ByÂ David Steffen
Read byÂ Rich Sigfrit
â€œIâ€™m glad you volunteered tonight. Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™m ready to go solo again quite yet.â€ Tim pointed at a nasty welt on his own neck before he popped the neck brace in place. â€œThis gear saved my life, but it still hurts to swallow.â€
He pushed the inner door open with a click. They stood at one end of a long hallway, lined with glass rooms, most occupied by leashed Disconnected. Before they started Timâ€™s rounds, they did a quick walk through of the facility, which was just more hallways of glass rooms, all on one level. Some of the Disconnected looked out at them. Others were sleeping, or eating.
â€œAll Disconnected present and accounted for,â€ Tim said.
â€œSee, Harken?â€ the chief said. â€œThereâ€™s no way it could have been a Disconnected.â€
â€œYouâ€™re probably right, Chief.â€
They walked back to the staging room to grab Timâ€™s cleaning cart.
â€œWhy are all the Disconnected naked?â€ Harken asked.
â€œYou want to put clothes on them? Theyâ€™d never stay clean, then. Iâ€™d have to sedate them to dress and undress them, and what would be the point?â€
â€œI suppose youâ€™re rightâ€¦â€ It just seemed so disrespectful. Each of them had been a person once, with a family.