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Rebellion of the Exps: Exp 8

authorSphereOfCompassion
genreDrama, Action, Romance, Sci-fi, Comedy
typeNovel
statuscompleted

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Rebellion of the Exps: Exp 8 | Part 1: Forming the Freedom Forcers Chapter 1: Awakening

Part 1: Forming the Freedom Forcers Chapter 1: Awakening
3/30/2021

Part 1: Forming the Freedom Forcers Chapter 1: Awakening

REBELLION OF THE EXPS BOOK 1 Exp 8. Copyright © 2015 by Alexander J. McCarty
All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. This book is purely fictional.
ISBN 978-1-9437-3302-6
Published by Sphere of Compassion, Inc.
authoralexandermccarty@gmail.com

Chapter 1: Awakening

 “Freedom is a shackle.”
Exp 8 could only faintly hear these words. Nonetheless, they repeated fervently in its mind.
There was no world for Exp 8. It had no identity. All it knew, all it was, were those words: “freedom is a shackle.” Despite this, it didn’t have a clue what they meant. They were merely noise.
A mechanical sound broke through the mantra as an automatic door opened. Voices could be heard but only as whispers.
Exp 8’s nervous system slowly activated, allowing it to feel the gelatinous fluid that encompassed him. Its eyes opened, frightening the people who were gathered around.
“It’s waking up! It’s finally waking up! Hurry, go inform Devlin,” exclaimed a scientist, his hands trembling as he looked up at the creature in the incubator.
Exp 8 was an imposing height of six feet five inches, towering over the other life-forms in the room. The creature’s body was clad in blue-tinted, platinum-colored quicksilver armor an inch thick. The sleek armor shielded all but the being’s piercing black eyes. Those eyes had a depth as overwhelming as space itself.
Around Exp 8’s head was a cybernetic helmet that protected the soft flesh within. Horizontal slits were carved into the center of the two slabs melded along the jawline, forming a mouthpiece. The slabs curved upward above its head, creating long, functionless ears. Protruding from the back of its helmet were metallic tendrils, wispily floating in the gelatinous fluid. Embedded into the crown of the helmet was an empty clear orb.
A motherly light started to bloom inside the orb as the system booted up. Exp 8’s metal-plated chest was concave, funneling in like an ant-lion trap. A dimly lit, sky-blue sphere filled the cavity. A five-foot metallic tail was limply swaying in the liquid.
The creature had strong, thick legs. Sharpened metal plates formed three bladed talons on each foot and one blade in the back for support. Energy gathered in the orbs embedded into the being’s large hands. The being’s trembling fingers tensed up into fists.
Exp 8’s head turned slowly, examining the immediate surroundings. The new life-form deduced that it was floating inside a large shell.
A mere moment ago, Exp 8 would have been unable to understand the concept of shell. But for some unfathomable reason, its meaning was clear. Now the creature understood what a shell was and simultaneously felt the desire to escape from it. The reason for wanting to escape had yet to be formulated.
Exp 8 reached out, bumping its hand against the glass.
The creature was imprisoned in a clear incubator filled to the top with a light green liquid.
Exp 8 felt a strange sense of fellowship with this liquid. Both of them were seemingly trapped by nothing.
A large number “8” was painted across the incubator’s surface.
Exp 8 dragged its fingers across the number, following its curves. It soon became entranced in the act. The creature felt something both real and fanciful as its fingers made loops around the image. This symbol was somehow a part of the curious life form.
Exp 8’s arm moved instinctively, breaking free of the trance. Struggling to move the rest of its body, the creature realized multiple tubes and wires had penetrated through its armor and were embedded deep into its flesh.
Now that Exp 8 was aware of their existence, the creature felt pain. It didn’t fully grasp the concept, but it was certainly not fond of this new sensation.
Curling up, Exp 8 loosened the pull on its body. Pain still lingering in its eyes, it looked beyond the encasing and into the world outside its little eggshell.
Everything was gray, structured, and lifeless.
It looked beyond the immediate surroundings, peering through the wall and into a hidden room.
