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Broken Minds

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The shocks radiated through the Beast's body, ripping at the connections between his body and mind. His body--half shifted--could seize, but the Beast was so restrained that he could only writhe in pain at the sharp electrical currents. He cried out in growls and whines, roaring as the machine he was tethered to threatened to take away the ability that had always protected him.

The Beast thought back to his childhood, when transforming was the only way to survive. As a little child he was nothing--beaten, abused, broken--but as a wolf he was formidable: a force to be reckoned with. He remembered the way he had torn apart his father's body like it was nothing. How old was he then? Still a small child, but he had already become the Beast. He only had to think of what had been done to him and the Beast could transform into a feral monster as far from human as he needed.

Only it wasn't serving him now... This strange team of superhumans had captured the Beast, seemingly to torture him. He looked toward the window, as well as he could, just focusing on the face of one of the superhumans staring at him. It was the face of a young man who looked perpetually distracted. What was he looking at? Why was he swiping in the air? Then the Beast's thoughts faded away as the electrical current continued to course through his body. The pain took over, and he passed out.

"It's-It's not right!" Gary said abruptly. He had seen many Alphas who abused their powers go down in flames or end up locked away in the Compound, but this seemed like outright torture.

"What's not right, Gary?" Bill asked. "This guy you see in there? He has killed at least thirty people. And that's just the ones we have forensic evidence for."

"No! It's not right..." Gary continued. "You don't understand because you've never been through the shocks!"

"Neither have you, Gary," Nina said.

"Nina, leave it. Honestly..." Rachel said.

"It doesn't matter," Gary said, "You all don't understand."

Dr. Rosen sighed. As much as he liked working with Alphas, their potential sensitivity was at once as troubling as it was amazing. For example, Gary--who according to many doctors lacked empathy--saw the most wrong with the cruelty inherent in the experiment. That didn't mean the procedure was not necessary, but Dr. Rosen felt it was also an experiment in learning about how Alphas reacted to such difficult situations.

"Gary, we'll talk about this more in our therapy session tomorrow. Food for thought is, though: we sometimes have to restrain those who cannot control themselves," Dr. Rosen said. That ended the conversation.

Gary couldn't get the images out of his head. He saw the monstrous body of the Beast shaking and heard the whines of pain the creature emitted. But what he definitely couldn't get out of his head was the moment when the Beast relaxed into sleep, and his body turned back to human. There was some charm in the face of the troubled young man, an aura that wouldn't easily dislodge itself from Gary's sense of justice.

It messed with him so much that Gary had trouble with his routines. He tried to eat the right amount of each food, sleep the correct amount of hours, tap on the table the right amount of times--but none of it allowed Gary to get over the horror of seeing the Beast shocked and restrained.

Days passed, and when Dr. Rosen determined the Beast was ready for rehabilitation, it was Gary he chose to let the monstrous Alpha speak to. It was another experiment, but Dr. Rosen felt that Gary was the best choice after their therapy session.

Gary entered the little room set aside for interrogations of sorts. He carefully moved the metal chair to avoid it making a scraping noise. Then he took a seat across from the Beast, who was locked to the table by two pairs of handcuffs. In his human form, the Beast looked small and troubled.

"I'm Gary Bell--Agent Gary Bell--DCIS." The Beast looked him over and laughed.

"You think I fucking care you're a goddamned fed?"

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The Beast spat at Gary, literally spat at him, and Gary was so taken aback by the odd--and germ-ridden--gesture that he was struck silent for some time.

"Hi. What's your name? My name is Gary... Hi. What's your name? My name is Gary... Hi. What's your name? My name is Gary..." Gary repeated over and over, rocking in his chair. He had lost sight of the purpose of the exercise and gone back to an old script for comfort. The Beast merely stared.

"Carlos," he said, finally. When Gary took no notice and kept rocking, he repeated: "It's Carlos. My name is Carlos."

Finally, Gary managed to stop rocking and briefly make eye contact with the Beast.

"See, I wanted to know your name. All these people"--Gary indicated the perimeter of the room--"They all just call you 'the Beast'. It's the name they have for you. A nickname."

"And this is who they send in to break me down? A fucking weirdo?" the Beast said.

"Hey! I'm not a weirdo; I'm autistic, and you shouldn't call people 'weirdos'; it isn't polite," Gary said.

"What should I call them then, Einstein? If they're a weirdo, they're a weirdo. And isn't this what you guys do? Assemble your little army of weirdos to do that doctor's bidding?"

Gary merely stared at the floor, hoping that he could come up with some kind of answer. It was pretty much what they did, anyhow. Dr. Rosen said jump, and the Alpha team said, "How high?"