“And the gold medal goes to Ot Muller!!!” There is cheering and clapping. This was Ot’s second gold medal in the olympics and he was determined for it to not be his last. This was a dream of his since before could run a 8 minute mile. He had trained long and hard for this moment. His feeling of joy..of relief.. he never wanted it to end.
*Ring* *Ring* *Ring* Ot rolled over to snooze his alarm clock, and then rolled back, thinking of his dream. This wasn’t the first time he had this dream, it was a recurring nightmare for him. He had won an olympic medal once when he was 21, but while training for his second he suffered a traumatic leg injury. He had a follow up appointment with an amputation doctor today, something he neglected to tell anyone in case it ended up like all the rest had.
He climbed into the bath where struggled to clean himself. Once he was finished, the slipperiness of his body and surfaces made it even harder to get out.His friends had offered to help him unit he adjusted, but he didn’t want to seem needy. He knew that wasn’t their intent but it made him feel uncomfortable. They were there for him after he went into a year long depression following the accident.He had gone through many therapists, his trainers said he was being too picky but he was not about to tell a random person his whole life story. Running was a big part of his life, maybe his whole life and he was not ready to give it up. He did not want to see they pity in the stranger's eyes as he told them his life was now meaningless.
He called a car to pick him up outside his apartment complex at 8:15; it was now 8. he had to start heading down now,it was always a gamble as to how long it would take him to get down to the lobby. As he waited he thought about the questions the doctors would ask him, “How did it happen?”, “How much pain are you in? On a scale of 1-10?” He’d been asked the questions 100 times and he wished he could just hold up a sign instead of wasting his breath. He hated having to think about the accident but he knew it was inevitable. His town car finally pulled up and he wobbled over to it and pulled himself in. The driver kept looking at him like he was trying to figure out where he knew him from. Ot wanted to say “your wheaties box” but instead just let him figure it out himself.
After the accident he was on the news a lot. They called it “The biggest tragedy in sports this decade”. Ot was Germany’s first olympic gold medalist in the 100 yard dash. Strangers used to leave flowers, cards, fruit baskets, and stuffed animals to send their hope his way. As they pulled up the the hospital the driver made a move to open the door for Ot. As he helped Ot out of the car he asked, “Do I know you from somewhere?” Ot responded, “Do you eat wheaties?” His driver started laughing and said “Oh yes, you’re the runner that got his leg…” his eyes then trailed down to Ot’s leg.He started to fidget and pull at his collar, he didn’t know what to say.
“Yes I’m the runner that got his leg amputated during the olympics”, Ot said trying to not sound like he had said it hundreds of times already. Trying to hide how much it still hurt to say.
“If you don’t mind me asking, I never quite understood how, rather why, you had to get your leg amputated. How did it happen?”
Ot was getting ready to resist his speech when he realized his driver was leaning down to show him something. He had a prosthetic leg.
“How did you get yours?” Ot asked.
“I asked you first” They both chuckled.
“Well after I won the race, I collapsed on the side of the track, with all the adrenalyn it was hard not to. I fell on top of a screw that was meant to hold the track down. It went straight through my calf. I couldn’t even feel it at first because of the adrenalyn,but when I went to stand to receive my medal, I noticed something coming out of my leg. Myteam rushed me to the hospital where they told me the nail had some sort of rust or chemical of some sort that had already formed a clot in my leg and the only way to stop it from spreading was to amputate it.”
“Well my story isn’t that good.”
“I’m sure it was something worth hearing.”
“No it really wasn’t. I was a dumb teenager racing down the highway late one night. It started to rain, which we thought made it even more fun, then came a sharp turn and I hydroplaned. The whole car spun around. The car I was racing hit us and we flipped. I don’t remember anything after that but when I woke up I was missing a leg and they told me I was lucky that was all I lost.”
“You’re telling me this after I’ve hired you to be my driver?”, once again they both laughed. “Well I’m late for my appointment, I’ll call you when I’m done?”
“I’ll be here.”
Ot was nervous to walk in. He had poked around blogs from other people that had gotten prosthetic legs. There was mixed feelings about it but Ot knew he needed to be able to walk again no matter how hard it would be. As he made his way to the counter he thought about all the different things he had read and wondering how much of it was really true. He read that one man was able to program his leg to do different things. He wondered what he would program his leg to do if he could.
