Stanley hates days like today. Days in which he will perform his job, but will never remember why.
He walks down the bright white corridor, passing nurses and lab techs, on his way to the control room. The building, a bunker to be more precise, is a stifling white monstrosity. Bright, clean, and polished tiles make up the floors. White concrete blocks, devoid of any life, line the walls. The ceiling is just one bright light, extending down the entire length of the hall leaving not an ounce of darkness. Anything the facility could make white, they did. For colors of any kind could disrupt its main function.
Stanley finally arrives at the door marked four-zero-four, the main control and observation room for today. Technicians dressed in clean lab coats sit at various consoles, awaiting instructions. Stanley walks over to his command chair at the back of the room, where he will observe and conduct today’s procedure. It is scheduled to be a complete wipe today, one of the hardest to achieve, but Stanley and his team are experts. Years of performing procedures has hardened them, and all but turned everyone in the room into efficient machines. They have one job, and they will get it right. There will be no miscalculations, no errors, and no memory afterwards.
Opposite the room from Stanley is a large one-way mirror looking into a pure-white, circular room. Surrounding the edges of the room is an array of iron bars, painted white. In the center of the room sits a raised platform about five feet wide, and one foot off the ground. The floor of the room is concrete that has as well been painted white. After a few moments, a small door carved into the side of the circular wall slides open. A man dressed in a plain white t-shirt, with bleached pants and socks walks in. His head and face recently clean shaven, nails trimmed, and freshly bathed. He walks over and stands on the raised platform, glancing at the metal bars surrounding him. The door from which he came slowly slides shut.
Stanley studies him for a moment, burning the image of the man firmly into his mind, as per protocol. Six foot even. Average weight. Appears to be in his early to mid-twenties. Green eyes, skin with a light complexion. The man displays no sense of outward emotion as he stands in the center of the platform. Stanley looks down at the piece of paper resting on his station, confirming that this is the same person who requested this particular procedure. Most go for lesser options; memory alterations, cognitive restructuring, or any other of the different options provided to the public. In each case, you always have to make sure the subject inside matched, most especially for a full wipe. Mistakes are not an option, not for something like this.
After ensuring that the man inside did indeed match everything on the form, Stanley presses a button on his console. The door in the inner-chamber seals, emitting the sound of hissing of air as the room is slowly pressurized. He motions for the technician at his right to begin her process. She begins to softly call out instructions to the other assembled members in the room, but they already know what to do. Methodically, the team presses buttons, pulls levers, and turns dials in an eerily precise manor. With the exception of the instructions being given, and actions being performed, not a sound is made. Within the chamber, the iron bars encircling the room begin to glow with a bright light. The man shifts slightly as the bars begin to move, spinning around to room. After a few minutes, the first technician turns back to Stanley, indicating that the facility was ready to commence the wipe.
Stanley spares one last moment to look at the man standing inside the chamber. Twenty-three years old, the dossier said. A son, a husband, and a father according to the short biography that was included. After all these years, Stanley still couldn’t understand why some people opted for the full wipe. Why choose this option when the others are so much more effective now. But, it’s neither his decision to make nor his place to judge. The man has made his decision for whatever reason, and that was enough. Stanley takes a long breath, and inserts a specially made key into his console. After a final moment of hesitation, he turns the key.
Light explodes from the inner chamber. Everything and anything was temporarily blinded by white light. Existence itself becomes white. Stanley could no longer feel any part of his body, could no longer see anything except the infinite white expanse. Ears failing to detect any sound, thoughts stop in their tracks within him, and it seems that nothing had ever or would ever exist. Then, suddenly, he was back. Standing in the room, dazed, Stanley looks around. The other technicians are all still sitting at their terminals, a few are rubbing their temples. One never can get used to that part.
Stanley then looks back into the circular room, now empty. The entire room was now the definition of black, with not a fleck of white to be seen. The raised platform sits empty, and his console signals that the door was able to remain sealed. Another light tells Stanley that the procedure had been performed successfully. Still staring into the room, he struggles to remember what he had seen in there just moments before. After a few moments, he accepts that he cannot remember and glances down at the empty form. No information is present, just blank spaces waiting to be filled out.
With a look and a nod from his head technician, Stanley knows that the procedure was a success. He quickly congratulates everyone in the room for a job well done, and leaves through the door. He calmly walks back down the hall towards his office, not knowing who he has just erased fully from existence, nor why.
I have a new short story called [b]"The Existence Machine" [/b]
Go check it out! You can find it over on the creative writing board!