***Hello everyone! I'm taking a step away from the normal fanfiction writing I do! I've always been a massive germancest fan! A few quick things first: Any sentences with '…' will represent speaking in German. Also, while this is a medical type centered fic, I will do my very best to make descriptions believable. I am NOT, I repeat, am NOT a medical physician or psychologist, so bear with me. XD I will do as much research as I can for what is needed.
Please read on and enjoy! Read and review please! XOXO
***Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia. This fanfiction is for fun only. I am making no money off of this fic.
My Manipulated Misfortune
The rain drummed heavily against the apartment window, the only sound present in a dimly lit room. Green lights on the kitchen stove's clock shined 6:45 am, which was the precise time for the room inhabitants to leave. Two young bachelors shared the room and board of an apartment near their university and working facility. Today would be the first day on the job for both of them so punctuality was a top priority. The plan had been to walk to their place of work but due to the rain, a car ride was in order.
Ludwig Beilschmidt was a young graduate student who excelled in academics and science. As a young boy he had always been at the top of his class. He was one of the very few who spent most of his schooling in the Gifted and Talented class. The young man had always been very disciplined, refusing to accept failure, and doing everything in his cognitive power to go above what was expected. The man was no stranger to his intelligence level and knew what classmates thought about him. In a way, he was socially awkward, but not so much to the point where he could not communicate at all. Putting together Power Points of his research, results, and ideas was a hobby. With his high honor awards, flawless data, and academic excellence, Ludwig was able to gain an apprenticeship. Now, he was unsure of just what his apprenticeship entailed, but he was ready and willing to find out.
Beside Ludwig in the car sat Roderich Edelstein, another graduate student who had also gained an apprenticeship at the same facility. Unlike Ludwig, Roderich had already gotten word of what his job at the laboratory would be. He was a young scientist whose soul purpose was to discover vaccinations for everything from common ailments to deadly diseases. As a hobby on the side, the violet-eyed man enjoyed playing on his piano and writing sheet music. Just like Ludwig, Roderich was an honor student also so the two got along rather well. Roderich liked to keep to his own studies and music.
The car ride had been silent since Ludwig backed the car out of the lot and onto the road. He was actually the first of the two to speak.
"Do you think this is a good idea, Roderich?"
Roderich glanced in Ludwig's direction for a second before going back to the paper in front of him. "What is it that you speak of, Ludwig?"
"This facility…VOX Cooperation. It is a human testing facility after all." Ludwig was well aware of the risks that came with being an inhumane scientist, but he was willing to take the chance. Turning down the offer would have been an idiotic gesture on his part.
"You need to remember, Ludwig, that this facility only runs tests and experiments in order to learn more about what causes things to happen. I say 'things' for there is more than one specific variety of disease that we will be experimenting. Like so many issues in life, this is simply a necessary evil. Don't forget that the government approves highly of this place and even sends funds for research."
Ludwig just nodded to his roommate, keeping his blue eyes focused on the rainy road ahead. He had a few doubts about this place but didn't want to make a judgment call before observing it. Working in a government facility was always a dream of his, but this particular one fell under the 'secret' genre. The company was a secret government agency that allowed more freedom of study than other facilities. Someone of Ludwig's cognitive level should be trembling with joy, yet he was slightly bothered by it.
He said nothing more as the car turned into a parking garage. The blonde handed the security guard his I.D. along with Roderich's, before they were allowed to park. Ludwig took the car up two ramps before they were able to find a suitable parking spot.
Roderich unbuckled his seatbelt. "My first order of business is to request our own parking space on the bottom floor."
The blonde rolled his eyes, turning off the ignition. "Just stay focused on your work. This is a very rare opportunity for the both of us." He tucked the keys into his coat pocket before exiting the car. "I would hate to evict you from the apartment with nothing more than some clothes and a piano."
"I find very little humor in your deadpan jokes, Ludwig." Roderich stuck his nose in the air while he made his way to the elevator. Ludwig silently followed.
