The Girl With the Razor Blade Smile
I find it hard to think back to before, it's as if my life started in that place. If I focus and really think, I can remember who I was before, my friends, my family, growing up, and so on but it's as if that life belonged to someone else. I wonder if it was part of what they did to me or if it was my brain's own way of coping. It doesn't matter anymore I am what I was made to be.
It started with the change, I was scared. At 17 I had hoped I'd dodged the bullet. Days passed in a haze of drug induced sleep, very little of what happened around me got through. I thought I heard arguments but it was always either out or range or when I was passing out, just voices raised in angry tones but no words or context.
When I woke up feeling better and alert I was not in my bed, I was in what seemed to be a hospital. I tried to get up and found I was tied down. I started to struggle, old fears of being confined sparked my heart rate, in turn making me breathe faster. Struggling only seemed to make whatever held me grip tighter and I was soon in a full blown panic. I struggled harder fighting to break free and suddenly there were tearing and ripping noises and I began to move easier.
There was the sound of running footsteps and a large heavy set bald man in a white uniform burst into the room. He made no effort to calm me just leapt on me trying to hold me down. I struggled harder getting an arm free somehow. More running footsteps, I shoved the bald guy and he went sailing across the room impacting the wall with a crunch. I froze in surprise and two more men burst into the room, these two had close cropped hair one blond one brown. Blondy aimed something my way and there was a strange noise followed by my body exploding in pain, every muscle contracting and spasming at the same time.
"Dose that thing!" Blondy cried and the other jabbed me with some sort of needle, the world went fuzzy.
They must have kept me drugged after that as I had very few clear memories just pieces and nightmares. Being rolled in and out of what seemed to be operating theatres, being poked and prodded and loaded into a variety of machines and scanners. Hundreds of small fractured memories of medical or maybe scientific people examining poking and prodding.
One memory especially stood out, I was rolled into a room that contained a frail looking girl in a wheelchair. It seemed that either her head was much too big for her body or her body was wasted and skeletal. Initially her face was hidden by long blue hair, but on some unheard command she raised her head and stared at me with dark haunting eyes. Her gaze was intense it seemed to cut right through me to some level beyond just seeing my body, she seemed to weigh up my entire being with one look.
After staring for only a moment her head dropped down her frail body sagging in on itself as if the effort of that one glance had exhausted all her energy. Then in a high quiet voice you had to strain to hear she spoke briefly.
"We see Type 5 class 7"
Then there was a jab in my neck and I was out again.
When I next full resurfaced I was sitting in an uncomfortable unpadded plastic chair in a plain white room. It had no windows and only one door which had no handle on the inside. In front of me was a plain wooden table and a thin man in an expensive suit was sitting on the other side he was holding a cane or a walking stick in his hands. He had a large bald patch on top of his head with tufts of red hair that stuck wildly out to the sides of his head, he also had a elaborately styled moustache curled at the tips with a small pointed beard. His appearance struck me as that of an eccentric uncle or some such. He looked to be in his 50's or 60's, while his hair still had colour his skin was wrinkled and pale. Everything about the situation felt wrong even my own body felt wrong but the more pressing matters of me not knowing where I was and why took precedence.
"At last you're awake!" the man cried in a joyous voice, a spark of manic amusement lit his eyes "Now the adventure begins, another dull clump of metal for me to hammer into a sword. Oh dear me, yes, what fun I shall have with you my new tool."
I shifted in my seat and realised I was not tied up or restrained in anyway. Reacting on instinct I sprang at the man. The moment I touched him it was like the inside of my head exploded.
Pain shot down every nerve ending and my body seemed to lose all control of my arms and legs, I couldn't move at all just waved spasmodically like I was being shocked.
"Oh my always the same, the first lesson learned the hard way. Hopefully you're not a slow learner," the man tutted, "You cannot come within touching distance of a controller such as myself. In fact if you even think about hurting me I will know."
I flopped about in agony for a few more seconds like a dying fish then on some unseen signal the pain stopped. I could move again and shuffled my way rapidly across the floor wedging myself into a corner as far from the man as I could get. I was making strange almost involuntary whimpering noises from the shock of it.
He eyed me up and down as if weighing me up then nodded to himself, "Good it seems you learn the implications quickly enough. Much has been invested in you but mark my words not so much we can't cut our losses if you fail to adhere to the rules. But fear not if you do what you are told when you are told then we shall reward you."
Suddenly unimaginable pleasure surged through me, it was like no feeling I had ever experienced it topped every pleasurable sensation I'd ever had by a factor of a hundred and when it stopped I cried out at the loss of it.
The man laughed, "Quite remarkable piece of technology isn't it my dear. Some plucky Americans developed it, though as is fitting they only thought to put in the pain option. More subtle minds perfected it so now we can give you pleasure or pain at any intensity we desire. It will make you quite a useful little pet my dear."
