When she first opened her eyes, Gloria couldn't remember where she was. Bit by bit, pieces of the big puzzle started to fit, and she remembered how she lost her best friend. She also remembered the needle and the cold hands that were holding her, before the blank. By the time her memories were becoming clearer her eyes adjusted to the blackness in the room. Gloria struggled to get up, not wanting to remember anything else. When she finally succeeded she took no notice to the screaming pain in her arm, and she walked to another part of the room.
"I see you're up," a voice said.
Gloria jumped and turned around.
"Who are you? What are you?" she asked tensely.
"Relax," the voice said, "no, I'm not one of them. I am a pure human, bred right here on Vesan13. I'm Billie, and like you a prisoner."
"You sure don't sound like a guy."
"I'm not. I am a woman like you. My name is spelt B-I-L-L-I-E."
"Ooh! Sorry I reacted so dumbly, but I just don't know who, or what to trust anymore." Gloria said relieved.
"That's acceptable behavior considering your whole world turned upside down. They have been bringing people in for the last 6 hours, and they were all like you, panicked.
"What time is it now, I don't know how long I've been sedated."
"It's close to 3 p.m., why?"
"It was close to 10 a.m. when my school was taken over. How long have I been here?"
"They've brought you in 2 hours ago."
"Yeah, so that means we are out of town, because this looks like a jail, and no jail is ever close to a city."
"It's actually a Containment Camp. You're a student?"
"Yeah! From Avantelos High… and what do you mean a Containment Camp?
"An old jail, transformed in a place to keep us locked, away so they can proceed in transforming us into them.
"What do you mean? Transforming us into them? What are they?
" We think they are cyborgs. Human-machine beings. "
"Cyborgs. The scientists at the RI think these aliens are cyborgs."
"You don't look like you could work at the RI. How old are you?"
" Twenty-three, and I was one of the top students of Avantelos. My last year of high school I got to work with some scientist on a project. It was then that I realized I had a passion for robotics. Since I was talented, they paid my studies and offered me a job there. "
"That is just what I wanted to do for my last year of school, but then this thing happened, and I think school is out for the moment. What do you know about these cyborgs?"
"Cyborgs in our case, are humans transformed in machines. They don't eat, don't rest, and they feed on solar energy. A non-particular case would be organic matter, keeping some of its properties, but made mechanical."
"In other words you don't know much about this machine that just happened to roboticize our race. You don't even know WHY they settled in human bodies!" said Gloria infuriated.
"Nope! But a last minute guess would be because human flesh is easy to repair and…"
Billie stopped in the middle of her sentence, realizing what a horrid discovery she made. Gloria looked at her pale white face, her too realizing the importance of their discovery.
" … and we are just spare parts here in this Containment Camp." Gloria struggled to whisper.
" An arm, a leg, they'll take from us when they'll need it." Billie said.
"That's great! At least we know that we'll be fed, and treated pretty good. "
"Us simple folk will be treated nicely, but what about politicians, and people representing a serious threat?"
" You mean like robot programmers, people like you and my parents! All I know is that I have to…"
Gloria didn't continue. She thought of her parents, and then she thought of the horrid way Zack and Casey died. What if they died by a worse method? After all, they were robot programmers. The thought wasn't bearable. Gloria felt how her knees turn to jelly.
"Are you O.K.? You look sick. Better sit down." Billie said with concern in her voice.
"No. I'm fine. It's just that the worst thought possible crossed my mind. I'm fine now, but I have to get out of here and look for my parents."
"Well, I don't see a way."
"We just have to find one," said Gloria heating up, " don't you understand that they might be dead?"
"Don't get so worked up! We'll think of so…"
"AAAAAHHHHHH! They took my arm! They took my arm!" a prisoner yelled.
"Shut up! It was for a good cause! You can consider yourself lucky to be alive!" one of the guards yelled.
"A good cause? Lucky? They took my arm! What am I gonna do?" the guy asked.
"Live on until we need your other body parts!" the guard yelled back.
Gloria and Billie watched themselves in horror, now that their theory was proven.
" I want my arm back!" the guy yelled.
"End your incessant whining human. End it this instant or you will be silenced."
The prisoner had enough sense in him to end the conversation, but Gloria could hear low murmurs of fright.
"We have got to get out of here before we're gonna be far worse that that poor guy." Billie said. "The only problem is that I don't know how!"
" I don't have any bright ideas either. All I can do now is stare at that new guard. She looks so familiar, but with all those tubes sticking in her, and that unhealthy color I just can't figure out what is so familiar about her."
The guard just passed them by, and Gloria's eyes lighted with a spark of discovery.
"I got it!" she exclaimed.
"Shhh, not so loud!" Billie told her. "Now what exactly did you just get?"
"Well, what would happen if we pulled on the tube that is going to the guard's brain?" Gloria asked.
'I don't know. If I knew I would have become a doctor! Since I don't I became a robot programmer."
"No silly! It was a rhetorical question. The guard would die. You see, when she passed by I got the chance to examine her closely, and I saw the tube. From the little anatomy I know, the brain sits in some fluid. The fluid to the guard's brain is supplied through the tube, and it looks to me like it is changed periodically. Almost like it's always replenished with something. That's why there's the need for all the tubes."
"You're right! That could make sense! The fluid in the cyborg's brain is used to keep the chip implanted there in perfect harmony with the rest of the brain. For that, they use these nanomites. They are used to carry the cybertronic transmissions throughout the human flesh, to other implants telling them how to react. Of course, I have no way to prove it. It's just a concept this famous RP got. It looks like they are very technologically advanced.
