I'm really not sure what I was on when I started writing this. I'm interested to see what people think though, and whether it's worth continuing! :)
I think I've been hit by a frying pan. At least, it feels like it could have been one. The back of my skull throbs, over a wide area. It's difficult to be certain, given that one moment I was happily patrolling Restfield Cemetery, twirling my stake, and the next - boom. Bashed on the head. Brained senseless by a possible frying pan.
Trying to examine my new surroundings doesn't work because I can't see a thing, and any attempt to move is bought up short by what seems to be manacles around my arms and legs. I jerk one of the chains experimentally, and it only shifts a few inches. I twist my hand at a funny angle to feel the chain, how thick it is, and how likely it might break with pressure. The combination of the way I'm strung up and the strength of the chains isn't very encouraging.
I squint in another attempt to try and make out the surroundings. The pitch-black surroundings. The completely-invisible-to-all-attempts-to-seesurroundings. I could be in a two-by-two cell, or a crypt/mausoleum. The only clues I have is the cold stone wall I'm stuck to, and the thick, clanking chains digging into my wrists.
I run through options in my head, before giving up the pretence that I actually have any options.
Panicking seems like the next logical step. Calm, Buffy. Calm.
It's hard to calm down. The rational part of me can see there's no point in getting worked up because, hey, I'm stuck - but the Slayer part of me is frantic. The instinct to fight or flight is strong. I can't fight if I'm chained. I can't flee if I'm locked up.
I can't do anything.
I jerk a little against the chains, just to try and get rid of some of the mounting tension in my muscles. Eventually I just fall into a repetitive rhythm of rocking my legs from side to side. It helps, but not much. I want to yell and holler for help, but it'd probably summon every available bad guy in the vicinity to my spot.
Resting my head on the stone, I sigh. Hopefully, everyone's looking for me right now. I've no idea how long I've been MIA for, but there's no way Giles, Willow or Xander would sit around twiddling their thumbs once they notice the distinct lack of Buffy around. Unfortunately, it might not be until morning when they find out.
There's a creaking sound. My attention snaps to the shaft of moonlight pouring from a now open door, and I can now make out the room. It's a crypt of sorts, and there's a few silhouettes standing at the entrance, casting elongated shadows down the steps.
Trembling slightly from the chill, I strain my ears to snatch at the conversation going on between the silhouettes. From what I gather, there's a deal between Silhouette One with Silhouette Two and Three, but I never find out what because they're all now entering and invading my Personal Space. I try to say something, but before I even get a chance, a
cloth is slammed over my face and I'm inhaling something that smells like disinfectant, or that stuff they put in swimming pools. Chlorine. Chloroform? Dots appear. They spin, turning into a vortex that expands and sucks me right into oblivion.
Time after that, is meaningless.
Everything's a muddle. I have brief moments of lucidity, like this, just before another cocktail of chemicals is injected into my bloodstream. Then I'm out of it, drooling from the corner of my mouth or staring at everything around in blank incomprehension. Sometimes it feels nice; the vague sensation you're floating on air or sitting on a cloud - but you can't react or panic or do anything because your brain is too scrambled, like whisked eggs.
The messages it tries to send to my limbs, move escape fucking run are ignored. The communications dwindle, become more garbled, like the wires that bind my thoughts together are breaking apart. I hate the drugs, the confused stupors, the strange detachment process my mind goes through as it drifts in a sea of ambiguity. A sea of fog.
I taste chlorine in my mouth. I open my eyes a fraction, and let out a small whimper as something sinks into my arm.
Immediately I'm falling. Everything becomes indistinct, merging into a dizzying sprawl of colours and nightmares.
No. There's voices, indistinct and murmuring like a radio in the background. Pain. Burning pain in my chest. Glint of a needle. My eye being stretched open as a light is beamed into it. There's a knife in someone's gloved hand, and it's got blood on it.
Someone's screaming. Me.
I'm not here. Somewhere else. Pretty lights. Needle. Torture?
