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 They're coming for me.

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Fri May 27, 2016 5:38 am

The drugs had taken their full toll on Joseph's body, and he was as limp as a landed fish; useless. He could do nothing as ropes were coiled tightly around him. He didn't have as much fight in him as Juliette did, and besides, it was clear by now that there was no way he'd be able to get out in accordance with his own efforts. As the soldiers hoisted him up and tossed him, his legs felt like lead, and then he hit a plush, heavily-padded surface. He puffed and spluttered raggedly into the soft material, still half-choking on the thick liquid in his throat, and found that it was soundproof. Figured. No good kidnapping could go on without soundproof padding.

And then he heard a muffled screech, quieted significantly by the soundproofing. He knew that voice anywhere. "Jules..?" he rasped harshly, trying to keep his voice down as much as he could. ".. where's K--" Unfortunately, he'd made the same mistake as Juliette, and instantly regretted saying anything out loud at all. A bolt of electricity struck him and set every nerve in his body on fire. His drugged body shook and convulsed as the energy raced throughout him, and before a sound could even pass his lips, he slipped out of consciousness and his body ceased to twitch any longer.
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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Sat May 28, 2016 8:14 pm

Day One.

It was a slow awakening, sound filtered through her muffled ears, the clinking of bottles, the snipping of fabric. Every now and then, there were voices murmuring to each other, but more often, it was the sound of rattling trolleys and the tinkle of metal against metal. The next to return to her was her sense of smell. It smelt like a hospital, as though sterilising disinfectant had been poured liberally around her. It smelt too clean, devoid of life. It set her teeth on edge. Touch. She felt cold, exposed. Metal bit into her flesh, but pressed against her skin for so long, it felt warm.. The worst was her bare chest and legs. Her thin hairs were raised, goosebumps all over, from her nape to her ankles. She didn’t shiver though, she didn’t move an inch as the air kissed her all over. She was awake, but not enough to act. Her tongue felt too heavy. It sat wrongly in her mouth. She wanted to swallow away the metallic taste that lingered in her throat, creeping into every breath that she took, tainting it. She couldn’t do anything though. She never could.

The darkness took her away though, leaving her no choice but to rest.


“Ugh, what?”
Juliette slowly opened her eyes, a gentle flutter of lashes as she tried to look through the sudden burst of visual input after being dead to the world for so long. The lights were bright and shining down on her from high, brighter than she would have liked. ‘Who left the light on?’ was her first thought. Or maybe it was the sun, had she fallen asleep outside again? It sounded like something she’d do, take a nap in the afternoon and then wake up to the rising sun. Scrunching up her face, she went to cover her eyes with her hand to at least shade herself from the assault of light.

Clank.

“Ow.” Metal cut into her wrist, leaving a delicate red mark where she’d careless tried to lift her hand. “The heck?”

That was unexpected, and it was enough to snap her out of whatever hazy state that she was in. Juliette tried to sit up, look down at herself, her blurry eyes working overtime to make sense of the fuzzy shapes around her that looked like an assortment of blobs. But she only suffered the same results as last time, metal edges prodded against her bare neck, wrists, hips, legs and ankles. Bare, naked, as the day she was born.

She wasn’t wearing any clothes.

“The fuc-eck!” She choked against the metal around her neck. Juliette knew the rational thing to do would be to calm down, think it through, and try work with what she could do, but rational thinking was the first thing to go out the window when she realised she was strapped down and naked. Instead, she thrashed violently where she laid, relying on her healing factor and recklessly trying to free herself without a care in the world for the rivets of blood that flowed from where she cut herself against the metal. She was confused and panicked. Her lack of decent vision further adding to this claustrophobic sense of entrapment and terror. ‘Escape. Escape. Escape.’ The words were looping around in her head, she was trapped, she had to escape. ‘Escape. Escape. Escape.’
She couldn’t though. She was strapped in too well.

“Goddammit.”
Juliette cursed, slamming her head back down against the metal table. Pain flashed through her head like sunbursts, echoing and blurring out her vision even more. It was like being kicked in the head, but self-inflicted so it stung with a tiny bit of shame.

Joseph.

Kaleb.

She remembered.

In her blind panic at being trapped, she hadn’t even thought about the how of how she got here. She’d forgotten completely about the fact that she was supposed to be on a roadtrip right now. That Kaleb had come to pick Joseph and her up from Rosebury when they’d all been taken. The men in black had caught them, rustled them up like cattle and tossed them in some sort of van. Her brother, Kaleb, her cousin, Joseph… If this is what was happening to her, what was their intentions with them? Where they strapped down on a table, bare, under a harsh light? At least Joseph and she would recover from anything they did, what about Kaleb? Fuck.

She had to escape. She had to save them.

Juliette thrashed against the restraints even harder, trying to rip her hands free of their metal shackles, bones grinding against bones as she tore ligaments. She didn’t care for herself, she’d heal, she’d always heal. So focused on escaping, she didn’t hear the quiet -schnick- of the door sliding automatically open, as a woman dressed in a surgeon’s gown followed in with two nurses, and three armed soldiers. The two soldiers took their place on either side of the door, whilst one trailed behind the surgeon.

“Please stop hurting yourself, J2.”
She spoke softly, gently placing a hand on Juliette’s forehead. The light reflecting off the Surgeon’s glasses hid her eyes from sight, but her actions seemed so motherly, like she truly care for the girl. A stark contrast from the array of saws and scalpels that laid out behind her that the nurses brought over.

Juliette visibly flinched at the touch, her eyes weren’t able to focus yet, still only seeing lights and darker shadows. Her unfocused pupils were blown wide open, and flickered wildly around the room.

“Your eyes haven’t healed yet, have they…”
She sighed. “They shouldn’t have rough-handled the specimen so much, four hundred milligrams of sedative was enough. We can’t get an eye sample until they’re fixed now.”

“Should we wait, Doctor?” One of the nurses spoke up, his voice was low, soothing. “Until sh- J2 is fully healed? J1 should begin to awaken soon.”

“No, it’s fine. I wanted to have a look at her reproductive organs first anyway.” The sound of gloves being put on dominated the conversation, or she was losing focus, Juliette couldn’t quite tell. The more they spoke, the more this sickening feeling of dread pooled within her and it was very distracting. Her heart beat all funny and she felt lightheaded and flighty, like a flock of doves, easily spooked by the slightest of sounds. And even if she could concentrate, she was feeling more and more unwilling to do so. She knew whatever was in her immediate future wouldn’t be pleasant, the tinkle of metal objects being rearranged and picked up was enough of a hint along with the woman’s words. She didn’t want to know anymore.

She just had to escape.

Taking a deep, calming breath, Juliette relaxed herself. The restraints on her wrists were tight, but after breaking most of her wrist and her finger bones, along with the slickness of her blood, she could just pull the out. She had to time this right. She didn’t know how many people were in the room, but she was fast, strong, and could take a few dozen bullets. She could do this. Kaleb couldn’t survive this. She needed to save him.

“Don’t. Juliette. They’ll kill you.”
A voice rang through her head, it sounded like Kaleb. He was always so damn sensible. ‘Don’t jump off that roof, Juliette. Don’t do cartwheels on the ledge, Juliette.’ “It’ll be over soon.” His voice seemed to fade away. Where was he going?

“Kaleb?” Juliette called out, she tried to look for a familiar shape of him but she couldn’t. It was in her head, like she’d originally thought, but it sounded so much like him. Like he was here. “Kaleb? Please. Don’t leave me.” She whimpered. For a second, she’d been psyched to leave, ready to go out and take on everyone, but doubt plagued her now. Dogging her every thought, could she even taken them all on. Was the voice in her head right? Would it be better to just give them what they wanted and escaped later when there was no one? She didn’t know what to do, and by the time she made up her mind, it was too late.

“Tighten the restraints. We’re starting.”
The Surgeon commanded, and within seconds, the restraints automatically clamped down even harder against she skin until there was no wriggle room. There wasn’t even room for the blood that pooled where she cut herself trying to twist free.

“Don’t.” That was all she could say. Whatever she planned to plead next mangled into a scream as the razor thin edge of a scalpel cut into the fat of her stomach. She could feel the surgeon cutting into her, her gloved hands separate muscle from skin, creating a gap big enough to slide her hands into her innards. The pain, that was expected but the sensation of a hand inside of her, palming her organs as if they were pieces in a puzzle, it was worse. “Ughck.” Juliette choked before heaving up the acidic contents of her stomach.

“Nurse. Suction.” A pipe was brought to her mouth to clear away her airways. That was the first of many orders, throughout the operation, she called for more instruments, some familiar to Juliette, others she didn’t know or was in too much of a pain filled hazy to recognise it. They cut into her, removed things, waited sometimes for her to heal. It continued, until finally it ended with something behind lifted from within her. She felt the slimy sensation of some organ being lifted out from within, and heard the wet plop it made against the tray they probably prepared. She could imagine the bloody, rare organ oozing blood all over, and could feel the gush of blood that filled her insides from the suddenly empty hollow within. A twist of her neck and she could have peeked at what they took, but she didn't want to. She help her eyes firmly shut.

If Juliette would have done anything, it would have been to scream again from the dual sensation of pain and the aching emptiness within her, but she didn’t have the strength to. She’d screamed herself hoarse already, her throat dry, her stomach clean of acid, and her tear ducts crusted over with salt. Juliette just laid there now, limp and unfeeling whilst feeling too much. Her nudity was a non-issue at this point, warm, crusted blood was her clothing now, caking her skin in layers of rusted red. Her body had long since moulded to the surgical steel table, embrace the cold surface.

“Inform the Doctor that the operation was successful, and hand the sample over to him immediately. You, make sure J1 is cleaned up for the operation tomorrow.” The Surgeon ordered. “And guards, keep an eye on her. She heals faster than you’d think. She could try escape any time.”

If she could laugh, she would have. Escape? She couldn’t move even if there was no restraints holding her down. All Juliette was capable of doing now was hoping that Joseph would free himself and find her. That Joseph hadn't gone through this hell that she'd just gone through, and was already free.

‘Please Joseph. Help me. Help Kaleb.’

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:03 am

Day One


At first, Joseph couldn't distinguish individual sounds or shapes. Everything was a garbled mess, both visually and audibly. It was like he was underwater, all the while looking through a lens that was too strong for his eyes. Bitter, unidentifiable scents filled his nose and throat, sometimes so strong that his eyes watered. The headache had been present since he'd initially crept out of unconsciousness, and wasn't showing many signs of weakening any time soon. It was as if his brain was hammering the inside of his skull, trying to find relief from the drugs that plagued it inside of its dark, inescapable prison -- A way out.

A way out was something Joseph didn't even know he needed yet, but something he would soon undoubtedly yearn for.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been lying there, wherever he was, but after about four instances of slipping in and out of consciousness, the Winter prefect felt the cold, stainless steel on his back, and could see a blank white ceiling above him. His senses quickly sharpened once again. The bitter, medicinal odours become all the more potent, the draft on his body, stripped of all clothing, became all the more freezing, and the rawness of his wrists became all the more noticeable.

His wrists. They were bound at his sides. Firmly.

He must have been struggling mindlessly against the restraints in his drugged state, because the skin of his inner wrists was still sensitive and pink. Joseph tightened his fists experimentally, and the chilly steel bit into him. There was no wiggle room, so perhaps he'd have to improvise. He pulled at the cuffs. And then again. The edge of the metal cut into the knobs of his wrists as he pulled and twisted his hand, and a pinch of pain raced up his arm. After a couple of seconds spent clenching his jaw and bloodying himself trying to vaguely re-enact 128 Days, Joseph's arms went limp whilst radiating with pain, and he gave up. Blood seeped generously out of the severed skin and veins and dribbled down over the edge of the table he was suspended on.

In was awfully quiet. The gentle plip-plip of the blood hitting the tiles below and the soft, ambient hum of unseen electrical appliances were the only sounds that could be heard as thoughts whirled around in Joseph's mind. It felt and smelled like a hospital room. He'd visited hospitals countless times over his eighteen years of life, thanks doubly to a reckless lifestyle and paranoid parents. Meticulously sterile. Empty. White. Devoid of any character whatsoever. He couldn't turn his head to take in his surroundings, but he knew that was where he was. Why was he here? Who'd brought him here? What had he done to warrant capture, and under such extreme security? How had he even..

And then the memories of his capture flooded back into his mind, piece by piece. Kaleb and Juliette. They'd been preparing for a road trip. He'd just been putting his cigarette out when he looked at Juliette; the smile dropping from her face as if she'd seen a ghost creeping up behind her brother and cousin.. It may as well have been a ghost, because when the attackers hit, they hit suddenly and without warning, first seizing Kaleb and dragging him off, and then Juliette, and then Joseph himself. He could still hear Juliette's screams and grunts of protest, the sound of a blunt object being smashed into the side of Kaleb's car, his own ragged breathing as his chest cavity was kicked inwards.. Nothing from Kaleb, though. And Kaleb was the one who wouldn't survive having his ribcage beaten in, or his head bashed against a metal surface. He was the only one of the three that couldn't cheat at life. Joseph hadn't heard his voice when he'd been thrown into the padded space. He was the one to truly worry about.

Swift and silent as cats, the attackers had been. How had they not noticed such a large group of darkly-dressed men sneaking around the outskirts of Rosebury? Had they just been camping out in the woods until their targets arrived?

Joseph pulled violently at the wrist restraints again, reopening the wounds that had already started to heal during his brief period of thought. Maybe this was what his mother and father had been warning him about. Ever since his powers had manifested at the tender age of three, his parents had hounded him relentlessly to keep quiet about his healing gift. If he got a paper cut, they would bandage it up immediately, even though he didn't need it. If he bruised himself while in the playground, his father would usher him off to the side and cover it up.

Nobody can know, his father would tell him. It's our little secret, alright Joseph? No one can know. Remember this every time you get hurt.

At Beata, everyone used their gifts openly on campus -- And sometimes off campus, as well. He'd never had to hide at Beata. Maybe it had only been a matter of time before someone much less-accepting of supernaturally-powered teenagers than the headmaster came along and found out what sort of establishment he was running.

Perhaps Joseph, Juliette and Kaleb had just happened to be the three unlucky gifted students that had run right into the trap before anyone else'd had the pleasure of doing so first. How fitting that would be. Joseph and Juliette, the man and woman who could not die, however much they - or others -  wanted them to, captured for what he assumed was some sort of painful government project. If this was meant to be a friendly meeting, Joseph expected he would not have been forcefully subdued with syringes and strapped to a table.. And stripped down to his skin, as well.

Joseph had not been paying attention to how much blood he was losing as a result of his damaged wrists. Coupled with the traces of the sedative drugs he'd been injected with, the blood loss was beginning to take its toll on him. He head began to spin once more, jumbling up his thoughts again, and the ringing returned to his ears. His vision blurred once more as his grip on consciousness began to slip for the fifth time that day.

No, no no, goddamit..

Jules and Kaleb. He had to get to them. He didn't care about his own well-being, but he cared about their's, and he assumed that they were in the same position he was.

He began jerking his arms around again, causing them to go a little numb as he ravaged the soft flesh against the bindings, but his body was failing him. The strain of trying to heal his ravaged forearms and the drainage of blood were becoming too much for him to bear, and no matter how hard he willed to stay awake just a little longer, he couldn't. His own healing was sapping the energy out of him too fast to cope.

Goddamit..

Joseph's world faded into darkness.




And then, twenty minutes later, Joseph's eyes were met with a harsh, unforgiving brightness.

Pain shot through his head like a dart and he ground his teeth together. He tried turning his face away so he could cower from the lamp, but instead choked on the steel ring around his neck that he'd forgotten was there.

As his eyes adjusted to the light, the vague figure of two people came into view - A man and a woman. Joseph could hear the clatter of small metal objects on a tray, the clink of the door closing behind the newcomers, and the swish of their coarse white clothing, but he couldn't quite see their faces. Each wore a surgical mask, and the woman closest to him had thick-rimmed glasses on that obscured the view of her eyes from where Joseph was positioned.

"Well, self-harm seems to run in the family," the woman with the glasses murmured, referencing the blood that had pooled at Joseph's sides. She reached out and touched Joseph's jaw, angling his head in her direction to get a better look at the condition of his eyes.

What does she mean? Has she seen Juliette and Kaleb already? Joseph expected Juliette to try something as extreme as Joseph had, but Kaleb.. He hoped he wasn't impulsive enough to try and cut himself free.

He recoiled instinctively at her touch and jerked his head away from her, but only ended up near-throttling himself again. He hacked dryly.

"Please hold still." The woman's voice was not what Joseph had been expecting to come out of someone with such an intimidating demeanour. Despite her dark glasses and sharp eyes, she had a honeyed, thick voice, not unlike a caretaker of some sort. Her fingers were gentle and dainty as she prodded at various parts of his upper torso and limbs. His body tensed as she touched him. This felt like some sort of fever dream. First, he had set out to go on a harmless road trip with his cousins. Then, he was being attacked in the woods and impaled from every which angle with drugged syringes. Now he was lying, bare, on a table while a masked woman inspected his physicality, and there were some suspicious metal instruments just outside of his field of vision.

