SLA Industries

A Brutal Wake Up Call
Going from one nightmare to the next

Violence. Violence in concept, rather than words. An experience more than a definition.

A sudden sensation of falling, a sudden churning departure of warmth, and the horrible realization something was in your throat, blocking your air. The simultaneous panic of falling and suffocating broke through barriers of training in an instant, just before something sharp and solid slammed into your feet, knees, and side. You try to claw at your throat, but your hands can’t reach it. Something presses against your face, cold, hard and rough, and the thing in your throat jerks the wrong way.

A force pushes on your chest, forcing your back against the rough surface. Something else, warm but still hard, latches on to your head. You thrash, convulse, try to push the things away, but nothing is moving like it should. You can hear noises, but they are distant, unimportant compare to your lack of air. The thing in your throat jerks again, and pain flares as it rakes blades only the inside of your neck and chest. And then you can breathe.

People. That’s what was holding your wrists, and pressing on your chest. The floor was grating, and it was dripping with some kind of thick, clear fluid. The same fluid covers your skin, coats your eyes, and blocks you ears. It tastes awful, and is cooling rapidly. The people, having freed you to breathe, ignore you, and cluster around a holo-display. Their words are confusing, but their tone is fear, disbelief, and surprise.

To your left, you see several more bodies, like you, naked, shivering, and covered in the clear slime. To your right, a handful more. Behind you, set in a wall of cables, hoses, and machinery, are clear empty tube, three times the size of a man. A door, more akin to a value, is opened at the bottom of each tube, and the clear liquid drips heavily from it.

“It’s say right here,” a loud, important voice rose over the others. “It’s them. They were regrown from storage DNA, the memories uploaded, and…well, just released early. Some kind of glitch.”

“These computers don’t glitch,” a woman’s voice. “And the files. The memories. They’re supposed to be 2.1 petabytes in size. These are 5.6! Whoever they are, they aren’t what was uploaded back in port.”

You feel eyes on you, and look up. The voices now had shapes. With the slime wiped from your eyes, you see they are a mixture of body shapes, genders, and races. Six unrelated, unremarkable people in lab coats, staring at you like an experiment gone to rot. There was not doubt in their eyes, no question on what was to be done with you.

Another figure enters the room, this one clad in a long, black, double breasted coat. A leather skull cap hid his hair, and a pair of welding goggles cover his eyes. He moved like he owned the room, the whole building, everything. As he passed the lab coats, cables of some kind shot out form behind him, striking the scientists. Sprays of blood splattered the computer controls and flew through the holo-display. The bodies hit the floor, the cables retracted, and the man didn’t even slow his stride as a half dozen lives were snuffed out.

The man went to the holo-display, glanced at its controls, and inserted three small devices into some slots. He hummed, part of the display turned red, and he pulled the devices from the console. Then he turned to you.

“You are early,” he address your still prone forms. “It was not supposed to be this way. But it is easily fixed.” The cable appeared over his shoulder, and you can see it was tipped with something sharp and barbed and still dripping with blood..

“No,” the voice was small, young, but seemed to carry the weight of a millennium. The man stiffens, then slowly turns in place, the cables retracting behind him and into a slit in the back of his jacket. Behind him, a small girl, perhaps barely in her second decade, stared up at the man with unnerving intensity. Her pale skin contrasted with her too black hair, and the thick make up made her seem younger, as if she was trying to look full grown and failing. Her stance, however, spoke of menace and danger.

“I can kill them before you could stop me, Senti,” the man replied, and your eyes locked on to that hole in his jacket where the cables came out. “You couldn’t stop me.”

“And then I would bring them back,” she answered.

“And I? Would you bring me back, as well?” She nodded, unhesitatingly. “That’s not much of a threat, now is it?”

“I can keep bringing you back,” she replied. “And I’ll take my time both ways. Now get out.” The man nodded, and left without a word. Alarms sounded, and red light were flashing. The girl glanced over her shoulder in the direction the man went, and then turned back to you.

“I can’t make you forget, so you are going to have to do what I say,” she said and put her hand on your face, covering one eye. "Whatever they ask, tell them you don’t remember. You can’t remember anything. You took a job, did the job, and went to sleep. When you woke up, you were here,” A painful shock stabbed your eye, like an electrical spark, only to be quickly replaced by a soothing numbness. The girl stood and moved to the next slime cover person.

“You are not who they think you are. You don’t know anyone by those names. And for god’s sake, don’t tell them you have their memories.”

Violence is your wake up call. It will become you calling.


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