Yorkshire England, Wednesday August 13th 2262
The superior officer approached Simon. “Mr Kingsley, I must advise you that there is absolutely no means of escape from this station so you will not be restrained in any way. It’s in your best interest to comply with all my commands. My men will shoot you if you cause any trouble or show any violence. The pain from one of our paralysis pistols is said to be quite severe and can last for up to twenty seconds; the complete muscle paralysis normally lasts no more than five minutes. I wouldn’t recommend that you present me with any reason to give the order to fire.”
“I won’t,” Simon said nervously. He glanced down at the superior officer’s breast-pocket and the small flexible screen woven into the fabric. GPS Alan Collard was displayed as his identity under a recent photogram.
“Great,” GPS Collard said with an enthusiastic smile. “Then we will get along just fine.”
He turned to his team. “I think you can lower your weapons now; Mr Kingsley has promised to behave himself.”
The six officers lowered their pistols and holstered them into their belts.
GPS Collard turned back to Simon. “Oh, one other thing, you may or may not know. Paralysis pistols will only fire when in the hands of the person they are programmed for; there would be no point in you attempting to snatch and use one.”
Simon nodded, his heart racing in his chest, his mind working overtime. He had never faced this much trouble before, his brush with the law a few months ago had been a worry; this was in a different league altogether. He thought back to their schooling friend Rakesh. Spencer had only informed them in the pub the previous week that he had been sentenced to ten years with no visitation rights for rape. His stomach continued to do somersaults; it took a concentrated effort not to vomit.
“Marvellous! I do like full compliance; it makes my job so much easier.” He turned again to his team “GPO’s Flynn and Worthing please remain; you will assist me in escorting Mr Kingsley to the interrogation room. The rest of you can leave; I don’t think Mr Kingsley will present us with any trouble.”
The four GPO’s filed out of the room. GPO’s Flynn and Worthing came forward and stood on either side of their prisoner. Simon quickly eyed them up and down. Both were male officers and were considerably taller than he was. These were men he wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of.
GPS Collard checked his strap. “We are going to take Mr Kingsley to interrogation room one zero one,” he informed his officers as he prepared to leave the room, “let’s go.”
“Excuse me,” Simon said meekly, stopping the exit before it had started.
“Yes Mr Kingsley?” GPS Collard questioned before turning round and looking quizzically at him.
“I was on my way home when you intercepted my teleport… erm… my first stop was going to be the bathroom.”
GPS Collard smiled. “I’m sure we can make a stop on the way.”
Simon was led out of the room and into an equally white and brightly lit corridor; it had exactly the same feel as the room they had just left - overly lit and far too white. The door quickly slid shut with a hiss, barely a second after passing through the doorway. Simon flinched with the suddenness of it. He glanced back at the door which now sealed the room; Apprehension room fifty-one was etched into the face of it in bold black letters. GPS Collard led the way, his men stood either side of Simon as they closely followed their superior.
The corridor’s white rubberised flooring silenced any noise their shoes would have made as they progressed down it. The walls appeared to be of a rubber consistency too. Simon thought about putting his hand out to touch one; but was concerned that it would be seen as a hostile act somehow and he would be shot for it.
On his right-hand side he noted similar doors positioned about every three metres. The apprehension room numbers continued up to number seventy-four and then the door signs switched to interrogation rooms and the numbers started to ascend from twelve. After a couple of minutes GPS Collard stopped at a door.
“The toilet, Mr Kingsley,” he said with one of his smiles. The flooring and wall covering affected the resonance of his voice. It was clipped short; the sound deadened as it was absorbed into the rubbery surfaces.
“Thank you,” Simon replied as his two minders stepped aside.
The door had Prisoner toilet eighty-four etched into it. Was every room numbered Simon thought as it slid open before him?
“Take as long as you wish Mr Kingsley, we will be right out here,” GPS Collard announced.
Was that some kind of warning Simon worried, as he entered the room.
He was not at all surprised that the same bright and white décor continued in the lavatories also. The door closed behind him; giving him some privacy from the officers. The room contained a toilet and a basin which was set into a small countertop opposite. Simon swiftly went over to the toilet. It detected his presence and whilst he unzipped himself the seat and lid lifted up, the pan determined that he was facing toward the toilet, and not away from it, and rose higher out of the floor in line with his upper thigh.
Simon relieved himself for what seemed like minutes, would the officers burst in to see what he was doing? He looked around the small room; there was no means of escape from in here so they probably weren’t worried. As he finished and zipped himself back up, the toilet flushed and sanitised itself. Simon approached the basin which had already started to run a mixture of warm water and antibacterial fluid from the tap. He stared at his reflection in the mirror that filled the wall behind the sink. He looked ashen.
After washing his hands he plunged them into the empty basin. The tap shut off and a burst of hot air erupted out around the underside of the basin’s rim drying his hands in a second or two.
Simon took a deep breath and stepped in front of the door. It opened to reveal the three officers.
“All done Mr Kingsley?” GPS Collard asked smiling again.
“Err yes. Thank you,” Simon answered, a little embarrassed. GPO’s Flynn and Worthing eyed him up and down silently. Had they been talking about him?
The rest of the journey was uneventful. At the end of the corridor it branched off to the right. Before long they had reached interrogation room one hundred and one. The door slid aside and they filed in. The spacious room was empty apart from a large high-gloss black table positioned in the centre with two matching chairs neatly tucked under it, one on either side. The black was a complete contrast to the continuing bright white theme. An identical door on the other side of the room faced the one they had just passed through.
GPS Collard spoke in a hushed tone to his men who huddled in to listen. “I’ll leave you here with Kingsley. I am going to get an updated report on the details of the case before I start the interrogation.”
He turned to Simon. “Take a seat Mr Kingsley, I won’t be too long hopefully.”
Simon pulled out one of the chairs and sat down with a heavy sigh. He placed his head in his hands, closed his eyes for a few seconds and wondered for the umpteenth time since his apprehension how he was going to get himself out of this predicament. He fought the urge to vomit again as he contemplated the potential consequences of what had happened in Somerset. He swallowed down the gnarled lump of grief that stuck in his throat and threatened to choke him. He lowered his trembling hands to the table in front of him and looked up. GPS Collard had gone leaving him with his two officers. They each stood silently by a door. Both were watching him.
To be continued…
Time To Serve
To be published autumn 2013