I knew there had to be more to this chamber than what meets the eye. But I decided not to risk it. I sat in that chair for who knows how long. There was no way to track time in the chamber. The lights never so much as flickered enough to track how much time had passed. I started growing restless. What was going to happen? When was it going to happen? Are they going to spring it on me? Maybe they are watching me right now, waiting for me to let my guard down and then they will attack me when I least expect it! No, no that can’t be it. The Mind Bender doesn’t use physical torture. So what is it? What is it? What is it? What is it?
After what I think was about a month had passed, I was sitting in my chair twitching. The boredom, cold air, occasional whisper bubble, and anxiety of waiting had gotten to me. My brain seemed to be melting with each passing minute. When I heard a clicking noise. I didn’t know what it was but it was new, which made me panic. I tensed in the chair and gripped the armrests until my knuckles went white. Eventually, a little panel in the ceiling flipped open and a small screen came down. I was losing feeling in my fingers. What was the screen for? What is about to happen? Thoughts that a while ago would not have seemed a big deal to me now filled my mind with the feeling of life or death close behind.
I waited...and waited….and waited. Suddenly the clicking noise was back and the screen came to life. I nearly jumped out of my skin when the soft static began. The screen was fuzzy, but I could make out colors. There were no visible shapes yet as the static filled the room. I watched intently, barely even breathing, watching as the screen cleared. I was looking back at myself.
The screen showed me, sitting in the chamber staring at the screen. I sighed a little relieved that was all. But then a buzz from a hidden speaker jolted panic through me again. Suddenly a voice rang out loud and clear as if they were standing right next to me.
“We’ve been watching you,” the voice frightened me more than anything up to this point, but it continued, “We’ve been observing your every move. Watching your mind slowly slip away. It has been two months since we arrested you. Since you entered this chamber. You have held out longer than most of the others. But we can see this room has gotten to your head. So we will give you the choice. Answer our questions, or stay in the chamber. It is your choice.” The speaker clicked off, but the screen stayed put.
I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t stay here any longer. I screamed at the screen. “I’ll tell you anything! Anything! Just get me out of here…” Immediately after I said those words I felt a wave of shame pass over me. I was willing to give away my country's secrets for the sake of saving what had already been broken. I convinced myself I was fine, and the chamber had not gotten to me, that I was the same as when I had come in….
After a few minutes, a new sound was here. A low hum, I tensed again as the hum got louder. The pipes started rattling and shifting. I could hear my heart in my head as the pipes moved away to reveal the door I had come in. When the door opened I jumped out and behind the chair, my only thought being “They are here to kill me.” Despite everything that had happened that told me they were here to ask me questions that one thought rang out loud and clear in my head.
A man and a woman entered the room wearing lab coats and the man held a clipboard. The woman gestured to the chair and closed the door. I refused to sit down, this was their chair, they could have rigged it. It was metal, it could electrocute me. Or it could have hidden spikes. They could have done anything to it, why didn’t I think of it before! I should never have sat in that chair they could have killed me in the beginning I was so stupid.
The lady seemed to accept I wouldn’t be sitting anytime soon and leaned against the door, “It appears you have agreed to answer our questions in exchange for your freedom. You made the right choice. Now, are you ready to begin?”
I glared at her and muttered, “How do I know you won’t kill me after?”
She seemed to be used to that type of response and said, “Because if we kill you then we have to deal with all the paperwork that comes with killing a Zorinian on Adrastean soil. Which you can imagine would be such a headache and just isn’t worth it considering your mind is more messed up than you realize. You can’t do much once we release you anyway.” She looked at me expectantly. I thought about it, I didn’t trust her or anything she said. I knew they would kill me, but the chance of leaving loomed over my head and I remembered that Zorina left me here to rot. They didn’t care if I lived out the rest of my life in this chamber, or they would have rescued me already. The only way to leave is to do what they want. So I gave her a slight nod, but I still refused to sit. She seemed ok with this and started her interrogation.
I won’t bore you with everything that was asked, but I will say I answered everything truthfully and honestly. The lady seemed content with my answers and left the room. The man, who had been taking notes, stepped forward. “Out the door, down the hallway, make a left at the entrance hall, and out the front door. You are free to go.” And he turned around and left. But he left the door open.
I waited a beat before following suit. I walked hesitantly, but swiftly down the hall. Examining every square inch for a camera, or laser, or something they could use to kill me on my way out. When I left the hallway, I breathed a sigh of relief and continued through the entrance hall to the front door. Before I left I realized there was no one else in sight. I found it suspicious, but continued toward the door. As I reached for the handle a thought occurred to me “this is too easy” then I touched the metal door handle and a shock went through my body. Then pain and the world went dark. I was never free.