12: Escape (part 3)

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12.3 Breakdown Two

A cell: 6 May 2128

Long blinked as the lights came on again. A nurse trundled into view and started to examine him. It disconnected the sanitary plumbing and probed all of his orifices adding further to his discomfort and misery. It produced a syringe and took blood samples, puncturing his arm in three places before a shrunken vein could be successfully located.

Then, as it proceeded to transfer the blood sample to another vial, it froze and the room lights flickered a few times before going out completely. He was in total darkness for a few seconds before a dim glow returned. In the distance he could hear the muffled humming of electrical systems change to a lower pitch.

Unable to do anything other than watch, Long observed helplessly. He dozed after a while but when he awoke the nurse was still unmoving, his blood sample congealed in the open vial it still clasped in its metallic claw.

Famished, he sucked at the tube of liquid but, after the first few mouthfuls, the supply dried up and he started to panic.

Something terrible must have happened. He croaked out a cry for help but there was no response from either AI or the static robot beside him. AI must have had a major breakdown.

Unable to free himself he began to have visions of starving to death, his body rotting away until the bones fell from this metal plate. He screamed out again and again, but only silence answered.


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