I expected J to meet me at the room, but he didn’t show up. And after everybody had left, I decided I may as well try to find my way by myself.
I kept to the main hallway the way J had the day before, coming to stand in front of the metal door that represented what I assumed to be the only exit from the place. I turned away from the door, heading into the darkness that was the science area of Haven.
Somehow I managed to make my way down the hall without using the wall, and I even found the proper door that led me straight into the common area, where the guys where already setting up. It looked like they were beginning to build a model version of the plane with my design for the wings.
I looked around the room, but saw no sign of J. One of the girls saw me looking a bit lost and wondered over, placing an arm around my shoulders and guiding me to the table.
“So I hear you’re our resident genius hey?” She smiled sincerely, and I just gave a goofy smile back. I hadn’t been treated this way – ever. Or at least I didn’t think so.
“Why am I a genius?” I asked, raising an eyebrow as I looked over the foam and cardboard cut outs of the plane design.
“You figured out the air flow problem with your wing design. Duh.” She rolled her eyes, picking up the model wings and passing them to me.
“I’m K by the way; I got here just before you.” K smiled placing the wings back on the ground.
“I’m L.” I offered her my hand but she ignored it, instead bringing me over to the small counter where she turned on the kettle and grabbed out two cups from in the cupboard, heaping several teaspoons into one before turning to me.
“No, I only drink hot chocolate.” The words were out of my mouth before I could think them through, and though she gave me a strange look, K simply got out the cocoa and allowed me to put however many teaspoons in before getting out the sugar.
“Sugar is fairly low here, so we’re only allowed one teaspoon each.” K explained sullenly and I almost laughed – as if she needed any more sugar.
Someone behind us cleared their throat, and we both turned around with guilty looks on our faces.
“K, can I borrow L for a minute?” J stood just a few feet away leaning on the door frame with his arms crossed.
K’s eye brows shot up and she gestured for me to go ahead. I gave her a sheepish smile, slowly making my way over to him.
“Don’t take too long, you’re cocoa will get cold.” The warning filled my ears and I blushed heavily, following J into the side room which was apparently the game room.
“Most of us science geeks live down this way. I’ve been talking to Eve about getting you moved over here and she’s getting the OK.” J explained slowly and I nodded in excitement.
I’ll finally have a place.
The thought echoed through my mind, and I had to resist the urge to squeal like a small child.
“So I want to know which area of science you want to work in” J’s voice was cautious, as if warning me not to move into something that I already knew about – like aerodynamics.
“What fields are there?” I asked, with the same caution in my voice, knowing anything that felt familiar was a no go zone.
“Aero, chemistry, biology, medicine…” J checked off on his fingers the main types of science they had invested in, three of the four I felt like I had some knowledge about.
“Chemistry sounds good.” I smiled slowly, ad he nodded once, making a single mark in his clipboard under my name.
“I’ll grab H; he’s in charge of all the chemistry kids.” J gave a brief smile before leading me out of the room and exiting the lounge.
I shook my head making my way over to where K was waiting on one of the metal backed stools by the counter. I stuffed my hands into my pockets and stood next to her, leaning on the counter and staring at the guys as they begun building their plane.
“So what did the boss want?” K asked, taking a sip of her coffee and peering at me with her vibrant green eyes.
“Just asking what area I wanted to work.” I supplied shrugging.
“Ooooohhhh! Please tell you chose chemistry!” K’s voice rose and she was practically jumping up and down in her seat.
“I did...” I said hesitantly, and K wrapped her arms around me, before returning to her seat.
“Yes! We’re working on the formula for a serum that will allow us to live above ground!” K whispered excitedly, and I had to smile at her.
I could feel my eyes widen at the implications of her words, and she gave me a rewarding smile. As K finished her coffee, she jumped from the stood, taking my arm in hers and leading me towards yet another room within the science area.
“This is where we chemistry kids do most of our stuff.” K whispered, opening the door with a flourish.
Inside rows of crisp and clean tables sat in twos, leaving enough room for people to walk between. There were counters running both sides of the room accentuated with taps and basins as well as electricity points running down the counter.
