Enough brooding, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, a top bunk

Zero+

Chapter 2

Enough brooding, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, a top bunk. Mouse was sleeping below her; Mouse was a small boy who very much resembled a mouse, which was one of the few animals they'd ever seen. When they learned about genetics and behavior they studied mice, seeing what changes in their genetic structure did, or how a change in their environment would affect their behavior or social interaction. Most of the times the mice died. Unfortunately, the younger ones had a problem growing too attached to them, and they cried when they died, cried so much that The Watchers stopped the experiments for the younger ones, and gave them a small black mouse for a pet – it's color was a mutation of the albinos that had become the norm for the lab, it was different so they gave it away. Edging out the door she closed it and pulled her badge from her slot, fitting it to her nightshirt with the small magnet.

She walked down the hall, it was quiet, most of the internal guards were off duty due to the fact they were mostly to keep the kids in line. She suddenly felt dirty, as if she was doing something awful, like Tyler had done. So awful that they would punish her – send her away, or worse. She shook the thoughts from her head, no, she was their eldest, one of the first, and they would never punish her like that…

Moments after that thought she heard something strange, like a wail, high pitched and coming from the door Taylor had left through. The same door she had stood in front of earlier and questioned the guard at. She frowned and headed towards the sound. The door was open a crack, she stood in front of it for a moment; half expecting someone to come bursting through demanding her to tell them why she was up so late. But no one did. It was silent except for that high-pitched wail. Like an animal in pain, like she'd seen in the movies when a gazelle was caught by a lioness. The howl of an animal who knows it's going to die, that the lioness was milliseconds away from rupturing its jugular – knowing that that howl would fade into a gurgle and finally quiet.

Curiosity finally got the best of her, she edged through the door. Beyond it was nothing spectacular, a sterile clean white room, all stainless steel and plastic. That wasn't strange or startling. But what was on the clean white examination table was startling; no, it was beyond that it was down-right horrifying.

Taylor was there, strapped down at his shoulders and knees. His head had a band around it, and his eyelids were pried open and held back so he couldn't blink. Periodically a soft plastic syringe would squeeze some saline solution into his eyes to keep them moist. His mouth was pried open in a similar fashion, however, no saline solution for that. Taylor's abdomen was a mess. Two large flaps of skin were held back while his entrails were exposed to the air. Completely illogically Rei thought of how this room should be more sanitary, since his organs were exposed to the open air, and she almost laughed. It was too unreal. There was Taylor, Tay, she'd known him since he was born. They strapped him down and dissected…no, vivisected him. But he was alone. Where were The Watchers, surely they'd….

"Aack" She fell to the ground, clutching her head, trying to hold it together because it felt like it was going to explode. She bit her lip trying not to scream, they would hear her, they would. They heard everything. Her lip started bleeding as she bit off a chunk. Finally the pain was so great that she fell to her knees and passed out in a small puddle of her own blood.