"I thought I wasn't going to be allowed to eat," I said, sarcastically after I was escorted back to my room and found a new tray of food, waiting on the table.
"I'm feeling benevolent at the moment," Wescott answered from behind me. "And you played your part very well tonight."
I sat down and rolled my eyes. As if I'd had a choice on how else to 'play my part'.
"Everyone was quite impressed with you," he said, taking the seat opposite me.
"No one even talked to me," I said, uncovering the tray and starting on the macaroni and cheese.
I wasn't counting the one sicko who groped me. Other than him, no one even approached me. Not that I was complaining.
"That doesn't matter," he said. "They found out plenty about you and were quite impressed. And, of course, being able to see you was key. Most were very eager to donate more money and get started right away."
I looked up at him, curiously, wondering how they found out so much about me. There had been alot of people and I know Wescott didn't have time to talk to all of them, in depth. There hadn't been any kind of announcement or anything. And I wasn't thrilled that what I'd hoped to avoid - having more money thrown at Wescott - was actually accomplished through my compliance. But I suppose it might have happened either way.
"They were able to look at your file," he said, answering my thoughts.
"It contains basically everything about you," he said. "Your development as a child, your grades, your accomplishments. Pretty much everything they might want to know about the potential child I would be able to give them."
I watched him, irritated. I'd never been terribly private with those things before, but I didn't like how on display I'd been tonight.
"But you had some questions, I believe," Wescott changed the subject.
I nodded and stabbed forcefully at my food.
"I think you were wondering why I didn't arrange for you to be let go after a while, correct?"
I popped my fork in my mouth and watched him, waiting.
"I've actually answered this for you already," he said. "You just haven't connected what I said to what it actually means for you."
I tried to remember what he said to me that might give me a clue as to what his plans for me would be. I couldn't think of anything. He'd said alot of things I hadn't been interested in paying attention to. And whenever I asked him an actual question, he had always been pretty vague.
"I told you that I intend to test absolutely everything about you," he said. "My clients want to know exactly what to expect. They want to know everything - development, personality, intellect, health. Anything that might be abnormal or improved. They want to know what it would mean in the future - obtaining a child in this way."
I just waited, uneasy for whatever he was getting at.
"Fertility, Abi," he said finally.
And there it was. The reason he would need me indefinitely. He wanted my child.
I swallowed the food in my mouth that now tasted of cardboard, and stared at the table in horror and shock. I hadn't really decided if I wanted children before. It never seemed practical, for me, since I didn't have anyone to have them with. But once I'd been brought here, I'd completely ruled it out, even as a possibility.
Wescott waited quietly as I tried to wrap my mind around what this all meant. I tried several times to formulate an intelligent question to ask, but I couldn't even think of where to start.
"We'll be trying different things," he said after a few minutes. "The average in vitro as well as the way you were created. We're all curious to see if repeating the process, starting with you, would bring about better results. But we'll also need to do things the old fashioned way. To see if you would pass along your...uniqueness, or if you would produce children who were more average. And there are various things having to do with that. How easily you would conceive, if you would at all. The occurrence of any complications, the number before it becomes unwise to continue. Just about every scenario and possibility imaginable."
I looked up at him completely disgusted. Was there no limit to his ambition? Nothing that was too low for him?
"You know I'll never consent to that," I said. Not even for my mother. She wouldn't want me to anyway.
He sighed. "Yes, I know. Fortunately, your consent isn't required."
"So you're just planning on having me raped, then?" I asked. I don't know why it should surprise me that he was willing to resort to that. Didn't he advocate murder, kidnapping, and essentially human trafficking, when it suited him? Why not rape, too?
"I suppose," he said, not seeming the least bit concerned. "Should you choose to look at it that way."
"What other way is there to look at it?" I asked, torn between being more revolted or more outraged.
"Well, technically, I own you," he said. "So, the only person's consent, that matters, is mine."
I guess I could add slavery to that list.
I stared at the table again, exraordinarily grateful that I had a plan to escape. I hadn't realized just how horrific my life in this place was supposed to be.
It wasn't supposed to be just one time, either. Who knew how long it would take for me to get pregnant? Wescott wasn't even sure I would. And he said 'children'. He wanted more than one. He wanted as many as I would physically be able to have.
I'd demonstrated how willing I was to go along with him for someone I loved. How much worse would it be if he had one or more of my children? Obviously, I didn't know what it felt like to be a mother yet, but I had no doubt that I would love my child. He'd be able to control me forever and any child of mine, in his custody, would have a life more detestable than I could even imagine at this point. At least I'd grown up, normally.
