The Switch (Avery Falls Motorcycle Club #1) - Debra Kayn
The shock baton came down on Seven's chest. The handler's arm shook at the impact it took to keep electrocuting the man in the cell. But, Seven never flinched.
Over the years, he'd put Seven through everything imaginable. Testing, manipulating, torturing him while supplying him with LSD, at first, then the highly dangerous regimen of experimental drugs that helped enhance his natural skills and keep him in control.
"That's enough." The controller for the Alpha Bio Project walked away from the cell. "Let him out."
Seven rose to his feet and stepped into the walkway of the cave. The handler kept his baton handy. Just in case.
Often, the men would take two or three sessions when the lessons were repeated for the needed behavioral changes. Though the training periods were easier when they dealt with the original six men.
From the start, the six original men brought into the program had become the ultimate participants. Each study, each lesson, each change, succeeding after long and controversial training.
"Go ahead and hand over the new medicine container to him." The project's controller walked deeper into the cave, leaving the handler alone with Seven.
He gathered the new pills, put them in the plastic container, and returned to Seven. "You will start this new pack in the morning. Any changes you experience will be reported to the handlers immediately."
Seven took the container, slipping it into the pocket of his leather vest.
There was no reason to repeat the instructions. Once told, Seven would remember. He'd leave the cave, return to Avery Falls, and become an active member of Avery Falls Motorcycle Club. As the other participants had done.
Currently, there were twenty-five members of the biker club. Each at different phases of the project. Once they graduated from the first stage, they were put into the community, set up in a house, and from an outsider's view, became the lawless bikers that ran the small, remote mountain town.
It was the job of the originals to oversee the others. If the behaviors of the other men went haywire, they knew what to do.
There was much debate within the organization on what the men should become as they rejoined society. Because of their size, their inability to feel and express compassion and empathy, training and giving them the skills to form a motorcycle club had worked better than they planned.
The locals kept their distance and only sought them out when their concerns about Avery Falls needed attention. The men's blunt and often brisk personalities were ignored as part of their biker lifestyle, keeping the locals separate from them.
It also gave the originals privacy in Avery Falls, where everyone's eyes were on them. They could meet in the clubhouse, away from everyone else, and further their training.
Besides, what they'd all gone through in the project had formed a brotherhood amongst the men, even if they were unaware of how much they needed each other.
The handler exhaled and studied Seven. Every aspect of the Alpha Bio Project should've broken him. Sometimes, he wondered how the men who were brought in as participants survived.
And if they knew how easily it was to change their whole existence with one simple word.
Through mind, body, and a void of their emotions, each of them had an internal switch that could end their life.
One word would turn these men into mercenaries, ready and able to kill.
One specific word could force them to kill themselves. Their presence wiped from the earth to protect the Alpha Bio Project.
"You're free to go, Trip," whispered the handler.
Brandt "Trip" Rowe, aka Seven, turned and walked forward into the dark tunnel, not needing a light to guide his way.
A loud whistle pierced Trip's ear. He turned in front of Speeder's house and gazed across the open area between the clubhouse and Appleway Road.
Twenty years ago, Avery Falls was a ghost town before Avery Falls Motorcycle Club purchased the rocky area in the Bitterroot Mountains and filled the abandoned homes with members. Ten years later, the town had a surplus grocery store, a bar, a diner, a small school, and created an outdoor recreational hub for anyone wanting to enjoy the St. Joe River. Besides the oasis they'd created, the town boasted about having the only gas station within twenty-five miles.
One of the locals who was a clerk at the store, Clara, waved her hand above her head. He raised his arm in greeting. Lately, Clara had sought all the bikers' attention.
She motioned for him to join her. He shook his head. Right now, he had