The takeover

Notification appeared in his visual field, blinking a lurid, corrosive red – impossible to ignore. Slater felt his blood-pressure drop precipitately; his head swam.


He stared through polarised glass at the grey world beyond the window, his plant responding with appropriate infusions of neurotransmitter – just enough to counteract the sudden lurch in mood. Equilibrium restored, he made a call: “Matron – in here, now.”

Matron appeared, flustered but remembering to give the proper salute.

“It’s now” Slater stated, abruptly. “The takeover. Just received notification.”

Now sir?”

“Right now. They’ll take everything. So we need to act fast. How many inmates in the hospital; how many machines?”

Matron calculated rapidly. “1509 patients, sir. 651 machines.”

Slater considered for a moment. “Render them inoperable” he ordered.

“But sir,” Matron protested, “without the machines, the patients will not survive!”

Slater fixed him with a hard stare. “I was not referring to the machines, Matron.”

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