"Congratulations."A female voice spoke softly, but there was a large throb in the front of my head that made everything seems louder. "You are one of the last K-subjects."
The voice seemed elated by this, though the name confused me. K-subject? What is that?
“Where am I?” The words left my mouth before I knew it, but no-one answered. I scrambled up to a sitting position, looking around the sparse room before turning towards the door as it opened.
“Hello, I am Eve, and you are L. You are in Haven, and you have been accepted into the chemistry career” The woman who entered the room was brisk, but she seemed to be nice enough that I felt like I could trust her.
Eve offered me her arm and I stood, wobbling slightly and gripping onto her to keep my balance. She shot me a brief smile, helping me to right myself before stepping away, smoothing out her plain black work skirt before opening the door to my room.
The passageway was simple and concrete, with rectangular lights stationed on the ceiling every few metres, leaving some spaces where the ground was totally enveloped in darkness. Eve led me through the way slowly, allowing me a few moments to catch my breath.
“When we found you, you where in very bad shape, we had to use some very heavy drugs until we where sure you where better.” The words made sense in my mind, but I didn’t really absorb the words the way I know I was meant to.
“Don’t worry, everything is fine now. You’re safe here in Haven.” Eve smiled, fishing out a golden key chain from some hidden pocket and using it on the lock, before pressing a set of numbers on the key pad that seemed to allow the door to swing open.
Eve took my hand, leading me into the better lit, more domed hallway, though she was in heels she walked quickly, knowing that I was barely keeping up. She stopped before a slightly darker alleyway, waiting for me to catch up I assumed. I used the wall to lean on, letting my head flop as my breath came raggedly – as though I had run a marathon.
“Down this hall and to the right is where the science common area is – don’t worry, the door is left unlocked throughout the day.” Eve motioned down the alley way impatiently, as though she was actually expecting me to walk down there by myself.
After another moment or two Eve huffed, slowly making her way towards the right side of the wall, where she placed her immaculately shaped and painted hand on the wall for support. I followed suit, following the sounds of her feet more than actually following her.
I wondered briefly why the science kids kept their area this why.
Why so dark and gloomy?
I wondered before Eve came to stop before the door, her hands sliding along it before she found the door handle, taking a deep breath she pushed down, before pushing forward, letting the door open wide.
Though no-one was inside, the area was immediately welcoming. With plush couches and a small area at the back of the room where a counter with a kettle sat – waiting to be used during those long nights of experimentation.
“Your room is on the second level, third door on the left.” Eve motioned to the glass like stairs at the back of the room that I missed when I first assessed the room.
Eve turned and left, leaving me there to figure out what was going on by myself. I started moving towards the back of the room, allowing my eyes to wonder over the common room.
I gripped onto the handrail, fearing that without it I wouldn’t make it up the stairs, but taking them one at a time I was able to get there. I caught my breath at the landing, giving a quick look to the room below before turning to the hallway.
A young man with thick black glasses leaned on the wall between two doors watching me closely. His turquoise eyes narrowed when he saw how obviously inebriated I was. I expected him to move to come to my aid, but he simply stood there, watching as I struggled to make my way down the hall.
“Are you going to help?” I asked breathlessly, and he simply shrugged.
I narrowed my eyes at him, being sure to count the number of doors I was walking past. I stopped in front of him, rolling my eyes.
Of course he’s right in front of my room.
“Care to move?” I asked, crossing my arms and leaning on the wall behind me for support.
The young man moved slightly, though he moved the wrong way, making it even harder for me to access the door.
“Do you know who you are?” He asked and I gave him a look – like obviously I know who I am.
“I’m L.” I shrugged simply.
The young man made a noise as he straightened up, though he kept his arms crossed, practically copying my posture.
“I’m J.” He stated simply as though the name would magically make me remember something.
This guy is seriously strange.
I thought to myself earnestly. In the moment where I was distracted J reached forward, digging his nails into my shoulder blades as his eyes tried to catch mine. He pulled me from the wall so that he was all that was holding me up.
J leaned forward, whispering a string of several words into my ear, none of them made sense, but something in my brain clicked and I remembered.
“J?” I breathed, sagging slightly and he placed me back against the wall, allowing me to sink to the ground without a word.
“I told you this suicide plan of yours wouldn’t work.” J ran a hand through his short blonde hair and I gave him a look – I didn’t remember everything yet.