"J1 has recovered from the sedatives adequately," she observed, seeming to be half speaking to herself and half speaking to the man standing behind her. "This is already going more smoothly than J2's procedure. J1 is less aggressive, as well, so we've been told. Tight--"

"Where are my cousins?" Joseph interjected venomously, voice hoarse from wringing his neck on the metal so often. "Where are Kaleb and Juliette?"

His words seemed to travel through one of the woman's ears and our the other in immediate succession. She turned to the nurse. "Tighten the restraint cuffs, please. We're all set for the procedure."

"Where are you keeping them?" Joseph repeated, but again got no response aside from the slap of thin plastic against skin - Gloves. There was a pit forming in his stomach -- a feeling he'd not felt for a very long time. Fear. It wasn't fear for himself, though. Sure, he was certain that whatever these women had in store for his near future would not be pleasant. One would have to be blind and deaf not to see what was going on. Joseph's fear was for whatever these people had in store for or had already done to Jules and her brother. Joseph didn't care how much he personally suffered. As far as he was concerned, he deserved whatever it was that was coming to him. Juliette and Kaleb did not, in his eyes.  

The steel around Joseph's neck, wrists and legs tightened. whatever wiggle room his arms'd had not been eradicated. They were pressed down against the table, numbing his hands and not even allowing ample room for the blood to seep out of his wounds.

"Lower the light towards the subject's face," the woman said to the nurse. "I'll need optimal visibility. We'll start there. Oh, and let's gag this one. J2 nearly deafened me." The objects on the tray tinkled again, and a second later, a thick leather strap was forced between Joseph's teeth and tied to the back of the table he was on.

Before he could even utter another furious protest, the woman pulled his eyelid back and a scalpel sliced into the extrinsic muscles that held his eye in place. A hoarse scream, muffled slightly by the gag in his mouth, rose past his lips and cut into the relative silence. Even with a high pain tolerance, it was impossible to just squeeze his hand shut and suffer in silence. Blood welled up in his eye socket and poured over his face, filling his mouth with its rank metallic tang and slicking the hair on the right side of his head. The women was not phased. It was clear by the vacant, almost bored look on her face that she was jaded towards to suffering of others.

In less than a minute, the eye had come loose, and was carefully scooped out of it's socket and put into a small glass container off to the side, filled with a preservative fluid. The woman promptly moved on to his left eye, not even giving him a second to breathe before she plunged her scalpel in and gouged the second one out.

All thoughts of escape had been blurred and drowned out by pain. Some part of Joseph's mind was still screeching that he needed to fight his way out and prevent Juliette and Kaleb from suffering the same hardships that he was going through, but the overwhelming swell of pain was choking out that thought like a noose. He didn't even feel his left eye leave its socket. It stung too much already to tell if anything was being prodded at or cut.

The Winter couldn't see the nurse handing the woman the saw. He felt the blade pierce his skin and tear away at his flesh and muscles, felt the blood streaming, thick and hot, over the sides of his body. His throat ran raw as he screamed and wheezed and choked on acidic stomach fluids and clotted blood, but it was all happening in the darkness for him. He didn't see the satisfied twitch of the woman's face as she carved away at his abdomen and stripped more and more of him away and tossed the pieces into bowls. He didn't see his internal organs get hauled out of his body. All Joseph knew was pain and black nothingness, and the squelching of a hand probing his open wounds filled his ears and made him sick over and over again.

When it was all done, the nameless duo left him without a single parting word, coated in half-dried blood and acid and severed bits of his own flesh, blind and unable to formulate a single, complete sentence inside his head.

Unconsciousness was a welcome friend when it finally took him again.
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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:05 pm

Day Three


The shackles on her neck, wrist and ankles jangled as she trailed behind the nurse, who was flanked by two well armed guards. Behind her, was another pair of guards, guiding Juliette by the poles attached to her collar, keeping her too far away from them to steal anything or fight in anyway. It was clever, nothing like Sunday cartoon villains who’d keep their keys in an easily to see place, or held the hero in a way so that they could make their escape by knocking the guards out with well placed blows. No, through the adrenaline and sedative soaked haze, she really couldn’t see any way out of this mess. They were too vigilant, too perceptive of what she might do. It was like they could read her mind, like they knew her intimately like a family member would.

So she kept her head down, staring down at her blood crusted feet as she inched bit by bit to where ever they were taking her down this pristine metal hallway. Sixty steps, sixty-one steps, sixty-two steps, sixty-three steps, Juliette counted, sixty-fo-

They stopped outside an automatic door. It looked like every other door in this corridor, blank, metal, and with a swipe key card port on the side. She hoped it was warmer inside, the thin hospital gown they’d put her in was doing little to keep out the chill from the aircon. The cold was just as biting as the pain, especially since her wounds had all long since healed over, leaving no physical trace beyond the bloody streaks that layered her pale skin.

Swiping her keycard, the nurse lead her into the room, it looked like a bathroom of sorts. There was two detachable shower heads on the walls opposite to them, and metal loops nearby, Juliette couldn’t make out what they were for. But when the guards removed the poles that connected to her collar and replaced them with chains that attached to the loops, it did seem a little silly that she hadn’t figured it out earlier. Ah, she was really out of it.

‘At least it won’t be another operation.’
She thought to herself, trying to perk up. There hadn’t been an operation since the one on her first day here. It had been brutal, but Juliette had lived through it. If she was being frank, she could barely remember it, it was just a giant painful haze. It wasn’t that bad. Really. She could handle it. Just a little longer, she’d find a chance to break free. The autumn couldn’t see a way out now, but they’d slip up eventually, she just had to wait. She knew she could make it out. The pain was no worse than all the injuries that she’d given herself over the years.

“Ah!”
Gloved hands tore off her gown which was only being held together by velcro strips. Juliette slipped onto her knees in surprise, only being kept upright by the chains that were linked to her collar. Before she could get onto her feet again, cold water blasted her from both sides, pummelling her abdomen, it made her want to heave the nutritious slop they’d force fed her before. She only just kept it down as they were ‘kind’ enough to grab her by her wrist cuffs and hook them onto the wall as well. It gave her a modicum of stability, enough to cling against the tile walls and shift the worst of the spray away from herself.

Juliette’s mantra was simple. Get through this. Endure. It’s not that bad. Everything in her mind was a combination of those three sentences as she endured the humiliation of soapy sponge scrubbing her down roughly, getting the grim off her. Their hands were rough as they groped at her, scouring away at any marks against her skin. It was impersonal, like she was a ragdoll in need of a clean, their touches never lingered, but it didn't stop her face from heating up or the quiet shame blooming inside her. It felt as violating as their operation. She tried not to focus on that either.

Instead, she watched as a brownish pink stained bubbles dribbled down her exposed thighs, falling eventually onto the floors to cover her feet from sight. The intermix of colours reminded her of the sunset, a shitty sunset, like the ones in Korea after a smog. What she’d give right now to able to see one smoggy, dusty sunset. Or even just to be free. She desperately tried not to think, focus on anything else but thinking. It wasn’t working to well though, her mind kept wandering back to flashes of pain when she didn’t concentrate on escaping or useless mundane shit. When she thought back to the operation, she couldn’t help a flutter of terror within, like a caged canary that’s spotted a cat lurking outside. The feeling of being trapped within the sights of a predator. What would they do next? When was the nex-

It wasn’t that bad. She could make it out soon. The pain was nothing she hadn’t felt before.

“It’s not that bad.”

Her fists laid clenched against the tiled walls.

“It’s not that bad.”

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:51 am

Day Three


It felt strange to be on his feet again after two days spent lying on a metal table.. Or, at least, he was trying to be on his feet. The minute they'd undone the restraints around Joseph's limbs and neck and peeled him off of the table, he'd just collapsed onto the cold ground below in a sore heap, legs utterly useless and feeling very much like jelly. With two large men holding him up, another strapped a plain white hospital gown over his shoulders, concealing the layers of crusty, day-old blood caking his lower abdomen. He could see the dried run-off on his legs, though, stretching all the way down to his ankles.

Joseph couldn't really tell how long it had been since his capture, but he made a rough estimate that he'd been lying around for about two days. The second day had been spent being observed and prodded at. For hours, people would flit quietly in and out of the room, supposedly documenting the way and rate at which he healed from his injuries. After their observations had been completed, Joseph had been force fed some sort of bitter, pasty food - If it could even be described as food - which he assumed was to at least keep him conscious after a massive iron depletion the day before. It took a lot not to vomit the stuff back up as soon at it hit his mouth, which was still filled with the acrid taste of blood and stomach fluid residue, but somehow he'd managed to down a mouthful. For a long time, he'd still been unable to see. At one point, somebody came by to clear the blood out of his eye socket and scrape away all the excess stringy muscle material left behind following the removal procedure. He hadn't even found the strength or will to muster up a pained reaction. It was was nothing compared to what they'd already done to him. He'd felt utterly drained, and on the third day, no better.

He had, after all, literally been drained. The best way he could describe it was like when a child stepped on a Kool-aid pack and let all the juice out. The pack was left flimsy and useless.

A little bit of feeling returned to the Winter's legs by the time he and the guards exited the room he had been in, but for the most part, he was dragged alongside them in a steel collar down a white hallway. Thought almost entirely healed over, the skin on his belly was still raw and tender after all the slicing and mangling it had gone through under the bite of the saw-blade. His eyes had grown back by now, but they were bleary and he found that he really had to strain them to focus on anything at all. It wasn't like there was much too look at, though. The corridor he was in was blank. No windows. Nothing on the walls. Just polished metal plating.

Two days, and Joseph was already broken.. Physically, anyway. Escape still lingered in his mind. He hadn't forgotten about Kaleb and Jules. They were constantly buzzing around in his head. He hoped and prayed to a god - any god, any entity of mercy that was probably not even out there - that they had escaped, or at the very least, weren't being treated the same way as him. Joseph didn't truly care for about very many people, but the imagery of the few he did care about being diced up and abused in the same grotesque manner as he'd been made him sick to his stomach all over again. He hadn't heard them screaming yet, though. The walls were likely soundproof, but it was all he had to hold on to.

Just this once, could the world give him something good? If the ones he professed to love could just be safe, or if there could be an opportunity to stop all of this, he would consider showing some gratitude towards the hopeless, festering world he spit on so often.

Joseph's poor physical state, however, kept his thoughts of escape from getting anywhere. It was completely pointless to try anything now. He expected they'd just strap him to a table and gut him again if he did anything bold. All he could do was let them haul him down to who knows where, to do who knows what -- a limp dog on a steel leash. After a few minutes of staring blankly at the shoes of the nurse walking in front of him, the troupe slowed as hey approached an iron door. Joseph didn't see the keycard, but he heard the beep, and then they pushed through.

A bathroom.

Not what he'd been expecting. Two lone shower-heads stood out on the opposing sides of the room, and the wall across from him was fitted with metal loops. More cuffs, he imagined. He'd been right. The two guards at his side shoved him forward and hooked the loops to the collar on his neck in a way that he could not wiggle himself out of, and promptly removed his 'clothing'. He half-expected acid to hit his skin, but instead, he was met with icy cold water. His breath hitched when it hit him, and he found himself struggling to breathe at the extreme temperature. He wished he could just double over and hide from the water, but he couldn't crouch. It had already been cold enough in this facility to begin with, having worn naught but a paper-thin cloth in the two or so days he'd been held prisoner, but he almost yearned to be lying on the table again. He was at least grateful that it wasn't acid, but the cold of the table held been strapped to a few minutes ago paled in comparison to this. He hung his head and shut his eyes as tight as he could, clenching his jaw all the while to keep his teeth from chattering.

Hard, brittle brushes scraped across the full expanse of his skin as the water pummelled him from both angles, eating away at the blood and vomit and flecks of loose skin that layered his body. He didn't open his eyes once as they scrubbed away at him. He didn't need to see the gore he knew was there trailing off of him and getting caught in the drain. He'd likely faint again if he lost the little sustenance they'd provided him with. He didn't even care that he was undressed, and that strangers were putting their hands all over him. All he could do was focus on not vomiting all over himself.

Joseph didn't want to accept that Juliette and Kaleb were here. He wanted to think that they were safe at home, but he knew in his heart that they weren't.

All he could think was, Please just be stronger than me. Get yourselves out of here.


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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:01 am

Day Seven


She’d been left to heal for a while after her first operation. Only a few blood extractions,  and tissue samplings interrupted her long days spent listlessly in the metal cage. It had been long enough that she’d been lulled into a false sense of peace. She’d thought for a brief, foolish moment that they’d gotten what they wanted. That she just had to find a way out now, but she was wrong. They gassed the cell in which she was held, white fumes choking her until all she could do was let out wet, broken gasps on the floor as masked men reattached poles to her collar and dragged her out. If she was ever to resist, that would have been an ideal moment, but she couldn’t. She let them drag her along the steel floor, like a unwilling dog being tugged inside.

When they got tired of her placid resistance, they cattle prodded her, shocking her until she scrambled onto her feet. A rebellious fire still burnt within her, but she curbed it out of necessity. To escape, she had to survive. To survive, she had to obey. That was what she’d thought until she identified the room which she was to return to.

It looked like any other room in the building from the outside. A blank, metal automatic door with a swipe key port to the side. It looked unassuming, innocent, yet animal instinct told her exactly what the room held within. Juliette recognised the flickering lights above her, the slightly rusted nail off to the left of the swipe key port, she couldn’t forget even if she wanted to. It was the room that she’d awoke in.

Her dull eyes focused again, pupils dilating as she realised just where she was. Despite the collar that forced her in place, she jerked backwards away from the door, cutting off her own airways in the process. “No. No. No. No.” She snarled out, twisting against her restraints and the guard’s attempts to reign her in. They slammed her against the wall, following up with a sharp shock to her back, but that didn’t stop her at all. Juliette took advantage of their panic at her sudden display of resistance, and grabbed one of the poles between her handcuffed hands, ripping it from the guard’s gloved grip. The collar was suffocating her, but she didn’t give a damn as she used the pole to hit one of them across the head. Breathing? She could do that later. Once she escaped. “Fuck off.” With only one guard holding her in place with the pole, she used her superior strength to throw him off. She was… She was…

Free?

“Guards, I could have sworn that both the Doctor and I have warned you about J2 on several occasions. Report to your CO immediately, you’ll be lucky if you have a job by the end of the day.” Juliette knew that voice, it was the same voice that remained ever so steady as scalpels cut into her flesh, the voice that ordered nurses for equipment. It was the Surgeon. She knew she had to leg it, no one was holding her leash, if she could just run now, maybe she would be free. But her legs were frozen in place out of fear. They wouldn’t move, no matter how fiercely she cursed them internally to do something. Jump, take a step, anything would have been better than just standing their dumbly as the two guards shuffled off with the tails between their legs. This could be one of the only chances that she’d get, but she couldn’t fucking move. “Please.” There was no hope. “I haven’t done anything to you. Please.”

“Of course you haven’t, J2.” The woman nodded understandingly, standing their in her surgeon scrubs with both hands in her pockets. She was older than Juliette had expected her to be, the surgeon’s mask had hid most of her face from view when she’d been on the table. The Surgeon was greying at the temples, and crow’s feet were beginning to show at the edges of her almond shaped eyes. At first glance, Juliette could easily imagine her to be someone she’d see on the streets, or a local general practitioner that she go with her uncle to see. Even though her voice sent tremors of fear through her that crippled her to the point that she couldn’t twitch a muscle, the surgeon looked disgustingly normal. Nothing like the amalgamation of evil incarnate that she’d imagined her to be.

Even as she clicked something in her pocket, she didn’t betray anything on her face. Not a single facial muscle moved out of place as Juliette fell harshly to her knees from jolts of electricity roasting the flesh around her neck. As she seized on the fall, white foam flying out of her mouth while her eyes rolled back into her skull, the Surgeon looked unfazed as she swiped her key card and opened the automatic doors. “Guards, take J2 to the table. Nurses, get J2’s restraints ready and prep for surgery. Ahh, no need for the disinfectants for her, just get her unclothed.”




“Mmmph! Mmph! Mmargh!”

Her teeth bit into the leather, scoring grooves into the black hide as she shuddered and twitched violently under the steel restraints that held her in place. Blood mixed with spittle drooled down between the gaps where the gag was loose around her torn up lips, sliding down to congeal with the blood that encircled her head like a halo. Juliette understood that her healing factor was godlike, she could recover from anything, no sedatives, no painkillers, no wounds could keep her down for long. But wedged between a rock and a hard place, she’d gone for the impossible. Smashing her skull back against the metal table, she tried to knock herself unconscious for a brief taste of relief from the unending agony that was the operation. She craved the blissful darkness that was just beyond her reach, Juliette would pass out for seconds but inevitably, she’d awaken to the horror show in the operating theatre.

“Widen the chest spreader, I don’t want any damage done to the heart. The Doctor requires a perfect sample.” Lights were shone down directly onto her opened up ribcage, the gory, bloody mess on view for everyone in the theatre to see. Her skin was the first to have been peeled away, the Surgeon hadn’t been too careful there, no need, she’d said, whilst hacking back flesh to reach the meaty ribs underneath. A triangular flap of skin now rested just below Juliette’s chin, while the skin of her chest had been peeled to sit either side of her. The ribs, they’d cut into those with the shears. Juliette would never forget the sound they made as they crunched down onto bone, splintering it  and crushing it. Nor would she forget the pain that follow behind it, delayed for a second from her entering into shock.

