Subject 33 woke up in a tank full of fluid. He reflexively thrashed, kicking as though he was drowning. Oxygenated fluid seeped into his lungs. 33 struggled to breathe, drifting in a haze of fear and adrenaline.
Cloudy memories drifted past hunting in Whitevale, a flash of light and a long, cold darkness.
33 couldn't recognize the murky forms stalking past his transparent tank. As his eyes ad Listed, he could see spacesuits and helmets. He drifted to the edge until he could barely make outa face. Behind its visor, it methodically gnashed rows of razor-sharp teeth.
The murky fluid conducted sounds from outside the tank. His long Aurin ears perked up. Footfalls marched past as he strained to hear his captors' cold, clinical voices.
"Evaluation: adrenaline levels exceed parameters."
"Suggestion: remove brain stem for further analysis."
Subject 33 started kicking the side of the tank.
"Observation: subject of limited intelligence. Panic reflex. Prepare first experiment."
They had gone and done something very foolish.
"Confirmation: first intelligence experiment begins now."
They had put an angry esper in a tank full of water.
33's mind screamed. Outside the walls, a massive psychokinetic fist pounded the floor, and the walls of his tank shattered. Shards of glass blasted out in every direction. Surging fluids gushed out of the tank, as his captors struggled to stay upright.
He leapt out feet first smashing into the nearest creature's translucent helmet Spiderweb cracks formed on the surface. As he prepared for his next leap, he looked his enemy in the eye. He could almost see fear. Almost.
One by one the wasp-waisted humanoids slowly turned to evaluate him. One creature slowly reached for its weapon, and the Aurin furrowed his brow. Would they stun him? Was that an electroprod? That gave him an idea.
Subject 33 leapt to a hatch on the wall, grabbed the valve that opened it and held on. With a thought he hurled a psychic blade across the room, connecting with an electrical panel. A sparking metal box dropped to the ground. Hip-deep in water, his captors twitched like ragdolls shaken in a dagun's mouth.
33 spun the valve until the hatch opened and tumbled through. Straight ahead, red lights flashed in a long corridor. Through an aperture at the far end, he could see outside. Blue sky. White clouds. Calm waters. Freedom.
Subject 33 ran. Turrets in the walls and ceiling rained fiery death, missing him by inches. The Aurin ran faster.
A calm, alien voice made a stern announcement over an intercom. "Observation: Aurin subject escaping." 33 took in a deep breath of fresh sea air as he leapt toward the aperture.
Steel shutters dropped. The exit slammed shut. He fell to the ground.
The voice returned. "Verification: performance test concluded. Capture and prepare for vivisection. Subject 33 may still be of use to the Ikthian Empire."
Blades flashed. The lights went out. The experiment continued.