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Vanessa awoke on a dirt floor in a cold room. It was dark enough that she could barely see the concrete walls surrounding her. She stood up, feeling a little light headed, and leaned against a wall for support. She felt a rough fabric rub up against her skin. These weren’t her clothes. She noticed she was the only one in the room, and that there was a steel door in front of her. She stumbled forwards and tried the handle, but it was locked. She looked up to the ceiling, and could barely make out a camera in the corner of the room. Her heart began to race as she remembered what had happened. She couldn’t believe it had happened again. She stopped herself. This time was different. She wasn’t helpless now. She could do something.
First she decided to try to break down the door. She threw a pink disk at the door, but it seemed to have no effect. She tried again a few more times, but made no progress. She recalled the time she had gotten locked out of her house, and had to credit card their door. She checked her pockets, but they were empty. She needed something with enough of an edge to potentially catch the door latch. She tried a few times, but she could only seem to summon disks. After a few tries, she took one of the disks and attempted to fold it in half. Once a little pressure was applied, the disk complied and snapped loosely in half. She took the disk and attempted to hook the latch, but was stopped by a deadbolt. She threw the disk down onto the ground and swore.
“Excellent performance, Vanessa. Unfortunately I am not stupid enough to lock the door with such a simple mechanism.” A voice sounded from the ceiling. It sounded like a man.
Vanessa looked around the room, and noticed what looked to be an intercom on the ceiling. “Who are you? Where am I?” She shouted.
“All in due time.” He laughed. “You are a danger to society, which is why you have been placed here. You are a prisoner. Guilty of the crime of murder.”
Vanessa’s heart sank. “No! It was self defense! He was trying to kill me!”
“Now, do you really believe that? Your friends don’t. You can see that by the way they look at you. They see a monster.”
Vanessa fell to her knees. “No…” A tear ran down her cheek.
There was silence for a moment, broken only by Vanessa’s quiet sobs. This had to be a nightmare, she thought. Perhaps if she closed her eyes, she would wake up in her hotel room, and all would be better. She pressed her eyes shut as hard as she could, but when she opened them she was still in the same place.
“Now Vanessa, I’m sure we can be great friends.” The voice spoke again. “After all, I’m also a monster, and monsters deserve only the company of other monsters.” He paused for a moment, but after Vanessa didn’t say anything, he continued. “Now, you are in my prison. You will have a strictly regimented schedule, and you will repay your debt to society. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, and if you behave, you may eventually be released into the care of someone else. That, however is a ways away. Freedom will become a distant memory, and after a while you will only know compliance. This facility is staffed with supernormal guards, armed and trained to deal with monsters like you. I hope, over time, we will become friends, like all of my other prisoners. Now,” his tone changed to something more assertive, “On your feet, prisoner.”
Vanessa shakily stood, not saying anything. Her heart was racing so much it hurt. This couldn’t be real.
The man laughed. “Stand back. The door will open, and you will be escorted to your permanent holding cell.”
She stood back, and the door handle turned. The door swung open, and she saw two men with guns trained on her.
“Follow me.” One said.
She complied, and exited the cell. The second man fell in behind her, and his gun never dropped. She walked through a hallway with concrete walls, floor, and ceiling. There were a few doors, with labels in some asian script. The first guard eventually stopped at one, and unlocked it. He led her into another hallway, but this one had doors made of bars. She looked through them, and most of them had emaciated people inside, with varying numbers from one to four. Eventually they stopped outside of one, and the first guard turned back to her.
“Look, if you don’t cause trouble, this will go a lot better for you. Half of the guards here were prisoners at some point, and more people still were sent out of the prison for contract work.”
The second guard finally spoke up. “Darryl, if Takeo saw you talking to a prisoner like this, he’d throw you in a cell.”
“Yeah, I know. I just think it would improve behavior if the prisoners knew that.” He looked into the cell they stopped at, and talked into it. “Prisoner, get against the back wall, hands up.” He waited for a moment then opened the cell door.
Vanessa felt a gun pressed into her back, pushing her towards the cell. She stumbled in, falling on the concrete floor, and the door slammed shut behind her.
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