When the shears hovered above her chest, though it was completely irrationally, she couldn’t really believe that they were going to go through with this. Even after all they’d done to her, she still held onto to false hope about humanity, about people. No human could, would, do this to another. Surely, they would stop now. Surely, someone, the guards, the nurse, someone would show mercy and stop the Surgeon before she cut through her ribs.

But no one did.

No one stopped the Surgeon when she cut out her sternum, dropping it onto a metal bowl with a metallic clatter than rang through the sterile theatre. No one stopped her when she position the chest spreader, and forced apart her ribs to reveal the tender organs underneath. No one stopped her when she made the first incision to cut away the arteries and veins connected to the heart, letting blood spurt madly in an arc, splattering the lights.

It was at this point she stopped screaming.

Tears still rolled down the sides of her cheeks, that was just physiology, she couldn’t do anything about that. Neither could she do anything about the warm fluid that ran down her legs in response to the pain and terror that pumped endless adrenaline and cortisol through her. It was humiliating, but at this point, one more humiliating act was nothing. They’d seen inside her, peeled her apart and entered her more deeply than any lover would. They knew the cracks and crevasses within her that not even her parents would know. There wasn’t much that could bring a flush of shame to her cheeks now.

“Nurse, clamps please. And ones that will do their job, I’m not interested in testing firsthand what the side effects of ingesting mutant blood is.” The Surgeon snapped, wiping the blood off her glasses with her gown sleeve, before she took the clamps offered and delved back in.

Vaguely, Juliette could feel a pinching in her chest, an ache as another avenue of blood flow was cut off. But the overwhelm assault of pain from her split skin, broken ribs and her fractured skull kept her unable to truly focus. It was all just a giant ache below her neck, distinguishing between the sources of the pains was an impossible task.

“Heart extraction imminent. Three. Two. One.” Everything began to blur, the lights became three, then six. Then they started to swirl around in a circle. That didn’t seem very normal. Distantly, she heard people speaking over her, something about closing. She couldn’t quite make it out, it was too far away. She just wanted to sleep now, the darkness crept in from the corners of her eyes and it was nice, cozy. Hopefully, she wouldn’t awaken again.

“Rina. Rina, darling. Don’t hit your brother with sticks, you’ll hurt him.”
She’d never heard that voice before, but it felt so familiar. Like an echo of a dream. It made her wanted to get up off the table, to find the source of the sound. It jolted her out of the sleepy limbo she was collapsing into. Who was it? How did she know the person? Why did her voice hurt her more than the operation did, leaving her head splitting with unnamable emotions.

“But it doesn’t hurt me, Mama. Why does it hurt him?” The words tumbled out of her mouth, before she could stop herself. Mama?

“Rina, we’ve told you, dear. You’re different to Kaleb.” A man’s voice. Papa, she guessed. It only made sense. Was this a memory? She needed to get up, she needed to see them. Did they look like the photographs that Uncle Andrew kept?

“Mama? Papa?”
She tore herself free from her shackles, the chains falling away to dust behind her. Getting up was difficult, she had to relearn to walk on unsteady jello legs that wobbled unnaturally where legs should be firm. But once she got a decent stand on the darkness that stretched around her, she ran for where she thought the sound originated from. Along the way, she stumbled, especially when the darkness shuddered violently. It didn’t hurt though, her knees would sink into the soft blackness. It felt like velvet. She could see herself curling up and sleeping here, but curiosity, the want to find a shred of a memory kept her going. “Mama? Papa?”

She chased after the noise, Alice following the white rabbit, blind and uncertain where it lead. Till she hit a door. It was white, a gleaming white as bright as what she’d imagined angels would shine like (the next time she saw Leo, she’d be sure to compare the two). The door was grooved, shaped elegantly like the doors of those mansions she’d see in the upper-middle class suburbia part of town. The sort of doors that she’d imagine that her family house would have had if her parents had lived.

Should she open it? That was the million dollar question.

She’d come this far, it seemed silly to stop now. Doors were designed to be open. That was their purpose. What was her purpose though? Was it to find out about her parents? To find long hidden memories that she’d never even thought twice about before? No. That wasn’t it. This was all a distraction. What had she been seeking before all this? Before the voices. Before the pain.

Escape.

Yes. This wasn’t what she needed. She didn’t need memories, she needed to be free.

Escape.

She had to find Kaleb. She had to find Joseph. God, what if they’d done this to them. Would Kaleb be able to survive this? What about Joseph? What if his abilities weren’t as extensive as hers was?

Escape.

‘Escape. I got it.’ She said to herself, remembering past the nightmares she’d endured.  She had a purpose here, she couldn’t give up yet. Juliette backed away from the white door till her back hit another solid construct. There was a grey door behind her, it looked plain and was made of metal. It didn’t radiate warmth like the white door.

This was the one.

Swallowing down her apprehension, she reached over and turned it’s knob, opening it to see television static. She was afraid. “Rina, darling, come here.” The white door called to her. Juliette wanted to turn back, to look behind her, but if she did, she couldn’t guarantee that she’d be able to walk through the metal frames. Her head, her heart yearned for the safety and comfort the other door seemed to offer, but she held fast. “Kaleb Jung. Joseph Tseung.  Andrew Jung. Jane Grey. Tabitha Weiss. D’angelo Exum. Kaleb Jung. Jose-“ She repeated to herself, forcing down the desire to fling herself at the white door with those names. She could do this, one step. That’s all it took.

“Andrew Jung. Jane Grey. Tabitha Weiss. D’angelo Ex-“

She stepped through.







After a tense hour, a heartbeat finally blipped on the monitor.

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:11 pm

Day Seven


When the guards finally dragged Joseph out of his cell, he'd been totally blinded by the lights on the ceiling, unable to see anything or anyone that lay before him. He'd been locked inside the cell, chained at the neck and cuffed at the wrists, for four days straight. No noise. No heating. He couldn't even lie down, thanks to his restraints. All he had between his body and the cold metal of the walls was the same thin hospital gown he'd been given four days ago. The only human interaction he'd got - if one could even call it human interaction - was when a guard or nurse came in to feed him the thick nutritional paste he'd become all-too accustomed to. It was strange to think, considering the fast that the paste had nearly made him empty the contents of his stomach the first time the stuff had hit his tongue, but when he found himself crouched in total darkness with nothing to do and no one to talk to, the single time of day that somebody came into the room to feed him was the only thing he had to look forward to (for all intents and purposes). The stuff was vile. The people who fed him were vile. He felt more like an underfed mutt than a person, but anything - even disgusting paste from disgusting people - was better than the choking blackness of the iron cell he'd been confined to.

A nurse had come in once to take blood samples, as well, while a pair of guards watched him carefully from the doorway. The encounter only managed to sap whatever scraps of strength were left in Joseph's body away very quickly, and he was left to rot in the dark again afterwards, his wrists and neck trapped in an endless cycle of growing raw from the iron cuffs and healing.

Now, though, he was finally back in the light, but he quickly - and unsurprisingly - found that it was going to be no less unpleasant than being hunched over in the dark. As soon as he hit the floor outside of the cell, a sharp voice commanded, "Get up and walk."

Joseph's legs were numb beneath him from sitting in the same position for so long, so he continued to stay doubled over in place, shielding his eyes from the blistering light above him.

"Get up. And walk."

"Fuck you."

Without warning, a bold of electrical energy filled him via a taser, jabbed forcefully into the unprotected skin of his back. He jerked forward and gasped hoarsely in pain, scrabbling to his hands and knees. His entire body quivered violently at the sudden rush of energy - so much so that he ended up collapsing onto his face. He clawed at his chest as he lay there, shaking, as if trying to still his erratic heart.

"Are you deaf? Get up!" Another shock cut through Joseph's torso. He screamed again, pulling his arms close to his chest protectively. Curling up didn't really do anything good for him. The pain didn't lessen, but it just felt like the natural thing to do in such a situation - Curl up and wish it all went away. It was childish and pathetic, but there was nothing else he could do. Ever nerve in his body quivered and burned as a result of the electricity. He felt like he was on fire. The man with the taser's shouts fell flat on his ears.

The guard growled. "For fuck's sake. I don't know why they're making such a big deal about you if you can't stand on your own two goddamn feet." He snatched up the collar of Joseph's clothing and began pulling him him roughly down the hallway. He couldn't still his jumpy nerves, however hard he tried. His back stung as it slid across the ground, still prickling from the shock.

The only thing worse than the pain of the electricity was how sick Joseph was with himself. Here, he'd been given the opportune moment to make his escape attempt. He could had stolen the taser and taken the guards out, found Juliette and Kaleb, and then made a mad dash for the nearest stairwell.. Or at the very least, he could have struck back. Made at least somebody in this god-forsaken facility bleed. Instead, he'd just crumpled to the ground like a god damn toddler and done nothing. Juliette might have laughed at him, looking so sorry and limp. He certainly deserved to be laughed at. Joseph was a pathetic, shivering wreck of a man. He and his two cousins - probably even more innocent students, now that he actually thought about it - had been locked inside some sort of nightmarish funhouse, and he was doing shit-all to try and help anybody out of it.

Eventually, the guard's footsteps halted. Slowly, Joseph raised his head to see why.

He wish he hadn't looked.

The surgeon.

She was smiling down at him from where she stood, clipboard clutched in one hand, but her grin was transparent. There was nothing inviting about it. No warmth. He could see the cruelty lying just beneath her upturned lips, feigning a motherly appearance. Joseph saw only the cold satisfaction of being able to do another job. No. He couldn't do it again. He couldn't lie there helplessly as she disembowelled him, screaming as he watched his own blood pour out of him and imagining all the horrors that these people had put his loved ones through. With a sudden burst of furious energy, fuelled by rage and fear, Joseph shot upwards and lunged towards the surgeon, arms outstretched. If only he could tighten his fingers around her throat and watch the life drain out of her beady fucking eyes..

Joseph's assault was, of course, cut short as the guards leaped towards him and restrained his arms just before he could lay a hand on the woman. He tried to thrash his way out of their grasp, but yet another bout of electricity cut through him and he inevitably went limp again, convulsing as a result of the shock.

"Struggle will only result in harsh consequences, J1." The surgeon's honey-soft voice sounded out, glazing over the sound of his ragged breathing. "If you co-operate--"

"Go to hell!" Joseph snarled, digging into his scalp with his fingernails, trying to make the throbbing below stop. While being shocked he'd bitten the inside of his cheek, so as he screamed into the cold tiles beneath him, blood and saliva spattered the ground. "I never did anything to you! I don't even know you!"

The surgeon's expression didn't waver at all. The creases on her face deepened as her smile widened. "If you relax, J1, this will all be over sooner." She switched her attention over to the guards standing next to Joseph. "Please prepare Tank One." Two of them immediately departed from Joseph's side to do as she bid.

Tank One? The Winter's eyes slowly trailed upwards to see what the surgeon had been talking about. He hadn't noticed them when entering the room, but there were two large rectangular objects on the opposite side of the room to him, blanketed by thick plastic sheets. The guards approached the structure on the left and unbuckled the straps on the bottom, freeing up the sheet. With one tug, the sheet fell to the ground and revealed a large glass container, filled nearly to the top with with water. Somewhere in the room, somebody flicked a switch, and the tank was illuminated with fluorescent lights on the ground and the wall. One could now plainly see the thin layer of ice that had crept across the outside surface of the glass.

Joseph's clothing was promptly torn off of him and he was forced upright. One didn't have to think very hard to figure out what this water tank was for.

That was it. He wouldn't let them do this to him.

Scraping together all of his remaining strength, Joseph whirled around and rammed one of his fists into the face of the guard nearest to him. He heard the satisfying crunch of a nose breaking under the impact, but didn't stick around to relish it. The guard reeled off to the side, clutching his face, and Joseph made a mad dash for the door, not caring in the slightest about his lack of clothes. He needed to escape this hellhouse. He needed to find Jules and Kaleb, and take them home..  

Joseph was sleep-deprived and weak, but his anger and fear was enough to spur him onward. The guards pounded after him, their boots hammering against plated metal floor. His eyes furiously searched the hallway ahead of him as he ran, praying that there was no one up ahead to block his path. As it turned out, everyone else in the facility was busy with their own cruel experiments.

Joseph's heart was thrumming madly within his chest, and his muscles burned as he dashed wildly away from his captors. Was this it? Was he about to escape? As long as they couldn't reach him with their tasers, he would be --

And then a gunshot rang out in the metal corridor.

In an instant, Joseph's entire mind went into buzzing chaos, and a splitting pain enveloped his entire head. He came crashing to a halt on the ground before him. He couldn't hear anything but a high-pitched, screeching ambience. The lights above him multiplied twenty times, and his entire body had gone numb and unfeeling. He could see blurred red splatters splayed across the tiles before him, but couldn't make out a definite shape.  He couldn't even hear himself screaming, or the guards approaching him from behind to drag him back to the surgeon. All his senses had been overthrown by a blinding, terrifying agony.

Oh god. Oh god. There was something lodged in his brain.

He blacked out.




The next thing Joseph knew, the surgeon was standing over him, and his hands were chained tightly together - undoubtedly to prevent him from punching his way out of the room again. The surgeon was turned slightly away from him, though, and hadn't noticed that Joseph was awake. She was inspecting a small, round object pinched between a pair of tweezers. He had to squint to recognise on the object, as his head was still scrambled.

A bullet.

They'd shot him in the head.

The woman turned when Joseph shifted in his restraints, and the false smile returned to her face, thin and reddened with lipstick. "Let's hope don't have another unfortunate incident like that, right J1?" This time, she didn't bother to mask the malice in her voice. She was clearly upset that her little lab rat - her prey - had slipped out of her clutches.

Joseph couldn't even find the words to lash out at her with as she turned to take up her clipboard. He could barely make out the details of her face with his vision continually going in and out of focus, never mind scream. He didn't even remember the bullet entering his head. It was all a hazy, incomprehensible jumble of pain. For a second, he thought that perhaps the incident in the hallway was his ticket out of whatever the surgeon had planned to do with him. Maybe the damage done to his brain was a delay in her plans, and they had to leave him to heal before they could continue their cruel experiments on him today.

But of course, he was wrong. He'd been so foolish to believe that for even a split second.

"Prepare for the Tank 1 procedure again."

Strong hands gripped his shoulders and pulled Joseph up off of the table they'd set him on. A whole new wave of dizziness hit him as he was stood upright. His legs were useless deadweights beneath him, like he'd been paralysed.. In fact, he couldn't feel his arms, either. He figured they must have injected him with some sort of sedative again as an extra caution after his sudden outburst. As he approached the water tank, he could feel the cold radiating off of the glass surface, but it was near-impossible to resist any longer. The only thing he could move was his head.

"No.." He whipped his head to the side in protest, hoping to make it collide with somebody else's, but it met nothing but chilly air. He grew sickeningly dizzy the more he moved it, but he didn't care. No way in hell he was going into the tank. His voice grew shrill and distraught as he practicaly begged them for an answer. "No, no, no, no.. Leave me alone! What the fuck do you want with me?"

As he made feeble struggles against the men grasping his arms, the surgeon came up by his side. Her expression, illuminated by the rippling glow of the water, was that of a child, sitting at the dinner table and staring at their favourite meal whilst forced to wait for  their parents to come and seat themselves before being allowed to eat. Hungry. It was a face he would never forget. "I explained this already. Co-operation."

And before Joseph could even draw another breath, he was hoisted upwards and plunged into an icy hell. Instantly, it felt as if a thousand needles were impaling his skin at once. It was a sort of cold he'd never felt the likes of before. It penetrated his core and consumed his entire being, first eating away at the feeling in his fingers and toes and then slowly creeping up the remaining length of his limbs. Joseph screamed, but only ended up producing a cloud of bubbles and choking on the freezing liquid he was surrounded by. He tried to thrash around as best as he could, hoping for his head to break the surface, but it smashed against the fibreglass lid of the tank that he hadn't even seen the guards put in place. The panic set in quickly, consuming him as rapidly as the numbness of the water had taken him.  If the sedative's effects hadn't already been bad enough in sapping his energy away, he could no longer feel his limbs at all. He couldn't feel anything. He couldn't move, he couldn't think, he couldn't breathe, he couldn't escape.

He wished he could just die.

As his lungs filled with water and he accepted the beginnings of unconsciousness, the back end of the tank was suddenly unhinged and all of its contents were dumped out into a small groove in the floor behind it. Joseph hit the ground hard and immediately began spluttering, trying feverishly to force the water out of his system. Somehow, he succeeded. A fountain of water and blood gushed out of his mouth and nose and rushed over his face, and for the firs time in what felt like a millennia to him, air filled his lungs. He wasn't given much time to adjust to the temperature change before the guards dragged him up into a table again, still desperately gasping and partially choking on all of the water he'd inhaled. The surgeon began prodding at him in various places, inspecting his face with a light, and jotting information down onto her clipboard, but Joseph didn't care. He could only focus on the shivers that were wracking his body, and the numbness that had swallowed him whole. He'd long since abandoned his shame of being unclothed and poked at against his will. Nakedness paled greatly in comparison to his recent experiences.

