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So it begins

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Each person in the lab would start to come to to see an almost blinding florescent lighting. It would disorienting and difficult to see at first. Each of them would be laying on an uncomfortable hospital type bed. There would be restraints on all of their arms and legs except Hector's. Hector would find his arm restraint on his left arm to have been released. @Garmr

 

Around each bed there was a light blue colored curtain that surrounded them and kept them from seeing anything. Above them would be a white tiled ceiling. No one would remember how they got there or even why they were there. At the foot of their bed would be a file with nothing more than their first name and a photo of them in it.

 

In the room it was just a sterile room. White walls, white floor. No other objects. There is one door. There is one bed with someone that didn't wake up like the rest.

 

@kit @Socks

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Hector awoke with a blistering headache, squinting against the bright light he turned his head away. What had happened? The last thing he remembered was leaving the Golden Tiki  Lounge after his set and the manager had convinced him to stay for a drink. After that there was only blur until he opened his eyes to the bright light. It had been only one drink, hadn't it?  

 

As his eyes adjusted Hector noticed the blue curtaining, smelled the sterile smell he typically associated with the time he had his appendix out when he was a kid and immediately thought himself in a hospital. Only once he started to move did he notice the restraints on his arm and legs. Hector frowned, why had the hospital staff seen fit to restrain him? Had he gotten violent while he was drunk?

 

"Hello?" his deep bass voice echoed in the mostly empty room, "Hello is anyone there?"

 

(Apologies for the lack of tagging. Its not letting me tag)

 

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Mel came to and squinted at the rudely white light above them. Had she been hit on the head? As her eyes adjusted, she noticed the blue curtains around her, as if she was in a hospital. The thin and tough bed was normal for her, she didn't have the money for a nice mattress. Her's was all springs. Mel looked down at herself, mouth twisted as she saw fucking restraints. They finally lock her up or something? Or she get in a fight? Didn't ache like she'd been fighting though. Mel yanked at the restraints. Yanked again when they didn't give way.

 

A voice, unfamiliar, made her pause. Answer? Answer.

 

"What the fuck is this place?"

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Karen blinked her eyes open and groaned at the blinding light. She hesitated to open her eyes again, knowing that it was so bright. She tried to stretch out the sleep from her muscles and found herself unable to. Huh? That was encouragement to open her eyes again. She winced but, as her eyes cleared, she blinked again, in confusion this time. Unfamiliar ceiling. She tried to raise her head, but her head felt... swimmy. Ohh, that's not good. She made herself go through with the motion and things got steadier.

 

Her arms and legs were strapped down to a hospital bed. It looked like she was in a hospital. Did the Uber have an accident or something? Wait, no, she'd still been at the mixer, hadn't she? She'd been mingling with the guests but keeping herself nearby in case her socially-anxious client needed encouragement, advice, or just a steadying smile (Karen counted herself good at all three). How'd I get here? Where even is here? Is this Mercy General? St. Francis? Methodist? ...are all the hospitals named after religious things? Worry about that later. 

 

She couldn't see anything except the light blue curtain around her bed, and a file at the foot of it. Just leaving a file there? That's unprofessional. What am I, a piece of furniture? Well, when I find out the name of this hospital, I'll make sure never to come here again.  She cast about for a nurse call button within easy reach. But then she heard an unfamiliar voice ask if anyone was here.

 

Someone else replied with a question about where they were. Huh.

 

She cleared her throat. "Anyone know what hospital this is?" she asked politely. "How many people were hurt in the accident? Does anyone know how to get a nurse? Or where the TV is?"

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"I don't know." Hector wasn't sure if he was answering one or all of the questions but it was the truth as he knew it. "I just woke up, there was an accident?"

 

Hector didn't remember an accident and apart from his head nothing else seemed to hurt. Lifting his head a bit he noticed that all limbs were present and accounted for, encased in his suit and dress shirt, now slightly rumpled like he had spent the night sleeping in them. Perhaps he had? He was surprised though that he wasn't in a hospital gown, wouldn't the staff have stripped him down to make sure he wasn't injured? For that matter where were the IVs and the monitors?

 

Hector, despite there being no apparent danger, started to get a crawling feeling on the back of his neck and the pit of his gut. Idly he reached over with his free hand to tug at the strap on his right arm, not an easy task given he wasn't left handed. "They've got me strapped down but I've got a hand free. Are you ladies alright?"

