The screaming wouldn't stop.
The man sat along in the waiting room. They called it that; it was more like a cell, really. No windows, no decorations; just a plain, cement block with a few chairs bolted to the floor.
He sat in one of those chairs, doing his best not to worry. Besides, what could he do? All he had were a patient's gown and slippers. There were two armed guards just outside the door.
But the screaming wouldn't stop.
Since the war had started, they had been picking up the homeless in a white van. They had been promised food, shelter, even money; and they had gotten it, after going to a laboratory and receiving shots.
Then they started dying. One by one, each with different symptoms; some pustules, some rashes, one guy even died of cancer; but not just one or two, he swelled up like a balloon, looking like a grotesque monster before he finally died, nurses scurrying around him like cockroaches.
They said it was for the greater good, of course. They said it was for the soldiers overseas. They said it was patriotic, as though somehow that justified all the killing. But the screams remained.
He wasn't sure what was going to happen when he walked through that door. He was convinced, however, that he would not come back out. No one had; not yet.
But he could do nothing. And so, he waited and listened. The screams continued until they stopped suddenly; whereupon a man dressed in surgical scrubs emerged through the heavy steel door in the front of the room.
"15394." was all he said.
They had taken away everything. Not that he had had much to begin with, but at least he had had a name.
He had waited too long. The armed guards stepped in and gently ushered him through that door. Halfway he tried to get away, to run...
But they knocked him out and dragged him.