The wail of a trombone fills the air, slowly settling on a somber note. A smooth glissando moves it down to the next note, followed by a sharp rise as the octave jumps and more notes are played. The sound bounces through the room, slipping through inattentive ears. Few heads turn as I turn the song into a slow jazz. I let my mind go and simply listen to the music. Tranquil moments are rare here. Making the most of this time is all that can keep anyone here sane. I bring the song to a close as one of the men in suits comes up to me. I put away the instrument and follow the man. My break is over, a different song is about to begin.
The music begins; a symphony of metallic clangs and screeches as mechanics prepare for what is to come. Each clang, scratch and bang of metal another tone to the concert in my ears. I raise my arms to conduct the unruly ensemble hidden in the shadows as my limbs are pierced with control jacks. Cool liquid pours into my blood through them, forcing my muscles to flex and contract as paranoia consumes my thoughts. Whats going to happen to me? How will I survive? Theyre coming for me with blood in their eyes. A depraved smile crosses my face, my lust fulfilled by the drug. The concert turns into cruel snarls and manic laughter; the cold Frisson replaced with burning electricity. My eyes close and are greeted with the sight of my enemy; a faceless, nameless mechanical being. Long bars and wide sheets of metal construct its body, the muscle-like pistons clearly visible beneath its metal skin. Steam shots out of joints as it lurches forward. Bright red eyes stare at me, burning through my eyes, looking into my soul. Its coming to get me, it wants to crush me, it will kill me.
It charges towards me, and throws a massive fist at my face. I crouch and raise my own metal arm to block the strike and return with an uppercut of my own, forcing my enemy to stagger. I have no choice except to fight and I have no misgivings about that. I run forward and deliver another blow to its body, knocking it to the ground. As it lays there helpless, I leap into the air, crashing down with my knees and following with a barrage of punches. I must beat this; I will not die by its hand! It struggles beneath me and manages to push me off. With both of us on our knees it tries to get me with a quick jab, but I grab its fist and arm in my hands and in one swift motion, flip it over my back and into the ground. An opportunity has presented itself that I cannot ignore. Not if I want to live through this. Still holding its arm, I place a foot on its body and begin to pull. It writhes in an attempt to stop me, but black blood begins streaming out as the metal creaks and groans. One final jerk and the arm is free from the joint that held it. Laughter overtakes my voice as I tear at the body before me, snapping metal and bathing in the shower of blackness.
I cant stop, not until I know it wont come after me, not until I make absolutely sure it cant continue. Every movement is another attempt to get me, each strike another chance to kill me. The lights go dark and I continue thrashing and laughing at the foe before me even as I feel the jacks removed and my eyes open to an empty floor. I pound the ground in a feeble attempt to make sure that the fight is over. My breath turns quick and my body begins to shake as the effects of Frisson fade away. With my will to continue gone, I collapse to the ground as I hear faint screams of pain from a man being carried away next to me, his body on a stretcher and an arm stuck in a metal casing.