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Old February 20th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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Andrew Chapter 19: The Hospital Visit

Andrew jogged all the way to the Zellars bridge, without getting out of breath. He was oblivious to all the cars that drove by him on their way into Orillia. The drivers and passengers gawked at his huge muscular frame, but Andrew was too focused on getting home to notice.
Suddenly he heard a horn honking, and looked up to see his car turn in front of him and stop. Andrew couldn?t stop in time, and ran into the car, shoving it back a few feet.
?Whoa man, calm down, please!? Andrew heard Steve say.
He looked up to see Steve in the driver?s seat of Andrew?s car.
?What are you doing in my car?? Andrew asked Steve. ?Where?s Carrie??
?Carrie?s at home,? Steve replied. ?She sent me to collect you.?
?Why?? asked Andrew. ?Collect me for what??
?An appointment with Dr. Johnson,? Steve replied. ?He wants to check your progress and run a few strength tests.?
?Good idea,? agreed Andrew, breathing heavily. ?Except that I am too tired from that run. I doubt I could perform many more strength tests today.?
?How can you be tired?? Steve asked. ?You just shoved the car a few feet, by accidentally running into it! And when did you have strength tests today?"
?Margaret put me through the strength tests at her cottage, and she also tried to knock me out with tranquilizer darts,? Andrew replied. ?They must be having a delayed effect. But if I can still shove the car accidentally, I guess the darts did not decrease my strength, only my endurance. That?s good to know; that I will be sluggish with Tranquilizers in me. At least, it will be useful information for anyone who tries to restrain me.?
?Good, because your strength is scary enough, even when you display it by accident,? Steve remarked. ?It?s almost like you?re on steroids: you?re so strong.?
?Fortunately the blood tests all came back clean,? Andrew reminded him. He put his hands on the car hood to catch his breath. ?My adrenal gland itself is just in overdrive, and my testosterone levels are through the roof. I guess the Doctors on the Space Station know how to enhance humans without drugs. Maybe they were trying to make humans in their country as strong as Commander Marge and her crew.?
?That could be it,? Steve agreed. ?It sounds like you have an extended Fight or Flight response,? he added, helping Andrew into the passenger seat. ?That would certainly explain your superhuman strength.?
?Except that whatever shuts the adrenaline off when people calm down is missing,? Andrew realized. ?That must be why I have superhuman strength even when I?m calm.?
?I see your 150 IQ has not been wasted,? Steve realized, as he drove them to the hospital.
?Thanks man,? Andrew said, grinning at Steve. ?And thanks to Mike tutoring me in Physics, I will soon get my mark above 80 percent.?
?What, an A- isn?t good enough for you?? Steve joked. ?You need an A+??
?I want to graduate Valedictorian,? Andrew reminded him. ?Maintaining an A+ average will also help secure my athletic scholarship.?
?Good thinking,? Steve agreed. ?So when are the Tranquilizers actually going to knock you out? Or will they just make you tired??
?Margaret fired 10 darts at me,? Andrew reminded him. ?But if I bench 6000 pounds regularly, I must be 40 times stronger than the normal man. So it will take a while for ten doses of tranquilizer to knock me out.? He looked over at Steve and asked, ?Why do you want to know? Are you hoping I become unconscious for some reason??
?I see you?re too smart to keep anything from,? Steve realized. ?So I?ll explain. Everyone is worried about you. You haven?t been yourself since you got enhanced in July. You have been much more angry and short-tempered than usual.?
?It doesn?t help when I feel that everyone knows everything about how I was changed and I don?t,? Andrew reminded him. ?I still don?t think I have the whole story. How much do you know??
?I know that Margaret and Marge were planning to enhance you,? Steve replied. ?But the Doctors in the Transylvanian Space Station did not tell me that until you were already in surgery that day in July. The Doctor rattled off some chemical names that made no sense to me. But I got the impression that the genetic enhancement therapy would gradually shut down the chemical that returns the body to normal after an adrenaline surge. The therapy would also keep the adrenal gland producing the chemical that is responsible for great strength. Margaret?s magic also allowed your heart to stand the higher heart rate and blood pressure that the adrenaline surge depended on. That way, your body could handle the higher Adrenaline Levels without harm.?
