The Zodiac Veils - The Thirteenth Sign

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Helena - Chapter 2

It was a few weeks before they removed the restraints that bound her wrists and ankles. She'd refused to eat at first, but they had ways of rectifying that and she had found tubes inserted into her skin, a drip through her veins, once again violating her body with their chemicals and experiments. She had tried screaming and shouting but to no avail. No words passed her lips, only slight whimpers of vague sounds. She had no idea why she couldn't make a sound. But Andrea’s comments from that first night made sense. It was new, they hadn't had this kind of power last time, but then again she could be wrong she was only 14 when she had escaped. Alone, scared stumbling from the wreckage of the fire.

The first night back was burned into her memory, she remembered Andrea and Dr Braithwaite with such crystal clarity. She heaved at the memory of Andreas hand resting in her stomach, her stomach turned every time she thought about what they had done, what they had put…… she couldn’t finish.

'We have put something in here that we are going to need back in nine months'

She'd refused to believe it at first. She would know surely. She tried to kid herself pretend they were just trying to scare her. But there was that dull heavy ache and she'd been drugged who knows what those chemicals had done to her body but deep down she knew, why else would they have kept her alive? Andrea’s words must have been true.

It had been about five weeks of monotonous routine, being fed through tubes, mind crushing boredom and seeing doctors when the sickness began. It was because of the sickness they removed the restraints. They couldn't have her chocking on her own vomit. She was moved to another room. Walls white and stark. A bed in the corner and a sink and toilet in the other. It didn't matter where she was, this room another room, they were all prison cells. She was also sure that the window sized mirror wasn't for her to do her hair in. All she could do was pace up and down the padded white room.

Her mind raced, escape plans, attacking the guard, faking illness, even suicide plans but she knew, short of another fire, she wasn't escaping, it was pure luck last time. She saw the doctors on a daily basis, well she could only assume they were doctors. They seemed to understand the bleeping machines and the charts at the end of her bed. None of them acknowledged her, they all seemed more interested in it, the creature, the bug, the thing, the parasite inside her. Each morning the sickness woke her, nausea rolled within her. Not only did she have to contend with the morning sickness but the repulsion of what they had put inside her, but there was nothing she could do. She had tried starving herself but that didn't work, there was nothing to try and cut herself with, she knew that if you folded a piece of paper enough times it became sharp but that's if she could have even brought herself to do it. The survival instinct is always strong. As days and weeks passed she grew more and more disgusted with the thing growing inside her. It wasn't hers, she didn't even know what it was, she didn't want to think about that too much, all she knew is that it was unnatural and not hers. How could they violate her body like that? Put such an evil thing inside her, every thought made her wince and bile rise in her throat. She tried to lash out at the doctors as them came in every morning but found herself so tired she couldn’t even hurl silent abuse at them, but gradually she noticed a few of them stopped coming in.

At what she assumed was around 10 weeks they restrained her again, a young doctor wheeled a monitor in. He smiled at her, a familiar smile. She looked at him, kind eyes, such kind eyes, soft and a chocolate brown colour. Helena looked for his name badge, Dr Joseph Braithwaite. Still unable to speak she looked at him closer. The shape of his nose was different but he defiantly had the same eyes and the curve to his lips was the same. A definite family resemblance.

He looked at her with a mixed expression on his face.

How can they do such a thing to a young woman, he knew he was part of the problem but he also knew he couldn't leave, they would surely hurt his father. He heard the stories of people trying to leave. The dispatch crews and the Cleaners were sent after them. Sudden illnesses, undiagnosed heart defects, depressions and suicides were they kind of things he had to look forward to should he leave. He knew too much. It didn't matter what century it was, secrets were always powerful, especially ones people didn't want you to know, and should people start asking questions, family members not satisfied with their loved ones sudden ends, a gas explosion was always an easy thing to rig.

He applied a cold gel to her stomach and placed a small piece of the machine against her swollen skin. The screen flicked to life.

She refused to look, she didn't want to know what was growing inside her.

'Hmm, Joseph said to himself. 'Strange' mumbling under his breath.

'He looked towards the mirror, beckoning with one hand'

'Oh god' she thought to herself, what is it, what's inside her.

A second person came in Helena saw the sharp cheekbones and instinctively flinched.

'We must stop meeting like this' the cold voice said.

Ignoring her obvious delight at seeing the young woman tied up, Joseph drew her attention to the screen.

'Look Ms Westwood'

Helena began counting the bleeps the machine made but realised they quickened the more she thought about them. Anything to try and distract herself from the current situation but she was failing, she had become interested in what he had to call that despicable woman in about.

'What am I looking at' Andrea snapped at him.

'well that's exactly the point' he gestured, ' there's nothing on the screen, it's picking up two heart beats, the mother and the child's but it's like the machine can't penetrate the embryonic sac'

'You’re sure you can hear the heart beat?' she barked.

'Yes two distinct beats, the faster one belong to the child's, all seems normal, under the circumstances'

'That’s enough for me' she faced Helena again, 'until next time' and she marched out of the room her high heels clicking on the tiled floor.

'Don't worry' the soothing voice said to her.

She could feel his warm hand upon hers.

'The baby's fine, we just can't see it'

She pulled her hand away, her face twisted in disgust.

'I know I know' he said in almost a whisper, ' you're a guinea pig, it's all wrong, I didn't become a doctor to do this but I've no choice, most of us don't, they'll hurt our families,'

Still looking at him with obvious repulsion on her face, his voice pleaded per with her in hushed tones.

'please you can't be like that, you need to understand, they're powerful, very powerful, and what they've done to you is only the tip of the iceberg compared to what they want to do'

She wondered who they were and what they could possible do to his family, but realising what they had done to her, it didn't take too much imagination.

He continued 'should this experiment with the child work who knows how far they will go'

She shuddered, she couldn't even bring herself to think what they had placed inside her. A parasite using her to grow, feeding off her. The strange alien life, an insect. She hated it and she hated him for being part of it. She could only think they were all as bad as each other, experimenting with things that they shouldn't be. She watched him leave, shoulders hunched in despair and hoped that one day he would get what was coming to him, the same kind of things she'd planned for Andrea.

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