My fingers trembled and twitched, as my body seemed to sink into a vulnerable feeling of no control. I’ve been poisoned again, with an unknown substance running its course through my fragile veins. This is the third time a company has pricked and prodded at me. I’m a guinea pig to them, you can tell just by the look in the worker’s eyes. Their eyes don’t only show disgust for a jailbird like me, but also a thirst. A thirst for something…but I’m not sure what.
I can barely think straight by this point. My sight has gone fuzzy at the edges and my skin being sucked of color. My heart is pumping at alarming rates. How can I been so feeble and filled with adrenaline at once? Anger start to boil up within me. They did this to me. These companies are using me. They’re letting me waste away for their own gains. My wobbly legs stand up quickly, and shiver and shift as I can barely stand straight.
“You did this to me!” I scream, my voice booming at all the guards and scientists from the company. “You’re killing me! All of us!”
By now, it was as if chaos had broken loose. The guards ran and grabbed at me as I dodged and rushed away from them in a messy way. They finally grasped onto me by my baggy jail clothes. I was pulled out of the room in a quick manner, and knew I was going to be restrained.
My blood curdling screams, burned at my dry throat, but I continued. Why was I the only one fighting back? Why were the others being tested on were letting them get away with such crude things? Oh that’s right, I’m the new one. Those delicate people in there, those silent ones with fear in their eyes, they were my oh so beloved future. I could already feel that horrid future sink into my pores and engulf me whole.
– – –
My face stood expressionless as I stared blankly up at the small, red, blinking light on the ceiling. This was now how I wasted my time, since my body no longer would waste away itself. My ears buzzed with the sounds of a storm, the winds seemed brutal against the superior prison walls. I found it quite soothing, since it made the bitterness inside of me settle down. As long as this storm lasts, I’ll be pleased enough to forget about the hell I’ve been through all these years.
Minutes passed in this blissfulness quickly. A tick and a tock, and the time seemed to just disappear. The roars of thunder shook at the walls like a subway train rattling everything it passes by. I could hear another inmate yelling, fearful of the vicious storm. Slowly, I got up, and quietly strolled over to the bars on my cell. They were like lasers, blazing an urgent ‘Do Not Touch’ shade of red. I had learned earlier on that the lasers would electrocute you, thinking you were trying to get out. The jail didn’t have many guards anymore, technology ran most of it. If it wasn’t for the technology, I’d be way gone by now.
I guess you could say a lot has changed through the year. How many years exactly? Who knows? All I’ve come to realize is that I should have been dead by now. So should of all of the others, but no, instead we seem to have settled into the idea of an excessively long life span. You know, if you can actually call this life.
I suck in a long, steady breath. The air flooded into my lungs like when you blow into a balloon, and then it swept back out just as quickly. Even the air-lightning suddenly flashed, killing off all the lights in the building, everything becoming pitch black. The walls shook with the horrible rumbling sound of thunder. I dropped to the ground, overwhelmed with all the shaking. Then came the sounds of screams, people running, banging on things. I heard cries of happiness and of freedom. Looking over to the left, where my cell bars were, they were gone. The red glow that use to lighten up my cell had died out. Was it safe to walk through it? I took the chance.
My heart raced with a mix of shock and adrenaline. Everything seemed to go in slow motion. Every sense of mine came alive. I could feel cold air pressing up against my skin and the subtle scent of a hospital enter my airways through my nose. My feet tap again the hard flooring, and into the chaotic hallway. Flashlights beams danced all over the place, creating shadows that only lasted a second. The only guards were fighting back against the other inmates. I could hear poundings and grunts. Somebody was shrieking in a gritty voice, “Let us free! Freedom is ahead!”
My mind seemed to go blank, between the overthinking and the whole scene in front of me. My gut had a sinking feeling. I need to leave before it’s too late. Now.
My legs began to start off again. Go unknown. Be quiet and sneak through. That’s the easy way right? The way I don’t have to face conflict? Always avoid conflict-that was my way of doing just about everything. I smiled to myself, feeling hope. I slipped behind an inmate, and when him and the guard turned, flipping places as they gripped onto each other-I sneaked through the gap. I stayed quiet, walking in a fast pace away from all the quarrels. As soon as it seemed like a distance madness, I took off.