I snap my eyes open, gasping as though I've surfaced from deep water. It takes a few seconds for my vision to adjust to the fuzzy white light, and for my brain to start processing information. Disjointed memories occasionally flicker, but they're a whirl of colour and sensations and fragmented observations: pain and why and make it stop. The tang of chemical in my mouth is there as a faint aftertaste.
My mind becomes stronger, my vision more refined. I'm looking up at four ceiling lights, which are circular and dotted with six individual bulbs each.
Blinking rapidly, I assemble my thoughts. It's like chasing a horse after the damn thing has bolted. Is this a hospital? There's a heart monitor beeping to my right and a saline drip with a tube stuck into my skin. Duh. As if a hospital would keep me in a drug-induced stupor. As if it would torture me.
It takes a while before I remember my name. After that, the cascade starts, flooding and filling up the empty holes in my head. Not all of them are occupied. There are blanks, mostly to do with this place.
Moving my arm, I feel the brush of leather against my skin. Leather restraints. I roll my eyes around to take in the visual information. The walls surrounding me are all made of steel, but in front is a thick pane of glass with a door in the middle of it. My prison. I bet the glass is reinforced as well.
This definitely isn't a hospital.
I test my arms again. They're atrophied, but not withered and emaciated to the point of uselessness. I still feel the hum of power, the slayer inside working at the recovery of my bodily systems.
There are people in white coats like the ones in the science ward at college, about ten that I can see, skittering about outside the glass prison. They're working in what looks like a fairly big room, as I'm unable to view all of it. Rectangular lights are strung all over the ceiling, and the floor and walls are a sterile white. High-tech stuff is positioned everywhere. The lab-coats are all fairly busy, peering into microscopes, typing on computers. A few have masks over their noses and mouths, and they're wearing these little white swimming caps. The goggles over their eyes make them look like giant bugs. One with a wickedly huge syringe is walking diagonally towards me and out of sight.
The beeping from the heart monitor speeds up. Stop. Stay calm. Figure this out. If the beeping becomes too fast, they'll know something is up and they'll come over with their big needles and it'll be all: ciao, senorita. I need to somehow shred these restraints without drawing the spotlights. Then all I have to do is wait.
My instinct is urging me to get out. Flee whilst I'm still able to function, and my mind is my own.
Frightening to realise someone can take that away from you with one jab.
I start sweating when I see a tiny black eye in the corner of the cell. It's a camera. I know it is. Any calm gathered is heading to the metaphorical window.
It makes a leap out the open window for freedom when I glance at myself under the sheets. The hospital gown I'm wearing buttons up from the front, and at the moment, it's completely loose. I see stitches, all the way up the middle of my torso, and spanning across the sides in a centipede leg pattern. It's like I've been ripped apart and put back together again.
Just to complete the look, I have tubes attached all over. In my stomach. In my arms. I can see body fluids clogging them.
The beeping from the monitor increases. Rapidly. The drugs still lingering in my system are fast evaporating, and my limbs are straining underneath the straps.
Two of the male lab-coats wearing their bug masks glance from their computer screen to me. They pick up syringes from a rack and head over to my cell, opening the door and stepping in.
I fixate on the open door. My escape. My chance at freedom. If they close it or get near me with those needles, I might never get the opportunity again. The thought lashes around my brain and galvanises me into action and I'm up with a grunt, sheer desperation fuelling adrenaline into every nerve. I tear through the arm restraints, slip out of the rest and lunge for the lab-coats. The saline drip tilts forward and crashes to the ground and the tubes rip out one by one. It hurts, it really hurts, and there's trickles of blood where the stomach tubes have ripped out from, as well as a burning sensation. There's no time to reflect on it, because my window of escape is narrowing.
One of the scientists squeaks in terror and presses against the inside of the glass to avoid my furious and adrenaline frenzied assault. The other has more sense and tries to close the door, some noble attempt to sacrifice themselves or whatever to stop me getting out, but I manage to wedge my arm in the gap. He tries to stab me with the needle. I knock him flying. I hear an obnoxious crunch from wherever he landed and force my way out. I close the door with a bang, locking them both in, wide alert for action, panting like I've just run a marathon.
