Evan stood up with deliberate sloth, enjoying the impatience of his tormentor, and said, “Ready whenever you are.” He moved his arms about and slowly rolled his head around until the shorter man stamped his foot.
“Move your ass,” he said as he waved the gun at Evan.
“You know,” Evan said, “we really need to work on your vocabulary. I would think a man of your…diminished stature would have collected a whole host of colorful phrases to throw about.” Evan stepped into the center of the group of armed men and smiled. “Of course it’s not like you could call me short or anything like that.”
One of the other men laughed and Evan was rewarded with being hit in the back of the head with his tormentor’s rifle. “Shut up, you son of a bitch,” he said.
“See, that wasn’t hard now was it?” One of the men strapped an emergency rebreather to Evan’s face when he stopped talking. “Honestly, I was starting to wonder if you were trying to flirt with me given your obsession with asses.” More laughter, another blow to the head, and he was shoved out the door.
The foul, clinging stink of toxic exhaust clung to Evan’s skin like a poorly tailored suit of burning plastic. His exposed flesh began to itch and the well-used filter on the rebreather let too much of the exhaust into his lungs, so he began to cough before the last man had entered the hall and shut the door behind them. The others were silent except for the sound of their breathing. One of them, a large man that often accompanied his shorter jailer, grabbed him by the shoulder and dragged him through the hall.
All manner of twists and turns eroded Evan’s ability to take note of the path they were taking, but given how toxic the halls were he doubted it would matter. When they stopped it was in front of a door that looked much like the one that guarded his cell. One of the men punched a code into an oversized keypad beside the door and the large, metallic wheel that held the door in place turned. The lock was well lubricated and made little noise as it rotated, so when it stopped Evan was a little surprised. Another shove and Evan was in a room and out of the toxic hell that prevented his escape.
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