“Hi, how can I help you?”
“Hi, I have an appointment with Doctor Tomko at 9.”
“Let me just check… Mr… Muller!”
“Great, if you’ll just take a seat we’ll be with you as soon as possible.”
He continued to think about what he would do if he could program his leg. He didn’t really believe that this was true, how do you program a piece of plastic to do anything?
“Here”, he made his way to the nurse.
They walked down a hall where she pointed him into a room, asked if he needed anything and then left him. He decided he would ask the doctor if he he had heard of anything like what he had read. The doctor walked in,
“Hi, I’m Dr. Tomko”
“Ot”, they shake hands, “nice to meet you”.
“So what’s the nature of your visit?” He was typing information into a computer.
Ot stops and looks at the doctor. Tomko turns his head to see why he hasn’t answered, he sees his leg, “Oh I see.”
“It was amputated about a month ago and I was told to come see you about getting a prosthetic leg.”
“Okay well I’ll take a look at it. I don’t know if you know but not everyone is a good candidate for a prosthetic.” He paused to look at Ot’s reaction, he wasn’t happy.
“I need to be able to walk again. My whole life revolves around my legs, it’s bad enough that I’ll never be able to compete again, let alone walk!” He was yelling now. The doctor looked surprised.
“Do I know you from somewhere?”, the doctor asks.
“Yes, I won gold in the 100 mile dash in the 2012 olympics.”
“Oh yeah, I think you’re on my cereal box”
“Yeah that’s great, my leg?”
“Right, let me run a few tests and we’ll go from there. Sound good?”
“Whatever you need.”
After being poked and pinched, tugged here and pushed there, and many needles later, the doctor came back in.
“What’s the news Doc?”
“It looks good. Your cut has healed nicely, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of aggravation from the spoke that did this in the first place. I think we could even get you fitted for one today if you are up for it?”
“Are you kidding me? That would be great!”
“Okay, do you have any other questions?”
“Actually yeah, one. I read somewhere that a man programmed his prosthetic leg to be… bionic?” The doctor seemed to get nervous when he heard this.
“I’m not sure where you heard that but do us all a favor and forget you did.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means forget it!”
“Am I missing something.”
“You’re missing a lot and be thankful you are.”
Ot does as he’s told. He finishes his appointment and calls his driver. He gets back in the car and can’t stop thinking about why the doctor was so abrasive when he asked about the bionic leg. The doctor told him to return the next day to get his prosthetic leg, and he does. When he gets there a man in a black suit with a white shirt, black tie and perfectly shined shoes standing at the door. Ot pays him no attention and walks in but the man stops him.
“Are Ot Muller?” he asked
“Um, who’s asking?” Ot responded
“The United States Government.”
“What do you want with me?”
“Are you him?”
“Please come with me.” The man in the suit shows him to his car. Ot gives a little nod to his driver who has now exited the car and looks about ready to pounce if needed.
Ot get’s in the car, “Where are we going?” there was no response. He started to regret his decision but then again why would the U.S government want him, it’s not as though he did anything wrong. They pulled into a tunnel that spit them out on a runway. Ot’s eyes grew to the size of oranges. The fear rushed through his veins as he didn’t expect to be taken. He just thought he would talk to someone over the phone. They pulled up infront of the plane and the man in the black suit opened the door and told him to board the plane. Ot did as he was told. Once they were aboard the plane Ot saw someone sitting in a chair facing the wrong way, as they walked towards the back the man turned around to face them.
“Good afternoon Ot” said the man
“Sorry for the abrupt way you were brought here but it was very important that we meet face to face, as soon as possible.”
“What am I missing? Why is it so important that I meet you? I mean you’re the president, what do you want with me?!”
“Well I must say I’ve been a fan since the olympics. I thought you ran that race impeccably. But the real reason you are here is because you have been exposed to some information that you were not supposed to be.”
“Are you talking about what I said to Dr. Tomko? I didn’t realize it was sensitive topic and if it is going to get me in some sort of trouble I can forget I ever read it…”
“No, no, no, we wouldn’t want you to do that. We want to enroll you in a secret service program that would use your prosthetic leg as a weapon.”