J sighed deeply, dropping his head and rubbing his temples. At the sound of feet approaching he quickly looked up, fear made his eyes widen, but he relaxed as soon as he recognised it was just K.
“Is she alright?” She questioned, using the quietest voice I had ever heard her use. J gave a quick nod, and I could see the relief flood through her.
Her eyes met mine quickly, and I felt the need to run into her arms and ball my eyes out, knowing she wouldn’t judge me, that she would be there for me.
“I’m sorry for all this.” K said slowly, turning away, though I still saw how her eyes watered.
“You didn’t do anything wrong.” I replied, though she didn’t turn back – instead squaring her shoulders and walking away.
“Don’t worry about K, she just feels guilty about you being here.” J explained in his usual off hand way.
“How do you know so much?” I asked exasperated, clenching my hands into fists.
He could have helped me. If he knows so much he could have helped.
“Look, Lilly. I was one of the first they found. They hadn’t perfected the WEEP serum yet, I was one of the first experiments, I was one of the only ones smart enough to hide the fact that I still remembered. I was lucky, but it meant I couldn’t help anyone openly. The only one I’ve been helping is K and every day we risk our lives to get information out to your rebels.”
The information shocked me, hitting my chest like a physical blow. I cringed, my hand automatically finding my heart as the words flew through my mind.
“My rebels?” The words where a whisper and J paused, his breath slowing before he finally took a deep breath.
“I can’t explain everything to you Lilly. Some things are better left unsaid.” J turned, finally walking away, leaving the door to my room accessible, but I no longer had the strength to reach it.
I curled up, pressing my knees to my chest before letting my head sit in the empty space. My body was numb and my heart hurt, though I had no real reason why. I wasn’t the one who risked her life every day to inform rebels about…
The thought entered my mind and I scowled – what would J and K need to tell the rebels anyway? Maybe Haven wasn’t perfect, but what place was?
A memory was brought to the front of my mind, the formula for the serum that was able to kill people over the age of twenty one. The same formula Eve was making the chemistry kids make during work.
But why? The adults are already gone…
My thoughts immediately went to the rebels, but how many of them would be over twenty one already? Unless Eve was modifying the formula during her experiments to target any person living above ground.
“Oh my god” I breathed the words; though I couldn’t be sure I had a feeling I was right.
Why else would they need the formula again?
The thought resonated through my body, though I had no idea why they needed the formula again.
Shouldn’t they still have it?
I shrugged to myself, using the wall to push myself upright. I crossed the hallway in a matter of seconds, shoving open the door and making my way to the bed. I flopped down on it, closing my eyes and trying to sort through my muddled emotions. As I lay down, I felt an object under my pillow. I reached behind my head, searching under the pillow until I felt a sharp pain on one of my fingers. Scowling I sat up, picking up my pillow and gently putting it up on top of the other.
Underneath a simple black handled knife sat with a note tied around the handle.
You need to get out of here.
The note sent shivers down my spine, and I quickly placed the pillow back where it belonged, pretending that I had never seen it.
I’ll leave. After I sort some things out.
The plan was already formulating in my mind, it would be risky, but it needed to be done to give the rebels – my rebels – a chance at survival.
I awoke in the morning to find J in my room, watching me, waiting for me to rise.
He is seriously creepy.
The thought comforted me in some strange way, and I sat up in a slow motion, rubbing my eyes of any sleep.
“What do you want?” I asked grumpily, using my left hand to search for my hairbrush.
“Did you get my note?” He asked, raising an eyebrow as I began to brush my hair.
I yawned at him in answer and he huffed in annoyance, but I shrugged, standing and brushing off the non-existent fluff from my pants and shirt.
“Right, well, I guess it is time to go to work.” J turned to walk away and I rolled my eyes.
Can he be any more melodramatic?
“J…I might need some help.” I said slowly, and he turned, his eyebrows raised.
“I have an idea.” I started and J made a face and I scowled at him – it was a good plan.
“I want to wipe Haven’s computers of any information regarding the formula, and then I’ll leave.” I made my voice sound confident, sure that my plan would work – though honestly I had no idea if it was even possible.
J assessed me for a moment, before sighing. “You’ll need to talk to the computer kids. I think I know one or two that we can trust, but it’ll cost.” J suggested and I nodded slowly
“I’ll pay whatever price I have to.” J gave me a strange look, as though this was exactly what he had hoped I’d say, but he never truly believed I would say it.
