"Maria! Damn you, Vasily, you, you, you..." Nadezhda's words were barely coherent and she couldn't think of something to call him. Rage had taken over. He had murdered her Aunt, in cold blood, in front of her.
His creepy little invention was designed to kill after all, so... So Maria was dead. And after she had promised her Uncle she would keep her safe, as well. How could he do this? Just when it was all getting better, he came along and tore her family apart again.
And this time, it was her fault.
He chuckled, "Relax, Nadya. Everything will be fine. Better than before, in fact."
Olga stood up now, angry as well, "Better? You killed Masha!"
He sighed, "She's really starting to get on my nerves. Ruslan?"
"Yes?" One of the guards looked up.
"Kill her." The words seemed to be bouncing off the walls, all around Maria, but they had no meaning to her, her head was swimming.
She lay on the ground, a strange, blue jelly-like substance covering her body. Yet she could open her eyes and see straight up, to the white of the ceiling. She could breathe fine, and easily hear the whirring of some kind of generator somewhere nearby.
Yet she couldn't move at all, her whole body heavy.
Her head was really starting to hurt. She wanted to fall asleep, to give in and rest her heavy body and her aching head, she wanted to...
The words came at her out of nowhere and for a few minutes, they meant nothing, nothing at all. The memories tried to push through. The pain grew worse and worse every time they did, but if she focused, she could remember.
It was unbearable though. She tried to scream, her mouth filling up with jelly. It tasted foul and she spat, struggling.
Kill. That word again. And now it had meaning. Kill... Who?
Her must be one of the women. One of her... Friends?
Her mind was full of confusion. The headache was fighting the memories, and the desire to sleep was growing very strong now.
But the voice of memory was persistent. Someone is trying to kill Olya and Nadya. Get out of here and help them, it pushed.
She tried again to move. This time, she pulled an arm slowly from the jelly and lifted it. Holding it up was almost too much effort, but there was a spike up above her legs. She stretched forward and felt her fingers graze it.
Reaching desperately for its support, she grabbed and just managed to close her hand around the end. Pulling, she felt it twist upwards a little with the pressure, but managed to haul herself forward.
Her upper body ripped through the jelly and she managed to stand, pulling her legs free slowly.
She was just in time to see Ruslan plunge a knife into Olga's chest.
The room suddenly seemed to be full of screams. Olga's scream was cut off by her desperate struggles for breath, pain coughs and gasps.
Nadezhda's was one of fury, directed at Vasily, because he knew was doing this just to spite her and it sent fires of hatred through her.
Maria's scream was a desperate cry for her friend. She knew she was too late.
Vasily laughed, "Oh, deary me, what a fuss. Oh well, at least she's out of the way. Now we can get back to business. I need to find my demonstration, don't I, Nadya?" He turned to Maria with a menacing smirk.
Nadezhda followed his gaze. A wave of hope ran through her as she saw her Aunt still standing, still alive. But it was soon replaced by a horrible chill. Something was wrong.
Maria's skin, normally tanned, was deathly pale and had an unsettling blue tint to it. She was swaying gently.
"Maria...?" She questioned tentatively.
But the older woman was focused on her friend's dead body, laying on the ground in front of her. Her eyes, still heavy and tired, were barely open, but through slits, she could see Olga lying there.
Tears began to ooze down her cheeks. "Olya..." She managed to murmer softly.
Vasily rolled his eyes, "I really need to find a way to speed this process up..." He sighed. "But I suppose leaving you for a while will suffice. Because some of this really is too boring. It only gets interesting after she goes to sleep," He grinned. "Enjoy finding that out..." He strolled towards the door. "Later, Nadya, Dearest," He winked at her.
She pulled a face, feeling disgusted by him. As the door clicked shut behind him she turned back to her Aunt, hesitantly approaching the weeping woman.
"Maria? Are you okay...?" There was no reply.
Her Aunt took a slow step forward, exiting the device she had been so unceremoniously shoved into and approaching Olga's body. She crouched down beside her, still crying. "I'm sorry..." She murmured to her friend.
Guilt set in and Nadezhda felt tears welling up in her own eyes. She had come here hoping to save her Aunt's friend, and promising to protect Maria. "I'm sorry too," She whispered.
Only now did her Aunt manage to look up at her. "Nadya... He's killing us. You have to... You have to get out of here!" She tried to compel her to escape, not wanting her to suffer as she and Olga had. But now it was an effort just to keep her eyes open.
The headache was getting worse. She slumped forward, her head in her hands.
Nadezhda edged towards the door. One of the guards grabbed her, "You're not going anywhere!" He snapped.
She looked back at her Aunt desperately, wishing she could follow her advice and flee, taking Maria with her somehow.
"I can't go. Anyway, I can't leave you," She replied.
But her Aunt's eyelids flickered shut, and she couldn't hear her anymore.
Meanwhile, around the back of Yaroslavl central train station, Boris cautiously followed Dmitri, who was leading him towards a group of loud figures in black. They seemed to be arguing among themselves.
Boris took the opportunity, while they appeared to be distracted, to take a closer look at them. There were about twenty of them, all of different age groups, genders and appearances, but all dressed in black.
Their main focus appeared to be arguing about who was in charge.
With the exception of Dmitri, who seemed cheerfully oblivious. He ran over to them. "Hey again guys! I found him!" He pointed triumphantly to Boris.
The group, as one, turned to him and surveyed him with varying degrees of suspicion. "I'm Officer Rocinko, and for the record, I'm in charge until we get to Dariya's," He told them firmly.
There was some general grumbling, then they reluctantly trailed after him as he led them away, heading for Dariya's house. There, at least, he'd get them off his hands.