I awaken in the arms of someone large; he is breathing through a mask because of the stench that fills my nostrils. My senses are new and fresh as he holds me upside down and clamps steel to my feet. There is a man crying next to me.
"You can tell them the truth, it's okay." He speaks in a hoarse voice before he drops his head, and life falls from his body. The man in the mask takes something from behind the man's head and approaches me and places a computer chip inside my head, and the world swirls as memories wash through me.
Shackles clang around me as I spin in the air. The corpse beside me falls to the floor and an electric current runs through it, cooking the skin and causing the muscles to twitch as if it was still alive. The black cloud chokes my senses and my eyes water. I can hardly breathe as the corpse, once my cellmate burns beside me; it is a new form of torture.
I can hear their laughter as I dangle, as the cold steel pulls the skin from my feet, and as the black cloud of the dead drowns me. I gasp for air while rocking back and forth to move the smoke. The stench causes bile to drip from my mouth and burn on the electrified floor below me until they finally stop the current and remove the body. The man in the mask punches me in the kidney as he makes his way to the body. He lifts it up easily "Gah dame tha smell o' dis shyte. Oote git de next em. Bahhh" He holds the charred body with gloved hands and then turns to me, I don't need him to take his mask off to know he is smiling.
A voice comes on from overhead "Okay Earl... that's enough of that. Get behind the wall before he gains his senses back. We gonna blast him again right?"
They both laugh, and after Earl leaves cold water sprays in on me from all directions. It all seems familiar, but so distant, as if I once dreamed this all. Maybe that was it, a dream? My body shakes while I shiver from the cold. Slowly the water becomes a tighter set of cones with increased pressure and I can fill the water pressing the skin on my legs and my arms, at first it numbs, but then it gets sharper as the pressure builds.
I forget how cold I am as constant pain exudes from my extremities and I look down to see blood running onto the floor. I try to pull up my head to see my feet as the water that slices into my legs and arms suddenly ceases. I shiver once again as I feel both warm and cold liquids flow down my body towards my head.
"So? You thought you could infiltrate our corporation? You think that we don't own everybody in this city? I got all that, just tell me where your caravan is heading and all this will end. You can be reborn or whatever." The laughter at the end of his sentence reminds me of the whole city's non belief. They take no responsibility to the way the world is. I thought I could show them, but they already knew and just didn't care.
I was carried in here, but when? I was captured days ago, but I have only been in here for a couple of hours. I thought the people here would see what happened and rise up from this tycoon government. There's no hope for this world. "Death Valley." The words fall from a dry hopeless voice. I hardly recognize myself.
"Righto! That's what you said last time. That's twice." The voice echoes throughout the room as Earl walks back through the door.
I don't scream because I remember why this is so familiar. I don't struggle, "Please." I plead, "Please stop this madness. I can't keep doing this. I told you what you want to know, now kill me." I feel the tears burn hot in my eyes, I failed everyone. My family will be destroyed and the slavers will have a larger hold on the world. This resistance will fail because of me.
Earl puts the limp body in the shackles beside me and then moves over to me. He moves his hand behind my head and pulls out my memories stored in a nice little microchip. I look at the lifeless copy of me that dangles and I cry. Earl places the chip inside my new companion and walks back behind the wall again.
"Where am I?" My cellmate asks.
"It's ok." I tell him. "Just tell them the truth, and all this will be over."
"You've lost too much blood." He voices concern at my condition as everything fades. I feel the steel cuffs tighten, cutting deeper and deeper into my legs until I fall.
Shackles clang around me as I spin in the air. The corpse beside me falls to floor and an electric current runs through it, cooking the skin and causing the muscles to twitch as if it was still alive.