?Thanks Steve,? Andrew said as they pulled up in front of the hospital. ?That helps a bit. But I guess it will be like peeling an onion; it will take conversations with other people before I find out the whole story.?
?Sorry I don?t know more,? Steve apologized, as they headed into the hospital. ?But there?s Dr. Johnson; ask him all about it.?
?I see you?re still awake,? Dr. Johnson said, as Andrew came up to the admitting desk.
?Did you really think that 10 Tranquilizer Darts would be enough to knock me out?? Andrew sneered. ?It will take a lot more than that to do the job.?
?Well, we?ll soon find out,? Dr. Johnson stated. ?Come with me please.?
?I?ll be here when you get back, Andrew,? Steve assured Andrew. ?Take good care of him Doctor.?
?I will,? Dr. Johnson promised. ?Don?t worry about a thing Steve.?
He led Andrew through the double doors, and some doctors and nurses followed them.
?Why are all these doctors and nurses coming with us?? Andrew asked. ?You?re not afraid of me, are you??
?With everything your dad told me about the incidents with Anthony in Miami, yes I am afraid of you,? Dr. Johnson admitted reluctantly. ?But that?s why we?re here today, to prevent such incidents from ever occurring again.?
?You mean you?re going to make me so weak, I?ll never be able to fight anyone again?? Andrew asked him, getting a little confused as the tranquilizers began to set in.
?No, no, you misunderstand,? the Doctor stated. ?We?re here to make sure you don?t become a bully and harm others, even by accident.?
?And maybe to find out what went wrong with the Enhancement Process in the first place?? Andrew guessed. ?It does seem to be ahead of schedule, and it obviously has some emotional side effects as well.?
?I see we won?t need to use Layman?s Terms with you,? Dr. Johnson realized, grinning at Andrew. ?But we?re at the Examination Room now, so we?ll have to wait until you?re awake to give you the results of the tests. Please lie down on this bed, Andrew.?
Andrew calmly lay down on the bed, as Dr. Johnson brought over the gas mask.
?What have you got there?? Andrew asked. ?Are those more sedatives??
?Yes, as well as some Prozac to calm you down,? Johnson replied. ?Breath deeply, please,? he added as he slipped the mask over Andrew?s face.
Andrew breathed deeply, as he noticed the doctors and nurses securing him to the bed with chains. Then they stepped back, as Dr. Johnson brought over his testing equipment.
?What are these chains for?? Andrew asked.
?Just a strength test of our own,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?When you wake up, try to break the chains. The cameras will catch all the footage for playback later. Are you feeling sleepy yet??
?Yes I am,? Andrew murmured, as his eyes began to close. ?See you when I wake up.?
When Andrew was finally asleep, the doctors and nurses gathered around the bed, and watched the displays of Dr. Johnson?s testing equipment.
?Amazing!? one medical student shouted in astonishment. ?Are those mental readings normal for this Adrenaline Enhancement process??
?I'm not sure, but they are normal for the brief Fight or Flight Response,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?Andrew has been experiencing feelings of extreme confidence and invincibility. That is where the danger lies: if anyone stood in the way of someone in such a state, the subject could kill them in their blind rage. But it looks like the Prozac is working: Andrew is calming down. And not a moment too soon either; he was approaching dangerous levels of testosterone and adrenaline. But they are now leveling off to safer levels.?
He motioned at the monitor, and they all saw that Andrew?s testosterone levels were stabilizing, as were his adrenaline levels.
?I think we got the dosage right, finally,? Johnson stated, breathing a sigh of relief. ?Now Andrew's enhancement should proceed at the normal rate, without any emotional side effects.?
About 30 minutes later, Andrew finally woke up.
