Friday, December 08, 2006

White Rooms, Part 6 (Serial Fiction, Thriller)

(Just joining us? Go back to Part 1)

Day 11, 4:43 P.M.

      "What are you doing?" JT1023 whispered.
      MT1023 chopped the air for silence.
      He slid another step toward the new doorway. Nothing but white glowed on the other side.
      He halted mid-stride.
      "Did you hear that?" MT1023 hissed.
      "Yes. Voices."
      MT1023 nodded.
      "Come back."
      But MT1023 stood his ground.
      A shape eased around the edge of the threshold. A face.
      It saw, then pulled back out of sight.
      MT1023 waved for JT1023 to come forward. "Hurry!"
      Now, two faces appeared. Staring.
      Two against two.
      "Who are you?" one demanded from behind the protection of the wall. His dark hair drank the light like shadows.
      MT1023 frowned. "Prisoners," he said. "Like you. Come out, slowly."
      The other men did not move. MT1023 advanced with his hands open and harmless. "How long have you been here?"
      "We don't know," the man said. "A long time."
      "We don't know either."
      MT1023 drifted toward the man who speaking. "What is your name?"
      The man swallowed hard. He glanced at his fellow prisoner. "MT1024," he said. "It's printed on the bottom of my foot. It's my name now."
      MT1023's eyes widened. "I am MT1023."
      "I don't understand."
      "You," MT1023 said, turning to the other man. " I don't suppose you're JT1024?"
      "This is JT1023."
      "I think understand," JT1023 said, approaching. "You're Jewish?"
      "So am I. The 'J' and 'M' in our names. Jewish and Muslim. What the T stands for, I don't know."
      "And the number?"
      "Not sure. Just something to make it unique maybe."
      MT1024 blinked back his watery eyes and jumped forward to shake MT1023's hand.
      "But our numbers are one after the other," JT1024 said. "Do you think--"
      JT1023 shook his head. "No. I don't want to think about that."
      "But that would mean there's been more than a thousand of us. And more than a thousand of them?" he said, motioning to the MTs.
      The observers noted the pairings, the reformation of bonds. The next stage was standing by.
      "Do you know who's holding us?" MT1023 asked.
      "No," MT1024 said. "We were taken in the night."
      "Do you know why?"
      MT1024 blanched, and MT1023 eye's locked onto what he spied there.
      The JTs were watching.
      "Do you know why you were taken?" MT1023 asked them.
      Both shook their heads in unison.
      The lights cut.
      Booming music hit them like an avalanche.
      They clutched their heads and stomachs and struggled not to vomit. Low, pulsing undertones were designed to scramble their sense of equilibrium.
      And a voice thundered.
      "Muslim Target 1023. Your designation is 'sky.'"
      "Jewish Target 1023. Your designation is 'rock.'"
      "Muslim Target 1024. Your designation is 'flame.'"
      "Jewish Target 1024. Your designation is 'sea.'"
      The sound ceased. The light returned.
      Four figures filled the small room. All the doors were gone.

On to Part 7.
Go back to Part 5.


Susan Abraham said...

I'll say this one thing, Jason.
You've got your plot tight and focussed.
Nothing diluted or distracting.
Your plot is walking a straight road.

Anonymous said...

Huh?! Good tension build. Part 7 better be comin' quick!

angel said...

i agree with terri- i hope i don't have to wait too long! all 4 of them in the same room...

Bernita said...

Sounds like a very expensive experiment.

anna said...

Yikes! getting more and more interesting all the time.
I like this very much Jason!

perhaps it is just me but I find these numbers for names confusing.. maybe now that we know J = Jew M = Muslim.

probably just me

LiVEwiRe said...

Meeting their counterparts? That's pretty exciting; I certainly didn't expect them to meet, well, themselves in a way. I'm loving this! [Oh, and that described pretty much how I listen to my music! Just don't incorporate a LW1025 or something...;)]

Anonymous said...

Part 7!! Part 7!! Part 7!!

Anonymous said...

Part 7!! Part 7!! Part 7!!
Comly!! :)

Anonymous said...

Susan, it has been fun trying a different approach. I would never write a novel like this, but practicing the direct, action-oriented style has been good for me.

Terri, part 7 is in the works. It's scheduled for posting Wednesday.

Bernita, what does a cruise missile cost? Okay, I just looked. A naval cruise missile costs $1.9 million, and we blow those up. This facility is the gift that keeps on giving. :D

Anna, yes, in retrospect, those "names" are terribly confusing. That's why I decided to dump them in this part. Of course, the whole process of confusion does fit within my overall point here. Hopefully, it will become clear in the end.

Livewire, hmmm, lets see. LW1025. You know, I just might have a part you'd like. Check back in part 8. ;)

Beady, I'm writing it now! :D

Bernita said...

That was not the point, Jason.
The cost suggests a heavy commitment and increases the suspense indirectly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just a moment of levity, Bernita. But thank you for clarifying. I didn't understand the point you were making.

mermaid said...

Programmed to kill, to destroy. Can they blame someone else for their names?

'Prisoneres' is an interesting term for them. As a reader, I feel pity, empathy, and wonder what I would have done in their situation.

I can't wait to see if they are freed, or free themselves.

Carnal instincts for survival can overpower everything.

Anonymous said...

Mermaid, I'm really enjoying that you are delving into the human aspects of this story. It is, after all, an examination of human nature at its most basic level.

anne said...

... It's rather unsettling that they choose to "forget" their lives and refer to themselves by their given surnames...

Wilf said...

Sounds like that children's game - paper,scissors, rock - who will beat who or get on with who?

Anonymous said...

Anne, they remember what happens when they defy their captors. (crossing my legs right about now)

Addy, that's a great observation. :D