As it was, when I awoke, I was able to tell immediately that I had slept a very, very long time. My body felt restless, and while relaxed, I knew that it wasn't a natural state of relaxation.
Oh, and I wasn't in my bedroom in the TARDIS. I was in some spherical bed…pod…thing, with a frosted glass covering that slid back as my eyes attempted to adjust to the bright, clinical lights of the room I was in.
A hospital, perhaps? The last thing I remembered was planning to take Martha out for a trip into her future, and then something hit me. A hospital would make sense. There was also a tinny, upbeat song that played from a radio on the table beside my bed. The floor and ceilings were gray tiles, and the walls were glass, with high windows for people to look in. Hospital seemed to be the correct answer…except for the strange feeling of something wrong that kept poking at me.
I gave my head a scratch and took a breath. Where was Martha? What happened here? My suit and shoes were gone, replaced by an orange jumpsuit and a brace-like set of heel springs. I saw them once on Chantal 3 during wartime. They attached with straps to the back of the knee and sat just below the heel so one could walk on them and fall from surprising distances without getting injured. Someone had taken the liberty of strapping me up, preparing me for…well, at the time I wasn't sure at all.
But whatever it was, it wasn't hospital-related.
The room was set up like a cell. Bed, side table with a clock, a toilet, and no door. There was a gray slab of wall on one corner, with a clock, counting down from one minute. One minute until what? Execution? Then why go to the trouble of prepping me for battle?
"Who are you?" I called out, but the sound of my own voice hurt my head. "Where am I?"
The counter hit :40, and an automated female computer voice spoke. As there weren't any speakers in the room, I could only imagine it must've been through the walls. Or maybe in my own head.
"Hello and again. Welcome to the Aperture Science Computer Aided Enrichment Center. We hope your brief detention in the relaxation vault has been a pleasant one. Your specimen has been processed and we are now ready to begin the test proper."
Aperture Science Enrichment Center? Where was this place? I'd never heard of it before. Thinking back, I remembered UNIT was investigating something called Black Mesa…and the name "Aperture Science" had…something to do with them, but I couldn't remember what, and my head ached with the effort of thought.
I moved to my feet. Well, mostly to my feet, my body was supported heavily by the heel springs.
"Don't suppose I can get my shoes back, can I?" I asked.
The computer responded, but only with more of its automated script.
"Before we start, however, keep in mind that although fun and learning are the primary motives in all Enrichment activities serious injuries may occur."
Test. They had mentioned starting a test "proper"---whatever that meant---and that test, whatever it was, apparently caused serious injuries. From falling? Would make sense with the heel springs.
I was beginning to dislike this entire situation more and more.
" For your own safety and the safety of others, please refrain from----"
There were sparks from the ceiling, and the voice went staticy, then garbled with mixed-up languages. A fault, perhaps? Something…broken? And they wanted to test me with that?
"And back. The portal will open in three, two, one."
An orange circle appeared on the gray slab on the wall, just around seven feet high and maybe four feet wide. A portal, like the computer voice had said. A rip in the fabric of space, cutting two locations and making them one, not unlike a wormhole in miniature.
I glanced to my right. A blue circle stood on a wall opposite my cell. And there I was, in the portal, looking at myself in the portal. It was the angle and the rip, like looking through a mirror. A mirror made of space and time.
Which was the wrong technology for this era.
This was bad, very bad.
"What if I don't want to?"
The voice that had greeted me was silent, and I doubted that had anything to do with the malfunction from earlier. And, as curiosity has always been my downfall…
I stepped through the portal, exiting the cell and reappearing just outside of it. Whatever this was, I would get through it. I had to. Get through it, and then find out whoever was behind this. And find Martha. What if she was in one of these rooms, too?
Stepping on my heel springs, I headed around the cell into the next room, where a large red button (enormous, actually!) sat. And as I can't resist a great big threatening button which should never ever be pressed under any circumstances, I hopped on top of it. A door at the other end of the room opened. I stepped off, and the door closed. Huh.
A large cube the same color as the rest of the building dropped from a glass tube on the ceiling. Just large enough, in fact, to put on the button.
"This is too easy," I announced. Apparently I was wrong, and as the button was pressed with the weight of the cube rather than my body, the computer voice greeted me again.
"Excellent. Please proceed into the chamberlock after completing each test."
Ah, this wasn't the only one, then.
I looked back at the cell. If I didn't do what they said, then I might be able to force them out of hiding behind overlooking windows. Then again, if I didn't do what they said, I wouldn't know what else was going on around here.
I went through the door towards a lift-like room with a force field before it. I thought, at first, that I might not be able to go through it, but it was easy to pass through, and the door to the lift opened. The walls were padded, and a glowing blue sign stood above the door. Aperture Science.
"First, however, note the incandescent particle field across the exit. This Aperture Science Material Emancipation grid will vaporize any unauthorized equipment that passes through it."
Well, I was pretty glad I didn't have my sonic screwdriver. That would be like losing an old friend.
The doors closed and I felt the elevator raise up. We were going to another floor, another test. Well, this couldn't be so bad.
I looked at the ground, where one of those large, weighted cubes sat next to me, this one adorned with little pink hearts and the words "Weighted Companion Cube".
"Well. At least I'm traveling with a companion."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,225
The mun would like to apologize for her obsession with Portal, and omfg but it worked so well with this prompt.