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I opened my eyes. Neon green lights buffeted me. No idea where the hell I was. Tried to gather enough strength to lift my head. The cylinder like contraption that I was contained in… it felt like a hellhole. A PA clicked on. At first I heard nothing but the crackly sound of static. My arms were strapped to the wall of the contraption, not through a tangible element, but from gravity and g-force alone. I was moving at such a speed, I felt almost no turbulence. The static ceased.
“Blindness. Dizziness. Severe dehydration. Fractured tibia. Broken humerus. Attempting repairs,” boomed a metallic voice.
Particles of dust were stuck in my throat. A black light scanned me. My whole body tensed, as if I were flexing each, and every muscle in my body individually. Bones ached so badly I could have sworn I was having growth pains all over again. Skin so itchy that I tried to scratch it off, yet I couldn’t gather the strength to lift my arm. I shut my eyes tightly, anticipating a moment of relief. My arms slackened from the tension building in my biceps. Like morphine, a spark of adrenaline kicked through my body rushing from my head down, as I felt my body launch up into the air. And thank god too. That’s what gave me the kick to keep on going. So much pressure built into my ears that I could only feel myself breathing. Felt the foul air rushing up my nostrils. Could taste the c02, floating heavily around in the air. Closed my eyes, and embraced the possibility of the inevitable end to my suffering. Only one solution flashed in my mind. Death. I must have gone insane I thought. So desperate, and without hope. After a couple of minutes, I nearly lost all hope. I had no fight left in me. I just wanted the suffering to stop. The humming of an engine tore apart the drums of my ears. With the little faith I had instilled upon me, I prayed. Not to any particular god, but to any that would hear me. For a moment, I was trapped in infinite free fall. Nearly floating in the air. I felt dizzy, and nauseous. I drew my comfort from the warm metallic taste of blood, as I bit down on my tongue. The g-force being emitted from my velocity made my cheeks, and eyelids flutter. But nearly as soon as it started, it ended. I could feel the contraption reach its apex, and slowly begin descending downwards. I began to fall at a nauseating speed. The g-force began to split apart my cheeks. I could feel my eyelids flapping about. I hit the dirt.
The impact strangely was muffled, but not completely. My ankles were felt as if a boulder struck them. As far as I was concerned my teeth had been driven into my skull.I vomited. I listened to the sliding of an automatic door. Suddenly a rush of cool air poured down my dusty throat. I swallowed air by the mouthful, thanking whichever god responsible, as I stepped outside. An impossibly bright light collided with my iris. For a moment, I stood there with a strange buzzing noise in my ears, oblivious to my surroundings. My eyes were filled with tears. Dust floated around like flies in the air. After the buzzing faded off, and my vision cleared I heard a man, in his mid 40s, talking like his nose was filled with snot, and his nasal cavities had been sealed off for a couple of months. “ Greetings soldier! You have been contained inside of The Pukofsky Preservation Chamber AT-2919 for an estimated 30 years. You may feel temporary weakness, and blindness. Please calmly wait for your vision to clear, and step out of your room for debriefing.”
As my vision cleared I walked carefully, step by step towards a rusty looking door. The room that I was standing in looked rusted and old. Portions of the floor were cracked and broken, revealing a layer of earth, covered with moss, and rocks. The lighting itself came from a single light bulb, hanging from a wire, swinging about like a pendulum in the air. I listened to the odd stretching of the muscles in my calves. With every step I took, my entire body screamed in protest. They burned as if I just did 1,000 squats. I checked them for injuries. Curiously, they looked fine. In fact they looked quite healthy, though my ankles were so flimsy that I felt like I was walking on stilts made out of noodles. I limped towards the door. My vision blurred. I clenched my teeth. Just as I felt like I was going to pass out, I doubled over in pain. I could taste the bile in my mouth. A door swung open and knocked me unconscious
I woke up in a medical ward sometime later. Instead of the standard bright white, sterile room, well organized, and complete with trays of scalpels and tools, and dozens of standard medical devices, that I was accustomed to this room was dimly lit. The walls themselves seemed to be formed by some combination of stone and steel. The musky, toxic scent of exhaust hung heavily in the air. No sign of the outside world showed, besides a rectangular window, barred, and closed off by a net of iron. There were several of these vents, puffing out, what seemed to be steam, and the room was curiously circular. There were dozens of these strange tubes hooked up to my torso. In my confusion I removed one of them. I fumbled it in my hands. It began to spill out a battery like fluid that burned the hell out of my hands. “
God…” I whispered to myself in horror.
There were these cavities implanted into my chest, which looked as if they were filled with metal. And that was all it took. Suddenly it hit me. It all came back. It all flashed back. It slammed into my memory. I recalled the extensive training. I recalled the bionic limbs. I recall the dozens of surgeries and reconciliation centers that I had endured.
I recalled the horrors of war.
Moments later several bionic limbs swarmed around me, and pinned me down. The tubes all flew off, like retracting tape measurers, and slammed back into their positions. A set of mechanical arms brought forth a set of metal plates, and pinned them down, directly onto my shoulder blades. Seeing a drill like mechanical arm approach slowly, and deliberately, I anticipated the pain, and pressure about to be applied to my torso. It bolted the metal plates onto my shoulders. I winced in shock and paint as I felt a piece of metal twisting inside of me. It felt as if they then fused a chest piece onto both shoulder blades and drilled it into the cavities on my chest. That’s when I cracked. Using my newly regained strength I broke away from the limbs pinning me down and tore one off. Still on my back I beat down each arm one by one. Sparks flew everywhere, hitting my eyes, and bouncing off of my chest. Technological carnage, I thought as I cupped a ball of my deltoids in my hand. Curiously I felt better than ever. Almost refreshed. Still sporting my chest piece, and wielding the robotic arm, I broke apart the bars that sealed the window off and climbed out into the wasteland of what would have been Long Island.
Now the headquarters of a revenant state of America, bonded together with one goal… and one purpose. “To preserve humanity, and fight to survive”… was their motto.
And as I took my first steps on what would have been Long Island in 30 years, I looked up, at the sky wondering what time of the day it was. Brown. I looked down in disgust.
Marcus chuckled. “And on January, 1, 2156 the formation of the REA commenced.”