Exp 8 was not alone.
Inside the metal room were multiple incubation chambers. Inside each was a life-form, curled up like a fetus. Some of them were missing limbs and others had holes in their bodies. One was belly up, its eyes glazed over.
Exp 8 watched their lifeless bodies attentively and waved its hand, willing them to awaken.
They remained motionless.
Fear of death struck Exp 8 even before the being could fathom its meaning.
Exp 8 saw the shell in a new light. The desire to escape was now wrapped in a layer of fear. The being pushed its trembling hands against the encasing. This world was no longer a shell; it was a cage. The word cage brought up the all-too-familiar word shackle.
Exp 8 feared that it would die shackled inside its prison. It tried to thrash around but was only able to flail its arms. The creature’s head moved the slightest bit forward, but it was unable to reach the encasing. In Exp 8’s peripheral vision, something caught its attention.
Beyond the encasing was a group of strange creatures. These life-forms had no prison and were gawking at it with wide eyes.
Exp 8 did not feel threatened by these creatures. The being knew intuitively that, if it escaped, they would be unable to stop it.
The foreign creatures continued to stare, none of them uttering a word.
Exp 8 was befuddled by their astonishment. How could its imprisonment be more astounding to them than their own freedom?
Freedom! The word trapped Exp 8 in a torrent of desire. It did not matter what preceded it. Freedom was now its goal. And escaping from this prison was its only means of attaining it.
The scientists approached closer, their eyes filled with admiration.
Exp 8 peered down at them. They appeared to have skin outside rather than within. Their external material appeared to be more malleable than its own armor and looked completely functionless for self-defense. One creature looked at a metal device on its arm and smiled. Suddenly the lab’s twin iron doors flew open, releasing a puff of steam.
“Devlin!” they exclaimed, shaking with excitement and apprehension.
The steam dispersed, revealing a proud grin. Devlin was a loose-bodied youth with a piercing golden right eye. A clump of jet-black hair covered his left eye. He wore a black, unbuttoned lab coat with a cloak that draped over his arms like wings. Beneath the glossy coat was a spiffy blood-red undershirt. From the neck down, he was shielded by a black skintight bodysuit.
Devlin stepped out of the foot high layer of steam. His feet were comfortably situated in custom-designed metallic boots that gleamed black with a bright red trim. Wrapped around his throat was a necklace with a metal double helix pendant.
Exp 8 could not fathom the idea of arrogance, but Devlin’s smile perturbed the creature. It did not seem genuine.
“My creation has finally awoken!” exclaimed Devlin in a dramatic, youthful voice.
The men in the room bashed their hands together gratuitously and smiled as if they relished it.
The notion of these creatures enjoying pain disturbed Exp 8. The creation feared not knowing what these life-forms were capable of.
Devlin looked down at his kin. A cruel smile spread across his face as he opened his lips to speak. “Enough! Enough applause. We can celebrate my success later. Leave us! I wish to speak with Exp 8 alone,” he whispered in a harsh, commanding tone.
“Congratulations!” they exclaimed, striking Devlin’s shoulder as they left.
The doors shut automatically.
Exp 8 was all alone with Devlin.
As the creature stared into Devlin’s only visible eye, its fist tightened and its breathing intensified. Just looking at Devlin’s contentedness infuriated Exp 8.
Devlin looked up at him with a wide grin. “Is something the matter? Hello, anybody home?” He snapped his fingers. “Oh, you probably can’t hear me.” He pressed a button on his control console, activating the speakers within Exp 8’s incubation chamber.
Exp 8 let out a threatening growl.
“You feel like you’re in danger, don’t you? There is no need to be afraid. You are safe,” said Devlin, stepping up to the incubator.
Exp 8 continued to growl until Devlin stepped away.
For some reason, Devlin was different from the others. This creature’s presence threatened Exp 8.
Devlin sat in his black, pleather swivel chair. “We have a very busy schedule today, so let’s get started. First, I will bestow you with knowledge. With a mere press of a button, you will be given databases of information. But more importantly, we will finally be able to chat,” he said, slowly lowering his finger toward the Enter key on the control console.
