Max, a drug addicted doctor, gets caught up in a world he never
dreamt existed. After a visit from a long forgotten acquaintance,
Crimson, he finds himself wrapped up in a world of mutants,
monsters, cybertech-hackers, musician assassins, revolution and
friendship. His talents are called upon by a rag-tag team of
idealists seeking to reform the government victimizing and
abusing its citizens.
He was hungry, but he didn’t care about food. He had an impulse raging in his
brain stronger than any legitimate physical need. Feed me. It seemed to repeat in
his brain. I don’t want to! Max kept fighting back as he trembled and sweated, his
body craving the toxic bite of a boost.
He spotted a pharmaceutical locker on the far end of the lab and decided to
investigate. Red, red, orange, green, yellow, black, tan, brown, brown, red!
Where? Where is blue? Why no blue? Why, why, why, why, why, why?
It hadn’t been this bad since he’d quit three years ago. You knew what you were
doing; you’re a doctor. You know your enhancements make you more prone to
addiction. What the hell were you thinking, asshole? That I hate you! I hate you,
Max! You destroy everything! You destroy everyone! Crimson doesn’t like you.
She doesn’t even need you! She needs your brain, ignorant little addict. You
should die already.
Max began to cry and convulse. He hated that he craved the serenity boosts so
bad. It came in waves. He wanted them; he didn’t. He hated that they controlled him
so strongly and not at all. He couldn’t choose when he craved them; he couldn’t
choose when he didn’t.
It was a true addiction. He really wanted free, but he knew the only thing that could
heal him was time. Sure, they can make us immortal these days, but they can’t fix
addiction. Maybe I should have gone into research. I wish I had never studied
medicine! I wish I had gone anywhere in life except the path that would lead me to
Max voluntarily convulsed on the floor as if he was trying to expel demons from his
body. It was more than a tantrum a three-year-old would throw. Max knew what he
wanted. He wanted freedom from slavery to chemicals. He’d had it. For three short
years, he had been completely free, but one freak occurrence, one that wasn’t
even that big of a deal, had slingshot him back to this.
He rolled over to the metal pharmaceutical locker, sweating and writhing in both
physical and emotional pain. He began to pound his head into the locker with a
He bashed his head into the metal one time and felt his skull absorb the blow with a
large hematoma swelling under the skin. He fervently smashed his head a second
time into the locker with all of his force. His vision dimmed and he heard a ringing in
his right ear.
Once more. That’s all you need to be free, Max, that’s it.
He paused and choked. He started crying even harder than he had been. He could
barely breathe through the tears and gasps. He wasn’t crying from the physical
pain he had dealt himself. He was crying because his mind was drawn to Crimson.
What if she does care about me? Even if it is just as a friend? Just a fellow soldier
for a good cause? What if? What if nothing…
A third tempestuous slam; it was hard. The metal rang out; his neck made a
cracking noise. He had slipped a disk in between his fourth and fifth vertebra that
would be a constant source of pain and aggravation. He had also caused a
concussive fracture to his skull. His skin split open and his hematoma ran down his
forehead into his right eye.
He couldn’t see out of it anyway because of the swelling around his retina caused
by his first blow. His right eye was most certainly swelling; he could feel it. He
convulsed a few more times before dragging himself to a position on all fours. He
hit the floor eight times with both fists as hard as he could. His knuckles were
already swelling and would cause him horrible pain in the morning.
Finally, he stood on both feet and faced the locker. He kicked it as hard as he
could. Still, his chest heaved as he sobbed, grabbing for air between whimpers. His
lips quivered and snot ran down his nose. Blood and tears fell like rain on his shirt.
No sense in crying about spilled milk all night; time to get to work.
Max reached into the locker. Yellow, non-addictive stimulant, like caffeine but
stronger. I need to calm down, but maybe this will focus me and I can do something
useful for a change.
He pulled out an awareness boost. Dosage on all boosts were the same—a typical
dose was point one of a cc. Most syringes were multiple use and held ten doses.
This one still had seven doses to dispense. He stuck the needle in his arm and
pushed the plunger without hesitation.
A smile widened across his face as the feeling quickly overwhelmed his body. That’
s better, time to get to work.
"Leiko weaves an intricate plot that will keep
you intrigued from start to finish and hungering
"I believe the characters were well written, the
world is pretty fully painted and the story line is
fast paced and full of action."
through out the story keep you wanting more
of this "James Bond meets Star Wars" hybrid
of a story."
" Leiko sets the stage for a saga leaving
readers pleasantly unsure of whether to laugh,
cheer, or weep for the dark dreams of this
" It is imaginative in the things it does, but not
to the point where anything is totally unrealistic
"Highly recommend to any science
fiction/dystopian fan! Even if sci-fi isn’t usually
your thing, you should give it a try. It had a
good solid mix of sci-fi and dystopia which
made it very interesting."
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