Swapna's Revenge

She was left alone for a while in the grey room.  Perhaps he had to cool down further, and frankly she didn't blame him.  It would be good for him to cool down, he wouldn't act so rashly against her.  But if he had more time to think, what terrifying thing could he plot for her?  Elizabeth shuddered to imagine.

The creaking door startled her.  The silent lackey poked his head into the room, gesturing with his head for Elizabeth to follow him.  She swallowed nervously, rising and following him.

He left her at the end of the hall outside JP-7, where Jason was waiting for them.  He looked considerably calmer now, his hands gently clasped behind his back.  Elizabeth should've been relieved that he seemed calmer, but something about him made her uneasy.  Perhaps it was the stark lab coat he now wore, the coldly expectant glint in his eye, or the sardonic presence that toyed with his features.

"After you, Elizabeth," he said, standing aside as the door slid open.  She hesitated, then entered.  The metal table that had crouched in the middle of the room had been replaced by a chair, a rather nervous Murali, and a rather familiar console.

Jason motioned for Elizabeth to sit down.  "Murali and I had a bit of a discussion, Elizabeth," he began.  "and we decided that it was best for you to be present while your results thus far are calculated."

"Does that mean there won't be any more testing?" Elizabeth asked hopefully.

Jason's mouth twitched, resisting a smirk.  "It all depends on the results, my friend."  He nodded to Murali.

He sighed, turning Swapna on.  "I don't think this is a good idea," he murmured.

Jason quickly assumed a position directly behind Elizabeth.  "Nonsense!" he cried.  "We've gotten beautiful results before, why shouldn't we now?"

Murali shook his head.  He spoke so quietly Elizabeth strained to hear him: "The other subjects never ticked Swapna off before."

"Swapna," Jason began as she came to life, "can you calculate Elizabeth Quinn's test results thus far?  We have to decide our next plan of attack."  He placed his hands on her shoulders, to her great surprise.  They smelled faintly medicinal, almost chemical.  She tried to shrug them off, to no avail.

"Of course, Jason," Swapna replied.  Her voice seemed bitterly annoyed.  The three listened to Swapna's mechanical hum for what felt like an eternity.  Elizabeth bit her lip.  Would she be unbiased in her report?  Or would she take the dream incident into account, revenge in mind?

Murali, carefully looking over the data on a nearby monitor, froze.  His eyes went wide.

"Well Murali, what does it look like?" Jason asked.

"I... I can't seem to make it out..."  His voice faltered.

"Swapna, would you be able to explain?"

"Gladly."  If she possessed facial features, Elizabeth thought the console would be smirking in a most unpleasantly vengeful manner.  "I think, taking her results and behavior into account, she needs a second opinion."

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow.  "What do you mean?" she stammered.

"Indeed, what do you mean?" Jason asked, but with a note of intrigue.

"I believe that her particular case would be excellent for an Area Fourteen student examination."

"Excellent idea!  We haven't conducted one of those in ages!"

"And perhaps for good reason!" Murali cried in despair.  "Don't you remember what happened to the last one?"

"Now Murali, we don't want to frighten Ms. Quinn."  Jason's voice had adopted a sinisterly saccharine quality that made Elizabeth shudder.

She couldn't bear it.  She had to try and do something.  "No," she said simply.

A deathly silence.  "I'm sorry, 'no'?" Jason questioned.

She stood up defiantly.  "You heard me.  I can't stand it anymore, I simply can't stand it!"  She was ready to take in a huge breath to continue, but a damp cloth was flung swiftly over her face.  She tried to scream, but she began to grow woozy from the medicinal scent on the cloth.  She fell back into the chair as a firm hand held the cloth in place.

"Just relax Elizabeth," Jason half-cooed, half-sneered, taking the cloth from Elizabeth's face just as she slipped once again into unconsciousness.  "Everything'll be just fine."

The End

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