. Keep everyone away from the surrounding rooms, keep watch and let me know when it ends.

{30 hours after the event}

The lights in Joe’s room went out at the same time he fell heavily to the floor. He felt good. He felt terrible. He felt different. He was confused. He knew everything. None of his clothes fit. Joe struggled free of his shirt and then noticed that his arm had red hair growing from it. The hand on the end of the arm wasn’t his.

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"That’s IT!!! That was the plan you stupid oaf? I’m still in pain, I gave up my past, and THAT’S IT!?!"

"Now I still have the same problem AND I can’t even be consoled by my memories? What good is that?! The plan failed!!! Afterlife indeed! I wanted to end it."

"NO, I WANT MY YOUTH BACK WITH ITS INFINITE PROMISE!!!"

Hank stands up and places a large hand on the old man's shoulder.

"What's done can't be undone, sir, try to calm down.."

His tone is ultimately friendly and soothing. But all of a sudden..

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David awoke as if from a dream, the lights of the room burning his eyes. And it was so cold in the room - so very cold. But in spite of the cold and the brightness, he opened his eyes.

Minutes later, a brown envelope was placed in his hand - it contained a single sheet of typewritten paper.

Name: David George Tuskin

Age: 32

Medical Notes = Low CBCs and hepatomegaly consistent with end-stage Hepatitis. Elevated T-cells confirm that patient's HIV has reached a near-fatal stage.

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She wakes up inside a tube. A masked man is looking down at her. He opens the tube and lets her out. She put son the bathrobe he gives to her and follows him obediently to the room where other people in bathrobes wait. The masked man speaks and hands her a chip, which she puts into the player when the men are finished using it. She couldn't say why she'd waited, only that it seemed right to do so at the moment.

On screen:

A young Mediterranean woman with large eyes and dark stubble on her shaven head speaks to the camera in a Spanish accent:

“Anna Maria Magdalena Rodriguez was a no one with a do-nothing life and a go-nowhere job somewhere in Spain. She was enough of an artist to do it for a hobby but not good enough to do it for a living. In short, her life sucked.

She got cancer one day and had to go to America to be treated. By the time you read this, she will be dead in one way or another. You’re just someone with her face.

Oh, and grow your hair. They shaved it when they tried chemotherapy."

She mouths her name silently, tasting the complicated syllables and feeling nothing. Anna Maria Magdalena Rodriguez. She bunches the robe in her hands and kneads it like clay instinctively. Artist, but not good. Perhaps in this change, it would be better.

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The korean (?) boy frowned. Only 3 videos. Everyone else is deciding to write themselves...the hell is up with that? Not that it really matters. All of that is, apparently, in the past. Something they wont have to worry about again.

He put his hand up to his head. He still had a headache. Was that part of the process they went through? Would it even go away. Damn...this really sucked.

Another flurry of questions ran through his mind. Why couldent they contact their families? Were they even still alive? Didnt they think that we could handle knowing that they were dead? Were these video files even true? What was the process they went through for freezing? What did they do to cure him?

He couldent help thinking through them. All these questions...None of the answers.

One of the questions blazed back to the forefront of his mind. WHY? It questioned. Why cant we *know*? Wouldent people miss them? Would they all have family who knew?

He stood up, cocking his head to the side so that his long loose hair that should have made a mohawk fell off to the side that the scientist was standing.

"Hey, Is it Q&A time now or what? I want to know whats going on. I want to know exactly what the hell you did to us and *why* the hell we cant call our families."

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Watching from the shadows as the few tapes are played and the envelopes emptied, the Masked Man bows his head down as it moves from side to side. His arms folded together and pressed to his chest as he leans against the wall, the Masked Man watches in awe as the first one manifests powers, disappearing in the room entirely leaving a slowly growing bubble. Knowing the first questions are coming, the man stands up straight and at each person, waiting for it to come.

"Hey, Is it Q&A time now or what? I want to know whats going on. I want to know exactly what the hell you did to us and *why* the hell we cant call our families."

The man steps forward and looks to the youth, "Life is nothing more than Q&A, but you have to know how to ask correctly. What is going on, is that you are waking up both physically and mentally. The headache that you all feel beating in your heads is pure power waiting for the issuance of your commands. What the hell did I do to you? I didn't do a single thing to you, but you on the other hand decided that joining our program was a good idea. Nobody stuffed you in that tube you crawled out of. And the last question, why can't you call or talk to your families? That is because the dead have no place in the homes of the living. And let me tell you, a deader group I have never seen."

