Alone 5:The Room

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Alone 5: The Room

    I walked in that smooth boneless gait of the aliens without even thinking about it any more. Just as automatic was my expressionless face as I pretended to busy. It appeared that the gold standard in slacking off still worked with humanity under different management or not. As long as you acted and looked as if you were busy, no one bothered you.

    There were times I really wished I had Doc to talk to. I knew that all the drones received their orders by some kind of built-in radio that I heard as a weird music. I was also aware that they were programmed to go all Cujo, foaming at the mouth homicidal, at the sight of any normal humans. I knew as well that if I acted too much out of character, the drones would begin to cluster around me causing that 'music' to strengthen. So far I'd been fast enough on the uptake to see what would happen next.

    If I was right that was their programmed response for a malfunctioning unit. Just what would happen if I continued to 'misbehave, I really didn't want to think about too much. These aliens didn't believe in fixing things. They had plenty of spares after all. After seeing them rip apart a man, another lone normal survivor, I was in no hurry to find out how they treated their own misfits. After all the transformation had killed all the children who were too small to fit the drone worker template alone with lots of the older folks too who were too weak to live though the process. All they wanted were strong bodies, minds were optional.

    Perhaps, I was a data anomaly. I didn't set off their attack response, but I didn’t respond to their network either. Since I did hear that damn music, but because I didn't get the full programming I had some measure of free will.

    I really didn't want to remember the months I'd lost after being caught in the waking dream caused by that freaking signal. However, I had a tool to help me now.

    Pain, I dug my nails into my scarred palms. The throbbing stabs focused my mind pass that alien mental fog. Here in the palace, as I'd taken to calling it, the Princes and Queens lived. While not overwhelming like my vague memories of the hive like dorms, the music still got very intense at times.

    At least these androgynous bodies were healthy. Without looking down, I checked if I was bleeding with my fingers probing for wetness. Thankfully, my self-inflicted wounds showed no signs of infection.

    However, I had learned a very important fact.

    Rounding the corner, I went inside the room I'd found a few days before. Without calendars or clocks, remembering what day was which, was nearly impossible. Behind me, the door soundlessly closed. The inside of the small room was covered in acoustic materials salvaged from the ruins of humanity. Even the music stopped, which indicated this place was shielded. A careful search hadn't found any camera's or other devices.

    My best guess that this was some kind of time out room for the invaders proper, the Princes and Queens. However this was also a gawd-send for me, a soundproof and shielded room.

    The dim light from a florescent panel let me double check nothing had changed from my last visit and that the door was tightly shut. Taking a deep breathe, I relaxed.

    Then I screamed.
    All the feelings, and everything else I'd been holding inside while surrounded by the murderers of all that I'd known, erupted from within me. My raw throat, unaccustomed to even speaking any more, burned as my tears stung my eyes. All the pain I dared not show came out.

    You see I'd learned despite my body, my heart and soul was still human. I wasn't an organic robot. I could feel.

    Shaking like a leaf in the wind from the release I wiped at my face causing my self damaged hands to burn. Breathing deeply, I managed to calm myself and put my game face back on.

    Waiting for as long as I dared for the redness of my eyes to pass, I went back outside. The insidious tune began at once, as I blended back into the flow of drones. None knew I was different, or reacted to my emotional pit stop. Once again I was alone with the killers. However, I was still alive and still me. There was hope. It was enough. It had to be.

The End

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A soundproof room could come in handy if he were to discover another fake clone, I suppose, and try to coordinate some kind of plan.  If he could improvise a weapon, he might be able to attack a Prince or Queen if one were to use the room.  That said, dispatching one alien won't help much unless he happens to be the one handling the mind control.


The thought comes to mind that Princes and Queens might use rooms like this one for conjugal visits, though the lack of furniture makes that theory somewhat tenuous.  Again, even if that were true, I don't know what our protagonist could do about it: kidnap them somehow and hold them for ransom?



A clue?

The soundproof room is an interesting development as it obviously exists for a purpose. The big question is needing to know what that purpose is and then working out how to exploit it to humanity's advantage. Could it free one of the other drones from the hold of the music or does it indicate a weakness somewhere in the aliens control mechanism if they need down time from it?


You are keeping a wonderful dystopian classic sci-fi feel to this story Grover! :-)