Jumped the Gun

I don’t know, this one came out a little dark.  Um.  No body horror, yay?

“You were warned.”

Emmett took a step backwards. “I did exactly what I was told to do!”

“No, you did not.  You were warned, number 9.  You were told exactly what to do, yes?”

“Yes!  And I did it!  I went to the place, I drew the line, I said the words, I stepped back and I watched what happened and I reported all of it exactly as it happened to you.”

The handler pulled out their phone.  “Yes.  You did.  And because you did almost exactly everything you were told, I can tell that you did it all five seconds too early.”

“Five – no!  I didn’t!  I got there and I – I-”  Emmett took another step backwards.

“You jumped the gun, number Nine.  And you were told what the consequences of inexact obedience would be.”

“But I – I – I did everything you told me to!”  Emmett’s next step backwards ran him into a wall.

Almost everything.  You were too eager, Number Nine – oh, no, that would be number ten now, wouldn’t it?  And that means we know where you will be, when the next attack is ready.”

Emmett whimpered softly.

“Oh, don’t worry, number ten.  I will give you one last chance.  If you follow all of your instructions perfectly this time, exactly, you will stand a chance of surviving.  I know that you only suffered from overeagerness, after all.   Now – for now you wait.”

The handler smirked.

“And do try not to go off half-cocked tomorrow.”

Written to this Thimbleful Thursday writing Prompt.

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