Dripping with frantic sweat Colin awoke to find himself lying on a shiny hard white floor, recently cleaned with pungent bleach. His wrist had two metallic strips fastened around them with wires snaking off to the centre of the room into a box revelling with the hum of electricity. Shaking as his arm muscles twitched his gaze looked harder at the box to see a maze of wire on top of it with a stick and circular hoop of metal ready for some child to guide it through without touching the sides. No child was present; thoughts raced, coalesced and dissipated as he tried to piece together what the hell had happened to him.

“What am I doing here? Hey anyone? Where the fuck am I?” he shouted. The words echoed impishly around the white sanitised room, rebounding and distorting until just a whisper of despondency was left. “Help… anyone… help me.”

Beads of sweat started to dot on his forehead as he closed his eyes to remember anything.

The week before a breakthrough had finally happened in his rigorous testing of a new pharmaceutical which would make a subject more authoritarian less open to empathy as one lab assistant coined “Professor you’re trying to make people into cold efficient robots”. The lab rats had proven to be marvellous subjects the ones given the serum had dominated their other brethren no matter what the social order was before hand, the ramifications for it use in the Judicial system for prison guards, soldiers instilling order perhaps even the police during riots. Colin’s mind thought of many possibilities for the drug but first he had to set up the human testing as well as call his contacts in the Home Office who were interested in his research and even clandestinely part funded the research.

A klaxon went off, violently snapping him back to the present as a loud speaker in the corner of the ceiling bristled to life.

“Professor, you may have notice you are attached to the transformer in the centre of the room, which had a little game on the top. Guide the hoop around the wire from start to finish and you go free. Touch any part of the wire maze and you will get 50,000 volts coursing through your body, tamper with the bands and you will get 50,000 volts through your body, take longer than 5 minutes and I am sure you can work out what will happen. Your time starts now.”

“Who are you? Electricity? What? Are you mad? Who are you?” His words mirthlessly fell into silence.

He remembered vividly yesterday morning as it was the day of the human trial. Ten students were going to wear red bibs and be called “guards”, the other twenty students would wear green bibs and be called “prisoners”. The students were locked into the large observation room and the guards told over the loud speaker to take their tablets, he had argued with the Home Office that some must have a placebo but none was given, in fact they had stated that triple the dose should be given. A few minutes went past with the “Prisoners” milling around the room chatting, the “Guards “started to form a ring to talk in private. Every so often a head would pop up and glance around at the “Prisoners” until it would drop down and join in the whispering again. Five more minutes went by, the people in green were staring and pointing at the ring of “guards”, a few had tried to initiate conversation only to be cut down by a vacant look. Then quickly the “guards” turned around and faced their prey, fists clenched; some armed with nothing others holding pencils, keys or pens.

Trying to blank out any more Colin rose up and went to the transformer lifting the toy metal hooped wand.

“You want me to play this? You want me to play!” His whisper had turned into a shout.

“You’re bluffing, there is no connection. Just let me out of here. Let me out now. I have friends in high places you know.”

The transformer ‘s buzz intensified angrily as electricity coursed briefly through the wire jolting him with a very short 200 volts, enough to kill; enough to prove the seriousness of the situation.

“Aaaarrrggghhhh, what are you doing to me? Why me? What have I done to you? What have I done?” Tears dripped to the floor as each sob punctuated the words.

The loud haler cackled “You have four minutes professor. Anymore of this and we will not hesitate to prove that we are indeed in control and you are our test subject”