My feet pounded against the cement ground, everything seemed like a phase by now. I no longer thought straight. I had one mission-to find an exit. It had been so long since my eyes had seen the outside world. So long since I smelled the ocean and could almost taste the saltiness of it on my tongue when the wind blew. Or the sky, how it sometimes seemed to shine down joyfully on all of us and sometimes poured cold tears on us. I missed everything so much. Even the filth in the world. The stench of all the pollution getting pumped into the air and the grimness of the people. You might not miss those things when you live with it your whole life, but once being locked away and treated in such disturbing ways; you learn to be grateful for even those negatives in life.
I felt like I had been running forever. My body felt tired and broken down by the way everything seemed to burn like the fire in my soul pushing for freedom. And when my eyes landed on it, a door. The door I had entered into when I first arrived here. I went to it, attracted to it like metal to a magnet. Pounding against it, it wasn’t locked, but jammed. I looked around, how to undo it? I turned around, spinning on my worn heel. It was so dark it here. The only time I could see was when lightning flashed in through the small windows. Wait windows-
I went into another room, one with a window. Since the power was down, the laser bars on the windows were gone as well. The window looks like a tight squeeze; I’d just have to take my chance with it. Making a fist with my left arm, and bending it at the elbow, I aimed my elbow to break the completely sealed up window. I turn my head away from the window so shards wouldn’t slice my face. Okay, I can do this…it was going to hurt…but I have to do it. Tricking myself into it, I pound my elbow into the glass as hard as possible. A cracking sound enters into my ears. Okay, just one more time, it’s almost broken. And again, I pound against it, then let out a pitiful gasping sound as I feel hunks of glass sink into my flesh. I look at my arm, pulling it back to me. My gray shirt had torn holes in it, and it started getting a blood tinge to it. I don’t have time to pull it out. Quickly looking back at the window, there was a hole and some pieces of glasses still around the edges. I start grabbing them with my left hand and snapping them off. My hand started to gush blood like a waterfall, as it got cut up by the rest of jagged pieces of glass.
Doing this all quickly, the window was finally fairly smooth, and I grasped onto the rim of the window. Wind blew through it, tossing my hair already. The wall shook again from more thunder. I pushed myself up, using the wall and my slick shoes as a boast. I pulled my head, shoulder and then waist through the window. Rain hit my face and dripped down my skin in all directions since the wind wasn’t able to decide on one direction to blow. I then placed my hands on the outside walls and tried pushing my body out. I grunted, getting my hips through, they were always the widest point in my body. And like that, I slipped out and fell to the ground.
My fingers dug into the wet soil. Never in my life have I ever been so happy to feel soggy dirt. I smiled like an idiot, being able to smell the pleasant earthy scent of nature. I looked up, seeing here was a fence with coils wrapped around the top of it. They weren’t on. My survival instinct suddenly kicked back in. I pushed myself up. I forced myself against the strapping, solid winds. I rushed to the fence, my elbow burning and bleeding-along with my hands. I grabbed onto it, and stuck my feet in the holes, making my way up. And that’s when it hit me. My worst fear. I hear a sound, like power turning back on. Oh no…I looked right above my head and I saw the lasers getting ready to turn back on. I panicked, rushing to the top. They got brighter and brighter, and began to make a noise. I got half over, my foot hit the coil and sparks flew and I flew off the fence completely. I hit the ground with a thump, my shoe literally having a smoke coming off of it. I barely made it…I was the only one to make it out as far as I knew.
I slipped trying to get up in the mud, my hands covered in the brown goop. I once again, forced myself to move forward like a soldier. Get up. Go into the woods before somebody sees you. And that’s what I did. I went into the woods, in a horrid storm, not know which direction was what, or what I would find. It’s been awhile world…
– – –
Everything seemed to throb. Between my feet continuously walking, glass shoved up into the skin of my elbow and hand, and feeling my body running out of energy with still no sign of an exit out of the woods. What am I even going to do now? I don’t know what’s out here. I don’t know anything. I’m just going to get caught again–I shook my head. I’m overthinking again. I needed to leave that place.
I was dehydrated by now, so when I saw a random metal chunks in the ground, I thought I was hallucinating. I bent down, picking at it. It was stuck in the ground, just randomly in the grass. It was shiny and had a smooth surface. How odd. Why would random metal be in the ground? I looked at the other pieces I could see, they all were the same. It made no sense…I looked at ahead, and there were even more of them. It seemed that the further ahead they went, the more there were and the bigger they got. My curiosity arose and I followed them, not able to help myself.
I travelled a good while, following these metal chunks in the ground. The trees seemed to become less and less as they covered most the ground. And soon, it had become a huge clearing. The whole ground became a smoothing, shiny, metal surface. Any signs of an earth ground were gone. Even the scent of the earth was gone. Instead, the smell of a hospital entered my nose. It smelled too clean, too sterile, and too fake.
