Everything is black… black and silent.
There is peace in the darkness; the cold grip of entropy smothers all desire and ambition. There is will but no purpose, there is knowledge but no understanding, there is existence but no life.
Blinding light… Deafening noise… Pain.
Agony burns in your skull as though your brain is on fire. A cacophonous roar hammers your ear drums. You want to raise your hands to block the noise and shut your eye lids to shield the stabbing light that is searing your retinas, but you are horrified at the realization that you cannot move. Everything is light, noise and pain.
The darkness was better.
The pain lessens, the light begins to dim and the roar subsides. Breathing is difficult and Amid the jumble of sensations assaulting your senses there is something familiar… a voice. You struggle to ignore the clattering and rumbling thunder that continues to echo in your ears as you focus on the distant voice.
“…hear me… Can you hear me? Can you hear me?”
A man’s voice is coming from nearby, accompanied by the telltale pitchy static of a speaker. As the intensity of the light blinding you recedes you become aware of your surroundings. You appear to be face down on some manner of medical table. A robotic limb hovers just in front of you shining a bright light at your left eye.
“Ah! Good, you’re awake! Oh my, that must be unpleasant… my apologies.”
The light switches off and the pain flaring behind your eyes subsides a little more. The servo arm moves out of sight.
“So sorry about that, a hasty oversight I’m afraid but we have no time to waste. Wait just a moment while I disengage the muscle inhibitors.”
A sensation like an electric shock jolts through you. Every muscle in your body spams at once and your body lurches uncontrollably; tumbling from the surface you are laying on landing roughly on a steel plated floor. There is another roar of thunder and barking clatter. Instinctively you move to cover your ears. Slender, feminine hands rise to ward off the noise as you huddle confused on the cold, metal decking.
“Apologies again! I am so sorry! Please understand that this is not standard protocol.”
The pain retreats to a dull throb at the base of your skull. You blink away the last of the spots still clouding your vision. Looking down you take notice of your body. Awareness dawns that you are a woman…and you are naked. Your body is athletic, lean enough for your eyes to perceive the mild muscle tremors still afflicting your abdominal muscles. Your right arm is marked by several tattoo like designs akin to a circuit pattern.
“Please listen, you are in grave danger. Your life and mine depend on what you do in the next few minutes and the only way either of us survives is if you follow my instructions implicitly. Do you understand?”
Before replying you take stock of your surroundings. You are in a laboratory or medical facility of some kind. A vast array of sophisticated equipment fills the room. Robotic tendrils and arms brandishing a variety of clamps, needles, scalpels and other unfamiliar implements sit alongside banks of computer arrays and holoscreens. Several anatomical holo-diagrams depicting a female form are visible on the screens displaying a variety of unrecognizable data. The room appears to have a single exit through a set of swinging metal doors in the center of one wall. A series of coat hooks near the door contain 2 white lab coats.
_ “Listen carefully. Go through those doors and turn right. Run as fast as you can to the end of the main hall where you’ll find an elevator. Take it up to level 16. When you exit onto 16 I’ll be able to speak with you again through the comm system there.”_
As if to emphasize the urgency apparent in the voice’s tone, the sound of a nearby explosion shakes the room accompanied by the roar of distant gunfire.
“Blast it! They’ve breached the containment doors! You have to move now!"
You try to move quickly but your legs are unsteady, your breathing is labored and your arms feel like lead. You manage to stumble through the swinging doors and you find yourself in a wide hallway. The same, diamond cut metal deck plating covers the floor and the walls are smooth, featureless steal interrupted regularly by more sets of double doors. A thin haze of smoke hangs in the air and the sounds of gunfire emanating from your left seem to be moving closer. Looking to the right you can make out the doors of an elevator at the end of the long hall just as the voice described.
Using the wall to steady yourself you make your way down the corridor. As you reach the elevators another burst of gunfire erupts from the opposite end of the hall. Looking back, you see two men round the corner, both are wearing black, military style fa