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  • It's been a long time, but I have another draft. This started as a writing exercise (both to describe a villain’s hideout I had designed and to create a sense of dread). It’s dark, but I don’t view it as hopeless. If there's anything I can do to improve the second-person style narration, or anything else, let me know.

    How you got into this situation isn’t important now. As you sit there, wedged between two formidable-looking men in the backseat of the vehicle, you wonder how this will end. During the ride you look out through the tinted windows and look for any landmarks you can use later to retrace your journey. The driver is mainly silent, but the man in the front passenger seat banters with your guards in the back. From time to time they try to engage you in their small talk, asking things such as, “Hey, remember a few years ago there was that movie about that actor’s daughter who became a bounty hunter? What was that one called?” The front passenger keeps his visor down the whole trip. You suspect he’s using the built-in make-up mirror to keep an eye on you.

    Eventually you reach your destination. It appears to be some kind of medical or office building. There appear to be some skylights, but there are hardly any windows that you can see. The five of you exit the vehicle. With two of the men in front and the other two behind you, you are directed to the building. One of the men holds open one of the double doors, and after all of you have entered the vestibule, he locks them both. You proceed into the anteroom. Once again the door is locked behind you, further preventing exit from the building. You take in your surroundings. To your right is a pair of bathrooms. In front of you is a door with an intercom button next to it. There’s a small window in this door, but all you can see through it is another door, this one solid, so there’s no way to see what lies further in that direction. To your left is a pair of doors. One is labeled “Storage”; the other one has a window and appears to lead to a hallway. The anteroom has sparse decoration, but no other features which would indicate the presence of people. Your thoughts are interrupted by one of the men instructing you to use the bathroom if you need to. You use the facilities, and when you re-enter the anteroom your guards are waiting for you. Once again positioning themselves so two are ahead of you and two are behind, they instruct you to enter the door leading to the hallway.

    The hallway consists of three narrow rooms or corridors separated by doors. Each one is locked behind you, and you find a sensation of fear running down your spine each time you hear the sound. You come to a door labeled “Processing Area” and enter the room. Along the right side of the wall are a small room and some storage closets. At the far end of the room is a man sitting behind a desk. He gestures to the door to your right and instructs you, “Please change into the provided clothing and place your clothes & any valuables in the provided bin. Be sure to put your driver’s license or ID atop the stack.”

    You’re reluctant, but you fear that if you don’t comply, the guards will drag you into the changing room and change you forcibly. You enter the closet-like room and find a rack of clothes. You find an outfit your size and change into the comfortable yet drab clothing, and afterward you exit the changing room with your bin of clothes and valuables. One of the men brings the bin over to the desk while the other three frisk you to make sure you haven’t kept anything. After they’re finished the processor gestures you for you to join him. You walk over and sit in the provided chair.

    “I’m glad you chose to comply,” the processor tells you. Confirming your suspicion, he adds, “If you hadn’t, we would have had to be forceful. Also, if you had tried to smuggle in something, it would have gone badly for you.” He takes your ID, copies the information on a clipboard, and sets it back atop the stack. He produces a lancet and a small adhesive bandage, then holds out his hand. “It’s standard procedure to do a blood test.” You allow him to prick your finger. He collects the drops of blood with a small device, bandages your finger, and inserts the device in a small analyzer sitting on the desk. It seems he approves of the results, but he says nothing, merely making another note on his clipboard. He takes a small card, writes your name and “#46” on it, places it in a clear plastic name tag holder, and gives it to you to pin to your shirt. “Make sure to hold onto that. Your belongings will be kept here for safekeeping. Now that you’ve been processed, your keepers will escort you to your quarters in the recruit ward.”

    Recruit ward? You tell the processor, “I didn’t ask to come here.”

    “‘Recruit’ is not the same as ‘volunteer’,” he replies casually. “Sometimes we have the need to replenish our membership. Some are volunteers responding to offers we’ve made. Some arrive from other facilities, or are referred by others. Some are brought here more forcibly. In the end, though, everyone’s treated the same regardless of how they were recruited.”

    “What is this place?”

    “It’s a facility to train people to be useful. You know, like job training. Don’t worry; you’ll find your place and purpose here.” He removes his gaze from you, looks toward your keepers, and nods, subtly indicating the interview is over.

    The processor goes to put the bin with your belongings in one of the storage closets, but you’re prevented from watching him further as the keepers lead you out of the room and into another hallway. Like the previous one, it is divided into smaller sections, and the keepers lock each door after you. After the first narrow corridor comes a slightly longer one with two doors. One of them is labeled “Preparation Room”. You expect to hear speaking, but hear nothing. You are led through the room at the far end and through a small room with a bathroom. The next room is larger, and one of the walls catches your eye. A shelf along the wall has transparent pouches holding what appear to be protective masks. Underneath are coat hooks with what appear to be straitjackets hanging from them.

