November 21, 198X
I could not speak after the attack. My neck was covered in dark purple bruises, and any time I did attempt to talk it’d come out as a hoarse whisper.
The attack was ruled as the first proven success of the Legion Studies, probably since I couldn’t protest otherwise. Hugo was adamant I was attacked by a supernatural force and if I hadn’t been wearing the cross I would’ve likely been choked until I lost consciousness or worse. Again. No chance to argue since I couldn’t talk.
Even I couldn’t deny Hugo and I were alone in the hallway when the lights went out though. No one was following us, and I’d heard no one approach us. Many more questions than answers.
Graham was found in the kitchen like Hugo said he would be, under one of the counters. He’d taken a little nap after gorging himself on leftovers from dinner and had absolutely no idea what fuss he’d caused.
Doing my work as normal was impossible given that I couldn’t speak, so I merely observed interviews and some of the actual attempts to communicate with the ‘being’ that attacked me. And much to my lack of surprise, there was nothing. Whatever or whoever had attacked me seemed to remain silent, for now.
Dr. Leon was the most considerate, constantly bringing ice for my neck and honey to soothe my throat. Sitting in on his interview with Kaitlyn, a depressed young woman with a history of self harm and attempted suicide, I pressed a fresh pack of ice to my neck as Robert spoke with her.
“Kaitlyn, you said last week you felt someone in your room that you could not see, and that you couldn’t sit up. Has that happened again?” Dr. Leon asked, smiling kindly.
Kaitlyn chewed on her jagged fingernails. “… Not that I couldn’t. He wouldn’t let me,” She answered after a hesitation, her voice barely above a mumble.
Dr. Leon nodded as he wrote it down. “Has it happened again then?” He asked.
She nodded. “Twice. He… he talked to me, the second time. He’s left bruises.” The girl pulled down her shirt sleeve to reveal green tinted bruises on her shoulders.
I reached for my cross.
“I don’t hear voices, doc. That’s not something I’ve… I’ve done. I think I actually contacted him, like Anastasia has,” She continued, biting off a piece of nail and spitting it on the floor. I could see a hint of blood around her finger. “He’s scaring me, doc. I don’t think I’m onboard for this anymore.”
Dr. Leon reached forward and held Kaitlyn’s hand. “That’s fine. I’ll talk with Dr. Lewis about sending you home soon. If the weather’s good. And you don’t have to participate in the experiments any longer,” He said.
The girl immediately relaxed, sighing and clutching Dr. Leon’s hand. “Thank you, doctor. Thank you.”
When we left the room, Dr. Leon dropped the calm hiding his storm.
“Any data we get from the B-3 group is absolutely useless. Part of the use of the Oujia and Tarot requires multiple parties to participate. What’s more likely to happen is Kaitlyn’s grip on reality will start to crumble and she’ll be even worse. The others came already delusional, imagine having that as most of your companionship.” Dr. Leon paused to pull a flask from his jacket and took a sip. He gave me a bit of a worried look, as if he expected me to tattle like a little girl, before he continued. “It’s not helping the others either. Anastasia claims she’s talked to someone named Emmet, that she has gained his secrets and trust. I’m going to have to talk with the security about gossip. There’s no way she could’ve heard about that detail in Randy’s murder unless someone didn’t keep their mouths shut.”
I couldn’t exactly respond back, but I was listening, nodding every so often. Dr. Leon took another swig and offered it to me. I could faintly smell whiskey, which wasn’t my drink of choice, but I still accepted it and took a small drink before handing it back. He pocketed it and took a right, down the hall to the cafeteria.
“Thanks for listening. Perhaps I can rely on your testimony to convince Lewis to let Kaitlyn return home?”
I gave a thumbs up.
November 30, 198X
It had taken a ridiculous amount of time to convince Lewis to send Kaitlyn home. Like trying to pull a steak from a dog’s jaws, Dr. Lewis was stubborn on keeping Kaitlyn at least for ‘another month or two’, as the ‘progress’ with her had apparently been astounding. Even my recommendation (from my croaky and sore voice) was passed over.
