They waited until late afternoon to make sure they had enough time before sunset. They knew Aris would have an easier time if she were exposed to as little of the night as possible. Silence filled the car on the way there, which gave Aris more time to think about the last few days. She thought about Haiza, her unknown sister. She wondered what life would have been like with her there.
Aris kept her eyes forward. “You know ever since I can remember I’ve had this song in my head. Could never figure out where it came from. Never heard it anywhere else, and I think I just figured it out.”
Billy took his eyes away from the window and looked at Aris. “Where’s it from?”
“My sister. I think she sang to me when I was little. I can almost remember it now knowing she was around...What if there’s nothing there?”
“We just have to hope there is something.” Billy watched Aris for a minute before turning his attention back to the window.
They got to the lab just after it closed for the night, and the sun began to set between the trees. Although Aris had never visited the lab before, her parents had shown her where it was once. Aris parked around the side, and away from any cameras on the building. She knew they would probably be seen on them, but she hoped her mother would not notice.
Billy made sure the flashlight was in hand. He put extra batteries in before they left just in case. The scratches and bite marks from the night before hurt. The fear of the dark was arising because he was still not sure if what Aris had become could be transferred, but he wanted to get in there and find a way to stop everything that had been happening.
The two got out of the car and went up to the side door. Aris pulled the ring of keys from her pocket and tried to figure out which one, if any, would open the door. They had no idea what they would do if the keys did not work, but this was all they had. Aris tried two keys before she found the one that fit, and the two entered the building filled with darkness.
The flashlight in Billy’s hand had become an extension of himself. He did not even notice it in his hands anymore, but was ready to shine the light at Aris if she started to feel like the monster would take over. The place looked empty, so the two could turn on the lights and not get noticed. Billy looked around; there were hallways and elevators that led to who knew where. Neither of the two knew what exactly they were looking for.
Billy looked over at Aris. “Where do we even start?”
Aris read the signs on the walls, trying to figure that out. “Maybe there’s an office or something that has files in it.”
Billy nodded and they made their way down one of the hallways, turning on lights as they went. They did this until they found a room with a touch screen computer. They walked over to it, and realized the computer held a database of records for the lab. Aris began sifting through the files on the screen until she saw the name Walker. She touched it and her parents’ files came up, along with their current experiments. The experiment names did not help; they were just numbers, but there were room numbers for the lab they worked in.
Aris stared at the screen. “Sub level four, that’s where their lab is. So that’s what we need to find.”
The two found an elevator and went down to sub level four, hoping no one was down there. Aris knew that her parents came to the lab to work all the time, so she would not be surprised to find others there. When the elevator doors opened, both friends let out a sigh of relief because the floor seemed empty. Billy let Aris lead the way to a big laboratory. They turned on the lights first and began to look around. There were vials, notes, and equipment everywhere, which made the lab in Aris’ basement look like a children’s chemistry set. There was no telling what all that stuff was for. A long time had passed, and the two had not gotten any closer to finding anything useful.
Aris walked around the lab not really contributing to the search. “This is impossible. We’ll never find anything here.”
Billy shuffled through some lab notes. “We just have to keep looking, there has to be something here to stop this.”
“This is pointless Billy; we aren’t going to find anything here.”
Billy stopped rummaging through the files to look at his friend. “So you just want to give up?”
Aris shrugged, she was tired and sick of everything.
Billy watched her fiddle with a couple of files. “Do you even want to find a cure?”
“Of course I do! You think I want to stay like this forever?” Aris glared.
Billy shook his head. “I don’t know anymore. Sometimes you act terrified of staying like that monster, and others you seem like you want to run off into the night and hunt.”
Aris’ glare grew deeper. “Maybe you should watch what you say Billy.” She took a few steps over to the light switch by the door and put her hand on it.
Billy gripped the flashlight in his pocket. “What are you doing?”
A smirk graced Aris’ lips; just like the one she gave the first time she attacked Billy. “I’m just letting you know how easy it would be to let it take control.”
Although he was terrified, Billy refused to let his fear show. “Is it really that easy Aris?”
“Should we find out?” Aris’ face did not falter.
Billy closed his eyes and let a small laugh escape his throat. “God Aris, do you even know what you’re doing anymore? I’ve been trying to help you! And now you want to try and kill me, for the third time!”
At his words Aris took her hand off the light switch. She had the same look she did that night in the bathroom, just before the lights came on. Not remorse, but more like she was questioning herself.