I looked up in horror, the implication of his words burning through me, I would do almost anything to avoid the pain and I could already feel an insidious yearning inside to experience the pleasure again. The two combined would work to control me. I started crying silently.
The man laughed again then gestured to the seat, "Yes wonderful and terrible isn't it. Sit now!"
I carefully edged forward wary of getting too close to the man. He seemed completely indifferent to my tears regarding me with relish as if I was some game to be played, or perhaps more accurately some new toy. I slipped into the seat pulling my knees up between me and the man. I studied him more closely this man who called himself a controller. He was well dressed in an expensive suit and he wore it well. He was thin almost to the point of being skeletal, but there was a kind of hungry energy about him like he was thin because he burned off anything he ate with manic activity. Beyond his hair he was immaculately groomed. Indeed in almost all respects from his clothes to his beard he was carefully styled and neatly presented. It was as if all that control meant the madness and disorder had to have some outlet and it was as if his hair was where all the escaping madness went.
His eyes were disturbing, they seemed to be the only part that showed his true personality the rest being a carefully constructed mask. They were startling blue and seemed to burn with some inner fire. He glared out at the world and it seemed like what he saw was not what normal people saw. One look in his eyes and I knew despite his congenial attitude and comical image he was at his heart a stone cold ruthless snake.
"Now then where was I, oh yes you were given over to this facility not kidnapped or anything so obvious and so rest assured there is no-one looking for you. Your family, those who weren't directly involved with sending you here, are under the impression that you died due to complications of your MORFS. Which is not unheard of my dear even in this day and age. You were cremated more than a month ago, as caring masters we of course sent flowers. It was a fine funeral, I think you would have liked it my dear, one of your little friends gave a fine eulogy, and I understand there is a plaque up near your school library, isn't that nice. Suffice to say you now belong to us and no-one is going to come riding out of the sunset to save you, like in some movie. You know the sort of thing maybe something about cowboys or pirates, " He grinned at me and I cried a little harder.
"Now point 2 the device that you so helpfully demonstrated earlier is not removable. It has been implanted into your brain and nervous system in such an ingenious way that it cannot be removed without killing you. More over it is equipped with a failsafe which will accomplish that task in a frightfully unpleasant manner should you manage to escape or in some way displease me or any other controller sufficiently."
"So to summarise, you are not able to escape, the device inside you that controls you cannot be removed, and no one is going to rescue you. You belong to us now. What fun we shall have, you and I."
He paused grinning again, he was enjoying this.
"Now we are not uncaring masters, it would not serve our purposes to be so. Do what we tell you, complete your training admirably and we will keep you in a certain degree of comfort. But make no mistake you are a tool to us and a broken tool is thrown away or perhaps used for spare parts."
"Your name is now Farrah... ," he said and was about continue but I interrupted him.
"Ba my name'sss H..." I managed only a couple of words before pain once again lanced through my body. Still I managed to notice that my voice sounded strange, the words were coming out oddly.
"That is not your name!" He shouted, his friendly mask slipping for a moment before he once again presented the smiling dotty uncle persona, "That name belonged to the bright promising student. The one everyone loved. The poor dear that was cremated a month ago. The one the school choir sang about, whose death made the local papers," he tossed a couple of printouts across the desk, "This is who you are now, Farrah."
I stared at the pictures of a very strange looking girl, her naked body was lean and muscular, her skin grey and pale with the light reflecting oddly off it. On her neck were some slit like structures. The close ups of her face were the most chilling, she would have been pretty if not for the jet black eyes and a mouth full of row after row of triangular serrated teeth the added shock of white hair making her look even more otherworldly.
I looked down at my hands realising for the first time they were the same odd gray shade as of the pictures, I reached up to my mouth and felt the row after row of teeth in it.
"Just in case you were wondering Farrah, you don't have a dorsal fin, which is just as well it would have stood out too much and we would have had to surgically remove it, oh my yes, though it would have been appropriate," He chuckled to himself.
That piece put it all together I was a shark hybrid, I felt my skin with one of my hands it was smooth one way and like coarse sandpaper the other.
"That hide of yours is not only a lot tougher than human flesh, most remarkably it can act as another weapon if you cut against its grain. All in all most useful to our organization."
I was numb I wanted to cry and scream but I was torn as to what to cry and scream about, there seemed to be so much grief in me. I was a shark girl, I'd been sold off by someone in my family like an unwanted pet to a bunch of psychos, and I had some sort of device in my head that would make me their loyal slave.
"So then my dear now that we have established who you are let me tell you what you will become. A weapon! A tool!" he punctuated each statement by pointing his stick at me, "From this day until your last breath you will follow our orders. How long that period of time will last very much depends on you my dear. My name is Norton and you will address me as such. Are you clear so far?"