Their lavatories were on different floors, Ludwig on the top floor and Roderich somewhere in the middle. When the elevator stopped on the fifth floor, Roderich politely wished Ludwig a 'good day' before exiting. Ludwig responded with a simple grunt and pressed the button to close the doors. He stared up at the ceiling mirror, silently wondering what he was getting himself in to. The beep of the elevator signaled his floor and he took a deep breath.
When the doors opened and he stepped out, Ludwig noticed how 'office like' it was. For a moment he wondered if this was the wrong floor, but double-checking his papers this was right. A man carrying a mug of coffee came up to him and smiled.
"Can I help you?" The man asked, but noticed Ludwig's I.D. card. "Oh, never mind. I didn't know you were one of the scientists."
"I'm an apprentice actually." Ludwig responded. "Can you direct me to where I'm suppose to be?"
The man nodded and waved Ludwig on. "Yeah, follow me." Ludwig followed the man across the length of the office before coming to a silver door. "Just slide your keycard through here and the door will open. Good luck." The man pats Ludwig's shoulder and strolled off.
Ludwig slid the keycard through the slot and with a beep the door opened. Before him was a white staircase leading up to another electronically sealed door. The foyer he stood in was small with nothing around but an intercom on the far right. Ludwig figured he would have to be buzzed in so he pressed the red button, hearing a soft 'ding-dong' sound. The simplicity of it made an eyebrow twitched.
'Hello?' Came a woman's voice on the intercom.
"Yes, hello. My name is Ludwig Beilschmidt. I'm-" The woman cut him off.
'Yes, of course! Welcome, Mr. Beilschmidt! Come right up. Doctor Carty is expecting you.'
"Thank you." Ludwig straightened out his tie and went up to the door. Upon entering there was a large office, completely white from floor to ceiling with minimal furniture. There was a desk in the center with a receptionist typing away on her computer. Ludwig cleared his throat. "Ma'am?"
She smiled at him. "One moment, Mr. B." She switched on the desk intercom. "Dr. Winlow, Ludwig Beilschmidt is here."
'I will be right there.' Came the response before it buzzed out.
'Mr. B.?' Ludwig frowned at the shortening of his name. 'Just what kind of facility is this? Doesn't seem professional enough.'
"Please have a seat, Mr. B."
"Beilschmidt, please." Ludwig ignored the rolling eyes as he took a seat on the white leather sofa. He crossed his arms while waiting for Dr. Winlow to show up. Ludwig looked up from his lap when the door opened.
"Mr. Beilschmidt! Welcome aboard!" Said a tall man with sandy blonde hair and brown eyes. "Let me show you around. Give you the nickel tour."
Ludwig nodded in a silent greeting and followed behind the man through the door. They entered a mint green hallway with matching doors four feet apart. Each door had a small square glass window at the top and a combination door handle. The hallway smelled overly sterile, something between a mix of bleach and disinfectant. Ludwig had to wiggle his nose at the heavy smell.
"Now this is the Green Apple Hall where we house some of our better test subjects." Dr. Winlow pointed out. "You will find these subjects to be very healthy."
"How many halls are there?" Ludwig asked, walking alongside the doctor.
"We have three halls in total. Each hall holds thirty rooms with one test subject in each. The Green Apple is more low-key testing, such as new medicines or vitamins." Winlow opened another door that led to a yellow hall with two steps leading down. "This is the Yellow Apple Hall."
"Hm. May I ask what the apples symbolize?"
"It's just the names of choice. They've always been named this, probably due to the choice of colors. This hall is for recovering subjects after they undergo specific treatments. Have a look."
Ludwig went up to the nearest door and peeked inside, seeing a woman lying on a hospital bed hooked up to a few machines. "She seems normal enough. What was she tested for?"
Winlow shrugged his shoulders. "Some female issue. You will find that women are on the right and men on the left in each hall. They range from seventeen and up. Typically we prefer to stop at forty when collecting subjects."
