Violet woke slowly and stretched her sore body. She had been spending so much time bent over her desk, her notes and test so much, that it was getting harder and harder to get going after sleeping.
She rose to her feet, bending backwards to stretch out her muscles. She went to her small refrigerator and pulled out the small, single serve bottle of juice and a protein bar from the box on the table.
As she ate, she forced herself to try to figure out what she was going to do that day. More testing, she supposed. The same as yesterday and the day before.
She quickly finished her meager breakfast, then got dressed.
Walking to the door, she entered the small white hallway and closed her door. Just inside the hallway was a white, industrial grade cleanroom jumpsuit that would cover her head to toe, complete with booties that would cover her feet. Putting it all on, she took a deep breath, held it and closed her eyes shut as she walked forward. There was a hiss as the decontamination spray hit her making sure that any cross contamination with her testing was kept to a minimum.
Such was the life of a scientist, she thought. Especially when working with sensitive genetic materials.
She had learned a while ago that the spray stung her eyes, hurt her nose and throat, so as she made her way through the process, she was careful to not breath or blink. When the hissing stopped, she stood for the twentyish seconds it took for the spray to dry, then carefully opened her eyes.
She took hold of the knob of another door and went through. Inside this room was a laboratory. Her laboratory.
White and chrome surfaces gleamed under the harsh white light. Each surface was cleaned within an inch of its life at the end of each day, and practically sparkled with the lack of dust, dirt and clutter.
She moved to the shelves along the far wall and retrieved her new notebook. One for each of the samples she'd been given to test.
She only wished she knew what she was looking for.
Another day, another round of genetic mapping, testing and recording her findings. Today's sample held nothing special, but she ran the tests anyway.
After a few hours, there was the sound of a metal cabinet opening and closing. Rising, she went to retrieve her delivered lunch from the double sided cabinet.
Her meals were delivered this way while she was here. The cabinet was opened from the outside, the meal tray inserted, and the door closed. She would open the cabinet on her side, and collect the food.
Today's offering was a turkey sandwich with mayo and lettuce, another small bottle of juice and a small individual serving of fruit cocktail with a flimsy plastic spoon.
She ate standing, her tray sitting on a designated counter, well away from her testing materials. Once finished, she opened the door and set the tray with its empty plates in the cabinet to be taken away, then closed the door once more.
Back to work for another few hours, then repeat with the dinner tray.
After dinner, she again left the tray inside the cabinet where she knew that it would disappear. She never actually saw who delivered the meals and collected the trays.
After that, she began the process of cleaning her work area, re-labelling and storing the remaining sample.
She scrubbed the surfaces with a powerful antiseptic, then repeated the full body decontamination process again before hanging the jumpsuit on its hook and re-entering her attached room.
She gazed at the room. White walls, white ceiling and floor. Her mini fridge, a small table with a single metal chair, and her bed took up a large portion of the room. No window, she thought wistfully. What she wouldn't do for a window.
It had been so long, she thought, moving to mark an "x" over the date on the calendar. So long since she'd seen the world outside. She had a clock in the lab, but didn't know if it was a.m. or p.m.
Not that it mattered anymore.
It was two months since she had been offered the job here.
Little had she known that she'd be signing her life away to a monster. One who had drugged her, brought her to this place and locked her inside.
She'd been unconscious when she'd been brought here, so she didn't even know where she was. She had just graduated from the genetics and genomics program at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri a week before interviewing for this "position". She had graduated toward the top of her class, and had been thrilled to be offered the lab technician position at a new laboratory, a salary that almost made her weep, and promises of rapid advancement.
She should have known it was too good to be true, but she had student loans to repay and had heard what a hard time some of her classmates were having in their job searches.
She had tried to escape a few times since she had been brought here, only to be forcefully thrown back inside. The last time she'd tried to escape, she woke up to find the door had been sealed from the outside, the doorknob removed.
Two months, she thought mournfully as she closed her eyes. Two months since she'd last seen the sky or felt the wind on her face.
She had no family. No close friends. No one was looking for her.
As far as the outside world was concerned, she had simply… disappeared.
It was now day 62 of her captivity.