Shinigami-cat: Okay people. Here's the next chapter. I hope you all like it… I OWN NOTHING!
Once Arthur had abandoned Francis and Alfred, he quickly found a small set of stairs leading up to a higher floor. He quickly ascended from the factory floor going up as high as they could let him go. That would be the fourth floor. The door was a little jammed, but was opened easily enough with a little force.
The corridors for the fourth floor looked odd, almost like had stepped into a hospital wing of some kind; black and white tiled floors, white walls, white ceiling, white doors. It caused his chest to tighten a little, but he wasn't sure why.
Shaking it off like he always did, he started to walk down the hallway, stepping on broken glass every now and then. It sent unwelcome chills up his spine. 'Why does this place affect me so much? There's no reason for it… I'm used to hospitals…'
That wasn't a lie either. His earliest memories were of hospitals wards. Always being moved from one place to another, the sink on his arms and legs as scarred as his mind, or so he was told. He couldn't remember when his burns were that bad, nor could he remember the fragments of his mind that lead to that event.
Since he didn't have his medication with him anymore, fragments were starting to slowly fall into place, slowly but surely. Mary, the woman he kept yelling at, that was his sister. He knew that was who she was, even if he didn't have any real proof besides his memories.
'Mary… I know you now…' Thought Arthur bitterly. 'But what could have happened to you to have made me want to forget so much? What happened to our parents? Did we have other brothers and sisters? Younger or older?'
The longer he dwelled on this the more stressed he became about his whole situation. Instead he resolved to taking a few deep breaths and putting his family matters to the back of his mind for now. He was on an important case. He had to find that girl.
"… Girl with no name, girl with no appearance as far as I know… How the bloody hell am I meant to find such a person?" He was beyond frustrated at this point. Lie just wasn't fair sometimes. He took it in his stride though, He always seemed to perform at his best when he was faced with a challenge.
He continued his walk down the hallway. He needed to find another set of stairs to find the leader of Chess. There had to be something somewhere. He passed countless doors; locked, unlocked, broken and completely gone all together.
He ended up passing by one of these normal looking doors and stopped dead in his tracks. There was nothing special about it really. Just a normal, regular, off-white door. Still, he couldn't help but feel drawn to it. The way he saw it, if it was open he would go in and see what was inside, if it was locked, he would continue on his way and forget about it.
Cautiously he put his hand on the handle and twisted it. For a split second he had hoped that the door wouldn't open, that he would be locked out and unable to look inside. Just forced by fate to keep looking for a set of stairs to get higher and higher up. The door clicked open.
Arthur frowned a little and looked the room. It reminded him of a doctor's office; small desk and chair in one corner, an examining table pressed against the other wall, a cabinet filled from top to bottom with all kinds of body parts preserved in chemicals. Although the place seemed to have been abandoned for a while due to the layer of dust on everything, Arthur was uneasy about the whole situation.
Biting back that nagging fear in the back of his mind, the Brit took a confident stride into the room and started to look through the desks and drawers, trying to find some shred of evidence about what might have taken place in the room.
His search on the top of the desk turned up a few bits of torn paper written in a similar handwriting to one he had seen before. Deciding to figure that out later he read some of the badly scrawled English on the yellow aged paper. They seemed to be notes made by a doctor, but it was impossible to tell when it was written due to the absence of a date on the page.
Day thirty three… The cultures seem to grow better in my blood agar plates than that or normal agar. The cultures grow into it, creating spiral tunnels. It's unusual for them to do this, but I need to do more tests to make sure that everything is okay before I do any human testing.
For my second test I taught several mice a complex maze. Once they memorized it and could easily run from one end to the other I fed them small amounts of the cultures grown. The mice forgot the way almost immediately, but before I could make them run it again they died.
An autopsy shows that the bacteria turned the brain to a liquid mush. Only the brain. I need to keep improving these bacteria. Eventually, maybe I can finally have an effective drug that will help people suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. If I could do that, I'd go down in history at the world's greatest scientists.
The nagging feeling that he had seen this handwriting filled his mind. He was unable to directly pinpoint where he had seen and read this handwriting before, but it had to have been recently. Everything just seemed too similar and familiar to him for some reason.
"Of course…" He muttered. "When I was at that woman's place… There were some papers about agar plates, pills and fungus… Maybe this is the earliest writings?"
It seemed likely. Perhaps the author of these writings had to move around and simply dropped his notes in another place. That seemed likely. More than likely, even. Especially if they had to move quickly. Then again, perhaps it was time to make some deductions?