Not leaving time for more questions the man moves off to one side of the room, where he presses againist the wall revealing a hidden sliding door, "Now if you would all be so kind as to progress towards testing, before that quantum fueled bubble envelopes us and does who knows what to us. While I'd like to find out what happened to Mr. Brickman, the continued health of everyone here is my primary goal. So since you've all been asleep for some time now so it's time for your physical. Want to make sure you are all fit and able after all, so please come this way."

With that the masked man turns around and goes through the door.

[Edited to comply with player's timeline perception]

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When the says that they are all dead...Hyun looks around at everyone. A 'dead' bunch. Then a bulb goes off in his head...and all most of the spy movies he had seen come together into a single idea.

"Now if you would all be so kind as to progress towards testing. You've all been asleep for some time now so it's time for your physical. Want to make sure you are all fit and able after all, so please follow me through here."
.

Not really having much else to actually do (or much other choise in the matter he would think) he starts to make his way to the door.

"Yea...we are reaaaal dead alright. So are we like international 'James Bond' spies now or what?"

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  Not leaving time for more questions the man moves off to one side of the room, where he presses againist the wall revealing a hidden sliding door, "Now if you would all be so kind as to progress towards testing.  You've all been asleep for some time now so it's time for your physical.  Want to make sure you are all fit and able after all, so please follow me through here."

David listened only dimly, not taking his eyes from the piece of paper in front of him. He was dead, according to their new carer - he certainly felt it. All he knew was his name - did he have a family, friends? What had he done before this experiment? What had he been?

Something else filtered through to him - power? Awakening?

He stood, following the masked man through to the next room, curious as to what awaited him.

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As the last person enters the gigantic room, white flood lights overpower it, making it obvious that there is only a small section of the room covered by a privacy screen that has only 5 dark green plastic chairs sitting in front of it. Everyone’s eyes quickly adjust to the lights, only Anna seems not to notice the fine grooves in the floors and walls. A quick assessment of the area makes it obvious that this is not a standard medical examination area, but it definitely has some specific purpose even if not readily apparent to everyone.

As the group gets closer to the privacy screen, a raven haired woman, in a white lab coat that is identical to the Masked man’s steps out from behind the screen with a clipboard in her hand. Her stern emerald eyes look towards Hyun, obviously assessing the youth. Her terse tone however is directed at the Masked man, “MATTHEW, where is the other man? You didn’t leave him in that… that... tube did you?” Slipping her hands to her hips, she continues on, “I mean he is over three times your age!

Alice, relax would you? He disappeared after viewing his letter and the scans show activity in the area. We’ve got a team looking and I’m sure he didn’t go far. Now if you would please get on with it, I want to get everyone some real clothes and into Testing before they get any more confused or another one of them develops out their skills,” says the Masked man calmly to the woman. He walks back towards the door, “I’ll be back in an hour. Just make sure they’re ready for the next part by then.” And with that he slips back out the door.

Shaking her head for just a moment, the woman watches the door where the Masked man disappeared. Muttering to herself a moment, she takes a deep breath and looks everyone there, “I don’t know what Matthew has told you, but my name’s Alice and I’m just going to do a quick health check. We’ve been monitoring your current health while you were in stasis, but we want to be sure that everyone is healthy. First on my list is Anna, so if you’d please step behind the curtain Anna. And if everyone else would please wait just a few moments, I’ll be right with them.

One by one, the doctor takes each person behind the curtain and does a quick check on their personal health. Each person also has a blood and hair sample taken that is fed into a computer which seems to confirm that each person has no currently known diseases or ailments. After giving each person a clean bill of health and answering any questions posed to her, Alice will give them a bag labeled with their name. The bag for each person contains a set of clothing to change into (shorts, t-shirt, underwear, socks, and a pair of sneakers) and a card with a magnetic strip labeled “CMI, Level 3”

Once finished with the Hank (whose the last to be checked), Alice disappears behind the privacy screen for just a moment before a small section of the floor slides open under the screen and draws it down into the hole left. The rest of the little medical section slides into similar compartments in the wall and floor, leaving only the green plastic chairs remaining in the cavernous white room. The door once more slides open and in steps the Masked man, changed into the same sort of outfit that everyone else has on.

Everyone ready for Testing, Alice?” asks the Masked man of the female doctor as she storms towards him.

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Her stern emerald eyes look towards Hyun, obviously assessing the youth.

He smiles are her sarcastically.

Each person also has a blood and hair sample taken that is fed into a computer which seems to confirm that each person has no currently known diseases or ailments.