I nodded feeling my whole body shake.
"Well then Farrah time to show you around your new home, stay close but don't forget the rules!"
He stood up and the door behind him swung open immediately, he strode out of the room without a second glance and I had to hurry to catch up to him not wanting to be shocked for being too slow.
Outside revealed an empty beige corridor with several doors like the one we had just exited, there were no apparent guards though I could see cameras dotted about. I guess with me wired up to the hilt and the whole place wired for sight and sound there wasn't much need of any extra muscle. The place had the feel of a hospital, I gave a large sniff and was hit by a thousand odors disinfectant, rotten food, cigarettes, coffee, chemicals, Norton's aftershave, and blood. I had to take smaller breaths so as not to be overwhelmed.
I kept a careful distance between me and Norton not wanting to get too close or fall too far behind. I was very light on my feet my new body seemed powerful for all its horrors, I guess Sharks being one of nature's deadliest predators had added quite a lot of physical oomph to my monster body.
Norton lead me through a series of identical corridors stopping at a heavy door which had Farrah spray painted in black above it. Down the corridor were several other doors with names painted over them but I didn't have time to read them as Norton opened the one in front of him and I had to rush to keep up.
A plain white room much like the one I had woken up in awaited. It was bigger and had a bed bolted to one of the walls. There were no windows only two doors the one we had entered through and another on the far wall. Both had no handles on the inside. There was an odd panel in the opposite wall and a single chair. In the corner there was a small toilet and a sink.
"Here we are, splendid isn't it, white is so soothing," Norton said running a hand along the walls, "I'll let you get settled in, your training starts bright and early tomorrow. Oh what fun we shall have you and I, the possibilities leave me positively giddy I shall barely be able to sleep from the excitement."
He made for the doorway and I had to leap aside to prevent myself from coming into contact with him. As soon as he was out the door slammed shut and I was alone. Well at least it appeared I was alone I was betting this room was riddled with surveillance equipment.
I desperately wanted to take a look at my changed body but I didn't want to be gawked at by whoever was watching me. After several minutes of trying to find the cameras I realised they had already stripped me naked and photographed every inch of me and it wasn't like I could spend the rest of my time dressed in this gown.
I took off the thin hospital gown trying to forget that people were probably watching me, fighting not to let it show that it bothered me. What I could see of myself matched the photos I had been shown. My skin was a sort of dull grey, not uniformly so as I realised when I compared my arms to the rest of my body, my belly and front being slightly lighter. My skin was odd like scales but different, running my hand over it the surface felt rough in one direction or slick and smooth the other way. It was very tough like armour. My body was quite lean and athletic, muscles showing under my strange skin. I didn't seem to have any body hair at all.
I felt the other changes I knew about, the odd slits in my neck. They were a bit sensitive and it hurt when I poked them, their strange musculature pulling them sharply shut, so I left them alone. My mouth was full of teeth, rows of triangular serrated razor blade sharp instruments. I stifled a sob at the thought of my most obvious monstrous feature I could worry about how other people would see me when and if I ever got free. I ran a hand through my short white hair it felt like normal hair and seemed to be the most normal part of me now even with its unusual colouration.
I tried to focus on the other less obvious changes I had noticed earlier, those being my new senses. My vision was pin sharp, my sense of smell almost overwhelming it was much more sensitive, the hearing was more difficult to tell as there was nothing to hear, touch was a bit muted but that was more down to my new skin, and I didn't have anything to eat to evaluate taste so I couldn't tell on that one. Just thinking about food made my stomach growl so I stopped thinking about that. I tried to focus on something else, I could feel something else just at the edge of my perception, almost like some other new sense was overlaid on my existing ones but it was elusive and I soon lost the grasp of it.
I sighed and wrapped my arms around myself, I realised that despite standing naked in the room I wasn't cold I wondered if it was another facet of my new skin. I took another look around the spartan room. It was almost completely bare the few bits of furniture were basic and battered like they had seen a lot of use. One odd thing was that everything was wood or plastic to the extent that I couldn't see any screws or nails in anything even the taps and pipes were some sort of plastic. I sniffed seeing if my new sharper sense of smell would pick up anything. The scent of disinfectant and cleaning products filled my nose, the acrid lemon scented chemicals burned in my nose and gave me a sneezing fit. I examined the sink ran some water and tasted it experimentally. It had a metallic tang to it but otherwise seemed ok.
I was about to start working my way round the walls when the light abruptly shut down. I was left in the pitch black for a moment and then slowly my eyes seemed to adapt, there was a very faint glow from the crack under the door but that seemed to be enough for me to see by. I wondered if it was my new eyes that allowed me to see. Just another unwelcome change not even the darkness would hide the prison I was stuck in.
I slipped the gown back on and climbed into the bed, it was hard but I curled up and cried myself to sleep.