Twenty-Eight - Linkin

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Ira was allowed into my room once we got there. I think Stuart was worried I was going to hurt myself and for some reason he thought Ira would protect me. Once we were alone, I was on my bed by myself and Ira sat on Jaysen's. They asked to turn out the lights and I was more than happy to agree.

Without light, the room was pitch black and I couldn't hear anything from Ira and Jaysen, after a while I just fell asleep. I didn't know what it was about being locked in a small room in utter darkness, but it calmed me. Even when I woke up, I felt better. I laid in the bed for a while until Ira spoke up. "You can stop pretending to be asleep."

"Pretending?"

"Why else would you just lay there with your eyes open unless you're pretending?"

I rolled my eyes and smirked a bit.

"Don't roll your eyes."

I shifted a bit and rolled onto my side, still smiling. "You can see me then?" I asked, glancing to where I thought Ira might be. "I wasn't pretending to sleep; I was just enjoying the peace of this room. Jaysen still here?"

There was a bit of silence, like they were talking without words. "He's here, but why are you enjoying it?" Ira continued to reply for him.

It was a fair question, once I thought about before I answered. "I lost a sense; not being able to see kind of balances it out. For all I know I am floating on a cloud, I-"

"I can tell you that you're certainly not floating," Jaysen jumped in quietly with a weak laugh.

I grinned a bit. "So you both can see me?" I nodded and looked around pointlessly. I kept my voice low like the others; they seemed to be keeping a low profile while the lights were out. "Can you tell me if it is safe to roll onto my stomach?"

Jaysen chuckled. "Not even a little. You're right on the edge. Guess you really can't feel that, can you?" For some reason, it didn't bother me when he said it. It was honestly just good to hear his voice. He was the person who helped when everything went to hell the first time around, it was good that he was here at rock bottom.

Shifting back, I then rolled onto my stomach, kicking my feet a bit. "You girls done talking? Can we get to the real problem here?" Ira objected, sounding both annoyed and relieved, something odd.

"I'm sitting with two people who can see in absolute darkness and I am a human... Well, I don't even know what I am. No, I'd like to chat more." The groan from Ira echoed through the room and both Jaysen and I laughed. "I've missed feeling normal."

"How long you been down here? I thought I just wrote a letter to you?" Jaysen asked.

I shrugged. "I just got here, but the surface was—"

"She is a over dramatic child who is struggling to accept her new reality and thinks she has it the worst out of all of us just because she doesn't know what actually what happens down here." Ira jumped in, sounding more annoyed now. I felt Ira edge closer to my bed and whisper in my ear, "We need to get out of here, Linkin, you were our one hope and now you got yourself dragged down here. You ruined it all."

Blinking at her response, I laid my head down, hopefully on my arm. "She always this grumpy?"

"Pretty much, especially after she kissed me." I could hear the loud twack as Ira hit Jaysen before his long, "Ow! That hurt! You did!"

"To save our asses so they wouldn't figure out that we're talking." I heard footsteps as she began to pace at a volume louder than her words. "I had it planned out, even grabbed a scalpel in case we got in trouble. Now it was for nothing and Celestia hates me."

Ira was quickly starting to lose me. "Celestia?"

Jaysen answered my question when it was obvious Ira didn't want to. "Her best friend. She has gills."

"Do I ask how the blind person knows that?"

"It's a long story."

I nodded, feeling like he was telling the truth. "If you want to get out of here, I can tell you how. I know the layout of the entire labs, guard rounds and their frequency, along with most of the door combinations."

The footsteps came to a stop and I jumped as the bed squeaked right beside me. Ira must have been inches away. "What? How?"

That was an equally long story to Jaysen's. "I have an eidetic memory and a mutation which allows me to see in other people's heads. How do you think?" Maybe it was a bit rude, but I didn't care. Even in the darkness, I could feel her eyes on me and I sighed. "Get me a pen and paper, I'll draw a map, but I'm not coming with you. Stuart said they're going to fix me and that's still my priority."

The bed squeaked again and footsteps walked away from me. "Stuart says a lot, you need to understand that no one cares about us here. Don't trust anyone. We're experiments and that is all they will ever see us as. If they think you might be good for something, they'll mutate you more, not less. How do you think Celestia wound up with gills? She came here when she found scales under her skin. They did the rest." Her words rocked me to the core and sent a chill down my spine.

I didn't want to believe her, to think there was really a light at the end of this tunnel. I knew I was delusional, but being normal again was the only thing I could hope for. Right now I needed a win and while the darkness was a welcome relief, I wanted to hold onto the possibility for a better tomorrow for as long as possible. 

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