The lab-coats all stare at me in horror. My antics have attracted attention from other, identical cells side by side with my own. Occupants in them are stirring. Some of them are lucid, some of them are in stupors, and others are coming up to see what's happening.
One lab-coat rushes to the left side. She's too far away for me to react. When she reaches the wall, she hammers her fist on something. A loud, ringing sound screeches out and red lights start to flash.
I guess that button was the alarm, then.
I grab the nearest insect by the neck and slam them to the floor with a snarl. He gives a startled squawk and flops limply. Dead or unconscious, I'm beyond caring at this point.
I have stitches all over me, and holes where tubes were stuffed in. I could be the bride for Frankenstein's monster, or a zombie.
I tear off my fallen victim's I.D: a Mr Gale Watson, and clutch it, thinking that in the movies you need some staff identification card to swipe through doors or something.
Whatever. I'm sure this will come in handy - if I make it out at all.
The other lab-coats are snatching or wielding syringes and attempting to box me in. There's a lot of them, and all it'll take is one lucky jab and it'll be lights out, Buffy. I weigh the odds with a sinking feeling, dimly considering the fact the wailing alarm is probably dragging more people this way as I stand. The odds are not in my favour.
And this standing up is making me feel all kinds of woozy.
A loud thud diverts my attention to one of the cells. A gaunt, corpse-like woman is pounding the glass, her yellow eyes boring straight into mine. Her face is twisted into a demonic mask of bumps and ridges and fangs. A vampire.
And a distraction. I run to the door and jerk it open after clacking the bolts aside. She leaps out - points to the other cells to my right, and dashes left.
More patients, or prisoners, or whatever they are, flood up to the doors, staring expectantly at me. They're all demons. Every single one of them represents something I've killed at one point or another in my life. My instincts go haywire, staring at them. A door clicks - the vampire letting someone else out. I see a Polgara demon out of the corner of my eye shrieking in articulate rage as it barrels into the group of scientists. It's missing one arm blade, but not the other. It's soon not alone with the screams. Blood begins to arc into the air.
I gnash my teeth in brief indecision. There's only one real choice, if I'm to stand a chance of getting out.
Become a murderer. Stuffing the Voice of Guilt away in a padded box, I proceed to spring latch after latch, unleashing my demonic cell-buddies out to play. Most ignore me and just charge straight into the gore-fest, but a few actually say thanks. I try to avoid the carnage - and the urge to be sick as I'm sprayed with someone's arterial blood - and seek an exit, intending to get the hell out of dodge and reunite with the Scoobs who I'm sure must be searching for me right now. I don't know how long I've been trapped, but I have a sinking feeling the drug hazes and the piñata operations might have been a little longer than just a few days.
I panic when I can't see an exit. There has to be one, these people don't just get air-lifted in, - and… there! The female vampire I released first is making short work of the lock by smashing it apart with a fire extinguisher. The other demons are too busy wrecking vengeance on the lab-coats to bother with a silly thing like escaping. The vampire breaks the door off its hinges and it crashes down. Then, she scans the carnage, actually looks my way, and beckons to me.
Well, fantastic. A vampire ally. Nothing like torture and imprisonment to bring two mutual enemies together. She'll be all buddy-buddy with me, up to a point. The second we're alone, she'll turn on me and try to eat my face, like the good little vampire she is. But hey. If she's offering me an exit, I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I follow my new best friend out, blocking out the dying noises of the people behind me. A heavy knot deposits itself in my stomach. I'm supposed to save people from the demons; not let the things out to kill everyone.
I tell myself I had no choice. The other part of me grins in savage satisfaction.
Little miss vamp-friend chooses random crimson-lit corridors to dash down, and I'm close on her heels, listening to our pants and the bare slap of our feet against the chilled floor. Everything is alien, unfamiliar, so I block out the scenery and just focus on the thinly covered back of the vampire in front of me, and the billowing hospital gown she wears. I have the same thing, and the material chafes uncomfortably between my legs with every large stride. As I run, button up the hospital gown as best as I can.
