Machine Man (serial)
I woke, but not in the hospital. It took me a while to figure this out, because I couldn’t focus my eyes, and because I really, really should have been in the hospital. I had just crushed my right leg. There was nowhere else I belonged.
“… can’t know,” said someone. It sounded like my boss, D. Peters. “It’s just a coincidence.”
“I don’t believe in coincidences.” This was a woman, hard to place until her enticing, toxic scent wafted across me.
“Check the security tape,” said D. Peters. “He did it himself. There’s no question.”
“Hmm.” I tried to move my head, to see Cassandra Cautery, but my muscles refused to respond. A sun hung over my face, angry and brilliant. It looked familiar. It was a lab light. The problem with this was it meant I was lying on the lab floor, bleeding to death.
“He moved,” said D. Peters. “Just then. Did you see that?”
“You’re panicking,” said Cassandra Cautery. “You’re a panicker, Dick. It’s your panicking that led us here.”
“We have a role for panickers at this company,” she said. “And it’s not management.”
“For God’s sake,” said D. Peters. Or Dick, I guess.
“You know what I should do to you?” I heard her shoes sliding across the floor. “I should… I should…”
“Don’t do that thing,” said D. Peters.
I heard an intake of breath, then an odd snuffling. I tried to raise my head, to see what this was, but all my body managed was a sound like: “Guauah…”
There was silence.
“Oh,” said Cassandra Cautery. “Fine, then. Take him to the hospital.”
Rough hands seized me by my armpits. I thought I recognized the hostile fingers of Carl the security guard. The light above me swung away.
“And give him some of that benzo-8,” said Cassandra Cautery. “You know. The stuff that wipes memory.”