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Is this Real Life or Just Fantasy?

By Stacie Sells-Vanscoder

Adventure / Humor

Welcome to the Dollhouse

It was a peaceful, dark night on Serenity and not a creature was stirring not even a Jayne. Wash had just finished plugging in the coordinates to their next job as he shuffled out from the flight deck toward his room. He was tired and ready to snuggle up in his warm and cozy bed, with his warm and cozy wife and just thinking about that brought a big lazy smile across his face. As his feet scraped along the cold metal, a sudden empty feeling washed over him that stopped him in his tracks. He felt alone. Even though, he knew damn well that this ship was full of other humans, to say the least, there was a feeling of loneliness that he just couldn’t shake. Then Zoe popped into his mind again, who was probably waiting up for him, in that little thing she likes to wear. “OOOO! Perhaps sex tonight!” Wash said to himself as he dropped down into the bunk. The room was dark with a low hum of yellow. As his eyes adjusted he began to grope around for the bed as the thought of sexy time faded in his mind, realizing how tired he really was. He slowly slipped into the covers, not even bothering to take off his floral, Hawaiian shirt. Sinking like a rock into his comfortable enough bed everything began to melt away. Thoughts of the ship, thoughts of sex, even thoughts of himself. He was drifted off into the black velveteen of dreamland.

A bright light began to seep into his closed eyelids. Wash was for certain that he had just closed them and couldn’t believe that it was already time to get up. He wanted more sleep then anything else right now. He actually needed more sleep, since the past few months have been a constant hull of one job after another. “Ok…ok,” Wash whispered to himself as he sleepily squinted to let the light in. The light was blindingly bright and wasn’t ready to commit to the day and swooped his arm over to the right to get one last spooning session in with Zoe before getting up, (and perhaps sex) when, BAM! His hand hit something as hard as a rock. As his eyes bolted open he saw that what he hit was basically rock, it was concert. This rock was not just to his right but it surrounded him. As he craned his neck he noticed that he was in some sort of a room below ground, though it felt more like a coffin. Directly above him he saw shadowy blobs pass by with muffled voices. He tired to make out what the voices were saying, when suddenly the frosted glass above him whooshed open. “Good morning Alpha!” a young, overly confident twenty something said, “would you like a treatment?” Wash blankly looked at him as he was trying to figure out his next move but thought it would be safest to just play along. “Yes, that would be nice,” Wash said as he slowly lifted himself out of his domesticated hole. He slowly shuffled his, now bare feet, following the young man and a woman, who looked like she was a doctor with a scare across her face. Every time he caught her looking at him she quickly shifted her gaze down, as if scared but still curious. As they walked around he noticed this place looked like a nice, fancy spa, probably off on one of those rich planets. He was hoping that this treatment might give him some more insight to what was going on. Maybe this was a gift from Mal for all the hard work and long hours he’s been putting in. He had always joked that one day he would randomly ship him off to spa with out him even knowing but never thought he was serious. “Alright, here we are,” the young man said, “please sit down Alpha.” Wash looked at the chair he was presented with. Whatever it was looked like a torture device and was 90% sure he didn’t want to sit there. And why did they keep calling him Alpha? “Umm, where am I?” he finally asked, not being able to play along anymore. Both the young man and the doctor looked at each other, surprised that he talked back to them. “Umm, you’re here for a treatment. You love treatments, right?” the goofy guy said with a chuckle as the doctor gave him a glare. “Topher, don’t engage his misbehavior,” she said as she hits his arm. “Hi, Alpha. I’m Doctor Saunders and you are going to have a nice treatment. Is that ok?” she slowly says to him as if she’s talking to a child. “Hello, Doctor whoever, my name isn’t Alpha and I don’t know if I really want this treatment anymore,” Wash says as he starts to break his arms free from their grips. “This has gone far enough,” Wash yells loudly as if speaking to someone who’s not there, “Mal, if this is a prank I don’t really like it? Did Zoe put you up to this?” he panicky says as he sees two very large men with a syringe come toward him. “Oh, this isn’t going to end well,” he says to himself as he feels the warm prick of needle enter his arm.

As he wakes up from the warmth of the darkness, and all the drugs he was just given, he notices that he was strapped down into what seems to be a horrific modification of a dentist chair. “Oh, great,” Wash thought to himself, “what have I got myself into this time.” “Oh, you’re awake,” the young man said with a goofy grin, “aren’t you a tough one today. You’re lucky no one was around to see this little episode because it could cost me my job. Anyways, I got a good assignment for you today! You are going to go back to a show that I LOVED! A show called Spectrum. You were an actor in it and you’re needed back. Well, I think you need to go back because they are making a movie. Before you signed your contract with the Dollhouse you were a pretty famous actor who fell into some pretty tough times. AKA you were in deep with the mob. So, this was the way you were paying it off.” The young man kept babbling on as Wash tried to move his head, which was now strapped down, as his vision started to become less blurry. He opened his mouth to talk but for some reason he couldn’t. “Oh, I see you’re trying to talk,” Topher said, “but I temporarily disconnected your voice to make this process a little easier. Just sit back and relax. I’m gonna bring back Cash Wayne!” he said as a bright flash took him over. Thoughts and personality of someone named Wray Nerely entered his brain. Along with a history of a show called Spectrum. All this felt very familiar and as the information kept pouring into his brain, he passed out.

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