It was a strange and familiar place. She was alone, until she wasn’t. A small face, a familiar face came into being. It was Tessie’s. Therese suddenly felt emotion burst through the calm of the place, wishing to express to Tessie how incredibly sorry she was, how she hadn’t understood what she was doing. But Tessie just smiled, not the mischievous smile that was her trademark, but a smile that said she understood and that it did not matter.
Therese saw Natalie’s face. Therese wanted to apologize, but Natalie just smiled. She knew Therese was sorry, but what happened didn’t matter. And then, Therese saw Brianna. And then Trisha. All the girls whose deaths she had witness slowly came into Therese’s vision. They understood. They didn’t blame her.
Then, Therese saw her father. His smile was not one of understanding, but of utmost pride. She had been brave and determined. She had uncovered the mystery. She had succeeded. She had made the world safer.
She wished to stay in the white forever, which was accepting and bright and calm. However, she found herself fading away, darkness closing in. She did not want to go, but she had an odd sense of knowing that she must. Her work was not finished. She had to do more.
Her eyelids were very heavy. It took several moments of concentrated effort to move them. They blinked open a sliver revealing a fiberboard ceiling before slipping closed.
In her next attempt, she worked them open in a shorter amount of time. She could now make sense of an aching, stiff body. She could hear beeping machines and quietly murmuring people. Vaguely, she realized she must be in an hospital. Her eyes slipped closed again.
Her eyes fluttered open, and what kept them open this time was the distinct awareness that someone was in the room. A sullen pain and dull stiffness was also becoming increasingly apparent. She looked around slowly, from the beeping machines on her bedside, to her left shoulder and chest encased in bandages, to the hospital gown across her chest, to the IVs stuck in her arm, before settling on the suited figure sitting across the room from Therese.
He noticed her gaze. “Good morning, Miss Evans.” He stood up and took several steps toward her bed side.
“Agent Necker.” Her voice was very dry and the greeting came out as a croak.
“You’ve been the source of some anxiety, disappearing and then turning up in a fire with a gunshot wound. You were unconscious for nearly eighteen hours and lost a lot of blood,” he remarked.
Eighteen hours. She had slept for eighteen hours, and she had heard no calls for Yvette, or E-VET as it would be. She could hardly believe it.
She looked up at him. “What happened?” she asked, imploring him to explain.
“It was actually a local resident that saved you. Someone heard the explosion and had come running. Then the ambulance and police came. The police were very interested in some of the documents, materials, and body they recovered from building, but we were there soon and took the matter off their hands after that.
“You’re currently Jane Doe, female, ages 16-20. It’s probably best to keep it that way until you are stable enough for transfer to somewhere safer. There are still many groups very interested in you and your abilities. We’ve found out somethings from what’s left in the building, and you can give us a report when you are feeling better.”
Therese took several deep breathes, absorbing the information. Her mind seemed to be moving much slower. Still, there was the unavoidable question that kept popping up. She was a teenage orphan with the ability to kill people by thinking about them, and others knew it. “What now?” she asked quietly.
“The doctors want to operate on your shoulder to help piece it back together. They fixed the lung you punctured, but they wanted to wait until you stabilized to start working on the muscle and bone there. After that, there is some extensive physical therapy you’ll need to go through, but the doctors are optimistic about your ability to fully use your arm afterwards” he explained.
Therese shook her head, slowly, painfully. “That’s not what I meant.”
“I know. You realize what a difficult predicament you are. What the documents we’ve found say, if they’re true, mean you are an incredible weapon. People have already used you. We could probably lock you away on charges of obstruction of justice or assisting with murder, but that would involve several large, unfortunately public trials.” He was watching her carefully, attempting to discern something from her reaction, Therese could tell. She couldn’t summon enough energy for emotion and continued to stare at him.
“Instead, we want you to work for us. We can keep you close and out of trouble. You could be a valuable asset.”
She suddenly realized that this was why she had to come back from that white place. Her work wasn’t finished yet. Her mother’s murderers were still free, and many more like them were at large. She was a freak, a murdering science experiment, but she had abilities that no one else had. She was special, and she could make a difference. She could make her father proud.
“I’d like that,” she said hoarsely. She laid her head back down on the pillow as it was too heavy to support any longer. Her eyes closed. “I’d like that very much.”
She would not be murderer any longer. She would stop murderers. She wouldn’t be the cause of death but its prevention. She could help people. She was not helpless.
As sleep settled in, she found herself anxiously awaiting the moment she would awake. There was much to do, and she was glad she would be able to help. She was glad she was alive.