?Whoa, what a headache,? he groaned. ?Hey, what are these chains for?? he asked himself, forgetting what Dr. Johnson had told him earlier. Andrew took a deep breath, and sat up quickly, snapping the chains into useless pieces that fell to the ground. ?Yeah!? Andrew laughed. ?Now that?s power! I didn?t think those puny chains could hold me down! Maybe this was the strength test the Doctor was talking about. I guess I passed!?
He was still laughing when Dr. Johnson walked in the private room 30 seconds later.
?What?s all the noise in here?? the Doctor asked. ?The nurses thought someone broke the window.? He looked down at the chains on the floor and then up into Andrew?s face. ?Oh no,? he shouted in fear. ?The chains couldn?t hold you down!?
?Did you really think that those puny chains could restrain the Tank?" Andrew sneered at him.
?It looks like you passed our strength test,? Johnson said. ?That?s what the chains were for. Was it hard for you to snap them??
?Naw man, it was easy!? Andrew gloated. ?All I had to do was take a deep breath and sit up. These guns did the rest!? He flexed his 32-inch biceps and grinned hugely. ?How do I look, Doc??
?You look very well rested Andrew,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?Are you feeling all right??
?I?ve never felt better in my life!? Andrew realized. ?I feel stronger than ever and I feel a lot calmer that I have since July. What did you do??
?I gave you some Prozac to counteract the mental effects of your Adrenal Enhancement,? Johnson replied. ?Then, once you were mentally stable, we accelerated the enhancement process slightly. Now you will reach your maximum strength sooner, though we don't know when that will be or what your max strength will be.?
?Hey that's okay Doctor,? Andrew said. ?What I can tell you is that I am going to enjoy every moment of my journey into the realm of superhuman strength! I can't wait to see how strong I become by the time the process is complete! And I?m glad you said ?mental effects? this time. I almost thought you had tried to take away my great strength!?
?Yes, I almost misspoke again,? Dr. Johnson realized. ?I am just in shock from your awesome display of superhuman strength.? He motioned helplessly at the broken chains and added, ?I guess it will be useless for anyone to try to restrain you, unless they knock you out first. And I don't think anyone will be able to do that, since you were still conscious after ten tranquilizer darts! I want you to promise me that you will use your great strength to help people, not to harm them.?
?Don?t worry Doctor, I promise you that I will show off my great strength by using it to help others? Andrew assured him, coming over slowly. Dr. Johnson backed away slowly, terrified of Andrew?s great strength, even though he was perfectly calm. ?Please calm down Doctor!? Andrew begged him, laying a massive hand on Johnson?s small shoulder. Dr. Johnson froze in place, in part because Andrew?s iron grip would not let him back away. Andrew realized this and released his grip. ?I don?t want to hurt anyone, and I hope noone thinks I do.?
?I realize that,? Dr. Johnson assured him. ?But I hope you can understand how scary someone of your size and strength is, even when they're perfectly calm.?
?I realize that now!? Andrew agreed, grinning hugely without thinking. Then he realized that he was still scaring Dr. Johnson and the nurses. His grin faded and he asked thm: ?Now, did you find out exactly what was wrong with me?"
?Yes I did, while you were unconscious,? Dr. Johnson replied, motioning Andrew to a seat at the desk. ?Sit down please and I will explain everything.?
?Okay Doctor, I'm ready,? Andrew declared, sitting down. As Dr. Johnson sat down beside him, he added, ?I am tired of hearing the story in bits and pieces. I hope you can tell me the whole story at once, without leaving out any critical details.?
?It all started back in July,? Dr. Johnson began.
?When Margaret healed my injuries on the Transylvanian Space Station?? Andrew guessed.
?Very good Andrew, that?s exactly right,? Dr. Johnson agreed. ?I?m sure she told you how her magic accidentally accelerated your adrenaline production, causing a temporary Enhancement Effect.?