When Dr. Leon threatened to call Kaitlyn’s original doctor Dr. Lewis finally gave in.
“Fine,” He said, giving both of us a defeated look. “She goes home when we get a pilot out here.”
Kaitlyn was thrilled when she heard the news. The few times I passed her quarters, I could hear her gleefully singing various hymns. I caught myself multiple times humming ‘Be Thou My Vision’ in between interviews. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but something about those old songs made my work a little easier.
I was there when we were walking Kaitlyn to the hanger, Hugo tagging along behind. Dr. Lewis was off sulking elsewhere. Kaitlyn was the happiest girl in the world, but Hugo seemed uneasy.
“I think I’m going to stay with my parents for a few days before I go back to the hospital. Reconnect with actual people instead of doctors… not saying you’re not actual people!” Kaitlyn looked mildly embarrassed.
I took a sip from my water bottle before I spoke. Even so many days later my throat still felt sore. “It’s all right, Kaitlyn. I do advise you speak to your doctors soon though, I imagine this experience has rattled you quite a bit,” I said reassuringly.
“Of course. I have no intention of stopping my treatment.” Kaitlyn smiled brightly, and then we opened the trap door.
Snow blew down the hole and coated Kaitlyn’s dark brown hair, and with that, her smile faded.
“Snow!?” She combed through her hair and watched the flakes melt on her fingertips, her expression turning quickly to horror.
A head poked down, wearing a hat far too large for his head. “Sorry miss! It started just as I arrived, it’s coming down real good! No more flying for me today! Mind if I come down, I’m freezing my nuts off!”
The young pilot’s name was Brandon, he couldn’t have been that much older than Kaitlyn. We sat in the cafeteria while we awaited news on the storm stopping.
Kaitlyn’s face had gone gray, all sign of the earlier hope out the window. Brandon smiled weakly. “Sorry, I really can’t fly out in weather like this I’m afraid. It’ll probably clear up through the night though! Then smooth flying back home!”
Hugo’s face was the same color as Kaitlyn’s, his fingers tapping irregularly on the table as he sipped down his third cup of tea. I was absentmindedly stirring mine. Brandon looked about. “Oh boy, why are you up here anyway? I can’t imagine it’s anything fun, being a doctor and studying weather.”
Kaitlyn softly snorted. “I’m not a doctor,” She grumbled. Brandon looked briefly confused before the lights flickered out.
I felt Hugo’s hand wrap tightly around mine, the rings creating imprints on my skin by the time the lights turned back on a few seconds later. Brandon was looking around wildly. “Well that’s rude,” He commented dryly.
“So is murdering your mother and hiding her body underneath the foundation of your new home.”
I gasped as I turned around. Chloe was standing there, but she didn’t look quite right. Her face was the color of chalk, and her eyes… they were boring holes into the back of Brandon’s head.
“You were worried she’d find out that your roommate being a fag wasn’t coincidence,” Chloe continued in monotone. “I hope she knows you and him were never happy together, that he left you for someone else.”
Brandon laughed, a high pitched and nervous sound. “I’m sorry? The fuck? Who are you?”
Chloe’s eyes turned on me, blank. “… Emmet told me to tell you that no one here is leaving alive. Not even you.” With that statement, the girl walked out.
Brandon ran his hand through his spikey red hair. “Why is there a little girl accusing me of murder in this place?” He said slowly.
Hugo’s chair made a loud screech as it moved several inches away from Brandon’s. “Unknown. She knew something unknown,” He hissed to me before he got up and fast walked from the room, murmuring some form of prayer under his breath.
Kaitlyn got up silently and drifted back to her room. After I had Brandon bunk up with Dr. Leon, I had to pass her quarters to reach my own.
I could no longer hear her singing a hymn. Only sobs.