“Awesome isn’t it?” K took my shocked expression for awe, and I simply nodded in agreement, not overly worried about her explanation for all the types of equipment they had in the room.
My attention was focused on the board at the front of the room, where part of a chemical formula was written in big scrawling letters.
K saw where my attention had wondered too, and led me towards the board.
“This is what we have so far for the serum. We think there’s only one more element we need to find to perfect it. Eve has told us the experiments will begin after we figure it all out.” K gave me a fanatical smile and I fingered the letters, a memory tickling the back of my mind, but nothing came.
A disgruntled sound came from the back of the room, and K turned, smiling.
“Hey H, what’s up?” She asked, twisting her dark hair over one shoulder.
H grunted, coming to stand next to her, looking at the same formula I was.
“We’re so close.” He muttered forlornly, sighing deeply as the room started to fill with more people.
“What are we doing today H?” K asked, fluttering her eyelashes and I simply stared at her, wondering whether H was ever going t notice the fact she was flirting with him.
“The same thing as usual, looking for the last element.” H sounded as though he had almost given up on the idea, but something in my mind plagued me.
“Well, we might get it today; we have L on our side now.” K smiled, giving me a conspicuous wink.
H looked at me for a moment, before huffing and turning towards the rest of the room which had now assembled and was seemingly ready to begin. H gave us a pointed look and K led me to the second table where she shoved me into the empty spot next to hers.
“Every day we start a new experiment with a new element, testing all the common ones, then we send the results to Eve and she lets us know whether it is worked or not.”
“That sounds….lengthy…” I supplied slowly and K nodded eagerly.
“We’ve been at it since we got here pretty much, and we still have elements to test.” Her voice dropped an octave, and a slight frown appeared between her brows.
I hated seeing her this way, so I tried my hardest to rack my brain, to find out the end of the formula.
I know this!
I mentally accused myself, trying to bring back the memory of the formula.
“Fluorine.” The word escaped my mouth as barely a whisper, but K with her super human hearing picked it up, turning to stare at me.
“We haven’t tried Fluorine yet.” She whispered.
I turned towards her, blinking hard, pretending as though I had no idea what she was talking about.
“Are you sure?” K stressed the words and I couldn’t answer.
K raised her hand and H stopped whatever he was talking about to call on her.
“We should try Fluorine” It was as simple as that and the whole days experiment was changed to include fluorine.
H split the room into two groups, half worked on the original experiment including Beryllium while K’s half worked with Fluorine.
I didn’t really do much, considering it was my first day, I just simply watched and learned as they did everything.
J was standing at the door when I looked over; he had a sour look on his face that immediately made me frown. I stood from the desk and made my way over, coming to stand beside him as he watched the fluoride group succeed with every experiment they needed to do.
“Did you do this?” He asked in a quiet voice, and I gave a quick, succinct nod.
J sighed, putting his hand on his head and rubbing his temples.
“Do you know what you’ve done?” The question was almost hissed, and I shrunk away.
“This is a good thing” I supplied, and J looked at me, analysing the look on my face.
“Try harder to remember where you’ve seen that formula before, and then we’ll talk some more.” J turned away from the room, shutting the door behind him as he left.
I furrowed my eyebrows and made my way back to the desk, where I stared at the formula on the board until my head was in agony with a head ache.
K came to sit next to me beginning to write up her report on the fluoride experiments. She was so excited about finally having the right element that she could barely sit still.
“How did you know?” She asked quietly, as she neatly drew lines for her paper.
I shrugged, rubbing the ache in my head.
“Maybe you’re psychic or something.” She suggested and I gave a short laugh.
“No, I don’t think so.” I smiled at her attempts to make me feel better.
“So what do you think this will mean?”
In a single sentence K unlocked the part of my brain that had been hiding the formula from me. I remembered sitting in a classroom with the exact same formula written on the board, with my best friend sitting next to me, asking me what I thought the formula would do.
“Nothing good I suppose” I joked at the time.
My best friend laughed, playing with her hair as she responded teasingly. “Maybe it’ll get rid of all our problems and fix the world, and give us world peace.”
