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Welcome to book 6 of The DSU. If you want to download and own this in full as an ebook, please follow the links...
Before we start...
This is a story told in the rough form of a screenplay - a movie.
If you've never read a screenplay, you'll need to know the following:
EXT - Exterior. Found in scene headers to indicate we are outside.
INT - Interior. Also found in scene headers, but to indicate we are inside.
(O.S) - Off screen. Found next to character names.
(V.O) - Voice over. Also found next to character names.
(CONT'D) - Continued. Used to indicate continued speech next to character names.
SUPER: - Superimpose. To indicate text is seen over images.
The rest should be self-explanatory.
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - DAY
Nurses, patients, visitors, doctors all walk by an office.
On the door, before the glass and drawn blinds, bold black letter read: DR. ANDREWS.
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - MORNING
Same door, but the corridor is empty.
A woman, mid-thirties, walks in. Dr. Andrews - CLARA - quiet, reserved.
INT. CLARA'S OFFICE
She takes a seat in front of the pile of papers on her desk, taps a few keys on the keyboard then dives straight into work.
She reads through the papers, making notes whilst referencing the computer screen.
Clara looks up, but the door's already opening.
In walks an overweight, grumpy dinosaur. On his lab coat lapel is a silver name pin: DR. HOLDEN.
Dr. Holden leans back on his heels.
Yes, well, I came to see how the work was going.
Picking up some papers, Clara drops her pen.
Oh, um, yes, it's going great. I should--
Dr. Holden waggles his finger at her and laughs.
No, no, it's me who tells you how work is going.
Clara sets the pen down on the table and sits up. She braces herself, holding back sighs of exasperation.
Dr. Holden saunters over and rests his hands on the desk, looking down at her, condescension imminent.
I want a full report tomorrow morning, all of your research and all of your long term patient's data. And I want it in paper. Understand? I only want hard working and dedicated doctors in this hospital. No one goes under my radar.
She nods again.
Dr. Holden taps the desk, frowns and then walks out. He leaves the door open.
Clara rubs her eyes and looks at the time on the monitor: 6:44.
She gets up and closes the door.
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDORS - MORNING
Clara pushes coins into a public coffee vending machine in the corner of a near empty waiting room.
Two small girls meanwhile sit next to their mother who is glued to her phone.
The younger girl plays with a blue rubber ball, rolling it between her hands, concentrating hard on getting it close to the base of her palm with her fingertips.
Bored, her older sister tries to take the ball from her. The younger girl cries out, holding it to her chest.
The two cut it out.
The older sister sticks her tongue out at the younger.
She simply looks away.
Opportunity at hand, the older sister slaps the ball out of the younger's grip, sticking her tongue out at her again.
The girl huffs, leaning forward to get down off the chair. Her mother holds her back.
The girl does as her mother says.
Clara stops with her coffee, having watched the small scene, and turns back to pick up the girl's ball. She kneels down behind a line of chairs to fish it out.
The younger girl watches with curious smiles.
Clara hands the ball back.
She smiles back.
Clara nods then carries on down the corridor.
The mother goes back to her phone. The younger girl wrinkles her nose up at her sister then goes back to her game.
INT. PATIENT'S ROOM - MORNING
An elderly lady lies in the dimly lit room. She sleeps, hooked up to various machines that beep and blink.
Clara stands over her checking the numerous monitors, scanning her electronic information sheet. She shakes her head before slotting the sheet back into the holder on the bed.
Sympathetically, she watches the woman begin to stir a moment before leaving.
The woman's eyes open.
She looks to the closed door and then the monitors.
INT. RESEARCH - DAY
Clara shuts the door to a container full of specimens.
She turns around to a young doctor, JOE, who hands her another specimen tube.
He smiles. She raises her eyebrows.
Forgot this one.
She opens the door and puts the tube in a rack amongst the dozens of others.
A nurse holding a clipboard stands in the doorway staring straight at Clara. Mid-way through talking over what she wants done next from Joe, Clara notices her.
Her contempt recognised, the nurse storms over and pushes the clipboard into her hands.
She looks her up and down, then storms back out.
I heard her boyfriend got hepatitis again.
He takes off his lab coat.
What? Everyone knows. I hear her husband found -
Joe yawns, stretching as he walks toward the door.
I don't know how you put up with her.
Where are you going?
(walking out the door)
Joe pokes his head around the corner.
You've got patients. I've got to sleep. I'll be back at three.
Joe slips away.
Clara shakes her head, turning back to her notes. As she reads, she balls her hands into fists and releases a few times over, making her fingers and knuckles click.
INT. PATIENT'S ROOM - DAY
The elderly lady, JULIE, sits up eating mushy food. Clara enters.
