Jose ignored the question and continued to hastily pack his bag. “Answer me, Alberto!”
“That’s not our name anymore!” Jose yelled back looking into the mirror.
“It was the only way to get your attention.” The voice said. “Why are you packing that bag already? We aren’t at that phase of the plan.”
“Can’t you see that the plan has gone to shit? Detective Shaw won’t be helping us.”
“Nonsense, I’ve calculated all the variables and the outcome will be in our favor. After he sees the video we retrieved from Cynthia’s laptop he will join our cause.”
“You either forgot to take into consideration his humanity or you did, but what I saw the other day when he was face to face with Mr. Olmo hearing a bit of the truth I saw nor sensed any anger from him. There was not the slightest indication that he wanted to inflict pain.”
“Are you saying I made a mistake?”
“No, all I’m saying is that he’s a good man. He walks in the light while we’ve crawled around in the shadows for far too long. Our perceptions of right and wrong differ greatly, the pain we endured made us who we are and we have no intention of taking the high road with this matter. What we see and want is completely different from him, it wouldn’t be right to drag him down to our hell.” Jose's eyes softened as he remembered a few fond memories. “I can see why someone as kind as Olivia decided to marry him.”
“So are we doing this on our own?” The voice asked.
“All we had for a long time was just each other, they made us what we are. So it’s only right that we show them the fruit from their labor.”
I sat in the living room of my home feeling anxious, the paper Mr. Olmo gave me wasn’t what I expected. It contained instructions that I should be home at 3 pm to collect a package, I know it sounded absurd but I was also preparing for the worst. I removed the clip from my firearm to inspect it again before placing it back on the table, my palms were moist and my thoughts felt like a runaway train as I tried to brace myself for anything.
I was never someone who enjoyed relinquishing my control over a situation but from the first murder, I felt as if I was being strung along helplessly for the ride, always two steps behind.
It was frustrating beyond belief may be due to my pride as a detective but with the truth of my wife now in play that’s a pride I’m willing to part ways with and follow any lead I can get.
I rushed to the door after hearing the knock and to my relief, it was just a courier service employee.
“Good day, are you Mr. Shaw?” he asked.
He handed me the clipboard to sign the paperwork for the package then left promptly afterward, I opened it and all that was in it was a thumb drive and some documents the size of eight thesis papers. I felt slightly embarrassed getting worked up for nothing. I powered up my laptop but to my dissatisfaction, the drive only contained a single video file, I felt like an old man who just got swindled for my retirement fund.
I clicked on the video and what came up almost shattered my heart. It was Olivia’s tear-stained face in her office and she seemed to be trying to organize some papers before her. After tidying up a bit she tried to gain her composure back before speaking but every time she did she just broke down into tears again. This went on for about ten minutes before she spoke.
“My name is Dr. Olivia Shaw and I’m a child psychologist for the Mercy & Grace juvenile rehabilitation facility. Firstly this is not the institution that it claims to be, the children here are oftentimes sold by their parents and in some worst-case scenarios kidnapped. These children are then subjected to gruesome testing and or experiments to achieve what I and most logical people would deem as a delusional fantasy.”
Olivia stopped talking for a bit as she tried to hold back the tears that threatened to escape her eyes once again. She released a heavy sigh then proceeded.
“Sorry about that. As I was saying these children are used as guinea pigs to fulfill the fantasies of these megalomaniacs and at the spearhead of it all is the Heinz family. They’re responsible for countless crimes against humanity behind the iron curtain of influence their family has cultivated throughout the centuries.”
Olivia took out a voice recorder. “Everything you’re about to hear from this moment forward is the meeting between myself and Joseph Heinz. This is…Project Anima.”