Chapter 4: Abyss.   Posted by BookNook.Group: 0
 GM, 11 posts
 Tarzan of the Apes.
Tue 16 Jun 2015
at 21:12
Chapter 4: Abyss
                   “The only way to escape the abyss is to look at it,
                                               gauge it,
                               sound it out and descend into it.”
-Cesare Pavese
William Blake
 player, 168 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Thu 18 Jun 2015
at 20:28
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
Dr. Horrible sat in his office, a warmly appointed room full of books and medical journals, filling out paperwork. One of the rare windows in the facility supplied him with a view of a desert landscape occasionally blessed with breathtaking sunsets.
There was no sound aside from the soft scritch scritch of his pencil, the occasional beep from machinery.

Now and then he would glance up at the two monitors he had had moved to his office, sitting just to the side of his richly polished teakwood desk. One displayed two side by side pictures that almost appeared static due to the lack of movement within; the feeds from the rooms of S. Black and W. Blake. They both sat on their beds, asleep or thinking or whatever. The other monitor held the vitals information transmitted by the microchips the staff had installed in both subjects when they had been first admitted. Well, he thought, technically just Susan had them installed when she arrived. William had been here long enough that he had been admitted before the procedure was in place, and had been fitted with the chips only a few years ago.

Dr. Horrible smiled fondly at the images. William's dopamine levels were higher than they had been for years. Susan's oxytosin levels were actually beginning to register. Cortisol was still running alarmingly rampant in William, but that had been normal for about four years now. Susan was swimming in serotonin, but that was slowly decreasing in a most satisfactory manner. Their heart rates, oddly, had become synchronized. A few of the female orderlies had sighed at that, calling it 'romantic'.

"That's it," the doctor urged. "Even each other out. Become mentally healthy again, William. Let yourself trust him, Susan. Believe that you can make it." he chuckled as he bent back over his papers, the last requisition orders for the next stage of tests. "Build them up, tear them down," the evil doctor hummed in almost a sing song voice as he worked.
"Build them up, tear them down!"

This message was last edited by the player at 20:29, Thu 18 June 2015.

Susan Black
 Player, 158 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 12:06
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan lay on her back, hands behind her head and her eyes on the ceiling above her bed. Her eyebrows were puckered slightly, and a small smile came to her lips as William entered her thoughts. She quickly wiped the smile away, a glare turning to the camera up in the corner before she settled her expression in her usual angry resting face. Why give them anything they could work with? They already had their lives. She was just going to make it as difficult as possible for them to get any conclusive data.

   The door to her room clunked heavily as it unlocked and she sat up in her bed, swinging her feet down to the cool floor. Three orderlies and two nurses came into the room, rolling a cart of computer equipment between them all and closing the door behind them. Susan sat with her back as straight as a rod, guarded and poised for a fight.
   Despite her kicks, punches and struggles, she was strapped to her bed in quick order. She gritted her teeth and stayed unusually quiet as the nurses rolled the cart up next to her bed, a strange dread deep in her stomach. A keyboard, monitor, and sleek headset were what she saw before the sting of a needle in her arm turned her attention away. A clear liquid was injected and the spot swabbed.

   She felt the effects almost immediately. The edges of her vision blurred, and she felt as if she were pitching on a boat. She groaned and closed her eyes, hoping that the feeling would diminish if she couldn't see the room rock. It didn't help. Susan thought she could feel hands on her head, lifting, turning, then something snug around her brow.
   "What's going on..?" was that her voice? She slowly opened her eyes, and closed them again tightly. The rocking motion slowly abated, and when she was finally able to open her eyes, she was staring at her ceiling.

   Susan blinked and sat up, putting a hand to her head. There was nothing there. Frowning, she got up from the bed and walked to her door. Locked. Turning around, she paced back to the bed to stop by the side, hands propped on her lower back. What had happened? Did she blank out during the experiment? She certainly had a headache. It could be a side effect from that drug.
   The lock on her door turned, and it opened as Susan glanced over her shoulder to see what it was. William stood in the doorway, and for a moment, a smile came to her face. Then he suddenly pitched forward and hit the ground, a gurgle of blood coming from his mouth. "William!" Susan screamed, lurching forward and dropping to her knees beside him. She turned him over and froze, shocked at the amount of blood covering his chest. It was all over her hands. Gasping, she took his face in her hands. He was pale, his breathing shallow. "Look at me." she demanded in a low voice.
   William's clouded eyes turned toward her, but didn't focus. He whispered something past the blood, something she couldn't hear and he stopped breathing.
   Susan screamed his name and shook him trying to wake him up.