Ah. How are we feeling, Julie?
Julie nods, half ignoring her.
I'm sorry, I caught you eating.
She just carries on, offering no response.
Family come today?
Are we doing the check-up now? Because I'm eating.
I can come -
Put the T.V on. I'll be done in a moment. It's too hard to get a doctor, and I'm too old for all this waiting.
Clara takes the chair by the bedside, picking up the remote. She looks to the open door. She gets up and closes it before sitting down again.
Afraid to be caught sitting down on the job?
Because I see a lot of you doing that.
You asked me to sit.
Well, then I guess you're excused.
The T.V catches Julie attention.
When do you -
Clara smiles, sits back in the chair and watches the T.V. Julie shovels food in her mouth, her hands shaking as she does.
EXT. OUTSIDE CLARA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Clara pulls up in a small electric car, stopping in the driveway of a three bedroom house.
She steps out the car with papers in one hand and her lab coat in the other.
INT. CLARA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Clara shuts the front door and drops her keys off in the nearby bowl. She kicks off her shoes and looks up the stairs.
The house is still, clean, almost untouched.
She walks through the main hall into:
On the floor lies a husky.
The dog lazily looks up at her.
Dropping her things on the counter, Clara opens up a cupboard and pulls a can out.
INT. CLARA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Sat on the sofa, pyjamas on, knees brought up to her chest, Clara eats soup from a small bowl.
Hooch wanders into the room and sniffs at her bowl.
So you want to know me now?
She lifts her bowl away from the dog's searching nose.
You know what happened today, Hooch?
Having lost interest, he wanders back out the room. Clara calls after him:
Gone, Clara can only sigh through her smile.
Behind her is a dusty display cabinet that takes up almost all of the back wall. It's practically empty. There's a few ornaments sat on the shelves but it's obvious she has nothing to fill the spaces.
At the top, in the corner, is a small oak box. On its lid is a gold plate, engraved on the plate are the words:
Sorry I broke the original.
Clara puts the bowl down and starts looking over the array of papers on the coffee table.
INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Clara clicks then rubs her neck as she walks up the stairs. Hooch follows.
Upstairs, she opens her bedroom door and slips in.
INT. CLARA'S BEDROOM
She shuts the door behind her.
Hooch lays down outside on the worn peace of carpet that marks his bed.
INT. SPARE BEDROOM 1 - SAME
An empty room. The walls have been painted white. Plain curtains have been drawn shut.
The frame of a small bed sits in a corner.
Everything is covered in a thin film of dust.
INT. SPARE ROOM 2 - SAME
Another empty room.
Walls white, curtains drawn, dusty. The frame of a cot sits in the corner.
INT. CLARA'S BEDROOM - LATER
Clara lies awake on the edge of her bed facing her door. She watches the shadow of Hooch who lays outside.
The room, like the king sized bed, is too big. Clara doesn't own enough things to fill it.
Clara cracks her fingers, raising her gaze to a conversation she seems to be mid-way through.
You're not afraid?
He pulls his stool close to her, taking her hand.
I'm excited, yeah.
I'll always be there for you. I--we've lost so much, but that doesn't mean we can't start again. Yes, there's always going to remaining thoughts, memories, pain, but...
(searches for words)
... that doesn't equal inevitability.
She squeezes his hands, exhaling a laugh.
Lighting never strikes twice, huh?
No. And it's not like we won't be able to get up.
He looks at her hands in his a silent moment.
Let's hope not.
He stands, pulling her to her feet and into a hug.
As his hands grip her shoulders and his face nestles into her neck, her hands drop to her side. She stares dead ahead, devoid of emotion.
INT. CLARA'S BEDROOM - MORNING
INT. HOSPITAL - MORNING
Clara comes through the rotating doors.
Silence resonates throughout the hospital, only Clara's hushed footsteps disturb the quiet.
As she passes the main reception, a snotty, uptight receptionist looks over her shoulder to watch her go.
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDORS - MORNING
Clara steps out of an empty elevator, passing a young nurse.
The nurse holds her purse over her shoulder and walks in. She turns in the elevator, taking a second glance at Clara as she walks away.
Clara turns back. The nurse steps out of the lift.
The nurse takes a breath, considering what she wants to say, before walking toward Clara. The two stand in front of the hospital directory in silence for a moment.
I was working with Mrs. Porter last night and, unfortunately, she passed. It was something I've never seen before. It was very hard for her... I just thought you should know.
Clara's eye twitches slightly as she tries to keep a vacant facial expression.
She said to thank the doctor that does the check-ups and that she appreciates you keeping an eye on her all the time. And... yeah...
The nurse turns back for the elevator.
