After my acceptance of what I am (well at least in words acceptance) Dr. Magnus insisted I try to get some more rest. I was in all honesty too jittery to do so, but I pretended for her sake, crawling back into bed and closing my eyes. My body must have still been healing because I did actually drift back to sleep even though I really didn't want to. I'm not entirely sure how long I was out for, it could've been a few hours or even just a few minutes. All I know is I was jarred awake by someone calling my name. Not just someone, Emma.
"Tavish, Tavish wake up dummy," she hissed
I rubbed my eyes and looked at the bedside clock, but my eyes couldn't focus on the red digital numbers glaring back at me.
"Wha.." I managed to mumble
"Wake up," Emma commanded again
"I'm awake," I grumbled "thank you very much, what do you want?"
"Are you hungry?"
That question threw me for a loop for a second and my first instinct was to growl at her, throw something, and go back to sleep. However my stomach betrayed me and let out a growl of epic proportions. I wasn't entirely sure what time it was, heck I didn't even know what day it was, so I had no idea when I had last eaten.
"Maybe," I replied
"Come on, I'll show you the kitchen,"
I was more than a little suspicious of Emma's sudden change in attitude towards me, but I swallowed my suspicion. Food overruled suspicion at this point, okay in my case it usually did.
I followed her into the corridor, but kept expecting any moment to be attacked, verbally, physically, or mentally as the case may be. For some reason, none of that happened.
"So, um," I started to say, trying to figure out how to word my question safely without infuriating her. I mean how do you ask someone why they're being nice to you all of a sudden, especially when that someone can melt your brain from inside your skull. Instead I went the safer route "stupid question, but what time is it?" I glanced out the window as we walked down the hall towards the main staircase, it was definitely dark out.
"Almost two in the morning," Emma answered "Dr. Magnus and Dr. Watson wanted to let you sleep a little longer, but it's been two days, I thought you might be hungry." Emma explained and I nearly stopped short.
"Two days?!" I exclaimed louder than I meant to and Emma reached over with the flashlight and smacked me on the shoulder
"Shut up, do you want us to get caught, we're not exactly supposed to be wandering around the house willy nilly."
I looked at her, rubbing my shoulder, but I was finding it difficult to not laugh
"Willy Nilly?" I asked, keeping my voice just barely above a whisper
"Don't make me smack you again, only this time it won't be your shoulder." She answered
"Sorry," I paused "so I've been out for two days and four before that, bloody hell," I muttered "you really did a number on me didn't you?"
Emma looked ashamed, she actually dipped her head
"I'm sorry about that," she replied "I honestly didn't mean to-"
"I'm just giving you a hard time, I actually owe you a bit of gratitude," she looked at me suspiciously "no I'm serious, the Cabal or whatever they want to call themselves really did a number on my memory and it comes back in pieces or it comes back scrambled so I'm having a hard time telling what I'm actually remembering and what is ideas they may have implanted or suggested while they were experimenting on me."
"Is that why you're so eager to let me probe your mind again?" she asked and I nodded
"I've got a lot of memories to catch up on and it would seem you're my only hope." I paused and decided against continuing the Star Wars reference, for one thing I did not want to identify myself as Leia and Emma as Obi Wan and another I had already struck out with the E.T. reference and the X-Men reference, the chances of her getting the Star Wars reference was pretty much null. I also didn't understand how she could be from this century and be about my physical age and be so sheltered.
"How long did they keep you?" Emma asked and I shrugged
"Your guess is as good as mine," I replied "at least a couple months. It was summertime when they nabbed me maybe late spring." She looked at me quickly as we entered the kitchen and she gestured to the calendar, October. "Yep I know."
"And you don't remember anything that they did to you?"
"Bits and pieces, I guess." I shuddered "clicking of heels on a floor, I don't think I'll ever get that sound out of my head." I looked around the kitchen "so what's good in here?" I asked and Emma gave me a half grin
"Do you always dodge questions with stupid questions?"
"No," I admitted "not always, sometimes I dodge questions with stupid answers," Emma rolled her eyes and opened several cabinets.
"You do eat food, right?"
I gave Emma a look, at the same time trying to determine if she was kidding or actually serious.
"Yeah don't worry I hit the blood bank an hour ago," I finally replied. I'm good with fighting stupid questions with sarcastic answers. Emma's face turned green, quickly I gave her a weak smile, trying to show that I was only kidding. "I mean I'm not picky when it comes to food."
