I. Facility One
Shutting my lids, I lean against the cold brick wall. My eyes open, glued to the black rat nibbling on the rotting flesh. Tears drip down my cheeks as I pray for my sister to find me. But they sent me here, saying how my sister said she doesn’t need me.
Does she really not need me anymore?
“Big sister,” I whimper, wrapping my arms around my bruised legs. Looking down, blood drips off my trembling fingers. The tears continue streaming down as I remember what I did earlier.
I killed someone, again.
I killed him to live.
My nose stuff, body trembling as I scoot myself farther into the corner. Looking up, others were sitting there, staring at nothing as they waited for their next meal or battle.
My hand smacks on my ears as a piercing alarm goes off.
“This is not a test. Subject 6, 55, 87, 93, and 101 had escaped with weapons.” The speakers inform us and everyone eyes frantically roam around the room.
“I repeat Subject 6, 55, 87, 93, and 101 had escaped with weapons. We will commence the protocol RED. Any subjects out of their cells will be exterminated.”
Suddenly, the door slammed itself shut. Tiny windows enclosed shutting out all possible sunlight. My eyes follow the mask guards rushing around, weapons in their hands, urging everyone to go back into their cells.
Glancing downward, I mumble those subject numbers to myself, realizing they are the strongest ones here. From what I heard, they had been around for a long time.
They are what the scientists would call: The perfect subjects.
My heart beats increase as the red light flickers, brightening the darkroom. I crawl farther into the corner. My head snapped when the metal door flew across the room, slamming on top of a guard.
Guns point in the direction of the brimming light. A single man paced inside, his body drenched with blood. The edge of his lips twitches upward as he pushed his gold hair back with his blood filled hand.
The red light shines his striking green eyes: Subject 101.
Before they can even pull the trigger, he flashes in front of them with immense speed, tearing their limbs piece by piece with a stoned face.
When he finishes, he turns towards us as we all back up hitting the wall. Bending down, he grabs the key, throwing it in our direction.
“It’s a war out there,” he said in a deep voice before walking out.
A man takes the key and unlocks all the cells. Everyone rushes out, but I stay in the corner.
“Come on!” A red hair girl shouts, grabbing my wrist. We ran out the door, eyes blinded by the sudden white light. Once our vision cleared, we saw nothing but blood. Limbs were torn in all sorts of directions, a mixture of soldiers and subjects.
“Let’s go,” the red-haired girl whispered, pulling me towards a direction. Everyone huddle together, scanning everywhere as we continue hearing gunshots and horrific laughter.
“What the fuck are we doing?” a guy said and we all stare at him. He walks over towards a dead soldier and takes a gun. Opening it up, he checks for ammo. Walking around, his eyes pinpoint on a knife, and he grabs it. “We are fucking trained soldiers for war. Why the fuck are we huddling together like sheep? Right now, we are at war for our freedom. It’s a chance to get out of this fucking shitty ass hellhole. So get your shit together and grab a weapon,” he declares, and everyone glances at one another.
“I don’t know about you all, but I’m fucking sick of eating bread and watery soup. I want to see my wife and kids,” he growls and leaves.
One by one, everyone searches for a weapon to protect themselves. The red hair girl, grab two knives and hand me one. We were about to follow the direction everyone went, until a little boy caught us, holding us back.
“Don’t go there. I can smell too much blood,” he whispers. Lifting a small finger, he points in another direction.
The red hair girl nods and follows the little boy. They stopped and looked back at me. “Are you coming?” She asks.
I peek at the crowd who went the opposite direction. My hand grips tightly on the knife. Giving them a nod, I ran towards their direction, hoping I did not make the wrong decision.
“I’m Abby, Subject 22,” she said with a small smile.
“I’m Isabella, Subject 35,” I respond, returning the smile.
We look at the small boy. “Subject 34,” he whispers.
“What’s your name?” Abby asks.
Tears emerge from the corner of his eyes. “I don’t remember,” he mumbles. Biting my lips, I decide not to question him any further. Many of the hybrid children are often kidnapped or sold here.
Our shuffling purple and red feet stop when we hear a fearful scream. With racing hearts, we hold tightly to our weapon. A body was thrown across the room. Blood sprouted out of his mouth as he fell on the floor.
A man steps out, red orbs glaring at us: Subject 87.
We scoot aside as he walks and passes us leaving bloody footprints on the floor. The three of us release a breath of relief when he turns around the corner, disappearing into the darkness.
“Let’s go,” Abby whispered.
