The body in the zero-g cubic arched as energy flooded the compartment. The technicians watching saw the mouth open impossibly wide.
“He’s screaming,” one said.
“Wouldn’t you? This isn’t exactly a gentle process,” another replied.
“Good thing the cubic is sealed in the vacuum chamber. Who wants to hear them scream?” A nervous chuckle.
“You’d be surprised. A couple of the other technicians actually enjoy it. I studiously avoid working those shifts. There’s only so much of that a mind can take before it breaks.”
“At least we’re getting good results off this one. The last few expired too quickly.”
“That should make the boss-man happy. I thought he was going to start tossing staff in the cubic.”
A pregnant pause.
“I thought you knew. They put Mickey from night shift in this morning!”
Both technicians turned to stare again at the tortured victim.
“Dear lord. If he’s getting better results from staff than ‘volunteers’…”
They continued to watch – in silence – for a long time.