   Susan woke up to her own scream. The room was dark, and she was covered in a cold sweat. She sat up, breathing heavily and putting her head on her knees. A nightmare. A nightmare. Taking in a deep, shaky breath, Susan flopped back onto the bed, her hands covering her eyes. It was a while before she could get back to sleep.

  Checking the monitor and headset sync pattern, one of the nurses stepped back as S. Black screamed again, struggling against the bonds that held her down. The top half of her face was concealed beneath the virtual projector, the effects enhanced a hundred fold by the hallucination drug modified to simulate the dream state sense of reality. The visual on the computer screen was split. Half covered in direction code, and the other a picture of what S. Black was seeing. It was just as the Dr. hoped it would be.

   Opening her eyes, Susan looked blearily up at the ceiling. What day was it? Why did she bother asking? She sat up and tried to move her legs to stand up, but her legs wouldn't move. A spike of panic struck hard and fast through her chest. She couldn't move her legs, they wouldn't respond. What kind of test was this supposed to be?
   Her door opened, it wasn't locked, and two orderlies dragged a third person in between them. When the door closed, the person raised his head, blood in his hair. William.
   He gave her a half smile, only to have it transformed into a grimace as an orderly fist sunk into his gut. He grunted and Susan shouted, "Stop! Stop it!" She tried to jump from the bed, to attack, to help, and tumbled from the bed in a heap. She pushed herself up on her side, legs laying useless. More hollow thumps and grunts as William took the beating. A fist connected with his jaw and blood spattered the white floor. Cursing, Susan dragged herself forward and grabbed the leg of an orderly, pulling on him until she was close enough to bite. She drew blood before she was kicked aside. She felt more than useless to help.
   William lay on the floor, his face swollen and bruised. Susan looked back at him, angry tears flooding her eyes. He opened his mouth and said something, but the words were lost past his mangled lips. With a savage kick, William's neck snapped and he stared at her with dead eyes at an impossible angle.
   A wrenching scream tore from her throat.

   Susan strained against the straps, her scream tearing painfully through the air. Notes were written quickly on a clipboard, "One more."

   Susan lay on her bed, her hands pressed over her eyes as the visions of William covered in blood and dying flooded her vision. It seemed so real, the sounds and the smell of blood. She gritted her teeth and rolled out of bed as her door clicked and was swung open. She looked to the doorway, afraid of what she might see. William was shoved into the room and the door slammed shut and locked.
   Jumping to her feet, she crossed the room and examined him, "Are you alright? Have they done anything to you?" she asked quickly, ignoring the slightly bewildered look on his face. "What have they done to you?" she pressed, turning to take his face in her hands.
   He smiled at her and pulled her to him in a tight embrace. He whispered something in her ear but she couldn't catch it. It had been too faint.
   "What?" she asked, taking a step back to look at him. Her heel caught on something and she fell back, grabbing at William's arm to catch herself. They both fell. Susan hit her head on the floor, making her ears ring and her head spin.
   As her vision swam, she saw William beside her, unmoving with blood in his hair. She felt like she was falling and her sight faded to black. She coughed and reached out to feel for him, her hand touching nothing but air.

   ...She heard the door close and lock.. Did they take him away?

   She opened her eyes with a gasp, her eyes focusing on the ceiling with sharp clarity. She sat up bolt right, to find herself alone. Drawing her legs up, she tangled her fingers through her hair and a sob racked her body as the images of a bloody William refused to leave her mind.
William Blake
 player, 169 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 17:34
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
William sat up in bed, his back against the wall, staring straight ahead, blinking as little as possible. He was trying to keep his mind blank. He wanted to curl up, close his eyes, and think about Susan, but he was afraid to.

Hope quivered in his heart like a single thread of spider silk disturbed by a breeze. It shone in the sun, the unexpected light that Susan had brought into his life. Had it always been there, and the light had just now revealed it? Or was it there because of her as well?

William caught himself and forced his mind back to blank whiteness. But then his door unlocked, causing a quickly controlled spike of terror in him. He closed his eyes, not struggling as he was strapped quickly to the bed. He heard wheels squeaking against the linoleum, and opened his eyes to see them rolling some kind of computer and electronic gizmos into his room.

Then he heard the familiar tink tink of an orderly flicking their finger against the vial of a hypodermic needle. Suppressing dread, William decided to take a stab at his old tactics. He forced a wobbly grin as the orderly with the needle came up to his side.
"Oh no, I can't possibly buy any of that. Just say no, my mama says."