Emma pulled out a loaf of bread and went into the fridge, pulling out cold cuts and other assorted condiments. She carefully laid all of these on the counter and gestured for me to help myself.
"Are you eating?" I asked, as I made up a sandwich with the cold cuts and spread some mayonnaise on it.
"No, I ate earlier," she explained making herself comfortable at the table. Once my sandwich was to my liking, I placed my plate on the table and before looking into the fridge.
"Dumb question, but no soda?"
"Tonic, fizzy drinks, you know, pop?"
"Oh," Emma replied "no, no pop," she explained "Mrs. Geary who does the shopping won't buy it." She grinned "but if you don't mind it warm," she joined me at the fridge, but moved to a cabinet nearby, pulling out a can of coke. "Sometimes I do my own shopping."
I grinned and we returned to the table so I could eat. We sat in silence for a moment or two as I polished off my first sandwich and made a second, followed quickly by a third. Emma stared at me in amazement, but to my surprise never commented on my clear pig-out. I was half way through my astonishing fourth sandwich when I paused mid bite to look at Emma.
"So, how did you end up here?" I asked "I mean you explained what you can do, but did you come here willingly or…" my voice kind trailed off and I finished off the last of my sandwich, leaving the question open ended. Emma didn't reply for a moment or two and I worried I may have offended her or something "Sorry," I finally managed to say
"No it's fine, it's no big secret. My parents felt it would be safer for me here. Our kind has been uprooted so many times we're finding it difficult to locate a safe place to call home."
"Oh," I replied, unsure what else I could say
"But don't think I'm a prisoner here, I love being at the Sanctuary and Dr. Watson has been super supportive of my interests. He even used his contacts at Scotland Yard to get me an internship."
"Doing what?" I asked even though I had a feeling I knew the answer, Dr. Watson had mentioned that there was a girl who was a very talented artist living at the Sanctuary.
"That's pretty cool," I grinned, thinking about all the times I had tried selling my artwork on the streets to make some extra cash, only no one wants to buy artwork from a street urchin
"Dr. Magnus said you're an artist too?" Emma added and I was a little taken aback by that question. First off I didn't think Emma would pay attention to anything Dr. Magnus said about me that was in the positive light and two how had that discussion even come up? I shrugged my answer, buying myself a quick extra couple of seconds.
"I suppose, I'm not very good, I'd never be able to work for the police as a sketch artist." For several different reasons I thought, none of them pertaining to my art abilities.
"Do you sketch?" I nodded "would…can…can I see your work?" Emma asked softly and I was taken aback by that question too. Either I was losing my touch at not being surprised by things or Emma was just that good at asking questions.
I shrugged again
"I suppose," I muttered "I'm not that good and it's not like I have loads of time to sit and sketch." I paused "at least I didn't."
I helped Emma clean up my mess and after making sure no evidence of my late night snack was present. We silently walked back up to the guest room. We passed Dr. Magnus' room and I could see a soft glow from under the doorway of a fireplace, I couldn't tell if she was still up or not, but I remembered her mentioning that she rarely slept. When we reached my room, Emma gave me a comforting smile, the first I had really experienced from her.
"Will you stay with Dr. Magnus?" she asked and I shrugged
"I haven't exactly decided." I admitted, keeping to myself the main reason, I didn't want to put Dr. Magnus or Ashley, or anyone else in danger, be that from the Cabal or me personally. It couldn't be safe having a vampire around for an extended stay. "Anyways," I changed the subject pulling my sketchbook out of my backpack. I have lost a lot of my belongings over the decades and regrettably several sketchbooks among them. I have managed to preserve a few, several ranging from several years ago to a century or more. Those are safely stored in believe it or not a lock box, it's buried in the woods not far into the Canadian wilderness. I haven't checked on it in about ten years, but the land is protected and nothing can be built or developed (at least to the knowledge of the Canadian government). Anyways, inside contains knickknacks I've accumulated, documents, identifications I've collected throughout the last three hundred years, and several of my most prized sketches. Every time I go back to check the box and add more belongings to it I'm always afraid that it'll be gone or worse opened. I've been lucky, but I'm beginning to wonder if I shouldn't move it to the Sanctuary with me for at least the time being.
I handed the sketchbook and some of the loose-leaf sketches to Emma and lowered myself to the floor, letting her have the only chair in the guest room. She sat down without a word, carefully flipping through the drawings. I couldn't really tell if she was just being polite by her awed expression or if she really did think the sketches were worth admiring.
