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The Looking Glass

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The ‘Social’ Experiment –– Part 2

Taking the First Step (Warning: Explicit Content)

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About the Author: Jordan Simon (Creative Writing, Class of 2019) is at home in the realm of ink and paper. He typically writes short stories of varying genres, though his most preferred is horror. Capable in poetry and comfortable with anything relating to fiction, he is a well-rounded writer with a bit of a soft-spot for the dramatic. He hopes to use his degree to further himself in the journalism field, where he hopes to write articles and art pieces for a newspaper or magazine one day.

WARNING: This piece contains explicit content (profanity) and may not be suitable for all audiences.

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AEGIS_Project EEV — Part 2: Taking the First Step

by Jordan Simon

Day 2

Pierce approved of my proposition. That is good. She’s hardly tolerable to work with. Still, she’s a genius in our field. More importantly, she’s the director for a reason. and nothing gets done without her approval. Now, though, there is a different kind of power that I must watch out for in this building and unlike with Pierce, I have a lot more to worry about than harsh words or a simple “no.”

I held off speaking about this with Eve yesterday. I suspect that she knew I had something to say. Thankfully, she let it be. I wasn’t quite ready to broach the topic just yet. However, I feel that I’ve put this off long enough. It’s time for her bath.

Are scientists allowed to pray?

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Long, purposeful strides carried Simon to his destination. His gait did little to betray his inner conflict.

The bridge of Pierce had been crossed.
The paperwork had been filed.

Now came the hard part.

He sighed, stepping up to the reflective surface: a one-way window. That fact did not stop his charge from noticing his presence. She twitched, minutely, from her position on the white, padded floor. A curtain of curly, raven locks shifted, brushing against the ground as she turned and twin pools of blood gripped his throat.

Dr. Ivernn sighed, tiredly, and regarded the girl. Her hair, which stood out in the white room, was long and messy, just about reaching the small of her back. The right side was shaved down to a buzz, three bold letters branded in a bold script. On the left, however, was a long fringe that almost entirely covered her eye, both of which stared back at him with a blank gaze. She had high cheekbones and smooth, dusky skin. Full, peach-colored lips were drawn into a thin line that betrayed nothing…when did she get so close?

Eve had moved closer at some point unnoticed by Simon, only the thick glass separated them now. Her nose, a cute snub-shape, poked the glass as she leaned in and she pouted cutely at the barrier. The good doctor smiled despite himself and strode over to the door, his charge following his path from the other side. Punching in the 5-number code, he stepped back as the door slid aside with a sharp hiss, and inside, Evelin stood in front of him. He stepped forward, offering his hand to the girl, and she gripped it with her own, smaller limb before gently tugging him inside. The door shut behind them with an audible click.

He frowned as she led him deeper into the room, both wishing he’d brought his coat, and wondering how the girl could stand to live there. Shaking away his discomfort, he sat on the floor and she plopped herself down on his lap, as was her habit. He never bothered questioning it, and instead opted to carefully run his thin fingers through her soft ebony locks.

“Doctor.” A gentle voice reached his ears. It was barely above a whisper. Still, he heard it well in the otherwise empty room.

“Eve.”

They settled into silence, for a time. One, weighing his words. The other, merely waiting. After a while, the silence was broken. “You have something to tell me.” It wasn’t a question.

Dr. Ivernn gave a pained smile. “Can’t I just come to visit you?”

She frowned. “Would you have come to see me otherwise?”

A grimace. “You know I would’ve.”

She turned, crimson eyes narrowing dangerously. “Do I?”

He swallowed, a lump in his throat. “I think you do.”

She glared at him for a moment, before melting into a soft smile. “Yes.” Her much smaller hand gripped his own and he restrained a wince. “I think you’re right.”

He let out a breath he’d been holding and she giggled. Then, as if a switch was flipped, she pouted. “You fear me.”

“I do.”

“You think I’ll hurt you.”

He gave her a look. “Won’t you?”

She said nothing, but instead chose to examine the palm of his hand. He sighed. “Yes, I have something to tell you.” He spoke slowly. Carefully. “We’ve been considering your current progress, or lack thereof in regards to your social skills and uh…restraint when dealing with other people. She stared at him and raised an eyebrow but otherwise remained silent. “The director has been growing rather impatient in that regard. She wants to see results. I gave her an answer–well, potential answer.”

Her head bobbed in understanding. “That being?”

“What would you say to getting a roommate?” Her grip tightened and he hissed in pain. “Eve,” he gasped. Her grip slackened and he breathed a shaky sigh of relief. “So, no?”

“…”

“Will you at least consider it?”

“…”

He sighed. “If you don’t like it, then that’s fine. I’ll just tell Pierce that it’s a no-go.”

She traced circular patterns in his rapidly purpling hand, stubbornly silent.

He clicked his teeth in annoyance, but dropped the issue, instead using his good hand to groom her messy hair. “Do you want your bath now or later?”

She stood, effortlessly pulling him along as she strode over to a little white cot. Just large enough for a girl, her size. Underneath was a tiny basket with a towel and the most generic clothes he’d ever seen. A white tee, white sweatpants, and the pair of black leggings that he’d bought her for Christmas. He twitched at the lack of anything else. Pierce was a stingy bitch. Eve was hardly materialistic, but even for her, this was demoralizing. Hell, he could swear he saw her grimace as she simply dragged an exact replica of her current outfit out of the basket. After a moment of thought, she also grabbed the leggings which, he noticed, were treated much more delicately than the rest. An idea formed in his head.

Rubbing her head got her attention, and he smiled. “I get my paycheck in 3 days. If you’d like, we can do some catalogue shopping; get you some new clothes.” She mirrored his expression, hugging him a little too tightly.

“You’ll let me choose my roommate, right?”

He grimaced in pain, and then smiled in affirmative. She beamed, and danced away.

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He walked into the infirmary, soaked. Of the four people in the large room, nobody bothered to mention the fact that he was leaving wet footprints in his wake. Instead, a young man rushed up and grabbed his right arm, retracting at the older man’s obvious discomfort.

“Dawlish.”

“Simon.” He prodded his knuckles, earning a muttered curse. “Eve?”

“Eve…” He ignored the worried murmurs of the people around him. By now, he and the medical staff were very familiar with each other.

The young man whistled at the appendage, a deep purple creeping up from his wrist, to his knuckles and then glanced at the scientist, knowingly. “What else ya got for me, buddy?”

Simon unbuttoned his shirt with his left hand, revealing an ugly set of bruises on his sides.

“Damn. What’d you do to get those?” He reached into a cabinet, rifling through it as the other man spoke.

“She hugged me.”

Dawlish snorted at that. “And your hand?”

“Pierce and I came to a decision, regarding her current living arrangements.

“Oh?”

“Eve is getting a roommate.”

A pause.

“You’re all insane.”

“…I know.” Simon sighed.

 

Copyright © Jordan Simon (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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