Prompt of the Day: Overprecise
24 Minutes, 576 Words
“Two point three four seven nine one six five oh four percent.” answered the voice, monotonous as ever.
“That’s a little overprecise, don’tcha think?” retorted Frank. “And it was a rhetorical question, anyway.”
Frank scrambled back to his feet and spat blood. That latest injury was what had prompted the question. Francisco Sinclair — Frank, to most people — had survived the first three “tests,” but was not looking forward to the remaining seven. The so-called tests were, predictably, increasing in difficulty. So Frank had, after being knocked to the floor, asked aloud what his chances of surving the “testing procedure” were. He had meant it rhetorically, but the computer had answered automatically. The monotonous AI voice telling him, in exact terms, that he was rather unlikely to live through this.
And the answer had come without hesitation. Part of Frank’s mind wondered if that was due to a fast processor in the computer, or because the numbers had already been run. Probably some of the sick bastards taking bets on the tests subjects.
Frank looked up at the video camera that had been following him the most. “So what are the chances of you calling off these euphemistic tests and letting me out of here?”
“Zero.” came the automated reply. Frank hadn’t really expected anything else. “Test Four begins now.”
Frank’s head snapped back down at the rumbling sound from across the chamber. A series of metallic rollers appeared out of an opening that had suddenly popped up. The rollers were the width of the room, and were barreling across the room towards Frank much faster than he was comfortable with. Frank didn’t know how much the rollers weighed, but he was sure it was enough to kill him. He looked up at the bar above him, left over from test #2, and sighed. Waiting until the last possible moment, he jumped up and grabbed the bar, yelling in agony. A mild electric current still ran through the bar, making it painful to hold onto both because of the voltage, and because the current heated the metal bar. As he desperately hung onto the bar, he swung his legs up and held them as high as he could. While the rollers passed under him, he wondered if he cut the cord running from his back to the wall if that would unground him and at least make the current not affect him. He wondered briefly if that was part of one of the tests that he had missed. The constant danger avoidance hadn’t left him much time for thinking. It was act-or-die in these tests.
The rollers gone, Frank released his grip and slammed to the ground. His entire body ached.
“Test Five beg…” the computer started, but stopped, mid-word. “Warning, security breach,” said the voice, and claxons sounded, presumably throughout the entire compund.
“Took them long enough,” mumbled Frank. For years they’d worked for this. The whold underground movment, finding and training the most likely person to be selected for testing, the implanting of the GPS tracker, the detailed background cover they’d created, all to track down and destroy the testing center. And Frank had survived long enough to know that his friends had breached the security. It was over, for him, and for the others still in the pens awaiting “processing.”
“You can take your two point three whatever percent and choke on it,” Frank groaned.
This time, the computer did not respond.