Replication

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Chapter 11

I swallow hard, still glaring at Hal.

“Answers...”

Is he actually going to tell me the real reason that we are here? And why he never told me that I was his daughter? And also, why he is the most immoral and despicable man on the planet?

“Come inside,” Hal says beckoningly, opening the control room door wider and revealing a dim room with many flashing screens and blinking buttons.

I stay rooted to the floor, still as a stone. All of the muscles in my body are tensed as I continue to stare at Hal.

My father.

“Do you want answers, or do you want to continue living your life like a blind lab-rat?” Hal says coldly, his voice echoing off the metal walls of the hallway.

Oh how good it would feel to punch him in his crooked, long noise.

“This is all a scam, right?” I say, crossing my arms across my chest.

“What do you mean?”

“Your lying to me, saying that you are going to tell me answers, when really you’re probably just going to torture me or something. Right?” I snap.

Hal shakes his head then says,

“No Tessa, this time I swear I am not lying. I truly want to give you answers.”

“Then why are you telling just me? Why won’t you tell the others? They deserve to know as well.”

Hal smiles, his thin, sallow lips parting to reveal those wicked, yellow teeth of his.

“Because, you are my beloved daughter,” he says, his eyes gleaming.

I nearly vomit as he opens the door even wider.

“Fine,” I say through gritted teeth.

What have I got myself into?

Normally, I would never consent to Hal’s wishes. But I need answers. Like Hal disgustingly said, I cannot keep living my life like a blind lab-rat. I need to know what the hell is going on.

However, just when I begin to step into the control room, I hear a faint rumbling noise. I stop mid-step, straining my ears to hear the sound, which is getting increasingly louder and louder. Hal must hear it too because he immediately looks up, his eyes narrowing.

In an instant, I discern that the rumbling noise is footsteps. I whip around, my heart thumping in my chest. Someone is running at top speed, coming closer and closer until...

BAM!

Someone whips around the corner, screeching to a stop. It takes me a few moments to realize who it is. And when I do, my stomach flips.

It’s Ian.

My mouth instantly goes dry as his dark eyes meet lock mine. They then flit above my head, locking on Hal.

“Tessa, don’t go with him,” he says breathlessly.

It’s as if my tongue has turned into sandpaper; I can’t move my mouth to make any sounds. All that I can do is continue to stare at Ian, who continues to look at me with those intense, shadowy eyes.

“And who are you to stop her?” Hal sneers.

Ian swallows hard.

“Because...”

His voice falters slightly.

“Because what?” Hal asks sharply, his voice stinging like needles.

“Because I love her,” Ian blurts out.

My heart skips a beat as I stare at Ian, utterly stunned by his words. Panting, he looks at me, a desperate look painted on his face. I stare back at him, opening my mouth then instantly snapping it shut. I don’t know what to say. The only thing in my mind is the memory of me kissing Tristan. I can’t imagine what Ian would do if he found out...

“Do you have anything to say to him Tessa?” Hal asks crisply.

“I...I...” I stutter.

My heart wrenches.

What is wrong with me right now? Why am I unable to utter a single intelligent phrase?

“Is there anything that you want to tell Ian? Maybe something that a few minutes ago?” Hal asks again.

It hits me like a brick to the head. My blood turns to ice.

He knows about the kiss...

I should have known. How could I have forgotten the fact that they probably have security cameras implanted in every room, recording our each and every moves.

“What happened a few minutes ago?” Ian asks innocently, his eyes continuously flitting between Hal and I.

I feel sick to my stomach.

“How about you tell him, Tessa?”

I glare at Hal, daggers of hatred piercing in my eyes. Hal grins at me, a haunting, maniacal grin that sends shivers down my spine.

“Tessa, tell me right now, what happened?” Ian says, his voice beginning to tremble.

I shake my head, tears beginning to pool up in my eyes.

“Then I’ll show him. Ian, come with me if you want to know,” Hal says, beckoning Ian into the control room.

Without another word, Ian quickly walks forward towards Hal.

“NO!” I shout.

But it’s too late. Ian has already followed Hal into the control room.

I stand there for a few painstaking moments, shaking with anger. I know what he is going to do; he is going to show Ian the security camera video tape of Tristan and I kissing. And Ian is going to flip a shit.

After a few moments of trying to compose the mess of myself, I run towards the control room door. And when I see what is happening, I deflate like a balloon.

There, projected on a large screen is security camera footage. Although slightly grainy and fuzzy, you can clearly tell that it is the footage of a Tristan and I kissing in our room.

A few moments of stunned silence pass as Ian stares at the screen. I have never felt this sick to my stomach before. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. I’ll that I am capable of doing right now is standing still and trying not to imagine the look on Ian’s face.

I finally can’t take it anymore.

“TURN IT OFF!” I cry.

Hal whirls around, looking almost startled to see me there.

“I SAID, TURN IT OFF RIGHT NOW!” I scream.

Hal holds up a remote control in the air, pointing it at the screen and clicking a button. The screen immediately turns to grey static.

A few moments pass by in a deafening silence. I stare at Ian, whose back is towards me. It takes me a few seconds for me to realize that he is shaking.

“Now Ian, how do you feel...” Hal begins to say.

But before he can even finish his sentence, Ian whips around. And the next thing that I know, Ian’s fist is jamming into Hal’s face. Hal flies backwards, crashing onto a desk. Loose papers fly everywhere, fluttering in the dank, musty air.

“Stop it!” I scream.

But it’s no use. Ian continues to pummel Hal into the ground, repeatedly striking him on the face. Blood from Hal’s nose sprays into the air.

“YOU! FUCKING! DICK!” Ian shouts between punches.

“PLEASE, STOP!” I scream again hopelessly.

Then, to my horror, Ian suddenly flies backwards, crashing onto the ground. Chills run through my body as I watch Hal rise up, blood smeared all over his face.

He reaches out towards a table and grabs a glinting, shiny object. It takes me a few seconds to realize that it is a gun.

In an instant, Hal points it at Ian, who is now standing on his feet again.

“NO!”

Rooted to the spot with terror, I helplessly watch as Hal’s bony finger hovers over the trigger.

Then, without any more hesitation, Hal presses the trigger. Before a scream can even emit from my mouth, Ian ducks. Missing his hair by a fraction of an inch, the bullet whizzes over his head and crashes into something behind him. The bullet’s impact is followed by a horrible, cracking sound.

I whip around, and when I see what the bullet hit, I nearly faint.

I think Hal must realize the horrible move that he made because within a split-second, his face turns the exact color of a sheet of paper.

The steady stream of water pouring into the room confirms to us all that the bullet hit the submarine’s only window.

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