Inside the Hut, that was very messy. I could see everyone shouting to know what was going on. On the stage, Alvi was sitting, ignoring Gal who was trying to get information out of him. I couldn’t see Doc’ but I was pretty sure that he wasn’t far away.
Behind Alvi, 2 runners were standing with stick, keeping an eye on Spider. I wasn’t sure if he was still out of it, but he was on the floor, limping against a chair, his face facing the other direction.
Suddenly not sure of what to do, I just stood there, in the entrance, looking around me at the faces of the people I had grew to know and appreciate. From my spot, I could see the red hair of Damien, agitated and in deep conversation with Nigel, my quiet roommate. This last one, as usual, was just listening, patiently waiting to know what was happening.
The guys who usually hang with Gal and that I rather avoid since my relation with Gal haven’t gone in the good way, were next to the stage, trying to get out what was going on.
Frypan, the cook, was not paying any attention to anyone, sleeping on a chair. I could almost distinguish his peaceful snoring.
I suddenly felt the weight of Alvi’s stare on me. I looked at him and realized he was actually staring at someone behind me.
- Come on, let’s go. Murmured Newt in my ears.
I hadn’t realized that Minho and him were still standing close to me.
With a gentle push, Newt pushed me through the group of guys toward the stage. Without any hesitation, he joined Alvi. Extending his hand to me, he pulled me to the stage to, regardless of my hesitation.
Alvi stood up, attracting everyone attention.
“Thank you for coming here. I know we are all busy. I asked you to come for a good reason.” Alvi started with his stentor’s voice.
The people started to get silent, I saw Frypan waking up. Everyone paid attention to Alvi. They all knew he wouldn’t ask them to come over for no reason.
“Alvi, what’s going on?” Asked a voice.
Alvi raised his hands to calm the person who just talked, and more generally, all of the agitated people.
“We are all trapped here since way too long, for God know what reasons. Since the start, the Runners are trying to figure out the exit. Until now, unsuccessfully.” Alvi said.
I saw the face of the Runners next to me showing a mix of various emotion, anger, shame, dejection. The same emotion was playing on Gal’s, Minho’s and Newt face.
“It has been so long that some of us are here, without knowing what is outside. Is it better than here? Is it worth the trouble? Don’t we have anything we need here?” Asked Alvi.
“These thoughts came across many of us. They come to me every time the doors open. Every time the Runners go. Every time one of us don’t make it.” The anger and sadness in Alvi voice pierced through my heart.
Was it the meaning of today? Did he have doubts about leaving? Does he just want to stay here? Keep being the guinea pig of some crazy mind? I clenched my fists.
I got ready to talk back to him. Of course it was scary outside, but we would be free.
Before I could answer him back, he kept talking.
“These thoughts come to me all the time. But all the time, the door open and close, the runners go to find the exit. We keep hoping to get out of here. To go anywhere. To not be trapped anymore.” He said.
I could feel my arm airs getting all electrified by his words and by the vibrant atmosphere within the hut. I understood where he was going to. And I was not the only one. Not a single noise was heard, nobody wanted to disturb his words. All of us, we were all hooked to his every words.
“One of us,…no actually….one that we thought was one of us, has the answer.” Alvi added.
I felt the stare of Gal on me. Raised my eyes to the sky….seriously this guy was really dumb.
“This guy knows the way out.” Finished Alvi, pointing at Spider.
A big brouhaha answered his declaration.
“What do you mean?”
“We have our way out?”
“He is not one of us?”
“We can go home?!”
Everyone was shouting and standing at the same time, trying to understand what was going on.
“Silence!” Alvi shouted louder than anybody else.
Reluctantly, they stopped shouting and paid him attention.
“This man, Spider, he is not one of us. He is one of them, one of the people who send us there.” Alvi explained.
“How do you know that?” Interrupted Gal, dumbfounded.
“I…” started Alvi.
“I remembered it.” I interrupted Alvi.
“You…what?” Repeated Frypan.
Alvi was looking at me, letting me explain the messed I created. I tensed, feeling all of the attention on me. Taking a breath, I advanced towards Gal, talking loud enough for everyone to here.
“I remembered. I remembered him, I remembered the lab and the experiences.” I said.
Arriving in front of Gal, I turned to look at everyone’s face.
“We are all coming from a lab, below our camp. A lab where a group of scientist experience on us like if we were guinea pigs. I don’t know what they are looking for, but it has been going on since a long time. Everything that happened is planned by them. They have full control of everything.” I kept talking, ignoring the ball of fear in my stomach.
“What…what do you mean, a lab?” Asked Nigel.
“I…” I took a breath, I had no idea where to start.
“What do you remember?” Asked Newt.
I looked at him. He was trying to guide me. As helpful as always. I took more confidence in me and started a smile towards him before focusing on everyone again.
“Since I am small, I was locked inside the labs, below the camp. Every day, they were practicing various tests on me. Usually drugs, observing my body’s reaction. Sometimes physical test or mental ones. I was also receiving trainings about randoms topics, mathematics, science… “ I passed under silence the feeling that they were doing this to have good conscience and give back some of what they stole from me.
“I was in a different part of the labs than you. But I saw some of you when you were brought to the cage. I had no idea to where. I started to get some information with the months. They are called WICKED. There are two types of scientists down there. The one doing the experimentation directly on humans, like Spider.” I said with disgust.
“You mean Spider was one of the scientist?” Asked Damien.
“He is one of the scientist. HE came here on his own decision.” I added.
“Wait. Why would he do that?” Asked Damien again.