    “Don’t worry about it,” one of the keepers tells you, urging you onward.

    Finally you arrive at the recruit ward and are led to a holding cell. On the wall outside the cell are two buttons similar to doorbells. The cell door has a window, allowing people to look in and out, and a slot for a food tray. The interior of the cell has a mattress, a bathroom with a toilet and sink, and a shower with a curtain.

    “Eventually you can be moved to the refined ward,” one of the keepers informs you. “It has a dormitory with nicer beds, and while the bathroom is communal, it has a shower-bath if you prefer baths. There’s even a kitchen area and a gym, and you’ll be allowed more freedom to move around. I guarantee you that after you’re assigned there, you won’t complain.”

    A keeper locks you in your cell and then the quartet leaves. With nothing else to do, you inspect your quarters. You’d welcome a cheesy brochure explaining the building’s purpose, but there is none. There are, however, some various magazines and puzzle books stacked neatly, giving you something to do. Surprisingly, there’s a TV up on the wall, and a remote control to go along with it. You turn it on and flip through the channels. There’s not a variety of channels, but they can provide another distraction from boredom. The bathroom has a few hygiene and grooming products, such as a toothbrush, a hairbrush, soap, and rolls of toilet paper. The shower has some towels and small bottles of soap and shampoo, as if this were a hotel room. Feeling overwhelmed by this development in your life, you sprawl out on the mattress. As you look at the ceiling, you notice nozzles, like the kind used for sprinkler systems.

    As time passes the light in the cell grows dimmer, mimicking the cycle of day and night. It’s the same with the lights in the hallway. The clock on the cell wall has glow-in-the-dark numbers and hands, so at least you can tell what time it is. Eventually you decide to go through your nightly routine as best you can and retire to the mattress. It’s hard for you to sleep, however, because so many questions and fears run through your mind.

    Suddenly the light from the hallway becomes brighter and you hear a nearby disturbance. Someone else is being escorted into the recruit ward, and he doesn’t like it. By the sound of his voice it’s a young man no older than his 20s, perhaps even his late teens. He becomes more defiant, yelling threats and resisting the keepers’ verbal commands. Trying to overhear all you can, you quietly sit down in front of your cell door and rest your head and arms on your knees so if any of the keepers peer through the window, it will look like you just fell asleep in a sitting position. There’s more shouting and the sounds of disturbed movement as a scuffle breaks out between the newest recruit and the keepers. Finally there’s a thud followed by a slam and then a click, indicating that the keepers had picked up the recruit and flung him into the cell hard before slamming and locking the door. After that there’s a beeping sound. This is followed by a loud hissing sound, and then the footsteps of the keepers and a coughing fit from the young man. As his cries fade, you realize that one of the keepers pressed a button that filled the cell with some kind of gas; the masks and straitjackets you saw earlier were so the keepers could restrain any inmates that had been subdued this way. A moment after you realize this, another thought hits you. You look up at the ceiling again and look at the nozzles. You shudder as you realize that those are for gas, not water or fire-extinguishing foam, and that the keepers can flood your own cell with gas at any time.

    After a couple minutes there’s another bleep as the other button is pressed, and you hear the sounds of fans running to drain the gas from the cell. A minute later your heart skips a beat as you hear one of the keepers approaching. He stops by your cell, and you freeze as his shadow falls into the cell & you feel a pair of eyes watching you. Thankfully the moment passes quickly as he turns and leaves. You hear his muffled voice as he tells the others, “This one won’t be any problem.”

    You hear movement as the keepers enter the new arrival’s cell, place the defiant recruit in a straitjacket, and exit the cell again. Soon their voices sound less muffled, indicating that they’ve removed their protective masks. One of the keepers, evidentially talking on a phone, relays the young man’s violence and defiance to someone, presumably a higher-up. At the end of the conversation he gives a professional closing, terminates the call, and tells the others, “No points for guessing what the professor said.”

    “A forty-five day CPL as soon as possible, right?”

    “You got it!”

    “I’ll go ahead and examine his medical records,” volunteers one. “In the morning we can get started.”

    “Sounds good to me.”

    The keepers dim the light in the hallway again and then leave. Slowly you return to your mattress and lie down. You cover yourself with your blanket, as though it might provide some kind of protection, as more fears and questions race through your mind. What kind of a place is this, what will happen to you, and what is a CPL?

    The next morning you awaken, arise from the mattress, and take a shower. You didn’t sleep well, but you figure it’s best to have some kind of routine. As you finish putting your clothes back on, you hear footsteps down the hall. This is followed by the beeping of the button and the whoosh of gas filling the young man’s cell. There’s a sound of a struggle, but it doesn’t last long. The recruit is quickly overpowered by the keepers and by the gas. You hear the sound of a cell door being closed, and then the corridor becomes eerily quiet.

