Estimated reading time — 4 minutes
He was running. He had to avoid detection. He was Test Subject 27-B. Heading back was no longer an option. His name was Daniel, but that didn’t matter, no one ever used names, not even the Civil Protection Officers. He ran along a wall near the East Entrance. The guards in the watchtowers scanned the surface of the land, looking for anything unusual.
Daniel kept close to the ground. He could smell the green oats that were eye-level to him. No time. The sirens went off and he was leaping from his resting place. They must’ve found the tunnel. He ran quickly and silently, gradually closer to the gate that was populated with Civil Protection Units. If Daniel had to kill, he would. There was no stopping a man that was so near to escaping the vilest of prisons.
He was roughly 30 feet away from the guard building. The sun shone on the dusty window pane. He looked around at the ground and picked up a small pebble and a fist-sized rock. He crept closer to the small shack at which the guards checked papers for incoming and outgoing vehicles. He tossed the small pebble against a parked car underneath the shade of a pine tree. The low ding sound attracted one of the three guards. He crept up to the Officer that was hanging out on the side of the shack and raised his rock.
Stone collided with bone and immediately all thoughts inside the guard’s head ceased. Daniel dragged the guard behind the shack and took out the nightstick, handcuffs, and the 10mm pistol. He peeked around the corner of the shack to find the guards had given up their search of the pebble sound and had continued soliciting. There was no time to waste, he knew that patrol cars could ride up any minute. He had practice with weapons before, it was part of testing.
He shuddered. Without hesitation he pulled out his 10mm handgun and fired a bullet straight through the brain of one of the guards, rather rudely ending their conversation. He then aimed at a gasoline can and made it leak. Daniel took a moment to appreciate the power of a gun.
The guard, being extremely frightened and confused due to his inability to find a target, began shooting in random directions until he ran out of ammunition. Daniel pulled the trigger once more and the Officer found himself with a bullet in his kneecap. How unfortunate. Daniel walked over to the guard as he screamed to Daniel, “You filthy dog, you don’t deserve to live!” Daniel pulled out the handcuffs. Once the guard was secured to the bike rack, Daniel lit him on fire. Due to the fact that his pant legs already contained traces of gasoline, he went up in flames.
Daniel fled the scene, sprinting towards the woods. He would be safe in there, away from everything. He strayed far from the road, and eventually forgot completely which direction it was in. All the better Daniel thought. He had never been able to appreciate the wonders of nature, mostly because he had been held captive inside that testing facility all his life. No longer would other Test Subjects or Officers refer to him as “Test Subject 27-B” He was a free man. He was Daniel.
After precariously drinking from a stream, he picked a random direction and followed it. Memories of his “Tests” still flowed through his mind. Supposedly they were just “Simulations” and “Capability Tests” such as blowing up children and shooting elderly people. Training tests designed to desensitize people, but he knew that they were real. The pleas and screams sounded so real. The blood that splashed across his face when he was forced to hack the limbs off of a pregnant woman was real. All the other Test Subjects just went with it. None of them cared, but Daniel did.
He had thought that by escaping the facility he would be able to escape the feeling of being watched, but it didn’t work. If anything, he felt like he was under close examination, as though Daniel emancipating himself was part of the plan. Sometimes he would hide behind a tree, or run faster in zigzags, hopelessly trying to avoid watch.
He wanted to rid himself of those memories, to start fresh. But he couldn’t. He wanted to live a normal life, but the problem was he didn’t know what normal really was. He tried to imagine normal but after hours of trying, he gave up. Daniel kept walking, mainly because it rid him of the pain. Suddenly, he stopped. He realized, there, in that very thick of the woods, that Daniel had no food. He didn’t even know what food looked like, let alone where to find it. He knew how vulnerable he was.
It was after midnight and he was hungry. He didn’t know what to do. He started running. He ran and he ran until he could run no more. He was lost and afraid. He could die out here. What was he thinking? He was clueless. There were no nourishment cubes to be eaten out here. He didn’t know what was edible and what wasn’t. Then, out of the darkness, he saw it, the wall.
Instinctually he ran towards it, hoping it would provide him with his needs. The grey wall came closer and closer. Until Daniel realized that it wasn’t a wall, it was a limit. He started panicking. He ran along the wall for miles looking frantically for an exit. He took a rock and hit the wall repeatedly. It became obvious that is was impenetrable.
It was an infinite barrier, a divider between him and freedom. It never ended. He realized it at that moment. There were no Civil Protection Officers, there were no Test Subjects, no innocent children or women that he so unwillingly murdered, only him. It was always him. Others would say that this is crazy, but deep down in his subconscious he knew it to be true. It was all just another test, a simulation. Daniel started crying. Was anything real?
He woke up. Everything was dark. He looked around and saw nothing. From the dark he heard a voice, cold and unrelenting, “Welcome back, Daniel.” He was shocked. “Daniel?” He whispered to himself.
No one ever used names.
Credit To – Skrynox