She only looked at him for a moment, then stuck his arm.
The effects came on surprisingly quickly and William groaned. It felt like a hallucinogen. They hadn't tried this crap on him for years now, ever since he had convinced them his mind was broken. Well, that's what came of revealing himself with Susan. He had told himself to expect it but it was still the worst.

The room spun gently, and his vision smeared. He saw the orderlies distorted white-gloved hands near his face and felt them messing with his head. His vision went dark for a moment, then suddenly winked back.

The orderlies were gone, as was the computer. He must have blacked out. Not that unusual. What was unusual was that Susan was standing in his room. The wide leather belt was around her waist, shackles on her wrists and ankles attached to it with thick chains. He tried to get up, to go to her, but he was still strapped down. She was angry, and afraid, but smiled at him. He smiled back just as his door opened again. He hadn't heard the key in the lock. An orderly with a surgical mask on entered, holding one of the silvery telescopic shock rods the bouncers carried with them. He put his hand on Susan's shoulder and forced her to kneel next to Williams bed.

She whispered something to him, but he didn't catch it. He raised an eyebrow at her, but she only smiled.

"Tell S. Black that you love her," the orderly demanded. William looked up at him in shock.
The orderly gave her a light tap on her arm, enough to make her wince.
"Tell her you love her."
William's mouth opened before he could think. "I love you, Susan."
She started to smile at him. God, he loved her smile. Then the orderly whipped the shock rod across her shoulders, and the smile blanched into a grimace as her muscles stiffened with the electrical shock. The shock rod came away bloody.
"Tell her you love her."
William couldn't seem to stop himself. "I love you."
Another savage whip across her back. She spasmed. William's hand was inches from hers... if he could only reach...

His mouth kept moving. "I love you." Crack! "I love you." Crack! "I love you!" Crack!
Then she started screaming, and the orderly couldn't hear his protestations of love over her, but he kept whipping at her with the shock rod. Blood flew and William sobbed, unable to even shout at him to stop. Soon, he beat at an unmoving corpse, slumped forward on the bed and staring at him with empty eyes. And still, William repeated, "I love you."

A few of the orderlies watching his hallucination looked at each other and smiled, cheeks flushed, eyes bright. This was good material.

William woke with a jolt, face wet with tears. He wasn't strapped down. His room wasn't streaked with Susan's blood. Just a dream.
Used to dealing with such nightmares, William tried to calm himself. He hadn't had one that bad in some time. Then he heard a clink of metal on metal, and looked up. Susan sat at a table next to his bed, strapped into a straitjacket, looking at him with a small smile on her face. He sat up quickly, wiping his face as he got to his feet.

"Oh Susan! I just had an awful dream. I'm glad you're here." She didn't respond. Her face didn't even change. "Susan?"
He walked around the table to her. She kept staring straight ahead. "Susan? He gently put his hand on her cheek and turned her face to him. Something was wrong. Her eyes were glassy and unfocused. Her expression was too smooth. Her skin was pale, her breathing slow and shallow. He called her name louder and louder, shook her, even slapped her a few times. She never reacted. Finally he knelt next to her chair and kissed her passionately. When he pulled back, her face was just the same, and a little drip of drool leaked down her chin from her slightly open mouth.

He had seen this happen before. When a patient reached this state, broken beyond repair, they were no longer useful to the hospital, and were... William burst into tears. He picked her up out of the chair and carried her to the bed, settling down with her cradled in his lap like a child.
"Susan, please wake up. Please Susan. Wake up." he moaned to her as he stroked her face, her hair, her hands. She didn't react. Susan was gone.

William opened his eyes, sitting in the same position, his back against the wall and his chin on his chest. Susan's body and the table were gone.
He didn't move. He felt.. broken. Yes, he was broken. Let them take him away to the fires, like they must have taken Susan. Let them kill him, finally. Let him go to be with her...
But then she appeared in front of his eyes. She smiled and spoke, but he could not hear her. He could not move. He was broken. She frowned and stroked at his face, just as he had hers. She shook him. She called out to him.
Despair welled up in him as it grew in her face. She kissed him. He tried, tried so hard to move. Why couldn't he move? She put her head down on the bed beside him and started to cry. He ached to put his arms around her, tell he was fine, but he couldn't. He wasn't. It hurt so much to watch her cry for him. He closed his eyes...