All the while, I'm battling the urge to pounce onto the back of the vampire and beat her to a pulp. I've been trapped for too long. There's pent up energy in my veins, waiting to be unleashed, after being immobile for so long. Wanting to slay.
I rein it in for now, the desire for flight stronger than the instinct to fight.
We reach some stairs and whip down them up to eight steps at a time, and I observe her exposed back through the waves of raven-black hair flowing behind her. It's a riddle of scars, and I wonder how many times she's been cut up and stitched together again, like me. Like the stitches on my torso, tracking over most of my skin.
This place is screwed up.
She disappears around a corner, and I hear an exclamation, shortly followed by a thud. Curses. Another thud. I reach the corner and see two unconscious guards slumped by the walls, and the vampire lunging for the third as he raises a gun to shoot her. He presses the trigger, but the bullets hit the ceiling as she knocks his arm upwards. She uses her elbow to execute a vicious blow to his neck. He collapses like a wet rag. Without missing a beat, she carries on, leaving me to jump over the human obstacles.
Not bad. She might be a worthy fight when we get round to it.
I still have no idea where she's going, but she seems confident in her choices of corridors, doors, and stairs. The ringing of the alarm grows quieter the deeper we descend. Saliva wells up in my mouth. We encounter two more guards on a flight of stairs. One vampire and Slayer lunge from the top takes quick care of them. The vampire flashes a toothy grin my way before re-picking up the pace.
We still haven't said a word to each other. Maybe that's a good thing.
She slows down to a walk when we reach level B-75. My eyes pop out at the label. Oh my God. This place is huge. What level were we even on before we jumped down the rabbit hole?
B-75 only has one faintly illuminated room, but it's large and long and shaped like a rectangle. On either side are cells like the ones we escaped from, but they're shaded, and there's no noticeable locks on them. Each one has a bed. Each bed has a white blanket, with something tucked underneath it.
The hairs prickle on the back of my neck. The room's a dead end, so I stop, confused. The vampire walks right up to the end and places her hands on her hips, staring at the wall. She's even tapping her foot.
"I know I probably seem like a crazy person," she says, quickly glancing at me, "But I do have a reason for getting down here. There's a secret switch somewhere. If we find it, there's a lift that leads to a section of the building where we can escape - hopefully without triggering every alarm in existence."
Oh. Really? "How do you know that?"
"Escaped a few times before," she shrugs. "Got schematics from the lab-room one time before they shoved me back in and doped me up."
"Yeah," she replies pleasantly. "Been waiting for a chance to break out and do this for months. Thanks, by the way."
Months? The knot in my stomach finds its way to my feet. My breathing escalates. I have no idea how long I've been in here for, since I spent most of the time as a vegetable. But the thought that it might be months…
Whoa. Head rush.
"D-do you know how long I've been in here?" My voice comes out slightly desperate.
She shakes her head. "Hell no. Don't really get much interaction with my cell buddies. Now… I swear the stupid thing said there was a wall switch somewhere…" She growls, beginning to feel up and down the wall. It's about fifteen metres wide and three metres high.
This could take a while, providing there really is a switch. She has to jump to reach the top corner.
I calm myself down, intending to go and help her since she's not yet attacking me, but get distracted by the rows of cells with their mysterious occupants.
I quickly count thirty on each side. Each cell has a label on where I presume the door would be - but there's no hairline crack or bolts, or anything to indicate a way inside the rooms.
I trace my finger along some of the labels. Subject Nine. Subject Three-Six-Zero is right next to Subject Nine. It looks like none of the cells are in numerical order.
"What goes on here?" I ask my new best friend, taking a quick glance into each shaded cell.
I hear a snort and a sarcastic reply. "Taken a look in the mirror recently, girlfriend?"
"I figured this whole place is some creepy science lab," I reply, pouting slightly. I peer at my translucent reflection in the glass. A zombie with huge black bags under the eyes stares back. It's pale. Ghostly. The skin has shrunken over its face. Yup. That's me. "My God. I look like something out of a bad horror flick. I'm in serious need of food. And makeup."