Ludwig returned to walking with the man. "How do we obtain these subjects, if I may ask?" He was unsure of what knowledge he was allowed to know for an apprentice was usually withheld such information.
"Oh, various ways. We gather them from all over the world! People who have ailments or some that are simply healthy. We strive to find cures for illnesses that exist or what causes them. You will learn in time how things work here. There is one more hall I have to show you before we can speak to Dr. Carty." The doctor stopped short to look at Ludwig. "Try not to feel any concern or pity for these people. All of them come from places where they will not be missed."
Ludwig could only follow the man through another door and to the last hallway, pondering the last words.
This one was deep red but unlike the other halls, this one gave off an eerie feel. "Let me guess, The Red Apple Hall?"
Winlow laughed. "You're correct, sir! This is where we hold our 'favorite' test subjects." He gave a smirk in Ludwig's direction. "You will find very specific types in this hall. Such as-" Winlow stopped for a moment when he looked at the name beside one of the patient doors. "Huh, interesting. Are you related to Gilbert Beilschmidt in any way?"
Ludwig was taken off guard by the question. "I don't know him. However, 'Beilschmidt' is a fairly popular name in Germany."
"Well, this guy here was born and raised in Germany before we obtained him. Take a peek inside." Winlow stepped to the side so Ludwig could gaze in through the window.
"Do you find something out of the ordinary about an albino?" Ludwig asked the other, but never took his eyes off the form sitting on a bed.
The man was young, around his age or possibly a few years older. He sat on a white bed, the only furniture in the room aside from an end table and a lamp. The man had bandages around his neck, arms, and feet. His wrists were shackled tightly together and rested in his lap. The clothing worn was simply hospital style attire, gray short-sleeved shirt and pants. The man even wore a blindfold over his eyes.
"He makes a perfect specimen." Replied Winlow. "It is hard to treat albinos with medical issues. There aren't a large number of them so when we find one we snatch it up. I'm not permitted to give you medical information on him. That is up for Dr. Carty to decide."
"Hm." Ludwig turned away from the window.
"You may be helpful to us in dealing with Gilbert. We aren't sure he knows any English for only German comes out of his mouth. Most of them sound like insults half the time. A German translator would be much appreciated here for we don't have one. French and Spanish we have."
"I do speak fluent German. I will speak to the man if needed." Ludwig offered before clearing his throat. "When will I be able to see Dr. Carty?" The blonde was getting a little impatient.
"Yes, right this way." Winlow pat Ludwig's back as they left the Red Apple Hall.
Ludwig looked back at the door for a moment as they exited the last hallway. Winlow took him through a short white corridor with only three doors. Two appeared to be office doors and the third was an elevator. The other doctor stopped them at a door to their left.
"This is Dr. Carty's office. When you're done just go back the way you came."
"What about the elevator?" Ludwig asked and pointed to it.
"That leads to the testing labs. Dr. Carty will let you know more about that."
The man said nothing else but gave a friendly wave and left back through the Red Apple Hall. Ludwig stared at the door a moment before giving a soft knock. There was no response from the other side. Ludwig knocked a bit louder a second time, and yet there was still no answer. Gripping the handle, he pressed it down and pushed. The door opened easily to reveal a nearly empty room. There was one five layered shelf with some binders and books to the left. Only a chair in the center in front of a small wall mounted television were the other objects in the room.
Ludwig found this extremely strange and odd. The man could only assume that this was one more 'top-secret' government policy. Looking closely at the screen, Ludwig noticed it had some buttons on the right side. When walking up to it, he saw the word 'call' and pressed it. The screen lit up and a colorful array of sound lines appeared. Ludwig stood in the center to look more closely at it. The whole ordeal was really very strange.
'Good morning, Mr. Beilschmidt!' Said the screen, its colorful sound waves dancing along the screen.
Ludwig's shoulders lifted stiffly in slight alarm. "H-Hello?" He was unsure of what to say to the screen.