J motioned for me to follow him and I quickly caught up – the drugs had obviously left my system over night and I was back to my fully functioning self. J led us back to the main hall, leading towards where the main kitchen was. We didn’t talk, though I could tell there was much he wanted to tell me.
After we passed the kitchen where a fair majority of the children were eating in their strange quiet way J led me down another corridor, and just as I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get to the computer kids J made a sudden turn down an area, before stopping suddenly – so suddenly I practically ran straight into him.
“Damn.” The word was hissed through clenched teeth, and I peered around him, trying to figure out what had made him so upset.
“The doors just there, why did we stop?” I asked, motioning to the door that was barely fifty feet ahead.
“Booby traps.” J explained, pointing towards a point in the wall where the cement looked slightly different – was darker and smoother than the other parts.
“How do we get past?” I questioned and he turned to give me a look before turning back to the door.
“A! Let us in!” He cupped his hands around his mouth so that the sound would reach the door and beyond. After a few tense moments there was a sound and the door opened, revealing a young girl – no older than twelve with a short pixy style hair cut. She stood at the door and raised her eyebrows.
“What do you want J?” She asked with an obviously bored tone.
“L here needs some help with her computer.” J said the words slowly enunciating every syllable until her eyes widened.
The girl - assumedly A quickly went inside, leaving the door wide open. We could hear buttons being pressed and then she pocked her head back through the door, making a motion with her hand. J smiled, though he still looked hesitant when he took the first step down the corridor.
I followed after J was about half way down, knowing that they probably wouldn’t turn the booby traps back on while he was still walking. J waited for me at the door, shooing me inside and closing the door behind us.
The room we entered into was full of computers – literally they were everywhere. Children of all ages sat in front of a computer – only one person had a small group around them, the shock and awe on their faces showed the girl had done something no-one else had been able to.
“Follow me.” A reappeared in front of us, leading us to the back of the room where the same glass staircases we had in the science common area lay ready for us to climb.
Instead of making us climb the stairs, A led us through what seemed to be a secret room under the stairs. I expected it to be small – only the depth and width of the staircases – but it was much bigger, the length of the common room outside almost.
“So what are we talking here?” A asked, sitting down at one of the computers, beginning to press buttons until the start menu appeared.
J stayed silent, and A turned towards us, motioning for one of us to sit in the spare chair next to her. She turned back to her computer and J motioned for me to take the seat.
“I want to hack Haven’s mainframe.” The words spilled out of my mouth easily, and A didn’t even flinch.
“Easy” A clicked a few buttons, and a page opened with Haven written on the top with the image of two people standing next to what appeared to be a tree. I remembered briefly seeing Eve with the same image on her key chain and note pad.
“Now what?” She asked, her hand hovering on the mouse, ready to act upon any of my instructions.
“I want you to permanently delete anything to do with the formula the chemistry kids have been working on.”
I expected A to ask me why, but after I finished she barely even acknowledge my existence, clicking through folders, her eyes scanning their contents before I even had a chance to read half of them she had highlighted the items containing the formula and deleted them.
“Now I’m going to pretend I never saw you” A hinted, and J grabbed my arm, dragging me from the room and back down to the science common area.
J climbed the stairs two at a time, and I had trouble following him. By the time I had reached the top of the stairs he was banging on someone’s door.
K answered with a cross look on her face, but as soon as she saw the two of us her face paled and she stepped back into the room, allowing J and I immediate access.
“You need to tell her where they are.” J barely waited until the door was closed to issue the command to K. She looked between us hesitantly, and I gave her a reassuring nod.
“Do I want to know what you two just did?” She questioned, and J and I shared a look, both thinking the same thing.
“It is really better that you don’t.” I said tersely and she nodded easily.
“Right, so what do I have to do?” The question was directed at J and he gave her a look and she sighed.
“The rebels Kays” J rolled his eyes and K responded by doing the same
“I don’t know where they are, they haven’t contacted me in almost a week.” K’s voice dropped, and I could tell she was seriously worried.
J scowled, and I could tell he was out of ideas.
“Can you take her to them?” J asked, shifting his weight onto his left leg.
K shrugged, but J and I both knew it was a resounding yes.
“When can you leave?” J asked, and K crossed the room, sinking to her knees and digging around under her bed before producing a plain black bag filled to almost breaking point.
J turned to me with an expectant look.
“I guess we can leave now.” I suggested and he nodded turning and leaving me in the capable hands of K.