It was never more apparent how few of us there were left until after dark. The halls were silent. Unless there was someone using a particular room or area, the lights were kept off, which meant most of the lights in the building were off.
Sometimes I thought I might be the only person left in the building, never mind that I could feel the life forces of other people, of Ginesbury, and of the ones who had the misfortune (or fortune, in the case that it actually worked?) to be sitting in their cells, waiting to be the guinea pigs for possible future experiments.
Every time I sent out my Gatherers to find more OPHs on the outside—I always had them go for the ones who were causing trouble first—I told myself that this new group would suffice. That this should be enough failures to get us to a success. That I had been practicing.
I had thought that with everyone I had experimented upon. Stupid, I know. Naïve. I had been thinking that for almost two decades. This time would be different.
I thought that when the life drained out of him. I thought that less when Jane wheeled him out to the incinerator.
I hung up my lab coat and put my keys in my pocket.
Jane came in from the rain as I was about to go out.
“Koichi,” she said, surprised. “Everything okay?”
“Besides the fact that we killed a man?” I said trying on a smile. “Yeah, I’m okay.”
“I was just on my way to the lab to run some tests. See if that’s the case. Why don’t you join me?”
“Maybe later,” I said, zipping up my coat. “I’m going out for a bit.” I continued down the hall.
“To that Leviathan church?” she called after me.
I stopped at the last cell before the stairs and turned around. “They believe in me, Jane. They’ve been a huge help towards helping us fix this.”
Jane didn’t close the distance between us. “I don’t like them,” she admitted, though I already knew that. “They’re unstable. One day they might be singing your praises, but what’s to say that the next they don’t up and join the resistance?”
The light in the cell next to me turned on. I moved out of the way so the inhabitant couldn’t see me.
“We’re all unstable,” I said. “But they want to help. They’re fine. They’re loyal.”
“So was Ashby,” Jane said, quieter.
“Ashby was never loyal,” I said, even quieter.
A/N: What’s all that racket? Koichi, that you? Take your sad talks somewhere else! People are trying to sleep!