84437 (Part One) here if you missed it
Waking suddenly, he was left with the after-image of tiger bounding away into the jungle and when he opened his eyes, the room was somehow wrong. The
usual box lighting had come on, only instead of being white, it was a dull red, something he had never seen before. He sat bolt upright. The door was
open too, stopped midway, which in itself was highly unusual as it was always kept shut unless he was being taken to the testing room.
Not moving from the bed, he waited, listening and watching. After a while, a warm draft started to blow down the corridor and in to the room. He had
already noticed the absence of the hum of air conditioning and in the quiet could make out other sounds too. A distant ringing, which he guessed was
an alarm, and muffled voices so far away they were hardly there.
As nothing like this had ever happened before, he was unsure what to do with this unexpected potential for freedom. Escape. It was an impossibility. A
pipe dream at best, only now it was one that had been handed to him on a plate. He allowed himself to briefly think about making a run for it, but it
was too good to be true. No doubt there would be someone along soon to check on him who would lock him back in. He waited, but no-one came.
If he was going to escape, it would have to be now or never. He would have to seize the moment, but had become so conditioned, that he was unable to
even set his toe outside the door. He wondered if he really could do it, if he could command his body to move and override the program that it was so
used to running. Was he wise to even try? If he did where would he go? He didn't have a card, so unless other doors were open too, he would get
nowhere. And if he got caught outside his room, what would they do to punish him?
It wouldn't hurt to take a look, he decided, he could do that without having to leave the room. Cautiously he rose from the bed and padded over to
peer out through the gap in the door, tentatively leaning as far as he could whilst hovering behind the threshold of the doorway, an invisible force
field that he was unable to cross.
The corridor was empty. What had happened whilst he had been sleeping? Why wasn't there someone out there on guard? Where had everyone gone? The
ringing was still there he noted, but was a ghost now against the deafening silence. The sound of voices had gone.
Before reaching a decision as to what to do, he noticed a thin contrail of smoke drifting along the corridor, then heard a muffled cough and the
tap-tap of footsteps. He wavered, holding his breath, feeling faint with terror, listening as the awkward scuffle and scrape of shoes continued to
Whoever it was, they moving slowly, giving him plenty of time to rush back inside the room to his bed. He lay down and closed his eyes fearful of the
punishment he would receive for being found where he shouldn't be. The sound got louder and louder until the person entered his room and, no surprise,
it was a white-coat and one he hadn't seen before.
Wearing small silver rimmed glasses, this white-coat was much older than the others, in his late fifties maybe. The man looked worried, his face rough
and pale. His clothes were shabby and dusty. He had been injured. There was a ragged gash on his forehead, with a dribble of blood and more drops
staining his lab coat just below the collar and he hobbled badly.
After coming into the room the white-coat waved his card against the door and it slid shut. In his other hand he carried a metal briefcase, holding on
to it so tightly that it made his knuckles turn white.
The man spluttered and coughed. “There’s not enough time to explain, so you will have to trust me. You must leave right away,” and the man
brandished the briefcase.
“What’s going on?”
“Everything you’ll need is in here,” the white-coat said. “Don’t open it until you’re certain that you’re safe.”
The white-coat coughed again. “Take it, please.” And as he leaned towards the bed, the ends of his lab coat swung open revealing a device strapped
to his body. There was a small display showing orange-red digital numbers. 00:30.
“What’s that?” The numbers changed to 00:29, then 00:28. It was counting down. “What’s going on?”
The white-coat grimaced, quickly covering it up and considered him with sad, regretful eyes. “Something I should have done a long time ago.” The
smoke was filling the room now, coming in through the gap at the bottom of the door and he rasped as it caught in his throat. “Quickly,” he urged
when he could speak again. “Take it. Time is running out. And remember, don’t open the case until you’re certain that you’re safe and
And when 84437 took the briefcase the room exploded into a ball of fire.
edit on 28/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)