Max, seated in a large bath - the sort you can imagine wealthy Victorians preparing in front of a large fire - watched me with an expression of wrinkled confusion. The tortures of this place achieved one aim, the premature aging of the innocent. While Max had been a sprightly youth not one week ago, he now resembled an elderly raisin. His shriveled countenance watched me, possibly hoping I was secretly a game of Countdown or episode of Diagnosis: Murder. But I was neither of these things. In fact, I was a man, about to be subjected to the horrors of old age while I was still in my prime. I was not a Judge Dredd Villain, I was a mostly innocent man!
In front of me, the sinister man who had lead my capture earlier. Something about his attitude, the authority he commanded, and the colossal badge on his jacket suggested to me that he was in charge of this facility. But for now, he was content - having gloated at me a while - to leave me with Max while he prepared the aging machine.
|The wrong sort of Bath|
"What? Are you on my lawn? Oh, wait... I remember you... So long ago. We were... young women together?"
"Close enough! What happened to you?"
"Not so bad..." He replied sleepily, "Regular pills, TV, and the sponge bathes are nice. Look - I scraped the dry skin off my chest, and with some hairs, I've made a caterpillar."
Max was right. Moulded from bluey-grey dead skin like a child would mould play-do was a small caterpillar shape. Inserted in the head were two grey head-hairs, resembling some sort of antenna. I pondered whether caterpillars actually had such antenna, but decided to ignore the subject. Dismissing what might have been Max's most disturbing creation, I continued:
"Very nice. But how can we get out of here?"
Ominously, the door began to open.