Operation Stingray                        Part 5 // PG. 1 of 5

     

PART V.      

      The truck ground to a halt. “Home sweet home, maggot.”

      A gun butt jammed into my bruised ribs, shoving me out onto the pavement. Blood and mucus filled my mouth; my hot breathy groan forced it between my clenched teeth in wet ribbons.

      The hood over my head smelled like rotten meat on the inside, like I was in my own little world of death.

      “On your feet.” Gloved hands squeezed my broken collarbone and hoisted me to stand. I wheezed and hacked up something that tasted like rusty iron.

      I shuffled along the pavement, the shackles on my swollen ankles and wrists only giving me a few inches to move. There was a hole in the hood and I could see a few things: bright lights, guard towers, armed soldiers with dogs. Fifty feet in front of me the man in the bowler hat walked toward a large set of double doors. The doors opened as he stepped through. The guards inside saluted him.

      The gun butt struck me again, causing me to pick up my pace. As I walked through the double doors I could read what was printed on them: DRS-117.

 

      Next, I stood naked in a fluorescent room while a guard sprayed me down with freezing water. He turned the hose off and laughed at my shivering form. “Rat in a sewer,” he said, tossing me an orange jumpsuit.

      I was led to a cell the size of a closet and shoved inside. Once the heavy door slammed shut, I looked around. The room was completely bare save for a stone toilet in the corner and four surveillance domes in the ceiling. I sat down on the cold metal floor and put my head between my knees.

      “No sitting,” a voice said from somewhere; a jolt of pain seized my body. Electrical currents ran through the floor. When the shocks ended, I struggled back to my feet. I stood still, paced, stood still again, for what must have been several hours. I tried to lean against the wall, but the floor zapped me again. My feet were numb. I staggered and swayed and fought to keep my balance. Finally my legs gave out and I collapsed to the floor.

      I braced myself for pain.

      The door opened.

      “He wants to see you.”

 

     Two guards led me through a maze of brightly lit corridors. Men in lab coats and military uniforms hustled to and fro throughout the facility. When they passed me, their eyes would dart downward, avoiding my gaze.

     We came to a long hallway with a door at the very end. As we approached, I saw another man in orange step out, flanked by his own set of guards. My vision was blurry and distorted, but there was something familiar about him. I squinted and focused as he drew nearer.

     Brian.

 

 

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H. K. Reyes

SCIENCE FICTION & HORROR