Chapter Six: Welcome to the Devil’s Workshop:
Into the science building. Down the stairs. Through the narrow hallway. Straight into the basement.
An undergrad sophomore student opened the door. His three cohorts looked up at him.
“Yu, you’re late!” a junior boy said. The undergrad closed the door behind him.
“Sorry,” he said. “My professor held me up.”
“Just come here,” a sophomore said.
“Right, right,” Yu said. He walked over to the make shift lab.
“So, what do we have?” he asked.
“Come look,” a sophomore girl said. She flipped on the TV. Everyone crowded around to watch.
“Police are still looking for clues as to what happened on News Year’s Ever,” the reporter said in her creepy perky tone.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” the cop said. “We’re looking at monster here!” Click.
The sophomore girl grinned. “Gentlemen,” she said. “I give you, success!” The boys became excited.
“No way!” the junior gasped. He turned to the girl. “You mean…” She nodded at him.
“That’s right,” the girl said. “The experiment was a success.” The boys were quiet for a long moment.
“So, what do we do now, Ai?” Yu asked. The girl gave him a little smirk.
“We run the next round of experiments, for Soma’s Mother,” she said.
“But with who?” the sophomore boy asked.
“The freshman class?” Yu asked. Ai shook her head.
“No,” she said. “I want to expand out some.” The boys eyed her intently. Ai took a brief moment. Then, she grinned.
“The high school,” she said. Her boys eyed her nervously. Ai’s face didn’t change.
“Is there a problem?” she asked. They quickly shook their heads.
“No, no!” the boys said.
“It’s just…” Yu spoke up. All eyes fell on him. Ai raised an eyebrow at him.
“Just what?” she challenged. The undergrad sophomore clenched his fists.
“That was the last batch we used,” he reasoned. “Where are we going to the supplies? Plus, Soma’s Mother takes days to create. My whole winter break was shot!” Ai waited for him to finish.
“Anything else?” she asked. Yu closed his mouth and quickly shook his head.
“No,” he lied. They all waited for a tense moment. Ai pulled back a bit.
“You let me deal with the supplies,” she said. “As for work, just carry on as usual.”
“But classes will start soon,” the junior cut in.
“Work around your schedules,” their leader said. “Come on! We’ve worked so hard on this project since the summer! The first round of testing was successful. We can’t quit, now, right?” The boys pressed their lips together.
“Right?” Ai asked again.
“Right!” her secret team agreed. The leader drew back and breathed out.
“Good,” she said. “Now set up everything. We’ve got work to do today!”
“Yes ma’am!” the boys replied. They all quickly got to work. Ai turned to walk out the fire escape doorway. Yo looked up when he heard the door open.
“Hey,” he said. “Where are you going?”
“To call in for supplies,” Ai said. “Cell phone reception sucks in here. So, I have to go outside. You all know that.” Then, she disappeared out the door. Yu waited a few seconds before looking around. He nudged his colleagues in the arms.
“What’s up?” the junior asked. Yu held his mouth closed as he leaned in closer.
“I just thought of something,” he whispered. Yu swallowed a bit.
“If they tie all of this back to us, we’re dead,” he said.
“Then don’t get caught,” the junior hissed.
“It’s not easy, Michiro,” Yu told him. Michiro grabbed him by the arm.
“Listen to me!” he hissed. “You breathe a single word of this to anyone, I will hunt you down and kill you! Got me?” Yu shivered as he nodded. Michiro smiled as he let of his colleague’s arm.
“Good,” he said. His attention turned to the other sophomore.
“That’s goes to you too, Noriaki!” Michiro snapped. The sophomore nodded without a thought across his face.
“Got me?” Michiro snapped.
“Yes,” the sophomores said. The junior pulled back some.
“Good,” he said. The junior went back to work. His colleagues followed suit. They didn’t talk much after that.