"It's a straightforward procedure," the doctor assured. To his right, a masked nurse adjusted his IV line and unwrapped surgical instruments on a tray next to the doctor. He was fairly sure he didn't sign up for this, but the sedatives they've given him leached away his desire to protest. She picked up something below his line of sight and lifted it onto the waiting tray with a gloved hand. It fell with a wet smack and pulsed in time with his quickening heart. As he stared at the twisted thing, raw fear swelled behind his heart and pushed back some of the fuzziness of the medicine.

"A small insertion," the doctor told him as he felt the cool rush of more drugs injected into his bloodstream. The thing on the tray writhed and oozed a dark red substance on the towel beneath it. "It'll do wonders - I promise." She smiled behind her mask, but it didn't quite reach her eyes, leaving them wide and unfocused.

He pulled desperately against the restraints that locked him to the table. The iciness of the drugs climbed up his arm and spread across his chest, weakening his struggles.

"It's just a quick procedure," the doctor told him again, as he began to drift. She lifted the scalpel and leaned over him, and he fell down, down into darkness.