?Yes she did, and I certainly noticed how I was able to hold airlock doors apart effortlessly and resist bullets!" Andrew agreed. "I had no idea that the adrenal gland could make it possible for me to do that!"

?We didn?t either, though such effects have been documented before,? Doctor Johnson agreed. ?Anyway, Margaret?s unpredictable magic started the whole enhancement process. Your great strength was only one effect of the enhancement of your adrenaline production. Basically, Margaret?s magic had an unforeseen emotional effect as well. Your strength increased by three times, in just a few minutes. This overloaded your brain with testosterone and adrenaline, giving you a huge surge of the Fight or Flight response. But it also blocked the chemical that normally shuts down that response, and even though you calmed down, your great strength remained with you. Your emotional state also became highly unstable, however. When your adrenal gland suddenly shot out bursts of adrenaline, your emotional state jumped up as well. I heard about those symptoms earlier this month, when Coach Malcolm told about your confrontations with Anthony Anderson. Basically, your-?
?Wait a moment,? Andrew realized. ?You mean you knew that something was wrong with me a couple of weeks ago, and you didn?t tell me??
?Calm down Andrew,? Dr. Johnson urged him. ?But you are exactly right again. I knew something was wrong, but I needed time to figure it out. After all, I wouldn?t have been much help to you then without knowing exactly what was wrong with you, would I??
?I guess not,? Andrew realized. ?Sorry about that Doctor,? he added, taking a deep breath and trying to calm down. ?I just get upset when I feel people are keeping things from me. When my health and mental state are both affected, I need to know.?
?We didn?t even know what was wrong with you,? Johnson stated. ?We didn?t want to get your hopes up, without being able to tell you something."
?Well your concern for my feelings is touching, but next time I?d rather be kept informed,? Andrew advised him. ?Do you think you could do that for me next time??
?No problem Andrew, I'd be happy to,? Dr. Johnson agreed. ?But telling you everything would go a lot smoother if you saved your questions until the end and let me finish my sentences. Do you think you could do that for me??
Andrew nodded, even though his face turned red, as if he were getting angry again.
?At least the Prozac is working,? Dr. Johnson said, breathing a sigh of relief. "You are showing excellent self-control Andrew.? Andrew grinned and Dr. Johnson grinned back. ?Now, I just did a blood test on you, and found symptoms similar to someone on PCP, or someone hyped up on steroids. After all, I found it strange that you lifted Margaret up to pull her garage door down so casually earlier today, without even asking hee first. Then there was your complete domination of Anthony Anderson in Miami, which culminated in you almost snapping his neck in rage! Those were two incidents where you used your strength to dominate others, like a bully would have.?
?That little coward kicked me right in the balls!? Andrew snapped. ?And he tried to steal my Game Ball, a gift for my new trainee Mike! What would you have done in those situations??
?Well, I wouldn?t have had the strength to do what you did, but I probably would have been really mad, just like you were. However, it?s a good thing Carrie was there to calm you down and that you apologized to him right away! If he had pressed charges, you would have been in so much legal trouble for beating him up! to say nothing of how your future with the Hurricanes would have been destroyed instantly!"
?Yeah I thought about that a lot afterwards," Andrew agreed. "It's a good thing Carrie was there to calm me down, or I might have snapped his neck like a twig! But once we both calmed down, Anthony explained how he was afraid I would try to take his place in the Hurricane's offensive line. Once I explained that I wanted to join the team, not rule it, Anthony realized that his fears of me had been irrational. After that issue was all cleared up, Anthony and I started to become friends."
?See, it all worked out,? Dr. Johnson realized. ?But we?re getting off topic again. You had the classic symptoms of someone on PCP, because your adrenaline and testosterone Levels were surging out of control. I hope you don?t take offense at my next statement, but I can?t think of any other way to say it.?
?Just go ahead and say it,? Andrew sighed. ?I?ll try not to get mad.?
?Basically you were turning into a typical arrogant jock,? Dr. Johnson said quickly.
