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Caged by Amy Johnson

Caged by Amy Johnson

Author:Amy Johnson [Johnson, Amy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction
ISBN: 9798664513813
Google: p7yMzgEACAAJ
Amazon: B08D8NFY6X
Publisher: Independently Published
Published: 2020-07-20T23:00:00+00:00


Chapter 12: Relieved

Eden

The cyber leads me to the prep room, lowering the table to a height that I can crawl onto. For once, I don’t fight back. The pain spreading up my arm and swelling my eyes closed serves as inspiration to do whatever he tells me.

“Lay back,” he says, and I do, arching my back away from the cold surface. He places a heavy hand on my stomach, forcing my body flat. He unhooks the long chain, dropping it to the floor with a deafening clank.

He moves around the room, speaking to the machines in the language of the Artificials. The service machines wake up with a crescendo of sound that ends in a minor plateau. Their digital interfaces come to life, and one by one they enclose on me, leaving just enough room for the cyber to fit between us.

“Give me your wrist,” he says, coming back to me from the far end of his room. He holds a white cube with a small hole in one side. The material inside appears to be black fabric, but it resembles something and nothing at the same time.

What choice do I have though?

He could chop my wrist off and I wouldn’t mind at this point.

I lift up my cuffed wrist, twisting my face as I strain. The weight of the metal sides with gravity, and by the time I’ve succeeded in placing my wrist inside, sweat beads form on my forehead.

The box exhales, blowing chilled air in all directions, and suddenly, the black nothing inside swells and smothers my hand. It’s soft fabric, like I expected, and it swallows my wrist whole. I feel heat, but it doesn’t hurt any more than it already did. A smell fills the room--one of flat, earthy tones, a mixture of burning metal and melting plastic.

With a ding, the box inhales, sucking air through the hole. My arm hair follows the stream of air. Then, it’s done, and the black fabric pulls away. I pull out of the box, turning my hand over several times.

The cuff’s gone.

I’d almost forgotten what my wrist looked like without it.

The skin where the rash hasn’t spread is pale white, untouched by the sun that is amplified through the glass. It’s a strand of snow in the desert of the rest of my beige skin. Where my wrist bone protrudes, the skin is red and raw from the second cuff they put on and my desperate rage when I was brought back in. The cold air stings as I let my weightless wrist fall back down onto the table.

“Do not move,” the cyber says, taking a step back and turning to a screen on the wall. “Even an inch of movement and the machines will misread your injury.”

His fingers move with untraceable speed on the screen, hopping from dialogue boxes to diagrams of the machines with ease. The diagrams light up, and whichever machine he taps moves towards me.

One zooms in on my wrist and emits a minuscule clicking. Another bends close, dotting my face with a needle that makes me wince at every prick.



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