Chapter 2 – Aster

“Good Morning, doctor Ariel.”

“Bad morning, more like. Another subject died. They kept her out for too long.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, mam.”

“Disregard that. What of 23? Is he still with us?”

“He’s in room 23, mam.”

“As someone with OCD, I can tell you that just made my day. Has he responded to anything yet?”

“No, mam. Would you like us to open the room?”


“I’ll get on it.”

“No, you walk with me, Gerard. Bring Sven along too. Let Martha do the door work for us. After all, SHE’S GONNA GET FAT IF ALL SHE DOES IS SIT ON HER ASS ALL DAY!”

“There is no audio surveillance here, mam.”

“Oh but there is… with walls this thin, you don’t need tech to listen in on me.”

“I digress.”

“There. What did I tell you? She heard me just fine. Come along, then. We’re going to move Subject 23 to a more secure location today.”

“Pardon me, mam. But I don’t understand why we even bother to lock the rooms. The Subjects are all dead on the inside, right? They don’t even bother to move.”

“Sven, was it? How exactly did you get hired?”

“Pardon me, mam?”

“Disregard that. The doors and locks aren’t there to keep the Subjects in. They’re there to keep the lunatics out. I say that being fully aware of the irony in referring to normal people as psychologically challenged.”

“Oh. I had heard rumours of people breaking into labs and killing the Subjects… but I did not wish to believe them.”

“Your faith in humanity deserves my sympathy. But you will get none from me. If your actions lead to the loss of a subject, I will execute you myself.”

“Understood, mam.”

“Hmm… now, let’s see… Good morning, 23. How are you feeling today?”

“Damn… that is a fine piece of-“

“Pupils responsive. Neck movement seems fine. And you need to work on your whispering skills, Sven.”

“I-I’m sorry mam!”

“Oh? What happened to that fancy ‘pardon me, mam’? Pretenses tend to fly out the window when you’re caught off guard in your comfort zone, eh?”


“Disregard that. Carry him out and put him in the truck. And tell that driver if he doesn’t reach his destination in 15 minutes, I’ll-”

“Execute him yourself?”

“We have a quick learner here. Yes. Although the safety limit is 20 minutes, I want the relocation to be complete in 15. After what happened today, I’m not in the best of moods. We can’t afford to lose another Subject to carelessness or to stupidity.”

“Yes mam. I shall pass on your words.”

“Oh and Sven…”

“Yes mam?”

“You’re a fine piece yourself.”

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