Both of them moved, together, away from the door. Lou's fists came up by instinct. Her frame bounced lightly on her feet. Most of the pain she had experienced in fighting with Alexander had faded into the background. She was just lightly bruised. Years of training, of fighting, and layers of muscle had protected her quite well. But she needn't have bothered.
Izzy hurtled into the room, clearly pushed, not gently at all. Lou saw a hand for a moment, then it was gone. The door slammed shut again. Izzy fell to the floor and looked up. Her palms were flat on the cold metal floor, her knees bunched in under herself. Her face tear-streaked, full of a barrage of emotions cycling like they were on a loop: sadness, fear, anger, hurt, and misery.
Lou's first thought on seeing the pretty blonde was that she had dismissed Izzy as soon as it was clear Alexander had control of the girl. Neither Lou nor Winston had spoken of her after being thrown in the room. Odd. But I did think about her.
“I'm SO sorry!“ Izzy half-wailed, almost a snivel. She got up and brushed herself off. “I couldn't stop it... couldn't break it fast enough. I just couldn't...“ Her voice trailed off and her head hung down, clearly ashamed. Winston moved next to her and put his arm around her shoulder. Lou hung back, unsure. Is this a ploy? She could still be under their control.
“It's OK, Iz. We know you couldn't stop it.“ Winston said, “No one could. No one can.“ Lou heard the dejection in his voice, he was close to giving up, his imagination had already seen a future of being a pawn with some device controlling his mind. Why didn't I see that? Fuck.
Izzy was a little mollified as Winston comforted her, but only a little. When he said, “No one can,“ Izzy's head jerked up. “But I did!“ she said, excitedly, wiping at the corner's of her eyes. She looked over at Lou, who tried to keep from showing she was stunned, confused.
“What do you mean?“ Lou asked warily.
“It's hard to describe, I wasn't sure it was real... but it's like being behind... well, “ she looked at them imploringly, needing them to believe her, she was usually so poised and precise, her words so carefully articulate. This was Izzy unwound. “a wall of glass, you can see everything. Feel everything. But you're not in control. I wasn't in control. It was still me, but some other part of me. I just had to stay... there, behind that... glass. Inside my own head. But I fought it! Somehow. I... I threw myself at the glass wall.“ Izzy slumped a bit as she said, it was as if she was aware how silly it sounded. As if it pained her to use such words. “I can't even...” Izzy took a deep calming breath. “...describe it any better... it's like I threw everything that's me, all my thoughts, my conscious will at that wall. And it... it flexed. I got so mad, like I was pure rage. And I broke through the wall. I shattered it.“ Izzy wiped her nose and looked at them both. Dared them with her eyes to call her a liar. She stood up straight, brushed her hair back with her hands, her supercilious air reasserted.
“I don't know what this means. I do know after the wall broke, I was in control of myself again. I attacked Alexander. I hoped i could get you two out. She beat me. Threw me in here. She still out there, probably. I think she's been implanted. She's like a robot, sitting and watching monitors out there. Watching this room. There are two rooms next-to us. I think Taylor's brother is in one.“ She pointed to the right.
“Yeah, she's definitely been implanted.“ Lou said pointedly not looking at Winston. “Did you see any way out? Anything we can use to get out of here? I think I can take her this time, if we can get out of here.“ Lou hoped it didn't sound like boasting. Even though it was. She gritted her teeth. I will beat her. Lou's entire core hardened with determination, stronger than any she had ever before known. All her muscles went taut with readiness.
“I don't know, I don't think so. It's just a bunch of monitors and a few doors. But she is by herself, now.“ Izzy added.
“What about the wiper?“ Winston asked her. Izzy looked ashamed again. “She had it, she gave it to one of the guards.”
“There has to be some way. “ Winston said, his melancholy seemingly gone, or else pushed down. He even managed a weak grin.
Lou sighed inwardly, glanced up at the camera. What's going to happen to Helen and Myth now?