... and woke up lying on his bed, alone. He sighed and rubbed at his arm. That hallucinogen was the worst he had ever experienced... it had all seemed so real. He was terrified for Susan. Had any of that really happened? Was it just a peek at what was to come?
Practiced as William was at controlling his emotions and his body while in pain, he could not stop the slow, steady leak of tears that left hot trails on his cheeks.
Susan Black
 Player, 159 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Wed 26 Aug 2015
at 10:15
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan sat on the edge of her bed, waiting. Waiting for something to happen with her back straight and her hands on her knees. She waited for hours. Finally, her door clicked and then swung open. She raised her eyes to look at the two masked orderlies that entered. One had a wide leather belt with chains in his hand. Susan waited quietly as they approached, and once they were close, she dove from the bed beneath their arms and hit the ground running.
   She was out the door in a second, the orderlies on her heels the next. "William!" she screamed, shoving from the wall and dodging them for another moment. She knew she would not get far, but she could not stop.
   As an orderly dove and wrapped his arms around her legs, she let out another scream of rage on her way down. She grunted, the orderly jerking her back by the ankles and pinning her down with a hand on her head, pressing her cheek to the cold floor. She screamed curses and yelled William's name. The belt was secured around her waist, her wrists and ankles forced into the shackles. She was lifted bodily and set roughly on her feet, to be guided by their hands on her shoulders down the hallway, around corners and down stairs to another door. It was unlocked by an orderly and she was pushed in ahead of them. The first thing she saw was William, and she hesitated as memories of his bloody body flashed before her eyes and fear gripped her. Fear that she would see it again.
William Blake
 player, 171 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Fri 11 Sep 2015
at 19:57
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
William was standing with his back to her in the small cell, head tilted slightly as he seemed to consider the scratched and filthy cinderblock wall before him. He turned when she entered. He looked fine. Normal. Well, as good as anyone could look while in this horrible place. His hands were shackled to his belt. There was a single female nurse standing close to him, chatting away. He didn't seem to be listening as his eyes found hers.

"... so real, so edifying! Ah, here she is. Because of our latest tests on you two, we have decided to pair you, temporarily, and observe. So enjoy yourselves, behave normally, and have fun, alright?" She nodded to the two big orderlies. One walked to William and removed his restrains. He remained motionless and silent. Then he walked back and clamped a meaty hand on the back of Susan's neck while his partner warily unlocked her chains. The instant she was free, before she had time to try anything, she was shoved away from them, hard, right into Williams arms. He grunted as he caught her.

The nurse and orderlies slipped out and locked the door behind them. William flinched at the sound, and then looked down. His deep-set brown eyes flicked back and forth, taking in her face. Drinking in the sight of her, unharmed.
Susan Black
 Player, 160 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Wed 28 Oct 2015
at 23:54
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan looked back up at him, afraid to breath or move, as if it would trigger the nightmares she weren't sure were real or not. She could feel his heart beating, and see his eyes studying hers. Knowing that a wild look must be in her own eyes, she tried to make her voice steady as she said, "Say something to me."
   What if she couldn't hear him again? Terror still clenched in her chest as she clung to William tightly, pleading silently
William Blake
 player, 172 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Tue 3 Nov 2015
at 22:41
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
A slight smile turned up the corners of his mouth. "I love you," he said, wincing a little inside at the memory of that last experiment. He squeezed a little tighter as he said it. But his attention was caught again by the wall, and he frowned thoughtfully at it, appearing troubled. After a moment he turned back to her and his smile returned. "So... we've been... 'paired.'"
Susan Black
 Player, 161 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 00:44
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan felt a wave of relief rush through her when William spoke and held her tight. Smiling, she whispered, "I love you too." before she watched his expression turn thoughtful, and at his next words, her eyebrows raised up, "'Paired'?" she asked, venturing slowly, "What does that mean?"
William Blake
 player, 173 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Mon 9 Nov 2015
at 18:35
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
William blinked down at her, and color bloomed high in his cheeks, turning the tips of his ears pink. He looked back at the wall, obviously dodging the question. "You know, I recognize this room." He stepped away from her, closer to the wall, squinting. "Yeah..." He leaned back, looking stricken. "I spent my first year here, in this room."
The walls, dull, whitewashed cinder block, were filthy. The grime had previously masked the fact that, carved over almost every inch, were words. Large and small, always grouped together in three or four lines, sometimes longer. The edges were rounded and some words were faded with age; ground down by time.
The only other thing in the cell was a dented and bent metal toilet in the corner.
Susan Black
 Player, 162 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Wed 9 Dec 2015
at 23:47
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan watched him move, and her eyebrows shot up as understanding dawned on her. Her own face flushed and she took a few wandering steps back, toward one of the walls to inspect it closer. She opened her mouth to speak, and cleared her throat first to clear it, before asking, "Why did you write all of this?"
William Blake
 player, 174 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Thu 10 Dec 2015
at 18:24
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
"To stay sane," William answered quietly. He stepped up to a particular section. Most of the words were faded away, but seeing just the few that remained sparked memory in William's mind. He spoke softly, reciting without thinking words that had not been in his mind for years. The words had a cadence like poetry, or song lyrics spoken.