?I?m trying really hard not to lose my temper,? Andrew growled through clenched teeth. ?You don?t want to see me angry: like Anthony did.? He looked down at his clenched fists, which were white with fury. He took a few deep breaths and closed his eyes, gradually relaxing his hands. Then he looked up at Johnson again. "I hope you realize how judgmental you just sounded. Some people you might call ?typical arrogant jocks? are my best friends. In fact, I helped them become the athletes they are today.?
?I know, I know,? Dr. Johnson said, raising his hands to keep Andrew calm. ?I apologize if I upset you Andrew. But I could not think of any other way to describe your recent behavior.?
?Apology accepted Doctor,? Andrew grinned, shaking his hand gently. Then his smile changed to a stern look. ?But don?t ever call me a 'typical arrogant jock again! Do we understand each other Doctor??
?Yes sir!? Dr. Johnson shouted, without thinking. ?May I continue with my explanation of your condition now??
?Go ahead,? Andrew urged him. ?Just choose your words more carefully this time.?
?Everything came to a head today,? Johnson stated. ?First there was your arrogance around Margaret, backing her up to the wall by walking towards her and not stopping. Then there was your reluctance to help others because you were afraid of attention, and finally your outbursts at Margaret and your father. All those incidents were evidence of emotional instability and I knew I had to take action quickly. So I had Steve bring you here, while I got the Tranquilizers ready. I also called your family and Margaret, and Carrie, to let them know what had happened. Margaret has said that she will stop using her magic on humans, except in emergencies of course, since the results are just too unpredictable. That?s the whole story, with no omissions. Do you have any questions, Andrew??
?Just one,? Andrew replied. ?Why did you have Steve bring me here??
?He?s the only one who can handle you,? Dr. Johnson replied.
?How can that be?? Andrew asked. ?He?s nowhere near my strength level! Is he??
?Actually, he is getting close to your strength level now,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?Remember when you went to Marge?s Haunted House the last time??
?Yes I do, back in September, when we found out the Alexander is still alive!? Andrew stated. ?Let me guess, Marge made more Adrenal Enhancement Serum and enhanced him too??
?I don?t see why I should have to explain things to you!? Johnson laughed. ?You?re so smart, you figure everything out before I can tell you!?
?So I am right,? Andrew realized. ?Marge turned Steve into a muscle god as well, didn?t she??
?Yes she did,? Dr. Johnson agreed. ?She only used technology this time, to avoid any emotional side effects from magic. Of course she used Prozac in the mixture too, just to make sure. And the serum has been refined to work more quickly, so Steve should be nearing your strength level by now, only one month after he was enhanced! It took you three months to reach your current strength level!"
?That sound great Doctor,? Andrew said with a smile. ?So I will have aomeone who can actually challenge me and keep me under control. But I am curious about something Doctor: what did you mean when you said 'she used Prozac in the mixture too, just to make sure.' What was Marge trying to make sure of: that Steve wouldn?t become mentally unbalanced like I did?"
?You're right again Andrew,? Dr. Johnson agreed. ?I'm wouldn't be surprised if your adrenal enhancement has somehow enhanced your IQ as well! People tend to think more clearly when their adrenaline surges! So now you have some company at the top of the strength pyramid. How does it feel not to be alone anymore, as far as your great strength is concerned??
?It feels great Doctor, but I do have one question,? Andrew replied. ?Margaret told Carrie back in July that she used her magic to keep my heart rate normal, while still allowing me to have great strength. How did she do that??
?Well, I got this issue of Men?s Health to explain it,? Dr. Johnson replied, holding up the October issue. ?It described your situation perfectly. Basically, the a chemical is released when you get excited or angry, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure and muscular strength. That is the chemical part of the Fight or Flight Response, also known as Adrenal Enhancement, in medical terms. But, while it would allow car lifting for brief intervals, it wears off quickly.?
?Margaret used her magic to make the adrenaline last longer,? Andrew stated. ?But what is the medical explanation for how she did it??
