It was Dan’s 15 minute break and he was sitting at his desk slacking. His day at the Singularity Research Institute was not going well. So far nobody had told him who he would be assisting and he felt useless just browsing through the internet.
He sighed and accidentally dropped a pen he had been playing with. Oops. He crouched to pick it up. As he did, a man walking by his seat tripped over him.
“Shit! Sorry”, said Ollie.
“It’s a good thing I’m wearing black, or I’d have to go home and change”, said Dan feeling his back.
“Yeah, sorry, what were you doing in the middle of the hallway?”
“Uh… nothing really. I asked Quinn in the morning who I was supposed to assist today but he was busy and he’s just been giving me the run around.”
Ollie looked up to Dan’s computer screen.
Dan laughed, “yeah, I haven’t been doing much”
“You know they monitor our internet activity…”
“What? No way… Not once have they told me anything about my browsing”. Dan felt nervous. He remembered what he had been doing in the morning. Nothing harmful. “Really?”
“Shit, are you kidding me? You’ve been here how long? Five months? Have they installed your chip yet?”
“What?”, he paused, “What chip?”.
Ollie grabbed him by the arm. “Shut up and walk with me”. Ollie led him to the end of the hallway into the men’s bathroom.
“Ollie, what the hell?”
Ollie checked the stalls and locked the door from the inside. He want back to Dan and whispered.
“Dan, have you ever stopped to think why there is so much surveillance here? Why do we have to have cameras at home? They monitor everything we do. Our phone calls, our computers, our internet… everything.”
“Yeah, so? We signed the contract and it was explained to us. Chill out man.”, Dan began walking towards the bathroom door.
“Dan, get your ass back here!”, Ollie whispered, “I’m not kidding man. You don’t have family right? Your parents passed away right?”
Dan was surprised to hear this from Ollie, whom he had met just weeks ago.
“How did you…”
“Man!” Ollie paced himself in the cramped stall, “I told those jackasses to get you your chip. Hold on a second.”
Ollie took his phone out from his back pocket and dialed an incredibly long number.
“Who are you calling?”
“Dan, I don’t actually work here. I’m not really supposed to tell you, but I need you to trust me. I’m an undercover investigator. I’ve been working together with a couple of other people here. The work you do here is irrelevant, the real research goes on in the top five floors, the rest of you are just test subjects.”
Dan’s heart began to race in his chest. Thinking back at so many days when Quinn just didn’t seem to care about the job getting done, or when he simply had no work to do.
“Test subjects for what?”
Ollie signaled silence to Dan with his finger and answered the phone.
“Dick, abort the mission. Tell everyone to abort, we need evacuation for today’s subject.”, he ended the call and looked back at Dan.
“You know they took Jeff right?”, Ollie asked.
“Took him? They told me he was sick”, Dan’s hands were sweating and he had begun nervously wiping them on his pants.
“For god’s sake Dan! You were sitting next to him!”
The door flew open and a misterious man in a black trench coat held it.