I bolted up in bed. The pain was immense, and the dream was intense. This dream was the peak in a series of very vivid nightmares.

My dreams were always about the same things. A man towered above him and ordered me to do something in a language I didn't understand. I complied, and sat down in a metal chair. I was given an injection and then another man came and tattooed a number on my arm. I looked down at it, and always saw the same thing, ?IV-omega four. Whatever it meant, it had some bearing, because the tattoo man was very cautious about making the mark. Then the first man proceeded to beat me, even as my wounds were healing.

.And I woke up. I noticed that the bed sheets were drenched in a cold sweat. I also noticed a small blood spot about where my arm laid in extreme pain. Removing the sheet, I noticed the letters written in blood- ?IV. "That is really strange," I said to myself, thinking about the nightmare. I also noticed that I was sore, battered and bruised. Either my dreams were getting worse, or I was getting beaten in the night.

I got up, checked the door, then went back to sleep. My next dream was a little more complex. I was on a ship, I could tell by the pitching and rolling. I was alone with a rifle. All I knew was what I was being told to do over a headset, but I wasn't wearing one. I talked back, and got a response of "Nin zhah naut l' draeval whol erg'lesen" then when is the time for questions! One or two people passed him in the hall. One asked him "vel'klar ph' dos aluin?" I responded, but in that language, "Pholor ussta i'dol ulu l' kul'gobsula." The prison? I'm going to the prison? Whatever is happening, these are really strange dreams.

And suddenly, the alarm clock went off. I woke up, stiff and groggy, and got dressed. I noticed that my wound in the arm had healed, but had left a scar of ?IV. I thought it was strange, but I thought nothing of it. I went on with my day as usual, until my boss stopped me. I know that he doesn't like me, but he didn't have to be so blunt. He might as well have said, "Steven, You are an inconsiderate, lazy bastard, and you're fired." I am not inconsiderate! And I also contest being called a bastard, but lazy I deserve. Maybe me getting fired is the jump I need to get some psychiatric help.

So that's exactly what I did. I got help. My boss put a loophole in my contract, if I was fired for work ethic, I had two options, see the company shrink, or leave and live with a stain on my resume. So I saw the shrink, and explained my dreams, and blamed my recent work problems on them. Showing the scar from last night, she (being the shrink) suddenly stopped being the caring psychiatrist and turned into a scared individual, being very cautious of what she said. I asked about the sudden change in demeanor, and she didn't respond, changing the subject.

After my first visit with the company shrink, I went home, only to discover that there was no power in the building. Well, I guess it's time to spend with the guitar. I was a guitarist and singer for many years before getting a real job. I still had an old fender acoustic that my dad gave me, and I would still play something every now and then. I soon realized that my guitar was horribly out of tune, so I went for the pitch pipe. Going into the closet for the pipe, I noticed something black in the corner. It was a gun. Reading an inscription, I soon realized that a previous tenant did not leave this here. Someone must have put it there while I was gone. I ran to the phone to call the police.

A woman on the other end picked up "hello, 9-11 emergency."

I immediately answered "yes, I found a gun in my apartment that is not mine, and was not here when I left this morning. What would be the proper steps to reporting it?"

She said, "Could you read the serial number off the gun please? I pulled the weapon out of the closet, and looking for a number, found an inscription "for (IV." Thinking about it, I realized that this was the same gun that was in that dream.

I immediately hung up the phone, put the gun away, and sat back down with the guitar. Suddenly, an idea came through my head. Maybe I should look up this thing on the Internet. Sitting down at the computer was the easy part, I then realized the power was still out, and I was screwed. I made a mental note to google the number as soon as the power came back on, and went to bed.

