It would seem that she had been standing on a platform all along; for the ground moved anticlockwise so that she faced the West. Straight in front of her was an array of different weapons; guns, rifles, batons, and others that she could not place a name on. A shiver ran down her spine and she thought of the damage that each weapon could produce. The fluorescent light installed above the wall of weapons flickered for a second.
"This is our final stage. For this test, you are to identify the weapon that can be used in the following situations," The voice declared.
A soft muted beep sounded above the wall. Soon after, a tile from the ceiling slid off to show the darkness within, before a long black cable appeared and fell halfway between the ceiling and the ground. A rectangular object was lowered down the cable, attached by a long black rod. The object unfolded itself to form a long television. The screen glowed an electric blue before the voice spoke again.
"Please observe the screen carefully, and evaluate the weapons most effective in the following situation. Proceed."
The blue screen flickered once before fading to show a completely white room that one would associate with a hospital. There was a man seated on a chair with his arms restrained and tied behind his back in a straitjacket - which was, of course, white. The room was sparsely furnished; a single bed sat proudly on one wall, adjacent to it was a square table and chair.
A lamp hung from the high ceiling above, shining with an electric glow. The man moved slightly, and got more and more agitated as the seconds passed. The girl realised that he was trying to get out of the suit and free himself. From the setting that the video was showing, the girl inferred that the man was one with mental problems. The video proceeded with more of the man's fidgeting as his frown turned into a line of fear, before the video stopped to show the man with beads of sweat on his forehead, though he had not had any progress in getting himself free.
And she was meant to evaluate what weapon could help in this situation?
The girl blinked and waited for more instructions that did not follow.
Alright. From what she could gather, she realised that she was meant to be thinking up a solution for the man to escape the room. There was nothing in the room that could possibly help though. And she could not very well throw in a weapon to aid the man that was showing on screen. How was she meant to help with her lack of knowledge in the weapons department?
She scrutinised the surroundings of the man and saw the dearth of materials around. There was practically nothing that she could think of to get the man out-
She paused in her train of thoughts. Did she just see the man- Yes, apparently so. The man was moving still. Was the clip playing twice? Or... The man tried to cause the chair to jump, obviously trying to get to the wall he was facing, not four metres away from him.
This was a live clip. This man actually needed help.
That seemed like the code word to get her nerves frazzled and her mind ablaze. She turned towards the array of weapons and looked around for a sensible choice that could aid him. Her eyes fell on the row of guns that was as long as her own arms. She glanced back at the screen and decided that there wasn't ever going to be the materials needed to create a gun that could help him.
Straying to the next row, there was a set of batons and clubs. The room did not seem to house any possible weapons, and all furniture were nailed into the ground. She forced her attention back onto the wall. The jumps and panic-stricken look of the man caused her heart to thump uselessly. She was going to kill this man because of her lack of knowledge. All he could do was jump and all that she could do was stare and watch him-
That meant that the chair was not nailed to the ground, unlike the other furniture. So how could it be used as a weapon? Perhaps the man could take it apart... But how?
She eyed the man. Tough muscles adorned his arms and legs, he looked the epitome of strength. He could very well take apart this chair.
"Subject 956. Have you chosen an answer?" The voice asked again.
She nodded once. She only realised then that she had fallen into the speaker's trap once more and was led to think that it was mandatory to select a weapon from the wall.
From the edge of the wall of weapons, another small square was opened, showing yet more darkness. Out of it, a small black stick extended outwards, on it, was a small rectangular object. Once, twice, thrice, the rectangular object unfolded itself to show a keyboard.
"Please type out the answer, Subject 956."
She walked towards it in graceful and purposeful steps. A movement that she did not have before the amnesia. Reaching the keyboard, she typed out the phrase; Take apart the chair.
Once finished, the keyboard was retracted, the square it came out of slid back a tile that covered the hole up to reveal a flawless wall.
"Thank you. Subject 956, you have completed the examination that we have set for your arrival into Veritas. It is our honour to announce that you, Rae Kingsley, have passed the test. Welcome to Veritas. Please, upon your exit of the room, head towards the Boss's office where you shall be given further instructions. Well done."
A small part of her mind registered the man's speech. Her eyes, however were trained on the screen where the man was still bouncing on his chair, desperate for escape. Hadn't she already provided him with an answer for escape? Why wasn't he following with her suggestion?
The door in his room opened, and the man stopped his actions abruptly. The visitor was a nurse; a short woman of not a day older than thirty. In her hands, she held a report that was clipped onto a board. Her mouth opened and closed, though to the girl, she could hear no sound. The man's stricken expression deepened and she could see the wrinkles and lines that were etched into the man's weathered face. She could only assume that the man was an agent that had served Veritas for many years.
He said something to the woman, who in return, shook her head. He repeated it again and seemed agitated. The woman gave him the same response. This continued until a doctor arrived at scene. Taking a look at the man strapped into the chair, he looked back at the nurse, and said something.
The following was something that the spectator, Rae, was allowed to hear.
"Take him out now, Lucy. Tell the police we have reached our limit. Such a waste of resources to keep him here."
"But, doctor, haven't you heard? They are going to-"
"This is something that is beyond our control. He is an agent. Who knows who he is working for? We may have just prevented WWIII, Lucy. Remember that."
The doctor gave a feral sneer to the man. The man looked shell-shocked yet seemed to take it in easily. Had he known this was his fate? To die in the hands of the police and a doctor that seemed to believe the worse of agents like himself, and soon to be, her?
The man nodded. "Tell my daughter, I love her."
The screen switched off. Black stared at her. The girl could even see her own reflection in the shiny screen; grey eyes were widened slightly and her mouth was set in a grim line. Silence reigned the room and she could even hear her own heartbeat pounding in her ear.
"Subject 956, please exit the room and head to the Boss's office for further instructions. Thank you."
Her feet seemed to move on its own accord. There was a flash of blinding light that took the girl a while to register that it was the exit.
She was still alive, she told herself. Unlike the girl, Kate, and the soon-to-be-dead man; she was still alive. That was what mattered, wasn't it?
It was the survival of the fittest. And currently, she was on her way up the rungs.