Chapter 83 - Volunteer
“Are you really going back to be tested on as well...?” Ambri asked, her face pointed downward.
“Yeah, Dad told me I won’t end up like the adults there, they are giving me the stuff they already tested on kids, it will just make me a little stronger, and he said when I get even older that I will be able to help save millions of lives because of what they are going to do to me! I’m not the only kid getting them either, so I’m sure even you could get some if you wanted...” Jack leaned back in the chair, sitting next to his cat.
“No! I will never! And I don’t think you should go back. That place gave me the chills.”
“I’ll be fine, don’t worry!”
The evening sun brought hues of red in from the living room window. Ambri laid cushioned in her bean bag chair with her cat laying atop her. It was a normal night. Both their eyes began to shut listening to the familiar sounds of the events that played through the tv; they had seen this episode countless times before.
“You guys should be getting ready for bed, yeah?” Lars said.
Ambri glanced over at Lars, half asleep. “Yeah…” She dug herself out of the sunken bag and headed down the hallway to her room.
“And for you, Jack. Tomorrow’s the big day.”
“I know,” he said without hesitation.
“You should get to your room and sleep too. The first dose of the strength supplements hit your body hard.”
Jack nodded. Part of him still felt unsure about the whole thing, especially with how much the whole ordeal had upset Ambri, but she wasn’t upset with the muscle enhancement, just the treatment of the subjects. Lars promised Jack he wouldn’t be a regular subject. He would be treated with as much respect as a lab member who worked there. He had nothing to fear.
“You’ve had a dose of it before right?” Jack asked.
“Yeah,” Lars said.
Jack couldn’t imagine it, as Lars didn’t seem all that strong. He seemed just as strong as other adults he was surrounded by.
“Only once,” Lars continued. “Using it as an adult is much harder than starting it as a child, but that’s why we are using those prisoners. We’re trying to make it accessible to all ages.”
The image of Ambri crying ripped through Jack’s mind’s eye. “Right, those prisoners… They are all evil people, right?”
“Of course, we made sure.”
“Okay good, can we not talk about this anymore around Ambri? She got really upset while we were there.”
“Did you as well?”
“Kind of, but not as much as her.” Jack paused. “Dad, why are you doing all this in the first place?”
“To protect everyone. If we can become stronger, nothing like what happened to your mother will ever happen to us again.” Lars sat down on the couch next to Jack.
“Wait, what happened to Mom? You told me she died but you still haven’t told me why.”
Lars took a long pause and stared at Jack, then took a deep breath. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this, but I wasn’t sure when. This seems like the proper time to.” He cracked his knuckles and tried to relax.
Jack could feel the tension rise. Just what happened to his mother?
“It was the year after you were born. We lived in Montria and I had just started working at an important government job.”
11 years ago
Lars opened the doors, feeling relief as a slight breeze wisped away his work worries. The city streets were bustling with traffic, and the usual sound of horns came every few seconds as he walked to his car.
His house wasn’t too far from the office he worked at, within ten minutes he’d be home back with Juri and Jack.
Lars was proud at what all he had accomplished in life by age twenty five. Graduating at one of the top biomedical schools in the world. He grew used to everything pertaining to the subject in the time he had studied there. He even grew used to the cold weather there, which most abroad students couldn’t stand. Alneir was a tough place to adjust to.
Lars arrived at his house, and walked into the fancy castle-like home. The spacious entryway welcomed him, as well as a warm greeting from Juri.
“How was work, Lars?”
“It’s getting better, I’m finally making progress with the team.” He smiled. “One of the head medical advisors seemed shocked at how one of my suggestions produced the result they were hoping for, and to be honest, what we are researching is kind of frightening.”
“Oh is it? Do I even want to know, not that your agreement would allow me to hear.” She smirked. “Say, could you watch Jack for a bit, I need to call my mother quick.”
“Sure thing.” Lars kicked off his boots and walked into his expansive kitchen, where in the center, Jack sat in a high chair, patting his hands into his food.
“Da!” the boy cried.
“Hey Jack, have you been a good boy for Mom?” He reached for napkins and cleaned up the mess Jack had made with his applesauce.
After a bit of time Juri came back into the kitchen.
“How’d the call go?” Lars asked.
“Good. She was just wondering if we could come over and help her move things around tomorrow.”
“Yeah, that sounds fine, I’ll be off tomorrow.”
The sun quickly faded and Jack was put in his crib beside his parents’ bed.
“Hey, do you think you could ask for more time off?” Juri said. “I barely get to see you, and if this continues on, Jack will rarely see you as well.”
Lars sighed. “As much as I’d love to, you know I am on the verge of helping mankind with a major discovery. If we are successful at what we are working on, it could save millions of lives.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s just—”
A crash sounded from their front door.