    Shortly afterward a keeper comes to visit you. “How was your night?”

    “Not good,” you reply.

    “That’s understandable.” He slides a piece of paper and a pencil through your food slot. “Here, give this a look-over and tell us what you’d like for breakfast.”

    Trying not to sound too suspicious, you ask, “I heard a commotion last night, and then this morning. What happened to the recruit that was brought in after me? The young man?”

    “Don’t worry about him; he won’t be harmed. He was violent and defiant, so we had to move him to a separate area.” He adds, “Hopefully you won’t give us trouble like he did.”

    You merely nod and then look at the breakfast menu. You don’t ask what a CPL is since you don’t want to give the impression you know too much.

    You mark your order and hand the menu and pencil back to the keeper. He looks it over and remarks, “Good choice!” He leaves and returns minutes later with your breakfast. As you eat, you have to admit that whoever cooked it did a good job. “See, things aren’t so bad,” the keeper tells you.

    After breakfast another keeper comes into your cell. He opens a plastic bag and takes out a number of small electronic devices resembling digital watch screens with gel-like adhesive on the backs. Holding them in one hand, he reassures you, “Don’t worry, these won’t hurt you. Have you ever had your temperature taken with one of those thermometers that the nurses put on your forehead for a minute or two? These are similar. They monitor a person’s heart rate and other vital signs. I assure you that they’re perfectly harmless.” He has you roll up your sleeves and open your shirt, then attaches the thin devices to your chest, limbs, and forehead.

    The keeper proceeds to conduct a physical examination and a mental state evaluation. The latter includes what they call neuropsychiatric testing, a test of things such as intelligence, memory, and other cognitive & executive functions. They also subject you to a questionnaire about your past medical history as well as what they call your psychosocial history- basically your habits and lifestyle. Like the processor, it’s hard to read him. He seems to like your answers, but he says nothing, merely taking notes on a clipboard. There are times during the interview in which it seems like he already knows some things, as if someone has already done some research on you & your past.

    Afterward he removes the scanning devices and returns them to the bag. As he thanks you for your cooperation, the keeper who took your breakfast order joins you. He has a stack of clothes matching the kind you had to change into during processing, and atop the stack is an opaque plastic bag of underclothes. “Here’s some fresh clothing for you,” he announces. He sets the stack down and then the keepers depart and lock the door back, leaving you alone again.

    You retrieve the bag of underclothes to inspect it. Hopefully they got some in your size. As you examine the bag’s contents, you realize something horrifying. The underclothes are exactly your size because they are yours. Sometime between your processing and this morning, someone from this place entered your home, found your room, went through your drawers, and retrieved your underclothes. Your stomach begins to cramp with shock at this revelation.

    You talk to the keepers very little after that. Between the shocking revelation about your underclothes, the anger and confusion concerning your circumstances, the relative insouciance of the keepers concerning your feelings, and the boredom you feel as time passes, you don’t feel like talking much. The days begin to tick by. You try to keep yourself as entertained & distracted as possible, and you wonder how long you’re going to have to wait here in this cell.

    You get your answer about a quarter to ten on your fourth night there. A keeper opens your cell door, and when he steps into the doorway you see that on his hip he wears a transparent pouch with a mask. You see at least two other keepers behind him, and they have their mask pouches as well. This is a show of force. They have their masks clearly at the ready so if you resist, they can don them, activate the flow of knock-out gas, and overpower you like they did the recruit who was brought here after you.

    The first keeper extends his hand. “Your name tag, please.”

    You unpin it from your shirt and hand it to him. He removes the card from the clear plastic holder, places it in a semi-opaque, amber-colored holder, and hands it back to you. As you pin the holder to your shirt, the keeper announces, “It’s time. We’re ready for you.”

    “Time for what?” you ask.

    “For your preparation. You’re going to receive training and eventually be advanced to the refined ward.”

    “At this time of night?”

    “That’s the procedure we follow. Everything will be explained.”

    With no choice, you exit your cell and step into the corridor. There are eight keepers in total, all with their masks at the ready, and they surround you so you can’t escape. As you’re escorted out of the recruit ward, you see a chart on one of the cell doors. It must belong to the young man that was brought in after you, but you’re not given the time to study it.

    You’re led through the room with the masks and straitjackets, though most of the mask pouches are currently being held by the keepers, and into the small room with the bathroom. You’re invited to use it if you need to, which you’re glad for because your nervousness is affecting your bladder. You spend some time using the facilities and trying to absorb whatever is happening before the keepers politely order you to exit. You’re then led to the corridor with the door leading to the Preparation Room. One of the keepers opens the door and you’re escorted inside.