"Welcome to Vox Corp. ! I'm Dr. Carty, the head doctor and scientist here. Forgive me for speaking to you in this way. I am currently abroad in another facility working on various topics. I continue to do my work at Vox Corp. through this screen."
"Oh…well that explains it." Ludwig wasn't really sure himself, but the explanation seemed legit.
"So then, by any chance are you related to Gilbert Beilschmidt? He's one of our test subjects."
"No, I am not. Dr. Winlow already asked me that earlier. I told him it is a common name in Germany." Ludwig found it peculiar that he was asked the same question twice.
"Yes, and our Gilbert hails from Germany. You would be perfect to speak to him for us!"
"Dr. Winlow said that he would like me to speak to him in German since that seems to be all Gilbert can speak."
"Marvelous idea! We know very little about him other than he was picked up drunk at a bar. Everything else about him is a mystery to us. I think the man may even find some solace speaking to you. As an apprentice, your first order of business will be to look after our Gilbert for a short time."
Ludwig frowned deeply. "That seems more the job a caregiver, Dr. Carty. I did not work so hard all my young life to babysit an adult."
The doctor laughed. "That's funny. You are not a caregiver. I merely want you to look over him more. Take notes and such. Do you have your company tablet with you?"
Ludwig reached into his messenger bag and pulled out a covered computer tablet. "I do."
"I'm sure you can figure out how to use it. To download all of Gilbert's files, type in the code found below his room number. I'm very curious to hear what my albino has to say. Do be careful with him, though. He is one of our more precious experiments."
Ludwig's upper lip lifted in a sneer. The way the man spoke of Gilbert it would seem the albino was more than just a science experiment. "I will do my best." He said sternly.
"Glad to hear it. Your records speak for themselves, Ludwig. I know you will be a great addition to our team. Remember, we are only trying to help thousands upon thousands of people who are suffering every day. Take nothing to heart."
"Yes sir." Ludwig was still feeling uneasy. "Thank you."
"Report back to me whatever you can pull from him. Goodbye for now!"
The screen shut off on its own and the room was silent. Ludwig did not know what to make of all the strange conditions. He had thought all government-run facilities were top notch and strictly controlled. Much was out of the ordinary, but he had come too far and worked hard to get to this point. He was not going to quit or run away just because he saw some things as 'odd'. This was only the first day of his new apprenticeship and there was still much to learn. Little did he know that Dr. Carty was abroad for Ludwig thought he would be working alongside the man. For the time being it would seem he was on his own, taking orders from a computer.
Now it was time to get to work. Putting the strangeness of the computer conversation behind him, Ludwig powered up his tablet as he left the office. Once it was loaded properly, he tapped a few icons to get to the medical records. Exiting the tiny hall he stepped back into the Red Apple Hall. The exact room number escaped him so he searched the signs for Gilbert's name.
Room thirteen had Gilbert's name on the strip and Ludwig peeked in through the window again. The man was in the exact same position the first time Ludwig saw him. Ludwig took a moment to type in the code number but minimized the file page that quickly appeared. He wanted to see what he could get out of Gilbert by himself. Ludwig had learned that papers and data might not always hold true. Sometimes the truth can come straight from the person's mouth. The scientists may be 'observing' but Gilbert is the one experiencing all that is happening.
Ludwig had to maximize the page again to learn the code number for the lock. Numbers came easily to him so punching in the code took less than a second. The lock's small red light flashed green with a little beep, signaling that he could enter. Ludwig pressed the handle down and pushed the heavy door, stepping into the small room. The man sitting on the bed heard his arrival and lifted a pale head to look in the direction of the noise. Ludwig noted the blindfold for a moment before clearing his throat, something he always did when having to speak in an uncomfortable situation.
The blonde spoke his first words to Gilbert in pure German. 'Hello Gilbert. My name is Ludwig. Ludwig Beilschmidt. We happen to share the same last name.'