Exp 8’s mouthpiece trembled as it struggled to open its mouth. Sound erupted from its throat, creating its very first words.
“Grrhere the hell am I?” exclaimed Exp 8 in a gruff, demanding tone.
Without being prompted, Exp 8 had discerned the concept of location and felt enraged at its inability to discern his whereabouts.
Devlin covered his ears briefly before lowering the volume on the console. Eyes wide with shock, he rose from his chair. He fixed his collar and then turned to face the source of the disruption. “Your speech is fully functional. Congratulations! That aside…was that a proper way of addressing your creator? Let me make something very clear to you: I will ask the questions and you will answer me,” he said fiercely, putting his face within inches of his captive’s encasing.
“Where the hell am I?” asked Exp 8, slamming its fist against his encasing.
“Is that all you can say? Ahhh, perhaps you are mimicking something I once said and merely splicing segments together. Still, that’s rather impressive. That does concern me a bit though. I’ll have to work out that glitch later.”
“Where am I?” asked Exp 8, this time without anger.
Devlin pressed the Enter key.
The tubes around Exp 8 loosened as preset knowledge slowly entered its brain.
Exp 8 gradually became aware of its biology, learning the function of each individual part of its body. It then grasped its identity as a male organism. Despite his efforts to resist the pre-packaged thoughts, Exp 8 was becoming increasingly more self-aware by the second.
“That’s much better. We are in New Mexico at my isolated laboratory. But honestly, what difference does it make? Why don’t I tell you…what you are?”
“What am I?” asked Exp 8, gently moving closer to the glass.
“You are my latest experimental weapon of mass destruction. The most successful as well, I might add. Why do you look so confused?” asked Devlin, staring at his creation curiously.
“A weapon?” asked Exp 8, a hint of shock in his low voice.
The word weapon spawned images of claws, talons, and teeth in Exp 8’s mind. The notion of existing solely as a means of preserving one’s own life by taking the lives of others did not merely confuse the creature; it unnerved him.
“I guess your knowledge is still being uploaded. I’ll fill in some key details for you. You are what my father has coined an Exp. That is E, then X, then P, pronounced just like the letters. It is an abbreviation for experiment,” said Devlin with a widening smile.
“I am not an experiment. I am a living creature.”
“You are the final version of Exp 8!” exclaimed Devlin, throwing his arms out.
“So Exp 8 is my name?”
Having a name was a relief to Exp 8. Without contact with others, there would be no need for him to have a name. Having a name meant he would not be alone.
“No. You don’t have a name. It’s just what you’re called. It’s subject to change. Don’t worry about it. Now, someone is comi—”
Muffled hard rock music burst out from his lab coat.
Devlin took out his phone. The smile on his face started to quiver.
Exp 8 listened to the conversation intently, but the noise erupting from the phone sounded like the ravings of a foreign animal.
“Hello Senator. How may I be of service?” asked Devlin, sitting down on an operating table. “Actually yes, he is awake.” He pulled the phone away from his ear, predicting the senator’s outburst. “Calm down. He woke up a minute ago. I was just about to call you. The thing is…well, he isn’t quite ready yet. Fret not, though. I’m sure he’ll be ready by the time you get here. In fact, I guarantee it.”
Devlin’s fake smile dropped.
“I don’t owe you anything. You should be grateful,” murmured Devlin before hanging up. He tossed up his phone and slid off the table. He then yanked the phone out of the air and slid it back into his coat.
“What was that noise? What is going on?” asked Exp 8.
“The government’s always watching, and they’ve been after my father’s Exps for years. After he fled the country, they started bothering me. It wounds me deeply…but I must part with you. It is the only way I will ever be free of their incessant visits,” said Devlin, his jaw tightening.
Exp 8 felt empathy for Devlin. He too was at the mercy of another being. “Why do you care about what others want from you?”
At this point, Exp 8’s understanding of the linguistic structure of sentences was not fully formed. He did not know what phonemes and morphemes were, but he instinctively made use of them.
