heavy jolt, then Imago??™s voice in my ear, ???Wake up Ms. Brigid, we??™ve landed.??? The light coming in the opening doors was bright in my eyes. As my vision adjusted, I realized it was coming from some dim lights hanging from the ceiling. The facility had definitely seen better days. Chipped and flaking paint, a sooty layer on everything, taped up chains, and some cans hanging to catch oil drips from pipes. We were herded along a corridor until we got to a large room with a drain in the center bounce house canada.
They stripped off our clothes, hosed us down, and put us in prison garb. Then re-shackled, we were herded down more hallways. We walked a long way, other prisoners were pulled away in twos and threes until it was just our group. We passed through a door labeled ???Warden.???
An immaculately dressed man stepped in front of us. He was talking for a long time about something that may have been important. I didn??™t hear what he said, I was too distracted thinking how could he kept his pants creased and his hair in place and his uniform spotless in this place. Just in the time since putting on the prison jumpsuit, I??™d brushed up against something black and make a mark on my elbow.
Then there were shackles on my wrists and ankles. Two large men were introduced. A bald, wide man with hands like dinner plates. A tall, thin, hairy man carrying some batteries. He set the batteries down and connected them with wires. Then he pulled some large snakes of cables and put two in his hands and gave two to the bald man. The tall man touched the ends of the wires together and loud sparks made me jump in surprise.
The big men came at us with their coils of wire. Roark and Prudence stared back defiantly. Swei and Maggie looked calm, but I could see some sweat on the back of Maggie??™s neck. Imago could have been angry, scared, or something else??¦it??™s hard to read the features of that ugly face. Not that I??™m being rude, I??™m just stating facts. Imago is a highly skilled doctor, has a wonderful bedside manner, and she??™s been my personal physician since my blood clotting troubles began. She??™s highly qualified, but truth is, she??™s ugly as sin.
But I digress. The big men came at us with their coils of wire. As the tall one came at me, I could see where rivulets of sweat had left clean tracks in the grit that covered his arms. His putrid breath wafted across my brow. The curls of chest hair protruding from his dingy t-shirt glistened with grease. I kept my eyes focused on those curls, as the electricity came through my arms.
There were flashes of light, and tingles of pain, and I can??™t remember everything I screamed. Something about my age (a well preserved 41), and the history of my family (honest work!) and my beauty (won several contests in my youth). There was a terrifying moment when they were asking me about some minor work I had over 10 years ago. They pulled back my hair to show the cosmetic surgery scars, but then Imago was yelling louder than everyone else.
???No! No! It wasn??™t me, I was just doing research at that facility!??? Imago was crying. The men accused her of being involved with the flu epidemic in Persphone, traced back to the medical facility where she work. ???I was testing mules and rare funguses that infect their ears!???
The men thought this was really funny. ???Mules don??™t have ears. They??™ve got tires!??? Imago screamed again as the lights dimmed. The smell of ozone reached me as Imago sobbed.
???No, mules!??? she panted, ???Like donkeys. And f-f-fungus!??? Her eyes were wide open, and glazed in pain. ???I studied fungus. Flu is a v-v-virus.??? She collapsed on the floor.
???Ya hear that? Donkey Fungus.??? The bald man snorted.
???Nah, Ass Fungus!??? Their raucous laughter echoed off the metal walls. For a moment, they were shaking so hard, they forgot to shock Imago. I saw Roark move closer to them waiting to make a move. Then they turned to him and shocked him while he babbled about his brother in the service.
I lay back on the floor, exhausted. Refuting their accusations had taken all my strength. I listened to the screams, the laughter, the sparks, the sobs, the slaps, until everything turned black.
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