"Sooo, pull on the tube and the guard automatically dies, or rejects the chip. The only thing I can say for sure, is that the cyborg won't be able to function properly after that. Unless there's a supply of nanomites somewhere, the cyborg will be malfunctioning for a while.
" A while can be a very little time." Billie noticed.
" No! A while is just enough for us to escape."
"How! We're locked in this cage. I don't see how we can open them without the help of a automatic-door-opener."
"Well we can think of something! I mean we came this far!"
"Gloria! We came this far on suppositions. These are nothing more than educated guesses we came to regarding how advanced out technology is. In case you didn't notice, these things are centuries, maybe even milleniums ahead of our technology. They are not what they appear. We can't possibly know if anything will work."
"Billie! It doesn't matter how advanced these cyborgs are. They still stand on some basic principles. Whoever created these things must have come a long way, but I bet they had some steps or some conclusions that are similar to ours. Science is all the same, no matter what aspect of it you see. All mechanical things have to have something in common, and all hard-complicated problems have a simple easy answer. We just have to open our eyes more."
"Nice philosophy, but things don't always work that way. I just can't see a way out of this."
"It's no use now. You're thinking hard about it. Let's just relax and change the subject. "Gloria suggested.
"Whatever. I don't feel like talking. Can we just sit here?" Billie asked.
As they were sitting in silence, Gloria thought of how they could possibly get out. She wasn't thinking of going alone. There was something about Billie that made Gloria want to find out more. She felt like there was something more to the layer she was presenting. But how could they get out? Maybe if she complained of something, and asked the guard to come over, she could grab the lock-opener and pull out her plug with the help of Billie of course. It seemed like a good plan to Gloria and she was waiting to share it with Billie.
"Billie, I got it!" Gloria exclaimed.
"How to get out of here! Listen. I ask for a sedative shot, the guard gives it to me, but instead I just grab the lock-opener. You grab the tube, make it malfunction, and we escape!"
"That sounds like a great plan. We'll do it tomorrow at midnight, because tonight the guard won't believe that we have totally accepted our fate. Let's go to sleep now! It' s almost time for lights off." Billie told her.
"Wow, this is like a real prison!"
The girls went to sleep, hoping to get to the morning faster. For Gloria, it was an active night. She was battling cyborgs, having her mind probed by millions of needles, her getting dissected and feeling every drop of fear ten times its magnitude. It was a relief to hear Billie's voice.
"Get up lazy bones, breakfast's here!" she announced.
"Get my tray for me. " Gloria begged enjoying a little rest after a busy night.
"No, get it yourself. It, won't give it to me!"
"Must I do everything myself?" Gloria mumbled with frustration.
She got up and got her tray, because her stomach was sending her "feed me" signals at the smell of the food.
Breakfast wasn't special. Scrambled eggs, toast and a glass of juice.
" Yum, this toast is very good!" Billie exclaimed with her mouth full.
"It's nothing like my mom's." Gloria argued, with sadness in her voice.
"So you really miss your parents, huh?
"I'm worried about them, because they are robot programers, and the cyborgs might see them as a threat. Who knows of they're being tortured, or missing a brain at the moment!" Gloria gradually started raising her voice.
" Shhh! You'll just draw attention to yourself! Maybe your parents are alive and well, and you're just giving them away. You might be endangering yourself and them. I don't think you want a mind probing just about now, do you?" Billie warned.
"Well a maybe isn't good enough for me!"
"A maybe is better than nothing. Wasn't that what you were saying yesterday?"
"I guess, but still, it's a pretty small chance." Gloria said.
"Life is full of turns. Maybe this is one of them." Billie suggested.
"It better be, because I'm not going to let it pass by." Gloria said sounding very determined.
A reflective silence turned the small cell into a very eerie place. There was no sound. Everyone in the hall was very quiet. After a while, not bearing the silence any longer, Gloria got up and started walking in circles along the cell. Patrolling every dark corner, she registered it's shape and form vowing to never forget this horrible place.
"Would you stop walking in circles, you make me dizzy?" Billie who was watching her the whole time asked.
"Ok, ok, I'll stop!" Gloria exclaimed very nervously.
She sat down on the bed and started starring at the barred door.
"It won't open if you stare at it!" a prisoner from the cell across said.
Gloria ignored him completely. Billie wasn't even sure she heard him. It seemed like Gloria was gone to a far better place than when she was right now. She had an astral look on her face. Billie looked in horrified-amusement how Gloria's face changed. It was like it she was experiencing a lot of different emotions and sentiments. Of everything that was going on, on Gloria's face, Billie could see a dominant feeling. It was the feeling of determination. Billie didn't think she would ever give up on something she set her mind on doing. She was just the kind of person they need it at the moment.
" Exercise time for all of you!" the guard, said waking the hall from its eerie mood. " Your cell door will open. Get out in 2 single filed lines along your cells" she instructed.
"ANY ATTACK WILL NOT BE TOLLERATED!" a thicker voice yelled.
Gloria got up and waited at the door until it opened. The weird sparkle in her eyes told Billie that she had cooked up a plan to get out of there.
Fiction » Sci-Fi Rated: T, English, Sci-Fi & Adventure, Words: 10k+, Published: 5/25/2001 Updated: 7/18/2001}
9 Chapter 2: The Containment Camp