    Inside the room are four clinical-looking reclining chairs, similar to dentist’s chairs, and two lab tables with drawers & built-on sinks. In one of the corners you see a young man. He appears to be strapped into one of the chairs, which is in a reclining position. Some kind of a headband with a visor covers his eyes. What appears to be an anesthetic mask covers his nose and mouth, and a band of fabric around his head indicates that he’s wearing a gag under the mask as well. He also appears to have something inserted in his ears. For a minute all you can do is stare in shock and fear, wondering what exactly is going on.

    “He hasn’t been harmed,” one of the keepers tells you.

    “That’s the one who was brought in after me?” you ask.

    “That’s right. We’ve been taking good care of him despite his initial lack of cooperation.”

    You realize that whatever’s happening must be the “CPL” you heard them mention. Your eyes dart around the room. There’s a door in the far corner of the room, but you’d have to escape from the keepers just to get to it. You also have a suspicion in the pit of your stomach. Your mind overwhelmed with fear, you allow the keepers to bring you to one of the chairs. Actually, they have to half-drag you since your legs have begun to lock up, becoming as rigid as wooden sticks. All the chairs have the same equipment- a headband with a visor, some kind of ear nozzles, and a gag. Near the chair sits both a tank of gas with an attached breathing mask and an IV stand with a bag containing a clear fluid. You start to resist as you’re seated in the chair, but the keepers overwhelm you easily. One of them opens your shirt as the others begin applying the restraints. Soon you’re secured in place with strong straps placed around your ankles, wrists, chest, and waist. Your arms are strapped in such a way that your forearms are facing up, positioned for easy needle insertion. One of the keepers has the bag from before, and he once again opens it & takes out the small scanning devices, attaching them to your limbs, breast, and forehead.

    “Would you like us to recline the chair?” one of the keepers asks. Unsure, you can only shake your head no. “Okay, then. Next we’re going to clean your ears. It’s procedure. Just try to relax a bit.”

    They proceed to clean out your ears thoroughly using water picks and cotton swabs, then dry them with ear syringes and a tube gently blowing warm air. After this one of the keepers presses a call button on the wall near the chair. “Subject 46 is in the preparation room.”

    “Very good. I’ll be there in a minute.”

    Shortly afterward a man in a lab coat enters the room. His face bears an arrogant and triumphant expression. “Hello. I am Professor Cerdis. I’m in charge of this facility and operation.” Confirming your suspicion, he nods toward the door in the corner and tells you, “It was smart of you not to try to escape through that door. As you might have guessed, it leads to a gas chamber, an efficient method of preventing patients from escaping.”

    Your throat feels dry, but you manage to ask, “What is all this?”

    “I’ll explain shortly. Right now you need to be quiet. If you don’t, then I have no qualms about gagging you.” He chuckles and adds, “Then again, I don’t have any qualms about being gagged, either.”

    The keepers look at him in surprise, then look away awkwardly. Ignoring the effect of his awkward admission, Cerdis takes out a small recording device, activates it so he can keep record of the proceedings, and clips it to his belt. “Subject 46 has been secured in a preparation chair. The examination will now commence.” Looking directly into your eyes, he informs you, “Things will go a lot easier for you if you cooperate.”

    He performs a test similar to the one previously given you to check your consciousness and memory. “The test of mental status shows the subject is conscious, alert, and oriented. Now I shall study the vital signs and analyze the electrodiagnosis.” He uses a flashlight to check your eyes both in the light and in the dark. “Pupils are equal, round, and reactive in the light & the dark and to accommodation.” He listens to your chest with a stethoscope. “Lungs sound clear to auscultation.” He continues to check your temperature, pulse, and respiration along with the other readings from the scanning devices attached to your body. “The subject displays elevated TPR, with the EEX also indicating increased stress levels. That’s certainly understandable.”

    With the examination concluded, he announces, “Since subject 46 is conscious, alert, and oriented, vital signs are stable and in defined limits, and the device has been pre-programmed, the forty-two day CPL will commence.”

    Nervously, you mange to ask, “What’s a CPL?”

    Cerdis smiles. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you. It’s effective, but completely harmless. It’s a technique I’ve developed and mastered. The acronym is short for ‘Continual Psychological Lavation’- ‘continual’ meaning ‘occurring at regular intervals’, ‘psychological’ meaning ‘of or relating to the mind’, and ‘lavation’ meaning ‘the act or instance of washing’.”

    You begin to tremble as his meaning becomes clear. Unconcerned by your anxiety, and speaking as casually as a grade school student explaining a science fair project, he tells you, “This device is similar to one of my earlier inventions, the hsi-nao device, ‘hsi-nao’ being a Chinese term meaning ‘cleansing of the mind’. It uses a combination of sound pulses, energy waves, and hypnotic imagery- which I’ll admit you won’t be able to appreciate until later on- to place the brain in a state in which the subject is highly open to suggestion. The subject’s willpower becomes suppressed, and continued treatments cause it to stay suppressed for an extended period of time.”

