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September 15, 2009
Jeeva huddled in the corner of a cramped cell, fear and hate glistening in her eyes. Her long black hair was filthy and unkempt, evidence of the treatment she had retrieved during the past months. The noisy movement of her fellow prison mates could be heard rather well in the narrow corridor, amplified by the emptiness of the cages.
It had been like that for a while now. They would come in, take someone out, and that person would never come back. Sometimes, at night, when all was quiet, you could here them; the horrible inhuman noises that came from the rooms below.
Jeeva stared blankly at the body that used to be her brother, lying on the cold floor not far away, eyes glazed over in death. She remembered when she had come here, to the ‘clinic’, as they called it. They said sick people, old people, and all the other unmentionables of society could come and stay and get help. She couldn’t believe she’d been stupid enough to believe that the government would do such a good thing for her kind, the unwanted, that they’d welcome her and her poor brother in and shelter them and feed them like the flyer had promised.
She felt lied to, she felt tired, she felt hurt, but most of all she felt hopeless. Almost a week ago, it was Kenrick, a nice young man who had been so kind and talked them through the hours of nothingness. He put up quite a fight, kicking and yelling and punching and trashing until the guards had to come in and taser him. He stopped then. She could see his prone form, painted on the wall by shadows, as she peered through the small barred window of her own cell. After that, they hauled him through the doors, into the light, and then it was dark again.
She was pulled from her thoughts by the screech of rusty hinges as the same door swung inward. Two guards, both carrying electric sticks, escorted a scientist. The small bald man visited each cell, and from what Jeeva could see from her window, was inspecting each prisoner, measuring them, weighing them, testing their reflexes. None of them struggled. None of them fought like Kenrick. They stood there while they were poked and prodded, as though they were resigned to their fate as lab rats.
Jeeva noticed them in front of her door only moments before it was flung open, just enough time to scamper backwards into the shadows. The small man stood there, a guard close behind him, and he smiled, a crooked, evil smile. “This one would do well for the latest project. Not too small, fit enough, doesn’t seem to be sick…” His voice was thick and oily, booming and powerful, and didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of him. But Jeeva wasn’t listening. She had tuned out, focusing only on the hand that was reaching out towards her. The sterile white glove clamped itself around her upper arm, tugging hard.
Almost without thinking, Jeeva stretched out her head and bit down on the man’s hand, piercing the plastic and skin and drawing warm red fluid to the surface in an instant. He swore and withdrew his hand from her teeth, which were glistening with his blood. She growled a low, feral growl, the sort of threat she had used many times before back on the streets, defending the small alley she and her brother had called home.
The small man swore one more time, and with a small motion of his good hand summoned a guard foreword. He promptly shoved his baton into her gut with a brzzzzzrt noise and a satisfied smile. Jeeva slumped to the ground, a startled look on her gaunt face. The guard followed the small man out, the trembling girl slung over his shoulder.
Some of the prisoners watched the procession. Some cried quietly to themselves, some beat their doors insanely, but most just sat there with cold expressions on their pale faces, uncaring eyes following the young girl, a child, really, who was being carried away. The girl’s cell was left empty, only the putrefying corpse of her brother left behind.
The small man, his wounded hand tucked into his pocket, turned before the final door and smiled one last smile at the sobbing, pounding, staring people, his eyes twinkling with some grim excitement.
“Yes, this one would do well, I think.”





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