I ease the door open. The weak light from the corridor reveals the interior, filthy tiles and limbs. My heart is thumping in protest, my head feels like it's a dying star about to collapse in on itself. I look down briefly at my mostly naked body; the advertatts give off a sickly incandescence.
A weedy teenager beckons me from inside, his half-moon glasses hiding his pupils. Around him a gaggle of musty-looking men and women stare at a lump in the centre of the circle.
'We were about to start without you,' says the boy. 'I thought you might have been followed and called it off. You would do that, right?'
'I made sure I was alone,' I say.
'Good ... good,' he says, instantly distracted by the package in front of him. His hands snake out and open it.
Every eye in the room focuses where his hands go. I've only heard good things about Ture. Good things and rumours. And if the cops are so intent on stopping it then it has to be good.
'Your first time is like nothing else. But then, so are the second, third and further times,' the teenager says. He sniggers as he hands me a pistol-shaped transmitter.
'Now remember, folks, the best part of Ture is that we do not give it to ourselves, but others. If you could all turn to your left we will commence.'
I can feel the port on the back of my neck tingle. Made for aid in dreams and long hauls, I've never been permitted to use mine. I marvel at the digital plunger in my hand, the design broken and reshaped to make it work on the human body. I draw it up and insert it into the girl on my left, and shiver uncontrollably when someone does the same to me, their callused hands scratching my back.
'Release the Ture!'
For a moment I turn ice-cold, and then …
'Five thousand years ago!' I scream as I come back. I feel like I've lived another life in an instant. Sweaty. Panting. Hands shaking. That was the greatest ride of my life.
Others around the room have reacted the same, with the giver sitting there, a half-smile on his lips.
'More,' I say. 'Again.'
'As you wish.'
He lets us come back to reality (though we don't want to) before setting up again. He draws it out, making us shiver and drool in anticipation. Ture. Whatever I just experienced is slipping already.
'Now I have something extra special,' the giver says as he hands out fresh injectors.
We take it, load and wait.
'Release the Ture!'
‘Loathsomeness waits! Dreams in the deep! The tottering cities of men!’
These words of madness swarm and as my mind leaves my consciousness I hear the gibbering of lost souls mewling in their own mental excrement. The Ture has taken us.