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Filters stripped the air, and the oxygen level dropped further. Nothing MT1023 could feel or smell. His hands picked at his pants, and cold sweat beaded on his skin. Anxiety was building, building, as anoxia clawed his brain.
Not knowing why he panted, he flashed his unfocused eyes from side to side. Panic folded in his face.
Dropping more. Red line.
He stood, lost the support of one of his legs, then fell back. His mouth gaped, and his pupils rolled.
When his head drooped, then settled on his chest, a seam opened in the wall, and four men rushed into to the room. Their black clothes swam in the sea of light. Another syringe sank into MT1023's neck, then each grabbed an arm or leg and swept the limp body away.
Day 6, 1:17 A.M
MT1023 squeezed his head in his hands and massaged his temples. He groaned, mumbled something the microphones didn't capture, then dropped a leg on either side of the bed. He heaved himself up.
It was the first deep sleep since he was taken, but the drugs would leave his body punched and chewed.
He looked down. Fingers traced along the edges of the bed. He repositioned his bottom.
Feet came up out of the cold and crossed under him. He rocked back and forth to test the stability. He seemed to distrust his perception. He couldn't know precisely, but the bed was three inches wider.
MT1023 tilted his head. Behind him, a thin stream of water trickled. The tinkling sound tiptoed around the room. He finally heard it.
His pants squeaked against vinyl as he turned. His jaw swung open.
Bolted to the wall, the oval of a toilet hovered like angelic, cupped hands. MT1023 scrambled over and knelt, almost worshiping it. He caressed the mirrored chrome of the flush handle.
The water cascaded down the inner sides and rippled surface. He licked his lips. Although they hydrated him intravenously when he was unconscious, nothing touched his cracking throat.
He looked over to the corner where he urinated days ago. The frozen yellow pool, and the remains of when he defecated, were gone.
MT1023 plunged his hands into the bowl and scooped. Streams fell between his fingers and splashed onto his legs. He sucked in the puddle in his palms, then dove for more. He inhaled instead of drank, and he doubled over in a storm of coughing.
When his lungs finally cleared, he threw his head back and let it rest on his shoulders. His eyes blinked upward. Exhausted.
His gaze tipped down and focused. Something else was different. High over the toilet, higher than any normal ceiling would be, a mesh bag of fruit dangled on a peg.
He climbed up and onto the rim of the bowl. It was wet from his thrashing, and his foot slipped and plunged to the bottom. Water sloshed out onto the floor.
He winced, but kept his balance. He pulled up for a second try.
Hiked up onto his toes, he stretched until his arms shook. He needed at least five more feet before he could snag the bottom of the sack.
His face flashed scarlet, and he slapped the wall. His shoulders heaved with deep breaths.
He looked up as if to gauge the distance and jump, but the tension drained from his muscles a few seconds later. He climbed down and sat on the edge of the seat.
That's when he first noticed the writing. He touched the letters scratched along the back of the toilet.
It read, JT1023.
Day 8, 2:03 P.M.
MT1023 laid on his stomach. His elbows propped his hand-stretched face. The fruit hung overhead untouched. Some of the bright colors had browned.
He stood and paced. He scrubbed his fist in his hair with blood crusted fingers. Hours ago he wrenched the bed from every angle and tried to rip it from the floor. Then, he knotted his pants and tried to whip the bag off the peg. His shins were covered with purple welts from when a desperate jump from the toilet went wrong. He pounded down in a jumble and speared his gut on the plumbing. He couldn't draw a normal breath for twenty minutes.
He glared at the bananas and pears. Especially the bananas.
"You think I'm a fucking ape?" he screamed. "See if the ape can reach the bananas?"
He flailed at the air. Enraged.
"Fuck you! You hear that? FUCK YOU!"
He dropped onto the cushion and scraped his feet off the frigid floor. He rocked and rocked, with his head pressed into his knees.
Then, a noise across the room froze him. A clang and a rolling heaviness. A rectangular shadow appeared in the far wall.
An inner surface sank in, then slid out of view. When the sound stopped, an opening yawned in the silence.
MT1023 didn't move. Sensors registered a spike in his heat signature. In his hands. Under his arms. In his crotch.
Then, a figure appeared in the doorway. MT1023's eyes widened.
On to Part 4
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