For once he couldn’t hear them. Or their voices were muffled. Twisted. It was like he was underwater.
The room was blindingly white. And the four, five figures surrounding him were nothing but black shapes with beady white ‘eyes’, where the hot lights above reflected off their goggles. Talking. One of them reached forward and twisted the device that covered his mouth and something metal pried his jaws open. He let out a growl and jerked at his restraints, though both efforts were useless. They were different today. His right arm was angled differently and it was extremely uncomfortable and made struggling harder than usual.
More muttering. Couldn’t understand it.
Something burned in his mouth and for a moment he tasted blood. And then the device closed again. He rolled his jaw, spitting at the metal as it was removed and glowering at a scientist who moved to his right arm. They reached down, poking and prodding around his elbow and squeezing at the muscle.
“Hey,” 156 growled, closing his fist and giving his arm a jerk. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Why. Testing to see if you have increased healing, of course,” the voice replied. Their hands flattened on either side of the elbow joint. 156’s eyes widened.
“—wait. What do you mean?!”
He could hear the wide, sinister grin as the white goggles turned to watch him. So that they wouldn’t miss even the smallest movement. “…relaxing your arm may make this less painful.”
“—what are you—”
He gasped sharply, heaving out a breath and panting as he convulsed awake. His left arm snapped out, grabbing at the thin sheets as his hand finally latched onto the mattress and pulled him off his right arm. It twisted out from under him and he felt the blood rush through it, sending a wave of pins and needles through his skin.
Dolcetto shook, looking around and continuing to swallow down heavy breaths of air as he took in the small Resembool house room. It was dark. The moon was shining through the window past the bed. He could hear Martel breathing on the bed above him, from where he lay on a spare mattress laid out on the ground. The white labs were gone. So were the scientists. …they’d never been there to begin with, of course. …it’d just been a dream…—
He looked down, grabbing at his right arm and wincing as it throbbed. It hurt to the touch, but it wasn’t broken. He could barely make out the thin scar that lined his inner elbow. “…” Swallowing, he rubbed at his face and forced his breathing to slow. He sat up enough to peer onto the bed. Martel was still sound asleep… and he could see the white bandage lining her neck. “…”
The chimera gradually laid back down and stared into the ceiling over him, hugging his right arm absently to his chest and brushing his fingers against the elbow. As his breathing finally began to right itself, he became aware of the sweat on his brow and the fact that his hands were still shaking.
…damnit… He pressed his jaws together, swallowing again and forcing his eyes closed. That was two now. Two nightmares in the same week. So close together. And one had damn near been fatal. It’d been almost five years…would… they ever stop? …before they got…worse…