Surrounded by darkness, he sat cross-legged on the padded mat, waiting for the coldness to go away. The complete lack of light only made it worse,
heightening his remaining senses until it felt as if his whole body was covered by a brittle layer of ice that stuck to his skin, turning him into a
frozen, living statue. Although the ice-jacket felt genuine enough, it wasn't, as immediately upon touch nothing could be found to suggest that it had
ever been there. His skin did not feel damp either, as it might be in the case of melting ice. It was just warm and dry and normal.
Wearing this artificial, glacial straight-jacket was extremely distressing, especially once the chills started to leach into his body. These icy
tendrils would seek out his soul, driving it from him so that all that was left was an unfeeling and uncaring shell, turning him into an empty
“84437, please confirm that you are all-right,” a disembodied voice said, the unhurried words coming out of the darkness from an unseen
loudspeaker hidden somewhere in the room. It could have been a man‘s, although it was so robot-like and emotionless that it must have been uttered
through a voice-changing machine.
When he did not reply straight away, the robotic voice repeated the question.
“Yes, yes, I'm fine,” he replied hastily, hearing his own tired and flat voice betraying that he was far from being fine.
At last his body felt normal again, but his mind was still clouded by a weariness you might experience after many months of irregular patterns of
waking and sleeping. It was also numb too, made that way by the other things they did to him, although mostly he couldn't remember, for which he was
“84437, you may leave,” the robotic voice told him as the strips of lighting flickered on, filling the flat rectangular boxes that ran around the
room at waist height with a soft light, eliminating the darkness and banishing it until next the session.
The light was always a relief after the dark. Sometimes it felt as if he had been like there for a long, long time, although he thought it could have
only been for a few hours at the very most. He stood, stretching out his limbs. It was much better now that the lights were on. It was always better
in the light, as the dark only compounded his fears.
Whilst he had been sitting on the floor he had been facing the large mirror, the only and closest thing to a window in this place. It filled most of
the wall and was not a particularly good mirror. Smooth and black, it reflected only the hazy outline of his silver-grey jumpsuit, but nothing else of
any detail. Incomplete, he no longer took any notice of this featureless image, already forgetting what his face looked like.
The mirror had no answers, yet in revealing nothing it also betrayed something else, that they wanted to remain anonymous. They did not want to show
themselves to him.
I only know that you may lie
, he told the mirror, directing his hatred so hard that he imagined he could shatter it with just his thoughts
alone, exposing the faceless ones who hid behind it like cowards. Whether there is one of you or many, you are all cowards united in your tyranny
Wanting to escape from the testing room, he hurried to the door, which slid open with a tiny hiss of air as the pressure changed. Outside in the bland
corridor there was a person waiting to accompany him back to his room. He had named these people white-coats, as the long, white lab coats was the
only thing all had in common with each other.
The white-coat wordlessly led the way through the windowless corridors, each lit by the same rectangular boxes as the testing room. They went through
two more doors, each accessed by a card waved against them like a flattened magic wand. After another shorter corridor, they reached his room. Like
the testing room, everything about it was antiseptic and clinical, matching the rest of this cold, heartless place.
As the door slid closed, shutting him in, he crossed the room and lay down on the bed, a low unfussy thing. The mattress was hard with a simple, warm
blanket and a stiff pillow, but it was good enough to sleep on. Very weary and glad to be away from the testing room, he closed his eyes, alone except
for the white-coat who stood on guard outside the door and the tiger and dragon who joined him in his sleep.
edit on 28/11/2014 by YarlanZey
because: (no reason given)