“I am not….well…I escaped. I was not supposed to come here. I was under his responsibility. He is here to bring me back.” I said simply.
I could feel the heavy stare of Newt, but I refused to look at him. I was already focusing on not losing myself in my explanations.
“Are you sure of that?” Asked Gal’.
I looked at him with anger.
“We spend years together. So yes. And if you need more proof, he totally lost it in front of Alvi and Doc. If I recall correctly, you also were in the room.” I said with sarcasm.
“You mentioned a second group of scientists?” Interrupted Doc’ before I started to pissed of Gal’ even more.
“Yay…the second group of scientist were observing and analysing. I was not in contact with them a lot.” I added.
I remembered Spider making fun of them, calling them the administrators, saying they had no idea what it was like on the field, what real tests were like.
“Now, I understand, they were checking on all of you, observing all of your behaviours here.” I said, more for myself.
“…why?” Asked Minho, looking at me with lost eyes.
I had nothing to answer him. Silence felt on his question. Everyone was wondering the same thing.
A weird noise pierced the silence. Looking for its origin, I realized that Spider was awake and that he was laughing.
“What is so funny asshole?” Asked Gal.
Slowly, Spider turned his face towards us.
“Why, why….maybe for no reason? Maybe it is just fun to watch you struggle everyday?” He said in a weird voice.
His crazy eyes lost in his thoughts made me shiver.
“Because, God it’s so funny…. A game that you start one day and become addicted. You are in control of everything, you are a God. You can see everything without being seen. You can do anything you want without any limits. No one can resist you. You, in the other hand, are just toys who can’t defend themselves. You can just cry, beg and scream, running in circle….or tied up on a chair. It is so nice….isn’t it Subject 13?” His eyes suddenly focusing on me.
“Tell them, tell your friend how nice I was with you…you never resisted me, not even once. You knew I was your God.” He said in a crazy voice.
I knew he was insane, I always knew it. But he made me so feel so disgusted and dirty, just by looking at me. I wanted to punch him in his face again, punching him until there were nothing but bloody pulp. At the same time, I was disgusted at the idea of touching him ever again.
“Shut up, you bloody piece of shit!” Shouted Newt, jumping in front of Spider and grabbing him by his collar.
I could read a real anger on his face. Strangely enough, it made me content. Newt was defending me.
“Oh you’re protecting your girlfriend little boy?” Asked Spider, laughing even harder.
“Shut up.” Growled Newt.
“I could teach you a lot about her, after all, she was my toy for years.” said Spider with an insinuating voice.
“I said shut up!” Screamed Newt before throwing him against the wall.
Being still tied up, Spider crashed against the wall before sliding to the floor, laughing like crazy.
“….why did he say girl?” Asked Minho behind me.
I turned to face him slowly. He was looking at me with disbelief.
“Minho….” I started before stopping, unsure of what to say exactly.
“What….you mean…you are a girl?” Asked Minho again, stepping back of a few steps like if I was having a contagious disease.
These steps backs hurt more than I was expecting.
“I didn’t mean to hide it…it just… it was…” I started, at loss of words.
“It was my idea.” Added Alvi, interrupting me.
Surprised, Minho and the other looked at him.
“It was already difficult enough for you to accept a newbie at a time that was not planned. I didn’t want to cause more uproar and distractions.” Added Alvi simply.
“And it’s not such a big deal.” Added Newt.
“She has done her part of the work since she came, and now found us our way out!” He kept going.
“You knew?” Asked Minho, looking at him.
I could read betrayal in his eyes.
“That was stupid to hide it, seriously man!” Criticized Gal’.
Gal’ looked at me at kept talking.
“I seriously don’t care if you have something between your legs or not. How do we get out of here?” He said crudely.
Only a bunch of guys seemed shocked by the news of my gender, the rest were like Gal’, looking for the exit too desperately to care about the rest. In a way, and for the first time, Gal’ was being very helpful to me.
“Spider, he came in to follow me and brought me back. He know how to get out of here.” I explained.
“That’s all?” Asked Gal’ with anger.
I looked at him in disbelief.
“Isn’t it more that you ever get?” I asked with sarcasm
“This guy…he is insane…how can we entrust our live to him in the maze? You are stupid to think that you have all of the solution!” commented Gal.
“What the hell is wrong with you? We finally have one of them with us. He care too much about his life to risk it.” I argued back.
“Didn’t he just do it by coming into the maze?” Asked one of Gal’s pal.
“This is not the maze, just the camp, he thought it was safe!” I fought back.
“This is too dangerous! It is safer to just find another way.” Screamed Gal’.
“Being here is dangerous! We never found any other way!” Shouted Newt at Gal’.
From that point, everyone started screaming again. I sighed. How could they be like this? I guessed Gal’ had a point. But it is not by putting our hands to the sands or avoiding anything risky that we will live again.
With a sight, Doc’ came to me.
“This is going to take time.” Doc’ sighted.
“You knew it will?” I asked him, surprised.
“Understand them Lad’. Living here is all that we have, all that we all know. Accepting changes takes time.” He said.
“But…” I started before stopping in front of him shaking his head.
God, that was so frustrating! I just wanted to jump and shout at everybody, to make them listen to me. But I had say everything, however, knowing that didn’t help me feel better.
A sudden panic scream brought everyone attention to the entrance of the main hut, where a guy was rushing in.
“They’re here!!! In the camp!!! Run!!! They’re here !!!” he shouted, in panic.
“The grievers!!!” he shouted again.