I opened my eyes to a mechanical nightmare. All around me were computers compiling data, their wires exposed and drooping down almost all the way to the floor. Some of them laid limply and didn't reconnect to the computer. Occasionally they would spark, making me jump.

I myself was entangled into this electronic web. My limbs were secured into awkward positions by pieces of scrap metal that had been hastily welded down. They were uncomfortably tight, and no amount of squirming helped. Cameras were observing my vain effort to free myself, and if they were alive, I’m sure they’d snicker. I clenched my teeth at the thought, and started to tug on one of my arm restraints.

The door opened. A man, and not a very handsome one at that, stepped in. He held a blank expression as he ventured over to one of the computers. A clicking sound filled the room as he started typing out something I couldn't make out. As he worked, he spoke in a foreign tongue. I squirmed faster.

The man started laughing. With a devilish smile, he pulled a lever. I heard something snap open, but I could not place it. Looking up, I found it. There had been a small compartment tucked into a corner above my head. The only reason I noticed it was because the doors, now open, had entered my field of vision. With a mechanical clatter, a metal object came out of the doors. Slowly but surely the hunk of steel lowered toward my head. I panicked and tried to pull off my restraints. The man, now rambling, came forward with a needle. With a huge hand, he held me down as he inserted the sharp point into my arm. A numbing feeling spread from the tiny wound all across my body. Dazed, I stopped moving. The metal lowered and grasped my skull, snapping as it secured itself. It covered my face, blinding me. A shiver went down my spine as something I couldn't recognize was stuck into my limbs.

It felt as if my veins were freezing, leaving a slow and slushy feeling as the blood circulated through my body. The icy sensation suddenly started burning, making me sweat. It slowly faded away, and I breathed heavily from the ordeal. The man removed the metal object before taking off my restraints with little to no effort and carrying me out of the room. I stared at the floor as we moved, observing the peculiar bobbing movement he made as he walked. My limbs felt like stone as gravity made them hang around like a rag doll’s.

As we arrived in the new room, the man chuckled. He tied me down like before, except this room was in a better state. Cables didn't hang from the ceiling, but instead were attached to the machine I was tied to. The computers lined up on the wall on the adjacent side of the room, and the cameras gave what felt more like a stern impression. One of the walls had a window leading to another room. It was filled with people.

The man started bellowing out at the window while making bizarre hand gestures, stopping every once in a while to rub his well groomed facial hair. Toward the end of what I could only assume to be a speech, he walked over to the computers and pressed a button.

A glass dome came out of the machine, trapping me. I twitched. A few more machine parts grabbed my limbs in a similar fashion as before, but with many needles attached to it. I winced at the cold feel of the metal. The last of the robotic arms closed around my neck, chest, and the top of my head, flattening me out as if I was about to be dissected. The man pushed a button, making the needles stick into my veins simultaneously, injecting a chemical into me. Instead of the same feeling before, I suddenly felt a surge of energy go through my body, surprising me. My heartbeat started to accelerate, beating loud enough that I could swear the people watching could hear it. Looking through my glass confinement, I watched as the man made another strange gesture as he hit another button.

The needles were pulled out, and then rotated on a circular track until they fell onto the floor. With the same motion the needles were replaced. The arm adjusted slightly, and then stabbed the needles into my muscles. I flinched, but then relaxed. My limbs were starting to feel as light as feathers, like I could do anything I felt like doing. With this sudden feeling of freedom, I tried rebelling by pulling on the restraints again. It was a fruitless effort, but I still pulled. The man frowned at me, and turned to his computer once more. He typed some more as he shook his head and muttered. The machine started up again, pulling the needles out and retracting the mechanical arms. Two more sets came out, both wielding surgical tools, and a mask popped out from the top, lowering and strapping itself on my face. The inside of it had a very funny scent, and I laughed. I didn't know why, but my laughter soon changed to sleepiness, and I closed my eyes just as I saw the one of the pairs of arms marking my stomach and the other head toward the top of my skull.

I bolted up before I even opened my eyes. I was lying on a steel table in the middle of the room, without any restraints. The man stood next to me, speaking in a language I suddenly found myself understanding.

“… As you can see, the healing process has sped up as well…” I looked down at my arms. I couldn't find any holes. Looking at my stomach, I could see a faint trace of incision, but aside from that, everything looked fine. The man was right. “… Thanks to this revolutionary process, we can make armies of any size, power our machines at any time, even better transportation! Just think, with all of those pests at our disposal, we can advance our technologies and militaries as much as we want!”

I glared at him. Who was he calling a pest? Who did he think he was, believing he was going to get away with using them as some slaves? I reeled in my arm for a punch, but I was cut short as a robot grabbed me from behind. Startled, I slipped, and the robot tightened its grip and drove me out into the hallway. I crossed my arms in annoyance, noting every turn we made.

The robot stopped at a room full of giant cages. Some of them had residents varying in age and race. No matter how different they were, all of them shared the same gloomy expression. I frowned. The robot stuffed me inside one of the empty cages on the far side of the room, locking the simple latch before leaving. Sparing no time, I opened the ridiculous lock before moving on to free the other prisoners. With the others free, I made a dash down the hallways until I came across the room I’d just left. Grabbing the door knob, I slowly opened it and peeked inside. Empty. With a smile, I casually walked over to the computer and slammed my hands down onto the keyboard. I turned to the buttons and proceeded to slam onto every button I could reach as quickly as I could. Sure enough, red words reading “system overload” started flashing onscreen and sirens went off. Satisfied, I ran out of the room and into the opposite end of the corridor.

As I ran, I came across the man. His surprise of seeing me suddenly changed to rage as he realized what I’d done. He jumped for me, but I easily dodged him and ran out of the building with a smirk on my face.


The man kneeled in the giant crater where his greatest invention once stood. That machine was his life’s work, the fruits of all his years of labor. All the research he’d done, all the tests he’d run, all the money he would have made off of it, they were all useless now. Anger surged through every fiber of his being, and he screamed and pulled on his facial hair in his fury. That smug little bastard had taken everything he’d cherished away from him, and he was determined to even the score. “I’ll make you rue this!” He bellowed toward the sky, fists clenched and raised in a hateful oath. “If my name isn't Doctor Robotnik!”