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"It is absolutely imperative that we test his cognitive functions."

The voice was male, distant, and quite adamant.  Fleischer wasn't entirely sure, in the dark, whether it belonged to someone, or if he was just dreaming it.  His uncertainty, however, didn't stop it from speaking.

"Without a baseline, we can't be certain of the effects the alterations will have on mental condition – we don't want a team of vegetables."

Fleischer finally managed to force his eyes open, and found himself staring up at another set of ceiling tiles.  His body was slow to respond, but he did steal a glance around the room.  It was another hospital room – but, too new and too small to be his familiar infirmary.  His was the only bed present – and, he was strapped down to it.

"Ah, you're awake," the voice spoke, again.

The Medic's attention was quickly drawn to its source – another doctor.  The man wasn't in a League Medic uniform, though – just a regular lab coat with the company logo embroidered on the lapels.  He didn't look very intimidating – he was thin, and silver-haired, and leaning slightly against a cane, though he almost looked as though he was a little too young to need one.

"Where am I..?" Fleischer asked, finally daring to speak, and relieved to hear that his voice sounded the way it should.

The older man pulled up a chair, and hesitated a moment before sitting down.  "At a League medical facility," he started, picking up a clipboard with a patient file on it – though Fleischer couldn't quite make out the lettering.  "My name is Doctor Isaac Davis– but, the question is, who are you?"

"Nicklaus Fleischer," the younger man replied, after a small moment of hesitation, and a few nervous glances around the room.

"Doctor Nicklaus Fleischer, isn't it?" Isaac replied, raising an eyebrow and smiling, just a little.  "Give yourself a little credit – Heidelberg is not an easy school to get into, let alone to graduate from with honors.  You are obviously a very intelligent man…" the older man trailed off, flipping a few pages in the file before adding, "and very… resourceful."

Fleischer remained silent, which made the sound of the other doctor clicking his pen to write a note seem overly loud, and sharp.  He had a million questions, but was afraid to voice them.  He wasn't even sure where he would start.

"Tell me, Doctor Fleischer," Isaac started, breaking the rather tense silence, "what is the last thing you remember before waking up here?"

"BLU infirmary," the Medic said with some hesitation, "at Well."

Isaac nodded and gave a small, thoughtful hum before making another note in his file.  It was a frustratingly neutral reaction.  "And, before that?"

That was a question that painted much more vivid memories in Fleischer's mind – and triggered a much more visceral response.  He tensed up without even realizing, and his heart beat a little faster.  He was shocked, really, that it was beating at all.  "I… was shot," he finally replied, his voice considerably quieter than it had been before.  "I thought… I thought I was dying."

"You did die," the older man said, adjusting his glasses a little.  He paused, only continuing when he realized that Fleischer was stunned into silence.  "I can understand your confusion," he stated, offering a small, indulgent smile.  "The large majority of the mercenaries were not informed about our fledgling Respawn system.  We didn't want people thinking they were suddenly invincible when we weren't entirely sure that the devices would work."

The Medic, at that, just had a hundred other questions spring into his mind.  He could understand the logic regarding not telling anyone about such a device until the company was sure it would work.  How could such a device even exist, though?  The healing powers of a Medigun were a miracle of science, yes – but, even they couldn't raise the dead… could they?

"I can tell that you want to know more," Isaac said with a nod, and a small smile – one that could, under other circumstances, almost be considered warm.  "We'll get to that.  In fact, you will get to be very well-acquainted indeed with the system's inner workings.  For the moment, though," he continued, before Fleischer could interject, "we should get you something to eat.  It's been a few years since your last meal, and I'm sure you're very hungry."

Fleischer was dumbstruck.  A few years?  Did it always take that long?  How many years?  He didn't get the chance to voice his questions, though – his mind kept tripping over them.  Before he knew it, Isaac had walked out, along with his answers, and the door was shut behind.

This story is actually a couple of years old. I was feeling very nostalgic and decided to pick it up and re-read it, and I wound up realizing that it had actually been very well-written. This was also my first real attempt at a horror/thriller piece. I'm posting on here, now, because along with being nostalgic, I would also appreciate any thoughts or critique on it. I wrote this not too long after I published Bedside Manner, and haven't really written up anything particularly longer than drabble, since.

Post-Modern Prometheus is a sort of alternative/hypothetical sequel to First Do No Harm… and Comorbidity…

If you want to delve into the back story, I would definitely recommend reading FDNH before Comorbidity. Both of those stories are relatively old, though, and I feel like I have improved my writing and characterization a great deal since then. As a result, if you do like Doctor Fleischer, or my writing in general (which, if you do, thank you very much - my main hope when I post my writing is that people will get some enjoyment out of it) then consider picking up my book, Bedside Manner, in paperback or on the Kindle…

Fair warning, though, this being a horror/thriller piece, expect some disturbing content, though I am not really prone to using a great deal of blood and/or gore.

As a final note, the thumbnail image is in the Public Domain, and was downloaded from Pixabay…

KlayBird Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014
So he's in a neutral League center or something? It would make sense to have such a place with new technology being built and tested on both sides. Sort of like a 'hospital tank' that people have for pet fish.
He's been 'out' for YEARS?! Woah! The mystery(s) deepen.....MORE! MUST.....HAVE....MORE!!
When you get to it of course....artistry can't be rushed.
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