Chapter 4 – White Cell
That cold and hot tingle settled in my body as I woke yet again to the walls of the lab.
"You can't be serious, Dr. Galloway!" Wesley cried, incredulous. "It's only been a few hours! Keep going!"
"You seem to forget our lack of updated equipment, Wesley," Declan chided. "You remember Subject 14. He had done nearly as well as her and look what happened to him."
The German groaned with great irritation. "I don't care. I want what I deserve."
I opened my eyes to see Declan wave him off. "It's late anyways. Doesn't sleep sound appealing? I know it does to me."
The glass slid over my face again, disappearing back into the Animus. I sat up slowly, afraid of the world spinning on me. I put my hand on my head, suddenly unsure if I was Emily or Amelia. The only thing that told me I was Emily was the advance in technology I was looking at.
"Then I'll watch her."
Declan shook his head. "Unfortunately, my friend, I know how to work the Animus; you don't."
Wesley growled again and rose. With a brusque walk, he went to the large door behind me. He typed a password into a keypad, making the door slide open, and left me and Declan alone.
I got to my feet and gave him a hard look. "What the hell was all that?" I demanded.
He didn't look at me. "You took a trip through time, walking in your ancestor's shoes."
"Why do you need me? How can my ancestor help you?"
"Because she knew the one who holds the answers. She's part of the answer." He looked at me finally. "What was it like? You know, being there."
I was taken off guard by his question. There was no mocking or joking that I'd expect from a guy like him. One of my wardens wondered about what I had just experienced. Well, like Amelia, I wasn't gracious with people I didn't like. "Why don't you hop in and find out for yourself? I'm sure it'll be enlightening."
My tone was biting and he registered that. "I would, if I could. It sounds educational, truly intriguing."
I couldn't suppress the scoff. "I knew something like that would come out of your mouth."
He looked shocked. "What?"
"You scientists, you're all the same. Always making everything a project for you to study, to figure out. It disgusts me." I crossed my arms.
He regarded me curiously for a while. Finally, smirking, he said, "I like you, lassie."
Why would he say that? We were enemies. Why would he flatter me? I held my head high and looked him in the eye. "Careful who you try to befriend, Doc. Looks may deceive you, but I won't hesitate to kick your white-coated ass."
He glanced down at himself. "But, my ass is covered by my jeans." Smart ass. He knew well what I had meant.
My eye twitched. "Fuck off," I hissed.
Declan smiled and came around the table to stand directly in front of me. He leaned his head down to my height. "But, you do have one thing right, lassie. Looks are deceiving." With a casual smirk, he turned to leave, just as Wesley did. As the doors opened, he glanced back, "Get some rest, Emily. We have more work ahead of us." Just like that, he was gone.
I wanted to tell him that I wouldn't ever touch the Animus again, but, looking at it again, I didn't know if those words were true. The Animus had showed me a new perspective; it taught me things. I knew the basis of who the Assassins and Templars were and their long time feud. Listening to Amelia and watching her life through her eyes-even if it was only twice I had been with her-it made me realize what the machine could show all of us. In truth, I wanted to go back and learn more.
In such a short time, she had been through so much. Amelia was only 21 and she felt the weight of self-inflicted pressure of the responsibility she had inherited from her father. I even met Al Mualim, the grand master of the Assassins, through her and her guardian, Malik Al-Syaf. And the enigmatic and brash Altair Ibn La'Ahad. Now, that was an interesting guy I wanted to know more about. He may have been an asshole, but I wanted to know why. Was it his overconfidence in his abilities as it sounded, or was it something else? I just wished I could have discovered this device in another way.
Declan had mentioned about something happening to the last subject they had. I questioned their counting skills since they had jumped from 14 to 18-me being 18 obviously. There was a Subject 15, 16, and 17 out there somewhere. I wasn't alone metaphorically speaking. I wondered if I'd ever see them. Wesley had also mentioned a name: Warren Vidic. He must have been with Abstergo Industries and a highly respected member of it if my German captor had spoken about him with such distaste. Vidic was in Italy, Declan had said as well.
Were my fellow subjects there, perhaps? I decided to ask Declan about them later. He seemed more…giving than Wesley. I might very well have a better understanding of my situation now. I had a feeling that the Animus, like anything else, had a bad side. I just didn't know what that side was exactly.
I pursed my lips as I gazed upon it. I may have been tired, but I wanted to see the extent of my white cell. This room was large, I knew that, but it branched off to three other rooms and probably a hallway. The largest door was the only way out. That was obvious. Gazing at the window, I walked over to see the distance. Oh, no. I shivered when my question was answered. In a burst of energy, I moved away from it. All I knew is I was still in Scotland and more than five stories high. I shivered.
"That's one escape plan out the window," I grumbled. I laughed at my words. "Ahh, stupid puns." I glanced at the only door that was open thinking that that had to be my room. I smacked myself in the head, I hated this.
