The rain spattered and fell onto the grey pavement below the window. Sam pressed his head onto the cold, damp glass.
His stomach turned and his head buzzed with the noise and smell of the late afternoon classroom. This place was alien to him. He felt like he had just died. The noise sounded familiar yet alien to his ears.
Suddenly books were being rammed into bags, chairs were being slammed and scraped under desks and kids were pushing towards the door.
Sam turned away from the window to watch the madness. As suddenly as the siren had released the children all fell quiet.
Picking up his bag Sam followed the pack out into the wet yard.
He knew the hover-bus would be full today so he hunched his shoulders against the stinging rain and trudged towards home.
The streets he walked through were abandoned. Everyone was inside hiding from the acid rain which had been coming for years now, ever since the walls had been built. Sam hated the walls: Walls which had been created by several different governments as a way of getting rid of their countriesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ pollution. They dumped everything they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want outside the wall and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care who or what they were dumping it on.
Sam stopped at a window which had a poster saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“Move to Paradisos for the paltry sum of six milla-bucksÃ¢â‚¬Â. The gorgeous blonde smiling at him from the poster looked real, but her synthetic eyes just missed being warm.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â No adult on Poisanos looked that good anymore. Bad diet, bad air andÃ‚Â Ã‚Â rain damped depression had withered and worn them down like the pavements outside their mouldering apartments.
Disgusted, Sam turned away, stamping his foot into a puddle and trudged on towards his apartment. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really his apartment in district five. He just crashed there with a bunch of scary old men because there was nowhere else for him to go since his mother and father had been caught in a freak storm not long after the walls had gone up and they had never recovered from their burns.
Inside the apartment it smelled like beer, old men and some horrible hint of partially dried blood.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The food machine was broken again. He had no credits to feed into it anyway. At the end of the hall was another machine that some times worked if you yelled loudly and kicked hard enough. Today he was lucky.
His kicking had moved the machine away from the wall and Sam could see the edge of a door behind it. Shoving the K-so bar into his mouth Sam pulled the machine further out from the wall and opened the door. There was no light in the tiny room in front of him, but the smellÃ‚Â Ã‚Â was familiar to him. Sam had moved beyond caring too much about his own safety so he felt his way into the room. Under his feet Sam felt the crunch of broken glass. The dim light coming in from behind Sam showed the outline of an open door on the other side of the tiny cubicle.
It took only milla seconds for him to move into the room beyond. To the left of him was a green glowing door and to the right a red one with cables going in and out.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What a weird place,Ã¢â‚¬Â breathed Sam.
The red door seemed to be pulsing. Sensing some kind of pull, Sam wove his way through the wriggling snakes of red and blue cables. As he walked the cables seemed to move.
When he brushed his hand along the wall a light flicked on overhead. In front of him were wall to wall computers and a large, mechanical, cable-covered beating human heart.
SamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own heart stopped for the briefest second and then beat twice as fast. His mouth went dry and he had to fight an impulse to vomit. Backing out of the room Sam slammed the door behind him. He wanted to get away as fast as he could. The wires and cables sensed his terror. They moved like waves then coiled around his legs and Sam fell to the ground with a thud.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go that way!Ã¢â‚¬Â the cables tightened around his legs and body.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Who are you?Ã¢â‚¬Â he yelled as cables covered him from head to toe.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂLet go of me,Ã¢â‚¬Â he yelled.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂYouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a fool.Ã¢â‚¬Â A voice from the darkness whispered, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Stay still if you want to live.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â Ã‚Â
A sound came from the main room.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The new heart should be here by Monday.Ã¢â‚¬Â It was a womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s voice.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The new blood has been completed so we can give it to him right away. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to take one month to pump so weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to wait until the new transplant harvest in about 3 months.Ã¢â‚¬Â The woman walked towards the glowing door.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait three months. Our little donor has a date with a knife on Monday. We have a nice rich receiver in Paradisos and I want that heart at its best.Ã¢â‚¬Â They stopped outside the hiding place given to Sam by the cable monster.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂBut sir, the new blood will make much the heart much betterÃ‚Â Ã‚Â and he has a name,Ã¢â‚¬Â Silva protested .
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Silva you think like a Poisanan,Ã¢â‚¬Â he grumbled
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Always saying we can help the weak, always one step ahead trying to make life better for all.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Now think like a Paradisian!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sorry Sir I think this place is gettingÃ‚Â Ã‚Â to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â Silva said. He nodded,
Ã¢â‚¬Å“NOW GO!Ã¢â‚¬Â he yelled
Silva rain off. The cables flicked around the manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s feet in a mad rage but SamÃ‚Â Ã‚Â was held so tightÃ‚Â Ã‚Â he could not move or scream.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The man looked not at the wires, but at a door to the right of him.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s with you Thing?Ã¢â‚¬Â he bit on his cigar.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not a thing. I have a name. Silva gave it to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬ÂWell hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s news for you. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not Silvia and she wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be back for a long time Thing.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The cables began to move like rapids and almost whipped the man.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I would stop that if I was you. You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to end up like all the others in that room, lying dead on a cold steel tables, being sold piece by piece on eBay.Ã¢â‚¬Â He grinned looking into the room.
The wires stopped and lay quite still.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Good job Thing.Ã¢â‚¬Â He kicked the cables hard and a faint whining followed him to the green door.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
Sam lay still until he was sure the man had left the room, then he leaped to his feet, struggling away from the cables. He was shaking so much he could hardly stand, but he knew he had to get away from the cable room. He had to tell someone.
When the walls had gone up not only did the dumping start, but so did the disappearances. The people of Poisanos had always thought of the disappeared as the lucky ones who had managed to escape to Paradisos, but now Sam knew where they had really gone.
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