    He proceeds to place the nozzles securely in your right ear & left ear, then takes the headband and places it so the visor covers both your eyes. You can make out him saying, “Nozzles have been applied auris dextrae & auris laevae, and visor is situated over oculi uterque.” He instructs one of the keepers, “Since Subject 46 has avoided being gassed thus far, it’d be a shame to use gaseous anesthetic, at least for the initial treatment. Administer general anesthesia via injection.”

    You feel like screaming, but before you can a gag is placed in your mouth. You feel a scrubbing sensation on your arm followed by a mild stabbing sensation. Shortly after that an irresistible feeling of sleepiness starts to envelop you. You try to stay awake, but soon you lose all consciousness.

    You wake up back in your cell the next morning. It feels like you’ve awoken after a night of vague and unsettling dreams, but this is no dream. You take several minutes to gather yourself and reflect on last night. You don’t feel noticeably different, aside from your feelings of terror, unease, and dread. You feel nauseous due to the combination of anesthetic and fear, and you begin retching. Two keepers, who had apparently been on stand-by outside your door, enter your cell and begin administering medicine to treat your nausea. You’re told not to worry because you’ll be treated for any nausea or vomiting you may experience, kept well hydrated and well nourished, and allowed to sleep as much as you need or want to between sessions. You’re also reassured that they’ll monitor your vitals and general condition throughout the preparation process to ensure your well-being. They act as though what’s occurring is normal, even desirable. What’s horrific for you is just a job to them, and one they seem to have no trepidation in doing.

    For the next nine nights the keepers return you to the Preparation Room for a treatment. No matter how much you struggle, you’re overpowered, strapped into the preparation chair, and rendered unconscious via gas or injection. You wake up each morning in your cell. You still don’t feel that different. You have a sense of fear and unease, but that can be viewed as a good sign at this point because it means you’re still thinking for yourself.

    On the morning of the eleventh day of preparation, the keepers tell you that the previous ten nights could have gone worse for you. Since the young man brought in after you was so resistant and hostile upon arrival, his initial session lasted eighteen hours while yours only lasted eight, and his next nine sessions were eighteen hours long instead of ten. Your CPL is scheduled to last forty-two days in contrast to his forty-five, but it’s noted that the preparation period for either one of you can be extended if need be, with the number and length of sessions increased. They inform you that the sessions will now be conducted twice daily, assuring you that it’s simply part of the process. That afternoon they bring you in for a four-hour treatment, and that night they bring you in for a twelve-hour treatment. They check your vitals and condition before and after each session. Though they aren’t malicious, their calmness and efficiency throughout every step of the process furthers the impression of them being cold and clinical. On Day 16 they conduct a follow-up to assess your progress and reaction to verbal orders. You’re still resistant, but they note that your condition is typical for this stage of the process.

    During the first eighteen days of preparation you’re kept under general anesthesia, administered through gas or injection, during the preparation sessions. True to what the keepers told you after that first session, you’re treated for any nausea and vomiting you experience. On Day 19, however, they begin to lessen the amount of general anesthesia. They gradually reduce the amount of anesthesia each day, and they administer some kind of sedating syrup orally to prevent you experiencing withdrawal. Since you’re no longer unconscious throughout the sessions, you can observe the hypnotic imagery produced by the visor, and hear the pulses and instructions being broadcast through the ear nozzles. You try to resist, but you find yourself resisting less each day.

    Day 31 is notable. Another follow-up is conducted to assess progress and reaction to verbal orders. This time, while still somewhat resistant, you’re much more compliant and open to suggestion than you were on Day 16. Afterward you’re told that for the remainder of the preparation period, the sessions will consist of one daily eight-hour treatment, unless it’s determined changes need to be made. That day also marks them stopping the use of general anesthesia entirely. The syrup you had been given is likewise stopped on day 35. As usual, they check your vitals and condition before and after the daily sessions. You previously mulled on how detached they were, but now you don’t feel that way. They’re just helping with your training, after all.

    During the scheduled final five days follow-up is conducted daily to assess your progress and see if further sessions are warranted. After the session on Day 42, it’s determined that your CPL is complete. It’s the same with the young man brought in after you. A keeper congratulates the two of you before escorting you through a laboratory with a number of chambers and into a separate wing.

