Andrew had been constantly worrying about his passenger since they got into the car. Jessica was exhausted, paler than usual and her breathing was still laboured. She had been shuffling around in the passenger seat; attempting to find a comfortable position and after ten minutes she had been peacefully asleep since the current moment. They had been driving through relatively busy roads; Jessica had specified that the more people that were on the roads, the harder it would be for the men pursuing them to locate them as easily. It still set Andrew’s mind on edge. There were still so many things he didn’t know about the girl. A mad scientist had created a new, evolved version of a human being with major defects... but she was human all the same. Though she cared little for other people or the safety of others for that matter; she still expressed what Andrew had to consider human behaviour. He just had to... otherwise he was unable press further in their venture. The more he bonded with her... the more he noticed little things that were different to her nature. She knew small details he’d never spoken about to... anyone. She knew about the hole in his soul... his restlessness. About his mother’s work. How could she know all of this?
They were still about three hours away from Brighton, the day was getting dimmer and there was a steady decrease in people on the streets. Andrew was beginning to feel a gnawing in his stomach. As if something wasn’t right. And something really wasn’t.
His arms instinctively tightened on the steering wheel as Jessica suddenly jerked to life. Her entire body lifted from her peaceful slumber, her scarlet eyes wide with fear as her nails clawed into the fibres of the passenger seat. Small fangs escaped the confides of her lips as she struggled to let out panted breaths. Pink tears dotted the sidelines of her eyes.
“They’re coming!” Jessica almost screamed, her lids soon falling over her eyes as she slumped back down in the seat. Andrew was unsure whether she was delirious or telling the truth but considering his own feelings, he decided it would be for the best to trust her. “What should we do?” he asked nervously, his fingers pressing harder against the wheel as he began to slow down the vehicle.
Jessica eyed their surroundings carefully, her fingers pushing instinctively towards the right where a small dirt path lay. “Pull over down there.” She said almost robotically, her eyes narrowed and locked on the target. Andrew did as she said silently, confused and slightly afraid of her sudden change in demeanour.
When the car was pulled up and seemingly ditched behind a thick tower of oaks, Jessica took no hesitation in pushing her door open and abandoning the vehicle. Andrew gingerly followed, concerned about her abating health. Her face had now formed a thin sheen of sweat and her movements were forced and lagging. She seemed to be slowly deteriorating at the seams and even though it went against everything Andrew had ever believed in... He knew exactly what the cause was.
“How long have you been tracking their progress?” Andrew asked in a husk tone as he caught up with Jessica as she struggled to maintain an average speed.
She let out a small breath through her nose and sighed, “What do you mean?” her tone was bitter and frustrated, but beyond all; tired.
“Why have we just abandoned the car then?” Andrew couldn’t help the small shreds of anger that left his voice. He knew where this was headed, Jessica hadn’t been peacefully sleeping. That was too peaceful for anyone to have obtained. She had been most likely in some form of meditation, moreover tracking the people that had been following them.
Jessica narrowed her eyes, forcing herself to turn around and face the metaphorical flea annoying the Hell out of her. “Okay, I have been tracking them!” she snapped, her vocals cracking by the final word; “I have been attempting to keep us safe from harm so we can complete the task at hand and I can return my favour!”
Andrew narrowed his eyes, “is this still just about a favour? Why can’t you handle the fact that you actually care about this man?”
“Because I cannot!” Jessica near to yelled, her words vibrating around her in a mist of anger that surpassed anything that Andrew had ever witnessed. Her frame visibly shook, her face paling two shades lighter before her legs buckled beneath her and she fell to her knees. She was completely exhausted.
“God,” Andrew muttered as he knelt down beside her, “are you okay?” he attempted – once more – to engage her with physical contact, but she simply pushed him away. Barely.
“We n-need to, we need to...” Jessica cleared her throat, her vision blurring in front of her as she forced to deny the darkness. “We have to keep m-moving... th-they shouldn’t f-find the c-car but...” it was no use, she couldn’t fight it any longer. Her body crumpled in on itself, her eyes rolling back into her skull as she fell onto Andrew’s lap. Andrew rolled his eyes, “we should move further into these woods just to be on the safe side, yeah I got it.” He muttered to himself, his fingers forcing themselves under Jessica’s fragile frame as he lifted her up once more.
Jessica awoke roughly, her tongue was dry, her head was pounding and every ounce of her being was tired and in pain. “Wh-” but warm fingers were put to her dry lips. She felt the comfort of them and forced herself not to lean into the warmth. Instead she lay back on the...
