Where the hell am I? It's dark, pitch black almost. I'm lying flat on my back on a narrow bed, naked but for a T-shirt and shorts. I try to move, but my ankles and wrists have been chained to the four corners of the metal bed frame. There's no slack, and I can't even lift my hands up off the mattress. The harder I try, the tighter the chains seem to get. I try to move my head, but there's some kind of strap right across my forehead, keeping me down. When they come back I'll kill the fucker that's done this.

My eyes are getting used to the lack of light in here, but there's not a lot to see. It's a narrow, rectangular room with this bed against one wall and a chair opposite. There's nothing on the walls except for a lopsided crucifix just to the side of the solid wooden door. Istretch my neck back as far as I can. There's a small, boarded-up window behind me, the faintest crack of light showing around the edges.

How long have I been here? Have I just woken up, or have I been out cold for days? I feel myself starting to panic, and I make myself breathe slowly and work my way back through what I remember... the children at the school, traveling with Paul, the fighting at the hospital, the Unchanged in the streets who chased me down and drugged me... We were set up, and the bastards who did it must be the ones who brought me here. I pull on my chains again, but I still can't move. I don't understand this. It doesn't make sense. If they really were Unchanged, why didn't they just kill me? Why bring me here, wherever here is?

Someone screams. Can't tell where the noise is coming from. Don't know if they're screaming for help or crying with pain. Is this a torture chamber? A place where sick, perverted Unchanged fuckers tie us up and make us suffer? Bastards could come in here any second and start on me and there'd be nothing I could do. Maybe they're experimenting? Trying to find out what makes us better and stronger than them by cutting us up? How many others before they get to me? Is it my turn next?




I think about killing to keep me strong. I think about all the Unchanged I've massacred over the months and how I've gotten rid of each one of them. I remember all the pointless lives I've ended and how easy it was and will be again.


Just for a second, from out of nowhere, I think about Ellis, and everything comes crashing down again. The chains feel tighter and the darkness closes in and I can't move a fucking muscle. I've failed her. She's out there on her own somewhere while I'm locked up here like a fucking animal. Every minute she's alone out there increases the chance of her ending up like the kids in the school. I try to move again, pulling as hard as I can and thinking for a second that I can break the chains and get out of here, but nothing happens and the ties just get tighter. I feel like I'm in the line outside the cull site again, standing there and waiting to die. And there's nothing I can do about it.

My arms hurt. They feel heavy and numb. Shoulders are burning with pain. Got an itch on the side of my right leg, just above the knee, and all I want to do is scratch it. I try to ignore it, but it won't go. Now it's all I can think about, and the more I think about it, the worse it gets. Now it's like someone's dragging the point of a needle up and down across my skin, and it's driving me fucking crazy.



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