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.'I get a Nobel prize,' Barry said, watching the output of the camera focused on the girl's face.'Or you all get burned as witches.Or possibly both.' But it didn't look likely, he thought, that she was going to mention Leighton Buzzard or anything else for that matter.He fiddled with the remote focusing and peered more closely at the screen.Her lips were moving very slightly.She could be whispering or it could just be the way she was breathing.Even in close-up he could not be sure.Next time he must have an ECG readout at the very least.She might be entirely motionless but her heart rate could be off the scale for all he knew.Was she whispering? He turned up the gain from the tank's mics.Chloe screamed again and again and again.She screamed until her throat was cramped and her lungs were paralysed with the effort.They must be able to hear her.Why didn't they stop this and let her out of here? She clawed at the hatch but it wouldn't budge.They must be able to see this.They must be watching her agony.They were doing this to her.They must be.It must be part of a plan to kill her.To kill her slowly while they watched it and enjoyed it.While they laughed at her.And all the time the blood poured from every pore of her skin.It was squeezed and wrenched from her.With every pulse of her constricted heart her body convulsed and slippery blood swept over her.She was covered in so much blood that she choked on its thick, slimy slick.She tried to reach the bottom of the tank but the blood was too viscous to feel through: it buoyed her up and held her in an oily limbo.She bent her knees and pushed her heels down and felt nothing.The effort made the cramps and convulsions worse.She turned on her side and reached down with her hand.Still she touched nothing.She gasped with the strain of it and blood slid into her mouth and filled her throat.She began to choke.Barry sighed.He was right, he should have called it off.The bloody girl had gone to sleep.There was not a movement or a word from her.The monitor pictures might not be pin-sharp, but green and fuzzy couldn't disguise the fact that Chloe Pennick was enjoying a refreshing rest while he stood around like a pork chop at a bar mitzvah waiting for something interesting to happen: waiting for anything to happen.He flicked the switch to signal Josh to move on to the next image.Try one more and then call it a day.If at first you don't succeed, he quoted to himself, try again; then give up; there's no point in being a damn fool about it.He'd have to work on Josh some more.Persuade him.It was Josh he'd had in mind when he set up the tank.Ralph said, 'You didn't give them very long.She hasn't even had a chance to guess.Don't you want her to guess at least?''Perhaps Chloe doesn't realise she's supposed to have started,' Meg said.Barry looked at her.'What sort of an experiment is this?' he asked and raised an eyebrow.'Doomed?' she suggested.'It's a psi experiment,' Barry said slowly, as if explaining it to a very young child."We are investigating the paranormal.''Ye-e-e-eth,' Meg said, lisping in a childish voice.She stuck the tip of her thumb in her mouth.Tommy said, 'If she was receiving what Josh is sending she'd know it had started.''Duh? You really think so?' Meg said witheringly.'You're the one who made the stupid remark,' he snapped.'I didn't want you to feel out of it.''I don't.''You see perving over her bum as an intellectual exercise do you?''You can't see her bum,' Ralph remarked.'And as it happens I was watching the water,' Tommy said.'Yeah right,' Meg snorted.Does the water look different to you?' Tommy addressed the question directly to Barry.Different?' Barry asked vaguely, not looking at any of the tank monitors but looking instead at the capsule output.Josh appeared not to have noticed the cue.Meg was right: this was doomed.Ralph asked, 'Different in what way?'Barry flicked the cue switch again.This time Josh looked up from the picture of the Empire State Building and stared directly into the CCTVcamera that was above the capsule's clear Perspex table.He looked heavy-eyed and slightly bemused.He nodded his acknowledgement, turned the picture face-down and picked up the next one.He showed it to the camera.It was the Great Pyramid at Giza.For a moment Barry couldn't remember it being in the set he'd prepared.There was one building he thought, and they'd already had that.He must have got them muddled up.Doomed, definitely doomed.A catalogue of stupid errors.Unless - the thought struck him suddenly - unless the little bastards were playing tricks on him again.He watched Josh hunch forward in his seat as he settled down to concentrate.Was it just his imagination or did the actions looked a bit exaggerated? If this was a joke then the punch line should be coming up any time now.It's moving in sort of slow motion,' Tommy was saying.'Looks oily or something.Does it look oily to you?"'Oily?' Barry tried to keep the suspicion out of his voice.He looked at the monitor Tommy was indicating and shook his head.'Green and fuzzy maybe,' he said dubiously.'The movement,' Tommy persisted.It's not moving like water moves.Is it?'Chloe tried to suck air through the plug of gluey slime filling her nose and throat and clogging her windpipe.She couldn't breathe.She needed a breath.One breath.One chance to save herself from this hell [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]