CHAPTER FOURTEEN

THE ROAR OF AIR FLOODING THE DECONTAMINATION UNIT WAS NEVER UNPLEASANT TO ANTON.   MUCH LIKE A CONVENTIONAL SHOWER, IT GAVE HIM TIME TO CONCENTRATE ON THE DAY AHEAD OF HIM. HIS HEAD WOULD FILL WITH THOUGHTS OF NEW EXPERIMENTS HE COULD CONDUCT ON HIS SUBJECTS, OR SUBTLE VARIATIONS ON THE CLASSICS.

But this time it only filled his head with a single question. What went wrong?

When the air cycled through and the light in the small chamber went from red to green, the doctor opened the door and entered the Labyrinth.

He walked through the ancient hallway while keeping his eyes forward. The hazmat suit he wore kept out most of the unpleasant sounds as he passed – the mewling, the sobbing, the begging.   Often, he would stop and admire his and the work of his master.   But again, What went wrong?

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He arrived at the massive vault door where his lab was located at the end of the hall. He pressed his plastic covered face against the ocular scanner and only had to wait a matter of seconds until his identity was confirmed and he was allowed to enter.

Anton was not happy to discover Isabel was waiting for him. Even ignoring her lack of protocol that was her unauthorized presence in his lab, there was the matter she wasn’t wearing a clean suit over her crisp white business suit and bustier.

But that was Isabel Moreau at a glance.   Rules didn’t apply to the boss’s daughter.

He swallowed his disgust and said, “I got confirmation. It was one of ours.”

“She, Anton.”

“I’m sorry, ‘She’ was one of ours.”

“Father knew the moment it happened,” said Isabel. “What he wants to know from you is who killed her and why.   Tell me about her pride.”

Anton loved his master.   The master’s daughter not so much.

“Four in all. None less than six months since their enhancement. Nothing exceptional about her readjustment process.”

“I’ve dispatched Wohl to clean up this mess.”

“Is that wise?”

“Apparently. Or I wouldn’t have done it.”

Isabel left.   As the vault door closed behind her, Dr. Anton Crest angrily hurled his bloody tools off the lab table and onto the floor.