"Tavish, you really drew these?"
"Yeah, like I said, when I had time to do so, when I wasn't running from all manner of authorities or other street kids. Or mad scientists."
"These are amazing, I mean I can sketch people, but landscapes, I wish I had your talent." I felt my ears go a little bit red at her words. She was being sincere and she was mesmerized by the sketches, until she reached one that made her go pale. I was concerned by her reaction, I couldn't remember drawing anything that would've scared anyone so I inched closer to look over her shoulder. I didn't recognize the room, but it was clearly my sketch, a large room, with a tank filled to the brim with water, large and deep enough to submerge a human being. Doctors milling about. Emma went to the next sketch, it was the same room but from a different view point, it was from inside the tank and a woman's face clearly visible peering in, a smug almost evil smile on her face.
"What the bloody hell?" I muttered I had no memory of a room like that in either form…but the woman, oh I recognized her right away, in my mind I could hear the clicking of her heels on the tile, the patronizing tone of her voice, the pain of her perfectly manicured nails running down my chest and face. Dana Whitcomb, the CABAL lady.
"Tavish?" Emma called "is that her?"
I looked up at Emma, surprised by her question, that really needed to stop happening
"Is that who?"
"The woman, is that the woman from the CABAL?" I had forgotten that Emma had seen my memories, in her attempts to 'help' Dr. Magnus and Dr. Watson she must have seen bits and pieces of my time held by the CABAL and in that time she certainly would have seen Dana Whitcomb.
"Yeah that's her, but I don't recognize this room." I looked closer at the sketch, it wasn't dated which was odd since I tend to date all my drawings to keep track of them and keep track of my own time. I took the sketch out of Emma's hand, and sat down on the bed, trying to work this all out. I was more interested in the one looking out from the tank, a perspective I didn't remember ever having, but clearly must have.
"Tavish?" Emma said softly, she came over and sat next to me on the bed. "You don't remember this at all?"
I shook my head, my hands started to shake as I dug deep into my memories for this room, this tank, this scene, but nothing was coming. Finally I looked over at Emma and she gave me a return look.
"Oh no, not happening, not right now."
"We've already proven you're not going to kill me. Please Emma I need to know, I truly feel like this will be the key, this will unlock everything if we can just tap into it." I pleaded with her. "maybe the reason I passed out the last time was because I was fighting you."
Emma looked at me suspiciously
"Explain?" she said
"I had no idea how or why you were rooting around inside my head and I fought you. But maybe if I just accept your probe and let things kind of go with the flow, it'll be easier for the both of us."
I knew Emma was starting to consider this, it made sense, at least I thought it made sense. She sighed and rubbed her forehead like I was giving her a migraine.
"I am not happy about this, but your reasoning sounds logical." She finally said "but we do this my way understood? And if I feel any resistance or I think we should stop I'm stopping and there will be no complaints from you. Got it?"
I grinned and nodded
"Whatever you say. Probe away!" I added
"I still say you're bloody bonkers, but alright." Emma sighed "I need you to relax as much as possible, where would you be most comfortable?" A cabin in the middle of nowhere no humans in sight would normally be my answer, but I was pretty sure that wasn't the answer Emma was looking for.
"The floor," I finally decided "if that's okay,"
"Works for me, I'll sit on the bed." We both took our places and I took a deep breath "just relax okay, deep calming breaths, I'll try to be as careful as possible." Emma paused "last time are you sure you want to do this?"
"It's the only way."
Emma didn't reply, but I could feel her behind me moving around and I closed my eyes, trying to relax my body as much as possible. It seemed to sense Emma was coming because I could feel my heart picking up speed. I focused on my breathing, calming my heart down and as I did this, I began to feel lightheaded. I could feel Emma's presence in my mind, but unlike before I didn't feel threatened and I didn't try to stop her, I just let the lightheadedness wash over me. I drifted back…back to a place I had either tried to forget or had been forced to forget...
I knew something wasn't right. The fog I had been consumed by had lifted and I was growing increasingly more aware of my surrounding. The wheels squeaked and jilted me so I knew I was on the move (unwillingly of course). I was also sitting not laying down so I assumed I was in a wheel chair not the usual gurney I had been strapped to in the past. The past…that word echoed through my head, I couldn't remember the past events here or what else I had been subjected to and yet my mind acted like I could remember everything and this though new, was not anything truly different.