The sound of the surgeon's pen clicking startled Joseph. "I'm all done here," she said to whoever was standing nearby. "Take the subject back to the cell. We will conduct the second temperature test tomorrow. I have tests to run elsewhere, with J2."

J2 was Juliette, of course. It had to be.

Whatever pitiful energy Joseph'd had before being submerged had been completely depleted by now, so as he was dragged back down the hallway, he slid across the floor like a limp fish, still shivering violently. The hospital gown did little - nothing, really - to keep him warm. In no time, the Winter was chained back up to the wall of the dark metal cell and was swallowed up by darkness once more.

Why had the surgeon postponed the second test? Was she showing him.. Mercy?

No, a voice said immediately in Joseph's mind. Not mercy. She's playing with her food. Making me wait. I'll be suffering tomorrow again for sure.

Mercy. What kind of fucking stupid thought was that? Joseph laughed to himself - a dry, raspy, mirthless chuckle - at what an enormously dumb piece of shit he was. The suffering didn't end. The experiments would just keep going. As Joseph slouched over against the wall, rolling his head in different directions once in a while to relieve the sores left by the neck cuff, the same thought repeated in his head time and time again, like a sickening mantra:

Let me die. Let me die. Let me die.

He'd always wanted to die. He'd always hated himself for the disgusting advantage he had over regular people, how he could dodge life-threatening illnesses and mortal wounds as if they were nothing while people around him died sometimes for the most mundane reasons. He filled his veins with psychedelic poison and guzzled down more alcohol than a sixty year-old, PTSD-riddled wartime veteran, hoping perhaps that someday he would drop dead, but he never did. He was cursed to walk the earth while everyone he loved died, one-by-one, all around him. Joseph had never wanted to die as much as he did now, though. The pain would never end. These people would slice him into a thousand pieces, fill him with fatal diseases and plunge him into arctic-cold waters forever and he wouldn't die. He was to be their perpetual pet.. But the worst part of it all, the one thing that made him want to cease living the most, was the knowledge that Juliette and Kaleb were going through the same sick experiments as him - Or worse.

The next day, as expected, was even worse than the last. Joseph was forced into a tank of boiling water, helpless to resist as the surgeon watched with cruel, unapologetic eyes as his skin peeled away and reddened and burned, and as the searing liquid found its way into his stomach and lungs and boiled him from the inside out. And when he was finally let out, he was strapped down for the umpteenth time and screamed and screamed as his captors sliced away at him and dug into every last inch of his skin until he wasn't even recognisable anymore. He wasn't Joseph Tseung, he was their personal slab of meat with a thousand disposable parts.

When they threw him into the dark hole again, the same grim prayer looped endlessly in his mind.

Let me die. Let me die. Let me die.
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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:55 pm

Day Fourteen


They put something in her, she could feel it, see it. Little bumps under her skin, like mosquito bites that didn’t itch, or register at all beyond looking abnormal and making her feel nauseous at the sight. If she wasn’t restrained, Juliette would have torn into her flesh with her bare hands to rip out whatever they’d put in her. She’d already had their hands fondle her insides, she didn’t need a lasting reminder in her flesh to torment her even outside of the surgery room. The moments that she spent alone, curled up in her bunk post-operations was the only peace that she could get here. The only times she could remind herself of who she was and of the family that was also here somewhere. It was under the threadbare sheets that she imprinted the faces of each guard, nurse and the Surgeon to mind, with the full intention of getting her revenge.

In that moment, post-surgery, she was too woozy to do anything. But once they dumped her in her cell, she would chew through her own arm if that’s what it took to remove them. She wasn’t going to let them keep their implants in. After all, what would they do to her if she removed them? Torture her? She’d gone through everything in the past little while. They’d removed her organs, flayed her for skin samples, exsanguinated her till the whole world blurred and she flatlined for over an hour. What else could they do to her?

Lying in her trolley, she counted each fluorescent light pass by above her. Three more and they’d turn left, then from there, fives lights then a right turn. After that, they'd hit a checkpoint with two guards who’d free her from the trolley, and drag her by the collar into her cell. That’s what they always did, regardless of her condition.

Some days, she’d be coherent enough to stumble onto her cot by herself. Other days, she’d wake up to a pile of her own vomit on the floor, and have to rinse herself off in the sink/toilet stand that they provided for her own use before crawling onto the springy metal frame.

Three lights passed.

They didn’t turn left.

As silly as it was, Juliette had gotten used to the schedule and found a small measure of comfort in this minor scrap of knowledge that she had about the runnings of this place. Watching the lights go by as they turned to place her in the cell was the only time she felt at peace, the only time she could feel safe. She’d learnt that after operations, they’d always take her back to recover. That’s what they always did. Always. And because of this, she never struggled when they took her back. She’d lie there and congratulate herself for surviving another day in this hellhole. Why were they deviating from what they did?

‘Maybe it was an accident. Maybe they forgot to turn left. Please. Pleasepleaseplease. The operation for today is done, take me back. Please.’ Juliette cried from beneath the gag on her mouth (the guards didn’t take to kindly to her biting the ear off one of the guardsmen, she’d been gagged ever since). She clung to the small, dwindling hope that this was an accident, they didn’t mean to bring her down this corridor. But as more lights flashed by, a slow sickening acceptance crept into her and settled. Today wasn’t going to be like the other days.

They weren’t done with her just yet.

The guards swiped their key on the port next to a door that looked starkly different to all the others. She puzzled over it, choosing to focus on memorising this detail too. If they were going to play mad scientist on her again, she at least wanted to get something out of it. It was a small detail, but she was desperate for any hint of a clue. What made this door so different? Why did it have a black panel next to it that flashed numbers?

Then it opened.

‘Oh.’ She thought to herself. ‘It’s an elevator.’

It was hilarious, in it’s own way. For the first time in days, Juliette nearly laughed. She’d been expecting something more, a portal to another dimension. Or maybe she was in Beata all along, that the Headmaster was secretly behind it all. Or that her Uncle Andrew was the Doctor that the Surgeon kept mentioning. She’d been here for what seemed like a lifetime, and she’d forgotten the little things like elevators. ‘What else am I losing memories of?’ She couldn’t help think, but she banished that thought quickly. She wasn’t going to torture herself over things she couldn’t control. The Surgeon did enough of that to last her a lifetime. Instead, she refocused back to her previous task, memorise everything, down to the last micro detail.

The interior of the lift was like the rest of the facility, plain, designed purely for efficiency. There wasn’t a hint of aesthetic in the sleek, metal design, not a single unnecessary flourish. To the right of her, slightly obscured by the presence of a guard, were the elevator buttons. There were only two visible to her. One. Three. There were three or four floors on this building, or that’s what she thought until the guard removed a key from his pocket. He flipped open a hidden socket in the elevator and twisted the key. As though they were in a Bond film, a hidden panel was uncovered with more floors. ‘B1, B3, B5,’ she memorised, though these floors meant nothing at all to her at this point. It felt important though.

The guard pressed a B button out of her sight. ‘Move,’ she mouthed into her muzzle, but naturally he didn’t response at all, instead stubbornly standing by her side. There are five or six below ground floors, she recounted to herself. The next question for her now was, which one was she on right now? But the guards noticed how she was looking a little too intently at the panel, and pistol whipped her across the head.

“Look up, or I’ll make it so you won’t be able to look at all.” He growled, Juliette didn’t have the will in her to defy him. She’d figure it out eventually. Or that’s what she told herself.

When they finally got off, it was back to counting lights again.


Sixty-three. Sixty-four. Sixty-five. Sixty-

They finally stopped outside another set of automatic doors. This wasn’t a lift, it looked plain like all the other doors in the damn place, all cold steel and shiny. But instead of just a swipe port, it had a number pad with a metal guard so she couldn’t see the number he was pressing. What was it hiding? Was it something worse than the Operation Room? Her heart began picking up in tempo as she brainstormed all the possibilities for what was behind the door. Another torture chamber? Or maybe they were were hiding a saw to cut her in half? It all sounded out of this world and ridiculous but anything was possible here.

It was a white room. The room was completely devoid of anything, just pure white with what looked like a one-way window high up on the left. It didn’t make any sense, there was nothing here to observe. There was no table for her to be cut open on, no one was waiting for her. What did they want to observe? Was this her new cell? Surely not.

Digging her nails into the meat of her palm, she waited with abated breath for something to happen that would tell her what they wanted from her. But the guards didn’t give anything away, they wheeled her in until they were in the middle of the room. Then they began to unbuckle her, one strap at a time, their gloves hands struggling a little but sheer force got the job done. Once she was free, they grabbed her by the wrist and tossed her onto the ground, one of them even kicked her in the leg from behind the trolley.

They definitely hadn’t forgiven her for biting one of their faces off.

This would have been an ideal time to bolt, but the fall had jarred her knee. Instead, she got to watch as the pair took off with the trolley that she’d been strapped in, looking a little too happy as they left her to her fate in the white room.

The doors closed behind them, followed by a white panel sliding downwards to cover them from the gap above the frame. It seamlessly blended in with the surrounding panels, making it appear as though there had never been a door there. Juliette wasn’t going to let that stand. Biting into the meat of her hand just below where her thumb started, she dug her canines in until she bled scarlet. In a giant fuck you to the scientists, she swiped the panel with her blood. The vibrant streak contrasting against the smooth, unmarred white panes that covered everything in the room.

On cue, as if in response to her defiance, a panel behind her rumbled as it raised up to expose something underneath. Ducking her head, Juliette tried to get a glimpse of what was being unveiled, only to flinch and leap back when she saw what looked like a ghost.

He wore a white mask, smooth and shiny looking like bone china. It’s features were vaguely humanoid with two dark holes where eyes would be, and a long beak in place of a nose. Clad in all black, she couldn’t make out his body shape much, but she could see the glint of a metallic weapon by his side.

Instinct told her to run, but there was nowhere to go.

Pressed up against the wall, she looked on with fear as the person stuck out an arm through the gaps in the bars. He wore gloves with wickedly curved talons that looked as though it was designed to sink in and drag his enemies. The tips were barbed like a hooks. One stab would be all it took, and even she would have a hard time freeing herself. It was difficult, but she forced herself to not look away. Even without them telling her, she knew why she was here now. Why she had all these sub-dermal machines embedded in her. They were going to make her fight that. And the next words that came across the speaker system only confirmed her worst fears.

“J2? Do you hear me?” Her heart jumped in fear, recognising the Surgeon’s voice, but she forcefully refrained from responding further.

“Good. Today we will be testing your healing factor in a stressful condition. You will be fighting Subject A03 until we gather all the necessary information. Please co-operate with us and fight, you’ll find Subject A03 will show you little mercy.” There was a rustling of papers and the faint sound of keys being punched in on a keyboard. “As for weapons, we’ll drop you some if we deem it absolutely necessary. For now, it’ll be a test of your reflexes. Just dodge, weapons will slow you down. The test will begin in a minute when the alarm goes off.” A low click, and the announcement was over.

“Hello. I’m Juliette. I’m a, I’m a high school student. I have a brother. He’s a bit of a goof. And a cousin who’s a dork. I don’t want… I don’t want to fight you. We, we don’t need to… Ah, fight, ah, you know? Please? They can’t make us fight, you know. You know?” Juliette rambled desperately, her whole back pressed against the wall hard as if she wished that she could phase right through it and escape. They weren’t giving her any weapons, trapping her in this white room to fight a man with talons that were designed to wound painfully. She was a good fighter, but weakened by her time here and terrified, she didn’t like her odds. Juliette prayed that she could appeal to the person’s humanity, looking hopelessly into the dark spirals that hid his eyes.

But there was no response.

Finally the doors of the cage lifted up, and the man came stumbling out. Despite looking so menacing behind bars when he came out the cage, he walked as if he had sea-legs. A drunken stumble like a toddler. Was he drugged? Juliette wondered, but he was quick to lose the weird limp. Slowly, but surely, he began to limp faster and faster until it was a full run at her.

Incensed by the sight of the man rushing at her, Juliette dropped into a roll and dodged the tackle. She twisted around, expecting the man to turn and lunge for her on the ground, but instead he crashed hard into the white wall. Hard enough that the nose of his mask shattered, revealing the lower half of his face which was mangled with white shards from the mask imbedded in his skin.

Blood dripped down off him, staining the white floor red.

Despite the fact he was out to get her, Juliette couldn’t help ask. “Are you okay?” He was acting erratically, this didn’t seem normal at all. Even after all she’d endured, it didn’t feel right to hurt someone who was most likely just as innocent as she was. This would have been the opportune moment to strike, but the Autumn couldn’t bring herself to lash out, instead watched as the man groaned where he stood.

“Mmmargh.” He howled, rubbing his taloned hands against his skin to blindly dislodge the white shards. It was futile, he was tearing up his skin more than removing the little bits of shattered porcelain but he didn’t seem to care. He kept rubbing into his skin, talons leaving gouges, some deep enough to see the white bone underneath.

It was odd. She’d seen her own internal organs on display, taken out and placed on a silver platter to be given over to the Doctor, yet this made her insides curl up and twisted uncomfortably. This display of self-mutilation sent waves of nausea through her, she almost wanted to look away, but fear he’d lash out at her if she did kept her eyes on him. Would this be how she’d end up? At what point would she lose her humanity and end up like him? How long had he been here that he’d ended up like that?

For so long, Juliette had only been concerned of her physical self. She wanted to escape the pain, prevent them from tearing out any more bits and pieces, that she’d never thought of what they were doing to her mentally. If she survived this all, would there even be any part of the old Juliette to save? Would she be able to go back home, smile for Uncle Andrew, laugh at Kaleb’s terrible jokes, smile at Joseph’s antics and eat Auntie’s delicious food as if everything was okay? Or would she end up like him, a broken shell of a human, no longer feeling anything inside and twisted beyond recognition.

“Do… Do you need help?” Voice trembling, she asked the man. “I can help you.”

Juliette swore that she wouldn’t end up like him. She was Juliette Rina Jung, a seventeen year old student at Beata Academy. She was the prefect of Autumn House, an avid parkour enthusiast, a dog lover. She was compassionate. She was brave. She gave a damn. They couldn’t take that away from her. Unlike them, her humanity, her compassion would define her as different.

It was visible in his sudden stillness when her words finally registered to him. The man stilled, though she’d soon find out it was the calm before a storm. Statuesque, he slowly turned to face her, the black holes in his eerie mask boring into her face as it looked upon her. For a long tense moment, nothing was said. He simply watched. And watched.

When he finally moved, it was sudden. With a jerk, he stepped forward. Juliette instinctively stepped back. He stepped forward again, but this time he didn’t stop. He jerked towards her, one step at a time, slowly speeding up as he got closer to her. She didn’t know whether to run or not. She had offered to help. So instead of taking another step back, she stopped to let him approach.

They were standing face to face. He looked down at her, and she looked up. He was close enough that she could feel his every breath against her pallid skin, that a few drops of blood from his face fell onto her feet, warm and slick. Trembling, she raised a hand to his still masked face, hovering for a second just above an imbedded shard before intaking a deep breath and yanking it out. He flinched, but didn’t respond otherwise, letting her do as she pleased. One by one, she pulled free shard after shard, dropping them onto the floor, they tinkled lightly when they hit the ground. He was calm, she felt a connect between them. They were both prisoners here, both forced to comply to their captors. She wouldn’t harm him, and neither would he.

Pulling free the last shard, she smiled up at him. The first smile to grace her face since this whole fiasco. To her surprise, after much awkward facial twitching, he smiled back at her. A lopsided replica of hers.

But good things didn’t last here.

“Subject A03. Foxtrot Tango Bravo.” The Surgeon’s voice interrupted the moment, followed by the click of a button being pressed.

“Grahh!” He collapsed onto his knees, taloned hands clutching at his head. Juliette lunged forward to try stop him from crushing his own skull with his talons, but it was near impossible as he kept rocking back and forth violently. Any attempt by her was easily shaken off by his superior physical strength, she could only whisper encouragements and desperate pleas as she tried to get him from piercing his skull. But then it all stopped.

Like a puppet with cut strings, he stopped howling, he stopped rocking. He stopped completely. He wasn't doing anything now, but her gut screamed for her to step back. To get away from him. But she didn’t get a chance to act on it.
A bloodied hand clamped around her neck. Juliette’s lightning quick reflexes didn’t even get a second to react as talons dug into the tender flesh of her neck. The metal claws dug into her skin, pinpricks of blood welling as he tightened his grip, clamping down on her airways. Her healing factor kept her from blacking out when others would, giving her the chance to attempt to pry his hands off. She couldn’t bring herself to do what was logical, to break his arm and try to recover as far away from him as possible. He’d probably gone through something equally as horrific as her, but he didn’t have a healing factor as good as hers, as evident in his slowly healing facial wounds. How could she hurt someone who was as much a victim as she was?

“St- ack. Ple-ah. St- stop. They. They don’t con- control us,”
she gasped between each feeble breath. But his grip didn’t relent. The talons dug in deeper, blood now running in rivets down her skin and soaking the thin hospital shift that she wore, painting it crimson. The combination of blood loss and oxygen deprivation had her seeing spots, her vision dimming slowly around the edges. She didn’t want to hurt him, but she didn’t want to risk passing out here, not knowing what would happen to her next.