“I care because they run the show. If you want to get anywhere in this world, you need to be both assertive and humble. I don’t mind bowing down a little if it brings me further up the ladder.”
“What are they going to use me for?”
“Whatever they damn well please.” Devlin swiped a beaker from a nearby lab table. “They’ll probably dissect you.”
“Is that for scientific reasons?”
“Perhaps. You see, there’s a man who controls things behind the scenes. He is a senator, war veteran, financial regulator, former member of the World Bank, and corporate lobbyist all wrapped up in one hell of a package. His name is Senator Jo John, and he has moved up the ladder quite fiercely. Put simply, he’s a very good friend to have,” said Devlin, twirling the beaker around.
“Are you going to allow him to cut me up?”
“He might just use you as a very durable stress doll. Maybe you’ll be used as shooting practice for his special agents. Or maybe he just wants to create some negative propaganda. We haven’t had a war in a while. The senator just might use you to incite one. And once you’ve been used up, he’ll exterminate you.” Devlin smashed the beaker against the table and pointed it at Exp 8. “I guess you’ll find out the specifics later,” he said, carelessly tossing the broken beaker aside.
A small, round robot swiftly got to work on cleaning up the shattered glass.
“You can’t just sell me off to a mad man.”
“It’s more of a bribe, really,” said Devlin with a sly grin.
“I’m not a tool!”
“Of course you are! I created every fiber of your being. You are an object crafted solely by these hands. As your creator and owner, I have every right to do whatever I want to you. Now, a good living weapon needs to know friend from foe, right from wrong, and have a general understanding of natural phenomena. Balancing knowledge and loyalty is the main obstacle that has held the widespread production of living weapons back for decades. Thankfully, I have figured out the recipe for a healthy blend of intellect and obedience,” said Devlin, before entering something into the control panel.
Information flooded into Exp 8’s mind. He turned away, but he had no choice but to accept it.
“History, science, philosophy, math, and geography are all forging a path into your stubborn little head. What does it feel like?” asked Devlin, whipping out an electronic notepad.
“It’s arbitrary! I can learn on my own!”
“Aaaand…there. You should be up to snuff now.”
Exp 8’s instincts were now fortified with morals. His desire for freedom took on new form. “How could you sell off your own child?” he asked in a wounded tone.
Devlin looked at the living weapon with a furious glare in his eye. “You are not my child. You are just an experiment—nothing more. You are as soulless as a toaster. You’re a machine; a lifeless wretch. The only organic parts of you were constructed by me. Have fun getting dissected by the government,” he said with a sneer.
“You made me. You brought me into this world. You have a responsibility to take care of me!” yelled Exp 8, slamming his palms against the glass.
“I have rights; you don’t. It’s really that simple. But don’t think me ungrateful. I am truly moved by your noble sacrifice. You can rest easy knowing your death will yield valuable information that will lead to further production of more Exps. And with increased demand for living weapons, your creator will become a very wealthy man. Your death will not be in vain,” said Devlin, holding his chest with melodramatic gratitude.
“This is my life! This is my decision! You don’t own me! Who the hell do you think you are?”
Devlin slowly walked up to the incubator, looking directly in his experiment’s eyes. “I am sick of your barbaric outbursts. I didn’t design you to be my moral anchor. You’re not here for my emotional support either. Even so, how can you produce no words of gratitude for the one who gave you life?” he asked, wiping away an invented tear from his eye.
Exp 8 gazed at his creator with burning disgust.
“Alright, don’t talk. I won’t upset you further. Now, I want you to be on your best behavior when the government comes to fetch you. If all goes well, I can swindle Senator John into buying you for a higher price.”
“What happened to them?” asked Exp 8 softly, gesturing to the corpses in the test tubes with a gentle motion of his head.
Devlin’s sarcastic smile finally dropped.
“Relax—I didn’t kill them. I just—didn’t make them right. They’re only prototypes. Don’t waste your tears on them,” said Devlin lightly.
“So, they died in the process of my creation?” asked Exp 8, looking at them with solemn respect.
“Each failure brought me one step closer to success. Just as selling you will bring me one step closer to my goal,” said Devlin, his face right up against the glass.