The albino's jaw dropped at the sound of his language being spoken. His lips formed a lopsided smirk. 'Well I'll be damned. They finally picked up a German translator?'
'I am not just a translator.' Ludwig answered softly. 'I am an apprentice, a scientist in training. I am here to help conduct experiments in which can help to-'
'-save the human race.' Gilbert finished for him with a sneer. 'Don't you think I'm fucking aware of that little statement by now?'
Ludwig said nothing.
'Look, those white robed bastards remind me of that stupid little saying the moment they stick something inside of me! Whether it's a needle, a knife, a dick, or a disease, they always say the exact same thing. As if they are just repeating it for themselves so their hand can stop shaking as they proceed with the torture. Science to them, torture to me.'
Ludwig could plainly see how intense the man was being, yet did not make any body movements. He took note of Gilbert's body, seeing that it was thin and malnourished. Perhaps the albino man lacked the physical energy. Still, Ludwig answered him in a calm, smooth voice. 'I understand it must be hard for you. If you can, think of it as a way you are helping thousands of people. Families can stay happily together and people won't have to sit by, watching love ones die of something they can't control.'
'Hmph. That's a new one. It's clear you are a newbie here at VOX.' He said the name with heavy disdain. 'Soon you will be like all the others. I bleat at you. Baa!'
Ludwig rolled his eyes. 'I am a scientist, not a politician. Now, may I ask why you are wearing a blindfold?'
Gilbert flashed him a smirk accompanied by a dark chuckle. 'Why the fuck not? Sure, I'll tell you. Your fellow scientists have temporarily blinded me in hopes of restoring pigments to my eyes.' His voice became childishly sarcastic. 'But it's okay, because it's going to help others like me to not have pink eyes!'
Ludwig dragged a hand down his face. He could understand Gilbert's side to it, but like Roderich had said in the car, 'it's a necessary evil'. The same could be said for animal testing labs. Sacrificing a few to save hundreds. Dark and inhumane, that's what it was. However, science defined everything in a different way and that was how he planned to follow while staying here.
'It is a noble gesture on their part. Gilbert, I can see why you are upset-'
'Fuck you! Let's switch places, Ludwig Beilschmidt, then, and ONLY THEN, can you preach to me!'
This was getting him nowhere. He had to change topics. 'Why do you not move? Are those shackles too heavy?'
The albino scoffed. 'Hardly. On a good day I could smash someone's skull with these. Today…well, that's a different story. I would love to get up and kick your young ass but as you can plainly see my ankles are broken. Broken, mind you, not from activity or an accident, but by from your comrades!'
Ludwig's eyes widened. 'Are you saying they purposefully broke them? For what reason?'
Gilbert smirked again. 'They may have seen me as a harmless stupid drunk at first, but rest assure, Ludwig, I can kick someone's ass from here to the end of world!' The smug look never left that pale face. 'They are afraid of me! Terrified that I will bite their dicks off or slit their supple fat throats! I'm a goddamn wildcat when free and they fucking know it. So, they butcher me like this to keep me in place! Fucking cowards! They all deserve to die!'
Ludwig's eyebrow twitched. 'Then perhaps you should behave.'
'That is not who I am.' Gilbert answered proudly. 'I fight the law.'
The blonde was about to respond to Gilbert's words when the door beeped open. Blue eyes turned to see a female nurse holding a tray with a bowl and a glass of water. Behind her came a male nurse wheeling an I.V. and medical pouch. The nurses acknowledged Ludwig in the room, giving him a friendly smile before speaking.
"Gilbert, we have your breakfast. 'Fruhstuck'." She said the word in German and Ludwig looked to Gilbert, awaiting his reaction.
The albino spoke in German. 'Screw off, bitch. I'm not hungry.'
The female nurse seemed used to Gilbert's angry German and motioned for the man to hold the albino still. Ludwig watched as the male nurse gripped Gilbert's forearms and held him steady. Gilbert struggled a bit in the hold, but seemed to pause when the familiar smell of oatmeal was placed near his face. Ludwig could see that Gilbert liked the food and was indeed hungry despite the protest.
