20. A Syringe Too Many

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      I press the elevator button five times before the doors slide shut, the ground shifting below me as we begin the descent.

      What just happened turns over and over in my my head, the adrenaline of it, the panic. The need to kill someone had been frightening, especially since it was almost Peter. Peter, who I still haven't taken out to coffee and its been like a month. I'll need to fix that soon, but these last few weeks have been hectic. It feels like drama punches me in the gut every step I take.

   The elevator dings, and the doors slide open, showing the guards wrestling Zero back into his cell. I swallow, my throat going dry.

    I continue scanning the room, until my eyes land on Sylvia, sitting on a table, tears running down her cheeks with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders . Nurses swoon around her, and I even see Mrs. Clark patting her on the shoulder.

     My sights set on her, I storm forward. Sylvia looks at me and her eyes widen, fear coating them. The people surrounding her turn to look and when they do this, Sylvia instantly replaces her fear with a smirk. That little-

     "Ashley. It's so great to see you're alright." Mrs. Clark says, her tone bored.

      "What is going on?" I ask, demanding for an answer.

      "What's going on is-" Mrs. Clark tries to say, but is cut off by Sylvia.

      "Zero tried to kill me! I went in there to check up on his progress, since we had performed tests on him this morning, and the next thing I know he's trying to rip my throat out!"

       The nurses coo and pat Sylvia while I roll my eyes. I doubt that's the full story.

       "I need to talk to Zero." I say, focusing on Mrs. Clark, who's already shaking her head sadly.

         "Ashley, you've done some pretty daring things throughout the duration of this experiment, but this is just suicide! Zero needs to be stabilized, and until then, no visitors and that is final."

      She turns and strides away, her heels clicking. Sparing one last glance at Sylvia who only gives me a pout, a mischievous glint in her eyes, I storm away, looking around the room for an ally.

      I spot Shy talking with Jack in the corner, so close together that they have to be whispering. I quickly make my way over to them, my anger slowly simmering into confusion.

      "Hey, guys." I greet. "What are you doing here?"

       They look up, eyes wide in surprise and a tad of guilt, like they were caught in a crime. Suspicious? A little.

       Shy clears her throat, speaking first. "Hey, Ashley. We just came down as soon as we heard the news. So glad to see your okay."

      "Yeah. I just don't know why on Earth Zero would react like that. I need to get to the bottom of this, and its either confront Zero, or Sylvia."

      Shy shivers, her expression morphing into disgust. "I would go with the first one if I were you."

      "I totally agree with you, but the problem is Mrs. Clark is watching me like a hawk, and she won't let me see Zero until he's been "stabilized"." I try not to think about what that word means.

      Jack butts into the conversation, raising his hands in a peace motion. "Maybe we can cause a distraction. I'm quite good at those."

       "Maybe." I agree. "It would have to be a good one though."

        Before we can plan further, the elevators ding, and guards step out, going straight for Zero's cage. There's about five, and each of them are carrying a syringe, filled with a clear looking liquid. I'm frozen as I watch them enter, calmly taking space besides Zero where guards are still holding him down.

     My eyes flit to Mrs. Clark, who's watching one of the guards. She gives a curt nod, and one of the guards steps forward, holding the syringe up before stabbing it into a vein on Zero's wrist.
     Zero jerks, and my eyes widen as his body continues to jerk, moans of pain coming off him that I can here across the room with the cage door open. Hero's eyes are open, looking wildly around like he can't see, and his face contorts in pain.

      "Stop!" I yell, running a few steps towards the cage. I put my hands on the glass, begging Zero to be fine. "What are you doing to him?" I demand more than ask, turning to look at Mrs. Clark who stands there calmly, gazing at me with calculated eyes.

       "Stop being so dramatic, Ashley. It's just like training a dog. Bad actions deserve punishment."

        "This is not punishment," I insist, wincing as Zero lets out another roar of pain. "It's abuse. Now. Make. It. Stop."

      He eyes still holding mine, she makes a side gesture with her hand. I whirl around just in time to see another guard stab Zero with a syringe. Zero howls and starts skating, sweat pouring down his face, his eyes rolling to the back of his head.

      Suddenly a stab of pain flashes through me, it's gone by the time I close my eyes to blink, but when I open then I'm on the floor. Shy and Jack shout in concern and run over, because I seemed to have blacks  out for a millisecond. I don't want to think about to, but if I just received a glimpse of the pain for a fraction of a second and it brought me to my knees, what must Zero be feeling?

       It's makes my stomach roll and before I can stop myself, I spill my stomach out on the floor, throwing up. Shy pats my back and holds my hair, and when I look up, gasping for breath, I see Sylvia across the room, watching me with disgust on her face.

       Shakily, I rise to my feet, wiping my mouth on my sleeve, the disgusting taste lingering in my mouth. Right when I stand up, I glance back at Zero to see the third syringe enter him. A second flash of pain enters my body and I'm back on the ground in an instant, groaning at the aftermath of pain.

     "What's happening? Ashley?" I hear Shy saying, but just barely over the loud, horrible ringing in my ears.

        "I......." I trail off, inhaling a deep breath when I see a guard move to inject Zero with the fourth syringe. Here we go again.

        Except this time, I don't just faint, I scream. Because it isn't just a flash of pain, it seems to last forever, the burning sensation only lasting for ten horrible seconds that are dragged out. I stand rigid until it's over, when I finally collapse. I moan in pain, paralyzed.

     Voices and figures Buzz around me, more crowding around to see what the confusion is about.

      "ASHLEY!!" I hear my dad yells, and then his blurred figure is above me, cursing as he checks me over, gripping my arm. "Clark call of your men. Don't you dare put another damned needle in Zero."

       The rest is drowned out by the sound of my loud heartbeat, my eyelids growing heavier and heavier. Relief washes over me. No more pain.

     More men show up, carrying a stretcher. Gently, I'm lifted and placed on it, before being carried to the elevator. I roll my head, trying to catch a glimpse of Zero.

     I'm sorry. I try to say down the bond, pleading for his forgiveness. I failed you.

     No, you haven't. A tired voice replies back. I've failed you. I'm sorry, Ashie.

      Everything goes dark.

    Dear, readers. Forgive me for the On Hold position I put this book in. I just didn't have the inspiration to continue on ad tree r reading some of my chapters and thing about how terrible they are. Then I got comments from some of my readers that broke through my writers block. I managed to cook up this short chapter that I hope you all enjoy. I can't promise frequent updates, but I might take the book off hold. Thank you for you support. I love u all.




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