The dreams came back, only this time; there was nothing but a woman and myself. This woman, I soon learned from talking with her, was like my friend or sister or something. Number (V. He noticed that she looked significantly like a coworker from work, Carol Darling. She was about two feet shorter than I was, and was probably the prettiest of any of my coworkers. Carol had cracked up and quit this morning, about the same time I was fired. I needed to speak with her tomorrow, if I could. She had been busy with a major project at work, and if she is on the same plan I am, then she would be suffering from stress overload for sure.

The dream was strange in the least. We were in what looked like a hospital room. There were three men standing behind a glass pane. It was obvious she was extremely uncomfortable about the situation. Then two of the men came into the room with some strange instruments. I istinctly felt I needed to defend Carol, but as soon as I moved in to do so, one of the men had already jabbed me with a tranquilizer needle. From there on, I was conscious, but I might as well have been out cold, it would have saved me from the horror to come.

One of the men held Carol down to give her an injection. We were both screaming in pain, pain that seemed to pulse throughout my entire body. Soon, I was out cold. I woke up in a hospital bed, with Carol gone. I looked down at my arm, were my code was, and it was gone.

I woke up in a cold sweat. Without opening my eyes, I noticed that I was in extreme pain. I opened my eyes, and was immediately blinded by the light of my room light. The power had come back on. I went to the computer and turned it on. Opening Mozilla, I typed (IV into google. I got four pages. Opening each into a tab. I found an interesting story on each one, but the first three listed the same thing. The omega series of genetically enhanced humans was an ongoing urban legend of people who had gone insane, unconsciously carving a number on their arm, and going around killing people. I didn't believe it. I was going crazy. But that still didn't explain why Carol and me had cracked on the same night.

The last one was an encrypted site, obviously by the government. After a few hours of hacking, I was in. What I saw was astounding, and at the same time relieving.

The United States government, in conjunction with the UN, had made a series of super-humans-the omega series. Releasing numbers (II-XV, in chronological order. The first two and last one failed miserably-each dying in horrific ways (what really grossed me out were the pictures). The other twelve were successful though-and led many famous special ops missions in Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The class was decommissioned in 2003, the government seeing little use for them in Iraq for Gulf War II. There were separate links that explained the decommissioning procedure and the commissioning process, both of which mimicked his dreams in detail. One link was over encrypted, which made it almost impossible to crack. But somehow, deep within me, I found the will to crack the password, and was in.

The site I found was utterly terrifying, with names, codes, and commissioning /decommissioning dates, relationships, and a journal kept by each man/woman's keeper. What made it terrifying was that I was in there- (IV, as well as Carol-(XIV. We were the first and last successful products of the omega series.

I immediately called the office. "Hello?" a very groggy receptionist said, "Davidson Studios, How can I help you?"

"Carol?" I said, obviously over hyper-the coffee was getting to me. "It's Steven. May I speak with you for a sec?"

"Sure, What do you need?"

"Well, Carol, maybe I should be asking you that question, or should I say, omega fourteen."

Her demeanor suddenly changed, from groggy but collected, to anger. "Where the fuck did you get that name?"

"Have you been having any weird dreams lately?"

"Maybe."

"Did you have one about an hour ago?"

"How did you know, there's no." I cut her off mid sentence, "Because I just had the same one myself. Was I in your dream?"

At the other end of the line, all I heard was a click, and then Carol saying, "Ok, I just went encrypted, now I will tell you this. You heard of the urban legend? The one about the genetically-enhanced beings?"

"You're speaking to one."

Carol continued, "Well, so am I, as it would seem. I had to hack a government page, which was strange considering I have never hacked before in my life, and it only took about an hour to break in. Once I got there, I saw your picture as (IV, and mine as (XIV. But tonight's dream is what really freaked me out."

Now, I had expected Carol, who was the best damn programmer in the company, to have hacked before, but her results, being exactly the same as mine, was what astounded me. So I continued on, "Do you realize what this means?"

"Yes, we're related, but how?"

"That's exactly what I want to find out." I hung up the phone, and went to bed. I had my first nightmare less night in over three weeks, and the gun stayed right where it was.