She walked back over to a table with vials on it. “Let’s keep looking.” She kept her back turned.
Aris’ behavior worried Billy. The fear of her losing control was always a concern, but that proved it. He knew that if she was acting like that around him, then it would not be long before she lost control of herself completely. That last dose of serum must have been enough to push her over the edge. There was no telling how she would act around a complete stranger, or someone that made her mad. Billy took another look at Aris, and then went to the opposite side of the room. He noticed an office door, and tried the handle. It was unlocked. Carefully, Billy opened it and saw another door, only this one was metal and heavy looking. Billy tried to open that, but the door needed a key card.
“Aris! There’s a door over here, it needs a card to open it.”
Aris was in mid-thought about her previous actions; she had not told Billy how hard it was to keep the senses of the monster at bay. It wanted to come out, and with just the flick of a switch it could. She knew Billy noticed her tremors and had suspected her to lose control any second, which explained why he kept such a tight grip on the flashlight. She heard Billy say he found a locked door, and that snapped her out of her thoughts.
She walked over to Billy and saw the door; it looked like something important sat behind it. “There has to be a key on this level somewhere.”
They decided search the other rooms for a key. At the end of the hallway there was a little office. It belonged to her parents. The office was neat and organized. All of their lab notes were in the actual labs, but this was probably where they finished paperwork. Two desks sat on either side of the room. Aris took her dad’s desk, while Billy began to look through her mom’s.
What caught Aris’ attention first was a family picture they had taken three years before. She had not had time to stop and think about what had happened in her life at that moment. Aris had killed her father. Her parents had lied about her entire life, and now she was all alone. Tears prickled at her eyes as she searched through her father’s desk.
“Got it! Must be an extra one.” Billy held up a key card that he found at the back of a drawer.
The two rushed back into the other lab and tried the card in the door; the light on the handle turned green and made a buzzing noise. The main lights were off so Billy turned on the flashlight and looked for a switch on the wall. When the lights came on both Aris and Billy were shocked at the site before them.
There were cages lined up all over the walls. One side of the room had a bunch of small cages filled with different kinds of animals, but the other side of the room held very large cages. If they contained anything they were back far enough that the two could not see what lived inside. Aris and Billy walked closer to the cells and looked in.
Aris gasped. “Oh my God.”
Billy stared in shock. “Humans…your parents have been doing this to other people?”
Inside the cages were people of all different ages. Some of them were awake and huddled in the corners, while others were asleep, probably drugged. Aris’ parents had been conducting experiments on live subjects.
Aris took a step closer to a girl that looked about twelve. “Do you think they’ve all been injected with the same thing I was?”
“I don’t know.”
Aris knelt down in front of the cage; the little girl was huddled in the corner. “Hey sweetie, its okay I won’t hurt you. What’s your name?”
The girl said nothing but stared.
Billy snapped his eyes away and looked around the room. He noticed that each cell contained separate lights above them. He looked around for the switches. There was a key pad on one of the lab tables. Billy walked over to the table and grabbed the pad.
Aris noticed Billy grab the keypad. “What are you doing?”
He tried to figure out how to work the keypad. “It will turn off the light in her cell, we’ll see what happens.”
Aris did not like the idea, but she wanted to find out just as much as Billy. She waited for him to figure out the keypad, until the light in the girl’s cell turned off. She immediately began screaming. There was enough light in the room to see what was happening in the cell. The girl had her eyes shut but when she opened them to look up, they were silver. The girl looked like she was in pain, but began to sniff the air. She lunged from the back of the cage to the door and latched on, growling. Normal people could not jump that way. Aris and Billy jumped back, and Billy rushed to turn the light back on. The girl still hung on the cage and growled at the two.
Aris and Billy watched the little girl try to get to them through the cage. Billy turned the light back on and the girl backed away scared. She bent down in the corner and turned her head away from the two outside the cage. Billy looked at the light remote in his hand.
“Do you think they’ve all been injected with the same thing?”
Aris shook her head still in shock. “I don’t know.”
Billy considered turning off all the lights, but a voice from a far cage made him stop.
“Don’t turn off the lights.”
The voice sounded familiar, but they were not sure where they had heard it from. Aris began to walk towards the cage, and Billy followed. The voice had come from the first cage all the way down the row against the wall. There was a boy inside hunched in the corner holding his legs, he stared up at them with big brown eyes. What they did not expect was to recognize the face.