Hyun looks a little dissapointed when the woman walks behind the screen. He smiles thinking that he would like to make sure all his bits and pieces are working (and he thinks that Alice would probably shag like a minx...wait...that sounds familiar...).

He strips for the test as asked and gives Alice a wink as she examines him. He frowns slightly when he is give the clean bill of health.

"What? They said...I mean I said that I had AIDS that couldent be cured? Are you sure? Mabey you should double check...I mean...uncurable desieses just done cure themselves. The hell is happening around here? I mean...are we guinie pigs for the 'universal cure' or something?" he says as he puts on his clothing.

“Everyone ready for Testing, Alice?”

He looks at the other newly-awakened (that sounds familiar too...).

"Weren't we *just* tested? Not that I'm not happy with the results. I just found out that im not going to die a slow, horrible death. But...what more tests could you have for us?"

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"What? They said...I mean I said that I had AIDS that couldent be cured? Are you sure? Mabey you should double check...I mean...uncurable desieses just done cure themselves. The hell is happening around here? I mean...are we guinie pigs for the 'universal cure' or something?"

Alice looks Hyun in the eyes as he questions the results. Her soft, silky voice serves to comfort as she says, "I don't need to double check the results, Hyun. You're cured of the AIDS that once threatened to plague you for the rest of your life. What's happening is that you've undergone a treatment that's still in development to cure a certain class of ailments. And guinea pigs is such a derogatory way to think of it, but I will admit that you are a test subject."

Awnsering any more questions that may come up, Alice continues her testing on the other patients....

He looks at the other newly-awakened (that sounds familiar too...).

"Weren't we *just* tested? Not that I'm not happy with the results. I just found out that im not going to die a slow, horrible death. But...what more tests could you have for us?"

The Masked man looks to Hyun, "You were just given a medical physical to judge your state of health. And as soon as we locate Mr. Brickman, as a group you will all discover your own nature of talents that have developed as a result of the process. Unless of course you'd rather leave your teammate out and just find out for yourselves? After all he could just as easily catch up in a day or two with anything you might learn today."

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"So what you are saying...is that we have erupted? I mean...how did that happen? Last minute death thing? How does that tie into our memory loss? Did you guys have anything to do with it?..."

The questions that he has had about this entire ordeal start to flood out of him. Everything he had been saving up since he had awoken. He wanted answers...and he wanted as many as humanly possible.

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Anna complies with Alice's orders, not realising that her eyes have turned the colour of old, tarnished gold and that she moves with a superhuman grace, everything about her seemingly perfect by baseline standards.

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David's brow furrowed as the Korean broke in with another question. Chatter, chatter, chatter. His talk seemed to be taking the place of the headache that was only just beginning to subside.

Whatever these people wanted to do, that was okay by him. Right now, thinking for himself seemed about as far away from what he wanted to do as ever...

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Hank cradles his head in his hands, ignoring the persistant hurlyburly surrounding him. He had looked in-control a minute ago, but now he seems nauseous..

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"So what you are saying...is that we have erupted? I mean...how did that happen? Last minute death thing? How does that tie into our memory loss? Did you guys have anything to do with it?..."

The Masked Man thinks about this a moment and chuckles, "Yes. As a result of the Afterlife Treatment. Sort of. Because the treatment does some wacky things to your brain in order for it to work. And uh, duh? Does it really matter how you got here, over being alive and healthy? Do you particularly care that you've become a nova because of the treatment you knowingly entered into? I can understand some of the restrictions I've told you about are a bit unusual, but they are in place as a stop gap to keep your sanity not because I'm a really cruel person. In the end it doesn't really matter because short of spontaneously disappearing, you're here until the treatment is finished."

With hardly a word more, the Masked Man gestures for the group to go back out the way they came. Once back into the other room, he leads them out another hidden panel door, down a hallway and into a living area. A kitchen with an island fills one wall of the area, with recliners, couches, tables, and even some opnet screens scattered around the room. Lining the walls are doors that have a picture of each member of the group on them.

"Everyone take a nap, read a book, find the quarters you personally decorated for yourselves, talk amongst yourselves, just do something. And while everyone here does that, I'll go find out what happened to good ol' Mr. Brickman."

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He frowns. That not being the answer he was wanting to hear.

He follows the group thinking about the entire situation again. Mabey it was better for them not to know? They had apparently agreed to it.

One thing was very apparent to him...it would have to wait till he got out. He could find what he wanted to then. He had his name after all.

