Chapter sixteen part2
The architecture of the building threw me off my feet a little. The sturdy bricked mansion had that rustic, modern feel towards it. Vines wrapped around the framework whilst even further than that masses of trees and vegetation surrounded it. Windows were placed where it would be most appropriate. And the big grey double doors drew me in more. This was HQ and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t slightly beautiful. Still, I was expecting it to be more high-tech but I guess it seemed proper for this sort of house to be in the countryside. I suspect acres of land hide behind the mansion big frame.
“It’s beautiful, instead it?” Isaiah eyes flashed towards mine. “Makes me remember all my memories of this place again.”
“This is where you lived?”
He nodded. “For a majority of my life, yes.”
We all were making our way towards the door, I could feel my heart rate quicken, I was being tossed into a completely foreign environment and it felt daunting. Instinctively I walked closer to Isaiah, when I caught his scent, I relaxed.
Both door swung open, the hinges creaking due to the momentum and excessive force. A middle aged woman rushed to the door; she was wearing a pair of black high heels, a short black army skirt. Her hair was tied up in a neat bun, her greenish eyes glistened, her pale cheeks contrasting her dark attire. The glasses rested on the bridge of her nose, but it made her look more friendly and warm. Which I know was the absolute opposite of how these people were. I’d have to tread lightly. “Alexis Reign, I presume?” Directing her question towards me, I nodded. She offered her hand as a show of good will, gingerly I accepted. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. My name is Mrs Velt, Ramona Velt. I’m the director of this institute and as the leading head, I’ve taking it upon my shoulders to express how sorry I am as the time taken to acquire you safely here was so long and I profusely apologise for any distress that may have caused, it was never ours or mine intentions.”
Whatever she may have been saying just shifted out of focus for me; the whole ground floor was bustling with people from different ethnic background, different heights, just so diverse. There were others experimenting with technology I’ve never laid my eyes on, others dressed in uniform passing us and out the door. Array of doors sat at almost every corner preferably leading to other corridors and from there, I couldn’t be too sure.
“Alexis?” Her face zoomed back into focus, her pores and imperfections how ever small was visible. “Are you ready to begin?”
“Your trials, you are the key to something, a key that can change the world. We just have to figure out what.” She turned towards Zee and Isaiah, whilst Adrian kept fading in and out of consciousness. Whatever they did to him really made an lasting effect on him, everything in me was just praying that he’d be okay. “Alexander, Patriot. Good work. Report for debriefing. Ikechuku take Mr Hunter here to the infirmary, make sure he is properly taken care of. Alexis, you’re with me.”
Without a missed beat, everyone started dispersing to what she assigned then to do, Zee gently touched my arm before disappearing through a door. Only Isaiah was the one that lingered behind.
“Patriot? Did you not understand my instructions.”
“If I could have a moment alone with Alexis, Mrs Velt, if that’s okay with you.” Never once have I seen Isaiah act so formal to someone he thought of a higher authority. Yet to me, she was the same as everybody else. The only difference was she’d be leading me to my death.
She nodded, disdain in her eyes.
Isaiah pulled me away more than further out of earshot. He didn’t want her hearing our conversation and neither did I.
“Are you okay?” His forehead lightly tapped mine, staying there.
“Isaiah, what are you doing? If they she sees us like this-”
Quickly I tried to pull away only for him to drag me back into the same position. “I don’t care. You know I don’t care. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” My throat suddenly felt so dry that it reminded me of the incident when I was choked to the brink of death. “I’m fine.” This time it come out stronger, louder and he seemed to believe it, so I guess I did as well.
“Alexis, they are going to just run some tests. Hook you up to a computer, run through your brain patterns. But remember what I told you that it isn’t going to be painful and they’d let you heal. Straight after my debriefing, I’ll come and find you. You aren’t going through his alone, understand?”
“I do. I understand.”
“Don’t be afraid. Be brave-”
“Time, Mr Patriot.” Mrs Velt voice ripped through, interrupting Isaiah. He nodded, taking in a deep breath and proceeded walking away into the same door Zee did.
I didn’t want him to leave and he just did. So for now I was in this alone.
Mrs Velt’s hand softly brushed against my arm as she ushering me towards a door right in front of my vision, slightly hidden underneath the two adjoining stairs. “This way, please.” Holding the door open we both walked into a brightly lit corridor, we passed multiple doors and I was left speculating what could possible be behind all of them. Nothing good I was suspecting. The hallways smelt clean, obscenely clean like it was doused with antiseptic and bleach every minute. To say the least it wasn’t a good smell and it did its job putting me on edge. “Do you know why we chose you Miss Reign?” I shook my head. “Because there’s something about you, it’s rare to get a full match but we did. And that means that a mechanism in your brain can unlock an order, a better world. I am certain that Isaiah filled you in with the details and procedures?”
Again, unable to find suitable words, I just nodded.
“What is your relationship with him?” Intently she watched me, trying to see if my face would just give her the answer she wanted.
“Just friends.” Managing to slip out of feeble response, knowing fully well it wasn’t as convincing at I wanted - needed it to be. The corner of her left brow rose.
She paused. ” Well you see Miss Reign, the problem with that, it’s dangerous for our agents to even have friends and especially anything more.”
