Contoured metallic parts glided and folded out over me, emerging from the wall and pushing me back in with them. The android’s face was lost as I was suddenly plunged into darkness.

I screamed. I screamed for all I was worth, claustrophobia rampaging in my stomach like a terrified bull. My arms and legs vibrated, struggling like crazy to get free.

A voice, genderless and robotic, suddenly filled my head. “Do nOt mO-ove. Ana-LYzing i-in THREE -e, TWO -oo, WUH -un.” A sharp blade of light blinded me for a split second, then moved down the rest of my body. I could see I was totally encased in metal. Claustrophobia started welling up again.

The bar of blue light retracted into the front of my shell, and with a sudden lurch, the pod hurtled upward. I was being shot to the top of the building, racing through its walls. It was all one gigantic machine.

Suddenly it stopped, and I had the sense I was very, very high up.

View this story's 6 comments.