The chains creak and moan in the distance, the sound of rusty metal being forced to move and work. I lie on the metal grate ground curled in the fetal position without memory of my past. My breathing is hard and shallow; my heart is racing faster than normal. Gingerly, I touch the back of my neck and I feel a small but hard lump under my skin that hurts to push on.
The grate screeches to a halt and an iron door in front of me slides open. Hesitating, I walk in. My brain feels drowsy and heavy and I feel trapped. My legs move involuntarily. I come to a door marked "TEST CHAMBER 1" big black letters. Unsure of what else to do, I push it open and immediately wish I hadn't.
The inside of the room appears simple enough: a small metal plaque on the wall that is opposite the door and two raised pedestals. On each one lies a key with a number beneath it. At each wall of the room are two doors with the same numbers. The plaque on the back wall reads:
Welcome to THE GRAY SPACE TRIALS. These are a series of Test Chambers, each featuring a different test to challenge you in ways you never imagined. The first Test Chamber is very simple, but the consequences of failure are high to start and the stakes will only be raised. Pick the right key.
The ominous, almost threatening, tone of the plaque implied that in no situation could my failure coexist with my life. Pick the right key, it had said. Could it be that obvious? But right was a subjective term. Did it mean my right from entrance, or the right of the plaque? I read the clue again but to no avail. It would help me no further. I studied the rest of the room, but the answer wasn't there. I had no memories, that much wouldn't help me.
I thought back to what had happened to me since I came to: Sliding down a metal grate with no walls, entering a door, walking down a hallway, and entering another door. Nothing that suggested any clues, and besides, the test hadn't started until I entered the door labeled TEST CHAMBER ONE.
With that thought, the answer came to me. I stood at the door marked with a 1. The key on my right was labeled with a 2. Before I entered the door, I paused. Maybe this was a mistake and I would be walking into my death. But I sincerely doubted it.
Taking a final deep breath, I walked through the door into what would either kill me or let me live. The key turned in the lock and clicked perfectly into place. The door swung open and I heard a mechanical voice say, Congratulations. You have passed TEST CHAMBER ONE. THE GRAY SPACE TRIALS are not over for you. The stakes have been raised as of now. Be worthy of success. Be worthy of life. Be worthy.
With those grim words in my mind, I walked down a long hallway and into a sterilization chamber that sprayed me with innumerable chemicals. Then I pushed open the next door and entered TEST CHAMBER TWO.