A stream of light fell onto the cages that were laced with neodymium, a rare earth metal. She sat there with her specular wings that covered her frail body. The girl seemed almost like an 18 year old. She tucked into the corner shielding away from the dim light that barely helped in seeing through the dark room. She peeked through her wings looking at me, her eyes were very unusual. I didn't get a proper look at it as she immediately hid behind those razor sharp wings. If I hadn't been staring at her since I had been posted here to guard her I wouldn't have seen her eyes. That was her only movement since the past four hours. "Dante!" A voice called out my name. Footsteps thudded behind me, heavy and firm. I arched my shoulders back and stood upright before turning around.
"Yes commander!" I responded in a firm tone, puffing my chest out. I needed to get this right, I need to get out of this hell hole as fast as I can.
"Has it eaten?" He asked, looking at the girl with disgust in his face. He didn't bother to hide the distaste towards the girl. My hands were twitching on the side of my legs to remark on his attitude but I chose to answer his question. I replied and waited for his indication to go away.
The commander asked for the cage to be opened instead. I obliged to his command and stood straight right beside the door. He stepped inside and knelt in front of the girl. Her wings seemed to be higher as though they were in a defensive stance. "Do you want to do this the painless way or you want to do it the fun way?" The commander asked in the softest tone as if he was talking to a seven year old, well clearly not. She didn't reply but instead tried to move away from his touch. He looked over to the soldier beside him, the soldier handed over a knife, I think it is neodymium from the way the girl flinched. From what I have gathered her kind is vulnerable to them.
The commander traced the knife over her jaw and held her by her hair. She showed no movement as though she was taunting the commander to try his worst. The smile on the commander’s face was replaced by an angry look and he stabbed her thigh. Blood seeped out of it. The girl’s fists tightened but there was still the same taunting smirk on her face. The commander called in a woman, “come on mutt, you think you are so brave? Now, go and cut her fingers. Show me that I can put you in a better place?”
The girl clutched the knife which was handed over to and crawled towards the woman. The commander’s smile grew wider the more she moved towards the woman. She stopped in front of the woman and dropped her wings down and looked into the woman’s eyes. The woman was held down by two guards and her cries and pleads for mercy fell deaf to everyone’s ears. The girl's lower lip seemed to tremble. She dropped the knife onto the ground. She knelt completely down and looked at the ground as though she didn't want to show any weakness in front of them.
She said, “I-I can’t do it, I can’t hurt her.” Before she could look up, the commander charged at the girl kicking her with his leg, and she fell back with a thud.
“You worthless piece of shit! Did I ask you to kill her? No! I only asked you to cut her fingers!”
He picked up the knife that was on the ground and stabbed the woman multiple times in the stomach. Her screams slowly died down with her life. This was an everyday nightmare, this entire place is cursed. The commander turned to the girl with his jaw clenched. The girl let out a whimper but didn’t dare look up at the commander. She whispered into the air, “I’m sorry.” As though she were begging for forgiveness from the dead woman.
The commander barged out of the cell and yelled, “Starve her!”
I swapped places with another soldier to have my lunch. I didn’t have the appetite to eat after what happened. I needed to bring up my humanity, what they do is completely disgusting. Ever since the crash in the Atlantic Ocean they found a pathway to another world, or a parallel universe whatever they call it. Whatever lurks near or around it, is captured and experimented on. Everything around that area is classified and is completely under the control of the military. Only high officials have information on it.
Sneaking in a slice of bread for tge girl isn’t going to do me any harm. Only if I am careful enough to not get caught. I stuffed a slice of bread into my pocket and went to the cellar. “Hey bro! How’s it going?” I called out to the guy who would be guarding the girl next.
“Aye mate! Pretty much the same. The corpse was stinking so I took a break.”
“Want me to cover for you?” I asked hoping he wouldn’t say someone else already did or suspect me for pulling up something I shouldn't be doing.
“You’re more than welcome to!” He said with a grin raising his mug of beer at me. I gave him a thumbs up and winked before I left.
I went to the cell where the girl was at. She didn’t move from her spot. I kneeled in front of her. She flinched as I tried to move close to her. “I’m sorry.” She sobbed. She didn’t move from the same spot she was when the commander had stabbed the woman. Her hand was touching the ground where she dropped her knife. I can’t stay here for long, I wouldn’t be able to tell her that the woman would be at peace if she died. It was a better option than to stay in this hell.
“Hey…It’s ok, listen to me.” I whispered out to her. She looked at me, it was the first time I was looking at her eyes. My breath hitched, they were beautiful. Green swirls and blue tinged in them, It looked like dropping a drop of paint with exquisite color into black water. Her pupil seems to be dissolving into the rest of the eye. She seemed to be tensing under my gaze so I lowered my eyes and took out the bread that I had snuck in. She seemed hesitant; in her position who wouldn’t be, anything that has a gentle emotion can be a trap for them. I took a bite of the bread to show her that I didn't poison it.
“See, it’s safe to eat.” I handed out the bread to her again. She snatched the bread out of my hand and took a bite, she paused for a moment and looked at me for a brief moment before hiding behind her wings again.
“That’s all I could get. I’ll try getting more next time, I can't stay longer.” I told her and hurried out to delete the CCTV footage before the guard comes back.
“No.” The girl whispered. She didn’t look up at me, she stared at the crumbs in her hands. I could hear footsteps approaching. I reached out to her hands to clean the crumbs, she took them away and hissed at me.
“Someone’s coming, don’t let them see.” I whispered to her, afraid for the consequences if they found out. I quickly left the cell before locking it again.
The guy who I covered his shift for entered. “Hey mate! Thanks for the cover, appreciate it.” He thanked me. I nodded over to him and rushed to the security office where I could delete the footage.
“Sam! Do you want to take a break? You seem exhausted, man.” I told him while propping myself on a chair beside him.
“Uhhh! All this crap just makes me want to go home.” He cried into his hands. I laughed and slapped his back.
“Isn’t Sarah pregnant? Why didn’t you take a leave?” I questioned taking a sip of his drink.
“I tried, they didn’t let me. It’s so scary being a parent. Sarah becomes a monster when she’s pregnant. Her whole face becomes red and starts screaming…”
“It’s the usual. She loves you no matter what.” I joked, easing his worries. “It’s tougher having a fifteen year old.”
“Oh! Please..” He stood up to get coffee, I quickly moved to delete the file, just as I was about to click the button Sam turned around and saw me trying to delete the file of me interacting with the girl. “What the fuck have you been doing?” He dropped his cup and quickly took the seat beside me. “Why- What the hell have you been doing with the girl?” He whisper-screamed looking at the screen and immediately deleted the file that I have been trying to delete.
“I’ll fill you in later. I kinda need to rush.” I quickly came up with an excuse to leave the room. I could trust him right? He seems to hate this place just as much as I do.