So she stopped trying to pry his hand open and struck with an open palm to his chin, jerking his head upwards. He retaliated with a savage bite on her hand, his hand only tightening further and grinding the bones on her neck sharply. It would take more than a simple blow to distract him, she realised.

With a heavy heart, she twisted to kick at his ribs, her foot making contact and slamming him against the wall. Surprise had him loosen his grip for a second, letting her suck in blissful air, only to twist and throw her onto the ground.

“Ah!” Air was punched out of her as her whole back crunched against the white floor, and before she could recover, he jumped on top of her. The weight of his body seated on her chest, her lungs couldn’t inhale despite her airways being open. She wheezed like a chain smoker, fighting for a puff of oxygen as her hands clawed at whatever skin she could reach. What was worse was how neutral his face was, still masked, he watched her serenely as she suffocated under his weight.

“J2, enough. Please engage A03 properly.” The man twitched in what seemed like fear at the Surgeon’s voice over the intercom. Rage flooded her at his reaction, she would have to beat him here, but when she escaped, she would make sure the surgeon paid for doing this to them.

“Sorry.” She hissed, before she clenched her fists together and whacked him across the head. Dazed, he stumbled off her, giving Juliette the chance to scrabble onto her feet and bolt to the other side of the room. It was hard, painful even, but she managed to get away. Her wounds naturally began to heal, and she slowly recovered from the blood loss. Technically, Juliette only had to knock him out, then they’d have to stop the battle. The purpose here was to get her sub-dermal readings and that involved her having an opponent. She could do this.

Of course, a weapon would have made the odds a little better, but she had to make do with what she had. His talons were only sharp at the point, she just had to dodge.

Then as if they’d read her thoughts, a bo staff dropped from the ceiling in front of her.

It felt like a trap. She approached it cautiously, uncertain whether to pick it up. But when he charged at her, talons out, she had no choice but to wield it.

The movements were familiar to her, like using her spear. When he lunged, she weaved out of the way, using the staff to knock him off-balance. When he slashed, she blocked his hand, and twisted it so his claws harmlessly slid off her staff. It became a deadly dance between the two of them, he was on offensive, and Juliette remained stubbornly on defence. They were at an impasse, he couldn’t land a blow but she wouldn’t use the gaps in his defence to attack to wound.

They continued this until his blows felt more like a kitten’s pawing, and her arms shook with fatigue. He was panting harshly, the wounds and blood loss from before clearly affection him a lot worse than she was by his clawing.

They were done. By now the Surgeon probably got all the data she needed. Neither of them would be punished for slacking, it was time to end this.

With a flick of her wrist, she tripped him over with her staff behind his knee. Exhausted, he simply fell where she put him, not bothering to stand up. He was on his hands and knees, flecks of dried blood falling to the ground as he slowly took in deep breaths.

Juliette raised her staff to slam him with the end bit, to force him down so when she knocked him unconscious, they’d be no unnecessary head wounds. She aimed for the middle of his chest, just off to the side of his spine nearby where his heart was. Minimum damage, muscle and bone would be impacted a little, but nothing substantial. He’d have a sore shoulder, that would be it.

But when she slammed her staff down, blood welled from the point of impact, spurting all over her. He choked, looking up at her with his black masked eyes. She could imagine a look of shock, maybe betrayal. Then his head lolled and fell to the ground, his body following with it. It was then that she realised what had happened.

A knife had extended out from within her staff.

He was dead.

At first, she didn’t feel a thing. She’d seen death before on her mission with Maria. She’d probably killed a few people then. Her head felt clear, empty. There was no voice screaming at her, no urge to dramatically wail in grief. Juliette hadn’t actually known him at all, he was just a random test subject like her. Her body trembled of course, her hands immediately dropped the staff in her hands, but other than that, she was fine.

He probably would have killed her too, if he had to choose between them.

“Please standby the door, J2 to be taken back to your cell.” The Surgeon interrupted the moment over the intercom.

She snapped her head up to look at the the one-way window. She remembered that she wasn’t alone. Did they do this? Did they deliberately make her his murderer?

Face painted in specks and streaks of blood, Juliette glared at them. Those bastards who hid behind the mirror. She’d find out each and everyone of them. When she escaped, she’d make sure that they all suffered.

And as for the man, she turned her gaze down to the face down figure on the floor. He deserved better than this. As cliche as it was, Juliette reached down to turn him over and close his eyes. There would be no dignity for him here, knowing the Surgeon, he’d be used for further experimentation. Humanity had long abandoned this place, leaving behind only monsters that wore flesh and played the role.

Hands still shaking, Juliette pried off his mask to unveil the face underneath.

Joseph.

Joseph Tseung.

Joseph Martin Tseung.

The mask was flung away from her, as she scrambled back away from the body until her back hit the wall. “No! No! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” Refusing to look at him any more, she scratched at the wall, trying to tunnel through the smooth panels and escape away from this room. She refused to believe this was real. It was all an illusion. A hallucination. But when she turned to take a peek, he was still there.

Cloudy hazel eyes looked up at the ceiling, head framed by bloodied black hair. His fine features were streaked in blood, but they clearly echoed her distantly in appearance. If it wasn’t for the spreading pool of red that fanned around him like an angel’s wings, she could almost believe he was just resting.

He wasn’t though.

He was dead.

“No. No. No. Please. No.”
She didn’t know how long she’d been screaming hoarsely these words. “No. No. No. No. No.”

When the guards finally came for her, dragging her willingly away, she was still whispering to herself, no. She kept whispering, then silently mouthing it when her voice gave out. On the trolley, in the cell, she kept mouthing the words.

Maybe if she kept saying it, reality would reset itself.

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:45 pm

Day Fourteen


The day after being submerged in the boiling liquid, Joseph was transferred from his dark box of a cell to an entirely new cell. After being thrown in and locked inside, he'd slowly picked himself up of of the ground and leaned against the smooth metal door to stare at the object sitting against the opposite wall to him.

A bed.

As Joseph lay splayed out on the stiff mattress now, he remembered how he'd gazed blankly up at the bed from his place on the ground, mouth hanging slightly ajar, as if it had been some sort of foreign contraption that he'd never seen before. It was a daze - having an actual room - albeit a crude one. The walls were fashioned out of the same plain metal plating as the floor, and in the opposite corner to the bed sat a spotless porcelain toilet and a tiny sink. Joseph found little comfort in his new surroundings, though. After being chained to a wall for who knows how long, not unlike a mad hound, it was almost too good to be true. Even as he lay on the bed - sleeplessly, waiting for the sound of the sliding door and for the cruel hands of an abysmal fate to quite literally drag him away again - he barely shifted or breathed too hard, as if he were being balanced precariously a thousand feet up and the slightest movement would send him tumbling down into a bottomless pit. The rare time he got up to use the 'bathroom', he often found himself staring at the tiny puddle in the toilet, or the stream of water running out of the tap in the sink, lightly considering choking on it. He'd never drowned himself before, so he wasn't quite certain if it would kill him, but he suspected it wouldn't. Nothing ever did. The world wasn't nearly kind enough to let him out of it's suffocating grasp, so he didn't even bother trying.

He still liked to entertain the idea that at least Juliette had escaped. She was smart. She was quick. She was strong. She was a trooper - facing similar life issues to Joseph's, like the knowledge that she would, ultimately, outlive everybody around her - and yet she could at least put on a smile every so often and kick her way through her problems, if need be. She loved more passionately and fought harder than Joseph ever could, and as much as he wanted to hope that she was free of this torturous hellhole, there was a painful prickle of doubt ever-present in his heart.

No.. No. She would get out. He couldn't stop believing in that. He couldn't let the doubt that was radiating out of his own pathetic escape attempt swamp him. It was all he had to hold onto now. Jules could get out. These sadistic fucks could beat the fight out of Joseph, but not Jules. She would get out, and she wouldn't be broken. She wasn't Joseph -  a useless, mopey, waste of air that did nothing but sulk and moan childishly about how much he hated himself, and just gave up.

Watching the clock above the doorway was doing nothing for him except reminding him how long he'd been lying motionlessly, watching the second hand make it's rounds. It had been exactly two and a half hours it had been since someone had last entered the room to take a couple of tissue samples. He didn't expect them to come back any time soon, so Joseph turned away from the entryway to stare at the wall to his left, and he realised that in the blur of the horrors he'd been put through over the course of his absence from the outside world, he hadn't stopped to think about those he hadn't seen in what felt like a lifetime.

His poor, sweet mother. He didn't even want to think about how sickeningly worried she would be about her son - her only boy. She'd often come off as overprotective to Joseph as he'd grown up - quite annoyingly so, at times. If he bumped his head or scraped his knee, she would rush to his side and give him the comfort he often didn't need, but as he reflected back on how irritated he'd been at her over protectiveness, he felt like beating himself over the head for being such an ungrateful little brat.

And his father, who always tried to pull him out of his shell for his own good. What an ass he'd been to him. Joseph had often rejected his suggestions for outings, never sat down with him to watch sports, or Korean drama shows.. No matter how much he hated the television programmes his father was into, or how unwilling he'd been in the past to go outside and play catch with him, he wanted nothing more than to be doing just that right now. Thinking of his father made Joseph realise how young he really was. Often times when deep into the cup, it never crossed his mind that he wasn't even close to being of the legal drinking age yet.. Hell, at fifteen he'd already been waist-deep in alcoholism as opposed to playing video games and going to baseball games with his father, like every other kid in his neighbourhood did.

Joseph got up out of his bed and began pacing the room, anger beginning up to bubble up inside of him. He was such a cunt. Such a fucking cunt. Instead of spending time with the people who cared about him more than anything in the world, he'd always been off guzzling vodka or sticking himself full of narcotics.

"Goddammit!" he spat, suddenly whirling around to ram his fist into the iron plating of the wall. He raised his hand to inspect the damage. The skin on his knuckles had been split open under the force of the impact, and blood was starting to run down the sides of his hands and through the grooves in between his fingers. As he stared, though, the tissue slowly began to knit itself back together again, bringing on a new wave of rage in Joseph's gut. He reeled back and punched the wall repeatedly, not wanting to let himself heal.

Once he heard the satisfying crunch of his knuckles breaking, he stopped, and pressed his forehead against the cold metal, eyes blurred with salty tears of pain and frustration.

And Kyou. Oh, Kyou.. How could he have forgotten about her? How could he have forgotten about his only real friend at Beata? And he hadn't even made the first step in getting to know her, it'd been her. She'd went through the trouble of showing him around the school, and inviting him out to a party, and texting him during the day to ask him how he was.. She put up with his antisocial bullshit - really, she didn't even seem to mind. She enjoyed spending time with him, and putting out an effort to make it so he enjoyed spending time with her. He was never bored when he was with Kyou. She could draw a laugh out of him that many of his friends back home could not. She had spent hours on the daunting task of chiselling through his emotional barrier, but here, now, felt like he'd never done anything for her - to repay her for wasting to much time on him.. Stubborn, nostalgic, immature, ungrateful Joseph.

He didn't deserve such a loving family. He didn't deserve a girl like Kyou. He didn't deserve a healing gift. He should have died in the fire with his best friend all those years back.

"Goddammit.." he repeated, only whispering this time. Joseph slowly lowered himself until he was crouched down on the floor, head still lying against the wall. The tears stung as they hit his broken, bloodied hand, but he didn't care.
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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:48 pm

Day Forty

Chipped and frayed nails scraped against the walls as Juliette sat in the centre of her cell whilst singing some tune that she vaguely remembered from a musical film. Uncle Andrew loved musicals, he’d play songs from them in the car, drawing groans and sighs from the Jung siblings, Kaleb’s was more half-hearted, he had a soft spot for Les Mis, while hers were real and loud. She’d detested musicals, not quite a play or a concert, and without subtitles, her sensitive hearing got the music and words all muddled up. But now, the mixed up confusing mash up of different music scores from Les Mis brought her comfort, a reminder of simpler times when her bigger source of frustration was that Uncle Andrew played ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ on repeat for fifteen minutes straight, singing each rendition louder and louder.

“On my own… With… No one here besides me… All alone, I walk with h- him till morning. I’m without him, and I feel his blood surround me. And all I see is him and me forever, and forever…” It had started so well too, she thought morbidly to herself as she stopped singing for the first time in hours, her throat still not hoarse from her natural healing factor. All the songs that she sung kept twisting and ending in a rather depressing and broken manner, it was almost like she was incapable of getting over it, getting over him. Days had past since she lifted the white mask to find her cousin’s broken pallor underneath, eyes glassy and lips still. The passage of time was unnoticeable, yet she knew nonetheless that it had to have been a while. If she wanted to escape and be free, to make Joseph’s death mean something beyond an act of murder, she had to let it go. A broken Juliette was a useless Juliette.

For a long while she’d voluntarily gone mute, but that did nothing. Her becoming a placid doll hadn’t drawn any sympathy, made them treat her less harshly or give her more opportunities to escape. All it had done was eat up precious time that she could have spent trying to figure out some rudimentary plan. Joseph… Joseph was dead, but Kaleb, as far as she was concerned, still lived. There was a chance that she could rescue him, and that alone was enough to force her into gear.

One of the guards hated noise, that was one thing she learnt. He liked the silence as it was, and loathed her even snoring, slamming the metal door of her cell to force her awake when she did so after a trip to the labs.

The songs that she sung had brought her much needed comfort, a balm over her fractured mind, but it served another purpose. She wanted to anger him, and maybe if he got angry enough, she’d learn something important or nick something from him. Anything was valuable at this point. All she had tucked away was a pencil and tissues that she liked to scrawl on. She sharped the pencil with her teeth, scraping the wood off when it needed a shave. It was no use for anything really, just a utensil that made everything a little bearable, a vent for her frustrations and slowly deteriorating sanity.

She needed more.

“Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men. It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again, when the beating of the drums, echoes the beating of your heart, there is a life abou-“ A loud clang interrupted her mid verse as a reinforced plastic baton slammed against her solid metal cell door.

The little mesh covered eye-slot on the door opened with a slid. “Shut it, girl.” He grunted, before slamming the sliding slot closed with another clang.

It was working, so she continued, her voicing picking up in fervour. “Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me? Beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see? Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!” The last words were practically shouted, straining even her vocal chords.

Her dulcet tones were echoed with a furious banging, and the slot to her door was opened once again. But this time she was ready.

“What part of ‘shut it’, don’t you get, you lit-“ Before he could finish, Juliette was already poised in front of the grate and she spat at his visor, a glob of spit splattering and slowly making it way down till it hit the floor below. Looking at her reflection, she bared her teeth and growled at him.

“Make me, chicken shit.”

His first instinct was to reach for his taser. That much was predictable and Juliette was quick to dodge the electric barbs that flew at her face, twisting to the side just out of sight and reach.

“That’s the best you can do? No wonder you’re some worthless grunt for some mad scientist bitch. Or are you the bitch? I mean, she’s making you do all her shit. Did you imagine this is how you’d end up at age 40, menacing seventeen year old girls for a living?” She taunted to the best of her abilities, trying to think of what would make a man like him go feral. Juliette really knew nothing about him beyond the fact he hated noise, it wasn’t exactly easy.

The rattle of keys, however, informed her that she must have been successful. Within seconds, the door was swung open, knob clattering against the outer wall as a black clothed guard stalked in with guy radiating from every step. She still couldn’t see his face, his glossy protective visor still on, but the tapping of his baton in his hand was a universal signal for ‘I’m going to fuck you up’. But fear didn’t fill her at the sight, he was fighting out of anger, but she was fighting to survive. And her brother’s life was on the line, she wasn’t going to lose.

He struck first, bat aimed cruelly at her head without much finesse. That was his first mistake, she wasn’t in peak condition (probably a deliberate decision by the Surgeon) but she was strong enough to block and absorb the blow. It hit her foreman, earning a wince from her but nothing more as she twisted to grab at the baton. He yanked it towards him in response, Juliette went with the tug and used that momentum to slam him against the wall.

His helmet made a nasty sounding crack at the impact, she wasn’t done though. Giving him no chance to recover, she tore her hands off the baton to follow up his minor head trauma with several punches. He was a trained guard though, and the moment she let go of his weapon, he thwacked her across her chest, knocking the wind out of her.

Juliette dropped to the floor, gasping with her arms wrapped around her sore chest. Nothing was broken, but what little upper hand that she’d gained.

This time, with much more dangerous precision, he aimed a blow for her head, other hand gripping her hair to hold her in place, kneeling. Her hands scratched, clawed at his gloved hand to dislodge it, but he was strong, stronger than her seventeen-year-old, malnourished self.

But she refused to go down like this.

Twisting her knee and definitely ripping a muscle or two, she uncurled her leg to swipe at the guard’s knee, hooking her feet behind and yanking it forward. His knee guards did nothing to protect her toes from jabbing into the soft flesh behind his knees and forcing him onto his knees.

Surprised by her, his blow didn’t connect to her head, instead slamming into her shoulder and tossing her and the baton across the smooth metal flooring a metre away from him. Unlike the blow to her chest, it didn’t paralyse her. Instead she felt numb for a second, like nothing had happened until fire blazed at the wound’s location once her pain sensors kicked in. It was like thousands of ants were crawling there, bitting and tearing out chunks of her skin and bone. From her lungs, she let out a hoarse scream as her body instinctively curling around her now fractured arm. This was a wound that she would have shrugged off like it was nothing once upon a time, but after so much poking and prodding, every sensation felt magnified for her. She lived in a state of hypersensitivity to pain, which was probably mostly psychological, but it felt real in the moment.

