Chains pull at my wrists, making them bleed underneath my skin. Terror spills out of my mouth, dripping onto the floor below.
"Hello, little specimen. I'm glad you woke up." A giggly voice says, echoing though the sealed room. People in biohazard suits burst through the door, unlocking the cuffs and grabbing me by the elbows and ankles. They drag me through the iron door, past more scientists, and into one last room with huge vials of blue liquid inside. I get forced into the tube as I scream for Tim, my family, and my life.
"Begin harvesting sequence." It's the laughing scientist from before, leading this 'experiment'. A burning sensation spreads along my skin, crawling along my limbs like a swarm of ants. I scream, but sound doesn't seem to carry in this strange liquid. I force myself to breathe, scared that I'll drown, but I don't. "Increase the dosage." A million thumb tacks poke into me, making me bang on the glass in desperation. Please, please, someone let me out! One last man, with jet black hair, storms through the lab with authority.
"You idiots! She's a Dimidium, that's why her essence can't be harvested! Stop the damn harvesting sequence!" He yells, pressing a button on the large control bench. My arms and legs instantly become paralyzed as my vision clouds up.
One year later -
I sit on the edge of Madeline's bed, still as ever. I glance at the small piece of paper on the roof directly above her, telling her to call me when she wakes up. Will she ever wake up? Will she ever call me? Her face is blank, eyes shut.
I promptly leave again, with lost hope, to my hellish job on the year anniversary of Klas Bergling's death. My father would not like me to remember me in the hospital he died in.
Inside the hospital, it's silent. No beeps, no footsteps. It's like a ghost town that's been left alone for centuries. I'm honestly not sure what kept people from entering today, but people are walking around the street in front of this huge building as if it didn't exist, but they're eyeing the glass doors with suspicion. My phone vibrates in my pocket persistently until I pick it up and stare at the number so that I know who's calling. I read the number again in disbelief.
It's Maddie's number. I can't believe it!
I fling the gate open, too excited to lock the doors behind me. I don't pay for my parking, and I don't even care if I go over the speed limit. She's awake, and that's all that matters.
"Sir, you're going to receive several speeding tickets. You've been driving 40km over the speed limit. This will result in a $1200 fine."
"Please, my best friend has just woken up from a coma! She's been asleep for a year! I can't leave a 24 year old girl who has no right leg and was abducted last year alone! I can't afford the fine either, my father died last year and he has left me nothing but a briefcase!" I beg, balling my eyes out with hope and regret.
"Sir, may I ask, what is your name?" The police officer asks. It's the dreaded question that makes my heart drop.
"Tim. Tim Bergling." I reply, saying my last name as quiet as possible.
"I'm going to need you to say your last name a bit louder."
"Son of Klas Bergling?" He questions. "Surely Klas Bergling's son would have his house, his money and his fame."
"Apparently not." I say, smiling awkwardly, hiding my sadness. He laughs, before deciding to leave me be.
"Alright. Have a good night, Mr. Bergling." He says with a smile, waving me off into the highway.
I drive through several known streets, and into the apartment garage. I sprint into the lift, through the first hallway and to our door. I burst into Madeline's room, and gaze into her wood brown eyes, seeing greens and browns like a forest.
"I can't believe you're awake!" I say, running into Maddie's arms. "I thought you'd never-"
"Don't think about it anymore." She interrupts. "Anyway, I'm fine. I had a year to recover." I notice a group of skin flakes settled on the ground, but I wave it away. It's only a minor detail. I clutch at her hand, never wanting to let go. But I do. Maddie yawns, even though she's been asleep for a year.
"I'll let you sleep." I say, pressing my hands to the springlocked air vent above me. Maddie's vent is connected to mine, making a direct pathway from one end to the other. I crawl through the icy steel plating, freezing my hands more and more every time I take a step further. Falling onto my bed, making the bed creak in agony, I pull out my father's briefcase from underneath me, still clueless as to why it was the only thing left to me.
Papers crackle when I reach inside the leather bag. When trying to find my father's last photo, my finger catches on a tiny zip in the corner. I zip it towards me, opening a pocket of unknown material.
"What the-" There's a thick sheet of paper sticking out, subtle but noticeable at the same time. I tug at the paper lightly, staring at the file that was hidden in an innocent briefcase. On the parchment-like file, a title is splatted on the front in red ink.
Underneath is my father's name, printed perfectly in his handwriting.
I carefully open the what seems to be a classified file, reading the first few sentences.
One in a billion chance.
The confirmed Dimidium hominem are listed below (as of September 10, 1989):
Emily Jane Harkness, age 20. Born in Auckland, New Zealand on May 12, 1997.
Alistar Quinn Alfarr, age 19. Born in Ontario, Canada on August 1, 1998.
Kieren Luke Alfarr, age 19. Born in Ontario, Canada on August 1, 1998.
Johannes Marius Axelsen, age 21. Born in Oslo, Norway on July 16, 1996.
Moriko Hinata, age 18. Born in Kyoto, Japan on January 23, 1999.
Madeline Lily Castoldi, age 24. Born in Melbourne, Australia on June 5, 1993.
I re-read Maddie's name in disbelief. There must be a mistake. I take note of the date this was written, and all of this seems even more impossible. How could my father know that someone was born in 1996, when he wrote this in 1989?
Klas Alvar Bergling, age 59. Born in Stockholm, Sweden on December 13, 1958. Passed away in 2016.
Tim Bergling, age 28. Born in Stockholm, Sweden on September 8, 1989.
It can't be. Both my father and I are here. But this is my father's research, and he wouldn't put this inside the only thing he passed down to me for no reason. I read my name again in yet another paragraph.
10 September, 1989.
Status Report on Tim Bergling:
Showing excessively active senses.
Dimidium hominem positive.
8 September, 1990.
Status Report on Tim Bergling:
Dimidium hominem in stasis condition.
Not to be taken out of stasis until December 14, 2017.
What did he do to me that doesn't exist anymore?
At the footer of the page, a note is addressed to me.
I'm sorry I didn't tell you anything before I died. As you can see, you're a part of my research. You always were. You are a Dimidium, just like me. The condition is hereditary, so it has been passed onto you from me, passed onto me from my father, and so on. I put your abilities into stasis, to keep you out of this. Now that I know that I will not live further than this day, I have to pull you into all of this involuntarily.
I love you, Tim.