Joel Gray




Chapter 1






There is a darkness that fills the shadows--a deeper darkness than the black of night: a darkness beyond the coldness of outer space. Such a darkness fills the world. Tye Collins knew that darkness--intimately.


Drip. Drip. Drip. Beads of water crashed into the liquid mirror. Endless repetition. Endless solitude and silence.

But, this silence had no serenity with it--it was the silence of death--a living death.

Tye, seated on the cold, firm surface watched the water drip from a metal spout. Tye watched as the droplets struck the water in the small basin below the spout. Incapable of moving his head or his body, Tye watched the endless dripping. He was strapped into a metal chair. His arms were bound to the arms of the chair with metal bands that dug into his flesh--cold, hard fingers.

He had no idea to whom he was born. He had never been allowed to meet his mother. Once he was born, he was taken into the care of a guide. A succession of guides had raised him from a child to a young teen.

This was the life he had known all of his 23 years of existence.

Tye closed his eyes to the dripping and the constant, mind-numbing dripping vanished to be replaced with the back of his eyelids. Faint, redish light penetrated the blood vessels of his eyelids, penetrating his lens and pupil.

The florescent light overhead buzzed in his ear. Aside from that hum, his world was completely and vacuously silent.






Tye awoke from sleep, squinting in the overpowering, florescent light. A featureless, metal door, behind him, always hung like the Sword of Damocles over his neck. He never knew what to expect from unannounced visitors who would enter the room and leave without, apparently, doing anything.

Click. Clack. Metallic, interlocking sounds came through the hypnopompic stillness.

The door scraped across the floor with a high-pitched, hair-raising screech.


“Subject Tye, you are to be relocated.” A voice behind his back said with monotone dryness.



During the past seven years, Tye had lived in a number of concrete, nondescript cells in a labyrinth of chambers. His clothes were coarse and plain: grey trousers and a grey long-sleeve shirt. He knew not where the installation was located and he knew not what it was. He had no concept of the outside world. He had no concept of McDonalds, Wal-Mart, or Hallmark. His existence was limited to the data fed to him by his guides. Inputs were visual and audio streams of data fed to Tye in the form of video films made by people in connection with Tye’s guides. They had stories of fantasy and science fiction. He was fed it like a truck is fed diesel.

The white, walls, illuminated by harsh ceiling lights, converged to an infinitesimal point in the far distance. Metal doors, much like Tye’s Sword of Damocles, lined the infinite hallway. People in white uniforms disappeared and reappeared through doors in the distance. They constituted the family. Tye was loyal to them. He would never think of saying an unkind word to an orderly who was giving him a needle injection. The orderlies were his brothers. He wouldn’t dare think of interfering with their procedures, even when pain was involved.

There was only one orderly accompanying him through the hallway. The man’s reflection in the polished, white floor undulated slightly with the miniscule distortions in the floor. It reminded Tye of the ripple effect seen from a bird’s eye view of a lake as it sweeps over the shimmering surface.

Click click. Steady heels of shiny black shoes. The sound of the many feet along the infinite hallway echoed like the voices of a tour crowd in a cave.

There was a creaky scrape of metal as the orderly slid a locking bar out of its slot and swung open a door, with the number, 256, stenciled across its face.

Through the widening mouth, Tye could see a cylindrical, glass chamber resting, sideways, on the floor. In this cylinder a figure rested.

A second cylinder paralleled the first, nestled adjacent to it. It was empty.

The moment he saw the cylinder, Tye understood what it was used for. A feeling of dread crawled up his spine. He had been told long ago that some of the subjects, like him, were chosen for higher things and some were chosen for…further testing. The cylindrical chamber awaited him. He knew all to well what would happen when the glass chamber closed around him and he feared it.

The orderly motioned for him to enter. Tye didn’t realize that he was standing at the entrance until the gloved hand touched his shoulder.

“Come on. Your fate lies in here, Subject Tye.” The dark-haired, clean-shaven, expressionless, emotionless orderly said quietly.

“No.” The word startled Tye, but he repeated it. He couldn’t believe what he was saying. No one ever talked back to an orderly.

The man’s eyes displayed a trace of incredulity. “You must come.”

“No.” Tye replied and before he knew what he was doing, he clenched his right-hand into a fist and punched.

Shock waves of adrenalin and fear coursed through Tye’s arms and chest the moment he struck the orderly.

The man thudded against the door, slamming it shut. He buckled and fell to the floor in a heap of starched, rumpled whiteness.

The sound of his 230 pound body striking the floor was not as loud as Tye had feared. No one far down the hall was looking in his direction. Adrenaline racing through his core, Tye overcame his caution, fear, and own training, and dragged the man into the room. Careful to ensure that the bolt had not been locked, he shut the door after him, sealing the hall off to him as he started to strip the uniform off the orderly.

A knock came at the door. Knowing that it was unlocked, the man on the other side must have assumed that an orderly was inside at work.

Tye had the white uniform jacket and white pants on, and was in the midst of putting the orderly’s shoes on. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit.

The knocking would not last long before the door would be flung open. He was out of time and in a strait.






Unfortunately, this book is not yet available. This is just a sample of some of Joel's other writings. Thank you for taking the time to read it. 


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