Perhaps this doctor performed experiments for this underworld, crime lords? Maybe once he had completed his research he was killed off by them? He could have even been a scientist on the surface that might have been pulled into their web of crime to fund his research, and then killed when it was done? It could have even been possible that this person might have been one of the crime lords or had been suckered into their less than innocent endeavours and abandoned their science?
Arthur shook his head a little. "Stupid… Ridiculous really… They probably just stole this man's works and made a crappy version of what he was making… Might have been some kind of amphetamine for all I know…"
He sighed a little and continued to look through the desk. He found a few small bottles of clouded liquids. One red. One yellow. One labelled 404. One labelled 211. He knew those numbers from somewhere. It was just another stupid little thing he couldn't place, but he knew it was the most obvious thing in the world and would kick himself later for not remembering.
He put the bottles on the desk and continued to look through the drawers. Inside the bottom drawer, hidden under a pile or crumpled paper, broken glass and random bits of metal and tubing were two medical files. They were labelled; Subject Delta A, and Subject Delta B. 'Wait… those tattoos of those cannibal's arms… Delta A-404 and Delta B-211…' He felt like a right idiot for not connecting the dots. He quickly looked through the files, drawing out the most important parts from both of them.
Subject Delta A is a female, Hungarian woman. She has long brown hair and bright green eyes. She has experienced a complicated birth, resulting in a miscarriage. Consequently, she's unable to have any more children or risk internal injury. She has volunteered for the treatment along with subject Delta B, but more on him later. Delta A has responded well to small amounts of drug 404.
Subject Delta B is a male, Austrian man. He has short brown hair, though his eye colour does change a little from a light brown to a slightly violet colour. He was involved in a rather unfortunate accident, resulting in a mild trauma. Delta B has rejected 404, but has responded well to drug 211.
Delta A and B have interacted with each other and were given questions to ask each other while being monitored. A asked B a series of questions, slipping in trigger words every now and then to see if we can provoke a panic attack. In turn, B asked A similar questions with words and phrases that would trigger her own panic attack.
Afterwards the pair were split up and were asked more questions to understand how they felt and if a reaction was provoked. The test subjects were mildly stressed about their situation, but were unsure why. An increase of 404 and 211 will be needed to wipe out those parts of their memories.
The Doctor overseeing over these experiments is Dr. Gilbert Beilschmidt.
"Does that mean that those two were experiments?" Asked Arthur to the empty room. "Could it… could it be possible that… that the medication they were given gave them symptoms similar to CJD?" Everything was falling into place within Arthur's mind. "Then that means… That means Gilbert, that bastard that got mercury poisoning! He must have… no… Yes… No he couldn't have… But he did… But how? Why?"
"All in the name of science, my friend."
Arthur quickly turned around at breakneck speed, almost giving himself whiplash. Standing in the door frame was none other than White Rabbit. Who else could it be or would it be? The beast seemed like he would stalk Arthur for the rest of his life, like a foreboding Spector, an unwelcome monster that lazily sung an axe over his head.
"All in the name of science…" Repeated White Rabbit. "What's two lives in exchange for hundreds, millions of others? We will never remember their sacrifice, but who gives a shit?"
The Brit glared at What Rabbit and pointed his vorpal blade at him. "Stay the hell away from me."
"Oh come on…" Whined White Rabbit. "You can't still be pissed off about trying to snuff out that cat and that thief, are you? Everything I do, I do for a reason."
"I'm tired of you being so damn cryptic." Snapped Arthur. "Tell me what they did that made you want to kill them."
White Rabbit chuckled a little. "Let's see… That cat knows things he shouldn't… He knows too much about me, even if he's in a slightly odd direction. I'll kill him eventually…" He shook his head and sighed. "As for that thief, he stole from me. Since he stole from me I want compensation. A life for a life if you would. I want what he took from me in equal or greater value. That's all."
Arthur wanted to ask what that precisely Alfred had stolen from, but decided against it. "Right… Well since you seem to know so much tell me what you know about those cannibals and Gilbert."
White Rabbit seemed to ponder this for moment before answering. "Yes… Gilbert was a scientist, third generation going back to his great grandfather. All of them were trying to create something to wipe the mind. Eliminate trauma. A good idea in theory and whatnot… Too bad no one had the time of day to even consider funding them and so here it ends… The Beilschmidt dream, lost below London for all eternity… but not his work."
"Yes, yes, yes, that's all tragic and everything, but those cannibals. What about them?"
