It was late evening, the sun had long ago set, really not a time for anyone to be out on their own.
A girl with shoulder length, dirty blonde hair was hurrying through a dark alley, trying to get back to her brother before he started to worry too much. He had gotten sick and she didn't want anything getting in the way of him getting better. She knew that him worrying for her would do just that.
It had been his coughs that had finally driven her from his side to go find medicine. After making him promise not to get out of the warmth of his bed and not to speak to strangers, she had gone, taking the maze of back alleys that was the slums of the city.
It had taken far too long, in her mind, to find a pharmacy, and longer still to choose the right children's medicine. She had hidden her wince when she saw the price, but it was worth it if it would get her brother better.
With her precious item tucked in her jacket pocket, she turned onto one of the better lit streets. Normally this meant that there would be more traffic, but at this time of night, the place was deserted. Or at least, she thought it was until she heard footsteps behind her.
The girl whirled around, adrenaline already beginning to pulse through her veins. A man in his late thirties stood about fifteen feet behind her. She didn't recognize his face, but with that jacket, she didn't need to. He was a Lab Rat.
She whirled back around, intent on out running the man and getting back to her brother and into their hiding place. She only got a few steps before another man in a pristine white lab coat was in her path.
"You've got nowhere to run Gwen," the man behind her said. "Give up, I'm sure the boss won't punish you too much for running away."
"You'd like that wouldn't you?" the girl, Gwen, asked furiously. "Think again. I'm not going anywhere with you!"
"Then I guess we'll have to do this the hard way," the man in front of her said.
Before Gwen could react, the man behind her had come up and grabbed her in a bear hug. She ducked down a couple inches, shooting her arms out to the front and then rammed her elbow into his gut. The man in front of her came after her then, swinging wildly. She ducked and dodged, landing a few hits of her own in the process. She was about to make a run for it when something happened that made her blood run cold.
"Gwen? Sis, is that you?" a voice called from the open entrance of the alleyway. The men used her momentary distraction to jump her and had her down on the ground in a heartbeat.
Gwen winced as her cheek connected with the rough pavement. One was tying her wrists together when she felt something sharp embed itself into her shoulder. There was pressure and then the sharp thing was taken out. She didn't need to ask what they had just done to her, the way her mind was steadily clouding was enough to tell her.
She had a couple of minutes before she lost all use of her higher reasoning functions, five if she was really lucky.
"Peter," she cried, "run! Get out of here! Get back to camp, grab the stash and run as fast as you can."
"No, I'm not leaving you!" A little boy took a step into the yellow-orange light of a street light, his face hard with determination.
She had two minutes left and Gwen intended to have her little brother as far away as she could. "Don't you dare Peter," she cried, struggling with her sluggish limbs in a last-ditch effort to free herself. "Remember when I said we might have to separate? That we wouldn't like having to do it but we would need to in order to make sure we were safe? I need you to do that now." Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the men ready another syringe and begin to move towards Peter. "Peter, run!"