 

@kit

@Socks

@Morrigan

Edited by Garmr
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"You have a hand free?" Karen asked excitedly. "It's more than I've got!" She struggled against the straps a little. "Can you call a nurse or something? Ask to speak to a doctor?" 

 

Something occurred to her in horror. "Ohhhh, Jeremy's got to be beside himself with worry. I need my cellphone... and at least one hand to be able to use it. Does anyone know where we are? The service here's terrible."

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Mel scowled at the ceiling. Ladies. She bet Mr Deep Voice was a smooth talker. All false smiles and flashy money. She bet he was a real prick. Miss Jeremy fucker was probably just as conniving. Having resolved to dislike them both, Mel put her brand of problem solving to the test. She couldn't rip her arms out of the straps. Couldn't cut them. She couldn't see any bloody button to call a nurse.

 

Without further ado, she started to rock her bed, trying to making it tip over and figuring that the crash would bring someone.

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"I mean, how long have we been here and there's no nurse, no doctor, no nothing? And what's with the straps? I mean that's just rude!"

 

There was a small part of Karen that was terrified. She had no idea what was going on or where she was or who she was with or who had decided to strap her down or how they'd even gotten her here in the first place and the ideas her brain could conjure if she let it were too horrible to think about. So she didn't think.

 

She babbled.

 

"I don't think there even is a call button, and there's a file folder here just left on the foot of the bed and that's just unprofessional, like, what am I? A table? I don't think so! I am a human being and I deserve some common decency and I'M SORRY BUT YOU COULD STOP WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU'RE DOING THAT'S MAKING THAT NOISE?!" 

 

((directed @kit and the rocking))

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As one woman babbled and the other... well, Hector wasn't entirely certain what she was doing though it was loud... he concentrated on getting the strap off.  He had turned his right hand underneath the strap so that the fingers could assist the lest adept left hand and soon he had managed to get it at the very least loose. "Big money, big money, no whammies..." he murmured and then... he slid his right hand out.

 

"Got my hands free," he announced as he sat up, rubbing his wrists. He could sense the desperation from the first woman but had long learned from many an overstrung lounge performer and an over dramatic ex-wife that catering to it wasn't helpful. It was then that he noticed that his cuff links were gone and he frowned, he did a brief once over the world of his cloths and realized a lot of things were missing. Now the feeling of dread was getting worse.

 

"I don't think this is a hospital," he said though he doubted the others would notice.

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Karen, in fact, did not notice the man's comment. She'd heard something else: the click of heels in the hallway outside.  "Wait... Wait, do you hear that?" 

 

It never occurred to her that this might not be a good idea. She wanted OUT, she wanted AWAY. She made sure her voice was nice and loud, to be heard over whatever it was that other person was doing that was causing such a ruckus.

 

"HEY, HELLO! CAN YOU HELP US?! WE NEED HELP IN HERE, PLEASE!!!!" Her normally-pleasant voice (she'd been in choir in church in her youth, she could carry a tune quite nicely, thank you) broke with her desperation as she yelled that last word. 

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Mel reckoned they were all pegged as insane and now they were all trussed up in asylum and no one would be helping them. And Mr Deep Voice was just fucking around doing fuck knows what. Mel's mouth twisted.

 

"Well get your fucking legs free, idiot!" Mel shouted over Miss I Love My Husband hollering for someone who'll probably just stuff her with drugs to make her docile.

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Hector winced a little at being shouted at, it reminded him of when he was still married and still drinking. He sighed and reminded himself that other peoples feelings were not his responsibility and chose not to even respond to the one he'd dubbed "rude girl" in his head. He set to work on the straps on his ankles, much easier and quicker since he had the use of both his hands.

 

Once free he slid off the bed to the floor in the soundless way he used to when he was sneaking out of the house before his wife woke up. He had never cheated on Diane, at least not with another woman, but the bottle had been a cruel mistress. He smoothed his hands over his shirt and decided it was best to try to calm down 'desperate woman' before attending to rude girl.

 

Stepping out from behind the curtain he noticed the fourth bed. Odd, he hadn't heard anyone other than rude girl and desperate woman. He walked towards it and pulled back the curtain... he cursed and closed the slid the curtain back in place. Well, guess he was attending to rude girl first... she might be able to hold it together enough so they could both handle desperate woman.