The vampire laughs. "That about sums it up. These bat-shit insane scientists lock us up and prod and poke us. It's like animal testing but with demons and supernatural shit. Take me, for example. Don't I look pretty?" She turns to flutter her eyelashes at me.
She touches her visage, running her hands along the misshapen bumps. "Yeah, I thought so. Bastards did some voodoo shit on me and got me stuck with this face." She lowers her head, so her dark hair obscures most of the deformities.
Oh, um. Back up a second. "You were turned into a vampire, here?"
She winces at the accusation. "No. Not a vampire. I just look like one."
I blink, trying to process what she just said. "Then what were you before you came here?"
She sighs, turning back to examine the wall. "Something called a potential. I have the chance to maybe become a slayer one day." She freezes. "Wait. You look human. Are you a potential, too?"
"The Slayer," I correct her, delivering one of my patented half-smiles. "Buffy Summers."
She looks at me again, her mouth hanging open. "Seriously? Fuck me. How did they get you in here?"
"I got wanged by a frying pan, I think. Details are a bit fuzzy."
The vampire/potential chortles in surprised, nervous delight. "Well, I never. Always wanted to meet the famous Buffy Summers. Uh, not quite in these circumstances," she gestures vaguely. Then she stiffens again, registering my hard expression. "Just so you know. I'm totally not a vampire. So don't get any funny ideas about slaying me."
"I wasn't thinking about it. Too much," I reply, truthful.
"Cool. Plus, I'm helping you get out and everything." She beams, displaying all of her sharp teeth quite prominently. "Name's Kennedy. Not a vampire. Seriously. Don't kill me."
I nod at her, not trusting myself to speak. I'm dubious, to say the least - but since she's going out of her way to help me, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Right up until the moment she starts trying to chew on my neck.
"Feel free to assist, anytime, " she mutters, turning back to the wall.
"I will. I just want to check out these. Whatever they are." Walking slowly down one side, I take the time to look at the labels and concealed shapes in each room. The unease under my skin refuses to go away. There's also something else. When I concentrate on it, it feels like a peculiar tingle. It gives an invisible tug under my skin, encouraging me to explore further along the cells.
The whole thing seems pretty sinister. These dark rooms, with no way I can see to get in or out. The blankets - what do they hide? Humans? Demons? Some cobbled together monstrosity, stitched out of various different body parts?
I feel dizzy all of a sudden, and lean against the glass of Subject Six-Sixty-Four's room. I concentrate on the tug. It's clearer now, and it's coming from the fourth cell to the end.
I'm led there by the nose, and check the label: Subject Fifteen. I examine the room with nervous anticipation. This is it. This is where my senses are driving me to. And it looks exactly identical to all the other rooms. Dark. Bed with a covered up lump.
Is there a way in? I examine the glass and give it an experimental tap, ignoring Kennedy's rising voice and curses. Nothing. I hold up the I.D I filched, blankly scrutinising around for something that would in theory use it. My breath fogs up the pristine glass and I'm waving the I.D erratically, feeling increasingly more foolish with each second. Stupid I.D. I toss it to the white-tiled ground.
I stare into the cell for a little longer.
"Yo? Buffy? You can stop the tour now and help me the hell out with this, please, " Kennedy's voice calls out, strained and frustrated. For a new best friend, she's seriously pushing her luck. "I'm about ready to start pounding my head on this damn wall."
Whatever. I give up. "Alright," I yell back. "I'm coming down now - huh?" My voice ends in a shocked gasp as the blanket in the elusive cell moves. I back away. The cover is shrugged off. Slowly, stiffly, the figure previously hidden gets off the bed and walks right up to the glass, directly opposite of where I stand.
I forget to breathe.
It's a woman. She's only a little taller than me, and… she's just a tiny bit naked. Maybe a lot naked.
Completely and very noticeably naked.