“Fuck you.” She spat out, between whimpers as she got up unsteadily onto her feet, a baton grasped in her non-broken arm.

He was backed against the wall, his bulletproof vest making scrapping noises as he waved a gloved palm in a placating gesture in front of her. That did nothing to calm the boiling anger within her, the scared girl who’d been abused by countless masked faces. She wanted to break him like they’d broken her, the fact her original intentions were to get out and find Kaleb was quickly forgotten by the waves of righteous satisfaction she derived from seeing the guard look scared.

Her first blow was to his forearm, the reinforced plastic made a resounding crack that was followed by the crunch of bones. The guard scream, Juliette didn’t flinch. The second blow was to his helmet, cracking at the hard plastic, leaving little gouges where the plastic armour couldn’t handle the pressure. He was out cold now, slumping over to the side, body limp like a rag doll. She expected to feel happier, but the sight of a body slumped unnaturally inspired a flash of fear.

The last time a body had rested battered and broken…. Joseph.

Tossing the baton away, she sank to her knees, pupils dilated as she ripped off the guard’s mask with shaking hands. The fear that it was Joseph again, that she murdered her cousin twice-over, no matter how irrational it was, forced her to check.

It wasn’t him.

It was some old man. He looked in his mid-thirties. Without the visor or imposing helmet, he looked normal, like the sort of person she’d bump into at the supermarket. There was something supremely wrong about that, but she didn’t have time to dwell.

Rummaging his pockets, she found a few useful knick knacks. A cellphone, no bars, they were too deep down for it to work. A combat knife. A pepper spray can. A chocolate bar. And finally, a folded up map with a paperclip holding onto a memo.

The chocolate bar, she ate in a few swift bites to fuel her as she peered over at the map and memorised every detail. It was vague, giving little details beyond the basic layout and where the main offices or labs were. The corner labelled the map as a Level Two clearance information, she guessed that someone like the Surgeon or the Doctor would have a higher clearance map. There was no way she was going to succeed in that alone though, she wasn’t stupid.

That left her with basic knowledge of the building’s layout, a cellphone and some weapons.

She couldn’t leave without her brother, that was non-negotiable. So her plan was simple, she’d try head to the rooftop, get reception and call the school. Perhaps running away, taking advantage of this moment would have been more logical, but after Joseph had died by her hand, a part of questioned if she even deserved to live. And if she left Kaleb behind, she didn’t know if she could live with herself.

Stripping the guard of his uniform, Juliette put on the black tactical gear, leaving out the cracked helmet. Heavier parts like his bulletproof undervest, she tossed, with her healing factor, that was useless. For extra precautions, the paperclip, she straightened out and inserted under her skin at her wrist, masking it as another protruding vein. It hurt, but it was nothing compared to every other hurt she’d received here.

Her first few tentative steps outside of her cell were cautious, eyes darting fearfully from side to side as her left hand remained firmly planted near where she kept the combat knife. But after the third clear corridor, narrowly avoiding a patrol, she managed to calm down enough to pull off a façade of loose-limbed relaxation. Soon the alarm would sound, and she needed to get to the elevator as soon as possible.

Using the memorized route, she reached her destination and swiped the guard’s card to call for it. A low rumbling was all the warning she got before the metallic doors slid open to show two guards standing side by side.

Juliette wanted to take the knife in her hand and lunge, but they didn’t attack her, so she didn’t. Her hands itched for some sort of preparation for the worst, but with deep, calming breaths she stuffed those thoughts away into a dark corner of her mind, throwing away the key. She’d fare better not causing a commotion.

“Heading up?” The guardsman asked as he flicked up his visor. He smiled at her, crow’s feet forming at the corners of his storm grey eyes. He looked normal, human. But she knew that this was all a mask, deep down, he was as cruel, sadistic and incapable of empathy as the Surgeon. If he did anything, she’d cut his throat.

For Joseph.

For Kaleb.

“Yeah, going for a quick smoke.” ‘Don’t ask any more questions,’ she prayed.

“Ha, you managed to sneak a pack in? Nice. Might ask you for one after the shift is done.” He patted her on the shoulder as she slid her key and punched in the top floor. His blows were light; like something one would do to a friend.

She didn’t say anything else, she didn’t need to.

“Attention all, Subject J2 has escaped their cell. All guards are required to report to their nearest CO and conduct an intensive search of the building. Laboratory personnel are to go into lockdown for the duration of the search. I repeat, Subject J2 has escaped their cell. All guards are required to report to their nearest CO and conduct an intensive search of the building. Laboratory personnel are to go into lockdown for the duration of the search.” Red alarms flicked from the button panel until the announcement ended.

“Ah shit, looks like we’re heading back down again.”

“And I was hoping for an easy patrol shift.”

This was her cue to speak, to fill in the gap with a mildly grouchy statement about working conditions here, but no words would escape her mouth. Her heart thundered in her chest and her eyes watered as she couldn’t take in a single breath. All she could do was wheeze, hand latching onto the handles on the sides of the elevator.

“You okay?” A hand touched her.

Like time slowed down, she watched as her body moved by itself. Her free hand took out her knife and stuck the blade into his unprotected grey eye. He didn’t even get a chance to react before she wrenched it out and stuck it in his throat, twisting to let out a spurt of blood.

“Robert!”

This time she hesitated, no longer fueled by blind panic and instinct. But the remaining guard reached for his taser, her body moved by itself again, aiming to protect her when her mind was clearly a step behind.

Muscle memory had her lash out with the knife to force him into a corner, he jerked back as expected. This close quarters, he gave up on the taser to take out a hefty baton. It was as she thought, they had an order not to harm her unnecessarily. It was irrational, but this titbit settled her pacing mind.

Juliette took full reigns over the fight.  

Her mangled arm from her first rumble with the guard was useless, so she used it to take the blow from the baton. Her other hand stabbed at his visor, skittering harmlessly off the smooth plastic surface.

A laugh from underneath the visor cut through her heavy breathing, a free hand grabbed her by the neck, lifting her thin frame easily and pressed her harshly against the wall. The side handles dug into the small of her back uncomfortably but she barely noticed, too busy trying to breath and chase away the spots dotting her vision from both the lack of air and the repeated impact of her head against the wall.

Giving up on stabbing through his heavy body armour, she went for his relatively unprotected clothed wrist, hacking at him until blood dribbled out and he let go.

Juliette screamed as she fell on the ground onto her bad arm, but she forced herself to move through the pain. She kicked out his legs from under him, and crawled on top of him when his body hit the elevator’s floor, making the whole cable box shudder.

A ding rang out to signal that they’d reached the floor the guards must have pressed. An endless corridor with a window at the end, the sun shone into her eyes for what felt like the first time in her life. Her eyes stung at the sight, light hurting her but she couldn’t look away. It was beautiful.

That two seconds of stillness was all that the guard needed to forcefully jerk her off, twisting to pin her beneath him.

”Mad bitch.” He hissed, ripping the knife out of her hands and tossing it out of the elevator while he gripped her neck to slam her head against the floor. Blood haloed the ground behind her as her eyes rolled back into her skull from the blows.

Something. Anything. Juliette wracked her brain for anything to fight back with. The only thing she had was a paperclip inserted into her skin and a can of pepper spray. That had to do.

Barely conscious, she gave up trying to loosen his grip and took out a canister of pepper spray. Aiming for his face was pointless, he wore a damn helmet. His ripped up arm was open though, so she loosely squeezed the trigger there, letting loose red fumes on his wrist but also right in front of her face. Eyes squeezed shut, she waited for some reaction in vain.

“Fuck!” He jerked back as the elevator doors shut and closed behind them.

“Ah. Ah. Ah.” Juliette sucked in air desperately, curling into a ball before forcing herself onto her feet. Her eyes were blurry but she could make out that he was braced in the corner, cradling his wrist against his chest. His baton, it was on the floor next to him.

Before he could get up, she kicked at his head with her heavy-duty combat boot, ankle hooking against his helmet and smashing him into the wall. As her body pivoted with the blow, she grabbed the baton and followed up with strikes to his head, shoulders and injured wrist. He let out wet gasps but she forced herself to continue her combo of strikes, ending it with a heeled stomp on his crouched leg. The sounds of bone snapping were clear in the cold elevator, his cries of agony echoing in the brightly lit box they were closed in.

“Mercy.” He whimpered.

Mercy. How many times had she prayed for that only to have bits and pieces of her cut out? Did they show Joseph mercy? Would they show Kaleb mercy? She knew the answer to these questions, they resounded in her head.

They turned her skin from ivory to steel, hardened her heart against them. What happened next wasn’t her fault. She did what she had to do to survive. If she felt a spark of satisfaction, no one could blame her.

Dropping the baton, she walked over to the hunched over figure, removing his helmet so their eyes met. Green. He had green eyes. Her black eyes recorded his face to her memories, she wouldn’t forget this. Her palms against his cheeks as she tears dripped from her eyes at hit the metal floor, mingling with the congealing blood under her boots.

“No.” She whispered, her words punctuated by the crack of his neck.

When the elevator opened again, showing the rooftop, she stepped out onto the helipad, leaving two bodies on the floor behind her and a trail of bloody footprints.

-

The wind danced around her, the breeze refreshing as it slid through her shoulder length hair and let it billow like a cape behind her. It was liberating to look up at the sky, to taste freedom, however short it was. The alarms were still blaring in the background, and she couldn’t leave without Kaleb, it was nice while it lasted though.

Focusing on the sky and the outstretched mountain range, she could almost pretend that she wasn’t a captive here, that she was just here for the beautiful scenery. That she didn’t kill two guards, Robert and his friend.

“Robert.” She said aloud, choking into a laugh when she realised that his name was the same as her co-prefect. Robert Cooper. Juliette laughed until she couldn’t breathe, wheezing as the waterworks that had stopped for a little while continued in fury down her cheeks.

“Robert. Joseph. Green.” She told herself that she fought like the devil himself escaping hell to survive, but at what cost? Would there be any part of her to save? Fuck.

Before she knew it, her nails were digging into her scalp tearing at the already lacerated skin of her bruised, bashed skin. Blood ran down in her forearms, mingling with the dried blood of others as she tried to chase away these thoughts. She didn’t have time for this, Kaleb, she had to save Kaleb.

Screaming till her voice was hoarse, she forced herself to focus on that image of her brother. Dark messy hair, black eyes, kindly smile. She had to bring him back.

Prying her blood hands out of her hair, she reached with shaking hands into her pocket, taking out a slightly cracked phone. Unlocking it, she punched in the first number that came to mind, Robert Cooper, her co-prefect whowasn’tdeadshedidn’tkillhimitwasn’thim.

‘Send help mountains its torture’ Before she could write more, the elevator dinged, warning her that the doors were about to open. Juliette pressed send before pitching the phone off the side of the building.

Please, come for us, she prayed as the door opened, showing a squad of heavily geared guards fired at her with tranquiliser guns and tasers.

Please.

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:43 pm

Robert was sitting at his desk in his dorm room, and sorting through papers for once. He was actually doing his job and not being lazy for once. Well he was using his gift to sort through the papers instead of his hands, but that was some progress right? Ever since Jules went on her vacation or whatever it was he had all the autumn prefect work dumped on him, and he simply couldn't neglect it any longer. Staff had already gotten on his case a few times for ignoring his work and choosing to be lazy. The autumn boy let out a sigh. He pushed his chair back away from his desk, and leaned back letting himself relax for a moment, and giving his mind a break from moving so many papers. The pen he held in his hand was flicked about to keep his mind moving so he wouldn't fall asleep at this important time. After all he only had a few hours left before he had to turn these things in to Staff.

The pen rotated about his fingers as his mind went to wondering on different thing. He thought of his partner Jules and how much she was probably having on her trip, avoiding work of the prefect, and not having to deal with any of the school's drama. He let out a small sigh. He pushed his thoughts away from his friend and went back to something else, which ended up with him testing is nearly perfect memory. He was one of those special cases. One of the ones with photographic memory, able to remember basically anything. Names, birthdays, little facts about some stupid war that didn't even matter. He was basically a storage of information but too lazy to use it most of the time. He was graced with something he didn't really need. Wasn't there someone else out there that would need it more? Ah well.. He was stuck with it.. It wasn't going to change now..

A small little 'ding' pulled him out of his thoughts. His green eye scanned around for a moment before landing on his phone which somehow ended up on the floor. Using his gift he pulled it up to the desk, and set it down. Pressing a button to get the lock screen to show up, his green eye lazily looked at the dull screen, expecting some thing stupid to be on it about a notification about some thing he had on his phone but never used, instead it was a message from some unknown number. It confused him at first then he realized it was probably someone wanting to mess with him. Unlocking his phone, the message appeared on the screen. ‘Send help mountains its torture’ Well that certainly wasn't strange at all.

Rob leaned back in his chair once again. It was clearly a prank. If it was actually someone he knew in distress wouldn't they have signed a name? Or try to get as many details as they could in there? Because what this person had sent was super vague. What mountains? What was torture? Rob let out a grunt. How did this person get his number out of the thousands of numbers there were though? That was the one thing that bothered him slightly. Was it someone he knew trying to pull a prank on him? Honestly he was too tired to deal with this at the moment, and he still had to get through a good chunk of paper work. Rob reached for the phone, and lifted it to him for a moment. His green eye scanned over the message again, but nothing new came to him. It was most likely a joke. Placing his phone off to the side, his single returned to the papers in front of him. The pen back in his hand ready to take care of whatever the school needed him to do with this mess. He really didn't like them getting on his case about this stuff. Maybe he would do better next time.... maybe...

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:12 am

Day Forty

Forty days.

He'd been here for forty days.

One of the guards, upon entering Joseph's cell to drag him off on another freakish experiment the other night, had accidentally slipped up to his co-worker. It'd been forty days since Joseph had seen grass, and felt the wind on his face, and watched the sun set. It's been forty days since he'd felt the buzz of liquor on his lips or the burn of heroin creeping up his am and turning his mind inside out.  It'd been forty days since he'd seen his family. He couldn't think about them enough.. his dearest worrywart mother, who's suffocating hugs Joseph wanted more than anything, and his poor father, who tried so hard to integrate his son into the world, and Juliette and Kaleb.. Thoughts of what they'd gone through plagued his mind every day and rocked him to sleep at night - that was, whenever he could sleep. Most of the time, his morbid, unwanted fantasies kept him awake, waiting for the inevitable sound of the door sliding open somewhere behind him. When he did sleep, the nightmares came..

..Though now that Joseph thought about it, nightmares were preferable to being conscious.

At least when he dreamt, he didn't have to think about his current predicament -  This sick place, the pain he felt for his cousins, or the ever-present desire to simply stop existing. When he dreamt, he wasn't being peeled apart and gutted, or boiled, or frozen, or stuck full of needles like a fucking porcupine. When he dreamt, he was in another world filled with indescribable terrors, but in that other world, he couldn't actually feel the pain. When he was awake, he could.

It would just be so much easier to be dead. He wouldn't have to feel anything, or think. He'd just be gone.

Earlier in his days of confinement, in the box cell, Joseph had often wondered about what the academy thought of his disappearance. Had they been concerned about how long Juliette and him had been gone, or did they just think they were with Kaleb? Had they phoned his parents, asking them of his whereabouts? Were they looking for their missing students? How many missed assignments had collected in front of Joseph's locked door? How many unread text messages were on Joseph's phone by now, sitting on his desk and collecting dust? Were they actually looking for Joseph?

Did that actually care that he was gone?

And like that, a humourless laugh cut through the silence of Joseph's cell, and a smile - ghastly, with no traces of the joy a smile usually held - appeared on his face. He ran his fingers through his unwashed black locks as the dry chuckles escaped him, which had grown unruly and long since he'd been captured. Who the hell would care if Joseph was gone? It wasn't like he'd made any sort of impact on the Beata community. He was a waste of space and resources who did virtually nothing but lie in his dorm and ward his roommates off with the musk of narcotics. He wasn't a peach to have in class, either. He never went out of his way to talk to anyone. He never signed up for activities. He didn't work to better the world, like the law students, or the politically-inclined students, or the artists. The teachers had no opinions on him. No one gave a shit that he was there, and he didn't give a shit that they were there, so why should anyone care about him and how he was doing?

God, what am I, some sort of optimist? He laughed again, but this time, he didn't even have the energy to grin at himself. Just a hollow 'huff' and a quiver of his jagged shoulders.

No, of course they didn't give a rat's ass about him.. Everyone apart from Kyou. His parents, as well. Unfortunately, the only people that Joseph knew would care about his whereabouts were the people he didn't want coming to look for him. He didn't want the lunatics that had him locked up to get their greasy little paws on them. The only thing worse than the physical torture was the knowledge of others suffering the same fate. This was all, of course, only even possible if they could figure out where in the goddamn world Joseph was, and he was sure that they wouldn't. He didn't imagine the surgeon wanted to even consider the thought of her precious little playthings being pulled out of her grasp. This laboratory - or whatever it was - could be in the middle of the ocean, for all Joseph knew. He hadn't seen even the tiniest glimpse of the outside world since being scooped up in the forest next to Rosebury.