Clara stands still with her thumb pressing down on her fingers at her side, making them pop, as the elevator comes up and the nurse waits.
The doors open and the nurse walks in. The closing doors cut a brief moment of locked eyes short.
Clara takes a second before popping the last finger, turning and making her way down the corridor.
INT. CLARA'S OFFICE - MORNING
Clara is back to her papers.
It opens before she looks up.
In strolls Dr. Holden with a slight smirk on his face.
Good morning, Dr. Holden.
I'm here for your papers.
Clara stops writing.
I thought you wanted a report?
No. I will be making the report. You are to present me with your work for evaluation.
Dr. Holden, my long term patient passed away last night.
No, no, all my work's up to date, but I was hoping for some more time--
Dr. Holden holds his hand up and she stops.
I'll take the work.
Wait, what I'm saying is that I have more work to do as I feel that Julie--Mrs. Porter--is a very unusual case. I looked over -
Dr. Holden holds his hand up again, she stops.
Mrs. Porter died of natural causes--
No, I've been working with -
Dr. Andrews. Your work.
She gives up, stacks her papers and hands them to him. He walks out the door.
He comes back to the doorway.
He gives her a stern look but she doesn't give. He closes the door and walks away.
She sighs, resting her head in her hands.
A vast, expansive land stretches for miles, great plains kissed by the light of a rising sun. Dotted in the centre of this untouched paradise is a singular body of water shimmering the hues of a sunrise.
In a vacuum of utter silence, Clara, dressed only in the reflected lights of the pool, steps into the water, wading in until she's submerged completely.
INT. RESEARCH - DAY
Clara, eyes closed, sits on the worktop rotating her ankles, making them click.
The body of water again. Bubbles of Clara's last breath dance along the calm surface.
There's movement below...
Ripples give way to Clara resurfacing, swimming in the impenetrable silence toward the shores...
Coming out of the day dream:
I've got her blood work, it's... interesting. The haematologist didn't want to give anything up.
She jumps off the worktop.
How did you know?
Clara takes the sample and paperwork from Joe.
That it wasn't natural causes.
She shrugs, turning away from him to study the papers.
INT. LAB - DAY
Clara stands with a lab technician.
Half an hour.
She nods. He slips out of the door.
INT. LAB - LATER
Clara spins a track ball, focusing on a monitor hooked up to a scanning electron microscope, examining red blood cells.
She zooms into a cell. Its surface isn't smooth, but extremely rough as if small shards of glass have been sprinkled over it.
INT. CLARA'S OFFICE - DAY
The room is empty.
Dr. Holden walks in holding a stack of papers.
He stands in the middle of the room with his eyebrows raised.
Clara bursts in after him holding numerous plastic sheets.
I saw you walk in, I think you'd like to see this.
Dr. Andrews, I have your report ready.
It's only been a few hours.
She shuts the door.
I don't think you'll be working here much longer.
In the eight months you've been here your work has not been up to scratch.
So you're firing me?
No. At least not now. You'll be moving out of this office. I want your things out by the end of tomorrow.
Clara sits down at her desk, rubbing her face. With a moment's reflection, she's past it.
I have some images you might want to see.
Aren't you listening? You're being demoted. Do you not care?
This concerns my work.
Save it. The decision has been made. I'll be talking with the board tomorrow.
The desk and the office do not matter. Please, I'm sure you know, but Julie--Mrs. Porter -
Yes, I know about Mrs. Porter. I have seen the results and you are not to -
I am a doctor, I -
Dr. Holden drops the stack of paper on her desk.
So am I. You're nothing special. Get your work together, I want you down in research.
He walks out the door leaving it open.
(under her breath)
Clara slides the papers forward and looks at the top page. Her eyes scan, but she can't concentrate. She leans away from the stack, turning toward the door to see a small boy looking in on her.
Clara smiles, but the child is pulled away by his mother.
She gets up, gently closes the door and leans against it for a moment.
Her office, while quite small, is empty, dressed only in a few piles of paper, washed in the pale light seeping through the window.
She returns to her desk.
INT. RESEARCH - DAY
Clara pretends to work on a computer. She stares at her hands on the keys, unmoving.
Joe walks in. Clara perks up.
I heard what happened.
It's just a ridiculous game he's playing.
I'm sure it is.
I guess you don't need a hug.
He opens his arms, but she shakes her head.
I'm only in research from now on and so you will be too. Is that all right?
Clara takes the plastic sheets from the worktop and hands them to Joe.
How did you get these?
The electron microscope.
You're gonna get into trouble with this.
See the surface membrane?
Joe nods. His face softens from confused to intrigued as he inspects the sheet.
