Becky had heard that before joining the university research staff Dr. Pretorius had been working to find a means of opening the human mind to higher dimensions through direct stimulation of the brain's core emotions. There were rumors, darkly whispered, that some of the doctor's test subjects, all women, during that research project had died horribly under every mysterious circumstances.

But rumors aside, being an unemployed grad student, Becky knew that Dr. Pretorius paid his lab assistants considerably more then most of the university's researchers. And when a position as his research assistant on his newest project opened up, and regardless of all the whispered rumors, it had been impossible to resist sending in her resume.

During her interview it seemed that Dr. Pretorius was being intentionally vague about the details of his research, a study of human emotional response under duress, but already familiar with the competitive nature of scientific research grants, Becky had instinctively understood the evasiveness of Dr. Pretorius's answers.

Becky's first day on the job seemed ordinary enough, and while some of the required physical examination seemed excessively intimate, Becky wrote it off as simply more of the university's bureaucratic nonsense. Sadly for Becky ordinary ended just after five that evening, when Dr. Pretorius dropped by her workstation and offered her a fresh cup of coffee.

Becky's first thought when she awoke was that she'd fallen asleep again with the lights on. Her second thought was that she was cold, that she'd fallen asleep again on top of the covers. She was still thinking that she'd need to start getting to bed early enough to turn out the light and get under the blankets before falling asleep, when she finally opened her eyes and focused on her surroundings.

Becky's discomfort quickly turned to terror as she realized the reason she felt cold was mostly due to the fact she was naked and spread-eagle upon a cold metal table, her wrists and ankles locked into tight metal restraints. Trying desperately to keep from panicking at the sight of all the terrifying implements arrayed around her naked form Becky turned as she heard the chamber's door open.

Becky was shocked to see Dr. Pretorius enter the chamber, closing the heavy airlock door behind him.

Ignoring Becky's horrified stare, Dr. Pretorius checked the bio monitors and moved to the room's control panel, only then did he at last acknowledge Becky's presence.

"I'm happy see you're awake. You must be feeling terrified. But I assure you that your sacrifice this night will not be in vain, that your death, when it finally occurs, will go far to advance the thresholds of science."

Seeing the look utter disbelief clearly evident in Becky's lovely eyes, Dr. Pretorius continued, "I'm sure you've heard all the rumors about my earlier research into opening the human mind to higher dimensions through direct stimulation of the brain's core emotions. What you didn't know is the most effective means of emotional stimulation is through unrelenting and unendurable agony."

Seeing at last the look of horrifying comprehension in Becky's eyes Dr. Pretorius continued, "With each new series of experiments I get that much closer to discovering the balance of brain chemistry necessary to comprehend to the next level in human mental evolution. And your death here this night, while an intimately unpleasant and personal tragedy for you, will go far to advance the intellectual development of humanity."

As Becky watched in horrified disbelief a darkly sadistic smile of satisfaction appeared upon Dr. Pretorius's face as he concluded, "Of course, what can I say, I've always enjoyed my work."

Dr. Pretorius's words still echoing in Becky's terrified mind when she heard the oversized circular saw between her thighs beginning to spin up and she helplessly watched as the actuated arms hanging above her, with their razor sharp blades, started moving toward her exposed breasts and belly.

Becky's last thought just before the sudden and unrelenting agony overwhelmed the finial vestiges of her intellect, "At least now I finally know why Dr. Pretorius has such a high turnover rate in research assistants." After that, for Becky, intellect surrendered to screaming.