Chapter 1- Into the Unknown

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The first thing I saw was a dead body. No, that's not a joke. As I awoke on a cold stone floor, flies buzzing around me, I saw it. Pale. Bloated. Congealed in blood. But worst of all was its bloodless lips, open in one last seemingly unbridled scream.

I had never feared anything more than death, yet here I was, arms and legs shackled to a wall. Others may have screamed in my situation. But then, they would be dead too, for whoever (or whatever) had dumped me here clearly didn't tolerate shows of protest. A quick glance at the puckered lipped corpse confirmed it.

What was this place?
I squinted in the gloom, able to pick out strange shadowy forms in the dim light.

Wait, are those-

My stomach dropped. People, naked except for the smallest scraps of fabric draped about their waists. Like me, they sat, chained up in cages with four glass walls. If I thought that was bad, nothing could have prepared me for the sign dangling above my head.

'Welcome to the people zoo,' it read.

A distant wail broke my horrified trance. A young woman was pulling at her chains, shouting as many obscenities as she could think of.

'Get me the fuck out of here!' Her cries were met with hushed whispers from our fellow captives.

'Quiet Miss, you'll get yourself killed,' said one, 'Best to wait and try to learn what you can. It's the only way you'll survive.'

But the young woman would have none of it.
'No! Let me out of here, now! If it's randsome you want, my family will pay it!' 

Clank! Something metallic hit the cold stone floor. Clank, clank!
On instinct, I closed my eyes, feigning sleep. I doubted our captors would take kindly to the young woman's protests.

One step, two steps- three, four. Something stalled outside the woman's cage. She began pleading for her life, while a strange beeping sounded in response. There was a rusty grating, the sound of her cage door being opened, I assumed. Then, a deafening scream.

My eyes popped open. I couldn't stop it: vomit surged up my throat, exploding onto the cold stone beneath me.

'Number 4 will be next.'' The eerie voice was nowhere, yet everywhere, a cruel God lording itself over our fragile naked forms.

I stared ahead with no idea what to think. A humanoid, for that's the only word I can think to describe it, had entered the young woman's cell and seized hold of her throat, driving a small metal spike into the centre of her forehead. The spike whirred like a saw as it punctured her flesh. She flopped to the floor, seemingly no longer of interest to the thing that had pierced her.

What the fuck is going on?

The woman swayed for a bit as the humanoid leaned over her, snapping her free of her heavy chains, before clanking away through some hidden door.

I stretched forward, my chains cutting deep into my wrists and ankles. I was now as close as I could get, peering into the woman's cage when she sprang up, all smiles. Her pale, lifeless eyes drank me in. Blood dribbled from her punctured forehead. But creepiest of all was that damned smile, lips pulled back in a near snarl, teeth bared for all the world to see.

'Wel-come to the peo-ple zoo,' she said.

(Further parts for this story will be uploaded in about a week's time. I hope you enjoyed this short piece.)

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