Her hair is wild and dark brown. Her figure is unbelievably unfair. She has… breasts. Not huge, but pretty substantial. She's curvy, and very pale skinned, almost alabaster in complexion. She's built like a machine, her muscles are well defined and sleek. The fighter in me admires the structure of her body, trying to not focus on the obvious danger areas. There's hair between…
Please burn out my eyes. Now.
Blushing furiously, I snap my gaze back up to the face of the woman. Her face is cold. Hollow. The eyes are absolutely blank. It's not natural for a face to be so still, so removed of expression.
The tug I'm feeling is coming from her, for certain. I glance at the nameplate again.
I should really go and join Kennedy in getting the hell out of here, and get away from the scary naked woman. Preferably starting from now.
Subject Fifteen's eyes glow red, and twin beams of light latch onto me, trailing all the way from my feet to my head. The whole thing takes about three seconds, and I'm immobilised like a rabbit staring into a pair of car headlights, just before it gets squished into the road.
Her large eyes become the colour of chocolate again. She opens her mouth, and I hear her voice through the glass. Evidently, it's not sound proof.
"Identify yourself," she says, her tone flat.
I swallow, a lump clogging up my throat. Then I lick my lips. When I don't respond for any particular amount of time, she repeats the question. Over. And over.
I have a funny feeling she wants me to identify myself.
"Buffy," I finally croak out. It's one of my less flattering voices, ranking right down there with pathetic and grow a spine.
"Buffy," the girl says. "Name and voice registered in databanks. Imprinting commencing."
Both her eyes flash blue this time, and I'm momentarily blinded. When my vision returns, she's speaking.
"Imprinting complete. Features registered in databanks. Voice recognition and activation confirmed. "
My eyelashes move at the speed of light. "Huh?"
"Invalid question," the brunette states, accompanied by a slight pause. "Rephrase."
What the whatting what? "What?"
"Invalid question. Rephrase."
I stutter another moronic sound, and she belts out the same response like a broken record. It might be down to imagination, but I think she sounds a little more tart each time she repeats it.
"Wow." Kennedy - having apparently giving up on finding the exit - approaches the cell and whistles when she sees the brunette. "She's pretty fucking hot. I'd tap that."
I stare at Kennedy in confusion, who is openly admiring - or leering - at Subject Fifteen.
"Lesbian," she clarifies. "Certified rug muncher. At least until…" she points at her fangs, grimacing.
Eww. Visuals. Not going there.
"Awaiting orders," the brunette says. Her gaze is fixated on me. She hasn't even acknowledged Kennedy.
Kennedy blinks. A slow grin creeps onto her lips before she starts to chortle.
"Congratulations, Buffy. You've just got yourself a robot slave... Or a sexbot."
My eyebrows shoot up to my forehead. "Huh?"
"Awaiting orders," the brunette says.
Kennedy bounces on her heels, excited. "I'm pretty sure I've seen a couple of these upstairs, trailing behind some of the staff. Not quite as bare, though. I think I'd remember nakedness. Did she do the eye thing - like where they flash red or blue or yellow?"
I nod, staring at Subject Fifteen speculatively. She stares blankly back.
"Then she's one of them. A robot."
"She doesn't look like a robot."
"The word 'duh,' comes to mind. But she sounds like one. And we're in a science lab where they experiment on living people," Kennedy points out, "Plus, how many people out there beam light from their eyes, X-Men style?"
It'll probably be counteractive if I did tell her. "I don't see any metal bits." I squint at Subject Fifteen in all her fleshy glory, struggling not to flame out again. "Shouldn't there be metal bits? There's always metal bits."
Kennedy rolls her eyes. "Chick, you've been watching the wrong movies."
"No, it's true! Willow had a demon robot boyfriend who wanted to destroy the world via the internet. Full of metal bits. And my mom's boyfriend… well, alright, he did look like a human until he went all psycho and I had to kill him, but no way does that count." I frown. "Actually, yes it does." I fall silent for a bit. "Okay, you're right. She's a robot."
"That was easy." Kennedy smirks. "But if you need to make sure she's got metal parts, you could always poke around inside her. Cop a little feel. And hey. I'd gladly volunteer for the job…" She wriggles her fingers, leaving me in no doubt what she's talking about.