And that’s what it did. The thought entered my mind and a shiver went down my spine.
It fixed the world by getting rid of the problem: adults.
I stood up, turning away from K and the rest of the chemistry kids and making my way quickly out of the room. I didn’t stop when I got to the common room; I hauled myself up the stairs, knocking on every door until I found the one where J sat in a wicker chair, reading a book.
With a single look in my direction he understood that I knew beyond doubt – I had just given them the formula for riding the world of whoever was left on the surface.
“Do you understand now Lilly?” He asked, deliberately using the same name he had called me yesterday.
I simply shook my head and he sighed.
“You’ve given them exactly what they wanted from you – they’re going to kill the Hell Rebels.”
“Who the hell are they?” I asked exasperated, honestly, all I want to do is pretend like this never happened – to pretend I never figured anything out, to pretend I didn’t know.
J gave me an odd look, before his eyes flickered behind me, making eye a slight gesture with his head before his eyes found mine again.
“Thank you for informing me on the chemistry careers progress. You may return to work.”
I raised my eyebrow, but quickly turned and walked away, giving a fleeting smile to Fee, who stood only meters away, watching me as though she knew something I didn’t. I walked back into the laboratory, to find it completely empty except for Eve, who seemed to be waiting for me.
“Hello L. Enjoying your first day?” She asked dragging a finger along the surface before checking it for dirt.
“Yes thank you.” I used my most respectful tone, though I could feel myself become more wary of her.
After all, they let her keep her name. She must be important.
The logic resounded through my mind, and though she smiled I knew she was on to me.
“Well it is lunch time now, and I thought we might have lunch together” She supplied coolly, and I managed to place a large smile on my face as though it was the best idea anyone ever had.
Eve hooked her arm though mine, leading me back to the main corridor, before leading me to the doors that we came through on my first day in Haven.
“You can have lunch in my quarters” Eve smiled, fishing out her key and swinging open the door. I stepped into the concrete hallway and sighed, sending a look back in the way where everyone else was.
Eve led me down the hallway, the opposite direction to what we had come from during my first day. I let out a little of the breath I had been holding in, almost beginning to relax. Eve stopped before an unmarked door, using that unusual red key to open the door. I followed her inside stopping to admire the room.
It was basically the size of the science common area – with a simple double bed with red sheets. A plain lamp sat atop her bedside table, and a rouble table that seated four sat in the opposite corner of the room.
Eve slipped off her shoes and made her way over to the table, I tried to follow in a graceful manner, but I was far too overwhelmed by the look of her room.
“Now L, how are you finding chemistry?” She asked, going through some notes on her pad, barely even looking in my direction.
“I’m enjoying it, though it is only been one day so far.” I said, giving her a half smile.
Eve didn’t eve smile, and I frowned slightly, the gnawing in my stomach revealed I was nervous – I needed to say and do the right thing. Eve gestured to the water in front of me and I took a slow sip.
“How are you and J getting along?” She questioned, her eyes finally glancing towards my face.
“Uh….Good I guess? He’s a good boss.” I shrugged nonchalantly, and stared down at my empty plate, knowing she was staring at me, looking for some sign of deceit.
“You’ll let me know if that changes.” She stated slowly, and I nodded vigorously, though at this point we both knew I would do no such thing. Eve nodded slowly, dabbing at her mouth though she hadn’t eaten or drunken anything yet.
Eve stood fluidly, and I followed in a much slower way. Eve smiled, taking my hand and giving it a light pat, though I was some child who needed comfort from some mysterious evil.
“Now L, we both know what’s happening here.” Her words where getting slower, less pronunciated and my vision was beginning to swim. “Haven requires everyone to act a certain way, to conform to our vision of perfection. We can’t have you remembering them you see, they are blight to our world, and we will convert them, or they will die.”
By the end of the last sentence my eyes were heavy and I couldn’t keep them open, I realised suddenly they had drugged me – through the water apparently, and whatever they were doing was going to take away my memory again. I tried my hardest to retain my memories, but I felt them being pulled from me one by one until I was nothing – just a person with a letter for a name.