Chapter 3: Cracking Through Skin
"Get up." A low voice boomed in my eardrums. Still groggy from sleep, I rolled to my side, facing the man. A dark skinned face stared at me emotionlessly.
"Get up." He repeated, more forceful this time. I sat on the edge of the bed, stretching. A swift move of a hand and I hollered out in pain. Touching my face, I felt where the man slapped me.
"Faster." He said, almost mockingly. Arrow had shot out of his bed, glaring at the man but not willing to temper him. I stood, looking the man in the eye.
"Let's go then." I growled. He snickered, chaining my wrists together and shoving me out the door. I watched the look on Arrow's face fade from menacing to a half worried half kind smile at me as I was dragged away.
I was thrown into what reminded me of a doctors office, only with a dark twist. The metallic bed that would normally be clean and well was stained in blood, as well as some other unknown liquids. Buckets of god knows what were sitting peacefully lined in a corner. One look in one showed me something that looked like an organ- human or not. I gulped, feeling the hairs on the back of my neck tingle.
"So glad you could make it." A man drawled from behind me. I froze in my place, the footsteps of the man drawing nearer. "I was afraid you wouldn't make the first night with that boy." He chuckled.
"What's wrong with Arrow?" I found the courage to speak, finally.
"Hm? He's going by that name now? How peculiar. That boy, Arrow as you called him, is a psychopath much like you. I thought I might have some entertainment in watching you fight to the death. Oh, perhaps another day." I heard him sip a drink. "You know, it's rude to speak to someone when your back is turned. Face me, boy."
"I'm not a boy!" I turned to face the man. His outlook quite frankly made me jump. He was balding in weird places, so there were bits of his hair coming out randomly from his skull. Clean shaven, with a twisted smile and milky white eyes that looked a little to the left from where I was. The man wore a lab coat, similar to the style of the men who escorted us, with striped suspenders that matched his pants in pattern. His once white shirt was stained with red, orange, yellow, and even the occasional green in some spots. Oddly enough he wore slippers to tie the entire outfit together, and looked as though he had just risen out of bed.
"Really? Your voice is deep for a woman." He shrugged, and walked to the metal bed.
"Are you blind? If you are how could you have known I had my back turned?" I shot questions at him father than a machine gun.
"Of course I'm blind, girl. If you were too you would be able to tell what your surroundings were fairly soon after, providing your not daft. If persons voice is quieter than normal, clearly you were turning your back. You have a loud voice if you haven't noticed." The man shook his head, opened a red metallic box and started to dig through it.
"My name," He pulled out a scalpel and laid it down. "Is Professor Knox. I will be your, shall we say, doctor for your stay here. We will meet every day at this time and have a chipper time together, no? Let us start the experiment." Professor Knox smirked, holding up a pair of scissors menacingly. I stood tall, shooting a fiery glare at him. He swiftly pinched a rift of my already short hair and snipped it off. Holding it close to his face, he smiled again.
"If you would, the table." He gestured for me to sit. I did so reluctantly. The Professor cheerily picked up the scalpel he had taken out previously, and waltzed to me. Lifting up my shirt he exposed my midriff, and pressed the scalpel against my skin.
"Hey-!" I tried to jump back, but that only made it worse. I cried out in pain, blood dripping from the fresh wound.
"Agh! Look what you've done! Now I have to patch it up, stupid girl!" Professor Knox fumed, scampering off to grab a needle and thread. "Hold still!" He barked, and jabbed the needle in my side. I yelled in pain, but stayed as immobile as possible. God knows I didn't need another reason to piss him off. Professor Knox speedily stitched up my cut, and took out the scalpel again. He held it near my face, threateningly.
"Hold. Still." He growled. I gulped, but obliged. I felt the metal poke into my skin, first a pinch but then a splitting pain. I bit down on my tongue, so hard that I tasted blood. And as soon as it started, it was gone. I glanced up to see Professor Knox holding a chunk of flesh. My flesh. I turned away, avoiding the urge to vomit.
"Good. We're done now. See you tomorrow." His voice trickled down my spine like slime. I squirmed around on the table, getting more antsy by the second.
"Ah, wait one moment." He wrapped a thin layer of gauze around the small hole. "There. Off with you now." He shooed me away, and into the firm grasp of another man. He led me, a little forcefully, to my room, which seemed more like a jail cell than anything. I walked in, a little uncertain. Arrow greeted me with a half smile.
The memory of what Knox had said hit my stomach like a ball of lead. I dragged myself into bed and bit my lip.
"What happened?" Arrow tucked a long strand of his hair behind his ear and leaned over me.
"I'd rather not say." I curled into a ball, wincing as my knee brushed against my wounds.
"What did he do? Coppertop let me see!"
"Piss off." My voice shook from the pain.
"Guess you leave me no choice." He muttered, grabbing me by the leg. I felt a spike of pain lodge itself deep inside me. I screamed loudly. Arrow let go as soon as he could, looking shocked. His fingers grazed over the stitches and gauze, sending bolts of agony through me. Finally he let go and backed away.
"I'm sorry." He whispered, then leaped up to his bunk. I lay there, slowly recovering. It gave me time to rethink my motives. I didn't know if I could trust Arrow to begin with, but this set the bricks in place. I'm on my own now.