Thursday, April 25, 2013

V: The Vanity Variable

This is a continuous story.  If you're new here, start with entry A.  You can also find the entire story to date on this PAGE.

The Vanity Variable

You might say Adam was crazy for agreeing to undergo a highly experimental procedure that could possibly kill him.  Layla certainly jumped at the opportunity to do so.  Within seconds of him agreeing to the task, she grabbed his arm and pulled him aside.  “Are you mad?”  She was clearly trying to yell at him while also keeping it quiet enough to be discreet and she ultimately failed on both fronts.

“Probably,” Adam confessed, “but I need to do something.  I’ve just been killing time here, but I want to do something useful.  If this is it, then I’m willing to try.”

“You’re already the face of this rebellion.  Can’t that be enough?” she pleaded.  Her hand had never left his arm, and he could feel it trembling.

“And how will I ever be able to earn the respect of the people who learn about this rebellion if I didn’t actually participate in it?”

Layla looked away from him as she considered this.  “If you do this, you may end up being a martyr instead.”

“Which means I’ll still be useful to you in my original capacity,” Adam said lightly.  “Causes love martyrs.”

“That isn’t funny.”

“I know that.”  He touched her cheek, prompting her to look back at him.  “Still, I have to do this, and it may not be as big a risk as you think.  If I really am surrounded by this Ludicrous Field, then the ridiculous odds against this procedure working may work in my favor.”

A smile slowly crept across Layla’s face.  “That’s actually solid reasoning.”

After that little hiccup, they wasted no time.  The procedure necessitated the donning of a surgical gown, which was embarrassing enough to make him have some second thoughts.  So many factors that contributed to his risky choice remained unspoken, though he was aware of them.  Like the fact that he desperately wanted respect.  He wanted to feel a sense of accomplishment.  With all that had been happening to him, he had almost no time to be the kind of man he wanted to be.  And, on top of it all, he wanted Layla to feel like she could count on him to do what needed to be done.  Though vanity played its role in his decision, knowing this fact wasn’t enough to make him change his mind.

Soon Adam was seated in a cool chair, and Emmett set about attaching electrodes to specific points all over his body.  This part took no time at all.  Afterwards he’d use his scanning device, which conveniently enough seemed to perform every function imaginable, to regulate and adjust the electrical current.

“This will feel insane.  At least, I assume it will.  I’ve never done it myself, so I can’t be sure,” Emmett said.  Layla hovered directly behind Emmett, her eyes fixated on the scanner’s readout.

I feel reassured, Adam thought.

“All right.  Here we go,” Emmett announced.

The current began, and Adam’s senses were consumed with fire.  

And memories of a giant cake.

Proceed to entry W.


  1. That last line was great! And broke the tension, which was really mounting. Good for Adam.