Behind the brilliance, circles of white wrapped around and around into a tall dome somewhere above his head. The Silent Room, Bailey thought, as he came slowly into the awareness of being present in his physical body again. The machine arm that had come at his head earlier was no longer in front of him, though he could still feel a helmet on his head.
Looking down at his feet, he found he was standing on a hexagonal plate set into a white tile floor. He shifted his shoulders slightly, finding them stiff and sore. Then he reached up slowly with his right hand to see if he could push the helmet off his head. It came away easily, clattering in the stillness. Like a hundred tiny cymbals. It was the last thought in his mind before pain began to explode outward along every nerve fiber in his body.
It started from his left eye, radiating back and through his brain, then down his spine, then out from his core, dancing down his shoulders to his fingers, down his legs to his toes. A scream ripped from his lips as the world blacked out, and he dropped to his knees.
After a minute, the pain vanished almost as quickly as it had started. A flash of lightening pain, draining away out his fingers and toes like so much electric current leaching into the ground. By then he lay curled up on the floor, ragged and exhausted. Eventually, he forced himself to struggle against the limpness of his body. Time was running out. They'd know he'd beaten their game already. It was only a matter of minutes, seconds even, before the guards descended on this room and dragged him away to something even more horrific. He had to get out. Now. There would be no second chance.
Somehow, with more energy than he had in his reserves, he got turned over on his hands and knees and began dragging himself toward where the doors had been. He couldn't see them outlined in the brightness of the white light, but he remembered them. He'd find them and claw them open with his bare hands if he had to. It took nearly everything he had in him to make it those few feet. It felt as though he was dragging bricks with every movement. When he had nearly reached the side of the dome, the wall in front of him suddenly retracted outward to reveal a door frame. His sigh of relief was short lived. On the other side, stood a doctor with a syringe already in hand. Defeated, he let his head and shoulders slump to the floor.