Hi readers! Sorry for the long delay... I was quite busy with school and inspiration was fleeting =P
I hope you were able to follow the last chapter, I know that the multiple personality can become quite overwhelming, but it is meant to be confusing. I want you to feel like Arianne, completely and utterly lost inside your own mind XD Hahaha!
Anyways, this chapter should be easier to read =)
Please, let me know what you think!
Having put the distressed woman to bed, Suzan considered her options. At 87, she was not feeling very comfortable with hosting a lunatic person, be it a feeble looking woman talking like a child or a grown man. She would have to do something about it, likely drive her to the nearest hospital, so she would be evaluated and treated! The poor thing probably escaped recently from a hospital too, she was still wearing her hospital gown after all. She was obviously distressed and professional care and medication would put her back on her feet.
With that settled, she slowly walked to her room. Unfortunately, the corridor was quite dark and a carpet had been ruffled when she had helped the young woman to the living room sofa. Her slipper caught in the bent fabric and she lost her balance. Her pained cry rang through the night. Horrified, she realized she could not stand up; and atrocious pain in her right hip prevented her even from crawling to the phone! A few anguishing seconds that felt like hours passed until she heard someone running toward her.
" Ma"am, try not to move. My name is Arianne: I'm a nurse. I'll take care of you."
Aaron and doctor Shearing had been driving for a few kilometres. He had made her rehearse a little story, not much, but it would avoid arousing the policeman suspicion should they be pulled to the side of the road. After all, they were speeding always from a burning house and their picture would soon reach the authorities "wanted" lists. They had shared information about the elimination of the Outcomes and the shooting in the labs and had come to the conclusion that someone, high in the hierarchy, was probably trying to cover up something dirty. The doctor seemed quite shook up and she was on the verge of panicking. Clearly, she was not used the type of life he lead.
Even though he knew exactly how many leftover chems he had, the blond man opened the dog tag box he wore around his neck keeping an eye on the road. A few weeks back, after checking on Arianne's whereabouts for an umpteen time, he had opted to print a tiny picture of her. The resolution was not optimal and the colours were a bit off, but it was still enough to calm him after his nightmare when he had no internet access. Careful not to spill any of the precious content on the car floor, he pulled the small picture out. Holding it while driving, he allowed himself to secretly hope. He had to acquire more blue chems first, but maybe (maybe) when that was done, if he was still alive, he could fall of the grid. Than maybe he could attempt to see her again. Maybe this would be his chance! He was used to avoid detection; surely he could lead whoever was chasing them to think he was dead. He was no fool though, he knew they were just as good as he was at what they did; it would not be easy, but he felt he could do just about anything just to see her again, even from afar.
He was absentmindedly caressing the smiling portrait when he heard the woman next to him inhale sharply. Expecting trouble ahead, he looked from the picture to the road and seeing nothing, turned toward her.
"Something wrong?" He said.
She looked nervous; he could feel her tension. He could almost see the pulse on her neck speed up. He was about to let it go, placing it on the account of the day's stress, when he saw her glance at the picture in his hand.
Martha saw the understanding flood the man eyes, for a moment, she saw a glimmer of hope and it crushed her. Then he spoke.
"You knew her?" Aaron said, stopping the car and showing her the photo in a better angle. "She was working with you!" For a moment he felt betrayed, had he been set up?
"No Aaron", answered Martha, her face pale as snow. "I was working on her".
The realization hit her like an enormous wave. From his actions she could see he obviously knew and cared for the subject she had only known as 37. She remembered how easily and remorselessly he had eliminated the men and woman trying to "dispose" of her and she could only hope the last thing she would feel would not be his large hands crushing her windpipe.
Very slowly, the Outcome agent turned his head toward the doctor, his eyes drilling holes in hers. Had a gaze had the ability to kill, she would have dropped dead.
"Come again", he whispered.
He was shaking with contained rage. Had her expertise not been crucial to his mental health, she had no doubt he would have strangled the life out of her.