For the umpteenth time in the near-two months of his captivity, a horrible wave of claustrophobia hit Joseph at the thought of his long he'd been cooped up inside. He spent most of his time indoors back home, but at least there, he'd had a choice to go outside or stay inside. He couldn't do that now. He was a pet, and pets didn't get to choose when they wanted to leave the kennel. The outside world didn't even exist anymore, as far as Joseph was concerned. No, home, no Beata Academy - It was gone. Now, there was only tiny metal cells, and endless blank hallways, and silence, and choking darkness, and freezing cold showers, and scalpels, and tubes, and the surgeon, and the surgeon, and the surgeon, and the surgeon.

Joseph shut his eyes and tried to picture what the countryside on the outskirts of Rosebury was like, hoping to calm the erratic hammering of his heart against his sternum.




By the time the soft scratch of metal-on-metal sounded from the doorway, Joseph's claustrophobia had subsided and melted back into a grey, flat feeling of hopelessness that he'd become all too accustomed to. He was pulled suddenly from his spot on the bed and his head collided painfully with the concrete floor below. It hurt, and he could feel it swelling up immediately, but all the Winter could muster was a low groan as the guards dragged him out into the hallway like a carcass. He wasn't going to get any sympathy from these people for complaining about a stupid little gash on his forehead, so there was no point to curse them.. After all, they had already shot him in the head.

Two weeks ago, perhaps, if they'd dragged Joseph so freely around, he would have at least tried to get away. He would twisted his wrist out of their grip, stolen a taser gun and taken out a guard or three, and make a mad dash for the stairwell. He would have searched for his loved ones. He would have done something. Now, he couldn't even stand up straight for more than ten seconds. He couldn't make a second escape attempt even if he had the willpower - which he was fresh out of - to do so. His body expelled diseases and parasites, healed lacerations, soothed burns, eased bruises, and terminated rashes, but it could not cure malnutrition.

After what seemed like an eternity to Joseph of sliding across the ground and mindlessly watching the marching motions of the guards' boots in front of him, the movement came to a halt. For a moment, there was silence, and then the mechanic sound of an automatic door was heard.

An elevator. A change in the usual routine.

This was certainly new, but obviously, this wasn't a good change of routine for Joseph. Positivity had become an entirely foreign concept to him. His optimism about life had already been in complete and utter shambles before coming here. It was one of the many delightful things about depression. He hadn't ever thought it could get any worse than it had been, but it had. There was nothing left now. Joseph couldn't even begin to imagine what manners of horror waited for him once they reached their destination.

The elevator ride was tense. Joseph wouldn't look up at the guards, but he could feel their eyes boring into him as he stared at the metal surface standing in front of him. He didn't need to see their faces to know the way they felt about him. He was subhuman scum with no emotions. A filthy little lab-rat. Joseph was nothing more than an object to be monitored and delivered periodically to the surgeon to dissect. The disdain and disgust regarding him was thick in the air like a soupy fog. Briefly, he wondered how a person could get wound up in a job like this - keeping people in line so they could be tortured for weeks upon weeks. They'd all been children once, probably with dreams about having a normal job, and doing great things in the world - being someone to be admired. Almost every child thought such things. How had these men ended up here, being payed to be cruel underneath people who were even more cruel? How could they stand to see someone, another human who'd had dreams and aspirations just like they had in their childhood, who had feelings, in such a broken and deflated state?

Were they androids, with cold iron expressions beneath their tinted visors and helmets? Had they been mentally conditioned not to care about others' well-being anymore - Brainwashed against their will to work for a psychopath? Were they just drowning in so much cash that they no longer felt any guilt or shame for doing this to somebody? The world was a fucked up, disgusting cesspool full of fucked up, disgusting people. Joseph knew it better than anyone. He'd had both the pleasure and displeasure of meeting a very wide variety of people, both good and bad.

No one he'd met in his eighteen years spent on this planet before had come close to the level of cold indifference towards human life as everyone in this facility, though.

Before Joseph's mind could wander any further, the elevator came to a shuddering halt, and he was ushered impatiently out of the opening door. The hallway stretching out before him looked like a carbon copy of the one he was used to - steel plating, piercing white lights, no colour, no windows, and the promise of unimaginable suffering behind every door that lined the walls.

After another two minutes of half-stumbling, half being dragged, Joseph was pushed towards a doorway that slid ajar as he neared it.

The sight he saw was a strange one - And considering everything he'd been through, that was saying a lot.

The room would have been completely dark if not for the television fastened to one wall. It was massive, stretching across nearly the entire length of the wall, but displayed nothing on the screen. Just white light. What was more strange than the blank television was the chair placed in front of it. There was some sort of unidentifiable metalwork attached to the backboard than almost resembled a skeletal helmet, and there were cuffs bolted to the arm rests. It looked like something straight out of Nazi Germany, or from some kind of old-timey horror film.

Whatever it was, it was not good.

And of course, on one side of the chair with a tight-lipped, red grin and a clipboard under one arm was the surgeon.

"Subject J1." The twisted endearment in her voice was probably the worst part of this woman - this creature. The eerie satisfaction that sparkled in her eyes when Joseph was suffering right in front of her was terrifying, her stature was terrifying, her smile was terrifying, her total control was terrifying.. But it was her voice that truly send cold bolts up Joseph's spine. He heard it as he nodded off to sleep. He heard it whenever it was quiet. It stuck with him, because even though she knew the things she did caused him immense pain and increased his unwillingness to live tenfold, she spoke to him as if nothing was amiss. Like a mother to her son. "As is standard protocol, I implore you to stay calm during the following procedures. Failing to comply will result in consequences and extra measures to ensure that the work is completed."

At once, the guards were shoving Joseph forward again, this time in the bizarre chair's direction. As he neared it, he could feel the panic welling up in his gut again. He tried to impede his progression towards the chair by firmly planting his feet into the ground and grappling furiously at the guards' hands at his shoulders, but like always, a swift kick in the gut stomped his resistance out very swiftly. Joseph started to double over, but before he even could, he was forced down into the chair. As he wretched, coughed, and tried his best not to vomit from the collision of boot-to-belly, the metal restraints he'd spotted earlier were closed firmly around his forearms. Similarly, clamps on the legs of the chair were fastened around Joseph's ankles. His head was then pushed back against the backboard of the seat, and a thick strap tightened around his neck. It was so tight, in fact, that trying to look down at his wrist restrictions nearly choked him, so he was forced to look forward and only forward - at the screen on the wall.

The light shining directly into his face was obnoxiously bright enough to make close his eyes and try his best to block it out, but unfortunately, the surgeon had already considered this problem before Joseph had come in. Stepping in front of Joseph, she reached back behind the Winter's head and took hold of one of the metal contraptions attached to the seat. She pinched his right eyelid with the other, lifted it a little, and then attached a tiny, clamp-like specula to the thin flap of skin, effectively keeping it open against Joseph's will. The prefect spat and tried to curse at her, but he barely even manage to choke a single word out with the pressure of the strap on his neck near-strangling him. The process was repeated with the other eyelid, and once it was complete, the surgeon backed away, observing her work.

"The tray, please," she commanded to the nearest guard, not taking her eyes off of Joseph. Without hesitation, a wheeled table was delivered to the surgeon's side. Joseph couldn't see the tray, or whatever was on it. He was physically unable to look off to the side at this point, but the tinkling noise was not promising. A heartbeat later, Joseph could just barely catch the glint of a long, slender, shiny object. He strained his eyes to the right, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't make out what it was.

Seconds later, however, the cold sting biting into his left arm told him exactly what it was.

"Please relax and pay attention to the screen," the surgeon instructed, setting the needle down on the tray and leaving Joseph's line of sight entirely. Well, it was hard not to pay attention when one's eyes were being forced open with goddamn clips. "The less resistance, the more swiftly the process will end." He could hear the click of her heels as she retreated to the back of the room.

Colour flickered on the screen, suddenly, and then something started playing. An old Chinese warfare film was what it appeared to be. There was a visual of a man - a fierce warrior - in chains, fighting to tear his hands out of their bonds. Others rushed towards him and tried frantically to subdue him, but he swiftly rammed his foot into the gut of one and headbutted another. No matter how hard the captors tried, the chained man would not go down. Just as the last antagonist went down, and the hero broke out of his bonds, the film transitioned to something entirely different - A modern-day prison break. It depicted hundreds of men in orange jumpsuits fleeing out of a gaping, smoking hole in the side of the facility they'd been contained in, crying for freedom and wildly fending off panicked guardsmen. The sounds of struggle and chaos on the screen echoed around the room, filling Joseph's ears like a dissonant song. Eventually, this scene ended and another different film overtook the television screen.

And this happened yet again, about two minuted into the newest scene. Joseph soon recognized that this was going to be a pattern. Why were they showing him these things? Why were his eyes clamped open? What had that needle done to him? What the hell was going on? Whatever this procedure was, it was vastly different than anything Joseph had experienced thus far.

Violent imagery was a common trait that every video clip being shown shared. This didn't make any sense. What the fuck was the surgeon trying to do, frighten him..? Observe if and when he flinched..? It wasn't like he even could flinch. His limbs had been rendered immobile, and he couldn't shut his eyes - which were starting to burn from being open so long - to shy away.

As scene after scene passed by, however, Joseph could feel a headache coming on. While the videos progressed, the headache worsened. Eventually,  it became so bad that a wave of nausea rose inside of him. Joseph uttered a weak groan. He wished, more than anything, that he could just shut his eyes and lie down. He'd never been seasick, but this must have been what it felt like. As the fifteenth clip ended, his stomach began to turn, and the nausea rippled throughout his entire body.

This, he figured, was the result of the needle.. But he still failed to see what the purpose of the television was. He'd suffered through a variety of needles before under the surgeon's hand, which was clearly to test how his body reacted to diseases and various other substances that would typically kill a normal person, but this.. He hadn't the slightest clue what the purpose of this was.

Twenty minutes later, the clips were still rolling. Joseph was beginning to sweat. The headache had become a splitting, unbearable throbbing sensation, and every time the scenes turned he felt bile rise in his throat as a result of the nausea.

And then an hour had passed by.

Joseph vomited.

And then two hours had passed by.

He'd vomited three times. By now, it felt as if someone had taken a drill directly to both of his temples and was driving a right hole into his brain. Vomit, which tasted partially like the nutritional paste he ate and partially just like bitter stomach acid, ran down his mouth in hot streams and covered his lap. It was steadily dripping onto the floor with a disgusting plip-plip sound effect. Pained moans drifted past his lips every time he wretched up more bile.

The clips kept rolling, each more intense than the last. People were firing guns, being stabbed to death, escaping brutal confinement, screeching, running, punching, kicking, battering each other.. They never stopped.

The three hour mark came and went.

There was nothing solid left in Joseph's stomach at this point. It was all acid now. His throat felt as if it were on fire. It continuously tried to heal itself, but with each bout of acid shooting out of his mouth, it became more and more raw. It hurt to scream, so all he could muster was breathy choking noises. His eyes were drier than the goddamn desert - stinging horribly every time Joseph tried to look in any direction except forward. His brain was pounding so violently inside his skull that his vision occasionally blurred and went out of focus. Every nerve in his body was quaking relentlessly as the next of several consecutive panic attacks wracked him. His lungs heaved as he hyperventilated in the midst of his crippling anxiety. All the while, violence played out endlessly in front of him, and the screams of the nameless people on screen struck him like a sledgehammer.

This was hell. This was true hell.

In his time here, Joseph had been numbed, frozen, boiled, drugged, gutted, impaled, filled with dangerous chemicals, beaten up, shot, strangled and drowned, but nothing he'd been through so far compared to this. Not in the slightest. This was oblivion. Death was teasing him like it never had before, but would never finish the job. He would never take it, hand in hand, despite how he oh-so desired it more than anything in the world, and leave his miserable existence behind him. He could be stuck here for a lifetime, strapped helplessly to this chair vomiting all over himself in a dizzying mayhem until the seasons changed a thousand times, and everyone he'd ever known was dead and under ground. He'd keep going, keep suffering, all thanks to the fucking regenerative curse that had been placed on him eighteen years ago.

"God, just please, somebody end it!" he screamed hoarsely to anyone who was listening, hot tears trickling down his face like a stream. Never before had he begged to desperately for something. Never before had he wanted something this much. In all his years of bitterly hating himself, and drinking his self deprecative thoughts away, and jabbing his veins full of every drug that had ever been available to see if one day, one of them would make his heart stop - and in all forty days of enduring inhumane experiments in this facility, he could safely say he had never wanted to die more than now. "End it, end it, end it, end it, goddamn it! Let me fucking die, goddamn it!" Despite the splitting agony beneath his skull and his neck restraint, he tried his best to bash his head against the metal back of the chair in protest against his pain. Somehow, he tore one of the scapula off of an eyelid in his thrashing, but he paid no mind to the blood that spurted out as a result. Spittle flew out of the Winter's mouth as he pleaded to his captors. "Anybody, please, please, please, please, please.."

Out of desperation, Joseph started to sob. They were loud, childish, ugly sobs that shook his entire body.

This wasn't going to end.

No one would listen.

But against everything he thought, for the first time in Joseph's life, somebody was listening to his prayers. Suddenly, the iron clamps around his wrists and ankles were opened. The remaining scapula was removed from second eyelid. The strap around his neck loosened. Immediately, Joseph fell forward, strength depleted to the point where he could not even hold himself up. The sounds of violence stopped. The screen went blank again. Joseph's head connected with the concrete floor, and he blacked out.
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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:46 pm

Day ??

For a few days, she was stupid.

For a few days, she had hope.

For a few days, she endured with a grin, thinking this was all going to be over soon.

They whittled that hope away slowly.

Nothing changed after her escape attempt, there was no punishment of any sort, life just continued as always. The room would be flooded with gases, she’d be dragged out by the guards and strapped into a bed and taken for experimentation. In some ways, it was worse. The surgeon didn’t even comment on her little escapade. Sometimes, Juliette wondered if she’d even tried to escape in the first place. Was it all an elaborate dream? A fantasy made up by her desperate mind that needed to believe she had a chance of getting away. She honestly couldn’t tell, the cold steel walls gave no answers and the Surgeon, she wasn’t much help either.

Today was another standard procedure, she was wheeled in, strapped to the bed and the surgery began. It was the usual blur of agony and blood, her eyes rolling back into her skull as her vocal cords worked overtime from behind the gag. At some point, she bashed her head in so much that she passed out, waking up to the bright operation light shining down full force on her. Her eyes stung, watering from the beams but it was bearable because it was warm. It was a miniscule warmth, but bare naked, she appreciated what little heat that this artificial globe offered her.

She focused on it for a bit, letting the blinding light cause iridescent patterns to form on her cornea while she waited for the inevitable rough handling from the guards. Their hands had gotten a mite rougher after she killed the two guards and left one unconscious. It was nothing major, a grip too hard on her still open wounds, a shove instead of a nudge. If she spoke up about it, the Surgeon would stop it, the Surgeon didn’t approve of unnecessary violence against her. Her motherly tone was all a sickening act but she didn’t like her test subjects being toyed with by anyone other than her. But no one came, black gloved hands didn’t appear to grope her, drag her limp body onto a gurney.

In fact, there was no one in the room at all.

That was odd. This was wrong. They never left her alone, not since her various escape attempts. That was when she realised, that her neck wasn’t sore, she could breathe. Usually, the procedure ended with her writhing and her blood crusted the metal and left her sore that any head movement ended with her raw skin rubbing against the cold metal. But there was no metal.

She tried to lift an arm to touch her throat, it hurt but she couldn’t feel any restraints on her wrist. In fact, she couldn’t feel her arms much, just pain radiated from her limbs.

When her arm was raised high enough to be visible, it all made sense.

Stumps.

They’d cut off her arm from just above the elbow. Where her arm should be, there was just an angry patch of swollen red skin that warped and wriggled like it was a sentient being. She could see cells dividing rapidly to try regrow itself, moving in ripples and shudders. At times the skin would stretch too taut as something underneath bulged while muscles, bones and sinew knitted itself underneath her transparently thin flesh. Juliette didn’t know how to process this, her breathes coming in sharp wet gasps as she watched what was left of her arms slowly extend micrometre by micrometre. Her chest felt too tight, a panic attack incoming. This was familiar territory to her now, not just some distant thing that happened to others that she learnt about in PE. Deep breaths and calm down. That’s what Ms Harris said.

Her eyes shut closed, and Juliette tried to rationalise it between slow, deep inhales and exhales. They’d done worse to her. They’d fondled her organs, torn out her heart and made her murder her fucking cousin. They’d done worse to her. Arms? They were just limbs. This was fine.

They’d left her unrestrained just because she didn’t have arms. They’d learn their mistake soon enough.

Without restraints to force her down, Juliette shuffled upright using her core strength and the stumps that she once called arms. Both ached, one from pain induced full body spasms and the other from amputation, but she managed. Once she got a good view of the area, she planned on stashing whatever she could inside of her. That’s one good thing about her regeneration, she could shove things under her skin and no one would know. It would hurt her, of course, but by now her whole body was just once big ball of nerves. Everything hurt all the fucking time. So that was the plan. Get up, look around, stash something. But one glance at her legs left was all it took to blow all her plans to big, ugly chunks like the vomit that encrusted her chest.

