In a dark room sits a large lab table, littered with papers, pens have been thrown about its surface. Different beakers hold serums of ranging colors. A bright red liquid heats over a Bunsen burner. There's a man in a large white lab coat, his hands adorn with bright blue gloves, eyes covered with steamed over safety goggles.
A syringe is placed into the heating liquid with practiced care. Only two ounces are extracted, before the tool is removed, the burner turned off, and the beaker left to cool.
The man handles the syringe with care as he crosses the distance from the table to a rusting and squeaky door. He opens the door with an effort. Time in the lab leaving him not as fit as he was.
There is one of Them chained up to the wall. He carefully approaches the creature, comfort evident in every step he took forward. Than in a dangerous abandonment of caution he reaches his gloved hand forward. There is an empty growl of hunger, and a swipe of teeth forward. Blank eyes stared at him with hunger, ferocity, and lust. Lust for food, lust for tasting that bit of life that was no longer with It. Another groan, another gnashing of hungry blood stained teeth. A flicker of pity passes across the man's eyes. It's replaced by something dangerous; there is parental fondness in the eyes of the man. A fondness the rest of humanity could not afford to let fester if it wished to survive.
He gulps, observes the condition of the room that the door led to.
There is a single bare light bulb, concrete walls made brown and crusted with dried blood. The floor is wet and slick from the rotted innards of the infected that came before this one. A tsk is spared for the corner where the infected secreted during the painful process of becoming one of Them.
Than in a final sweep of the room, the man turned and quickly plunged the syringe into the neck of It.
The neck muscles clench, making it impossible to remove the syringe. Its entire body seizes up, there is gurgling heard as rotten half decomposed blood dribbles from Its mouth. Teeth begin moving rapidly as it searches for warm flesh. The hunger consuming it like a flame before it's put out. There is a long sustained high pitched gurgling scream. Then with a final lunge forward It collapses against its restraints. Head fallen forward, the man watches as the serum apparently speeds up the decomposition of the body further.
There's a slapping sound as pieces of already half rotten flesh hit the concrete floor. A putrid stench infects and fills the room so thickly, that the man exits with it soaking his lab coat.
Closing the door, and getting rid of his lab coat, the man crosses the room again. Coming to a spiral staircase leading upward. He climbs upward, and is greeted at the top with by a large hulking figure covered in shadows.
"Doctor Jones, tell me, how is your research going?"
Gilberts eyelids begin to droop as the road lulls him into sleepiness. The van swerves a little and with a jolt everyone is awake again. Gilbert is cursing at his tiredness when a hand is placed on his shoulder. He looks over to see Matthew, the ever composed and stoic Matthew. The van swerves again as he loses focus on anything but the man beside him. He only just manages to avoid a tree because Lovino gave out a terrified scream.
Everyone silently agrees to let someone else take the wheel for a while. Gilbert had been driving for them since the beginning. Matthew slid into the driver's seat and soon the van was going at a fast pace. Gilbert slips in and out of consciousness for a few minutes, before his eyelids finally become too heavy and he is fast asleep. Dreaming of the before time.
No one is tired enough to go back to sleep, everyone stays up and watches the sun rise as they race by everything.
Lovino thinks about his home. About the warm grass, and even warmer summer sun. He thinks about wild flowers, and his little sister making them into crowns and placing them on his head. He tries to remember what his mother's cooking tasted like, but he can't. He works in his head to conjure up the far away memories of his childhood.
He can remember the bright sunlight, and the colors of the flowers. He sees the small house they lived so clearly in his mind. He can almost hear his sisters phantom giggle.
"Do you guys remember what it was like before?"
He smiles and closes his eyes as he tilts his head back to the ceiling of the van.
He can most certainly remember. He remembers lights like fireflies from an apartment window. He can remember the Parisian wind caressing his cheeks. He remembers going to the bakery down the street, and getting warm bread every Saturday. He remembers the rolls that he'd buy from there every Sunday.
He remembers going to school in London, and the stomach wrenching realization he liked it there. He remembers meeting Antonio, and Gilbert. Suddenly he remembers eyes the green of the forest roof and it hurts.
Francis gulps back a sob, "I most certainly can."
Antonio can remember it too.