"I..." she began, having absolutely no idea how to explain what she had done. "She was... They were volunteers, death row prisoners! She..." the more she tried to explain, the more she felt the horror of the treatments she had forced upon the woman weight on her. The dead look in her eyes, the resignation when she was exposed to new treatments and invasive tests… What kind of monster was she!
"What have you done with her!", he roared, all shreds of self control gone. Even though time was of the essence, Aaron could not continue on driving without knowing. All his worst fear had suddenly materialized. He had been comforting himself in a lie! "SPEAK NOW!" had it not been for his safety belt, he would have been on her.
The doctor could see his tensed muscles flexing in anger, his arteries pulsing on his temple and neck. Gulping she started to explain, shifting toward the car's door until she could feel the hard plastic press against her vertebrae.
" I first saw her about a month ago. She was brought to me as a test subject. You have to understand, we were told they were volonteers, dreath row prisoners and the like."
"She's a nurse! She's the damn best person I ever met!" raged the distraught man.
" She was in bad shape when I gave her the first treatment. Aaron, I know you care for her, but she's probably dead by now! She was better after a while, but there is no way she was fit to escape, much less fight her way out of the facility"
"You know nothing about how I feel! It's normal for you to talk to people, to get to know them, to care for them. We are not allowed to. It's forbidden to establish any kind of relationship with anyone! She is literally the only one I care about."
" I gave her blue pills! Like the ones you have. It's not so bad is it? I tried to fix her."
"Fix her! Three months, two weeks and four days! That's when I saw her last! She was not broken. I told her to hide. I taught her how to shoot a gun. She was supposed to be safe…" He whispered the last sentence but in the silence that had fallen between the two, Martha could hear it all. She could only guess what horrible stpry was behind this tragedy.
After a few heavy silent minutes when the broken Outcome agent started the car, sheepishly passing a hand on his eyes, Martha pretended not to see the salted water on his hand as he placed it on the wheel.
They had both avoided the subject for the remainder of the way. They were now in a little motel along the highway, trying to avoid being killed long enough to reach the chem manufacture in Manila. Aaron had spoken once to her to let her know what would happen if he fell out of chems. He was currently working on counterfeiting passport using what looked like a broken remote control and chewing gum. Martha had wisely chosen to stay out of his way and was now trying to get a bit of sleep. She had never felt so helpless as she did now. Her life depended on someone who most likely wanted her dead and who was two pills away from becoming a stupid grunt, in which case, they would end up in body bags.
Aaron was trying to keep all thought concerning Arianne out of his mind and was failing miserably. All that time he had hoped; she was being subjected to the worst kind of treatments. She had never moved to Montreal, she was not working under a false identity. He had exposed her to a fate worst than death; Her mind had been robbed from her. It was his fault… Even if it killed him, as soon as he had his blue chems, he would tear down the country to find her and heal her like she had done for him…
…And if she was irremediably lost, he would grant her a painless final rest.
Suzan was slowly regaining consciousness. The pain in her leg was still present, but it had subsided to a dull throbbing instead of the blinding bolt of pain she had felt at home and in the ambulance. Had it not been from the strange guest in her house, she would have never been able to get treatment. The young woman, Arianne if she remembered correctly, had called the emergency services, assessing the situation like a real professional. She had stayed with her from her house until she went in surgery, explaining the complex words of the doctors and making sure the old lady understood what was happening to her. Apparently, she had fallen and her frail old bones had not resisted to the impact. Her hip was badly fractured and she needed immediate surgery to replace the broken articulation before blood loss or embolism got the better of her. She was more than surprised to see the young shorthaired woman asleep on the chair next to her bed, her neck and back in what seemed to be the most uncomfortable position ever. She was wearing an old skirt and woollen shirt she had borrowed from Suzan before the medic arrived on the scene. Both looked too short and too tight on her and the light pink and floral patterns gave her a completely different look than the dirty hospital gown from the earlier evening. For some unknown reason, Suzan was not distressed to see the woman at her side and allowed herself to drift back do sleep peacefully.