?She stopped the production of the chemical that cancels out adrenaline and lowers heart rate and blood pressure. However, it was the higher heart rate and blood pressure that could eventually lead to a heart attack if your body could not adapt. Margaret strengthened your cardiovascular system with magic, which allowed the adrenaline surge to last longer, without harming your heart. She thought she was lowering your heart rate, but that would have cancelled out your great strength. I guess the magic spell adapted to her wishes: to keep your adrenaline going, but not being a doctor, she didn?t know exactly how the process worked. Then Marge and the space station doctors gave you the same cardiovascular strengthening treatment, but permanently this time, with their advanced medical techniques. Since they were doctors, they did know exactly what medical treatment to give you so that you would be permanently enhanced, on purpose. Does that help explain it better??
?Yes Doctor, it does,? Andrew agreed. ?Thank you for explaining everything. But does that mean I have a higher heart rate than normal??
?Yes it does,? agreed Dr. Johnson. ?You have to, or you would never have the increased blood flow to your muscles that gives you superhuman strength in the first place. Here, listen to your heart and you will hear the speed of your heart rate for yourself.? He brought over the stethoscope and hooked it into Andrew?s ears. ?Place the plate right here,? he said, motioning to Andrew?s left pec. ?Then listen carefully.?
Andrew took a deep breath and then listened carefully.

?It sound almost like the heart rate of a mouse!? he marveled. ?Are you absolutely certain that my heart can take this high rate, all the time??
?Let me listen,? Dr. Johnson requested. Andrew unhooked the stethoscope from his ears, and handed it over. ?Thank you,? said Dr. Johnson, wiping it clean. He plugged it into his own ears, put the disk over Andrew?s heart, and listened carefully. ?Your heart is beating just as fast as the heart of a mouse!? he agreed. ?But it seems to be slowing down now. It must be because you are not lifting anything right now, and also because you are calming down.?
?My father mentioned something about that,? Andrew realized. ?He said that the effects of my enhancement would only be noticed when I lifted something heavy or worked out. But you still have not answered my question, Doctor! Can my body handle such a high heart rate? Or am I in danger of having a heart attack??
?Your body can handle this heart rate just fine and I finally realize why,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?Now that I think about it, you just explained why your heart is showing no signs of muscle fatigue. What your father told you is the last piece of the puzzle. If your great strength is only noticed when you lift something, then your heart rate and blood pressure are only greatly accelerated at those moments as well. Then they go back to normal when you stop exerting yourself, or when you calm down. That is why your heart rate is so high right now. The enhancement was accelerated by Margaret?s magic, and your heart rate never slowed down. So you were surging with adrenaline and Testosterone these last three months, and only Margaret's accidental strengthening of your heart allowed your to handle the high heart rate for so long! And that?s also why you were so cocky and angry these past three months: you were constantly hyped up on adrenaline and testosterone! But I have now stabilized your physical state, and so your heart rate is returning to normal, and the Prozac is making you calmer. Your heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline will only increase when you lift a car again, and only then will you need cardio protection, which is included in the purified adrenaline serum that I gave you today."
?Well, that makes me feel much better,? Andrew stated. ?Is that the whole story Doctor? Can I go now??
?Yes you can go home now,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?Steve is here to pick you up, so I?ll go get him right now.?
?Thank you Doctor: for explaining everything to me so completely,? Andrew said. ?Can you hurry and bring Steve in here please? I need to thank him for bringing me here so that my physical, and mental, conditions could be stabilized.?
He stepped forward and shook Dr. Johnson?s hand gently.
?Wow!? Dr. Johnson shouted in astonishment. ?What a soft handshake! You have really learned to control your great strength Andrew! I?ll go get Steve and bring back your prescription.?
?Okay Doctor,? Andrew agreed. ?What should I do with these chains?? He gestured at the chains on the floor and shrugged. ?If they can?t hold me down, nothing can! I can?t believe I just sat up and they snapped!?
