The room burst into noise again, men and women’s voices crying, screaming, cursing. Underneath it all, Alyxa could pick out the footsteps of the woman, the sniffer, their crew. She could hear the sniffer’s diseased voice. “Lungs. Kidneys. This one’s trash. Heart. Heart. Liver.”
“Slow down!” the woman barked. “We can’t harvest them as fast as you can tell us what’s worth harvesting.”
The sniffer growled. “Well, whose fault is that?”
“Yours, goddamnit! Now slow down!”
With the sniffer silent, the sound of the crew cutting open the other people in the room and pulling out their organs became louder. One by one, the screaming voices fell silent, each one fading away in a wet choking noise, the sound of a human being drowning in their own blood.
The air became warm and humid, heavy with a metallic tang that even Alyxa could smell. It stank of fear and death. Her shoes became wet, with blood or urine she couldn’t say. She couldn’t even muster the will to scream. Why struggle? She was already as good as dead. If she tilted back her head, exposed her throat, maybe it would at least be quick.
And then the woman said something that made Alyxa’s breath catch in her throat. “Alright. That’s enough.”