    You and the young man are welcomed to the refined ward, which is already occupied by eight other subjects. Just as the keeper described, it has a dormitory with nicer beds, a communal bathroom with a shower-bath, a kitchen area, and a gym. There’s also a row of showers along one wall, a combination laundry room and linen closet, a clinic where subjects can be taken if they fall ill or otherwise need to be held for medical observation, and what they call the maintenance room, which is basically a larger version of the preparation room with ten preparation chairs instead of four. The accommodations are nice, but you’re more concerned with your purpose than your quarters.

    Your purpose is to go the lab when called, enter one of the testing chambers, sit in the chair, and wait for Professor Cerdis. There you serve as a test subject for Cerdis’s experiments with medicines and other chemical concoctions. Other than that you’re free to do as you wish, provided you don’t leave the refined ward or interfere with anything. Every three days the ten of you are summoned to the maintenance room for an eight-hour CPL session. If someone is confined to the clinic they’re given a treatment with the hsi-nao device so they don’t fall behind the others. That’s awfully thoughtful of them. You may be rescued someday, though for the most part you don’t think about leaving this facility. You have a place and a purpose here, and it feels good to be useful.

    CPL Procedure

    • Preparation via Continual Psychological Lavation is to last between forty-two and forty-five days. Between post-admission day one and post-admission day three the patient is to undergo physical examination, mental status evaluation, and neuropsychiatric testing as well as respond to a questionnaire about past medical history & psychosocial history. If these examinations are unable to be conducted due to psychological or neurological illness, the patient will begin forty-two day CPL as soon as possible. If these examinations are unable to be conducted due to violence and defiance, or if it is discovered post-examination that the patient has been deceptive, the patient will begin forty-five day CPL as soon as possible.
    • During the preparation process the patient is to be kept well hydrated & well nourished and have as many hours of sleep as desired. During Days 1-18 of preparation the patient is to be kept under general anesthesia during the preparation sessions. The general anesthetic will be administered via gas or injection as necessary and as much as suffices. The patient will receive treatment for any postoperative nausea and vomiting resulting from the use of general anesthesia. During Days 19-30 the amount of general anesthesia is to be lessened. A sedating syrup is to be administered orally to ease in this transition. On Day 31 general anesthesia is to be stopped entirely, and the administration of the syrup is to be stopped by Day 35.
    • Before the initial treatment, the patient’s ears shall be cleaned and dried thoroughly as part of preparation. Following this the patient shall undergo physical examination & electrodiagnosis to determine vital signs and a mental status examination to determine mental state. If the patient is conscious, alert, and oriented and vital signs are stable and in defined limits, and the device has been pre-programmed, preparation will commence. If there is an issue, the appropriate drugs can be administered so that the issue can be resolved and preparation can begin. The nozzles will be applied to the right ear & left ear and the headband will be placed so that the visor is over both eyes. After general anesthesia is applied and the patient is rendered unconscious, the device will be activated. The initial session will consist of one eight-hour treatment. However, if the patient is defiant and violent, the initial session will consist of one eighteen-hour treatment. If it is determined that CPL cannot be conducted, the subject will be quarantined in the laboratory until a purpose for them can be determined.
    • During Days 2-10 of preparation the sessions will consist of one ten-hour treatment beginning at 10:00PM and continuing overnight. However, if the patient is defiant and violent, or has been deceptive, the sessions will consist of one eighteen-hour treatment beginning at 9:00PM and continuing overnight. During this time the patient is to have vital signs checked every other hour and general condition checked once every five hours. During Days 11-30 of preparation the sessions will occur twice a day and consist of one four-hour treatment (beginning at 2:00PM) & one twelve-hour treatment (beginning at 10:00PM and continuing overnight). During this time vital signs and general condition will be checked before and after each session. Days 31 and onward the sessions will consist of one daily eight-hour treatment, though longer sessions can be conducted if necessary. During this time vital signs and general condition will be checked before and after the daily session.
    • Follow-up will be conducted on the sixteenth and thirty-first days of preparation to assess progress and reaction to verbal orders. In addition, follow-up will be conducted daily during the scheduled final five days of preparation to assess progress and reaction to verbal orders. This will determine if the number and length of the sessions needs to be increased. Once it is determined that the CPL process is complete, the subject will be moved to the refined ward. Follow-up sessions, consisting of one eight-hour treatment, will be conducted every three days to keep the subject compliant.

    As I noted to Doom Vroom when I showed him the story, it’s possible this is too long because there are a couple places where I could have stopped and just called it good. Maybe I just don’t know when to quit.

      Loading editor
    • I get where this is going and what its meant to touch, its nice in that regard, but it's very taste specific. I mean, it's really really really heavy... You need to like this ugh super suspensful, dreadfully slow built that leads to a mild peaking moment. It's not climactic, but it's not anticlimatic, because this does end with a "Oh, fuck, that makes sense" moment.

