With that he was stripped of all his weapons and escorted inside the gate that separated the harsh world from the safety of a home. He was guided through a large series of streets which to his amazement were lit with the light from fires in almost every house. At last he was brought to an older building with a large archway for an entrance; his hosts hurried him inside and up a set of stone stairs. At the top they pushed him through a door that the word Judge still could be read off of.
“Take a seat and we shall begin your initiation.”
The speaker was female but her face was hidden in the shadows, a desk sat in the middle of the room between them. The desk was illuminated by several candles and a stack of papers sat on top of it, there was an office chair pulled up to it for him to take a seat on the side closest to the door that he had been ushered through. She was standing towards the back of the room, judging from the silhouette she stood about 5’7” and was of slender build.
Without a word he approached the chair and sat down preparing himself for whatever may come. He had made it past the guards but now he will be judged and his fate decided by this person whom he had never met before and had no idea who he was. Yet he knew that all of this was necessary for their survival and he would not blame them if they decided right here and now to kill him.
“What is your name?”
Her voice was clear and soft, but still strong and demanding. “John Grey.” His voice matched hers despite his heart nearly bursting out of his chest and a constant feeling of light headedness. He knew one mistake may cost his life and despite all the risk he needed to be here, needed to be safe.
“How did you get here?”
Did he catch something in her voice; surely not, these people were hardened and left their feelings behind years ago. “I walked here, I walked for more days then I can remember.” He faltered as he remembered back to when he first left his home to find a new one. He remembered watching soldiers moving through his town killing everyone on sight without mercy, but here he was safe.
“Why did you come here?”
It was a simple question and the answer even simpler, yet he knew this was the most important question that he would be asked. Why did he come here? Was it for protection, a place to sleep, his first real meal in several months? The answer could be summarized easily as he just wanted the safety that was promised for those that turned against the new founded government. However he knew the real question was why did he take that risk, why did he turn traitor and run through hell to get here? “I want to be free.”
“And free you shall be. Welcome to your new home John Grey.”
With that the woman turned and left through a door hidden in the shadows behind where she once stood. He couldn’t believe it; at last he was being given a home free from the fear of being killed by marauding soldiers of this new government. Here he would be given a bed and a chance to make a life for himself. These were the thoughts that coursed through John’s brain as he was escorted back down the stairs and into a side room where an operation table had been set up equipped with leather straps to restrain those on the table. There were four people wearing white lab coats standing around a second table that had a bunch of needles laid out upon it. The oldest looking of them took a step forward and spoke in a strong confident tone.
“Please take off your clothes and lay down on the table; we will begin prepping your body for life here.”
John moved slowly towards the table that they indicated keeping a wary eye on the straps that he knew would be used to restrain him once he was sprawled upon that very table. He knew that this was his only choice to be free but why the restraints and why were there four doctors? After getting to the table he began to remove his clothing, as he stripped he could feel the eyes of the other four watching him. After removing the last of his clothes he lay down upon the table and prepared for the worst.
The three other people that John now presumed to be doctors of some sort moved forward and helped him place his limbs through the different straps. They were all very careful not to cause any harm while tightening the straps, but made sure that they would secure him well enough.
“These are not to protect us from you, but to keep your from hurting yourself over the next few days as your body adjusts to the environment of your new home. As you have seen outside of here the world is bleak and protection scarce. Within the confines of our home it is much the same but because of where we live diseases have access to thrive more abundantly and continue to kill our people without mercy. We are going to give you a fighting chance to stay healthy and live long enough to enjoy coming here seeking the freedom that every being deserves.”
As John lay there the leading doctor gestured to the other three and they began the procedure of equipping his body for life in his new home. They began by injecting a syringe into his left arm and after several minutes he blacked out.
“Finish injecting him with the rest of the anesthetics and send him through the machine.” With that the head doctor turned and left through a door in the far corner next to a rather small looking opening, perfect size for a body lying horizontal.