Soft, slightly damp...
She was lying on grass. But something covered her shivering body. It took her a few moments to get her throbbing head to wind around the idea but there it was... Andrew had given her his only warmth. The small dark jacket that he’d regretted taking in the first place was now draped over her body like a blanket. She felt an inch of gratefulness before the feeling evaporated from her weak frame and was replaced by pain.
“You’re exhausted; you really need to sleep more.” Andrew insisted as he tucked the jacket tighter around her shivering shell.
Jessica let out a laboured breath, her fingers twining through the fabrics as she shivered gently from beneath her comfort. “What of the men?” her voice was barely audible and the words burnt her tongue but she persisted anyway, “What of the car?”
“Car’s hidden... I pushed it out of anyone’s sight, trust me. I haven’t seen anyone, I took you pretty far into the woods, and there was a little opening... that’s where we are now.”
His voice was like a lullaby to her ears, she rejoiced in the noise, her lips revealing her devilish pointed teeth as she grinned deliriously. “You have done well,” she croaked.
Andrew smiled slightly, looking around his surroundings. It was getting dark, the sun was nearly set and the world around him seemed to have taken a more magical atmosphere. The clearing was wide... circular and plentiful of grass and plants. Large oaks loomed around the clearing leaving one massive weeping willow in the direct centre. The same tree that Andrew had kept Jessica safe under, the curtain of leaves leaving him feeling secure and safe.
“Is there anything I can do to help you?” Andrew asked, regretting the answer.
Jessica opened a wary eye, her vision blurred beyond all compare. She was too exhausted to try to interact with the teen. “L-Life force sustains me.” She choked, her chest heaving as she began to expel dry, chesty coughs. Her frame looked as if it would shatter under the force, as if she couldn’t take it. Andrew bit his lip in worry, attempting to pat her back. “I can’t let you just drink humans dry.” He reasoned.
“What if not dry?” Jessica panted after her fit was over, her eyebrow rising slightly as if she was moved by the idea, “wh-what if I left them with enough to sustain them?”
Andrew frowned, “there aren’t any people around, or did I fail to mention the fact that we are currently in the middle of nowhere.”
Jessica blinked as if she were only just now registering his words, her eyes vacant and misted. She cocked her head to one side, her nails suddenly curling beneath the fabric. Andrew noticed instantly. Her nostrils had begun to flare; she’d sensed something. Even in her weakened state, she’d sensed a presence. “Three of them.” Jessica stated emotionlessly, kicking the fabric wound around her from her presence, “one further back... he sent them out to do the ‘dirty work.’”
Andrew grinned at the slight cringe it brought to Jessica’s features to use such slang. She swallowed twice before her state seemed to perk slightly, her eyes manoeuvring so she could stare longingly into Andrew’s eyes.
“They are bad people.” She reasoned, her tongue already lapping her lips like she hadn’t drank liquids in months, “they will not be missed.”
Andrew narrowed his eyes, “they’re people... can’t you just knock them out?”
Andrew was slightly taken aback when Jessica suddenly let a primal growl rupture from her throat. Her body lurched forwards as she lifted herself onto two legs. Shaky as she was, she wouldn’t hold up a feast. This was what she needed. She could find strength from these bad people and with it she could finally save her mad man and find out her true purpose of creation.
As soon as she’d lifted the leaves away from her obstructed view, it was what she considered most teens her age to register as ‘game on.’ Three heavily armed burly brute-like men were coming from every direction. They held guns in their hands... but to Jessica’s great surprise she identified them as nothing more than stun guns. Loaded with tranquiliser... enough to take down a fully grown elephant but tranquiliser all the same. However, Jessica had no time to think, for whatever these men wanted her for, it couldn’t be good.
“You have three seconds before we start to shoot.” The man in the middle said with a grin. His brown curls were protruding in tufts from the front of his sock-like black knit cap. His face was a muscular mess of facial hair and tattoos. No one would miss him she considered.
“Jessica think about what you’re doing,” Andrew reasoned, he had walked behind her from the weeping willow, his hands instantly rising as soon as he saw the guns.
“They are filled with tranquiliser.” Jessica muttered, “put your hands down you look like a buffoon.”
Andrew cocked a brow, “did you just call me a-”
“Quiet!” the man to the lefy of them spoke up, his gun was shaking slightly in his fists. A man of no older than late twenties... most likely had a family, didn’t know what he was getting himself into... his eyes screamed fear when he saw the extent of Jessica’s abnormalities. Andrew felt for the man; he seemed harmless, but deadly with an armed weapon. Fear kept you on your toes after all.