He remembers going swimming in his underwear with friends and his brother. He remembers how his father would always scold them after. He remembers the old church at the top of the great hill; the stained glass filling the somber place with colored light. He remembers the hymns they sung for Easter, and the hymns they sung at his cousins wedding when he was fourteen.
He remembers the pastor there. He remembers how the old man was always working to fix something that was broken in the church. He remembers coming by one day to play with the orphans and seeing the man on the roof fixing the shingles. He remembers thinking that man was amazing. He can remember wishing he was that amazing too.
"I remember wanting to be a priest when I was fifteen." Antonio smiles out the window at the golden sun before turning back to smile at Lovino. Lovino blushes and quickly looks ahead of him.
"I remember meeting Arthur. It was at a New Years party, a mutual friend had set us up. I remember seeing him smile at me at midnight, and I remember my heart constricting in my chest from it." Francis smiled genuinely for the first time since Arthurs infection. A tear runs down his cheek, and he catches it with a deft finger. He still had to figure out a way to say a proper goodbye to the love of his life.
Francis remembered rainy mornings where the two would stay tangled together in the sheets. He remembered baking a cake every year, even though he knew Arthur didn't like celebrating his birthday. Francis remembered the way that Arthur silently wished for children, and he remembered the heartache he felt because he couldn't give him any.
Matthew was listening to the conversation in the back. He remembered the time before well enough, but not without some strain. He could remember warm mornings in the summer when his mom would make him eggs.
Matthew shut his eyes tight as he forced the memories down. Memories like those were dangerous in the troubles of now. He knew that whatever happiness he gained from remembering would be lost; drowned out by the gurgles and scratching of Them.
He thought back to when he and his brother where just little kids, and how he was still small enough to be carried on Gilberts back. How Gilbert would sneak him out of the musty house into the fresh bright garden. He remembered the mossy dirty smell of the flowers in the rain. Every memory of that time when he was truly happy was frosted over and hazy.
Still Gilbert found himself smiling; and wishing through the ache in his chest that none of this had ever happened.
The van jolts as the party runs over another one of Them.
Everything snaps back into a heavy silence.
Alfred Jones smiled tenderly at the poor pathetic whore who looked at him with fear. She watched him cautiously from the opposite corner of the concrete room. The blood she'd vomited permeated everything. He rested on a plastic chair and watched her in return. A hulking menacing figure waited behind him; leaning against the wall and keeping himself hidden halfway in shadows of the room.
The bite wound in her arm had been festering for a good two days; the skin around it beginning to grey and mold. Pus gathered in the center of the infected woman's bite. She shook violently it wouldn't be long now before her body rejected her organs.
"Now I hope you do not think badly of me. In fact you should be thanking me!" Alfred stood from his chair, "you're worthless life will contribute to the furthering of my very important research! You will be elevated to a new state of being! A more worthy version of you will be reborn from this! While it may seem cruel. . . well, you won't really be thinking clearly enough to feel terrible emotions like cruelty.
"In fact right now the pain must be mounting to an unbearable state! Yet you haven't shown any signs of pain since you're arrival. You probably can barely hear me speaking right now. . . how interesting that you are turning so differently from the rest! You have been able to eat, you don't look high. . ." Alfred took that moment to sway his body left to right, "you're even aware and awake of your surroundings!"
Alfred did a small jig for glee. The figure took this moment speak up, "Enlighten me good doctor, how is this something to celebrate?"
Alfred glanced back at the tall man. He wore a dirtied long sleeved shirt, tattered denim jeans, and around his neck was a purple scarf. The man's violet eyes flashed at him from the shadows; Alfred was reminded of another pair of violet eyes.
Alfred smiled coldly, he ignored the icy pang the pierced his chest. Memories of sunny mornings and evenings spent telling stories flitted by his vision.
A/N: I know, I know! I've been gone for such a long time and that I was only able to manage this tiny chapter! It is totally not cool of me, and I honestly tried so hard to make this longer. But unfortunately I just couldn't. The story brought itself to this point and decided this was a good place to end the chapter.
I suppose I introduced a couple of new characters to the story. This chapter was mostly about remembering your childhood and seeing those days through rose colored glass. I again apologize for such a tiny chapter ( \ _ _ _ )\