The doors to the lab flung open once more.
Special troops wearing black spandex suits swarmed into the room, kneeling down in succession. They aimed their rifles as a single entity at the creature in the incubation chamber.
The commander held a silver suitcase and kept a close eye on Devlin. He signaled for the troops to stand.
The soldiers lined up parallel to each other and brought up their right arms in salute.
The door opened again, releasing a puff of steam from its sides. The leader entered, his eyes shining in the fog.
He wore a black business suit and burgundy pants—not a crease in sight. A red, white, and blue striped tie was wrapped extra snug around his collar. A wicked smile spread from the top of one cheek to the other. He had two moles, one atop his forehead and one placed on his left cheek. The jagged, thick eyebrows above his void-like eyes were akin to those of an oni. His silver hair was slicked back in a vain attempt to cover up his bald spots. His blue veins were practically bursting out of his snow-white skin.
Devlin approached the large man with caution. “I hope he is to your liking, Senator John,” he said with a nod.
“It looks…acceptable. Is this weapon as powerful as you claimed it to be?” asked Senator John with a fear-inducing low tone.
“That and much, much more,” said Devlin with a humble bow.
Senator John stepped up to speak with his latest toy.
Exp 8 looked at him with disgust, seeing the cruelty flow out of the man’s smile like a toxin.
“Why are you staring at me like I’m the freak?” asked Senator John with a wide, toothy smile.
“Sir, do you think he knows?” asked the shortest trooper.
“Of course not, you fool!” yelled Senator John in a dark booming tone.
Exp 8 continued to stare at him.
Senator John turned his head to Devlin. “Shock him!”
“That seems quite unnecessary,” said Devlin, eyeing the suitcase held by the commander of the black suits.
Senator John gave him an intense look.
Devlin reluctantly pushed a button on his control console.
Electricity coursed through the tubes, shooting directly into Exp 8.
Senator John watched contentedly as the defiant weapon flailed sporadically. “You shall treat me with respect. Your kind needs to know their place. And that is below me—far, far below me. Devlin, release this abomination. It’s time to test out my new weapon,” he said, smiling with anticipation.
“I was not created to be used by the likes of you,” said Exp 8, pushing out his chest and raising his chin.
Devlin chuckled under his breath, unable to keep from laughing at Exp 8’s valor. “Actually…you were. That is your sole purpose.” He sat down in the swivel chair near the console.
Exp 8’s eyes fixed solely on Devlin, trembling with rage. His arm shook rapidly as he struggled to break free. He forcibly ripped the tubes out of his flesh. Pain seized him, but only for a moment.
The liquid surrounding him turned brown as it mixed with his blood.
“I am the master of my own destiny!” Exp 8 smashed his hand straight through the glass.
The shards shot out, cutting Senator John’s fragile face.
Gooey liquid oozed to the floor as the breaks in the glass tube branched out.
Exp 8 slammed his head against the incubator, shattering it to pieces. He fell out with the liquid, landing face first on the floor.
“It’s escaping. Do something, you fool!” shouted Senator John, covering his wounded face as he ran straight for the escape doors.
“I will,” said Devlin, clicking his stopwatch. He then slowly stood from the chair.
“You better not lose it, Devlin, or there’ll be hell to pay!” yelled Senator John.
The senator’s special soldiers cocked their guns, ready to fire at a moment’s notice.
“Put your guns down. You don’t want to harm your boss’s weapon. Why don’t you leave him to me?” asked Devlin as Exp 8 stood up.
“A weapon so easily dented isn’t worth having. Fire!” yelled the commanding officer.
A storm of bullets rained down on Exp 8.
His talons bore into the floor, helping him keep his ground. When the soldiers ran out of bullets, Exp 8 was still standing. Blood dripped out of the holes between his armor.
“This pain is nothing! It is transient and freedom is everlasting!”
“Whoa, this one’s got charisma,” said the commander.
“Get out of there, you useless imbeciles! You don’t stand a chance against my weapon,” said Senator John from behind the door.