This was certainly true as I realized that the only thing that hadn't changed was the blind fold and restraints. My wrist were cuffed to the arm rest, my ankles to what I assume was the metal sides of the chair. This meant I couldn't remove the blindfold. The drugs that had been pumping through my system had kept me in a fog but it only meant I had no control over my body or my actions, my mind was there so I could see and see everyone that was happening to me but restraints aside couldn't do anything about it.
I felt like we had been moving further than usual, this told me two things. I wasn't going to the electroshock room which was a relief but that meant unknown and unknown was never a good thing when you're being treated like a lab rat. Wait…electroshock room, what electroshock room? I didn't like this, things feeling and places being familiar when I had no recollection of them.
This thought made my heart begin to race. Which in turn made me breathe heavier until I was practically panting. I don't know if I sensed there was something about to happen that I was not prepared for. Little bits of my memory were beginning to return, slowly, the deeper Emma pushed into my memories, the more I was beginning to not only understand what I had gone through, but was beginning to remember it too.
I heard doors slide open and we moved into a different area. They say when you lose one sense your other senses go into overdrive to make up the difference. I couldn't see because of the blindfold but a scene quickly appeared in my mind. I could smell water chlorine filled water. My mind scrambled to fill in a reasonable explanation, the only one they really made sense was I was going for a swim in a pool. Why would they do that?
I quickly had my answer. The blindfold was removed and I looked around to get my bearings. There wasn't a pool but I had been right about the water it was a large glass tank. Several doctors milled around on top of the platform some with clipboards others were checking computers monitors while others were doing similar checks around the tank. Video cameras were set up pointed at the tank and I saw a flash alerting me to another camera looking into the tank from above.
I understood instantly what was in store for me.
"No!" I shouted "just let me go! Just let me go!"
The doctors around me just laughed and before I could continue my shouts a noise literally stopped my heart for a second. The clicks of heels on the cement floor. That sound had made my blood run cold every time. Even though my mind was fuzzy and my memories were jumbled, the click of those heels, the name Dana Whitcomb and absolute pure fear were now synonymous.
"Tavish Tavish Tavish whenever are you going to stop with the childish temper tantrums. You will not get your way and we make the decisions for you so just accept it."
I shot her a poisonous glare.
"What's the tank for?" I growled. I can't swim at least not very well.
"None of your concern, but don't fret we won't let you drown little one." Dana added reaching out to pat my head and I ducked back from her touch as quick as possible. Instead of being mad she just laughed and turned to one of the doctors "are we ready?"
"Yes Ms. Whitcomb,"
"Excellent, proceeds with first the test."
My arms and legs were released from the restraints and a doctor helped me out of the wheelchair. I growled at him and struggled to get loose, but he held me tight and with my body weakened by whatever drugs they had pumped into me I could only half fight even though every part of my mind was screaming at me to do whatever I could to break free. The hospital gown I wore was stripped off leaving me with only a pair of shorts on, at least they had the decency to let me be partially dressed. I expected to be restrained again but instead the doctor led me to the top of the stairs near the tank. The doctor holding my arm twisted it and before I knew what was happening a needle was jabbed into my arm, connected to a IV. In addition, two electrodes were placed on my temples and two more to my bare chest, free of wires.
My body began to shake a little in anticipation, usually these electrodes meant electric shocks, but I had a sinking feeling these would not be shocking me, but rather sending out information to the computer monitors all over the place. Once this was done and I was, well hooked up, another doctor placed a face mask on me that covered my eyes and my nose, I instantly started to panic. The other doctor held firm but I thrashed about trying to get my hands free to rip off the mask. I felt like I was suffocating and it was difficult to remember to breathe through my mouth instead of my nose.
"Just breathe as you normally would," the doctor who put the mask on me whispered in the first kind and reassuring voice I had heard as of yet. "The more you panic the worse this will be. Just breathe in and out through your mouth. This will not hurt I promise,"
I wanted to snap back that a promise from any of these people wasn't worth crap but I didn't get a chance as a mouth piece was shoved in my mouth. Instantly cool sweet air began entering my mouth and down into my lungs and instinctively I began breathing through it. While I was focused on my breathing the doctor holding my arms guided me to a platform just above the tank. He gave me a reassuring grin and made sure I was holding on to the bar. Once he was clear, the platform began to lower me down into the depths of the tank.
