Round 2 Lynch - Frozen Solid

Drifting. Nothing touching me, no sound, no light. Nothingness.

I am frozen.

Was this what Teresa’s final moments were like? Empty and dark and alone? What about Pinual? Did he float in the end, high above the ground? No one knows, though everyone is watching now. Dan hung in the air for just a moment before crashing to the ground; in the end gravity always wins.

Lynn’s passing was safer, more grounded. No senseless drifting, just solid connections, becoming one with the machine.

Will they connect me to diodes, vivisect my memories?

I think I hear something now.

The baying of wolves.

Dragon was scheduled to practice after dinner, and in spite of everything most of the soldiers thought it best to continue business as usual. Practice was not very productive, though, and not just because their commander was nowhere to be seen. Everyone assumed he was still hiding in his room, which all things considered wasn’t the worst place to be. The soldiers has tried to split themselves into toons, but everywhere they ran into gaping holes filled only with the memory of dead children. It was depressing, and the fact that their collective bitterness and frustration began to surface shouldn’t have been surprising.

At least this time they hadn’t yet resorted to physical violence; instead, they were venting their hostilities through the confines of the game, using their guns to freeze the target of their frustrations. A few of the soldiers ended up with a frozen hand or foot, but most of the ire had been directed Domo’s way, and now he was completely frozen. A light shove sent him drifting toward the center of the room, to the vicious laughter of the other students.

I have lost all concept of time. It may have been minutes or hours in the void. I open and I shut my eyes. Nothing changes.

Panic grips me. Predictable, I know, but I am a child and I am scared and it is dark and I am alone.

I realize with detached certainty that I am hyperventilating.

They realized their mistake only when it was time to leave; they have no commander, and therefore no hook to thaw frozen soldiers. While the others could manage, with some help from friends, to get out of their partially frozen suits, there was no way to get Domo’s helmet off without thawing him first. The ideas ranged from just leaving him there, as someone would probably find him, to finding a way to break the helmet off with brute force. When someone suggested that trying to snap it off would likely break Domo’s neck in the process, the rest simply shrugged, uncaring. What did it matter if they had another ‘accident’?

Finally someone decided to run and pound on Dink’s door until he answered. The others played a little ‘Domo Ball’, a newly invented game that involved making the stiff frozen soldier sail from one side of the battle room to the other, while they waited.

The errand runner returned alone, but not empty handed. He had simply given the Dragon the hook and slammed the door. A moment later and Domo was unthawed.

I know exactly what is happening to me; I am spinning out of control while my carbon dioxide levels drop. I am dizzy and lightheaded and sick to my stomach. I can’t move. I can’t stop panicking. I am sure I am going to die, and it is not at all what I thought it would be. No peaceful drifting off to sleep; I am terrified, my heart racing.

And then nothing.

He wasn’t moving, even after he was thawed; the group fell uncomfortably silent, watching him drift lifelessly away. Someone grabbed his arm and pulled him back toward the wall before he could get too far, held him still while others pulled off his helmet.

Someone felt for a pulse, and announced he was still alive.

There was no sigh of relief. There was only silence, broken when someone reached into the helmet and ripped out the lining. Catching on, the others pitched in, pulling out straps and strings and tying the padded fabric firmly to Domo’s face.

They replaced the helmet, refroze him, and, one by one, left the battle room.

Someone would find him.