Jessica had enough of waiting; her fingers had curled in on themselves into awkwardly placed fists. Her eyes had darkened into an almost rusted colour. Her face reflected pure indisputable rage.
“Jessica!” Andrew yelled, attempting any form of reasoning.
It was too late.
Andrew had never seen anything like it. Before his eyes, Jessica’s body dove onto the soldier dead ahead. Her frame collided with his before he even had a chance to shoot the gun. Before Andrew had even registered what had happened, fresh blood was spilling all over the grass, the soil sucking it in greedily. The blonde soldier had fired at Jessica out of fear, but her body had already disappeared from the scene by the time his finger had pressed the trigger. The man standing adjacent to the victim; however was too slow to move. The dart hit him straight in the neck, his right arm flailing to the wound as if it were an insect bite. Within seconds he’d fallen to the floor.
The blonde man was the last to fall. Andrew saw fear in his eyes until the very last second. He couldn’t help the strangled gasp let left his lips as he watched Jessica appear from behind, her deadly nails gracefully slicing along his throat. Blood spat out of his flesh in all directions. His eyes bled pink tinted tears as he coughed and spluttered for breath. His face was scarlet by the time he met the ground’s cool fate. Andrew felt the hole in his soul tighten before ripping harder and larger than ever before. Jessica had perched herself on the blonde man’s chest, her teeth inserted into his neck as she drank all the blood she could guzzle. Her throat burned in pleasure as the sweet liquid slid down her throat. She felt rejuvenated, fresh and strong. Her eyes burnt with power. Her tongue lapped at the life source on her fingers and hands, as she steadily lifted herself from the body. Andrew couldn’t even allow himself to move. He was frozen. He couldn’t physically feel anything... not the cold wind whipping against his exposed flesh... not the blood that had spat on his face amongst the gory fight. Jessica had truly shown no mercy, even though that man had been so afraid. She hadn’t cared; not in the slightest.
What in the Hell had he gotten himself into?
He felt his knees crush against the soft, blood encrusted earth. His hands falling onto the soil as his fingers pushed through it, balling fists and shovelling soil into his filthy palms. He didn’t know what was happening. The fact that in some way, he actually condoned this... or even staring at that man’s face. The way he had seemed so fearful. Even though Andrew had in every way wanted to stop Jessica... he’d said nothing.
Because a tiny part of him.
However insignificant it was...
A tiny part of him had said,
Kill him now.
After Jessica had filled herself of the blood of her second victim, she moved onto the third. The man who showed no fear or words. His body was paralysed, but his eyes still reflected terror . He was begging Jessica through his mind for her to spare him.
Jessica blinked a moment, her head cocking to one side as she assessed the man. Was it her right to choose his fate?
He chose his fate the moment he forced that gun in your direction.
But don’t you see? He was only doing what his orders told him.
Orders he chose to take!
He was being loyal, just as you are to your creator.
Jessica’s fists balled at the sides of her temples, “GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” her voice was so powerful that it brought birds into flight, and Andrew out of his nightmarish epiphany.
He ran to her side, “Jess? Oh fuck did you kill him?” Andrew looked down to see the third man. His chest was still rising and falling. Andrew rubbed absently at his neck. He couldn’t think straight. His shoes were inch deep in blood, his skin was soiled with the liquid... but that man had held a gun to them. How could he even consider the fact that this man should die? He was... human.
Which was less of what he could say for Jessica.
Jessica’s eyes were scrunched up, but soon they opened. Her pupils had ripped wide open. She was angry... furious. With... what?
“Jessica, you don’t have to do this!” Andrew yelled, pointing at the man, “he’s not worth it! You’re human! You’ve got to start thinking like one.” He could feel his eyes sting with the strength of his words; he’d grabbed Jessica forcefully by the shoulders and was shaking her fiercely. “Please!”
Jessica tensed in his grip.
Her hand lifted above the man’s chest.
Her eyes narrowed in the direction of Andrew’s weakened frame.
“This is what I am.” She growled.
Her hand smashed through the man’s chest, the sound of bones snapping ringing through the two teen’s ears. Her fingers twined around the man’s heart. His eyes streamed tears of fear and loss. The organ was ripped from its place. Jessica studied the heart as if she were nothing but a scientist. She barely acknowledged the man’s final breath as she discarded the organ on the ground.
She looked back to Andrew, his mind dizzy and sick with so much... thought.
“Nothing can change this.”