My heart was racing so fast I thought it might explode out of my chest. I completely forgot what the doctor had recommended and felt panic set in.
Because I can't swim, at least not very well drowning has always been one of my greatest fears and one of the least preferred ways to die. Sounds funny right, preferring one way to die over another, but when you've experienced so much death and been faced with it so many times, you begin to prefer one way over another. For example, I'd rather be shot right through the heart than hung, it's quick, clean, and instantaneous. I mean bam you die. It may take my body a little longer to heal from a gun shot than being hung or suffocated, but at least in most cases I do not have to contemplate when I will eventually die as opposed to the moment of death coming, but not specific in it's arrival.
Drowning to me is similar to hanging, death is inevitable but you have to suffer first and contemplate if you will truly wake up this time around or if it will finally be your time to never come back.
"He's beginning to panic, his heart rate just shot up to 120."
"Give it a moment once he's submerged, he'll calm down." I've never had a problem with my hearing, but because of the water and the tank their voices were muffled a little, but I understood heart rate and submerged perfectly.
"Are you sure?"
"We gave him a little sedative, should be kicking in shortly."
"Won't that affect the test?" the concerned doctor asked I looked towards them on the platform opposite the tank. Dana Whitcomb was nearby watching, her arms crossed and a knowing smile plastered on her face.
"Nope, it was a minor sedative, meant to calm only. Once we begin the test his instincts will take over. Won't be surprised if his heart rate doubles or even triples. We've never had one this close before."
The platform gave a shudder as it reached the bottom of the tank. I looked around trying to get my bearings and determine a way out, it was a solid tank, there was no escaping except the way I came down and I had feeling I wouldn't be let out that easy.
"Doctor, you may begin," Dana's chilling voice called and I gave a shudder.
I looked around quickly trying to figure out what was about to happen, what could they possible do to me in a tank of water? Then I looked down at my arm where they had jabbed a needle into the crook of my elbow. I could see a red colored liquid snaking it's way from the top of the tank, through the IV towards me. I didn't know what was in that IV and I wasn't about to find out.
Quickly I ripped the needle out of my arm, much to the shock of the doctors and Dana Whitcomb, they must have assumed I was compliant enough that I wouldn't fight back, idiots.
"Get him back up here! What were you thinking why wasn't he restrained!" She began shouting and I could feel the platform under my feet begin to rise.
If they wanted to run some tests on me, they'd have to wait. I took a few deep breaths and stepped off the platform.
Dana stared at me, glaring with daggers while the doctors prepared to enter the tank to retrieve me. I ripped off the mask covering my face and blinked a few times as my eyes adjusted to the chlorine water. They stung and it was blurry, but I wanted her to look into my eyes.
Giving her a grin and flipping her off, I yanked the regulator out of my mouth. I held my breath and stood on the floor of the tank, crossing my arms smugly, as she watched, glaring at me the entire time.
The tank was designed to be deep, so it was going to take the doctors or security or whoever a few minutes to get to me and by then I would be dead, at least for a little while. Like I said, I hate drowning, it's one of my least favorite ways to die, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I could feel my lungs beginning to burn and my head felt foggy, I was getting lightheaded, soon I'd be forced to take a breath of air that wouldn't be there. I felt splashing above me and frowned, worried that they were coming in after me, but when I looked up, one of the doctors was leaning over the platform reaching for me. If he leaned in any further he'd reach my hair. To counter that, I plunked myself down, sitting cross legged at the bottom of the tank, completely out of reach, but still watching Dana. This was it, my last few seconds of air, my lungs were completely on fire now. I gave her one last look and allowed the water to fill my lungs. The last thing I saw before the darkness over took me, was her poisonous glares, penetrating deep into my eyes.
"That was foolish and pointless Tavish," Dana's chilling voice filled my ears as I felt life returning to my body. I took a deep breath, allowing the stale, but somewhat refreshing air to fill my lungs. I felt the restraints on my wrists and ankles and slowly opened my eyes. To my horror I wasn't in a wheel chair or on a gurney or even back in the cell they called a room. I was back on the platform over the tank. She was right, about one thing, my drowning had been pointless. What did I really hope to accomplish besides some short lived satisfactory 'you need to do better than that' ploy? Dana grabbed my hair and yanked it back so I was looking right at her, her face inches from mine. "All you managed to accomplish with that stunt was a test we were planning on running anyways. We are going to test every possible method of killing you to see how long it takes for you to revive. If you're a good boy maybe we won't remove your head from your body to see how long you or even if you can come back from that!" she hissed
"Go…to…hell," I spat back, my eyes watering a little as she pulled my hair back even more and tears were unavoidable.
