Chapter 1

Raw energy exploded through the large room as fifty bolts of lightning ripped through the ceiling, piercing each torso with their own slice of electricity. The chests of the unconscious rose in sync as if tethered together by a marionette string. The lightning quickly blinked out, and the bodies crashed back to their tables.  

A perfect quiet enveloped the spacious room.

As the smell of ozone wafted through the chamber, fifty bodies began to stir. 

The group was extraordinarily unique. All measured between seven and eight feet tall with no visible body fat. Chiseled was the word, right out of a block of granite. 

Even while lying prone, all gave the impression of being capable of tremendous physical feats. They appeared to be relatively young, in their late teens or early twenties with flawless skin, all male. 

Being created and coming to full consciousness takes time. Slowly, one by one, chests began to rise and fall. A slight movement in the inert arms and legs. Eyes gradually opened. Some closed quickly, not ready for the incoming information. Processing such would take tremendous energy.

One of the creatures smiled as if lingering on a memory. He was visibly smaller than the others, just reaching seven feet tall. But what he lacked in height, he made up in muscle. He wore a blonde crew cut with piercing sky-blue eyes. He was handsome, but what made him more attractive was his demeanor. Very unassuming, non-threatening. 

 This is nice, he thought. 

He didn’t know how he knew what the word nice meant or even why he thought it was nice.  

There was something in the sweet aroma he couldn’t quite put his finger on. There was a sense of wholesomeness, newness in the air. It pleased him. 

This was Adlay. 

His mind instantly stopped thinking about the smell when he came to the realization, he was flat on his back. Wait, what? He squinted at one of the bright lights hanging down from the ceiling. What is happening?  His eyes sorted every bit of information, the rods and cones laboring for their first time.  After what seemed like forever, his eyes opened fully. Bright, bright, bright…ahh, that’s better. Adlay sucked in his first full breath and looked up at the white ceiling. What is this place? How do I know that the color of the ceiling is white?    

Adlay slowly, carefully, lifted his head. He glanced down at his body and smiled. Seeing his arms and legs move at will was fascinating. Wow!  He wiggled his long fingers and toes for the first time, somehow knowing they were affixed to appendages called hands and feet. 

He touched his shirt. Smooth. He ran his fingers through his hair. Short. He ran his hand slowly down his face, feeling his eyes, nose, and mouth. A big grin grew on his handsome face.  

He painstakingly continued to look at the ceiling. He wanted to say something. 

“Hello,” he croaked. 

“Hello,” he repeated with a much clearer voice. That was better.

He gazed sleepily at the room. It was the size of a beautiful ballroom, big and airy. But empty. Only the gray metal tables formed a perfect circle in the middle of the room. The floor was made from a smooth, thick, gray marble. The windows lined the room with perfect white stained glass. Wow! This place is clean! Wait, what’s clean mean? 

Adlay stood there, confused. This was not making sense. Where was he? What was happening?

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