Short, II


Puts the Fun in Dysfunctional
Addon Developer
GFX Staff
Beta Tester
Aug 9, 2009
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Jameson woke up without ever having realised he'd gone to sleep. As is usual in these cases, his body took a moment to perform an automated "systems check" to ensure vital elements such as arms, legs, heads, guts, and other associated components were indeed still attached and functional. The results were promising. However the next phase of the systems check, which focuses on trying to establish some kind of contact with the world outside, was not going so well.

For starters, he couldn't see. This was possibly because his eyes were closed, but, as he became increasingly aware, he noted the strip of cloth tightly affixed around his head was most likely the major cause of his blindness. He felt heat, intense heat, just above his head. His arms responded to command, but found themselves incapable of complying with his instruction to remove the facial cloth, as they too were bound. Legs called in with similar complaints, but they were ignored because a certain set of cells in the brain had just reported two rather disturbing notions.

One was that, despite all situational precedence, he was upside down.

The other was the normally welcome influx of sensory input from his ears. Generally, Jameson quite enjoyed the power of hearing and considered himself quite a good listener, but right now his ears were bringing him unmistakable sounds he would definitely rather not be hearing. There was clicking. There was distant screaming. There was chain, clinking and rattling uncomfortably close by. There was metal, tortured to its tolerable limits, creaking and groaning in protest.

Mouth checked in. Jameson groaned. How had he got here? He'd risen, fully enraged, knife in hand, feeling the anger rise within, ready to strike, to kill... - no, that wasn't right... was it? Memory shrugged apologetically and tried to hide behind fear, which was ever present in Jameson's mind right now and was growing. He grunted, shifting his weight to try to work out how he was bound, and felt himself slip upw-downwards slightly. Towards the heat source. Instantly he froze still, but his pendular momentum was such that he remained swaying pathetically from side to side, emitting quiet sounds of distress.

White hot lines of pain arrived on his back and legs, accompanied by the warm trickle of escaping blood. It rolled down his upper body and dripped off the back of his head, sizzling when it hit the unseen but really rather warm source of heat immediately below him. His body made to cry out in protest, but was stifled by a large impact to the midriff, which knocked the wind out of him and sent him pinwheeling to the floor. Cloth tore. Something broke, painfully, and new reports of damage and pain flooded Jameson's mind.

He shrugged them off. His hand was free. He tore up at the cloth covering his eyes and wrenched it from his head. Finally, he could see his assailant, though whether this was a good thing or not had yet to be determined. Jameson surged forwards through the air, cloth in hand as a makeshift garotte, fury broiling from the pit of his belly, pushing him on, over, to end the wretch's miserable existance.

Jameson stopped short and shook his head violently, squeezing his eyes back shut and opening them, trying to dispel the emotions that had been so virulent just a moment ago. Whoever had hit him was gone. He wondered if they had been there at all. Reaching down, he struggled his legs free and tried to take a more considered evaluation of his situation.

His ankle felt broken. This was a bit of an issue. He looked around, trying to pick out what he could to work out where he was. The room was dark, save for an orange glow spilling out of the large circular pit set flush into the floor he'd been dangling above moments ago. It had a metal grating covering it which looked every bit as hot as he had expected. Beneath, electrical elements glowed impassively, radiating heat and death according to their design. He noted a darker spot on one twist where, he realised, his blood was still dripping down through the grating onto it, robbing some heat to emit a short hiss of evaporation and a quiet, intermittent popping sound.

Aside from that, the room was quiet, and with the light from the pit so close he could see little else. He stayed sat very still for some time, trying to remember the sequence of events that had brought him from the escape pod to here. He'd checked the instruments.

Everything read normal. Normal space, vacuum outside, background radiation level nominal, all systems green. He'd frowned. There wasn't a sensor for "How many stars can you see?". He'd reached for the star charts...

A loud clanging from the distant darkness jolted him back to the unfortunate reality of his current situation. He listened carefully, trying to remain as still and as quiet as possible, as the sound drew closer, but passed by and began to fade off into the distance. With enormous effort, Jameson pulled himself onto all fours, keeping his damaged ankle as still as physically possible and stifling the scream that failing to do so caused. Once settled, he began to shuffle, slowly, away from the pit into the darkness, keeping his eyes screwed shut tightly to block out the light from the heating coils. When he found the far wall, he slumped up against it for a moment, turned so that he wasn't looking into the room, and slowly opened his left eye.

His night vision presented him with some disappointing news. Firstly, the room contained a generous number of walls and one door. It also seemed to contain quite a lot of things designed to make life very unpleasant, although Jameson could not see them very clearly in this case he settled on that being the preferable option. The door was on the far side of the room and appeared to be open, however, which was encouraging news and disheartening all at once. It might have only been a few metres, but with a broken ankle it might as well have been a few miles. He rocked his head back against the wall and tried to remember once more.