*originally posted @ Cradle of Cicadas (my Creative Writiing blog @ wordpress)*
The Corporation's military unit had been playing a game of guess-the-leader with them for months, picking people off like cans on a fence. People that visited the camp or said one word about it. People went missing, turned up dead, or they didn't turn up at all. Lynched, shot in the head, tortured, disappeared. Kill the leader, kill the heart of the people. They needed the heart to end the Resistance.
Rochelle made her way to the medical barracks, hidden deep inside the slum buildings. It was one of the only areas with electricity and security locks so she swiped her card at the door. Striding in edgy and numb, she inquired directly--
"What the hell is going on? What happened out there?"
Alice glanced up and it didn't look good. The surgical gloves she wore glistened wet in blood.
She forced herself to look at Kayla's dissected body on the steel table.
"I told you to wait until I was finished with the autopsy, Rochelle," the other woman said, following her line of sight with a knowing gaze. "You don't want to be here right now, not so soon."
Rochelle swallowed. "Her eye...why'd you...?" One of them was closed, shapely, the pretty fringe of eyelashes intact in her scarred face. There were surgical scars on her face. Old ones.
Alice gazed at her unblinkingly. "Rochelle, please sit down."
"No," she grated a little too sharply. More calmly, she added, "Just tell me."
"I found things...in her head. Built into her torso and musculature. Machinery. Cybernetic machinery. Like some stuff out of a science fiction novel. I've never seen anything like it. This technology never existed before." She indicated several areas inside of Kayla's open skull and at the back of her neck. The side of her face. In her chest. Her arm.
"What are you saying, Alice? What'd they do to Kayla after they took her?"
That cool composure wavered on a shaky breath. "Simple as I can say it?"
"Yes. Simple." She could understand it all if she tried but right now she was afraid to work her brain. She was afraid to make herself understand.
Alice drew a quieter breath, clasping her hands in front of her. "They've altered her brain and body in such a way that they can control her remotely. I can't know for sure. I don't know anything about hardware or software or programming or whatever the hell it is, but, Rochelle, I think they programmed her to come here and kill one of us. All of us maybe. Probably. They...." She spoke with a difficulty unusual of her. "They put a camera in her eye. When she was shot in the head, the damage to the brain somehow rendered it nonoperational. They were watching us. Damn it they were watching us from some damn place and they sent this child on purpose because they knew we would hesitate to hurt her even if she was trying to kill us."
She heard herself saying something, asking some question, but neither the question nor the answer registered at that moment.
"They took out part of her brain...and replaced parts of it with all this...."
Rochelle took deep breaths and made herself nod. Just breathe and nod.