Oct 15, 2010

V Files - Chapter 4: Sweet, Sweet Memories

By Sama Khawaja

Destiny wakes up and despite feeling drowsy she can make out her surrounding to be Alicia’s laboratory.
She shivers as she realizes that she is lying on a metal table. Alicia is nearby measuring chemicals on
another table. Destiny’s neck is throbbing but she cannot remember why…

‘Ms. Crescent, what happened?’ she asks weakly.

Alicia flinches but looks at Destiny with a forced smile.

‘You’re awake,’ she murmurs and caps a syringe brimming with fizzy yellow serum.

‘What’s that?’ Destiny asks sleepily.

‘Medicine,’ Alicia says simply and advances to the table. ‘For both of you.’

‘Both of…us…?’

‘You and Mage.’ Destiny can swear that tears are forming in Alicia’s eyes.

‘I’m so sorry, Destiny,’ she whispers and swiftly injects the syringe into Destiny’s arm. Colours erupt
before Destiny’s eyes and then…

Destiny bumped her head against the jeep window.

‘Ow!’ she muttered and shoved a sleep-talking Chi off her shoulder into Tito who was snoring loud
enough to wake the dead. The shove woke Tito and he looked around blearily.

‘Are we there yet?’ he slurred.

As if in answer, the jeep jerked to a halt, throwing all its passengers forward.

‘Huh?! What?!’ Chi whined. ‘Aw man! I was just having a nice dream about chowing down on a de-
licious meal!’

‘You ate before we left,’ Destiny pointed out.

‘Yeah, but that was half an hour ago.’

‘If you ladies are done jabbering,’ Tito growled. ‘Let’s get a move on! And I hope you got weapons ‘cause
we don’t wanna walk in looking stupid!’

Destiny eyed the abandoned mansion warily as they approached it. Alicia Crescent must have been
one rich scientist to afford a place like this. Then again, she had worked on the Hova Project. But
why the hell does Destiny have memories of this place? She never even knew the woman! Did she?

‘You alright, Little Dipper?’ Tito queried his troubled comrade.

‘Huh?’ Yeah, I’m fine,’ Destiny said listlessly and moved languidly towards the rusted gates.

‘I’m not! This place gives me the creeps!’ Chi hissed and rubbed her arms as if to warm herself.

‘Focus, Chi!’ Tito whispered furiously. ‘Alright, here’s the plan: we go in, get the file and get out. Got it?
Any questions?’

‘I have one!’ Chi whispered as she waved her hand in the air like an eager student.

‘What?’ Tito hissed angrily.

‘Why are we whispering?’

‘That’s because-!’ Tito blinked. ‘Will you shut up and get moving!?’

‘Ok, ok, sheesh!’ Chi rolled her eyes and skipped towards the mansion’s enormous doors.

‘Not there, Chi!’ Destiny called exasperatedly. ‘The lab is in the backyard!’

Chi stopped in mid-skip and stared incredulously at Destiny.

‘How do you know?’

‘Uhhh…intuition?’ Destiny lied as she strolled towards the back. There was the summerhouse except
a more decayed version with its faded peach shade streaked with ivy and loose shingle-tiled roof. Even the garden looked
dull like lumpy porridge. The inside was even less appealing but it was more spacious compared to its
deceptively boxed appearance.

There were three doors so each of them took one. Destiny’s room was yawn worthy. Nothing but
decayed walls, worn-out carpets littered with scraps of paper and overturned cabinets. Probably the
handiwork of the GroundUnders.

She picked up a random crumpled piece of paper ad unfurled it. It was a childish caricature of a family;
a man and a woman with their little girl who sported a mane of wild purple locks and an orange frock.
Destiny touched her own mane of shocking violet tresses and a faint smile tugged at her lips. She
then squinted at the form clinging onto the girl’s hand. It was a bat-like humanoid with red eyes and
a malicious smile despite being an innocent work of art. Destiny clutched her head as a headache
throbbed against her temples.

‘Just a drawing,’ she murmured as diverted her attention to one of the cabinets and began to rummage
through the drawers. ‘November, November, where are you?’


Disappointed and slightly frustrated, she banged the drawer shut, causing it to topple backwards and
create an unholy racket.

‘CHI!’ Tito scolded though it sounded less effective muffled by a wall.

‘It wasn’t me!’ Chi retorted defensively, sounding just as inaudible.

Destiny allowed herself a private chuckle as she turned around and her heart leapt into her throat when
she saw a gaping abyss where the cabinet once was. Curious, she approached it to notice a steel ladder
descending into the darkness. The tunnel looked endless and ominous but it seemed to beckon her with
its mysterious aura. She cast a look over her shoulder and bit her lower lip in thought. Then, she grabbed
the first metal rung and allowed the blackness to swallow her as she climbed down.


Lamia Fahim said...

I LOVE Destiny's flashbacks!
And wait.. was Destiny the 'basis' for another experiment..? No no, still don't tell me..
Next Chapter! :)

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