So I squeezed through the opening and stumbled into the cool darkness of an autumn night, a piercing wind moaning through the trees, driving gray slabs of cloud across an ashen sky, obscuring the moon, and I breathed deeply, savoring the musty, earthy odor of decaying leaves. But my sense of joy was short lived. No sooner had I regained my balance than two shapes rushed out of the darkness and grabbed me. They pushed me back onto the rocky ground, one tying my hands behind my back and another my ankles, then jabbed me with a needle. It all happened so fast, I didn't even have time to struggle, but I did scream out in pain and frustration just before lapsing into unconsciousness.
When I came to, I was lying on a cot in a bare concrete cell perhaps eight feet square. There was no window, a single bare light bulk on the ceiling above providing the only illumination. The only entrance was a solid steel door that gave me little hope for escape.
I didn't bother getting up. Where was there to go, anyway? Besides, I was feeling so tired, totally washed out and achy all over, and thirstier than I've ever been. My mouth felt like it was filled with cotton and my brain wasn't working very well, I couldn't really concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds. Then I remembered the injection and wondered what sort of drug they'd given me.
Whatever it was, I could still feel it coursing through my veins, making me feel drowsy and confused. I don't know how long I lay there, drifting in and out, dream flashes firing in my brain, and then I started to feel really angry. Why were they always trying to control me, to mold me into something I'm not, screwing with my mind, turning it inside out and then outside in again, for as long as I could remember. All I ever wanted was to be left alone to live my life as I chose in a world of my own making, but this was apparently too much to ask. And as I lay there getting angrier and sulkier, my mind gradually cleared and I started to feel energized, so that when the door opened and this scar faced man with slicked back greasy black hair and bulging muscles stepped through, I guess I lost it. I can still hear myself shrieking to high heaven like some kind of crazy person, and I was all over him, kicking and clawing, and I could see he was shocked, afraid even, which is funny if you could see what a little scrap of a girl I am. But then a woman appeared just behind him with a steel gurney and together they struggled and finally succeeded in strapping me in.
The woman was good looking, in a blond, blue eyed sort of way, and I could see she was freaked out, too, but she didn't say much, just swore a little while the man grunted, and then they wheeled me down a corridor that looked a lot like the ones at the Academy, only darker and somehow more frightening, and just then the conviction popped into my head that these people wanted not just my mind, but my soul as well.
They wheeled me all the way to the end of the corridor to another solid steel door, which they opened with a plastic card slid through a slot.