Helena - Chapter 12
'It’s a rite of passage for my kind' she told him, 'to leave your family and experience a human life, I believe the Quakers do something similar. Experience the human world. Some chose to go back home, I didn't'
He looked at her, he knew she was different but he didn't know to what extent. He was only level three clearance and you had to be at least level five to get the good info. He just knew that she wasn't technically human. As much as the scientist inside him wanted to ask her he had to wait for her to tell him in her own time.
'I came to the city when I was thirteen, young yes, impressionable maybe, but in my culture you are a woman at thirteen. My kind had a safe house where I slept and I would spend my days wondering the city. Trying new things meeting new people, but I was careless. I used my speed to get places, I was too impatient. I didn't hear them coming, I was too busy staring at the lights at the fairground. Such bright colourful lights. Loud wonderful sounds and sweet smells that danced on the air, before I knew it they had me.'
She looked so sad, her head bowed. The newly reddened hair covered her face and she had her arms wrapped tightly around herself. He reached out to touch her but she flinched.
'They did tests on me. Took my blood, swabs from my mouth and every other orifice they could get into. Made me run endlessly and measured my heart rate, blood pressure, reaction times. They made me listening to noises and guess playing cards with funny shapes on them.' She went quiet for a moment as if contemplating something.
'They cut me, ran blades against my skin to measure how quickly they would heal. For hours they sliced open my skin and watched as the edges came back together.'
He body shook with fear. Her eyes had begun to fill and she couldn't hold back the tears anymore. She broke down in front of him. His arms came around her again. Pulling himself close to her that small hairs on his arms tickled the back of her neck. With her head rested on his shoulder she continued.
'Andrea was there, nowhere near as powerful as she is now, she was like a ward sister. Checked on me at night, escorted me from my cell to the labs. One night something was wrong and I could smell smoke, the red lights came on and I remember thanking god. At least if I burnt to death they couldn't torture me anymore. But my cell door opened, I didn't see who it was but they told me to run and I did, I didn't look back, I didn't say thank you, I just ran.'
'How did you end up back there' his voice low and hushed. He was still dying to ask her the question he really wanted to know the answer to but he waited patiently.
'I got sloppy, for the first few years I stayed at various farmhouses camp sites, kept a low profile. I didn't want to go back home, I wanted to stay and live this life. Looking back I was probably foolish, but I loved the city, the lights the people. I managed to get myself a job working at a bar in the country, the owner let me sleep in a caravan they had outback and he took a little money out of my wages for bored and food. I had no friends, nowhere to spend my money and I saved it, I saved every penny. I got myself a small studio place...'
'How did you manage that, you where what 17, 18' he questioned her.
She smiled at him, 'I have the power to be very persuasive when I wasn't to be, I'll get to that later, I got myself other jobs, all low key cash in hand obviously. Saved up, made connections and got myself a fake passport, I guess you could say I'm an illegal immigrant' still smiling she looked up at him their eyes locking.
'But like I said I got sloppy, I got too complacent, it had been nearly ten years, I thought I was safe.'
She stopped speaking, he could hear her breathing heavily and felt her breath on his shoulder. He knew the rest from there. It was his turn now.
'I knew my dad was a scientist at some top secret lab and it's all I ever wanted to do, after my mum died it pushed me and it's all I wanted. At my mums cremation I vowed to make that dream come true. But after they took me in I knew I had made a mistake, but as you know they have their ways of making people do what they want and I couldn't leave I was trapped. I dutifully did what they wanted, researched, helping techniques, the voice thing they did to you was one of my dad's discoveries. But they started bring people into the labs. I ran a few of the DNA tests myself but all the results came back as rubbish'
'My kind, and others don't have the same kind of DNA as you humans, the foundations are the same but there's a whole load more' she told him, but he knew this.
'Some of the things they brought in looked human but so different, you weren't the first they tried this experiment on' and he rested his hand on her stomach. 'But none of the other survived' he took a deep breath. 'The samples they used on you where, not human.'
He bit his lip and looked at her. She had such eagerness in her eyes. He knew that this is what she had been waiting for. She wanted to know what her child would be.
'A new specimen, was brought in about a month before you. He was, well a werewolf. That's the only way I can explain it. He didn't do the whole changing at a full moon thing but he had wolfish characteristics.'
She gasped, so that was it, she had some strange twilight Jacob baby growing in her. She wasn't sure how that made her feel. She was worried though what the two strains of DNA would create though.
'He only ate raw meat, he was wild, vicious. He eyesight was tremendous and his sense of smell. He could heal too, and fast.'
She shuddered to think of the kind of tests they ran on the poor man. Running blades over his skin to watch him bleed. She felt pity for him. To be a non-human creature in this world was hard. Humans dominated the planet, even though her kind was there first. Humans had a thirst for knowledge and for power and ever since their two kinds had been together, humans had always tried to harvest their powers for their own gain. Humans ran the world.
She had laughed out loud and he looked taken aback
'I've always been fascinated in human references to my kind. Your books and films. On the whole most of the human race a blind to what they don't want to see but they are more than happy to fall in love with vampires. Twilight, true blood, Harry potter, lord of the rings, Walt Disney' she ticked them off on her fingers. 'humans have always unconsciously known my kind, but refuse to believe'
He couldn't hold it in any more her had to know. 'And what are your kind' he asked furtively.
Looking at him, not smiling this time, her mouth set in a hard line, forehead creased. She hesitated for a moment troubled to find the right way to phase it but no matter what way she wrapped it up it all amounted to the same thing.
‘Joseph, I'm a mermaid'