Way in the background I could see buildings. A city? Must be. So there I went, making my way there. It felt cold here, the whole walk into the city. That was when I realized there were tiny holes in the metal ground, pumping the super clean, sterile smelling air out of it. AC out of the ground. That was a new one.
I was fearful of what the people would be like, when would I get caught? But they didn’t even notice me. They all dressed off, all have a pale look to them. Not only did these people have pale skin, their eyes were pale and so were their clothes. Every seemed to have this silvery band around one of their wrists. These bands seemed to control them, like a computer. People were stopping, putting fingers on the band and changing their outfits, even their hair. They were talking out into space as well, as if a ghost was their best friend. It was bizarre….
Buildings were see-through, and store fronts had ads playing like a TV in their windows. Everything was so different. How many years had it honestly been? I go up, onto a metal sidewalk, looking for a newspaper, but I found nothing. I needed to fit back into the crowd…I stood out too much. They’d find me. So I did the wrong, snatching the silver band off of a random person, and quickly taking off. Looking over my shoulder, the person didn’t act like they had just been stolen from, but instead looked confused. They looked around at their surrounds, seeming amazed by them. Did these people not realize what reality was or not? They were that oblivious? That attached to these bands?
I popped it on, and suddenly my sight went did of my surroundings and almost like a start menu popped up. I looked closely at it, continuing to walk since I could see everything in the background of my sight. It was like the internet shoved inside of my brain. As soon as I tried to figure things out, I noticed everything had a label on it. INDUSTRY it read. INDUSTRY…INDUSTRY….that name buried in my mind. It bothered me, it seemed so familiar. Where had I seen that before? Then it hit me. Those people testing on me….their crisp, buttoned up shirts had that label on them. That company was behind those tests and experiments. Those ones that made everything so horrible for me, that filled me with hate down to my very core. How dare they…
My mind began to go race in every direction. This company was behind everything. They were controlling these people. How long had this been happening for. I start looking up the company, seeing new reports on them just from today. The date… April 21st, 2515. I was arrested and locked up, and began getting experimented on back in 2067. How had hundreds of years passed?! Those tests, they kept me alive this long? Is that what that company was trying to do? Live forever?
I couldn’t handle it; my stomach seemed to twist in a knot. It was all too much. Everything was too different. It didn’t even feel like I was breathing real air. The people seemed completely brainwashed too. How long until I got caught again? Maybe it was better to be caught again. I didn’t want to live in this. Not in this fake world. I ripped the silver band off of myself, screaming. I tossed it as far away as possible, and it hit two men, dressed like soldiers. Their heads turned towards me, and I knew right then I did wrong…again. My heart began to race so fast I could hear it in my head. Stop it! Stop racing! Just shut up! I felt them-two men analyzing me, and out of one of their silver bands, a picture of me. I had been found.
Anger fueled me down to the brim, and I screamed out curses at them, with a hiss. I turned as they came for me, and I started ripping bands off of people. How could they live like this?!
“Wake up!” I screamed at them, ripping more and more off. “They’re manipulating you! It’s all fake! INDUSTRY! They’re using you for their own selfish ways!”
I felt the soldier’s arms and hands grabbing onto me. “Fugitive #406708, you are to be terminated.”
The man’s voice rang in my ears, barely making it through my screams. I thrashed and kicked at them, but I was too small and weak against these men. The one not holding onto me as well pulled out a black bar a good two inches thick and several inches in length. “Get that away from me!” I shrieked.
Nobody was helping me. The people free of their bracelets stared as I fought, a confused and blank look on all of their faces, as they morbidly watched. Everybody else didn’t even notice me.
I felt the black bar hit me in the neck and something pushed into my flesh like a quick jab. I gasped, feeling a burning like fire shoot like fire through my body. My heart went even faster, but my mind seemed to slow. They let go of me, my now heavy body dropping to the ground like dead meat. Chills ran down my spine and then turned into heat flashes. I became incapable of speaking; my throat feeling like it had been cut out. My body grew tense and I could no longer move any of my limbs. My taste shut down, and then my hearing. My smell went next, and then my sight. I still could feel. My eyes were open, but I saw blackness.
These people weren’t free. They were all guinea pigs in a game too. We were all pawns in the people who ran this world’s game. And now I’m all alone in my mind. My body then went into this twitching and shaking feeling and I feel a thick substance oozed out of my pores, and then…I slowly slipped into…a new…kind of darkness…