While Anna goes out to try and end things on her end, she finds the source of the virus and Test Subject #7.
Chapter Forty-Nine: Salvation is Free:
Anna wandered all the way to Ju-Oh-Cho. She didn’t know why she came here. The woman pushed open the door.
“Hello?” she asked. “Is anyone here?” Silence only greeted her. Anna stepped in with care.
“Anybody here?” she asked. Her steps became slower. A sneeze made her pause. Anna turned to the back corner. A girl, subject #7, sat on floor trembling. She held her knees to her chest. Her teeth chattered as she spoke. The words from her mouth made no sense. Anna took small steps towards her.
“Are… you alright?” she asked. The woman lifted her head. The test subject’s eyes looked just as red.
“What happened?” Anna asked. “Are you okay?” The child’s eyes widened.
“You can see me?” she asked.
“Yeah…” Anna said with a slow nod. “Why?” The girl’s eyes widened with long lost relief. She chuckled aloud.
“Oh thank goodness!” she said. “I’m so glad to see you! I was so scared!” She clung onto Anna in desperation. The woman blinked.
“Uh… what’s your name?” she asked. The girl had her head buried in her chest.
“Sekai!” she blurted out. “Please… don’t leave me!”
“Okay…” Anna said. “What’s the matter?” Suddenly, a loud voice laughed though the pipes. Sekai grabbed onto Anna’s brown shirt tighter.
“He’s here!” she cried. “Don’t let him get me! Please, mama! Don’t let him get me!”
“What are you talking about? Who?” Anna asked.
“Sekai-chan!” that same voice yelled. “Come out, come out where ever you are! You can’t run from me! I am your mind after all!”
“No!” Sekai wailed. “No! No! No! No! No! No!” She huddled into a ball crying. Anna held her close.
“Shhh,” she whispered. “He won’t get you. I won’t let him. I’m here.” The girl trembled as she nodded. Then, Anna came up with an idea.
“Hey, why don’t you come with me,” she said. Sekai jerked her head upwards.
“No!” she wailed in a whisper. “He’ll get me!”
“He’ll get you if we stay here. Now come on,” the woman whispered back. She helped the poor soul to her feet and walked her down the hall.
They came into Watari’s lab. Anna blocked the door behind them. She finished up and sat down to catch her breath.
“Okay,” the woman said. “What’s going on? Who is after you so badly?” Sekai’s eyes stayed on the floor.
“I’m sick,” she mumbled.
“What?” Anna asked.
Sekai swallowed hard. “Last month, two Todai students came by my school and offered to do experiments on us. I agreed to participate.” She trembled as she relived the details in her head.
“I got the shot and strange days later.”
The girl shook her head. “I became hungrier and couldn’t stop eating. I kept getting into fights at school. I even flirted with random strangers in the downtown parts of Tokyo.” Sekai trembled again.
“I did all of that? I feel so disgusting!” The girl broke down crying after many weeks of being out of her head in confinement. Anna took a moment to process this new information that she had learned. Sounded so familiar…
“Tell me,” she spoke up. “Which school do you go to?”
“Hibiya High School,” the test subject replied. Anna froze at those words. That’s Seita’s school!/, she thought. /But how did he get the virus?
“Did a boy named Seita participate in the experiment?” Anna asked. Sekai shook her head.
“No?” the woman asked.
“No,” Sekai replied.
“I see,” Anna said. “Is this virus contagious?”
“Only through blood through an open wound.”
“I see…” Began to make a little sense.
CRASH! Anna whirled around at the sound. Someone was trying to break down the door. Sekai screamed as she held her head.
“He’s here!” she cried. “He’s coming to get me! No!” Anna rose to her feet.
“No, he won’t!” she snapped. “I won’t let him!” Sekai looked at her with big eyes.
“But how?” she whimpered. “He is my mind!”
“Let me deal with him,” she said. “Just stay down!” The girl nodded quickly. She ducked down with her ears covered. Anna breathed out.
“Right,” she mumbled.
A strange figure walked into the lab. He looked like a clown with the brightly colored suit and nightmare-inducing make-up on his face. Instead of hair, he had giant needles sticking of his head. The clown laughed aloud.
“Oh Sekai-chan!” he called. “Your friends are waiting for you! Come out and join them!” Silence.
“Oh come on!” the clown yelled. “I won’t hurt you! Maybe drive you insane. Injure you a bit. Drive you to mayhem and suicide. Your buddies really miss you. So come out and play!” The clown’s mismatched eyes scanned the darkness.
“I know you’re here!” he called. “You can’t hide from me! So why don’t you come out already?” He spotted a huddled bundle near the back exit. The clown licked his big red lips. /Found you!/, he thought. The personified version of the virus rushed toward the bundle in question.
“Oh come on!” the clown said. “Sekai-chan, let’s be friends. You know you want to! Come out and play!” He came within inches of the shaking bundle on the floor. The clown reached out to the target…
Anna let off a silent battle cry in her mind as she lunged at the virus’ neck with her antidote-covered knife. The clown’s needle head rolled all the way to the destroyed doorway. Anna stood up, panting.
I did it.
Moments later, Sekai rested her head on Anna’s lap as she slept. The woman lightly stroked her long brown hair.
“Sleep well now, you hear?” she whispered. Anna looked up at the dark ceiling.
/I wonder how long it will take for them to find us?/, she thought.