host

My hands won’t stop shaking.

Gordon’s pacing—although honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to call it that, at this point—like he’s trying to formulate a new methodology for setting the carpet on fire with nothing but intricate choreography. His living room is immaculately clean, to the point of sterility. I’m not wearing shoes.

It’s that clean in here.

I drove a hundred and ten miles an hour through the city all the way here.

And my hands won’t stop shaking.

For the last twenty minutes, Gordon has been pacing back and forth in front of the sofa where he kindly insisted I sit, muttering the same two or three words over and over.

“I’m fucked. I. Am. Fucked. I’m fucked!

“Listen, I know it sounds crazy, but—”

“Crazy?” I think he’s trying to smile at me, but honestly, it just looks like showing teeth. “Crazy would be if we walked up to Dr. Soliman’s office, pulled out a gun and said, ‘Good morning, Dr. Soliman, I’m having trouble killing myself today. Would you mind to help me out? Oh, and while you’re at it, I’d like to use your office.'”

He’s right. That would be pretty crazy.

“What we’re doing is completely and totally FUCKED!”

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was going to break out in tears.

“Oh, no no no no no. If we’re gonna do this,” he says nervously, obviously trying to convince himself, “and I’m definitely not saying we should—or that I am—we have to do it right.” His eyes are wide and alert.

Has he been dosing?
Mother fucker’s holding out.

Gordon rocks back and forth as he walks, his body hinged at the waist like a stiff doll; the nightmare Christmas Toy creation of an autistic-savant-designer-turned-terminal-crackhead. I wonder if now would be a good time to ask if he’s holding.

“And I’ll tell you another thing,” he said, completing his seventy-fourth lap around the coffee table, “we cannot go in there with your plan. No no no no no.”

Actually, I thought my plan was fairly straightforward:

  1. Connect remotely to the Praxem SecureBridge packet and download the server keys.
  2. Create a query in the system to allow access to the building after hours, coded to my employee ID.
  3. Tell the security guard I left my wallet in my office the day before, and
  4. Use my security credentials to bypass monitoring in the archive room. That’s where they keep encrypted copies of the video footage from the cameras in the observation rooms.

In a nutshell, my idea is to track down every video Amara made in Chamber 2a and do my best to replicate her handiwork.

The same dose. Same entry time. Same day of the fucking week.

Once I know the variables, I’ll be able to find the constants.

Right now I need to get that server key to communicate with one of the tech consoles.

Now if I can just get Gordon to shut the fuck up…

I honestly couldn’t care less if he helps me or not. I’m not stopping until I have you here beside me.

I’ll see you soon, baby.

I love you.

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