"Oh now Tavish, your kind is already there, it's only a matter of time before you join them."
This time there was no messing around from the doctors. My hands were cuffed behind my back and instead of the needle in my arm, it was stabbed into my neck. My heart started to race again as I felt the impending dread wash over me. There was no escaping this one. The electrodes were placed back on my temples and my chest. Instead of the facemask that covered only my eyes and nose, a new mask which covered my entire face was put on me. My feet were shackled with a short chain and a second chain was hooked to a soft collar that had been placed around my neck.
Instead of being gentle or reassuring, this time the doctors prodded me onto the platform with a zap from a what appeared to be a cattle prod. I knew I was going to face retribution for my decisions, but this seemed extreme, not that I was surprised.
Growling through the mask I did as I was asked and stepped onto the platform. I was not expecting the handcuffs to be connected to attached to the shackles around my ankle, but the moment I stepped onto the platform that was exactly what happened. My entire body began to shake, but I refused to let the fear show on my face, I would not give them the satisfaction. The platform began to lower into the water and I was shocked at the cold. It had been lukewarm before, but now it felt like an ice bath…it felt like I had fallen into the North Atlantic in April in the wee hours of the morning, something I had experienced first-hand.
The moment the platform reached the bottom I nearly fell forward, my balance was off and I was unable to hold myself up with my arms and legs constrained. The only thing that held me up was the soft collar locked around my neck, it pulled me up allowing me to get my balance.
"Step off the platform now." A voice in my ear commanded and I realized that a microphone was in the mask. I growled my response, hoping that it was a two-way "this is your last warning, step off the platform or you will be forced off it." When I refused a second time, I felt a electric shock shoot from my neck up and down my body, the bloody collar was electrified! I was so shocked (literally and figuratively) that I fell off the platform, the chain holding me up steadied me as I struggled to get my footing. The collar choked me a little, but guided me until I was able to stand on my own. The second I was off the platform it was raised. Denying me my way to escape. I looked around as quickly as I could, assessing my situation, which needless to say wasn't great.
This was especially evident when I felt a sharp pain in the back of my neck. I whipped my head around looking for the source of the sting, and winced as I realized the IV they had stuck me with had delivered whatever concoction they were trying to dose me with the first time. The sting from the needle was nothing however compared to the pain that immediately followed as it coursed throughout my body. My body twisted and withered in agony as I tried to escape the pain. The worse the pain grew however, the stranger I felt, I was pulling at the shackles trying to release my hands to pull the needle out and to my surprise I could feel the handcuffs starting to give. I focused on the pain and used it to my advantage I used it to fuel the strength and within a few seconds I felt the snap as the metal chinks broke apart, freeing my hands. The doctors all around the tank watching looked horrified, which was satisfying enough, but the one person I wanted to fear me, just stood there. A knowing smile on her face.
I felt a rage burning deep inside me and it was demanding…demanding I kill her, spill her blood, destroy her and everyone in this room. This wasn't me…I kill only to protect myself and it's only in extreme situations, it was unthinkable to me to want to slaughter everyone in my path. I'm not a murderer, I'd never sink to their level of cruelty…I never wanted to become…her. But this was exactly what I wanted to do, the rage was powerful it was a desire to kill that I had never felt before. I raised a fist and began slamming it against the glass of the tank, if I could snap metal as easy as I had just done, breaking the glass enclosing the case shouldn't be as difficult.
A few good slams and sure enough the glass began to crack. I looked directly at Dana, the smug smile still on her face. I slammed the glass again, I knew it was only going to take a few more.
"Okay, that's enough," Dana finally said her voice like a buzz in my ear. "Put him down for now I think we've seen what Test One yielded."
I didn't understand what that meant and I didn't care, I was going to get out of this tank and break her neck.
I never got the chance, the collar that was still secured tightly around my neck suddenly sent a shock wave through my body and before I knew what was happening, I blacked out.
I blinked and looked around quickly. Emma was staring at me, not with fear or disgust, but with understanding. She slowly took her hands off my head and gave me a weak smile.