 

He moved to the next curtain and slid it open, "Hey." He walked towards the bed and reached for the first strap, once he was near her head he murmured just loud enough so only rude girl could hear, "There is a dead body in the next bed. I don't think we're in a hospital. Don't tell the other lady, we need to get her calmed down if we're to get out of here. Can you do that?"

 

@kit

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Karen continued to yell variations on "HELLO!", "WE'RE IN HERE!", and "HELP!" until she realized that wasn't getting a response. She stopped and caught her breath and tried to focus, but her brain was a jumble of places and people and how badly she just Didn't Want To Be Here. And then something occurred to her.

 

"Jeremy! Jeremy will call the police." Her current client was anxious and high-strung. It wasn't outside the realm of possibility. "...unless he thinks I abandoned him the way everyone else in his life does." She groaned in annoyance. She was mostly talking to herself (though in a perfectly-audible volume). "Okay, so maybe Jeremy won't call the police, but... someone will. Right? Someone had to have seen something or... or..." 

 

It was starting to dawn on Karen just how alone she was in her life. Who was there who would miss her? She only talked to her parents when it was the holidays or someone's birthday. "Does anyone know what day it is?" she asked weakly.

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There was a loud high pitched screech from a microphone being too close to another electric device. "No... no... Harlee... give it back," would be the first thing they heard.

 

"Mine... nope... I made it I get to talk," the mousy voiced woman said.

 

"HELLO Subjects!" she started and waited for them to respond.

 

@kit @Garmr @Socks

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"Can I see?" Mel winced, no that sounded wrong. Before she could explain what she meant, a bodiless voice proceeded by an electronic scream ripped through the room.

 

Mel winced and worked on rapidly freeing herself, too impatient to wait for Deep Voice to finish the job.

 

Once she was free, she had every intention of running for the exit.

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Hector gave rude girl a hard look but chose to say nothing. When she started to jerk about he stopped trying to loosen or undo the straps giving her the stare of 'if you're going to make this harder for me then I'm not going to help.' He screech of the microphone caused him to wince and he looked up at the ceiling where he assumed the speaker was and frowned. 

 

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"I am Dr Quixn, with an X N not an N N," she explained as if that made a difference to the people in the room. "WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM!" she said loudly as if it were some sort of triumph. "You have been chosen to test one of our latest products that I made!" she said to them. "Obviously... there's some side effects," she said mentioning the dead man but not outright saying it. "So... what is it supposed to do you ask? Welllll... you'll see," she said excitedly!

 

Suddenly there was a turn of a key at the single door, a person was thrown in by a large orderly before the door was closed and locked again. (In comes @Andromeda)

 

"So... I'll talk to you all later. I'll be in your room soon!" she said.

 

@kit @Socks @Garmr

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The sudden thrust by the orderly caused the woman to lose her footing and she found herself falling onto the ground. Landing on her stomach, she felt the air from her lungs give out a bit. Her eyes ached under the blarring lights of the room. She noticed there were others here with her.

 

Amanda could hear the person on the microphone. A cold shiver went down her spine when she heard that soon she would come to their room. 

 

As silence came back, so did her fears as she had been dragged. "Where are we? Who the hell are all of you?" 

 

Panic was setting in as she sat up, sitting back on her ass and her hands were shaking. What the fuck was going on?

 

 

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"Oh for fucks sake." Mel muttered as if she had never panicked before. Or felt fear before. Or empathised with the cute girl on the ground. 

 

Thing was, she had felt all those things. Felt them now but they were useless emotions and fucking unhelpful.

 

"I'm Mel. That's Mr Deep Voice. Mrs Jeremy is still tied to the bed or something." She grabbed the girl on the ground and shoved her away from the door. 

 

Then Mel grabbed the door and tried to open it.

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"I'm not married!" she retorted. "And if I were, I wouldn't marry Jeremy. He's my client and he's just not my type anyway." 

 

Because she could focus on what the disembodied voice had said or she could respond to the things that at least made some sort of sense and didn't send unnerving chills down her spine. 

 

"I'm Karen Newcomb," she said to all the voices. "I'm a very successful lifestyle coach." Well, that was probably stretching things a little. A lot. But it was important to project success at all times. And much better to project success than think about what the voice had said. 

 

What did they do to me - to all of us - while I was unconscious? Oh god, oh god, what sort of side effects? What if it's like that study I read about where some of the people went blind? I don't want to be blind! 

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