The Zodiac Veils - The Thirteenth Sign

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Helena - Chapter 3

Her ankles ached, she could only guess they were huge as she could see them anymore. She guessed at about 5 months though she had no real measure of time. Only from the small window slit in which sunlight came through could she guess and measure days but after 2 months she kind of stopped counting she would only be counting down the days till the thing burst from her stomach like some scene from a sci-fi movie and then they would have no need for her anymore. She was still kept caged like a lab rat in her white room. The small white room with 40 white ceiling tiles, in which 13 cracks showed. Her small white room with 2 fluorescent strip lights, each with 2 long thin glowing tubes in them. Her small white room with 72 small white floor tiles, only 7 cracks in these though. She allowed them to put her back on solid food. Surprisingly, she was fed quite well, but she was sure this was more for the things sake than her own. She had not taken to thinking about the thing as anything other than a parasite, it wasn't part of her. She detested it. But she was resigned to the fact that there was also nothing she could do for the moment. She could only go along with their twisted experiment.

Dr Joseph Braithwaite came to her twice a week. Sometimes with his machine to try and check on the progress. His stethoscope around his neck. He sometimes brought her books. An avid classics fan she was secretly delighted when he had brought her Jane Eyre. Although she would never show it. His visits became pretty much the only contact she had any more. The doctors came in less frequently until she saw maybe one every other week. She could have some days were the only human she saw would be the hand that passed her food through the small hole in the door. She didn't mind this, the less she had to do with the barbarians the better, and she would read for hours. She would curl up on the bed and read, and right now she would do anything for a jar of Apple sauce. She been craving it for about a week now and it was driving her crazy.

When reading the marriage proposal to Jane, her favourite part in Jane Eyre, the door had opened, Joseph came in with the machine waking her from her literary dream.

'Thought we'd try again, it's been a few weeks'

His slightly crooked smile making his eyes crinkle.

Still unable to speak she simple nodded at him. She had thought that it would be temporary, but they were either continuously drugging her or they had done something to her vocal chords. Either way she had stopped trying. She had no reason to speak to anyone anyway. Why should she speak to these mad scientists and their crazy experiments?

She lay back on the bed book open by her side.

She closed her eyes, if there had been a changed she didn't want to see it. She still couldn't bear to think of the thing growing inside her. No better than a tape worm, latched onto her insides, using her. She occasionally felt it move and it saddened her to not feel the elated joy of feeling her own baby move but instead the demon child's kick. She was sure it was trying to kick her from the inside, to hurt her. She didn't think it possible to hate something even more that she already hated the worm. Its presence, the bump was a constant reminder that she was trapped. The sickness and nausea the abnormality caused physically pained her.

'Let's try again' he applied the cool gel to her stomach.

She looked as him as he concentrated so hard on the screen, even she had figured out that if they hadn't seen the thing yet, then they weren't going to. Why did he keep trying? His brown eyes fixed the screen with such intensity she was surprised it didn't burn. Dark brown and warm like melted chocolate, they sparkled when they flickered towards her. She turned her face to avoid direct eye contact.

She liked his accent, the broad northern tones drawing out the vowels. She knew he wasn't one of the bad guys as such, he was more trapped by bad choices and an obligation to keep his family safe. But she'd at least thought he knew what they had done was wrong too. He had told her on his many visits that when he was younger he father was recruited to a top secret research program and how he marvelled at what secret experiments they were doing. He used to think it was some kind of James Bond spy stuff with gadgets and exploding pens and flying cars. His father had never told him but he knew he wanted to do the same. He'd studied hard despite his father’s pleas to be like the rest and join a band, be an artist. Be he knew what his path held for him. Well he thought he had. Upon graduating, with pretty good grades, so he said, the Directive had snapped him up straight away. His father hadn't been happy at all. He remembered his first day meeting Andrea. The look on her face! Smugness and glee and her first words,

'Well Joseph, it seems you'll be working with your father, the Brothers will be pleased that we have the set, two Braithwaites, let's just hope you even half as good as your daddy'

It wasn't until he found out what they did there that he knew why his father has discouraged him all those years. If only his dad knew, if he hadn't tried so hard to stop him taking this path he might not have took it. He'd seen another doctor try to leave and heard the stories of Jones and the dispatch crews sent after her. She wasn't seen from again and the explosion at a family BBQ tore havoc with the rest of the family. Needless to say, no one had tried to leave since. So he continued to work with his father for the monsters. He knew the terrible things they did and knew that should he try and leave his father would take the fall, he was old, and he couldn't expect him to go on the run with him. And so he stayed, played his part. A cog in the well-oiled machine ready to exploit anything they could.

'Still no change, we can't see the little bugger' he chuckled.

She was shocked by the tone he used

She couldn't believe he was talking about the little tic with such affection in his voice. He looked back at her his eyes gleaming. Her own eyes must have shown the shock on her face.

'I wish they'd remove the…well let you talk again, it would make all this much easier'

So they had done something to her voice she thought.

'You want to look at the screen you can't exactly see anything but you can see the beat of its heart' he cooed

The emotion in his voiced sickened her.

'Surely you want to at least try and see your child'

Her head span to him incredulously, eyes wide in disbelief. How could he honestly believe she would want that?

'Oh' his own eyes widening, ' you haven't figured it out have you?'

The look in his eyes turned to sorrow, almost pity, what could he mean? She knew she had been implanted with some kind of devil spawn. What else was there to know? She was the oven for the Directives mad experiments. He looked at her shaking his head slightly. Something clicked. Oh no! They wouldn't have, but even as she thought it she knew that there was nothing they wouldn't do, and instantly knew her thoughts to be true.

She looked at him, her eyes questioning, she placed her hand in her stomach and pointed to herself.

Looking at her he immediately knew and understood what she meant. His eyes closed not wanting to look at her he nodded. He heard as she pushed herself away from him, backing up into the corner of the room hands clutching her stomach.

'Yes, the child growing inside you is yours, they've just altered it a bit, and when you were out they removed some of your eggs and artificially inseminated them with some other, erm samples'

His eyes looked up to meet hers, tears stung the corners of her eyes.

The thing inside her was hers, her child, but how when all she felt towards it was disgust. The dirty, vile thing growing in her was of her own flesh and blood, but what else? It could have her eyes, her father’s chin, but what other things would it have? Would it even look like her?

She didn't want to believe it, no mother should hate their unborn child like this. As she thought it she realised she'd thought of herself as a mother, not just an incubator. Did the fact that the thing was actually part hers make a difference to her? She had hated the thing for months now. It grew inside her and each day her revulsion grew with it. Could she just change? Did she want too?

'I’m so sorry he said I thought you knew, I didn't think they'd be so cruel as to not tell you, did you just assume it was some experiment they'd placed inside you?

She nodded bleakly barely listening to him. Tears rolling down her cheeks.

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