"Everyone take a nap, read a book, find the quarters you personally decorated for yourselves, talk amongst yourselves, just do something. And while everyone here does that, I'll go find out what happened to good ol' Mr. Brickman."

He watches as the old man leaves then starts to the kitchine.

"Anyone want a sandwich?"

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"Yes please," Anna says, speaking for the first time in a while. She walked to the kitchenette and poured herself some apple juice, offering it to the rest, admiring the grace of her movements. She caught her reflection in a mirror and blinked, dropping the glass in shock.

"Dio! I have changed! she gasped, staring at the reflection of a curvaceous Hispanic woman with delicate features and golden eyes.

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"Everyone take a nap, read a book, find the quarters you personally decorated for yourselves, talk amongst yourselves, just do something. And while everyone here does that, I'll go find out what happened to good ol' Mr. Brickman."

Hank raises his head, grimacing fiercely as he forces down the pain.

I can't believe I have the willpower to just swallow the agony like that. What caliber of man did I used to be? "What the hammer, what the chain?"

And where did that come from? Did I just make it up, or was it oh God, it hurts!

Hank buries his face in his hands again as he struggles, then suddenly..

Peace. The pain is gone.

He looks up, completely nonplussed, but relieved almost to tears. The others are leaving the room now. He stands and follows them.

He watches as the old man leaves then starts to the kitchine.

"Anyone want a sandwich?"

A living weapon, covered in sleek, blue plate armor fills the door to the lounge. Its wickedly curved wrist blades nearly touch the floor, and its feet look vaguely like those of a velociraptor, a comparison enhanced by its long, prehensile tail. Slitted eyes survey the room..

"Yeah, I could sure go for one."

"Dio! I have changed!"

Hank smiles at the beautiful woman and walks towards her, completely unaware that this small action is a sight more terrifying than he could yet imagine.

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He opens the fridge and pulls a head of lettuce out, then some meat, he turns it around and sets them on the counter.

"Looks like we are having ha..."

He freezes...he see's the huge ass fuggin lizard in the room.

"Uhhhh...Chickie....dont move. There is a dinosaur behind you..." he says as he slowly slides a knife from a block...

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Anna turns around at the voice and then presses herself against the wall in shock. "Madre de Dios," she whispers, her golden orbs wide with shock.

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David looks around at Anna's exclamation, and suddenly in the blink of an eye her double has taken David's place. In an echo of Anna's voice, the doppelganger speaks.

"Oh, Christ!"

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As the creature looks around the room, the blue armor melts away and the form shrinks down, leaving only a confused-looking Hank.

"..what?"

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Hyun looked relieved. That must he his power. He finishes sliding the knife out and starts to slice a tomato.

"You were a dinosaur for a minute there, dude. I guess we really have 'rupted. Damn man... But...uhhh...looks like we are having ham. Anyone want mayo?"

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"You were a dinosaur for a minute there, dude. I guess we really have 'rupted. Damn man... But...uhhh...looks like we are having ham. Anyone want mayo?"

Hank thinks about trying to decipher this comment, then settles for simply giving the sandwich maker a very quizzical look.

"Yes please."

He sits down. After a brief pause, he says,

"Um.. This might sound like a dumb question, but what exactly did you mean when you said I was a dinosaur?"

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He puts one of the tomato slices on a well mayo'd slice of bread and tops it off with a piece of lettuce, some ham and the top slice. He cuts it in half and hands it over dino-man.

"I mean just what I said. You look like something out of Jurassic Park for a second. Its your superpower I guess. They said we erupted...so I guess thats how you erupted. Did you do anything different 'fore you came in?"

He starts to splash some mayo on another sandwich.

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"I mean just what I said. You look like something out of Jurassic Park for a second. Its your superpower I guess. They said we erupted...so I guess thats how you erupted. Did you do anything different 'fore you came in?"

"Not really."

Hank takes his half of the sandwich.

"Not that I have any idea what 'different' would be, all things considered", he adds thoughtfully.

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<< A short time later >>

The activities of the group are suddenly interrupted with the voice of the Masked Man coming from the wall, “Everybody, Mr. Brickman, it seems has created a temporal anomaly that will delay your training until he has reunited with the current time stream. I will meet you in your personal living area tomorrow morning to officially start your training and orientation with the remainder of your team. Enjoy your day off as it will be the last day off you have in some time.

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The asian boy frowned. He didn't like the sound of that at all.

He took the plates from the sandwiches and piled them into the sink for a later washing.

"So...uhhh...what do we do now?

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