Chapter 1
The Whiteness Inside

Retaan woke with a start, feeling his head touching the ground he sat up quickly, his eyes frantic moving wildly, searching for nothing. His room was completely white, and very plain, he looked at his hands, completely white, his legs, white, his arms, his entire body white, and with a strangled gasp let loose a scream.
"What have you done to me!" he shouted angrily, "Where am I! Let me go!"
He almost cried, his once beautiful tan skin, ruby red eyes, black hair, now, he was completely bleached, like someone who dyed their hair. Sinking to his knees, Retaan took short shivering breaths. Memories flooded into him of things he never remembered doing, swimming, biking; making love to his wife whom he had never seen. Through all this obscurity yet one thing was certain, one thing he knew was true, his name was Retaan. Something had ruined him. Now he was trapped here and for the first time, Retaan cried.

"Dr. Gtina. The patient has awoken. We've already run scans on the results," a long thin nosed man said. Clothed in a flowing white lab coat, his hands could be seen breaching the surface of his sleeves, as they crossed in mock amazement.
"Has he said anything?" Gtina asked. She was a pretty woman, amazingly young for her position, but she had earned it, studying physics and applied biosynthetic manipulations at accelerated rates, graduating three times faster than the norm. She was only 26 years old.
"Yes. But nothing relevant," the thin man said.
"Frosian. Everything he said is relevant. He does not understand what we have done to him," Gtina said.
"He does not have to.
"He has the right to know."
"We saved his life."
"Then we ruined it," Gtina said softly. Her eyes lowered to the floor. She was ashamed of herself. Retaan didn't deserve this.
"I understand how you feel," Frosian said, he smiled, but his face held no happiness, no compassion.
"No Frosian, you don't."

Gtina sat at here desk, looking over documents, designs on the nano shells used for the experiment, checking data records, she sighed wearily. What had gotten her into this anyway, she muttered to herself, I wasn't made for this.
"Doctor?" a voice echoed, she recognized it, Frosian.
"What. I have the analysis you asked for," his voice slid like oily water.
"Send it through the slot," she said. She didn't trust the man. He was as vicious as he was cutthroat, but something in his eyes, the way that never seemed to smile with his lips threw her off, to the point she was suspicious of his every action.
"I can't. Your room is password protected, and besides, the file is too big," he laughed.
"Fine," she replied, and tapping a few switches the door slid open. Frosian walked in, Gtina hated that walk, that overflowing confidence, that arrogance she had so despised in him, but she hid this, away from his eyes.
"So far the project has been a success. Modification of the patient's overall chemistry has allowed for increased cranial activity, up 25%. The nano-shells implanted in the epidermis haven't been completely integrated however, it will still take some time," Frosian said.
"What about the patient?" Gtina asked.
"Nothing new. I don't even know why you care so much," Frosian sneered, then his expression softened, and he grinned, the corners of his mouth tugging up as though it took more energy than it needed.
"Just leave the files and get out of my room," Gtina muttered, she felt uncomfortable in his presence, Frosian couldn't be predicted.
"Why what?" Gtina demanded. Frosian strode over, coming closer.
"What are you doing, get away from me," Gtina said.
"You are a very attractive woman you know that?" Frosian laughed coldly, then Gtina understood. She stood up, backing against the wall, searching for something to arm herself as the thin man moved in on her. Just then she was saved, as the PA system chimed.
"Would Drs. Gtina and Frosian report to the holding room of patient 331," the PA AI system chimed. Gtina straightened herself and ran out the room, leaving Frosian standing there, angry. Next time sweet thing, you will not escape.

I stood in the fog that had become my reality. It was all consuming, my being so bright, I couldn't even discern where my hand ended and the room began. At that same moment, my skin burned of hell fire, searing the very epidermis that became the bane of my existence. I looked upward, there was a glass window there, and several faces could be seen. I couldn't see their expressions, but somehow, I couldn't explain it, I "knew" how they felt.
Just then two new figures appeared, and the larger one made a hand motion, and the two others left them there alone. I gazed upward when suddenly a wave of emotion struck me, I lusted for her, wanted her body, her curves. Her will must bend to mine. Blood rushed to points of my body.
"NO!" I shouted, regaining my poise, "LEAVE ME ALONE!"
I couldn't block it out. Emotion after emotion struck me, again and again, I was reeling in a wasteland of feeling, unable to stop what was behind the fragile glass wall. Then another thought struck me, one of disgust, vaguely feminine. What did this mean? Why was I thinking thoughts that weren't mine?
"STOP IT!" I shouted, trying to keep myself sane, "GET OUT OF MY HEAD! GET AWAY FROM ME!"

"What's wrong with him?" Gtina asked.
"I'm not sure," Frosian replied, malice evident, dripping off his voice.
"Perhaps the increase cranial activity can filter out thoughts?" Gtina offered. Below, Retaan roared out in pain at the top of his lungs. He looked frantic, he stood up, sat back down, ran into the pad walls, hit his head. Gtina sighed, he's in so much pain.
"Get the medics down there before the fool hurts himself," Frosian sneered, "I leave you with your pet, I have more important things to do than watch a man destroy himself.
"Just leave," Gtina said softly, looking at him. Frosian left the room, and almost as though his presence was the ailment, Retaan stopped yelling. Gtina sighed in relief. Maybe I should pay him a visit, she thought to herself, and made her way down to the holding room. God knows he could use some company. She walked past the medics that guarded the door, through mazes of scans. She could smell freshly clean and sterilized hallways, the remaining essence of painted corridors.
"Dr. Gtina Feather. You have been granted access," a cold emotionless, and clean voice whispered in the wind.
"Thank you Iso. May I go through?" his voice reminded her of Frosian.
"Go through please," he answered. She walked into the room, the white room, the germless room, the soulless room and was greeted by the image of Retaan standing there, perfectly straight, looking at the observation window.
"I was wondering when you would come by," he said softly.
"What?" Gtina blurted, he caught her off guard.
"You feel," he turned around to look at her. It was an appalling sight, his body completely white, but his eyes. An icy steely blue scorched in a glacier glinted, menacing and full of compassion at the same time. Those eyes look into her very soul.
"How do I feel?" she asked, curious. Retaan smiled, closed his eyes and looked up, his white grin, contrasting on his white skin, and blending with his blue eyes.
"So lonely," he said, looking back at her.
"So lonely," she echoed.
"Yes Dr. Gtina, you feel, so lonely," he smiled, as though the thought was secure, solid, and tangible, compared to the shattered reality he lived in.
"How did you know my name?" Gtina stammered.
"I know your name like you know mine," he kept smiling, that intoxicating smile, she couldn't take her eyes off his colorless lips, "I know how you feel, and you as well as I both know, what's inside your head."
"I don't understand," she shook her head, disbelieving.
"Nothing can be understood. For if it was understood, then what's to learn but what can't be understood? Intangible reality right?" Gtina gasped, her father had told her that. Her face flushed, though pale, her skin was dark compared to his. She felt heat creep from her toes into her face, blood pumping through the heart to her body, she felt something, she couldn't understand.
"Nothing, was not meant to be understood," Retaan smiled for the last time, he closed his eyes, and the last human thing on his body vanished into emptiness.