I yawned, dropping my hand back to my side. Exploring would have to wait. Besides, from what I saw, I didn't think I'd be able to do that. Keypads were a bitch. I turned on my heel and approached my room. I passed what seemed to be pillars that were the only thing holding up the ceiling and saw cameras. Of course. I swear if there are any in the bathroom, I was going to be pissed beyond belief. It's bad enough that I am a prisoner here in some lab in the middle of Scotland. I continued after glaring into the lens that was far from my reach. As soon as I entered the small room, the door slid shut behind me.
I sighed, "Typical."
Dead in the middle of the left wall was a bed that looked like it wasn't going to be from a luxury hotel. Queen sized, white sheets, grey comforter, white pillows. Yeah, no fancy stuff for moi. A glass table was placed on either side with a reading lamp. And what would I be allowed to read? I mean, these guys would probably expect me to slit my wrists somehow with the pages. Now that would be one helluva papercut. Across from the edge of the bed was a closet. Another door was yonder, hopefully the bathroom. Ignoring both, I dragged my feet to the bed and sat. Holding my head in my hands, I knew this would be my routine for a while. A low growl rumbled from my stomach. Great, I was tired and hungry. My spidey senses told me I wasn't going to get to eat tonight. Might as well call it a night.
Not even bothering to kick off my shoes, I fell back, rolled, slid my hand under one of the pillows, and let sleep take me.
Blood. The truth will be written in blood.
"Wakey, wakey, lassie."
The voice laced heavily with a Scottish accent. Yay. I gripped the pillow, hoping I wasn't facing him. It sounded like he was calling for me to rise for a while from his tone and Wesley's irritable, loud grumbles from the main room. They were already preparing and I didn't have a clue what time it was. The lights were unchanging in this hallowed place. They bore through my lids like prying lasers.
Yeah, this was going to drive me insane at some point.
I groaned as I heard him call for me again and again. "C'mon, lassie. You have to get up sometime. You don't want Wesley in here do you? You know those Germans, always so pushy."
Oh, how I hated Declan. This man would get hit soon and it was only day two. I wanted out. I didn't want a day three. This yearning for knowledge I felt was overcome by the need to go home. The Scotsman nudged my arm lightly. In response, I lunged at him, fist flying and eyes becoming alert. I had the bastard! Or, so I thought. As fast as I thought my attack was, his movements were much faster. He caught my wrist before it could connect with his jaw. Confusion settled over me. How did this scientist do that? The speed, like that of a cobra.
"Slow, lassie, slow." His words left me as dumbfounded as his action. As I looked at him, I saw a momentary lapse in his cool-headed control. He dropped my arm and straightened himself. "Come now. You have a date with the Animus again, best not to keep it waiting." He turned and left the room.
What was that about?
"Come, girl! We haven't all day!" Wesley shouted a second later. I shook my head, swung my legs over the bed, and stood. When I entered the Animus room, Wesley was sitting in one of the—you guessed it—white chairs near the Animus, arms crossed with his fingers tapping continuously while Declan was leaning over the computer that was hooked to the machine I'd be laying on probably all day.
"Why the hell am I doing this?" I demanded.
Declan didn't flinch, he never raised his eyes to me. Wesley was forced to reply. "For things that are beyond your understanding. Now, I'm an impatient man," Who woulda thought? "Get in the table so we can begin." His voice was sharp and bitter, like cheap wine.
I groaned, but remained standing. "Fuck you."
The clicking noises coming from Declan's computer stopped abruptly but the man remained still. Wesley stopped his finger movements as well, but only to turn his head back enough so he could look me in the eye. What dim light there was in those dark blue orbs seemed to darken a shade, making the whole room feel even more lifeless. He rose from the seat, each movement deliberate and controlled, and approached me. I stared him down and each second felt like an eternity.
"Say that again, girl."
I didn't falter. "Fuck you."
His eye twitched and I just barely noticed his hand move. It shot up.
"Don't touch her, Wes," Declan said warningly. "You remember what happened last time you lost your temper."
The German's hand was stopped just before my throat. He smirked coldly. "Yes, well, I don't want to repeat that. Now, Ms. Valentine, get into the Animus. Do not speak again for Mr. Galloway might not be here to save you." He returned to his chair.
Declan turned his head in my direction, his eyes conveyed a warning for me. I knew it was to obey. I moved finally, deciding it was in my best interest. I hadn't even noticed my hands shaking. Germans. I glanced over to Wesley once more, careful not to catch his eye. I couldn't win in a fight here, I knew that. When I could though, I'd do it. He was glaring out the window and I thought I saw his eyes twitch.
Getting on the Animus, Declan wouldn't look at me again. The memory of the speed he showed flashed through my mind as I laid back. All thought dispersed. The glass sheet slipped over my face and the program began. Declan moved through the memory blocks back to my last point. I heard one last click and Amelia took me.
And finally I finish this chapter. I apologize for the long wait, my friends, even though I said I would try to have this up much sooner. And I also apologize for not responding to those of you that reviewed. Thanks and this is what I give you for now. It's Amelia's turn again. I wonder how things are going to turn out for both of our heroines...XD Until next time….