“How can I use my prosthetic as a weapon?”
“Well we would program it to be able to… There are some things we have to take care of before we get into all of the details.”
They were on the plane for about 45 minutes talking about the olympics before the captain came over the loudspeaker and said they would be landing soon.
“Where are we going?”
“Look out your window” replied the President.
Ot looked out the window and saw green lawns with perfectly trimmed hedges surrounded with flowers of all different colors. Finally he saw a big building with rows and rows of windows. The house was perfectly white and had an american flag on top.
“The White House?!” Ot asked . The President smiled and nodded his head. They got off the plane, walked across the lawn to a door that was being held open by two dressed officers.
“Welcome to my home,” said the president.
“You have a lovely home,” Ot said, as he looked around the room.
“Thanks. I hate to pull you away even before you settle in but we have a lot we have to talk about.” He guided him down a hallway, down steps, left, right, up, down, right, through another door that led to yet another door that was sealed close. There was a man guarding the door put his thumb on a pad that unlocked the door. Ot walked in, “what is this pla…” he turned around to face the president but realized he wasn’t there. “Hello?” There was no response. He looked around. It looked like a tin can. The door unlocked again and a middle aged man walked in with a brief case.
“Who are you?” Ot asked
“I’m your worst nightmare… Ha I got you! You should have seen your face!” Ot just stared at him blankly. “Sorry I’m Henry Davis. I work for the president. I’m here to give a thorough exam of you and see how you function.”
“Okay, well, here I am. What do you need me to do?”
“I just need you to be yourself.” Henry pick up a needle and flicked it.
“Woho there! What the hell is that for?!”
“It puts your mind into different situations that you may have to face while an agent in order to make sure that you can handle it.”
“I hate needles” Henry walked over to Ot, Ot jumped back. “Really. I hate them.”
“Well then don’t think about it.”
“How am I not supposed to think… Ow!”
“See that wasn’t so bad. Now count to 10 please.”
“Fine. one… two… three… four… fi… ve… si…” he was asleep.
“Ahh they go quicker every time. Maybe I gave him too much, we shall see.”
Ot opened his eyes and to see a pretty young girl fly past him. He had no idea where he was. All he knew was that it was hot and dry. He looked around and saw nothing but mountains and below was covered in sand. Another car zoomed past but this one was closer to him than the last. He started to walk down the hill thinking there would be someone that could tell him where he was. There was a faint buzzing sound in the distance but he couldn’t place it. It seemed to get closer and closer, so he turned around. There were 5 men on motorcycles coming at him at what seemed like 95 miles per hour, he dove to the side. He rolled to try and get out of the way of them but rolled off of edge. As he was falling he noticed a button on his belt that wasn’t there before. In a last hope to save himself he pushed it. It sent something flying from his prosthetic leg, which he didn’t have before, into the cliff. He hung from his one leg. He realized that there were all different kinds of buttons on his leg. He started to click them, he found one that was like a jet pack and allowed him to hover over the surface. He finally got close enough to the ground to just fall. When he hit the ground woke up.
“How was it?” Henry asked.
“What do you mean how was it? I almost died!”
“And how did that make you feel?” Henry was holding a clipboard and was walking around Ot writing his observations.
“It scared the living daylights out of me!”
“How did you survive?”
“I pushed all these buttons that were on me.” He looked down to see that he had a prosthetic leg. “Where did this come from?”
“Everything you were going through was being broadcasted to a panel that was determining if you were suited to protect your country, when they decided you were, we operated.”
Ot just looked around the room. He saw no one. He heard a phone ring. Henry answered it.
“Hello? Yes… Yes… Right away, Sir. Yes… As you wish.” He hung up. “Ot come with me.” He banged on the door and it opened. Ot followed Henry down the hallway back the way they came but then down a flight of stairs. When they go to the bottom, Henry ordered him to put on the clothes that were laid out in front of him. Henry walked out of room and closed the door behind him. Ot looked down at the floor and started to get dressed. He realized he had just walked all the way down the hallway and got a rush of energy. He realized these people had granted him his one true wish and for that he would do anything to repay them. As he finished getting dressed Henry walked back in.
“Are you ready for your first mission?”
Ot nodded and followed him out the door.