ROUND TRIP

This is my first day. Let’s see if I remember the instructions. Put ALL clothing I plan to wear, in the Bio chamber, close the door and press the red button. After about five minutes, when the door unlocks, open the door and remove the clothing. Hmm, they’re a little warm, but dry. My shoes, however, are very warm, but also dry. I notice a slightly sweet smell that wasn’t there before. I wonder if I’ll have the same scent.

Time for the next step. Press the green button, and completely naked, enter the chamber. Shut the door, position myself in the center of the chamber and shut my eyes. For about ten seconds, nothing. Tempted to open one eye, I remember Terri’s stern warning. “DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES UNTIL YOU HEAR FIVE BEEPS AND THE DOOR UNLOCK”. I looked around at the other five recruits, hoping one of them would ask the question that was burning a hole through my brain, trying to get to my mouth. It seemed only a  tenth of a second before my lips parted, that I heard it. “What happens if I DO open them”? It was exactly what I …wait…did I actually say it? Terri gave me my answer. Two quick, purposeful steps, and Terri’s nose was an inch from the kid’s. Terri’s not big, but she’s scary. She has a nose and eyes like a bird of prey. “Each of you are allowed one violation; and that was yours, Gomez! You will not question an order or instruction. But just so your violation wasn’t  in vain, here is the answer to your question. If you are dumb enough to open them before time, that will count as two violations and will immediately terminate your contract. If you are wondering how we would know; It will be because the whites of your eyes will have become dark red, which would be something pretty hard to miss.”

(To be continued)

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