In-between the task of turning into a giant beetroot and wanting to scrub my brain out with a wire brush, I stutter out: "I-I don't get why they'd make a naked robot."
Kennedy purrs, a sly smile curling her mouth. "You hear me complaining?"
I roll my eyes. I get the hunch that if I knew Kennedy in another life, I'd find her unbelievably annoying. "I don't get also why she's locked onto me like some disturbed version of a baby duck."
"I'm clueless on that front. However… you probably won't get the same result in any of the other cells," Kennedy muses, pacing a little as she tracks down her train of thought; "Seeing as you yelled really loudly, and I yelled really loudly, enough for probably half the compound to hear."
"I guess." I go back to examining Subject Fifteen. She really doesn't look fake in the slightest. I can see hair follicles. Blemishes in the skin. Her hair isn't as in bad condition as mine or Kennedy's, but it looks like it's been unwashed for nearly a week.
Everything seems real, apart from the eyes, and posture of her body. A shiver creeps up my spine. She's too stiff, too rigid. She's looking at me right now, but at the same time, I don't think she really sees anything. My mother claims that eyes are the windows to a person's soul.
Judging by the windows right here and now, she doesn't have a soul.
She's empty, like a machine.
"Awaiting. Orders." I blink. Okay, I'm not imagining things with that voice. Subject Fifteen definitely sounds pissed.
"Tap on the glass," Kennedy commands.
Subject Fifteen ignores Kennedy.
Kennedy frowns. "Say something to her, Buffy."
"You want me to give you orders?" I ask Subject Fifteen.
"I have imprinted to obey only your voice," Subject Fifteen answers.
"Your. Own. Personal. Slave," Kennedy enunciates. "Damn, girl. Bet the scientists are going to be all kinds of angry with you if they find out about this." She takes a quick glance at the nameplate. "Ugh. Subject Fifteen? Too much of a mouthful. I'm gonna call her Zomboid. Hey, Zomboid!" Kennedy waves at Subject Fifteen. "I like your tits!"
I ignore Kennedy's last comment, resist the urge to punch her, and frown at the motionless brunette. "How will we break her out? "I don't see any way. And the glass…" I bang it forcefully. "It's reinforced. No way could I break it."
Kennedy stops trying to get Subject Fifteen's attention. "Um. Ask her if she can escape? See what happens." She folds her arms under her chest.
It's a good suggestion. "Can you break out of here?"
"Yes," the robot replies immediately.
Kennedy grins. "So that's it, then. Get Zomboid to break out. Then get her to break us out," she adds, as an afterthought. "If the Zom can, it saves me bashing my head on a wall and waiting for the crazy squad to come down and bundle us back in the cells."
Oh, right. Forgot we're on the run. "Get us outside." The order comes out slightly panicked, and as soon as I say it, I feel foolish. It's difficult to see how a naked robot's going to help us.
In response, the robot clenches her hands into fists. "Step back from the glass."
Two seconds later, she thrusts out with both fists into the glass, and it shatters into fragments before I've even registered what's happening.
Both the vampire and I stare at Subject Fifteen in horror. Holy moly. She's strong. She steps out of the giant gaping hole she's just made, and I swear Kennedy lets out a tiny squeak.
Or maybe it's from me.
Subject Fifteen ignores us and walks briskly to the far wall. We both watch as she scans it with the red beams from her eyes. Somewhere near the bottom of the right corner, we see an obscure compression, highlighted by the pitch of light from her eyes. She kneels down and presses into it with her finger.
She's still very obviously naked. I'm concentrating hard not to think about it, and it's not exactly much of an success on that front. You know the thing where you tell yourself not to think of something, and you end up thinking about it, anyway?
The wall rumbles open, revealing a lift with multiple buttons. The brunette enters the lift, turning to face us. "Here is the way outside." She tilts her head to the side, as if to say:
Well? Are you fucking coming, then?
"R-right," Kennedy eventually breathes. "Way out. Yeah."