Shut Off

On a rock outcrop, over looking a pleasant green meadow below, was a man, a man with a curse. It is often said that one should be careful what they wish for, and none knew this more so than the man. He didn’t wish for eternal youth. He didn’t wish to be able to turn rock into gold at touch. He didn’t wish to never die. He didn’t even wish for the love of a beautiful woman. No, he wished to know his future. And this wish was to curse him and until his dying day.
The Man on the outcrop took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the cool crisp air of the morning. It was a calm, cloudless day and only a slight breeze drifted through, waving the tall grass below. It was peaceful, it was nice, it was calm, it was serene, it was sacred, it was safe.
Then, from the nowhere, a heavy and sharp knocking erupted across the world. It echoes louder and louder, shattering the meadow below.
“Get up,” growled Solomon’s gritty voice, his metal fist rapping on the cell doors. Plisken open his eye, the other still, and always would be, damaged and hidden behind a black eye patch, and had a glance around the now familiar confinement, the clinical white walls barren and featureless. Nothing to see. Nothing to touch.
As Plisken pushed himself up, his side burning as he did so, the door to the cell opened and two men stepped through, as they always did. They were tall, identically tall, and wore all covering armour that hid their face behind a black mask. They carried high tech weapons, their fingers ready at the triggers. They raised their weapons and aimed them at Plisken, the red dots of the laser sights dancing on his naked chest for a mere moment before the settled into stillness.
“Today is the day you break,” said Solomon from the corridor outside the room, “The 3rd day is when they break.”
“So what treats are in store today, Sol?” Plisken asked as one of the guards roughly pulled the old man up.
“Oh,” said Solomon, a smirk growing behind the mask, “You’ll be meeting someone very special today.”

“I’m sorry, Emily, but the subject simply isn’t ready yet. They process is taking longer than we thought.”
“God damn it Joe,” said a frustrated Emily, turning around in anger to face Josef, her glowing eyes burning hot. “We need it completed soon.”
The door opened and Solomon and Plisken stepped through, Plisken barely able to stand as his battered and bruised body was pushed to the interrogation room floor. Plisken landed on his knees, the thin trousers allowing his knees to collide heavily to the metal floor.
“Get him chained up,” order Emily.
Solomon looked at her. Behind his cold green eyes, he refused to recognise her order.
“I said,” Emily’s hard voice ground as she turned to face Solomon, “Get. Him. Chained. Up. Don’t make me remind you why I should be leading this pathetic excuse of an army.”
Solomon did as he told, the metal mask hiding his feelings. Plisken was chained to the ceiling again, like he had been for the last 2 days. But there was something different in the atmosphere. Something darker.
Emily gave a glance to Josef and the glowing dots of his eyes flicked to the control panel were his long thin fingers danced on the keyboard. The door opened again, though this time something all together more unpleasant walked in.
It was Garth, or what remained of him. His limbs were gone, his arms and legs replaced by metal prosthetics that seemed not to be under his control. On the end of the metal arms, his own real hands were attached. When before only one eye was white and blinded, both were now useless to him, his blank eyes hopelessly darting around the room as his body was forced to walk. The glowing blue lines that coursed his body now glowed brighter than ever.
“Jaysus,” Plisken whispered as Garth was forced into the room by his own legs. “What the hell have you done?!” he cried at Emily.
“Oh, we did nothing. We found him in this state. Blinded and deafened. That great mind almost unable to perceive the world. And it’s funny, because you still aren’t willing to help us against Greyman, even when you can see your only true friend butchered like this.”
“Greyman did this?!” Plisken growled, ignoring the pain that now pounded all over his body as he moved and swung from his chains in anger, “I’ll KILL him.”
“So, the Time Drive, Jack, where is it?” Emily pressed as Solomon looked on from the side lines, positioned so that he couldn’t see Garth. Josef too was turned slightly.
Plisken hesitated, unable to answer. To reveal that would not only spell the end for the Dwarfers, the closet thing he had to a family, but to possibly the entire universe.
“Jack, today is the day when you tell me were the Time Drive is.” Emily clicked her fingers at Josef and the man’s fingers pressed a single button.
The glowing lines on Garth’s body began to glow harder than ever before, and caused massive pain to the man trapped inside. With a hand outstretched, a lightning bolt leapt from Garth’s hand and struck Plisken. Today was to be one of the longest days in Plisken’s life.

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