"'I have my mother's dreams. I have my father's eyes. You can't take that from me. Just go ahead and try.'" his fingers moved down the wall to a more deeply carved line. "'Help is on the way. Help is on the way. We were told just to sit tight, 'cause somebody will soon arrive. Help is on the way.'" His eyes closed as he tilted his head back, pain in the lines of his face as he spoke the finishing words of the song that he had not carved on the wall. "'But it never came. It never came.'"
He took a step to the side, his fingers brushing the next section.

"'We are the long forgotten sons, and daughters that don't belong to anyone. We are alone under this sun. We work to fix the work that you've undone. When cries for help go unanswered, when signal fires just burn and burn. We wonder if we're waiting here for nothing.'" His voice started to break with emotion as he spoke. "'Cause our lips are sewn, our ears are filled, with the constant drone of the unfulfilled, but we'll never fall, if we stand for something.'"

He sank to his knees, and read one of the last lines in the section. It had been deeply carved as well.
"'There's hope in the footsteps of resistance.'"

This message was last edited by the player at 18:26, Thu 10 Dec 2015.

Susan Black
 Player, 163 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Wed 3 Feb 2016
at 23:21
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan reached him in two long strides and dropped to her knees behind him, wrapping her arms around him tightly and pressing her cheek against his back, "There is, Will." she gave him a long squeeze, voice tight with emotion and her eyes closed, "We may not have been able to get far on our own, but we're together now, and we can do this together." she finished off at a whisper, all her hope coming out in her voice.
William Blake
 player, 175 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Fri 5 Feb 2016
at 00:33
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
William sighed as he shuffled around, turning to face her in a crouch. He then let himself fall back against the wall, pulling Susan into a comfortable embrace. They sat there for a long time, taking solace in the closeness and warmth of the other.
Remembering something, William glanced over towards the door, towards the last words he had carved in this room before they moved him to a constantly monitored cell. They were deep, and he had darkened them with blood. The dark stains remained. His eyes flicked down, and he felt something akin to shame.
But no. He had no reason to live before Susan came along. He smiled as he remembered the first time he had seen her, bursting into his cell during her escape attempt. Then he remembered the first time he had tried committing suicide, almost hanging himself in the Quiet Chair. He shivered, looking up at the words again and swallowing hard.

Will you kill what's left of me

I'm ready to die

William Blake
 player, 176 posts
 No escape but death.
 They won't let me.
Thu 7 Apr 2016
at 01:08
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
His eyes shuddered away from the words, and he cast about for something else, anything else to occupy his mind. "Susan," he found himself saying. "Tell me about you. How did you grow up? How did you get stuck here? Does someone out there cry for you?"
Susan Black
 Player, 164 posts
 Escape is the plan.
 Revenge is the goal.
Tue 10 May 2016
at 18:09
Re: Chapter 4: Abyss
   Susan stiffened and sat back, a pained tightness in her eyes, "I... No. No one cares about me out there." she sighed angrily and shook her head. Turning, she sat back against the wall next to William with her legs up, and laid her arms across her knees, "My mom died when I was little. Maybe six or seven. She didn't know who my dad was. I got put in an institute for troubled kids in Montana. I stayed there for years. Wreaking havoc. Before, well, guess there's no point lying about this." she took a deep breath before charging ahead with quick words, "I became a con artist. Part of a group of criminals really. No family, no place to stay. We traveled around the mid-west, doing jobs for cash and stealing a lot."

   Shaking her head, Susan smiled ruefully and ran her fingers through her hair, "Mark was our 'leader'. He was the oldest. I had been with the group for about a year, after running from the institute. Occasionally, while on a job, one of our members would 'wreck the gob' or 'run away', according to Mark. I was so stupid. I can't believe I didn't see a pattern until it was right in front of me. I saw him knock out and sell a girl from our group to someone. I didn't get back to everyone in time before Mark got me and threatened me. Then, the bastard brought me here and sold me." she leaned back and thunked her head against the wall, "I look back and think of all the things I could've done. Ran away despite being watched by Mark, just shouted to everyone about his lies... I don't know. But not standing up is what got me here, and I was done with it."

  "Now, I want to get out of here, find him and..."
Susan trailed off, knitting her eyebrows at the ceiling, "Get those other kids away from him." she glanced over to William, looking somewhat tired.