1. New Arrival

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(This is what Ashley looks like.)

I sit at the desk, lazily tapping a pencil against the surface while watching the clock ticking down the seconds at the other side of the room. 

Ten more minutes until I can leave and go home. 

Time can't pass any slower.

I look at the computer screen on my right, checking for emails which aren't there, and sigh, letting my head thump onto the back of the seat.

Peter, a guard, stands in a corner, watching me with wide eyes that shine with puppy-like adoration.

 It gets annoying, and I've tried to tell him to stop in nice ways, but he doesn't get the hint. It's not like he's bad looking. He actually looks my age, two years older at most, and his blonde hair and charming green eyes would make any rational girl want to date him, but I know I can't.

I'm not looking for a relationship. Besides, in a year I'll finally have saved up enough money to retire from this job and move as far away from this island as possible. Dating Peter would be a liability in that plan, since he would stay here, when I want to go far away.

Being a secretary is pretty boring when you work for a lab on a pretty much secret island sponsored by the government.

No one wants coffee, because their too caught up in their work, no paperwork needs to be done since scientists write down their very own notes, and basically nothing happens. I'm just a young face for everyone to look at while coming in or leaving.

My hair is dark brown, but not black, and reminds me of dark chocolate. Too bad it doesn't taste that way. My eyes are a normal hazel, but with more green than brown, and the only non-normal thing about me is my pale skin. You would expect me to be tanned like a gorgeous model, but I'm stuck white as a snowflake. My mom used to say I get it from my dad.

Dr. Cartwright, also my father and head researcher here at Braun lab, has a lighter colored shade of hair than mine, but has my eyes and my pale complexion. He has thin-rimmed glasses, that make him look like a professor, and is always in a lab coat. It used to be embarrassing, but I've gotten used to it. It'snot so embarrassing when more than half of the population of the island also wears a lab coat.

The small island Braun lab is located on is near the outskirts of Florida, a few miles away from the Bermuda triangle. The island is kept a secret from the public, specifically because of the "vital" research that goes on here.

 I used to think this research was stupid, and now I hate it even more. It took my own mother from me.

I snap out of my thoughts, glancing quickly at Peter who catches my eye and winks. I roll my eyes and stand up, straightening out my navy blue dress that reaches me knees.

"Want some coffee, Peter?" I ask, walking away before he can respond.

I make my way down a few white hallways and into the lounge, where the coffee machine sits.

 While waiting for the coffee to brew, I watch the news on the TV. Recently, the news has been my only connection to the outside world away from this island. I sometimes watch it like an addict.

Suddenly, loud noises startle me. 

It sounds like a lot of yelling and running feet. I peek my head out into the hallway, watching many workers start running for the elevator. 

Where are they going?

Forgetting the coffee, I follow them, wondering what could be so exciting.

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