There it was. The countdown had begun.
The ticking of clocks, so much like the impatient tapping of Father’s shoes at parent teacher conferences, irked him. It was all too familiar—the squid tentacle sensors glued to his skin, the sterile smell of nothing in the ICU, the numbness that came with being cognitively sound and yet physically incompetent. Bass was used to this now, really.
Bass wondered what was beyond death—that was where he was going, after all. This… This experiment, as the white coated non-medical doctors liked to call it, was nothing more than an organised murder.
The sky above him was plaster paint illuminated by the lightbulb sun. He cringed as the room wobbled about him. His existence would end the same way it started: in a manufactured clean room with life that was more artificial than intelligent. No trees, no rivers—just white walls and faux wooden floor panels. No Father either.
A blonde doctor wriggled out the IV drip tube that circled its way into Bass’ left hand, and another held up a syringe filled with bluish liquid in preparation for what they dubbed the best option Bass had since he got here. It certainly felt like a joke. Who would have ever heard of killing a person and jumpstarting him alive again? The doctors hoped that somehow, Bass’ brain would remember how to move the rest of him. The reboot, they claimed, would allow him to walk out of here.
Bass personally just thought his doctors had secret sociopathic tendencies they were so desperate to actualise. Consent, of course, was somehow coerced out of Father.
“Anything. Just fix him,” he had said.
But Father didn’t understand—the doctors were incapable of fixing him the way Father wanted. And this entire demonstration of death was downright irresponsible of him.
Any minute now, he thought as the sensors recorded his rising heartbeat.
“Paddles ready,” the grey headed doctor instructed. Bass wished he had asked if Bass was ready, but he knew he’d have felt like a fish being slaughtered for sushi or something.
“Paddles ready,” the blonde doctor said, holding the paddles like foreign laundry irons he’d never used before. God, he must be one of those over eager doctors, or something. Give the paddles to the other doctor, Bass thought. The one with glasses!!
It was no use now. The paddles were with the blonde one. Perhaps Bass was wrong and this one was the competent physician. He certainly hoped so. Fifteen years was hardly the proper age to go. He hadn’t even gone through a quarter-life crisis yet.
Of course, Bass would hope he was wrong… But perhaps he’d be quite all right with being right. After all, the treatment was certainly not going to work, so perhaps death was a more agreeable outcome.
“Injecting into the IV,” the one with glasses said stoically. As if Bass’ life didn’t depend on it.
Where in the bloody blue blazes was Father?!
Bass felt himself slipping from consciousness even as the doctor said, “heart rate dropping.”
This was it, then.
The moment before death.