Reese was now shaking uncontrollably, his eyes widening at the sight of the large vial about to be injected into him. Shutting his eyes tightly, he turned away, bracing himself for what was about to happen. He was so terrified, he didn't notice Tik come into the room and inject the guard and Kavinsky, most likely having just saved his life. That much of that liquid had to have been deathly. As he waited with his eyes shut, he noticed that no one was sticking the needle in his arm. He opened his eyes and saw Tik in the room with him, and the two men laying unconscious on the ground.
"Tikvah! Thank you thank you thank you! You just saved my life!" he declared thankfully, his voice overflowing with gratitude.
Tik straightened and unbuckled one of the leather wrist straps, eyeing him questioningly. 'Life?' she signed, going slower because she could tell that Reese didn't understand last time. Maybe if she went slower, he would.
Reese rubbed his wrist soothingly from where the strap had left a mark. He watched intuitively as Tikvah signed, and he frowned in confusion. He desperately tried to remember the minimal sign language he had learned. By Tikvah's expression, he could tell that she was asking a question. He was pretty sure she had signed 'Life' but as a question. Frowning, he asked, "Do you not know what life is?" Jeez, how sheltered from the outside world do they keep her? How does she not know what life is? Reese thought to himself.
(( Grr it didn't post! Let me try again >.< ))
(( Whoops! Nevermind I guess it did post! ))
Tik shook her head, glad that he'd understood. It was rare that she heard a word that she didn't understand, but when she did someone always explained it to her.
Reese pondered the thought of life for a moment. There was no easy clear cut way to describe it. Everyones views on life were different, and Reese had a far from normal life. "Life is... us. We are life in a way. We're breathing, our hearts our beating, so we're livng. When we stop breathing, we're no longer living, we're dead. Life is what you and I and everyone else are living right now." he explained thoughtfully hoping it made some sort of sense to her.
Tik blinked, then nodded slowly. She thought she understood. But she had more important questions, and life could wait. 'What is above?' she signed next, remembering the previous conversation. None of the scientists had ever mentioned it to her. Maybe it was where they got the things they brought her to draw from. The mice, the rose, the moth.
Reese frowned and contemplatedd for a moment to recall what Tik had signed to him. "Above? Above is where I came from actually. It's the real world, or at least, that's what I consider it. Theres a lot going on up there, more than I could ever explain in just one conversation. But my family lives up there.." he murmured, sadly thinking of his sister. Suprisingly, he found himself glad to be down here, it was better than fighting and commiting crimes with his gang.
Tik quickly looked up at the ceiling when he said the word 'up,' without even thinking about it. Looking back down at Reese, her eyes glinted, happy that she had finally understood something he said. So Above was another room up there. Excitedly, she grabbed his hand, tugging him towards the door. She had known that there were rooms here that she hadn't seen, but she didn't know where they were. If that's where he was from, he could show her!
Reese scrambled to his feet as Tik grabbed his wrist and led him away. "Where are we going?" he asked, realizing that she probably couldn't sign while she was running. He let his stride match hers and didn't say much else. He wanted to wait until they reached where they were going until he said anything more. After all, Tikvah had just saved his life, he wasn't in any position to question her.
Tik pulled him out into the hallway, then let go of him, practically bouncing up and down with excitement. 'Above. You know where it is.' She signed, barely managing to slow herself down enough for him to understand.
Reese frowned in confusion. She wanted to go back to the real world? "Oh.... okay sure!" Reese exclaimed. He wanted more than anything to get out of this place. Leading Tik down a flight of stairs managed to find the room from which he had entered from the sewer. "This way!" Reese said, beckoning Tik towards the door. He twisted open the handle and was greeted with the smell of sewage.
Tik jerked back from the smell abruptly, her hand flying up to cover her nose. She'd never smelled anything that bad before. She gave Reese a hesitant glance. Was this what Above was like? Maybe she should just stay.
Reese chuckled as Tik's reaction to the smell of the sewage. It didn't bother him as much anymore. In fact, he was used to it. He noticed the hesitant look Tik gave him. Sighing, he paused before moving forward. "Are you sure you want to go Tik? You know you don't have to. It's my home up there, not yours. I'd understand if you were uncertain." he murmured.
Tik looked from him to the dark, putrid tunnel, then back at the white, prerfectly and meticulously pristine. Home. The scientists had used that word a lot. Home meant safety, security. She was cared for, even if sometimes her medicine made her sick. They loved her here, she knew it.
Out there was dark, smelly, and she was sure it was dangerous. There could be anything in there that she had never heard of, couldn't even imagine...
That there. That was the problem, Tik saw with a sudden clarity all wrapped up in fear. She knew of everything, everyone, every speck of her tiny little world. Was this it? Was she really going to stay here forever, never seeing everything?
When she was five years old she saw the flame of a bunsen burner. She didn't know what the flame was, but it was beautiful because of it. She had reached her tiny hand right into the flame, touching it first with her fingernails. They had turned black, which was fun and exciting, because it was different and new. Then it hurt, which was familiar.
It would be exciting and different, but there had to be some familiar things, too. She wouldn't be all alone.
She took a deep breath and stepped into the unknown. Into the flame.
Reese smiled as Tik took a step forward. He shut the door behind them. Tik could always turn back if she wanted to, Reese knew how to open the door. Marching onward, it wasn't long before they came to the opening. The sewer grate was shifted slightly to the left, just enough for Reese to shimmy his way into the sewer. There was a rusty ladder covered in slime they could use to exit the sewer. Reese began climbing and made it to the top.
He stook his head down and motioned toward the ladder to Tik. "Can you climb?" he asked her. After spending her whole life in the lab, he wasn't sure what she could and could not do.
TIk stared at the ladder in confusion at first, but realized exactly what it was for the second Reese started to climb. A tiny, straight stairs! It was adorable, and she wanted one of her own. She started to climb after him, a bit unsure, but after the first two rungs she sped up and soon emerged.
She raised her right hand to sign something to him, but immediately forgot what she was going to say, and instead she just stared open-mouthed and wide-eyed at her surroundings. It was...huge. It seemed like this new room went on forever and ever. The "ceiling" was a dusky grey color and looked far too high to reach, and all around her were shorter walls shaped like boxes. They had doors in them, some had holes, and a lot of them had boards nailed over parts.
And there were people. At least seven that she could see right here. The colors! So many that she had never seen before, or only in small quantities. A man sat on the concrete, leaning against one of the strange boxes, wearing brown clothes. She had only ever seen brown on two of the scientists' hair and eyes. Some of the boxes were brown, too.
Reese began to chuckle as he watched Tik step out of the sewer and take her first steps into the city. She seemed to be taking in everything, though he couldn't blame her, it's not like she had ever set foot out of her "home" before. He let her gaze for a few minutes. Seemingly fascinated, Reese watched her closely. It appeared as if she took notice to every sight, sound, or movement. He checked his watch, and realized he was supposed to meet the rest of his gang three hours ago. Sighing deeply he turned to Tik. "Want to see my home and meet my family?" he asked. Reese considered his gang members his family, they were the closest people in his life.
Tik was so wrapped up in everything that she jumped when Reese spoke. Her eyes were wide and her heart pounded in excitement. She nodded eagerly. The scientists were her family. Until now, she didn't know there was more than one family, but now that she thought about it, she knew there had to be.