Even though What Rabbit was wearing a mask, Arthur could tell he was smirking at him. "Test subjects. The first human trials. Elizaveta's baby died and so she wanted to forget the reason why she can never have children. Naturally when she regressed she became obsessed with her child. A dead piglet wrapped in cloth. A mother will do anything to protect her child, even if it isn't real."
Now there was something Arthur could not argue. Mothers would always protect their child. They were the most important thing in the world to them. Even amongst the animal kingdom the mothers would give their all for their young. That being said it was no real shock that Elizaveta defended her fake young with an almost feverish intent.
"Now as for Roderich, his mother was stabbed to death by his father when he was just a boy. He was playing the piano at the time and heard her scream. No surprise that when he lost his mind he found beauty in the screams of his victims."
From that, Arthur could piece together enough for him to make a possibly linear timeline of events. It was possible that Gilbert continued his family's research. After some time he was able to get human trials done and used Roderich and Elizaveta. Once the research went south, they were abandoned down here and Gilbert was poisoned soon after. Now all he had to figure out was how Gilbert was connected with the crime lords of London and he would be all set.
"How does Gilbert connect to the underworld?" Asked Arthur. "He doesn't seem like the kind of bloke that would do something so stupid."
White Rabbit shrugged. "That's the big question. Who is the mastermind behind everything and is it all connected somehow? If it is, then it's wonderful. If not, then who cares? Certainly not me."
"Because you gain nothing from it?" Snapped Arthur. "Why should I believe a thing you said anyway? You could have lied to me! For all I know this is just some stupid shit you made up just so you could manipulate me!"
White Rabbit chuckled and slowly walked away from the doorway. "Biggest thing I've done to you to date is give you a choice between the thief and the cat. You saved them both. Good for you. I myself have other things I need to do rather than to talk about a mad mans failed experiments… Later." He quickly turned to leave, but Arthur wanted to know one more thing.
"Wait!" Cried the Brit. "Just give me one more thing! Just one more thing! What is her name! What's the name of that girl that you kidnapped! What is her name! Answer me!"
This caused the masked man to pause and ponder his answer. "What to say…? What to tell…? It's so hard to decide… So many faces and names pass me by each day. If they aren't important they just seem to slip my mind. Can't be helped. She wasn't important enough to me."
Arthur growled and cautiously crossed the room, getting closer and closer to the mad man. "Not important enough? How could a child not be important enough to you? Wasn't there enough money on her damned head for you to take notice of her?"
"Why do you take notice of her?" Asked White Rabbit. "Isn't it the same thing? You didn't know of her until a few hours ago and now… You don't even know her name or what she looks like. She's just another pay check to you! Thant's all humans are! Pay checks!" Yelled White Rabbit. "Everyone is always looking out for themselves! It's the only way we can survive! Unless you get payed to look for someone you don't do shit! I know your kind! You're just a finder! You're just like a fucking bloodhound!"
"How dare you even suggest that-?"
"I'M NOT FINISHED!" Screamed White Rabbit. He was so enraged that he was shaking and twitching. "And just like a bloodhound, when you are old, lame and unable to find anything anymore you will be put down! You know why? Because you are just an experiment! Everyone is some way or another! Some know the truth and escape while others… others are forever stuck in their damned little worlds with their damn little lives! You're not living. You're just a damn experiment!"
'Shit…' Thought Arthur. 'He's really flipped his lid now. What the hell can I do to calm this freak down?'
After his rant, White Rabbit took a few moments to calm himself a little, taking deep breaths. "… Sorry, that was unusually violent of me it seems. I do get unusually worked up from time to time… But I must be leaving now… So little to do, so much time… Wait… reverse that. Either way I must go."
Arthur growled and grabbed hold of White Rabbit's arm, pointing his vorpal blade right at his throat. "Her name." He hissed. "What is her name? Tell me or I'll slit your damn throat!"
White Rabbit shrugged a little and casually pushed the blade away from his neck. "Her name? I already told you I don't remember."
"That's a lie." Muttered Arthur. "You know her name. You know what she looks like and you know who wanted her and for what reasons. Tell me the truth! What is her name?"
"… Her name is Alice and that's all you're getting from me for now." Said White Rabbit. He quickly pushed the blade away even further, grabbed Arthur by his shoulders and kneed him in the chest, winding him. With Arthur winded, White Rabbit pushed him back into the room and quickly ran off, leaving Arthur to recover from his assault.
Shinigami-cat: Okay so that was that. Please review.