• Please visit the prior chapters AND prior book before reading ANY of this (spoilers heavily implied):

    Chapter 2

    Chad's Journal

    tab It's been awhile since something has happened. But, if I had to summarize it, I've been sitting around in my cell, rotting up and doing nothing.
    tab Yeah...As I said, it's been awhile since something happened.
    tab So I was a bit surprised as a guard walked up to my glorious white cell and pulled out his keys.
    tab "You have a visitor," was all he said. Who? Elizabeth was gone, my parents were dead, my son was dead, pretty much the only friend who (I thought) would actually visit me betrayed me and died.
    tab So, again, who?
    tab My life was just going to be blown away...more than it already was.
    tab I walked over to the meeting room. A nice, glass barrier keeping me from the real world. And when I sat down and looked at the other side, here's what I saw:
    tab A elementary boy was sitting down, his skinny to the bone face peering down. A short, stubby woman behind him, holding his shoulder as if she was her mom. And, suprisingly enough, a man in a white suit who was just kind of...in the background. None of them who I knew.
    tab "Uh..." I started out. Yeah, great start. "I think there's been some kind of mistake..."
    tab "Chad Gibson?" the woman asked. "Cell 307?"
    tab "Um...Yeah." So if I didn't know them, and this wasn't a mistake, how were they related to me?
    tab The woman looked down at the boy, rubbed his shoulders some more, and coaxed,
    tab "C'mon, Jeremy. Aren't you gong to say something?" He looked up glumly, and whispered very softly,
    tab "Hi..." Wanting to carry on the conversation, I said the only thing that I was thinking,
    tab "Wow! Jeremy! That was the...uh...that was the name of my son!"
    tab "Chad..." the woman spoke slowly, her head tilted to the side, gazing off. "This is your son. Jeremy Gibson." There was only one word I could say at that moment, and that was,
    tab "What?" Of course, I heard something wrong, because my son was killed five years ago by a speeding car.
    tab "Chad, this is your son."
    tab "No..." I said faintly, pushing back against my seat a little. "No, my son is de--"
    tab "Dead?" The white suited man creeped his way into the conversation. "Of course, that's what you'd think. And that's you were supposed to think."
    tab "What are you talking about?"
    tab "Your son is a hero, Chad," he went on, leaning in closer. "He went through a rigorous test that will in turn save countless other people."
    tab "I...don't follow."
    tab "Your son would've been dead if not for new, advanced technology. We replaced 40% of his bones with synthetic replicas. And after about a month, here he is, alive and well."
    tab "He doesn't look well," I pointed out, looking up and down at his scrawny, bony body. "What were the side effects fromt his operation?"
    tab "Well..." he started slowly, knowing he was on thin ice. "He's bit...to the bone, due to eating disorder, and he slightly retarded, but, hey! He's alive! That's better than--"
    tab "Jeremy, speak to me," I cut in. He still didn't look up as he softly said, twiddling his thumbs and flailing his arms around like noodle,
    tab "Hi. Did I--did I do homework...yes?" He pulled out a sheet of paper, and handed it to me with trembling hands. I took it, and looked at it. A bunch of smudged, crude marks barely resembling the numbers that they were supposed to.
    tab "I don't--I don't understand what you're saying."
    tab "Check homework, if good. Yes?"
    tab "He's asking you to check his homework," the woman translated quickly.
    tab "In what language?!" I shouted. "My son is supposed to be 11, and he's talking like a--like a..."
    tab "As we said," the white cladded man interrupted, "he's slightly retarded."
    tab "Slightly? I'd call that full out." The man ignored this, and said,
    tab "He acts like the age in which he had surgery, if not younger."
    tab "Younger," I comfirmed, and went on, "And why would this be?" The guy couldn't look at me as he said through gritted teeth,
    tab "We had to put him into a coma due to the sheer pain he was receiving through the first few hours of surgery. Unfortunately, this coma lasted several years, and caused...what you see right here." I looked at my son again, who was still staring blankly at his lap. This...was my son?
    tab What had they done to him?