My body refuses to stop trembling when we pass by more and more freshly killed bodies. Glancing down, Abby and Subject 34 was utterly unfazed.
“You’re new here, aren’t you?” Abby ask, and I nod
“Lucky,” the little boy whispers.
“Have you two been here for a while?” I ask, and they nod.
A shadow appeared, showing another subject. “Trenton!” Abby screams rushing towards him. He held out his arms, embracing her.
“I’m so glad you’re fine,” he whispers as he pats her head.
He glances at Subject 34 and me. “Who are you two?”
“This is Isabella and Subject 34,” she said, and he replies with a nod.
“Let’s head that way,” Subject 34 said and starts walking towards the other side of the hallway.
Trenton, Abby, and I glance at each other then follow him. My legs stopped when I saw a familiar body on the floor: Subject 101.
There were bullets in nearly every part of his body, as well as a sharp knife right through his heart. I choke on air when I see a smile on his face, as if he is happy to die. With a shaky hand, I closed his lids, sending him a short prayer.
“Are you coming?” Trenton questions.
My eyes peeked over when I saw a crumpled photo held tightly in his hand. Grabbing it, I unfold it to see a young man and a woman. The couple was smiling; happily, eyes filled with life. The woman’s physical structures were similar to Subject 101, as if he was her brother, perhaps they were. Turning the photo over, I saw some words:
My love, I am where the tower reigns over everything else, the place where we laced our lips together for the very first time. I shall wait for you until my body decays six feet underground. Please, come to me when you no longer harbor the darkness within you.
My eyes blur and shivering lips burst into a loud cry. Placing a hand on my tightened chest, I tried to breathe, but it was getting harder and harder. Feeling a hand on my shoulder, I glanced up to see Trenton. “Now is not the time,” he said. Abby kneels, wiping off my tears from my face. Taking a sniff, I nod and stand up.
Subject 34 held my hand, leading me away. Looking down at the photo, my hands fold it neatly, placing it inside my torn dress.
Walking around, we met other subjects who grouped with us. The longer we walked, the more subjects we met.
“Hands up!” several soldiers scream at us, pointing their guns.
Instantly, the subjects ran towards their direction. My body moves as if it had a mind of its own. Before, I knew it my hands grab a guy’s neck, slamming him into the wall, slashing his throat. The knife dropped from my shivering hand, as I looked around to see all the soldiers dead.
Trenton, Abby, and Subject 34 were covered in blood. Subject 34 wiped the blood from his prominent cheekbones, walked over to a dead guard and pulled out the knife on his chest, not once flinching. Our heads snapped when we heard a low moan. “P-Please d-don’t kill me.”
Abby came over, pointing a gun at his head, “Remember what you told me when I beg you to stop touching me?” she whispers.
He shakes his head as tears drip down his face, mixing in with his sweat. “Fucking take it you filthy bitch,” she said in a dead tone before pulling the trigger.
Glancing around, everyone searches for more weapons on the dead bodies.
Subject 34 walks up to me. Bending down, he grabs the bloody knife. Twisting the knife in his red hand, he hands it to me. “Here, you drop this,” he said.
Glancing around, I see both children and adults putting ammo inside their guns as if it was a regular thing to do. In the corner of my eyes, I see a young girl stabbing a guard’s face repeatedly, taking out all of her pent-up anger. No one even bothers stopping her, probably all thinking the same thing.
He fucking deserved it.
Looking into Subject 34’s dead eyes, a short unamused chuckle escaped my lips when I finally realized how fucked up this place made us.
I grab the knife, twirling it in my hands as we all continue walking down the hallway. We would often run into other subjects as well as guards, but mainly dead bodies.
Everyone stopped when we saw two hallways. The first was wholly lit with lights, clean without any dead body. The second had a single flickering light, filled with dead bodies. A smile surfaces on our faces when we see the exit at the end of the first hallway. Everyone jumped back when we heard a high pitch demonic laughter towards the direction of the dead bodies.
“Let’s go that way,” Subject 34 whispered, pointing towards the side of the deranged laughter.
“Are you crazy? Do you not see the exit over there?!” a woman shouts.
“No. We have to go the other way,” Subject 34 said. He drops my hand and walked towards the dark hallway.
“Subject 34!” I scream.
“I don’t know about you all. I’m going in the other direction,” a guy said, and everyone else nods along.
“I’m going with Subject 34,” Abby said, running after him.
Trenton and I glance at each other. “Me too,” he said with determination.
“You are crazy to follow two little kids,” another man said.
