~ Chapter Thirty ~

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A blur of white greeted Perri as she slowly opened her eyes.

As she blinked the haze from her vision, she could see a blinding light on the plain ceiling above her.

The air around her was chilly and made her shiver.

Perri tried to sit up but when she strained to move, her eyes grew wide and heart started to quicken.

She couldn't move.

Her wrists and ankles were restrained to the white bed beneath her, and there was a strap across her chest.

Panting through her nose as she frantically struggled against her restraints, the only sound to be heard was metal clinking on metal. She didn't even acknowledge the pain from the injury in her left wrist.

Then a voice paused her. "Ahaa, our savior awakens." Said a man with a hint of whimsy in his tone.

Still panting, Perri turned her head to the voice and saw a man with his back to her. But, she didn't need to see his face to know who it was.

Holloway. Doctor Ian Holloway.

He was leaning over a microscope on a countertop. "You know, your blood is quite remarkable." He stated.

"Where am I?" Perri interrupted before he could continue. "What is this place?"

"This is just one room, of many, in my laboratory." Holloway sounded... different than usual. Not so much the anxious little doctor anymore and it made Perri uneasy. "We're at the outpost. If that helps."

"Why am I strapped to this fucking bed, in this freezing fucking room?" She said through gritted teeth.

"For your own safety... and mine." His tone was cold and confident as he scribbled something down on a notepad beside the microscope.

"What?" Perri breathed.

He turned his attention to some other instruments on the countertop. "When I first became suspicious of you, I never imagined how fortunate our meeting truly was. You, my dear, contain something very rare within your bloodstream—"

"I don't give a flying fuck!" She yelled. Perri didn't give a rat's ass about blood. "Where is everyone else? Where is Gavin, and Skeet, and Jack—" She stopped herself when she said that last name and noticed Holloway's head tilt upward.

"The soldier?" He asked, more rhetorical than anything, and if Perri could see his face, she'd see the raised brow and sinister smirk on his lips.

Holloway turned around and moved to her side. He leant over her, gently gripping her arm and tilted his head to the side so that their face were parallel.

Perri could see the malice in his grey eyes though a seemingly harmless smile spread across his face. A fake smile. A wolf's smile from beneath his tattered sheep disguise.

"Don't worry. Your friends, the... soldier, and all of the others are safe upstairs. This—" His eyes danced around the room. "—is quarantine. And you are down here, because you're sick." Holloway paused a moment before whispering, "And you know it, don't you?"

Perri didn't reply. Not that she knew what she would say to him in the first place.

Holloway snorted, smirking at her. Taking her silence as an answer.

Straightening his back and giving her arm a light tap, he spoke. "Your illness. Your... curse. Shall be our salvation. Find comfort in that."

Tension filled the air, making the space between them feel much too close for Perri's liking. Her helplessness and immovability became all the more apparent.

"I can create a cure, thanks to you." Holloway's voice went low as he continued, "But, in order to do that, I need... Every. Last. Piece. Of you." His eyes roamed her body before stopping and seemed to go rather distant.

Moments passed. No more than a few measly seconds.

The suffocating stiffness in the air was interrupted by a knocking on the window of the door.

Holloway sniffed and cleared his throat as he was brought back to the present moment.

"The cure is indeed worse than the disease. But somebody has to do the dirty work. And I will be remembered, not for the horrors I've performed in the name of science, but for my sole contribution in saving the world." He said, barely more than a whisper.

Not bothering to even glance at the door before he looked down his nose at her and said, "I'll be right back." Holloway promptly exited the room.

As the door clicked shut, Perri loosed a breath she didn't know she'd been holding.

She had to get the hell out of there and she knew it.

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