Just a diminutive piece of the system.
Category: Angst/tragedy. Introspective threeshot.
Summary: Thoughts of a Whitecoat.
Disclaimer: Don't own MR, James Patterson does. Do own the Whitecoat.
Author's notes: Yeah, I CANNOT believe that I wrote this. The ending spooked me.
She had a shit job, really.
She had opened her door, and found the paperwork she needed to finish in teetering towers on her desk.
And pessimistically, she had thought such scathing thoughts about her job.
To further her disgust, a scrawled note on her door could be deciphered to read that Reilly from down the hall wanted one of the reports he needed to send to one of the higher ups. He needed it by midday.
She glanced again at the crisp snowy white mountain of paper on her desk and realised, cynically, that it would probably take until midday to locate the offending half-finished report. Too bad for Reilly.
The timetable on the wall of her cupboard sized office said she was supposed to be on observation in one of the labs down on the basement floor anyway, and she was already five minutes late. Too bad for Reilly.
The report, after being found anyway, would take at least another three days, minimum to finish, proof, and be checked by her supervisor. Her supervisor did not like the overly sadistic Reilly, so if he got it within a week, she'd be surprised. Well, that was just too bad for Reilly.
It really was a good thing that Reilly was in more than a bit of hot water with Herself, for beating up on a couple of the experiments, most especially Subject Eleven two weeks ago. There'd only been about fifteen separate complaints about his conduct. Some Erasers had been overheard remarking about how it was a pity he was too brilliant to be used as an example.
Either way, the director was annoyed with him.
Which meant that the Director would do nothing about her tardiness in giving Reilly the report. Especially given the excuse of the week's holiday she had taken to spend with her family.
So, she'd be as late in handing it to him as possible.
She was now seven minutes late.
Dumping her gear, she grabbed her lab coat, and hurried out of the room.
She usually didn't think of the experiments as children. You couldn't or you'd hate yourself for doing such horrible inhuman things to the babies. You couldn't or you would start to doubt what you were doing, the very point for staying in this job.
So she thought of the children as lab rats. The ones that physically resembled the animals that their DNA had been modified with were the easiest. Then, you could pretend.
But sometimes it all became too much. Sometimes you couldn't pretend anymore. Sometimes, out of the blue, it would hit you full force, the enormity of the daily crimes that you were committing.
This was illegal, and she knew it. None of what she did would be legal under any law anywhere. If this went public then she'd be crucified.
Not a martyr though. This was not a worthy cause of martyrdom, to mess with God's creations in a manner so blasphemous.
This whole spiel had been brought about because of one of her infrequent visits to her remaining family. She'd visited her sister this time.
Her younger niece was just beginning to walk, and had solemnly followed after her favourite (and only) aunt. Her older niece was nine, and the two of them had sat and commiserated on how boys were gross and had cooties. Her nephew had started school, and had proudly showed her a picture of what he said was a giraffe. When she looked at it, yellow and orange splotches, all she could see was one of the children from Project Wildcat.
Her family had no idea, she mused as she sipped at her coffee, and it was better that way. What they didn't know wouldn't hurt them. So she would keep her lips firmly sealed.
And if the nature of her job ever passed her lips, her sister and brother would disappear off the face of the Earth. She would watch them die before they finally killed her. They, the Erasers, had five thousand different ways to do so, and they only needed one.
The children, her beautiful nieces and nephew, would become experiments, because they were valuable as experiments. Children didn't often come the School's way for free, usually with secrecy and payoffs.
They would join the children in the cages. They would find out their "auntie Ra-ra's" past, and she wondered what they would think. They'd probably hate her, and she wouldn't blame them.
Staying here was the best. Self-preservation.
She wasn't a bad person. Or at least, she didn't think she was a bad person.
What she did was bad.
No, what she did was horrendous, awful, atrocious, horrific. She was a monster, really. But, she had no choice.
She had no choice.
And that was an excuse, but not one she could live with.
She did not hate herself. She hated the job, and she hated the lies that led her to what she did now. The School, the Network, they did not go around just asking geneticists, biologists, doctors and others like herself to join them with a full explanation as to what they were doing to human babies.
She took another sip of coffee, now cold.
The explanations had come later, with the threats. With the pictures of the other people who had told, who had learned of the truth and had finally cracked and said something.
It was a proven fact that the turnover of the School's medical and scientific personnel was high. Especially among women, because women were generally more empathic.
So, they cracked and told someone, and were given to the Erasers or suicided messily. She'd once found two people who had a suicide pact, and had blown each other's brains out, she'd never forget that scene, the room strewn with blood, shards of skull and other bodily pieces.
She looked at her growing pile of paperwork and realised she was cracking. She'd wondered, after finding Jones and Matheson, what it would feel like to be driven to the point they had been at.
She realised now.
She had lost her family, the distance, the walls that she had put in to stop the pure and innocent kids from being contaminated by the despair and pain that emanated from the School, and anything it touched.
She'd lost her fiancée because of the lies.
She'd lost her friends, moving to the middle of nowhere, getting lost in her work to stop from thinking.
She took the specially sharpened letter opener from the stand on her desk, and she drew it slowly across one wrist, marveling at the line of red that crisply sprang up on her white, sun-deprived skin.
It felt good, so good, so she did it again, another line in parallel.
A third was ecstasy, and she still had another arm to mark.
Three lines along her other arm, six lines from which her pain bled away.
One for her Family. I'm sorry sister.
One for her Friends. You're better off without me.
One for her Fiancée. I could never tell the truth.
One for her freedom. I'll never be free.
One for the children who would never see that freedom. May He take you into his arms, so you know love and light in Heaven.
And then she quietly set the opener aside. She reached into her desk for the small first aid kid that was there. She bandaged it up, the evidence, the marks. Then came the final layer, the white lab coat. She drew the sleeves down to hide her hands.
And then she headed for the next test.