      The explanation of the CPL procedure is useless, we kind of get what it is from the main plot

        Loading editor
    • BloodySpghetti wrote: ...but it's very taste specific.

      The thing about fetishes- uh, I mean... ~clears throat~ ;-)

      Thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, do you think there's a better place for it to end? In my opinion the first place it could potentially end is the scene with the underclothes. It would leave things unresolved, but it's a "What the blazes is going on here!?" moment, and it leaves it open for readers to write their own ending. As for the explanation, I was going for a cold, clinical approach, but I get your point.

      All in all I have to say that someone reacting, "Meh, it's not terrible," is better than the reaction I was afraid I'd get. I don't like to post mind-control stories for fear some nutjob will claim, "This is a true story!" Sure, I'm really a supervillainous scientist from a comic book and I have a building full of subjects I'm experimenting on at my leisure, but I've decided to jeopardize that by bragging about it on the Creepypasta wiki! (I hope that rant was entertaining enough to make you feel justified for coming to this thread in the first place)

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    • Raidra wrote:

      BloodySpghetti wrote: ...but it's very taste specific.

      The thing about fetishes- uh, I mean... ~clears throat~ ;-)

      Thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, do you think there's a better place for it to end? In my opinion the first place it could potentially end is the scene with the underclothes. It would leave things unresolved, but it's a "What the blazes is going on here!?" moment, and it leaves it open for readers to write their own ending. As for the explanation, I was going for a cold, clinical approach, but I get your point.

      All in all I have to say that someone reacting, "Meh, it's not terrible," is better than the reaction I was afraid I'd get. I don't like to post mind-control stories for fear some nutjob will claim, "This is a true story!" Sure, I'm really a supervillainous scientist from a comic book and I have a building full of subjects I'm experimenting on at my leisure, but I've decided to jeopardize that by bragging about it on the Creepypasta wiki! (I hope that rant was entertaining enough to make you feel justified for coming to this thread in the first place)

      I think its over all not that long, outside of the last part which, to me, is useless.  Conspiracy theorists will love this post, seriously, do you have any idea how many people actually believe that a super advanced alien race of reptiles operate on earth in earth manner? 

      I also came across a person whom I hope was method acting herself as the heroine of a story about a woman who worships a self made deity based on the biblical Belial term. People are weird.

      This is for a niche audience, and it did give me a feeling of "man, that would suck if those things exist in mexico and what not" but nothing to creepy. Also, the over atmosphere of this some undisclosed location with a seemingly unexplained purpose does give of a lot of space for speculation. soooo

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    • An alien ordering a pizza tries his best to sound human

      An alien ordering a pizza tries his best to sound human

      You mean the CPL Procedure appendix? The more I think about it, the more I agree that it can be chopped off. I hate to imagine how many people like that there are, but I do imagine that they think the video on the right is real and indisputable evidence.

      I remember one time there was someone here who made a blog about being a vampire. Jay deleted her blog and warned her that roleplaying was against the rules. She replied that she wasn't roleplaying and that he shouldn't "bloke" her because she was doing nothing "rong". Okay, then. She left after entering the 2016 costume contest, probably because she didn't win.

      It's interesting that you decided it was in Mexico, but then again, the reader is free to decide where it is since it's never stated where the facility is or isn't. You've given me some good feedback. We'll see what, if anything, I end up doing with this.

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    • I do think this needs editing, both to reduce size and make it tighter. You get lost in a "so what" daze of too many medical procedures that sound too weird and too much alike.

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    • Fair enough. I've decided not to post this, but for reference, what do you think would have been a good stopping point? Like I said, I know there were two or three times I could have stopped the story and called it good.

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    • It needs editing. I would cut any part that doesn't move the story forward. I would cut anything that deals with long-term coma or anesthetized state. If the person isn't mentally there then why bother describing it? Not unless the person is reacting to the experience after.

      Even then, what is the story trying to say?

      I see a lot of really weird medical stuff, probably painful in places.

      It sounds like an SCP. It's a report, as dry and as unemotional as possible. In a sense, that's the opposite of a Creepypasta. A creepypasta needs to transmit creepiness and fear, both emotional state.

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    • I had the descriptions of the procedure because I thought it would be too abrupt a jump if I went from the process starting to the person being completely dominated (and I wanted to show the person becoming less resistant as time passed), but I know that wouldn't be an issue if I'd ended the story before then. I thought one good ending place for the story might be the underwear scene because it would leave the readers wondering what is going on here and let their imaginations run wild.

      I thought of having a sequel to this which examines how some parents would rather ship their children (whether teenagers or younger) off to shady institutions which promise miracles instead of working with them, leading to the children being abused or even dying in custody due to the treatment they get. That doesn't mean that this story has a meaning other than, "Dang, this would be creepy if it happened..." It just means that maybe I could use it as the basis for a more meaningful story. If I do write that story, it'll basically be a stand-alone in that it will have Cerdis, but not be an actual sequel since I've decided not to post this story.

