The Sphinx Project

Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them. But they weren’t the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister.


26. Chapter Twenty-Five

At nine o’clock, we were still on the road. A watch beeped, waking me from my sleep. I lifted my good hand to my face. A pattern of bumps rose from the skin where the stitching of the door pressed into my skin.


Nicole tugged open a thick black trash bag Sarah gave us before we left. It was filled to the brim with purple and white boxes containing the same medicine that she and James took on a daily basis. She withdrew one of the boxes and passed tablets out to each of us.


I swallowed mine and relaxed against the door again. Pulling the blanket up further, I shuffled under it to wrap myself more firmly inside. I closed my eyes and tried to relax, but sleep eluded me. We still moved slowly, but it was slightly more free-flowing, as opposed to stopping every few minutes. With a tilt of my head, I turned to gaze into the darkness beyond my window.


An ache in my throat set in as I thought about Mom, like it always did. Mom was born with a genetic condition that caused her brain to deteriorate. She’d been diagnosed at a very young age—that’s why she volunteered for the surrogate program. She once told us she could never condemn a child of her own to be born like her, which was a possibility if she were ever to conceive.


We’d known she was going to get worse, but expected her to carry on much longer. She’d gone from coping with the disease and living a full life to being dead within a week. Even the doctors were surprised at the speed at which her condition had deteriorated.


I’d never had reason to be suspicious of her death before, but still it had niggled at me. Now I knew something hadn’t been right. How far in advance had they planned the escape? What was it that made her so determined to free me? Surely she’d known that the scientists would crack down on the others even harder if she’d succeeded. And she would have known they’d have cut her off from Nicole. Why was I so special that she was willing to make Nicole’s life even more miserable?

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