I scrape my nails belligerently against the murky slate walls. Every muscle from my fingertips to my forearms is flexed, in danger of snapping from the tension. I scream, raking blood crusted fingers through my hair and squeezing until it rips out in clumps. Soft white noise crackles out of the loudspeaker. Number one-twenty-four, this is your first and only warning. Please comply with Sanction six-sixty-two: absolutely NO unnecessary or excessive noise. I stare at the metal grating several feet up the wall. I stare at the box that has just scolded me. I stare at my master. I compress all of my tension into one solid fist. I take that fist and begin bashing it against every part of my body. I assault my other arm and my chest until I pound against my sternum, sharply banishing the breath from my lungs. I inhale too quickly and attack my legs, soaking up the sweet reverberating ache that accompanies every blow. I turn my fist to face me and send it flying into my eye socket, against my cheekbone, into my jaw. I strike my ear, sending my neck reeling. The resulting crack explodes my hearing into a resonant ringing. My mind quickly becomes infested with the incessant tone and a severe headache begins to settle. Silent tears of rage and anguish leak from my eyes. I lay completely still on the cool concrete floor, not daring to send a shock wave through my body to ripple the torment in my head. I murmur under my breath. Mommy, please help me. Make this pain go away, please. Mommy, it hurts so bad...Utter nonsense. I look wildly around the room, sweeping the minuscule space in one shake of the head. The movement sends a jolt of lightening through my brain. There is no one. There is only me and the pain. I put my head on the hard floor and close my eyes, acquiescing to the agony. I allow my mind to go blank with white light, accepting the torment as my reality. Waves of misery crash over me and lull me into a state of alternate being. I am not awake nor asleep, feeling but not conscious. I operate at the most primal level, absorbed in a world of excrutiating pain with no source or resolution. Number one-twenty-four, please confirm viability. I snap from my state to a groggy reality. Through the thick haze, the gray parameters of the room take a fuzzy focus. Number one-twenty-four...I raise my right hand toward the almighty voice. It cuts off mid-sentence and I am aware that I must have proven "viability." I become aware that my mind is clearer than before and I realize that I don't know whether I have been laying for moments or for hours. How many viability calls did I miss? I wonder what would happen had I not confirmed viability for my master. If I had remained unconscious through the call, would I not be considered viable? I stare at my master on the wall. Are YOU viable? I raise my voice. Are you viable? I stand up. Are you fucking viable? I continue staring, hands dropped limply at my sides. VIABLE? VIABLE? ARE YOU A-FUCKING-LIVE?!!! I compulsively break my small semblance of composure. Yes, I'm alive, I whisper. And then I scream.