It took Evan two days to get where he could sit up straight without the room threatening to spin off into space. Four times a day someone in an environmental suit visited him. He suspected it was the same suit, but with different people inside. His first visitor was his most frequent attendant and by the third day he no longer tried to jump out of the suit in order to get away from Evan, but still he had no idea where he was or who his captors were. They saw to his needs for the most part, but the longer he was stuck in his room, the more he wanted to escape.
Evan decided that he was healthy enough to try and escape and that his captors had let their guard down enough that he just might catch them off guard. When Tiny, the undersized guard, brought Evan his morning sustenance, Evan grabbed him by the wrist and pulled hard. His visitor lost his balance, fell forward and landed on the face screen of the environmental suit’s helmet. Evan hopped up and bolted for the door. Each step felt like it was happening in slow motion and he worried airlock would slam shut before he could get through.
When Evan made it into the hall he stopped to take a deep breath, but he choked and coughed on his first taste of freedom in more than a week. Heavy exhaust fumes filled the hall, making each breath a challenge and filling his eyes with tears. Dirty yellow strobe lights flashed up and down the hall while the screech of a siren echoed between the confining metal walls. He fell to his knees and clutched his head between his hands as he tried to will it all away.
The hum in his ears returned and the air around him shuddered and the haze flexed about him, but did not go away. The sound of the alarm was diminished, but the air was no cleaner and Evan continued to gag on the pollution-saturated air.
Darkness started to cloud his vision and he had the distinct impression that he was falling toward the dusty ferrocrete floor. A split second before his head would have hit the floor a gloved hand came into view and kept his head from bouncing off the floor. Evan was dragged into his room and the door was slammed shut.
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