Chapter 7 - Elias
Elias was sitting on his bed when Peg Hawking came into his room. She was short, although he was shorter, had short red hair and freckles.
He saw that she was wearing scrubs like he was, only teal.
“My name is Peg,” she said, standing just inside the door. “I’m a nurse, but here, I’m more of a caretaker. I’ll try to explain what I can, tell you the rules, you’re expected to follow, as well as the consequences if you break the rules. Any questions so far?”
“Why am I here?” he asked.
“Because we believe you are special. We think you have a special gift, and we need you to help make this country safe.”
“So, you work for the government You mean to tell me that the government kidnapped me? A kid?”
Peg shook her head. “Not the government. We’re a… private company.”
“Oh, that’s much better,” Elias said sarcastically. “A private company. That makes kidnapping okay then.” He rolled his eyes.
“I understand you are upset, Elias. Look at it this way. The sooner you cooperate and tell the scientists whatever it is they are after, the sooner you get to go home.”
“Really? Elias asked.
“Really,” peg replied with a smile.
Elias went on as if she hadn’t said anything. “Because, you know, I’ve seen movies like this. They always tell you they will release you, but in the end, you end up dead. I’m young, not stupid lady.”
Peg frowned. “Be that as it may, as I said before – there are rules. You will be required to assist in tests, and to interact with other… subjects. Failure to comply will result in consequences.”
She got this look on her face that Elias didn’t like. “And as you said, you’ve seen movies like this, so I’m guessing that I don’t need to go into details of the or else option. One way or another, you’ll end up helping. It’ll go a lot easier and much more enjoyable if you simply work with us.”
Elias scowled but realized that she was right. He wasn’t a wimp but the things that had gone through his mind made him understand that it wouldn’t take much. Reluctantly he agreed. “Fine, but you better not be lying.,” he said, knowing that he’d bide his time until he could find a way to escape.
“Is there anything in particular you’d like?” Peg asked.
“Computer games,” Elias replied quickly.
Smiled at him. “That shouldn’t be a problem. Follow me,” she said, moving towards the middle of the room.
He followed her, but not too closely. She moved a little further back and pointed at the floor.
“What?” he asked.
“Look closer,” she replied.
He did and could see faint black lines and circles on the floor.
She pointed out two small circles about two feet apart. “Put pressure on those at the same time for a few seconds,” she told him, and he did.
Out of the floor, a rectangle rose up. “This is kind of a multi-purpose room. A table to eat on, or to sit at, a computer station, an examination table.” She showed him the sensors for raising the stools, for starting the embedded computer, and the compartment that held the controllers.
He asked about network access.
“Now that wouldn’t be very smart, would it? Allow you access to the internet so you could send for help? No, but you’ll find there should be very little you could want that you can’t find. If you do wish for something, ask and I’ll see if it is possible to get.
“Now, before you get too wrapped up with the games, let me show you what else you can find.”
Peg led him to the bed and showed him the drawers that contained clothes and towels, and an enclosed alcove that contained books in case he wanted to read. “It’s mostly science fiction and fantasy,” Peg told him after he saw several books by an author named Robert Heinlein. “It was a request by another subject, and they seemed to be popular.”
She told him that the room was monitored by cameras set into the walls that covered the room in 360 degrees. “The shower, the area around the toilet, and this,” she said stepping on two circles that raised a partition screen. It was two panels that were a foot and a half wide and four feet tall.
“You can use the partition to change, or have some temporary privacy, but it isn’t something to allow you to hide from us. If you abuse it, it will be taken away. Also, the cameras are on all the time, and someone is always listening.”
Peg led him to the sink and showed him how to access the mirror and built-in cabinet which held a brush, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
“No one’s told you that flossing is important?” Elias asked.
Peg smiled and replied, “I’ll make sure to bring you some.”
He wasn’t thrilled about the lack of privacy and the barriers around the toilet were down-right prison like, and he said so.
The shower offered even less privacy in his opinion. He had used the toilet but hadn’t bothered with the shower yet. Until just a few minutes before, he had no clean clothes or a towel.
Peg opened the shower and showed him how to control it and how to have things like soap and shampoo dispensed. Then she showed him that the frosted section didn’t show more than a fuzzy outline, so he could rest easy knowing that no one would be ogling him. Once that was done, Peg went back to the computer and showed Elias how to access the menu so he could choose things to his liking, or not allergies or dislikes with the food he was served.
“So,” Peg said, finishing up, “that covers just about everything you need to know here. Rest up today and tomorrow you will get started.”
She went to the wall and placed her hand against it. A section lit up and scanned her hand and a section of the wall slid up, allowing her to leave.
Elias waited a few minutes and went to the wall where and placed his hand where Peg had. The section lit up, along with a keypad and a menu.
The wall scanned his hand and a message in red was projected in the glass.
ACCESS DENIED, it read.
He began to try other things: using the keypad and the menus but got nowhere, getting the same message.
Suddenly the access panel disappeared and a voice from overhead said, “Do not attempt to go further or rules will be enforced.”
“Stuff it,” he mumbled as he continued to try to access something – anything.
Elias heard a quiet hiss and he turned around but didn’t see anything. Another hiss – different this time – started up, and Elias looked up at the noise. He saw that small round openings had been revealed in the ceiling and from them, a fine fog was being emitted.
Elias turned back to the wall and beat on it until he lost consciousness.