A small, tinted window lets in a painfully small amount of light, which shines weakly in a small, gray square on the hard concrete floor. There's a table there; a cold metallic thing, and a small figure is curled on it. She tightly clings to a raggedy blanket, a scrap of cloth barely big enough to cover her rail-thin form.
Then the people come.
They appear to be doctors of some sort, wearing the classic white coat that doctors from the previous era used to wear. As though sensing them, the girl lets out a shriek and tries to get off the table, her bony fingers scrabbling furiously for release.
They ignore her. One--a middle-aged woman with graying brown hair pulled up in a tight low bun-- reaches out and grabs the girl's gaunt wrist, injecting something into her bloodstream. Almost unwillingly, the girl relaxes, her face an outward picture of calm. Her pale gray eyes, however, are widened in fear.
The middle-aged woman straightens out the girl's bony form on the table, smoothing out the wrinkles from the thin white slip dress that she is wearing. The girl's body remains unnaturally limp.
Another one of the doctors, this time a young man, barely twenty, pulls on latex gloves. With one hand he pulls back her inky black hair, and with the other, he takes a needle, its thin point so sharp the girl barely feels it as he inserts it into a spot just behind her ear. Job done, he lets her hair fall back into place on the table and steps back, his hands shaking.
The other doctors huddle in a group around the table, whispering among themselves, noting her pulse, her heart rate, the way her eyelids flutter over her blind eyes. Her breathing turns irregular, and her fingers twitch slightly, a sign that she is fighting the vision that is playing out in her mind from the serum. The doctors' chatter turns excited as they note her reactions to the experiment.
The young man watches them, his blond hair falling slightly over his eyes. Sighing, he walks over to a small glass table in the back corner of the room.
With a quick tap from his index finger, the glass's surface ripples and reveals the daily log that he keeps as a record of the experiment for the Government.
He scrolls through the feed, ignoring the past entries, and pauses when he sees a date: April 3rd. There is no year; the Government had lost track of it when it came to power, and no one bothered to start the system again.
He starts filling it out, his fingers tapping rapidly on the touch-screen:
Name of person filling this out: Guest Doctor Hal N. and Government Scientist Team of Beta Experimental Technologies: Dream Realities.
Name of subject: Elena (no surname)
Updates in experimental technology: Downsized into needle, clearer, more believable images projected into mind.
Subject's reactions: |
Swallowing his disgust at the whole thing, Hal leaves the last opening blank for the rest of the team to fill out. Then, leaving the form open, he turns and quietly steps through the door, not wanting to stay in the same room as Elena--the subject, he reminds himself. He's only in this job for the money, and so he keeps his thoughts about it to himself.
It's for the best.