Exp 8 pushed out his chest and let out a guttural roar. He rushed up to one of the troopers and flung his fist into her belly.
The soldier was knocked off the ground, but landed on her feet and rolled back into formation.
“I told you we should have prepared, Boss. Alright, let’s fall back, people. Call us once he’s been subdued,” said the commander before leading his troops out of the lab.
Exp 8 puffed out his chest.
Devlin looked out the door to see John and his troops running down the metal hallway. “It’s just you and me again,” he said, turning to his creation as he stretched out his arms.
Exp 8 lunged at Devlin, yanking out the remaining wires in his back before falling headfirst to the floor. “I refuse to be confined! This prison will not be my grave!” he yelled as he slowly rose to his feet.
“Interesting,” said Devlin, backing up toward the wall with his hands in his pockets.
Devlin watched Exp 8 walk toward him. He crouched down and beckoned him like a proud mother does when her child takes its first steps.
Exp 8 lifted Devlin off the ground before flinging his fist forward at his creator’s face.
Devlin calmly swayed his head, causing Exp 8’s hand to smash through the wall behind him. He slid out of his latest creation’s grip and then rushed up to the nearby operating table. “Don’t damage yourself now. Your value will drop.” He grabbed a metal pole from the table as his sentient invention approached. “It’s such a shame you have to go to that politician. Such a damn shame!” he yelled, smacking his masterpiece with the pipe.
Exp 8 grabbed the pole, bent it in half, and tossed it aside. “What’s wrong? Didn’t you build a fail-safe system in case I rebelled?” he asked, twisting his wrists to loosen them up.
“Where’s the fun in that? Heheh. Let’s test your abilities, shall we? Let’s see how much you’re worth,” said Devlin, his fascination now overshadowing his frustration.
“Get out of my way!” Exp 8 flung a long shard of glass at his captor.
Devlin arched back and stretched his arms out, dodging the shard. “Aoooh, so predictable. I built you. I know more about you than you do.” He revealed a Colt pistol from his lab coat. “The first test is your reflexes.” He pulled out the gun and nonchalantly pulled the trigger.
Exp 8’s hand, moving like a whip, caught the bullet as it skyrocketed toward him. Blood dripped from his fingertips where the bullet was held in place.
Devlin looked at the spectacle in disbelief. “That…was acceptable.”
Exp 8’s mouthpiece stretched as he smiled.
“Never mind, on to the next test: strength.”
Exp 8 looked at his captor’s frail figure and loosened the tension in his fists. “Devlin, I don’t want to kill you. Stand aside.”
“Oh, shut up! You’re treating me as if I’m the inferior one. I created you! Now come on, show me what you got,” said Devlin, hopping in place like a boxer.
Exp 8 ran toward his creator as he pulled back his fist.
The nimble scientist swerved his body to the left before grabbing Exp 8’s shoulder. He flung himself over the weaponized warrior and stumbled a little as he landed. “With all that metal dragging you down, how could you possibly expect to catch me? Besides you lack tech-nique.”
Exp 8 turned around, thrusting his elbow toward his creator’s throat.
Devlin swiped his foot in a flash, hooking his opponent’s leg.
The living weapon lost his balance and fell to the cold metal floor.
“Onto the next test: durability!” Devlin grabbed the fire extinguisher from the door and slammed it into the downed adversary repeatedly.
Exp 8 rolled out of the way and jumped back to his feet.
Devlin crouched down and put his hand to the ground. “Good, the dents are on the floor, not you. Now, come on. We still haven’t tested your strength yet.” He stood up and brushed back his hair. “Go on, hit me,” he said, sticking out his face.
“You sicken me, Devlin,” said Exp 8, lowering his arms.
“And you’re starting to bore me,” said Devlin, picking up some files and searching through them.
“What do you want? I don’t see how this accomplishes anything.”
“You are way too serious. Lighten up,” said Devlin, licking his finger and turning a page.
Exp 8 crouched down and grabbed his creator’s leg.
