Chapter Thirty Three
The light stung my eyes as I peered out into the room that was now my prison. It was illuminated by large overhead lights that flooded the room with a crystal clear clarity.
The room itself was mostly exposed bricks with hard white clay covering up cracks in the walls. This was not a futuristic lab like the ones in TethTech; it seemed more like a crack den in an abandoned building. An anomaly in a city that prided itself on perfection.
Inside the room was a wheelchair and a few white tables with medical equipment, scalpels, cutting tools, drills and a heart monitor that I was hooked up to. A female doctor, dressed in a white and orange lab coat like the ones at TethTech, stood next to my bed and was looking down at the table of operating tools.
I felt an intense pain in my stomach. I tried to see what was causing this pain and forced myself to fight through the agony and lift my head up slightly.
As I looked down at my stomach I saw a metal vice prising the skin apart. There was a hole where my skin had separated and I could see the raw flesh underneath. What horrified me the most was the silver lining that had been applied to the skin around my stomach. It was just like in the video.
I felt sick and turned my head over the side of the bed to throw up.
“She’s awake!” shouted a female doctor, turning around to face me.
She forced my head back onto the bed and jabbed a needle into my neck. Another doctor ran into the room and held down my legs as the drug kicked in.
I drifted off to sleep unaware of what horrors they were doing to me.
“Wakey wakey,” a hand slapped my face and I awoke to the horrible reality again. “We’ve given you a lot of painkillers so you won’t feel anything for at least a day.”
The man who was mocking me was Tobias Zen. He finally had me.
I tried to sit upright and the muscles in my stomach felt weak and torn. My belly had now been stitched up again.
“You gave us quite a scare there. Next time we’ll give you more drugs to ensure you stay asleep,” said Tobias.
“Next time?” I feebly replied.
“Yes. There are a lot of experiments I want to run on you Emmie and I don’t want to risk hurting you so don’t worry we’ll look after you.”
“Where am I?”
“You’re still in Birmingham in a lab we created just for you. It’s not much but we’ve kitted it out with everything we need to keep treating you and allow you to harness your power.”
“I don’t have a power.”
“Sure you do,” he replied. “No one has ever survived the death of a twin before. That makes you the greatest find in Science right now and I love finding new things and playing with them.”
“I am not your pet. Let me go.”
“You aren’t going anywhere. Just like your friend Grace. Frazier did some serious damage on her spine and she won’t be walking for quite some time. Once we’ve taken care of our traitor and the military man then no one will be able to save you.”
“The Deck will come,” as much as I was sceptical of them it sounded like The Deck had many more members and if I was important to Gabe and their boss then I hoped they’d send a rescue party. It was the only hope I had.
“The Deck?” replied Tobias. “Don’t you watch the news? They are all wanted criminals. Their faces have been seen by half of the country. They wouldn’t even make it through the gates into the city and they’ll never find this building. No, Emmie. You are mine now. Any minute now we will catch Gabe and the rest of them.”
Gabe? I wondered. If Gabe had somehow gotten away from the attack then there was a chance that he’d be able to help The Deck to find me. I just had to hope this place wasn’t guarded with an army. But, if anyone could find an army it was Tobias. “What will you do to me?” I asked.
“Experiments mostly. There’s a lot we can discover from you. Your DNA is different. Special. Magical. I want to harness that power.”
“Will I survive these, ‘experiments’?”
“Your body won’t but your achievement will,” he replied. “You’ll be remembered in history as the girl who changed the world. The girl who helped make every Tether in the world stronger and better.”
His phone started to buzz. “Excuse me one minute,” he said.
Tobias left the room and I tried to rise to my feet. My stomach still hurt, despite all of the medication, and I could just about sit up. I was alone in the room but there wasn’t a lot I could do in my current state. I could barely walk and could probably crawl to the wheelchair in the corner of the room but there’s no way I’d get out of the room. There was no secret keycard in a folder this time.
As I weighed up my options I heard gunfire from outside the room. Over the next few seconds I heard screams as bones were broken and gunshots were fired. In amongst the chaos I heard a familiar voice. “Cover me,” shouted Gabe. I began to wonder if this was the hero Grace had told me he could be.
Soon the noise fell to silence and the only sound was a “stomp, stomp, stomp,” as feet hit the floor in quick succession while Gabe and his team made his way to my room. Yet it wasn’t Gabe who I saw first, it was the kind eyes of March who opened the door and ran to my side.
“Are you ok?” he asked. “What did they do to you?”
I pointed to my stomach and let out a weak “I don’t know.”
His expression changed to one of anger and it was clear he cared for me. He asked if I could move and I said I wasn’t sure.
He held out both of his arms and said “It’s ok I’ll be gentle I promise.”
He scooped his arms under me and lifted me up slowly and carefully. I bit my lip to hide the fact I was in pain but he saw what I was doing and walked even slower to try and help. After walking a few steps he bent down slowly and angled my feet so they touched the floor. He then moved my body down until I was seated in the wheelchair.
I smiled at March as I felt the softness of the wheelchair and I thanked him for saving me. Gabe entered the room and said “We have to move now!”
He didn’t once ask if I was ok or make any eye contact with me other than checking that we were following behind him. March wheeled me down the derelict corridors and for a second the sense of decay in the building made me feel like I was back in Smyth West.
It knew it was a sad thought that a destroyed building and broken rooms reminded me of home but with March by my side I felt safer here than I did in the perfectly clean and orderly streets that were waiting for us outside.
As we left the building I didn’t see Tobias but we passed a room with five lab staff locked within it. “You didn’t kill anyone did you?” I asked.
“No,” said March, “and neither did Gabe. We’re not the terrorists you think we are Emmie. Even in self-defence we will try and go for a non-lethal take down. Those doctors will escape later but for now we just have to get you safe.”
“What about the guards?”
“This isn’t an official TethTech facility. They just took over an abandoned building so officially this experiment doesn’t exist. There were two guards at the entrance, which we subdued and other than these scientists that was the lot. Whatever Tobias did to you, it seems he didn’t want a lot of people to know about it.”
The Deck had earned themselves some positive points, I had to admit and I hoped they were not the terrorists the media portrayed them as. We escaped the building and hit the streets.