Her eyes snapped open, a pounding migraine welcoming her to the real world. It would have been worse, she knew, if she had not been lying on her back. Her brain felt sluggish, but when she saw nothing but blackness, there was a fleeting moment where she feared she had gone blind. It was only when faint outlines began to appear above her that she realized it was only the darkness of her surroundings. Her eyes were functioning as normal. The faint outlines became more distinctive as her eyes adjusted, and she could make out ceiling tiles, and some fluorescent tubing. She started to turn her head to the left, wanting to see more of the place she was in, when she realized her head was immobile. What was holding it in place, she couldn't be sure - some type of brace, maybe, or something as simple and crude as two bars fastened firmly to her temples. The only thing she knew was that she could not move her head. She tried to reach up and ascertain what was there, but realized with a pang of fear that she could not move her hand, either. Both of them, her right and left, were separately handcuffed to the table she was lying on. Her breath hitched for a moment before quickening, her heart pounding under her chest. Hoping beyond hope that she could move some part of her body, she attempted to kick out her foot - which, she noticed, was bare. Both it and the other one were likewise restrained by similar handcuffs.
There was a sound behind her - the soft click of a lock, the slight creak of a door being opened - and she struggled to move, to see what was going on. A light bathed the room she was in, nearly blinding her. She shut her eyes, keeping them tightly closed against the sudden change in lighting. Slowly but surely, she lifted her eyelids, trying to force her eyes to become accustomed to the brightness. It took a few tries, but eventually she was able to keep her eyes open, hoping to see anything else that might give away her location. There were more ceiling tiles, an endless sky of them. Great. There was nothing in her line of vision that could help her.
"Ah, you're awake," murmured an unfamiliar voice - a male by the sound of it - to her right, sounding pleased. "Excellent." A pause, and then some clinking sounds, before the voice added, "I was hoping you'd be conscious by now. You were under a bit longer than I anticipated. But no matter. You're awake now, and that's all that counts."
At last, she found her voice. "W-Who are you? Where am I? Why am I restrained like this?" She did not ask the questions in rapid succession; on the contrary, she kept her pace slow, forming the words purposefully and speaking with perfect clarity. She was frightened, yes, but she wanted answers.
The person to her right sighed, quite obviously. "So many questions. Why must you always ask questions? You are a genius, why don't you figure out the answers?" Another pause. She frowned to herself, wondering what madness this was. The man then chuckled, apparently pleased with himself. "My name is of no concern to you. Not yet, anyways. You are here, a vague answer to a pointless question. Finally, you are restrained because I do not wish for you to move freely, a concept very simple to understand… especially for someone such as yourself. Satisfied?"
"No, not really."
"Hm, pity." Another pause, and more noises emanating from the person's direction. She felt something touch the ball of her right foot, and it jerked involuntarily. The man chuckled again. The same thing that touched her foot slowly traced its way around the arch, up her ankle, up her inner calf and inner thigh (at this point, she realized with both embarrassment and horror that she only had her simple, white cotton underwear and brassiere on), then up across her right hip, continuing along her flat stomach, up the middle of her chest, across her clavicle, snaking its way up the side of her neck and face, finally resting on the tip of her head. It took her a moment to realize it was a single finger. "Mmmm. You have been selected to participate in an experiment on physiology. To put it simply, you will be tested on several aspects of the human body, though more specifically your endurance." She blinked, frowning again. What sort of experiment on endurance was this, where the participant could not move?
"I see you still don't understand. Well, that is most unfortunate; I had such high expectations of your intelligence, and now they have lowered significantly. To put it more simply…" A face loomed above her, black eyes staring demonically into her own blue ones. "…I want to see how long you can endure the pain before your body shuts itself down." She had barely begun to register the man's face - his dark eyes, his tanned complexion, his sandy-blonde hair - let alone his statement, when something touched the skin on her right shoulder. Instantly, it felt as if her arm had been lit on fire. Her mouth opened to scream - another involuntary action - before she caught herself and willed against it, forcing her mouth to clamp shut against the pain. This lasted a mere second, but it felt longer - much, much longer. The pain stopped, and her arm fell limp at her side, numb.
The man chuckled again, but this time his voice was full of malice. It frightened her even more than it did before. "Yes, we shall both see how long it takes for you to break, for your body to just give up and shut down. This is my experiment, and you… you are my guinea pig, Dr. Brennan."