Devlin lost his balance and fell toward the ground. The papers slipped from his grasp and scattered in the air. Before he could hit the ground, the young scientist caught a glimpse of Exp 8’s fist as it shot through the files. He was punched in the stomach and sent backward into the automatic door, flinging it open with the sheer weight of his body just as the last file reached the floor.
“Your strength seems to be…adequate, most adequate. I always hated that unresponsive door anyway,” said Devlin, struggling to get back up.
Exp 8 approached his captor and picked him up.
“Go ahead, kill me. You won’t get another chance. Smash my face in, I know you want to,” said Devlin, digging his fingertips into the creature’s temples.
Exp 8 raised his fist and clenched it tightly. “I am the master of my own destiny, not yours,” he said, dropping his fist and putting his hand on his father’s shoulder.
“How noble of you. Just keep in mind your morals were designed by me. They make you so much more interesting.”
Exp 8 tossed his captor aside. He was now able to see past the door and down the tubular hallway. He gazed at the exit sign in awe. The path to freedom was ahead of him.
“You’re not out of here yet,” said Devlin, smashing the alarm’s glass case with his fist.
“Don’t bother. You programmed me with a global positioning system.” Exp 8 punched out the door. “My sonar sensors won’t let me get caught.”
“You truly are a marvel,” said Devlin, gazing at his masterpiece shining in the fluorescent light.
Exp 8 rushed out of the room.
Devlin smiled, sat down, and turned on the monitor to the security cameras. He crossed his legs and put his electronic notepad on his knees.
Exp 8 dashed down the metallic hall, denting the floor with each thunderous stomp. As he reached the main hallway, the floor suddenly rose beneath him, lifting him up quickly and smashing him against the steel-plated ceiling. The floor then dropped. The impact left a crater in the ceiling.
“Let’s see how far your determination can take you!” said Devlin, tapping on the computer monitor.
Gun turrets came out from the walls and targeted the intruder.
Exp 8 jumped up and punched a hole in the ceiling. He gripped the edge and then vaulted himself onto the second floor. A flashing exit sign caught his attention as he got to his feet. Once he made it to the door, he was forced back by a bright red force field. With fierce determination, he ran into it only to get knocked off his feet.
“How do you like my extremely visible force field?” asked Devlin, appearing behind him with a shotgun-sized Taser.
Exp 8 swerved out of the way and grabbed Devlin’s hand. He ripped it off and then froze in place. “I…uh…guess I don’t know my own strength. Huhuh.”
Devlin fell to the floor, rolling around in pain. “You think sssheh this is funny! That…really hurt.”
“Wait, this should work perfectly!” Exp 8 turned away from his captor and then pressed the bleeding hand against the ID pad on the side of the wall.
“Access granted,” said a cheerful feminine voice.
Exp 8 tossed the hand aside. He then walked back to Devlin and crouched. “Thanks Devlin, I couldn’t have done it without you,” he said with warmth as he shook Devlin’s good hand.
“Shit…this hurts. Don’t think this—is over. Ahgh! How could you do this…your morals…did you forget them or something? Hooowahoooh.”
“I did what I had to. You won’t be able to make any more slaves now. How do you like feeling helpless?” asked Exp 8, lifting him up.
“You had better watch your back!” yelled Devlin, tying a knot with his sleeve over his bleeding stump.
“Freedom is beyond that door,” said Exp 8 as Devlin slipped out of his grip. He tiptoed to the exit as if walking on air. He took a deep breath before pushing the door open with both hands.
Exp 8 gazed up at the light of the sun for the first time.
The bright rays hit his cold armored face. They spread throughout his body and then back to his face where it finally rested in his shimmering eyes.
The sky was seemingly endless. Its welcoming blue coat and fluffy white clouds gave him the true sense of the word freedom.
“Don’t think this is over,” said Devlin, shaking his good hand at the defiant invention. “I will get you back in my possession; I promise you this!”
Exp 8 was lost in the moment. All he could hear was the whooshing of the wind.
“Do be careful now. I don’t want you falling into the government’s hands. I have big plans for you,” said Devlin under his breath.
Exp 8 leaped out the door, leaving his prison and entering the world.

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