      "...probably painful in places." No, the fictional procedure isn't painful at all. It wouldn't be any more painful than falling asleep while listening to a music album or a YouTube video on headphones at a medium volume. Things that aren't painful can still mess people up.

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    • Hey, just wanted to leave some quick feedback on this story while I had the time. I know you asked me to take a look at this like ten million years ago but I've got a little time right now, so I thought I'd comment in case you were still looking to do something with this.

      But anyways I actually thought this was pretty interesting. You did a good job of building up the suspense of what exactly is going on in the facility without coming off as exploitative or hokey. I feel you moved the story along at an acceptable pace (though you could chop it down a bit if you wanted for the sake of succinctness), and the way you described the procedure with the inmate kept my interest. I like how no real damage is being done to the inmates except for the mental aspect. Also of note is that despite the unorthodox perspective you chose, it never came off to me as being awkward or silly. I didn't find any grammatical errors or wording issues (unsurprisingly). All in all I found what you currently have in good shape.

      I will say though that the revelation that it was all for the sole purpose of the scientist's studies was slightly odd to me. Perhaps I was expecting something a bit more insidious, but after reading the ending I was like, "Oh, that wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be." It sort of leaves me wondering how exactly the protagonist feels by the end of the story. Anyway, that's all I can think to say for now. Hope it helps a bit!

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    • Hey, better late than devoid of Dr. Frank! Whatever I decide to do with it, I appreciate the feedback. :-D

      Thank you, I'm glad you thought so! "I like how no real damage is being done to the inmates except for the mental aspect." Exactly. The procedure is harmless and they're actually being treated well, but they're losing control day by day. I'm glad the second-person perspective wasn't an issue.

      I can see that. That's an interesting point about how the protagonist feels. Maybe deep down inside they do feel some relief while still wanting to regain control. Maybe some victims of this secretly want to stay because they feel secure despite being prisoners controlled and used by a sociopath. You suddenly made this very philosophical.

      Speaking of the scientist, now that you've read this, I can reveal that Professor Cerdis is the guy. What guy? The guy responsible for what happened to Daniel/Devotee from my Houseguest series. He didn't order Daniel's parents to be killed (that was solely the mercenaries doing an incompetent job), but he was the one that made Daniel his guinea pig. That's another reason I wanted you to review this.

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    • Glad to hear that you appreciated the feedback. You make an interesting point about if the prisoners secretly liking being held captive, and to be honest it's an idea that creeps me out a bit. And my forte is making things suddenly philosophical, wouldn't you agree? And yeah, this story actually reminded me a lot of your Houseguest series. So much so that your revelation about Cerdis makes sense. Maybe Devotee and his comrades can help bust these guys out their mental servitude and bondage some day! Well, it'd be a much better fate than a human-guinea-pig(?). At any rate, thanks for that interesting bit of info. Please let me know if you decide to do anything else with this tale.

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    • You know how sometimes you look back on a story you wrote and realize something about your own story? That happened to me. Doom Vroom and I had speculated on whether the keepers were in control of their actions or not (and which would be worse), and then something made me think of this part one day.

      "'I’ll explain shortly. Right now you need to be quiet. If you don’t, then I have no qualms about gagging you.” He chuckles and adds, “Then again, I don’t have any qualms about being gagged, either.'

      "The keepers look at him in surprise, then look away awkwardly."

      I realized that since those keepers could feel embarrassment about Cerdis's admission about his sex life, that means they weren't being controlled. They did this without being coerced by Cerdis. That doesn't mean all the keepers have free will, though, which brings up a new question- which came first, the controlled keepers or the non-controlled keepers? Were these keepers convinced that the operation was okay by previous keepers who were actually being controlled, or did these keepers lure new keepers who ended up being controlled? In the end it's up to the reader to decide.

      That's good! Don't worry; any victims Cerdis has will be freed. Will do! :-) One thing I'd need to do as far as the comics are concerned is decide whether this particular story is something that's actually happening or Cerdis's fantasy (As long as I do it properly, I don't think the latter would be a cop-out because 1) he actually has subjected people to mind-control and conducted experiments, so he's still a very real threat and 2) that's still a warped thing to fantasize about). In either case, yeah, you know the heroes will put an end to any evil schemes he has!

      Speaking, of Vroom, I've posted a good amount of Cerdis-related material on his talk page so it's readily available to share. Here's a sampler platter if you're interested. Toward the end of this talk page thread is an entry for the character. I also have a couple excerpts from a graphic novel I plan to do someday.

      I'm not going to give anything away, but I think you'd enjoy that last one. Take care!

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    • A FANDOM user
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