"I. I'm sorry, she said "I could feel your heart speeding up and I was afraid-" her voice trailed off
"No, it's okay," I replied "I promised I would let you make the decision when to end it." I paused and looked at my sketch. The scene was identical to the memory Emma had managed to pull from the depths of my closed mind and that definitely frightened me a little.
"Tavish," Emma said softly, pulling the drawing from my hand "you said you usually date your art right?" I nodded and she took a deep breath "I think I know why you didn't date thi one." She slid off the bed and went over to my backpack. Normally I would've reacted to such an intrusion, but the recaptured memories and what had been done to me were still floating fresh in my mind at a high rate of speed.
I kept waiting for them to fade, but it was as if Emma had just located my memories and given me a glimpse of them, she had given them back to me. Emma carefully flipped through my sketchbook, past the dated sketches until she reached the last dozen or so pages. I hadn't picked up a pencil since…well come to think of it I didn't know when.
Emma found what she was looking for and sat down next to me on the floor. She showed me the first sketch. It was clearly my style but like with the tank I didn't recognize the sketch or where it might be, at least not at first. I had no recollection of drawing it, but it was the same room I had escaped from. I recognized the bed, the chair, and the toilet.
Because I used a regular pencil, the sketch didn't illustrate the proper gloom of the room, but a stain I had clearly included with purpose caught my attention. Despite the lack of color, I knew instantly what it was, blood. Again I had no memory of anything in that room or what had happened to me there, but for some reason I knew that was blood. I felt sick to my stomach, it was as if Emma's initial probs into my mind had opened the gates and slowly, but with force my memories were coming back to me. I couldn't remember details, though I strongly suspected those would be returning later.
I could see flashes…I was strapped down to the chair, cuffed tighter than I had been when I escaped, the two doctors, the one who had tried to be reassuring to me with the tank and the one who was all to happy to use a cattle prod to get me into said tank. Dana Whitcomb was there too, that smug smile permanently stuck on her face.
Another doctor entered the room, she has something in her hands, it's a IV bag, but instead of clear fluid in it, it has blood. My body reacts, it knows what is about to happen before my mind does and begins to instinctively thrash about trying to break the bonds like I had the cuffs in the tank, but either I'm too weak or too sedated to do any damage. The other two doctors set up the blood bag above my head and a large tube is attached. I can't believe they're about to do what I think they're about to do.
I clench my mouth shut and refuse to open, even when they pinch my nose hoping to catch me off guard. I can see Dana's patience wearing thin, she reaches over to the table beside the chair that is filled with medical equipment and selects a scalpel. Before I know what is happening or can even prepare for it, she stabs the scalpel into my leg. I can't help it I gasp in pain and when I do the tube is shoved into my mouth. I try to spit it out but the doctors tape my mouth so the tube has no where to go. I can't help the tears that are welling up in my eyes, I haven't cried in years, but the frustration of my situation and the fear was too much for my twelve-year-old mind to handle. I can see the blood snaking it's way down the tube towards me and every instinct in my body begins screaming, trying to escape, trying to fight back, trying to do anything.
There's nothing I can do, the blood splashes into my mouth and I try to gag, but of course I can't. There's something familiar about the taste and even though I'm disgusted by what is happening, I can't help but feel like I've tasted blood before. As the blood drips down my throat I can feel the same overwhelming sense of strength and heightened awareness I felt in the tank returning.
Before I could act on it or free myself however, the blackness took over. Emma stared at me, she hadn't been touching my head or doing her probing thing, I had recovered the memory on my own…no not entirely on my own, the sketch, the sketch had made me remember it.
I looked at Emma, unable to keep the confusion and even disgust from the memory off my face. I could still taste the metallic flavor of the blood.
"Where did you go just now?" Emma asked, her voice soft and concerned
"Here," I explained pointing to the sketch "I remembered here and where the stain on the floor came from"
"You recovered a memory?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"Tavish, what I was saying before you spaced out," Emma said, her voice low "I think you may have sketched these in your sleep. You may not be aware of it, but subconsciously your body and mind remembers and you're drawing them."
"Sleep drawing?" I repeated
"It happens," Emma replied "people do all sorts of crazy things when they're asleep, my cousin once got ready for school at three in the morning, clothes, homework, everything, she was just making herself some breakfast when her mum came in and stopped her. Who is to say you aren't sleep drawing?"
I stared at the sketches, and flipped through the dozen or so sketches, none of them were dated all seemed eerily familiar.