?Yes it was an amazing display of superhuman strength,? Dr. Johnson agreed. ?Good thing the camera caught the whole thing.?

He motioned to the black dome in the ceiling and Andrew looked up and noticed it for the first time.
?Oh yeah, you told me about the cameras recording everything when you first brought me in here today,? Andrew remembered. ?We've talked about so much in the last half hour that I'd forgotten about that! I guess if tying me down with chains was a strength test, taping it was a good idea. I noticed the video advisories posted all over the hospital.?
?You're very observant Andrew, and also very smart for being able to understand everything I told you over the last half hour," Dr. Johnson commended him. "I didn't even have to 'dumb it down' and it took a lot of mental focus on my part to explain it all properly!" Johnson noticed Andrew's face darkening with anger, probably because of the surprise he had expressed about not having to 'dumb down' his half hour explanation. For his own safety, he realized that he'd better distract Andrew with something so that he wouldn't get mad again! "Put the chains in here please,? Dr. Johnson advised Andrew, wheeling over a large recycling bin. ?Maybe they can be turned into license plates or wheelchairs. I?ll be right back.?
Andrew spent the next few minutes loading the broken chains into the bin. Just for fun, he decided to see if he could snap a few links with his bare hands, and it was also a good way to release his anger safely. He was surprised when the one chain seemed to shatter in his hands. Andrew?s mouth dropped open in shock, but then he laughed, excited at his superhuman strength. Andrew bent down to clean up the mess, and saw a shadow of a person standing over him.
?There he is,? Steve said, as Andrew looked up. ?The Football Star, the Jock, the Muscle Freak, the Chain-Snapper, the??
?Best friend whose life you just saved?? finished Andrew, hoping to put an end to the labels. He stood up and shook Steve?s hand. ?Thanks man; you?re a real pal.?

He bent down, finished loading the broken chains into the recycling bin and stood up again.
?Glad to help out,? Steve replied, slapping Andrew on his huge right shoulder. ?I?ll take you home now. Is that all right with you Doctor?? he asked Dr. Johnson, who had just come back into the room.
?That?s fine with me Steve,? Dr. Johnson replied, handing Andrew two bottles of pills. ?Here Andrew: be sure to take one Prozac and one sedative each morning and night. There is a month?s supply of each one. Come back in November, and we will see if you need more pills. Hopefully you won?t but I?ll have another month?s supply ready just in case.?
?Thank you Doctor,? Andrew stated, shaking his hand again. ?You and Steve saved my life today. I won't forget that.?
?I'm very glad I could help you today,? Dr. Johnson replied. ?I?m glad to see that you?re getting back to normal. Be sure to let me know if you have any more sudden emotional outbursts.? He waved goodbye as Andrew and Steve walked out of the room and down the hall. Then he went to his office, picked up the phone and called Andrew?s father. ?Andrew recovered from Margaret?s mistake,? he reported. ?Be sure to tell Andrew about the next two testing phases when he gets home.?
?Don?t worry,? Chad Pearson replied. ?I?ll get him ready for what he has to face next.?
Doctor Johnson hung up the phone and then took out a red folder labeled ?Genetic Enhancement Experiment.? He opened the folder and scanned the first page until he found the next two phone numbers to call. He turned his phone?s 3-way calling feature on and then dialed the numbers, one after another.
?Subject 001 is ready for the next phase of testing,? he reported. ?Get everything set up for his arrival. Be very careful; he?s much stronger than we thought he would be.?
?Don?t worry; we?ll be ready for him,? was the response from both parties. ?We look forward to his arrival. It will take about two months to get everything ready. We'll keep in touch and let you know when we'll be ready to administer Andrew's next round of strength tests.?
?I'll be waiting for your call,? Dr. Johnson said. ?Goodbye.? He hung up the phone and put the file back into his safe. ?Andrew?s strength testing has just begun,? he thought to himself. ?I hope he?s ready for it.?
Sean Lackie
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