Chapter 79 - Traumatized
Jack and Ambri stood in the room, multicolored rays of light spotlighting around. This room had three times the amount of employees working compared to the other rooms; there were also three living things being contained behind cages.
“Don’t be alarmed, children. What you see before you are criminals. For their heinous crimes, they’ve been forced to participate in some tests,” the tour guide spoke.
Jack and Ambri both stood speechless, facing into the clear cases that held the adults trapped within, wearing in tattered clothing. Jack’s first thought was that he was staring at humans, but as he looked and observed closer, his body winced. Were they really human?
Tails stuck out from their lower backs, driving out from under their shirts, whipping around as they turned their glares onto the children. Their eyes were piercing, as if they were about to take on their prey, consumed by hunger and hatred. Their fingernails extended as they held out their hands, and they opened their mouths, flashing fangs.
“W-why are you doing this to them?” Jack’s body shook. “And what are they?! They can’t be human, right?”
The guide breathed deep. “They are human, or were, I guess. Lars said he will explain it to you both in more detail another time.”
“They were all evil people though, right? For sure?” Ambri said, she too, shook with fear.
“Yeah, all three were murderers. Not much use for them in our society, so why not use them in something that will benefit Nhaja’s future.”
“This will help Nhaja’s future?” Jack’s eyes squinted as he stared at the guide.
“In short, yes. But, I personally can’t tell you anymore than that.”
The guide motioned for the kids to leave the room, but they stood, staring, petrified. What was Lars doing to these people? Even if they were murderers, just the sight of these helpless half humans, made Jack nauseous. Ambri seemed to feel a similar way, but she did the opposite of what the guide asked, and she stepped forward, inching closer to the half-humans.
“Ambri! Come on, let’s get out of here!” Jack said.
Ambri’s body shook as she stood surrounded by a green light. The workers in white coats didn’t seem to be bothered by her. Maybe they understood the shock one could feel, but Jack’s shock had resulted in his flight response.
The guide walked up to Ambri and said something to her, and she turned around and faced Jack. Her face looked deathly sick, traces of tears outlined her eyes, as well as a hue of pink.
The guide took them out back into the hallway, where Ambri fell immediately to the floor, hunched over in a squatting position. Jack too, fell slowly, leaning his back against the wall. The guide stood seeming impatient, his eyes watching to see if anyone else was trying to use the narrow hallway.
A few minutes passed and the guide finally spoke up, “Hey, we should at least go to the main lobby, if we are going to sit around here.”
Jack brought himself up using the wall. He extended his hand out to Ambri, who glanced up, and then back to the ground, but joined hands with him and stood up. The two remained silent.
The walk back through the facility felt different than the initial walk through. With each door they passed, they felt worse, but it was nothing compared to the final dose of shock they were dealt. Humans being imprisoned and experimented on?
Lars had told Jack about the strength supplement, but surely that had to be different than gaining a tail, claws, and fangs. Jack wanted to try out the strength booster when he heard Lars speak of it earlier, but if it would turn him into this, there was no way he would go through with it. He shook his head, he didn’t need to worry about it, he wasn’t a criminal. He wasn’t a murderer, and he would never be one. This could never happen to him, it only happened to evil people.
They arrived at the lobby and the two sat down on a fancy couch. The guide waved them off and returned back behind the door closest to the entrance.
“What was all that…?” Jack said.
Ambri looked at him. “I don’t know…”
“Usually I am the one more afraid… Are you okay?”
“No. Did you see those people?”
“Yeah, but they are murderers, they don’t deserve to live.”
Ambri’s face contorted and she brought her face down to her knees, and scrunched her body up like a ball. Jack couldn’t help but wonder if he did anything wrong.
Jack continued making his point, “They killed people Ambri, we shouldn’t feel bad for them.”
Jack’s body froze, he had never heard her so mad. “But, they deserve—”
“NO! STOP!” Ambri’s eyes were full of rage. “You don’t know anything!” She brought her voice down a bit lower. “My dad was a murderer! But he wouldn’t have deserved this!”
“Your dad killed someone?” Jack asked, he had never asked about her parents much as she seemed to always avoid the subject.
“Yeah, but it was to protect me and my mom.”
“But that’s different—”
“No! It’s not different! What if one of those guys did what they felt they had to do to protect someone!”
“Well, I never thought about it… But, aren’t there ways to avoid killing each other?”
“My dad had no other way. Even though I was little, I remember it clearly! Once a week I have dreams about it too. If my dad never killed that bad man, I would be dead! My dad deserved to be called a hero, but instead lots of people called him a murderer…”
Jack sat still, and looked out deep into the room where a green hue surrounded the area. He couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Forget it, sorry. I want to go back to the trailer.”
“Me too. Why did Dad think it was a good idea to bring us here?”
The two sat around the lobby for hours as hurrying people dashed back and forth between rooms. Jack wanted to know more about what went on here during this time, but the code names that were shouted over the intercoms had no meaning to him. They all sounded as if they were in a different language.
Lars eventually came back to them, and offered a ride back home. The mood was bleak, no one said much the entire way back, not even Lars. Surely, he understood he traumatized them.