By Chad Bolling
Gill was pretending to sleep in a windowless prison cell inside Prison 134B. He was normal looking except for the long scar running across the top of his head where no hair would grow.
After getting out of bed and stretching, Gill lathered grease all over his body. He covered his body the best he could with the grease, making sure to get every part.
Gill moved carefully and quickly through the paralyzing laser beams that were his prison cell door. He fell to the ground immediately after passing through the beams. Gasping for air, Gill could barely move.
The kitchen grease worked! Gill thought. I’m still conscious! A little out of it but not completely. He quietly thanked the inmate who had told him the trick of covering oneself with kitchen oil to dampen the effect of the paralyzing beams.
Get up Gill! Get up! For a moment he dreamed about the freedom he would have once he was back in society. No more paralyzing beams for doors, no more bots following him around and abusing him...the daydream brought him to his feet and he staggered forward, careful not to disturb the sleeping inmates. No room for others on this jailbreak, he thought. They will only slow me down.
As he walked quickly and quietly down the hall he noticed none of the smaller, flying camera bots had arrived to track him. Where are they? He thought. Must be my lucky day. They are probably busy with something else. Gill took off in a full sprint, or as fast a sprint as he could manage. His body still felt weak from the beams.
Gill reached a windowed elevator door, the only way in or out of his block. He crouched under the window. He pulled out a plastic shank from his pants and cut his hand then held it up to the window. This should do the trick, he thought. Medical bot on the way. The door opened and Gill readied his shank, hiding behind the doorway, but nothing was there.
Had the bots just opened the door by accident? Where was the easily subduable medical bot coming to heal his nasty gash? He walked cautiously into the elevator, wrapping his hand with a piece of clothing to stop the bleeding.
Once inside the elevator Gill took off his greasy clothing reveling another layer of cleaner clothes that he had on underneath. He wiped the grease off his hands the best he could, then braced his back against a corner of the elevator and propped his legs against the other side. He pushed himself up in the corner of the room with his legs while getting extra leverage with his arms.
After Gill shimmied up to the top of the elevator, he prized open a panel in the ceiling of the elevator when the elevator moved downwards. The movement made Gill fall to the floor.
What is going on here? The elevator stopped and opened. In front of him, down a white colored hallway was a door marked:
EXIT TO SHIPPING
Gill paused before going down the hall. Why is this so easy? I’m right where I need to be. It’s like the Bots are luring me down here like a rabbit in a fox hole. Oh, to hell with it! After being locked up on and off for half a century, I don’t care if it’s too good to be true! Gill smiled to himself as he ran down the hall. He arrived to the door and thrust it open-
A blast of air sent Gill flying out the door. He closed his eyes, fearing what was on the other side of the door. He faintly heard alarms sounding in the distance for a second, but then all sound had stopped quickly after. He felt freezing cold and he couldn’t breathe or feel the ground beneath his feet. Finally he opened his eyes to look around. Gill saw Prison 134B’s shipping yard for the first time, where bots tirelessly unloaded shipments of supplies from shuttles. He saw a windowless building covering the surface of an astroid floating in the middle of outer space. That’s why they didn’t care if I tried to escape. Space is the real prison. As Gill’s senses began to dull from the lack of air before he saw a swarm of small bots surrounding him. He blacked out.
Gill woke up in a windowless prison cell lying on a metal bed inside Prison 134B.
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Chad lives in Long Beach, California and loves to read and write science fiction when he isn't studying for a degree in Biochemistry.