She didn’t believe me. “In all respect Mrs Velt, my relationship with Isaiah has nothing to do with you as of right now. I know you would agree if we just focused on the most important thing here, saving our world.”
Breezily she smiled hiding the distaste to my challenging well but not well enough. It was clear she wasn’t used to someone opposing her authority or her questions.
“Very well. I like opinionated young women, it shows you have character.” We both stopped at the last door, the crimson colour blinding me, holding out a card which from what I could tell held her ID, she swiped the card. There was a beep and the mechanics of the door clicked and the metal block swung open.
Inside was a long room, it was almost impossible to see the ending. But just, almost. A white door was placed at the end. To the side of the room, held a screening blocking and separating from the rest of the space, as I peered close I could see a collection of controls. “Why am I here?” My heart rate was slowly increasing, pounding in my chest to the point I could taste the blood circulating through my body.
“You need to relax, Miss Reign. We just need to decontaminate. Since we’ll be running tests we need to you to especially clean. I’ll be just behind that screen. I’ll be guiding you through the way.” With that she abandoned me, closing the door behind us, making her way to the screen. “Okay, Alexis, you need to take of all your clothes.”
I looked at her and to the air vent directly up, pumping puffs of cold air. Without returning my gaze, I asked. “Why? Is there a reason I need to do that?”
“That air vents your looking directing at, destroys the bacteria on you and in the air around you. It’s standard. So, if you please your clothes, Miss Reign.”
She was so punctual about it, that it made it seem that I was the crazy one for thinking striping down naked to someone I’ve never met before is completely intrusive.
Nevertheless, I obeyed her command, slowly but surely taking off my sweater, my jeans, my bra, my panties. Until it was just me and nothing else. “What will happen to my clothes?”
She shrugged. “We burn it and grant you new ones.” Simply just as she said that, I could see her flip a switch. Cascades of alternating hot and cold air crashed onto me, the momentum was so unexpected that I found myself gasping for air and that feeling of drowning came back once again. The feeling dragged out for what started to feel like hours, days. Until all the suction and crashing sensation stopped. The whirring noise died down. My body aching for a breath.
“Sorry, that is always the worst part.” Her apologetic smile only aggravated me the further. A warning and preparation would have been much appreciated. “Step forward, please.”
The sooner I got this over with, the sooner I’d be reunited with Isaiah. I took a single step forward.
As I did, hot flashes of water scolded me, it burned but it was bearable. It quickly stopped.
“Antiseptic.” She explained but at this point I didn’t really care, the soreness the itching sensation on my skin was becoming more and more irritating and hard to cope with.
Another cold sprinkle of water, rained down and all those previous sensations disappeared.
It was done, it was over. A white, plain gown was neatly folding on a small table, which I guessed was for me. Quickly I slipped it on, the cold was eating away at me.
“I’m surprised you did that well, most people on their first times don’t fare as well, unlike you.”
“You experiment a lot with people, then?”
I meant for this to offend her and undeniably it did, her lips pulled into a frown making her look older and less pristine than she normally was. “We are not experimenting with you, Alexis. And that term is so brash and uncalled for. All of them are here by their own will, their own accord.”
“That’s wasn’t what you were planning with me.”
“Yes, well, your case is a little different than the rest.” Her hands found the door knob whilst still training her eyes on me. “We look for cancer cures. You need to be here otherwise we all won’t be here sooner or later.”
Her explanation resonated something with me and I bit down the series of questions I was dying to ask her.
Unlocking the door, it widened open to reveal a plain, white room. Nothing else was in there apart from another door, a white bed with white sheets and a white pillow, a computer with all kinds of different coloured wires attached to various patches. A big bay mirror encompassed nearly the entirety of the left wall.
I pointed to it. “Two way mirror.” It was more of a statement than a question as I more than likely knew the answer to that.
Moderately looking impressed, she nodded. ” Well noticed. Take a seat.” She beckoned me to the bed, I obliged sitting down at the crook of it. “Now these, monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure among other things. It’ll be projected in the big screen, through there.” She pointed towards to other door. “It leads to another room, where lab technicians, scientists, doctors will be monitoring you and brain activity. We’re letting you rest firstly, so take it easier these couple of days. Is there any questions you’d like to ask?”
Just one. “Will Isaiah be allowed to visit me in here?”
She stilled, envisaging whether it would be a good idea, after a moment she smiled lightly. ” Of course, I’ll request specially for him. Anyone else?”
“Zee. Adrian.” I didn’t want to do this entirely alone.
“It will be done.” She clutched the wires attaching the machine and started sticking the patches to my temple, my heart, underneath my arm and on directly on top of my wrists. The cold feeling of the patches instantly woke me up. “I’ll be back in the Surveillance room. You should get some rest, you’ve been through a great ordeal and sleep those drugs off properly, we can’t have anything interfering with our results. I’ll catch up with you soon, Alexis. Bye.”
“Bye.” She marched off to the door, the air pressure hissed whilst she opened it before it slamming it shut again.
Thoughts and theories were walking through my head and it wasn’t solely just the drugs doing. I stood up. Staring at my reflection with all those wires sticking out at different parts of my body, my face plain and bare, the white dress grasping nothing of my figure and loosely hanging. I saw me. But I saw more than that, almost as if I saw through it. Almost as if I was the person I would be. And this time I didn’t hate it.