I stayed up late into the night, watched as the lit tiles slowly faded as the night wore on. I kept replaying the past days in my head. Dr. Kimari was a big liar and had played us twice already. I didn’t know what I’d do if he lied to us again tomorrow, but my guesses were it would add to my sentence.
By the time I drifted off, the tiles had dimmed to a soft light that lulled me into a deep sleep. I blacked out for who knows how long, only to be woken by a loud noise. By the time I was actually awake and functioning, it was gone, but I knew I’d heard something.
Squee! There it was again. I floated out of the bed, leaving the blanket on the floor. The doors were locked, and I silently flew out of my room. The corner of the hall was faintly illuminated by light. I willed myself to go towards them.
As I got closer I could hear footsteps and muttering as something struggled out of sight. By the shadows that were on the wall, it looked like the men were pulling a large potato… If potatoes had stubby legs and strange things sticking off their faces.
I landed, crouching close to the floor. I crawled forwards and peered around the corner. Three men dressed in baggy brown pants and vests were tugging on a pig. It whirled around and I saw that it wasn’t a pig, it was a wild warthog. The bright flashlight shone off the men’s sweaty chests as they struggled to bring it forwards. Dr. Kirami was standing to the side with a long pole that he placed in front of the warthog when it moved towards the men. I could see the sharp ivory tusks and they weren’t dull.
Dr. Kirami spotted me. “Hello Erik.” He didn’t sound surprised to see me. “Can’t sleep?”
“Not with you dragging your dinner around the halls.” I replied.
He chuckled. “If only you understood science. This is going to go through the same procedure as you. We want to see how animals react to having powers, or if they can get them at all.”
“Yeah, because all the farmers in the world definitely want their animals flying away and walking through the barn walls.”
“What a small mind you have.” He commented dryly. “Hopefully one day you appreciate this fine art of knowledge.”
“As long as I escape from the guinea pig position I’m sure I’ll be fine.” I turned. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Wait.” Kirami held up his hand. “I want you to watch the warthog. See if it’s as cruel as your brain is telling you it is.”
I followed at a safe distance as they pulled the warthog down the hall. Several guards arrived and helped and we finally reached the operation room. The wall facing the hall was all one large window. Kirami sedated the warthog and then tied it to the bed. He rubbed a liquid on the warthogs neck and plunged a long needle into its flesh. I winced as a small trail of blood came out, running down the rough pinkish brown skin of the wild animal.
“We don’t know what it’ll do.” Kimari said. “It may do nothing at all, or it might do something totally unpredictable.”
“Look, I’m going back to my room.” I turned. “I’m not interested in your pet experiments.” I left the room, rising into the air and slowly floating away down the hall. I turned the corner and came face to face with Jasmine, who screamed when she saw me. I placed my hand over her mouth until she calmed down.
“What are you doing?” I asked in a harsh whisper.
“I heard voices.” She said, pulled her loose collar closed with her fingers. “I thought one was you and was waiting until I heard your footsteps.” She looked at me hovering in the air and gave a small giggle.
“Well I was stuck watched Kimari as he stabbed a wild warthog with a needle.” I watched her eyes grow wide with concern. “He’s trying to give it powers.”
“Is he insane?” She looked around her before pushing me against the wall. “I think he’s going out of control. We need to escape.”
“We?” I got the feeling she meant us. “What about the others?”
She looked flustered. “Look, we’re trapped somewhere with a-” She was interrupted by a bloodcurdling scream followed by a loud crash.
I peeked around the corner. The window wall was smashed, large shards of glass lying on the floor. I saw red covering the edge of a few pieced and felt sick.
The warthog squealed and I heard more cries. “Come on!” I pulled Jasmine with me, running towards the room. Before we reached there the warthog ran out of the broken window frame. It stared at me, pawing its tiny hooves against the floor.
“Grab on!” I took Jasmine’s hand and flew straight up just as the large beast charged. It went right under, stumbling a bit. It squealed with anger and ran underneath us before disappearing around the corner.
“Helllllp.” A voice groaned from inside the lab. I dropped to the floor and jumped over the glass into the room. It was a huge mess, glass, liquids, and blood everywhere. Two guards were slumped against the counter, their guns lying useless at their feet.
“Where’s Kimari?” Jasmin dashed around the table in the center. She gasped and sank to her feet, sobbing into her hands.
I jumped onto the table and peered at the floor beside it. Kimari was lying in a pool of his own blood, a large hole in his chest. His eyes were opened and wildly darted around the room. They landed on me and he screamed.
“Calm down.” I leaped across him and landed on the other side. “You’re gonna be fine.”
“No…” He took a long ragged breath. “This is the end f-for me.” He grabbed my hand. “That warthog will kill everyone if you don’t get rid of it. Y-you need to g-get out of here.”
“What about you?” I’ll admit that I had no love for the man, but watching him die wasn’t easy.
“I’m as good as dead.” His eyes looked over at the room.”T-take the team and get out o-of here.” he fumbled around in his pocket and handed me a key
A scream echoed through the halls. “Go!” he gave me a feeble push. Jasmine grabbed my arm, his nails pinching my skin until it was white. “That sounded like Morgan.” She hissed.
“Come on.” I stood up and ran, grabbing a flashlight on my way out. The light bounced on the walls, making it hard to concentrate. A dark figure ran around the corner, screaming. I recognized it as Morgan. She kept looking behind her, and soon a dark shape darted after her.
“Run!” I yelled, dashing towards the pig. Jasmine stood staring, torn between the choices. She grabbed Morgan’s hand. “Get everyone up and out!” I ordered leaping over the warthog. The flashlight reflected off the red blood smeared on its tusks. I gagged, wishing I could throw up.
Squee! The warthog spun around and chased after me. I flew down the hall, smashing into the far wall. The flashlight went dead, and I was left in the dark. I waited, slowly backing through the air.
Footsteps advancing towards me caught my attention. “Go back!” I yelled.
“Erik?” It was Rikki.
“Run!” I launched myself towards the voice, but felt the air below me move as the warthog lunged. I heard the impact before the scream. I dove down and snatched an outstretched hand, going up as far as I could. My head was bumping the ceiling tiles.
“Are you okay?” I inquired.
“My leg-” he gasped. “It got my leg.”
“She sent me to get you” He wrapped his hands around my waist.
“Let’s go.” I flew full speed to the end of the hall. A large metal door was there.
“Is that you, Erik?” I heard Felicity ask.
“Yes…” I fumbled around. “Here’s the key.” I gave it to an outstretched hand. I heard a lock slide and the door opened. I stumbled out, dragging Rikki with me. Jasmine, Felicity, and Morgan came out behind me. “Where’s Jackson?” I asked.
“I’m here.” I heard someone running down the halls. There was a squeal that echoed from behind him. He screamed and fell. I grabbed his hand and yanked him outside. The warthog was coming. I closed the door and locked it.
“Where are we?” Jasmine asked. She looked around in bewilderment.
I flew up into the air, above the trees, and circled around. Water surrounded us on all sides, dense jungle filling in the center.
We were stranded on an island.