He awoke with a start, gasping for air. It was dark. ‘Where am I?’ he thought to himself. He became aware that he was lying down on something cold and hard. He tried moving but found himself unable to, although he could not feel anything restraining him. In fact he couldn’t feel anything below the neck at all.
Panic started to seep into his mind with growing intensity. ‘Help!’ he tried to scream, though his words were but a horse whisper. He struggled to crane his head sideways but that too was impossible.
A blinding light appeared above him and he was forced to shut his eyes. Then it began. At first he heard a mechanical whirring noise from somewhere close by. He tried squinting through the blazing spotlight above him and could barely make out the silhouette of a figure looming over his immobile form.
It loomed closer just as his eyes were beginning to adjust to the light until its face was mere inches from his own – that face. He wanted to recoil in horror but all he could muster was a stifled groan of anguish.
Glowing red pin-point eyes leered from an inhuman head; pale skin stretched tight across to give the appearance of a skull. To his horror he saw that the thing possessed no mouth, but rather the lower half of its face appeared to be entirely mechanical. Wires and finger-like contraptions protruded from beneath the base of its seemingly organic half where they twisted and writhed as if trying to escape.
To his relief, the creature pulled back from its examination, and yet his torment was only just beginning. A spider-like mechanism lowered into view, its spindly arms affixed with all manner of torturous devices; needle-like implements, cutting tools, and surgical saws whirred to life.
As the creature’s work began, the agonised cries of its captive filled the room only to fall on emotionless and uncaring sensors. Before he lost consciousness, a single thought ran through his mind which he clung to in a last vain hope that he might survive:
‘Simon… my name is Simon.’
to be continued…