The Quiet Room

FOR ATTENTION OF SPYMASTER GENERAL VALRAVN –
RECORD TAKEN FROM SOLDIER MAGPIE DURING MISSION DEBRIEF
BEGIN PLAYBACK

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Sometimes we work a little too hard trying to fulfil our dreams. Sometimes things go wrong. Mistakes are made when preparing batches of behaviour alteration beans, somebody experiments with their own mind and something just snaps.
In the old days, they used to be sent to the quiet rooms for rehabilitation. These provided a calm space where their overheated brains could cool down, their exhausted bodies recuperate and some semblance of their functional (for whom among us is “normal”?) selves.

The quiet rooms have not been in use for some considerable time. The army has grown smaller, integrated more with the world outside of the bunker. We have lost so much. Some of us have formed teams to begin reclamation of bunker sections. Cleaning out and re-purposing the old areas. Taking back some of our past glories. I was one of them once.

In order to maintain our safety, scout robots go ahead of us. They are terrible for getting lost and/or destroyed but occasionally one reports an area worth sending a human team to investigate for compatibility.

Lucky me, it was my turn.

I had the usual kit bag of lights, NERF weaponry and tools for breaking/entering into sections that were locked or without power. The trip to the disused area itself was relatively uneventful, though the entrance to the bunker appearing in the Executive Washroom of the Mayor of Newcastle was somewhat challenging.

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BREAK IN RECORD – STORAGE MEDIA CORRUPTED
ATTEMPT RECOVERY
FINAL 10% OF RECORD SUCCESSFULLY RECOVERED
RESUME PLAYBACK

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The main foyer and corridor for the quiet rooms was sparse. There was little of the usual Toy Soldier decoration in here, just the robot logo on the main doors and again at the reception desk. From the room reference number my data feed pulled a file informing me that this was where the majority of the victims of Behaviour Alteration Bean batch #52 had been treated, their fractured minds pulled back together through the support and fellowship of the Nurses, Engineers and Soldiers that worked here.

I found an old tape deck. Flicking the play switch a disembodied voice echoed mournfully down the hall.

“I have seen the face of love herself. Her name is Kenneth. We must feed her sawdust or she will grow angry. Her kisses are like melted butterflies.”

I looked into the rooms. At some point the occupants had been decorating them. In one I see endless maps of tunnels.

Padded Cell

“The bunker is everywhere and nowhere. There must be a door to the utopia somewhere. Everywhere. Nowhere. Somewhere. Everywhere. Nowhere. Somewhere.”

Another room is sealed with fabric.

“The masters are clouds of nano-machines. Our leaders are lies! They are beyond even cybernetics! Ghosts in the machines! Machines that are ghosts! Don’t breathe the machine ghosts!”

The next room is full of what appear to be dreamcatchers, made from twisted together bedsprings and shreds of fabric.

“I dreamt that I awoke, awake inside the dream. Reality is passing through the holes in the nets. Don’t fall asleep! Don’t fall asleep! Nothing will catch you!”

The tape recorder clicked, having reached the end of the spool. The voices however, did not. The rooms begin calling to me. I feel strange, weak, in need of a rest. Finding one of the few undecorated rooms I closed the door and leaned against the padded wall, the only sound the padded cell the roar of the voices within my aching head. With shaking fingers I pulled the pen from my pocket and begin drawing ravens on the walls. My newfound audience applauded in rapture.

I guess I had been working too hard after all….

 

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DEEM RECLAMATION MISSION SUCCESSFUL Y/N?




RECLAMATION SUCCESSFUL