Tea Leaves and Sapphire Earrings


Match Six: Samodiva:

They made her into a monster.

Subject One was kept chained up in the lab. She still needed work done on her. Alisa flashed a light in her eyes. She had never seen eyes so gold before in her life. Ivan watched from outside of the room. Time was running against them. That seventh gate would be opened in Ikebukuro. Tandeki was still far ahead. They had cracked half of the Dis Program. This creature would be the only chance for them to catch up.

“How is she today?” Ivan asked over the mic.

“Good,” Alisa said. “Not much change.” She lowered her flashlight, frowning. The scientist turned to see Ivan sharing the same expression on her face. What were they missing?

Meanwhile, the test subject can understand what they are saying. She could still speak her native tongue. However, she does not eat. She doesn’t drink either. No sleeping or using the bathroom. She sits chained up in the lab. Her glare and grin gave the scientists the creeps. So far, nothing had changed.

The last eight days showed nothing exciting.

Day Nine

Her eyes glowed in the dark. Karp came in to monitor the test subject. He shivered as she watched him from behind the glass. The scientist sat down at the booth and turned on the recording. There was a new sound file on the computer.

“Hm?” he asked. Karp clicked on the file. At first, he heard white noise coming through the tapes. He hadn’t expected much like the past eight days. Karp tried to fight off sleep.


Karp about jumped in his seat. He rewound back the tape.

“Vodka.” The voice sounded like a raspy whisper. Almost like an old woman sounding young. Karp slowly looked up at the glass wall in front of him. The test subject looked up at him with a drunk-like smirk on her face. Was this pale and skinny creature hitting him up for vodka? Karp noticed her lips moving again.


He jumped to attention. Why would this creature want vodka? Her glowing eyes told him that he didn’t have any choice.

“Right…” Karp said over the mic. He slowly backed out of the room. One trip later, he returned with a bottle of vodka. She lifted her head. Her eyes could cut through his soul. Karp looked around at first. What was he doing? He was the only one here on the morning shift. The scientist swiped his card the door. The test subject turned her head as the door opened. Karp opened the bottle as he walked over to her. She looked like a hungry animal as she tilted back her head.

“Okay,” Karp said. “This is all you are getting.” He poured vodka down her throat. She didn’t even make a sound as she drank. The test creature leaned her head back against the wall. Her cheeks turned a light red. Karp drew back the bottle.

“Interesting,” he said. The scientist walked out of the room while making a note in his phone. Her eyes started to glaze over from the vodka.

Day Ten

She drinks nothing but vodka. But she doesn’t get drunk. Adrik flashed his light in her eyes. The test subject didn’t look so skinny anymore. She still doesn’t talk, eat, use the bathroom, or sleep. Fyodor allowed the test subject to drink her vodka. Adrik took down his notes.

“Good,” he muttered. “Still alive.” Adrik’s eyes trailed down the test subject’s body. Where did all of these red curved marks come from? They started forming since last night. At first, they were on her left shoulder. Now, it had spread down her arm and across to her right shoulder. They didn’t look painful to the creature.

“What is all of this?” Adrik asked. He took her by the shoulder and looked at her back. No sooner had he touched her; his body felt cold. His stomach turned. Adrik could see his own breath. He looked down to see the test subject smiling at him like a drunk cat.

“W-W-What is this?” Adrik asked. He quickly drew back his hand, panting. The test subject stared up at him with glowing eyes. The scientist shook his head.

“You will not get to me,” he hissed. “I am man. You are just a creature we created. You will not rule me!” She looked at him with deep glowing gold brown eyes and only said one thing.


Adrik curled his nose and walked out of the room. What did they create?

Day Eleven

She smelt like flowers trying to cover up rotting fish. Time was running out. Two of Tandeki’s interns had already found the seventh gate. The nightcomers would open the gates in two days’ time. Once the seventh gate was opened, the next round of the game would begin. They needed to have this countermeasure ready before that happened.

Ivan lifted the test subject by the chin. They had started to see what she would consume besides vodka. The test subject drank so much that the crew had to go out and buy more on a Ivan wrinkled his nose.

She wouldn’t eat vegetables. She wouldn’t take milk. She won’t take wheat. But meat…

Ivan looked down at the untouched pieces of cooked meat on the white tiled floor. The raw meat only had bite in it. Ivan forced open the test subject’s mouth. The teeth used to look so rotted and black. Now they grew into white polished fangs. How did Ivan really feel about this?

To him, the game meant nothing. She meant nothing to him.

“Heh,” Ivan said. He let go of her face. The Russian man was not fazed by her. She looked up at him with a smirk like a cat. Ivan wrinkled his nose. This was a dumb plan. He didn’t think they would take him seriously. But then again, they wanted to win this stupid game. He gave up trying to talk them out of it.

The test subject started to look more different each day. The red markings spread all over her body. She didn’t look so much like a dying corpse anymore. Ivan grabbed her by her now long dark red hair and lifted her head. That drunk smile would make him sick. Ivan let go of her hair. She spoke again.


“No,” Ivan said. A hint of anger flashed in her eyes. He did not look fazed. She may have scared his colleagues but it would not work on. The test subject would not be ready in time. This would not work anyway.

Still, they had to keep up with Project Drioma.

Day Twelve

Alisa stood in awe. Their test subject was turning beautiful. And all so quickly too. She resisted the urge to touch her.

The markings on the body looked like a bright red tattoo. She started to look curvier. The test subject’s long dark red hair covered her naked breasts. She still drank enough vodka to put all of Russia in a coma. The test subject started to eat more of the raw meat. She still didn’t eat or drink anything else. Talking, sleeping, or using the bathroom didn’t come to her. Still, they had their own weapon to counter the tadpoles. Her body was still in development but it would be finished soon. They hadn’t even seen what her power would look like when she evolved. By then, she would be even more beautiful than ever. Soon, there would be the testing after the seventh gate was opened.

Alisa had to take a breath. The excitement was much better than the ones she spent with her lover. Fyodor would be so proud of their project. She could see it now.

They had one more day.

Day in Red

The gate was opened last night. She stood in that white room for first time. All of the shackles fell away from her body. Great dark red wings spread out from her marked back. A twisted smirk came onto her face.

She finally spoke her new name.

“I am Valya.”

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