Trenton bit his dry lips as a chuckle escaped his throat. “You gotta be kidding me right? Look around, old man; we are all fucking psychotic killers here.”
The man didn’t respond, knowing what Trenton said is true. He stares down at his bloody hand and walks away.
I stand there staring at the two hallways. “Are you coming with us, Isabella?” Trenton asks, holding out a hand.
Staring at the crowd of individuals heading the other way, I bit my lips, swallowing; I realized my throat is desperate for water. My eyes roam over to the other side, seeing Subject 34 and Abby holding hands in the dark hallway, waiting. Inhaling the metallic smell, I take Trenton’s hand, giving him a firm nod.
Cautiously, we paced down the gloomy hallway, heart beating immensely. “Maybe this was a mistake,” Trenton whispered, holding his gun tightly.
Turning a corner, our heart stopped beating when we saw a little girl cover in blood, countless bodies surrounding her. A smile etched on her face as she held a head on her hand.
“Subject 6,” Subject 34 whispers, eyes brimming with happiness.
“P-P-Please! S-Spare me! I’m sorry! I was forced to do all those things! Th-They told me that th-they were going to k-k-kill my d-daughter if I didn’t do it!” A man in a white suit dropped on his knees, bowing his head.
She tilts her head, staring at him with her deep blue eyes, a light scoffed escape from her throat.
Inhaling, I can smell blood mixed with an unidentifiable scent radiating off Subject 6. It’s a scent similar to Subject 87 and 101. I didn’t know what happened, but every cell in my body was screaming at me to run.
A small chuckle eludes from her pale lips rapidly turn into booming laughter, echoing throughout the empty hallways. Lowering her gun, she turns her cut bruised feet and walks away towards us.
One by one, we step back, hitting the corner.
Without hearing a single sound, the gun went off, as the man fell onto the cold cement ground with a loud thud. We all collapsed to the floor, huddling against one another, in complete fear.
I can hear her clicking the gun. Releasing a deep breath she threw it aside.
Turning her heels, she walks past the dead bodies and torn limbs on the floor. Without my permission, a whimper escapes my lips, along with Abby. Trenton and Subject 34 were trembling along with us.
She stops walking and turns back towards us. As she steps closer, she offers us a devious smile. My heart beats faster as sweat continues rolling down when I see her lifting an arm. She bends down, grabs the gun off the dead man next to us and throws it.
“You will need this if you want to survive the world outside,” she said in a low, calming voice.
She looks at the dead man and grabs his hair pulling his bruised face upward. “You. I’ll be taking you with me,” she said happily. Grabbing a knife, she decapitates him slowly. My eyes flinched, but I couldn’t look away as his flesh was torn apart. Tilting her head, she smiles at us.
“Don’t worry. I only discipline repulsive creatures. You all had been well-behaved? Right?” she sang.
We all quickly nod our heads as sweats continue rolling down.
“Wonderful,” she whispers.
She quickly got up and turned towards the exit as she stepped on top of every single body in her way.
“Hush, my darling.Don’t you cry.Cover your ears,And close your eyes.Be a good girl,And do not peek.What you see,Is not what you seek.I won’t lie.The pain won’t die.You can try to run or hideBut the monster forever lurks by your side.”
I couldn’t stop listening to her beautiful soft voice echoing throughout the abandoned building as she skips toward the exit, twirling the red knife with one hand and holding the head with the other.
“W-We should g-get going too,” Trenton stuttered, wiping the sweats from his forehead.
With trembling bodies, we all stand up, walking towards the direction of Subject 6.
“Subject 34, how did you know where to go?” Abby asks.
“Because I follow the scent of my mommy,” Subject 34 responds. “Mommy will never hurt us.”
I don’t know about that.
We glanced at each other, wholly concerned with what thoughts are roaming inside Subject 34′s mind.
“Umm, mommy?” I ask.
He looks at me, batting his brown eyes a few times as a full smile reveals itself. “Yes, my mommy,” he whispers, as the knife in his small hand danced around his fingers.
Looking up, Abby shakes her head, warning me not to question any further. I gave her a firm nod in understanding. Looking down at Subject 34, who’s skipping joyfully, I was feeling quite unsettled.
Stepping outside, we inhale the fresh air as the dazzling sun hits us, warming every fiber of our body. The cold breeze blows on our bodies, relaxing us. Glancing around, I realize we exit from a small door in the building’s corner. “I would like to stand here and bask in our freedom, but we should go,” Trenton said, breaking the silence.
Staring forward into the woods, I was determined to find her. I want to know if she did abandon me, no longer need me.
I’m coming, big sister.