"Let's eat what we can today, Gilbert." The nurse said in a sweet voice, pressing the spoon to Gilbert's lips. Gilbert hesitated for a moment before opening his mouth to eat the oatmeal. "There, I bet that tastes good."
Gilbert sloshed it around in his mouth before swallowing. Ludwig noticed that Gilbert seemed to have a hard time chewing and swallowing, something he quickly made a mental note of. The nurse continued to feed him in small spoonfuls until half the bowl was gone. Ludwig was pleased to know that the albino was eating well, that was, until the pale man started to cough. Ludwig stroked his chin in concern and interest while witnessing the man vomit up the oatmeal. The female nurse had a towel ready and held it under Gilbert's chin as he spit up the food. Ludwig took a moment to maximize Gilbert's file and quickly scan through.
'Hm. Peripheral Neuropathy. Interesting.' Ludwig said to himself, speaking the textbook definition in his mind. 'Damage to the nerves which carry information from the brain and spinal cord to all parts of the body. Gilbert is experiencing the digestive issue of the aliment right now. Unable to hold down simple food and vomiting up that which cannot properly be digested. That is why he is so thin.'
After Gilbert had ceased vomiting, the female nurse gave orders to the male to hook up the IV. Gilbert protested immediately, shouting in German that he did not want it. 'Ludwig! Tell them I don't want it! Tell them!'
Ludwig remained perfectly still and silent, hoping Gilbert would believe he was no longer in the room. Ludwig, in all honesty, did not know how to properly respond.
"Now, now, Gilbert. We go through this every day. You're a champion at this!" Her voice was falsely uplifting and she had to hold Gilbert down while the male injected him with a sedative.
'Stupid cunts! I will…I will have…' Gilbert's body was already falling limp against the woman. The I.V. was stuck into his arm quickly, making Gilbert hiss in discomfort.
"This will nourish you, Gilbie." The male said while releasing the latch on the cord to let the liquid flow. The man's brown eyes turned to Ludwig. "You must be new."
"That I am." Ludwig replied, never taking his eyes off of the tablet.
'Ludwig…' Gilbert's weakened whisper reached Ludwig's ears. 'Ludwig…tell them to stop.'
Ludwig did not know if Gilbert was just talking out loud because he was delirious with drugs or that the man though he was still here. Ludwig gulped softly and stared at Gilbert's limp form as it was lowered carefully to the bed. To his surprise, the male nurse removed Gilbert's blindfold to reveal the most stunning and unseeing eyes Ludwig had ever seen. Blue eyes stared into flat pink, looking but not seeing. Gilbert was indeed a beautiful man, his albino features making him almost exotic. The lithe chest rose up and down slowly while being covered.
Ludwig found it hard to breathe as he gazed upon the pale beauty that seemed to disappear in the sheets of white. It was a strange feeling; one Ludwig was not too familiar with. There was something about this place and the aura it gave off. He could envision himself dismissing the nurses while he had his wicked way with the drugged beauty on the bed. Ludwig could see now what Dr. Carty meant when he kept referring to Gilbert as 'special'. They used Gilbert for sex as well as scientific experiments. The man was still softly crying for his help, but Ludwig did nothing.
Pink eyes suddenly rolled to focus in Ludwig's direction and held their gaze on him. Ludwig gulped, seeing those pink eyes glued to his. They were wide and unblinking, yet the pink orbs were gazing at him as if they could see all his secrets. Ludwig could not be sure if the albino was slowly gaining back his sight or Gilbert would do a 360 turn of his head.
Ludwig had to leave. He could not stay in that room for a moment longer with those eyes peering at him. Unseeing or not, they were 'looking' at him. Ludwig thought it very strange that something so simple as a blank stare could have this big of an effect on him. Tonight while he tried to sleep, Ludwig knew he would be seeing those haunting pink eyes in his dreams.
End Chapter 1 TBC