She was at the end of her rope. Everything that had ever meant anything to her had left in a heartbeat, one that she wished she could have stopped. It didn’t matter any more, now. Now that there was nothing left to hang on to, there was only one thing she could think of that she could do. All excuses were gone now, she had no further reason to stop herself from making herself a suicide salad and poison tea as she had been planning for more than a year now. All that was left was the sweet blissful quietness of death that she had longed for since she was thirteen.
Her muscles had long since gone heavy and hard to move. They were stiff and painful, just as she had expected would happen just after studying up on poisonous plants. The alkaloid--coniine, a powerful paralytic--had long since kicked in on her body, wreaking havoc on her peripheral nervous system, and shutting it down slowly but surely. She was no longer able to move a single muscle in her body, not even her diaphragm, which was necessary for respiration, and for life. Her lungs were screaming for air, a death she had, at first, thought too painful to go through to the end--like drowning. Now she did not mind. She was getting dizzy and lightheaded from lack of oxygen. As things started getting dark, just before she passed out, her last thought was, "Finally, the time has come. I have waited six or more years for this. I just wish I had been able to save them before I finally die. I’m...so...sorry everyone. Forgive me..."
Doctor Flanderson, and his assistant, Kelly, had been out for a peaceful walk in the fields just behind a wheat farm, relaxing for their lunch break and trying to come up with new ways to perform their experiments. They knew it was cruel, but if it could save lives, they were willing to perform such experiments.
They wandered down an almost unbeaten path just off of where they had been walking. It led down a short decline, which took them down to a willow tree next to the river. To their surprise, lying next to a tree root that stuck up out of the ground just next to the small river bank, was a young girl dressed in a black cape. They pulled back the hood, and carefully lifted the white mask off of her head, knowing from her stiff neck that she had been dead for a while. She appeared to be in her late teens, and her dark brown hair and almost pixie-like face gave an almost angelic glow to her lovely face. Had it not been for her pale complexion and blue lips, they would have thought she was merely napping underneath the relaxing shade of the willow tree next to the river.
“Hey, Flanders,” said Kelly, as she pushed a lock of unruly blonde hair out of her face, revealing beautiful blue eyes, “maybe we can use her. It is not often you find a dead body out in the middle of nowhere.”
“It depends on how decayed she is and what condition her body is in. Bring her along, we’ll find out in the lab.”
Kelly did not like the job of having to find specimens, or bring them to the lab, but it was part of her job as an assistant, so she good naturedly wrapped the girl’s arm around her neck and lifted her carefully by the waist until she was nearly standing. Her stiff limbs did not help much in bringing her to a standing position, considering she was found almost in a lying position, but it helped when Kelly threw her over her shoulder, carrying her in a fire-fighter position all the way through the fresh green fields of young shoots of wheat.
It seemed as though the girl had put on five pounds every minute she walked, and the walk had lasted fifteen minutes. By the time that they had reached the car, Kelly was panting uncontrollably, almost ready to pass out. The strong summer breeze, which had been refreshing and cool, seemed the only salvation for her exhausted body. The girl was rudely thrown into the back seat, covered with a tarp, and buckled into position so she would not fall off.
“Flanders,” said Kelly between pants as Flanders drove off, “I know what we’re doing is for the good of future generations, but don’t you think we are going too far? I mean, we are trying to play the part of God, trying to bring people back like we are, and giving them powers that God did not want us to have for a very good reason.”
“I know it seems that way, but if it can help bring people back when they are most needed, and if it can help save lives in war, then it is worth it.”
“But this girl clearly cannot help in war, even if she was brought back. It looks like she suffocated to death, most likely of her own free will.”
“So, what are you saying?”
“I’m saying this girl probably killed herself, and for a good reason. Would she appreciate it if we brought her back to a life that she tried to get rid of, and to boot we make her a freak?”
“Sometimes sacrifice is necessary to save lives.”
“Maybe sacrifice in the name of saving lives is not saving lives.”
“I don’t like this any more than you do, but you have to do what you are supposed to do. You know the consequences if you don’t.”
Kelly turned pale. She knew the consequences, all right, and she was afraid that the consequences may land her in that girl’s position--dead and stiff as a doornail. She hated the thought of doing such cruel and horrid acts, but if she didn’t, then...
“I’m sorry,” Flanders apologized, “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“I know. I guess I just needed a reminder of our motivation for such cruel acts.”
The rest of the drive to the laboratory had been silent on both parts. Now Flanders and Kelly were standing over their new found research specimen, examining the work they had done. They had done blood tests, bone tests, muscle and skin tests, and all came with the results they had been looking for. They had long since done what they needed to to bring the girl back, and had injected her with a synthetic hormone that boosted the output of the pituitary gland. All that was left was for the girl to wake up from her long slumber, and show them the results they hoped the would see. Though their experimenting was cruel and horrific, they could not help but feel elation as the girl opened her eyes slowly, revealing beautiful hazel-green eyes.
The girl sat up stock straight. The experiment thus far had worked. She was alive and awake, but was her mind fully functional yet? There was one way for them to find out.
“Hello, young lady,” doctor Flanders said, “Do you know your name?”
She said nothing. Her eyes were wide with fright, and she was panting.
“Where am I?” she finally asked, her voice high and clearly frightened, “Who are you? Why am I still alive?”
“Can you tell us your name, and why you were found dead next to a river?” he tried to speak over her, and, at the same time, calm her, but it was no use. Beakers and scalpels were flying by at breakneck speeds.
“What’s going on? Why is all that stuff flying around?”
“Please,” Kelly shouted, clearly scared herself, “keep calm. You are doing this on your own.”
“No! I’m not!”
“We have to anesthetize her, now!” Doctor Flanders shouted.
Kelly was way ahead of him. She had managed to catch a bottle of chloroform as it whizzed by her head, and a piece of cloth they had saved for clean up. She soaked the cloth and covered the girl’s mouth and nose with it. Within moments, the girl had slumped back into Kelly’s arms, asleep once more.
“Perhaps we should wait for a while before waking her.” said Flanders.
“Doctor, she is beyond our capabilities to examine her right now. Maybe you should consider cryogenic stasis so that others in the future can control her.”
“Perhaps you’re right. Prepare the machine.”