Her legs.

They were fucking gone.

They were her fucking legs. The ones that she abused by jumping off rooftops or cartwheeling over chimneys. They took them.

It was irrational. She knew that they’d grow back, and visually, they looked just like her arms in that moment. The flesh was mostly transparent with angry splotches of various shades ranging from black to red, nothing new. But she just couldn’t keep it together. Juliette felt like an outsider in her own body, someone was screaming and her chest ached as her heart thudded loudly like it was trying to escape her chest. There was a dissonance between her mind and her body. Her mind spoke softly, reminding her that everything would heal but her body refused to pay attention.

Her mouth refused to shut, her voice refused to quiet.

Her screams rang hollow throughout the surgery without a soul to hear it.

She came to her senses when her body toppled over to hit the blood-slick tiles. Her cheek stung from a sharp blow, it smarted in contrast to the dull ache of her limbs. Jolted out of her mental/physical dissonance so suddenly, Juliette couldn’t bring herself to get up, dark eyes staring aimlessly at the rivets of blood that slowly drained into the grated mesh embedded into the floor.

A set of black boots interrupted her riveting show of slowly flowing blood. They were steel capped, standard for the guards around here, she’d seen the sole of them enough to recognise it on sight. Seeing it swing back and smash into her ribs was almost nostalgic, this pain was simpler.

Juliette was always a fighter. She’d grown up practicing martial arts from that day she could understand basic instructions without a problem. Uncle Andrew had wanted to temper the potential dangers her powers held by teaching her the hard limits of what normal people felt. She’d learnt to hold back in her blows, be patient and wince at the right time to not appear suspicious. Taking blows in a fight, this she could do. This was better than the surgeon’s slow cuts through layers of muscle or the crunch of her bones as the spreader forced her ribs apart. This was bearable.

“Shut it, bitch.”

That tone was familiar; Juliette couldn’t forget it. The words, the disgust, it was him. She’d thought they would fire him for his poor decision to enter her cell, or maybe she killed him.

“St- still be- beating up lil girls for a, a, a living. Huh?”

She was rewarded for her sass with another kick to her sternum and then stomp down on her shoulder. Bones grinded against bones, sinew threatening to fail, letting joints slip out of place. There was no blood spilt, but red bloomed under her skin as each impact from the rubber sole burst thin capillaries that were already fragile. All Juliette could really do was wait it out, let his rage subside or for other guards to arrive.

Her eyes were trained on the door for what felt like forever, using that to ignoring the welts rising on her skin and the way her throat ached as she screamed. But no one was coming, not even footsteps came this way even though the door was ajar.

“No one’s coming for you, cunt. Not after what you did to Robert and Green.” He threaded his gloved fingers into her hair, twisting it violently in punctuations to his words. Her body was dragged up by her dull almost violet strands of hair, swinging as though she was a hanged man. She was close enough to his face that she could smell the stale cigarettes and waft of booze from his breath. Another time, another place, she might have gagged but right now, it beat the overwhelming stench of blood, piss and shit that the laboratory had become synonymous with in her mind. “I’m gonna hurt you. Really. Really. Bad.”

It was at eye level that she noticed that one of his arms was in a cast. She really had done a number on him.

“With one arm? Doubt it. Anyway, you can’t hurt me too bad. The Surgeon, she’ll tear out your balls.” She hissed out, schooling her face to hide the winces of pain from hanging in mid-air by her hair. Every time she moved even a tiny bit, she could feel strands being torn out one by one from her scalp, leaving twinges of fiery speckles of pain behind.

For that, he dropped her. She barely suppressed a startled yelp as gravity rushed to throw her against the tiles. But her fall was interrupted as his steel-capped boot met her half-way, wedging itself against her gut and making mincemeat out of her innards as she got propelled, tossed against the metal table where she’d been operated on.

The stumps that she called limbs were unless in breaking her fall, her nose crunched against the white tiles, adding more blood to join the thinning rivets that ran to the drain. Wetly, she gagged against the floor, her lips caressing the tiles without any way of manoeuvring herself free. The shock of impact left her weak as a kitten, only able to vaguely hear his taunting rambles.

“They’ve cut just about everything they can out of you two. They’re gonna dispose of the two of you soon, heard the Surgeon say it herself. Doctor’s got all he needs.” He pressed the sole of his boot against her head, applying enough pressure that she thought that she must have misheard him. Two of them, that was the first time she’d ever heard of someone other than her being mentioned. Kaleb. His face flashed through her mind, her brain helpfully horrifying her with the possibilities of what they might have done to him. Kaleb wasn’t like her, he wouldn’t survive having organs removed.

“No.” She gasped before she could stop herself. And as if urged by her audible distress, he continued in his taunting, boot pressing down even harder.

“Yeah, that’s right, bitch. You should have seen that freak twin of yours. He was begging to die after the Surgeon was done with him. Squealed like a pig. ‘God, please, somebody end it. Just end it! Please!’ boo hoo.”

It would have been wiser, better if she didn’t show any reaction. If she maintained a stoic mask and ignored his words, for all she knew, they were fictitious garbage designed to provoke her, but she couldn’t. She could imagine Kaleb saying that, bleeding out like a stuck pig and begging for mercy. Fuck. Kaleb wasn’t like her, he was all soft and squishy. She remembered him crying when they were young after he fell over on his bike. The mere thought of the Surgeon laying her hands on him, tearing into him and dissecting his organs one by one was too much for her.

Though her voice was hoarse and her lungs wheezing, somehow she managed to scream once more. The only think to break her anguished cries were broken sobs and wet gasps when her battered, fluid filled lungs couldn’t give her the air to expel. Even as he laughed in the background, Juliette couldn’t silence herself.

He eventually got tired of her screams evidently as he quit pressing down on her skull, instead slamming into her jaw. She heard a crack as bones fractured, but she couldn’t feel it, the dizziness and grief numbing it for now.

“I tell you what.” He began, the sound of a zipper opening and clothing being rustled snapped her back to reality long enough to look up at him. He had a toothy grin as he leered down at her. This wasn’t about lust, no, he wanted to humiliate her like she’d done to him. It wasn’t enough to torture her about Kaleb, that wouldn’t satisfy him. “You suck my cock, and I’ll make sure that your freak twin dies quickly. Got it? How’s that for a deal, cunt?”

He jiggled his flaccid penis for emphasis.

For Kaleb, she nodded.

Gloved hands grabbed roughly at her head once more, lifting her by her hair so her head was at eye-line with his cock. It wasn’t even hard, fucker. “Open up.”

She did. She let him use her, thrust while crooning mockingly, petting her face with his free hand. It was disgusting, but she didn’t even have the strength to dry heave. Instead she zoned out like she did in operations, thinking of other things much more pleasant, the scent of Kaleb’s cologne, Joseph’s favourite cigarette brand, and Andrew’s off-key singing. Was this the end for them? Joseph was dead, Kaleb would die soon, and she would join them. The worst part was that they would get away with all this, and no one would know. They would win. But what could she do? They took everything from her, her body, her cousin, and soon her life.

Not Kaleb though. Not yet. The guard had confirmed Kaleb wasn’t dead, yet. Or maybe that too was a lie, but it was something.

Maybe, just maybe, she could save Kaleb.

The next time he thrusted in, she bit down until her teeth met through the flesh.

He screamed, tossing her back away from him as he fell to the ground, blood gushing onto the floor as he rolled around with his hands on his crotch.

Juliette spat out the flesh in her mouth, blood dripping down her chin mixed with other fluids. She looked feral as she crawled over to him, using her stumps to the best of their ability. So wrapped up in the loss of his nether regions, he didn’t even try to run, only howling in both shock and pain. Leaving a trail of blood, she reached him, only to get kicked away at first. The second time, she didn’t crawl so much as lunged herself on top of him. Her thighs clamped on his arms that were trying to stem the flow of blood and her elbows forced his shoulders down. As for her head, she went for her second taste of human flesh for the day. She bit down at his jugular and torn out enough that blood sprayed the walls, painting whatever skin that she had that was unblemished a moist red.

He shuddered, trying to futilely escape but with each second his blood rained, he grew weaker, and weaker, till he went limp like his dick. That was Juliette rolled off him, looking up at the once white ceiling. There was blood up there now, little droplets that made up a constellation. Macabre. But it was oddly pretty. Maybe, if she ever made it back to Beata, she would stick stars on her ceiling.

“Now what?” She said to no one in particular, before turning to face the corpse next to her. “Any ideas?”

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t reply. But his body gave her an idea. A fucked up idea, but everything since she got here was fucked up.

She took of his pants the rest of the way with her teeth, dragging it roughly down till his pants were pooled around his knees. Jaws tense, arms trembling, she waited with abated breath, hovering above his pale flesh before she made her first move. Biting into the meat of his thigh, she tore out a chunk but she didn’t spit it like she did his dick. She chewed, letting warm blood spurt in her mouth, pretending it was a particular rare steak when she felt like throwing up. Then after much hesitation, she swallowed, feeling the warm glob of flesh slide down her throat.

The first few bites were the hardest, but after that it was easier. She gagged a few times, throwing up the much needed nutrients, but there was always more where that came from. She gnawed on him till footsteps echoed distantly in the hallway. But by then, it was too late.

Blood covered hands were armed with a combat knife, and she stood on unsteady legs, ready to take on whoever came through those doors. She was naked, but enough blood and gunk coated her that it was almost like she was wearing clothes. Almost.

“Jenkins? You done in there? We can’t cover for you forever.”
She waited, hidden in the corner. “Jenkins?”

The ajar door was open. It must have been quite the sight, as one of the guards retched and threw up. The acrid scent of fresh bile wafting through the laboratory once more. “Fuck. Jenkins, you dumb shit.”

“Check if J2 is still here.”

The first person to step through was the first to die. Juliette didn’t waste a second, slamming them against the wall and slipping a knife in their throat. She only needed one of them alive, and she didn’t give a single fuck which one of them it was.

The second to fall was another nameless soldier, he reached for his taser too late. She drove her knife through the plastic of his helmet, she was quite practiced in finding the black protection piece’s weakness.

The final soldier, she didn’t kill, using the taser that his fellow squad-mate had been fumbling with. She slammed it in his gut, and roundhouse kicked him inside. Then it was a simple matter of strapping him to the table and repeating what the good ol’ Surgeon had taught her. He didn’t last very long, squealing answers after the sixth incision. In gratitude, she ended his life quickly.

Now she was here.

She had the keys and was standing outside Kaleb’s cell. He was just in front of her, maybe six feet away from her. But she couldn’t. She was covered in blood, wearing random articles of clothing that she stole off the guards. There were bits of flesh probably stuck between her teeth and vomit still clinging to her hair. She wasn’t the little sister that he knew and loved, she was just as monstrous as the bastards that had taken her. They’d warped her into this.

How could she face him?

If it was just about her, she would have run. She would have never let him see her, let him keep his image of his sweet sister who was at worst a daredevil. But it wasn’t just about her. She needed to save him, so she slotted the key in and twisted the doorknob with her breath held in her lungs. Then she opened it.

“Kal- Joseph?”

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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:05 pm

There was just nothing now.

Joseph didn't care how many days had passed by anymore. He didn't care about anything. All he'd been doing for however many days it'd been since the theatre room, apart from the times he was pulled from his spot, lie curled up silently in the corner of his cell, staring thoughtlessly at doorway. He wasn't thinking about Juliette, or Kaleb, or his mother and father, or Kyou, or anyone that he hadn't seen in what felt like a lifetime. He didn't wonder if anyone was worried. He didn't think about being outside of this place. It wasn't worth it to dwell on people that he would never see again, or the world he would never walk through again. This cell was home now. The only faces he'd ever see now were the people who owned him.

He certainly didn't think about getting away.

It wasn't just because it was physically impossible, though. Even if all the guards were all dead, and the surgeon was dead, and the doors were all open to roam freely through, he wouldn't be able to do it. Any time escape crossed him mind, a sickness came over him - Overwhelming nausea, panic, hyperventilation, confusion, terror, and headaches. It was all totally uncontrollable, like a hurricane. He'd faced two of these attacks since being returned to his cell after.. Whatever it was that the surgeon had put him through.

The first instance of this had occurred during an operation. The sight of blood and torn flesh had brought it on. At the time, it hadn't seemed strange. He'd experienced symptoms like this during operations before.

The second attack had just been while he'd sat on his bed, and the memory of jumping at the surgeon and punching the guard flashed through his mind. Normally, the thought would have given him some semblance of amusement. It'd been his first - and only - strike against his captors, and thinking about that rebellious act, albeit small and a little bit pathetic, typically lifted his spirits a smidgen in his sea of self-hate. Now, though, the thought sickened him against his will.

It was then that it had become clear what the purpose of the needle and the violent films he'd been shown had been.

Joseph had undergone some sort of aversion therapy. It was like a page straight out of A Clockwork Orange, down to a tee with the scapula holding his eyes open. He'd been forced to watch violent imagery and graphic escape sequences while under the influence of some sort of nauseating drug. This had caused his brain to associate 'freedom' and 'physical brutality' with piercing headaches, sickness, and panic. The surgeon had taken everything from Joseph. First, his family. Then, his health. Now, his freedom to think. He wasn't Joseph Tseung the Winter prefect, son of Chang-ho and Annette Tseung and cousin of Juliette and Kaleb Jung anymore, he was Subject J1, a product of the surgeon's cruel ministrations, who could - and probably would - fuel this facility's research for the next fifty years.

Kaleb and Juliette were probably dead, and even if they weren't, they'd never escape. There was no point in pushing against the surgeon and her helmeted cronies. Joseph had just accepted that this was going to be his life from now on - Laying in a corner, spattered with his own vomit, and being occasionally tugged around the hallways to different rooms to sit through varying degrees of agony. He was now exactly what the guards had always thought of him - an emotionally void object. His feelings, all aside from terror, had been drained out of him like water out of a basin.

The sudden sound of the door startled Joseph enough to make him flinch, and hide his face away in his hands. He could feel the all-to familiar sensation of terror swelling inside of him. For a while, Joseph had stopped caring when they removed him from his cell for something, but after the hours he'd spent in the room with the television, the possibility of plunging back into that hell filled him with dread. It'd been the worst they'd ever done to him, and he couldn't do it again. He couldn't.

But it wasn't the apathetic growl of a guard that came from the doorway.

It was a familiar voice.

Very slowly, Joseph's head rose out from his cupped palms and turned towards the person at the door. His heart stopped.

She was a mess. Blood, dirt and vomit decorated her crude attire and skin like confetti. Very much like Joseph, her face was gaunt and rather pale - clear signs that she'd been fed enough to live, but not enough to be considered 'healthy' by any standards. Her hair was in dark, ratty tangles around her face, virtually untouched for a very long time, and her chest was heaving steadily, very telling of all the hardships she'd had to face just to get to this room. Her eyes alone could tell a hundred stories of pain.

All at once, a riptide of emotions came flooding back into Joseph as he beheld her.

He could feel himself beginning to shake. It was surreal. He almost didn't believe that she was actually standing there, right in front of him. Just a moment ago, he'd given up the idea of ever seeing that face again. He'd thought her dead. Gone forever. Just a memory. Now she was here, speaking his name again. His voice was weak, and hoarse, and shuddering with disbelief, and his throat tightened as he managed to choke out a single word. "Jules?"
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PostSubject: Re: They're coming for me.   Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:31 pm

The moment she opened the door, he was quick to hide to turn away from her, hide his face in his palms but she recognised him on sight. She couldn’t ever mistake his angular shoulders or the unruly way his black hair spiked even at that length with tangles and splitting ends. A part of her wondered if this was all a hallucination, another fevered dream that her mind conjured up to endure the pain of being torn apart physically into strips, laid bare on an operation table for the Surgeon to play god with. But if it was a dream, she didn’t want to wake up to the cruel reality where Joseph was dead by her hands and Kaleb was long out of reach. The intelligent thing would have been to pinch herself, make sure this was real or not but she couldn’t bring herself to do anything but look with glistening eyes at the motionless figure curled up on the bed.

Then he turned. Their eyes met.

In his, she saw an echo of the relentless torture that she had suffered. The Surgeon had been no more kind to him than she had been to her, and with their healing factor, she didn’t even want to imagine what the mad bitch had done to him. The cruel words of Jenkins echoed in her head as she saw him shake physically, what had they done to him? What had they done to her once aloof yet caring cousin?

It tore her in half to keep looking at him, but she couldn’t look away. Seeing him after so long, this simple act of seeing and being seen by someone who didn’t want to dissect her or beat her, it was enough for tears to nearly tip over her bottom lashes. And when he finally spoke, an ugly sob ripped out of her chest.

“Jo- Jo- Joseph!” It would have been wiser to keep silent, the guards could be anywhere but she needed this. He sounded real enough that right now, she could believe that he was here. But that wasn’t enough, she needed to touch him, confirm that he was here and that whatever she killed in that white room was just fake. Maybe a clone. She needed this.

On unsteady legs, tears dripping down her face, she dropped the taser and baton in her arms to hug him tight. Compulsively she whispered his name over and over, nails digging into his gown as she pressed him against her chest, not giving him any wiggle room.

He was here, and he was real. Oh thank god, he was real.

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