I strain against the bonds, gritting my teeth and grunting. My hands are slick with my sweat but they refuse to pull free. I refuse to give up though. Memories of my wife and of my Rose keep me struggling for not only my own freedom, but for the freedom of the human race. It rests in my hands and I refuse to let that responsibility down.
The room is dark and eerie, with only a small window close to the ceiling. The light that filters in only provides enough to see the outlines of the room. There isn’t much to see in here. It’s a small room with nothing but the chair in it. Directly across from me is the door where I was dragged into an hour or so ago. I’m not sure of the time. My muscles feel tired and sore, meaning I’ve probably been bound in this chair for a few hours. I wish there was some way to know what’s happening instead of letting nothing slip by with each second that I struggle.
I want to break free. My wife, my dearest Daniele, may be dead, but I still cling to the idea that somehow Rose made it out in time. It may be a slim chance, but it’s a chance just the same.
I remember how I used to care about numbers and statistics. It was my job as a sales executive to keep the money flowing in. After a few years you learn to appreciate numbers. Relying on chance was not in my thinking, but now it’s almost my religion. I pray to the chance, beg for the chance and rely on chance for survival. Chance is everything to me now – the only reason I’m still fighting.
My hands are starting to go numb from the pain when the door across from me swings open. The light from the hallway is blinding and I wince against it, trying to block it from view.
“Good afternoon, Mister Charles,” I hear his voice drawl and I shudder. When I feel my eyes are ready for it, I slowly open them to see Gordon standing across from me.
His hair looks my greasy than usual, probably slicked back with even more hair gel. His face is tight, probably from all the botox injections I’m sure he uses to keep the appearance of youth.
Without thinking, I ask,
“How old are you?”
“My, what a question to ask right now,” Gorgon scoffs, lips pursing tightly. “I’m going on fifty-eight at the end of the year.”
“You can’t really tell,” I manage to say. The rage in me wants nothing more to wrap my hands around his throat and draw his last breaths. As if triggered, my hands strain even harder against the bonds.
Gordon looks down at them and offers a snort.
“You’re not getting out of them, Jonathan. You should give up.”
“I’m not giving up,” I spit at him. “What you’re doing is wrong. It goes against nature.”
“No, Charles,” he leans over me, hands on either side of my head, “We humans are going against nature. We have to be stopped.”
“And this is the way?” I practically plead. “If you really think one needle can change the world, there’s something wrong with you.”
“Not one needle,” Gordon straightens up. “You know that. We plan to minister this syrumm to everyone.”
I manage a bitter laugh.
“Except yourselves of course.”
I watch Gordon’s eyes harden as he looks away.
“Of course there has to be some exceptions.”
“But that goes against this whole experiment,” I argue. “You said yourself for this to work it has to be ministered to everyone.”
“Almost everyone,” Gordon corrects.
The rage inside me is boiling to bursting point and I feel myself start to shake.
“Please,” I start to beg. “Please don’t do this. You can’t.”
Gordon runs his eyes up and down my body, shaking his head.
“I don’t know why you’re treating this like it’s the end of the world. It’s the beginning of the new era, Jonathan Charles. You wanted that once.”
“Not this why,” I shake my head wildly. “Not like this.”
“Once you wake up,” Gordon backs towards the door and my heart rate quickens, “You’re going to go back to a normal life.”
“A fake life,” I growl. “Synthetic, just like you.”
“A true man is found in spirit, Charles. Not in their body.”
He clicks his fingers and a man wearing a white apron steps into the room, holding a tray within his hands. As he nears, my eyes focus and soon widen in fright.
I start to howl and struggle harder, rocking myself backwards and forwards. Three men, the guards of the cells, flood into the room and hold me in place.
“I’m not sorry for this,” Gordon says as he takes the needle in his hand, holding it up into the light. I see the dark liquid, the liquid I helped make, waiting and sinister.
I cry as my bladder releases itself in fear. I just don’t care anymore.
“Please, Gordon. Please.”
Not caring for my please, Gordon walks up to me slowly.
“It’s for the greater good of humanity.”
My eyes desperately search for an escape but I know there’s none. I know what my fate is and already I can feel my body slowing in surrender.
Everything seems to go quiet and all I can focus on is that needle. As If in slow mode, I watch it move towards me. Biting my lip, I feel it cut into my skin, clean and precise as the smallest of knives.
And when the burning starts, I’ve tortured myself into a pit of blackness.