And if he had that, I wouldn't be able to leave. Even without all his security. I'd never be able to abandon a child of mine, to a life like this, alone.
"However, that won't be for a few weeks yet," he said.
"Why?" I looked up. Not that I wanted to hurry that along. Wescott wouldn't change his plans for me anyway. But there must be something else he had planned, if he was waiting a few weeks.
"I want you recovered from your surgery, first," he said.
I reminded myself, none of this was going to become a reality for me. It couldn't. I forced myself to keep him talking.
"One of my conditions to allow you to leave as an infant, was that we would be able to trace you," he said. "So that, even if we lost sight of you, we'd be able to find you again."
I watched him, warily.
"That's not a birthmark on your leg, it's a scar."
There was a small mark on my right calf. I'd always assumed it was a birthmark, like he said.
"From?" I asked, feeling like it was getting harder to breathe.
"From the tracking device I implanted there," he said.
A tracking device? I had a tracking device? How was I ever supposed to escape if he could trace me? That feeling of helplessness and depression were threatening to overtake me again.
Being here had been bad enough before I knew what Wescott had planned for me. How was I supposed to stay now? I'd rather be dead than be part of what he wanted.
But then something else occurred to me and I looked at him curiously. "Why the surgery, then?"
"Twenty-seven years ago, our technology wasn't quite as advanced as it is today," he said. "Right now, you are only traceable within one hundred feet. Which isn't really a problem. I don't foresee a situation that will require us to be able to trace you at all. But I like things to be more secure than necessary. You will be receiving a more accurate chip. One that will be able to pin point your precise location."
One hundred feet? That was it? It was better than nothing, I supposed. But still, it wasn't great.
But if I was ever going to have any hope of escaping, it would have to be before he could switch it.
"When?" I asked, wanting to know how long I would have.
"It is scheduled for Wednesday," he said, standing up. "I think that's enough for tonight."
I nodded, feeling dazed. Boy, was it. I didn't think I'd be able to process knowing much more tonight. So much for waiting till the end of the week. I needed to get out of here as soon as possible. But for that I might still need a little help getting up into the vent.
"I want a radio," I blurted out as Wescott was heading for the door.
He turned to look at me, curiously.
"For when I'm in the shower," I said, not caring how strange this sounded. He'd think I was in shock anyway. And he wouldn't be wrong.
"And I want a table to put it on," I added.
He watched me, suspiciously for a few seconds, before he said, "Alright. Anything else?"
I thought for a second. No doubt, it would be pitch black in that vent.
"A flashlight," I said.
"A flashlight?" he repeated.
"Why?" he asked, sounding suspicious again.
I'd have to wait a day or two, at least to do anything. I had a feeling he'd be watching me, at first.
"In case the power goes out," I said, sharply. "I don't want to get stuck in here in the dark."
He just watched me, clearly trying to figure out what I really wanted.
"Oh, come on," I taunted. "Am I going to bust my way out of here with a flashlight? What do you care what I want with it?"
He shrugged. "True. Alright, then. A radio and table for the bathroom, and a flashlight. Anything else?"
I thought for a second. It would be helpful if I could get a few other supplies like food, water, and a jacket, but that would ensure that he would be paying super close attention to me for too long.
"I'll let you know," I said icily.
"Very well," he turned to leave again. "Get some sleep," he said over his shoulder, before he disappeard through the doorway.
After the door closed behind him, I sat there staring into space, thinking.
No wonder he hadn't wanted to tell me anything before now. Had I known everything he had in store for me, there was no way I would have ever cooperated with him on anything, and he needed my results. If I'd known everything and thought there was no way out, I really would have tried to commit suicide. I was having a hard enough time fighting that depression and apathy for life, even with my plan to escape.
And to think, I'd thought, even if I'd stayed here, a life like the one I might have with that creep from earlier, wasn't something I'd have to worry about.
No, for me, it would be a million times worse.
Wescott said, he was planning on doing that surgery on Wednesday, and it was Sunday, now. I'd probably get the things I asked for, tomorrow, but I wouldn't be able to put my plan into action so soon.
I knew he'd be watching me, trying to figure out why I'd suddenly asked for the things I had. I'd never wanted anything from him before.
I could use tomorrow night as a distraction. I'd just think of some stupid use for the flashlight, so he wouldn't be suspicious.
But Tuesday was it. If I didn't get out then, I never would. And there was no way I was staying here to be used as breeding stock.
I'd rather be dead.
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