I think it's the result of a genetic mutation. Huge frame shift. But, the effects only came into play recently.
What is this?
I'm not sure. The receptor sites were acting erratically with each simulated test. At first it seemed like dopamine. I couldn't understand it.
Joe shakes his head in confusion.
The red blood cells act cancerous, but...
Clara bows her head and takes a seat on a stool. She covers her face with her hands.
Joe watches her, holding his bottom lip.
Clara sniffs, takes a breath, then stands and turns away from him.
Listen... I grew up with five brothers. Don't bug out on me here.
Clara turns and wipes her eyes with a slight smile.
All right, let's go.
He hands her back the plastic sheets.
INT. LAB - DAY
Joe and Clara knock on the technician's door.
INT. LAB - LATER
Clara tends to an array of Petri dishes. Dozens are set up on the worktop and all have a strange composition of gelatinous goo in.
In the centre of each substance is a small drop of blood diffusing throughout the solution. Each composition reacts differently, changing colour and consistency.
Clara labels each dish, lining them up to go into the electron microscope.
Joe sneaks in with a small container.
I got all the samples I could. How's it going?
He sets down the container.
They're all taking, but they'll have to be looked at under the microscope.
Joe starts unpacking more Petri dish samples from the container.
INT. ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
Red blood cells reacting:
- Cells dissolve as the solution goes clear.
- Cells start consuming one another.
- The solution turns purple and cells crenate.
- No change in the solution for a moment... all explode.
- Cells bounce off the walls, deforming as they do.
- Cells leak green fluid.
- Cells bind with one another into a singular mass.
- Cells reproduce at a rapid pace until the screen is full.
- Cells circle around a clear central mass before being consumed by it.
- Cell surfaces go smooth... but then explode with hair-like projections.
INT. CLARA'S OFFICE - MORNING
Clara shuts a cupboard door holding a cardboard box under one arm. She sets it on her desk beside another two.
Opening up the boxes, she starts looking through her old work.
There's an array of pictures and papers: tumours, old faces, X-rays, PET scans, theory papers, certificates and plastic sheets (electron micrographs).
She inspects a few micrographs, finds what she's looking for then heads toward the door.
She opens it to Dr. Holden. She walks past him.
Holden looks into the room for a moment then, with a smug nod, shuts the door.
INT. LAB - DAY
Clara looks at the monitor, almost hopeful.
INT. ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
The red blood cells lose their rough surface.
Joe takes the seat as Clara goes back to some specimens.
INT. ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
Hair-like projections burst out of the red blood cells.
He moves to the side so Clara sees.
She takes a deep breath then pulls the sample out of the microscope.
I don't think this is anything routine.
Clara just nods.
INT. RESEARCH - DAY
Clara sits at the worktop as if it were her desk. Papers are stacked high, the three boxes sit at her feet.
Clara ignores it for a moment, then looks up, seeing an awkward fidgeting figure.
A teenage girl walks in holding a small notepad tight in her hands. She keeps her gaze grounded. Clara puts her papers down and the girl looks up.
Hi, can I help?
Hi, my name is Natalie. Um, I'm from the high school not too far from here...
She takes a pause, waiting for Clara to interject. Clara's about to when:
The high school, um...
Yes, I know it. What brings you here?
Well, I'm doing an assignment in biology concerning, err... health... throughout history. And... who better to ask then the woman who cured cancer?
Clara looks down at her desk, embarrassed, with a subtle tinge of shame.
I'm sorry, you're busy, I shouldn't have...
No, no, no, it's fine.
Joe walks in and past the girl, smiling to her as he passes - she only looks back down.
He puts some more electron micrographs on the worktop and stands by Clara.
Clara looks at him. Joe looks at the girl.
No, you're busy, I should go.
Seriously, it's fine.
This is Natalie, she's from the high school nearby. Natalie, this is Dr. Gates, my research assistant.
Natalie subtly waves at him with her fingers, not letting go of her notepad.
You sneak in here?
No. I'm with -
I just came to see Dr. Andrews about -
I was joking. Sorry. I'll leave you to it.
He makes for the door.
Oh. Clara--Dr. Andrews. I need to talk to you later. Ok?
Joe leaves giving Natalie a nod as he goes.
Here, I'll get you a stool.
She takes a stool from behind her and brings it around to the other side of the worktop. Natalie takes the seat, Clara returns to hers.
So... what do you want to know?
I don't know, um, maybe we should start with... what made you become a doctor?
That's a boring one. I just liked chemistry and biology in high school. That kind of lead to medical school.
What made you research into cancer?
She makes a few notes.
In short, my mum.
Natalie notes some more.
I'm sorry... your mother died... of cancer?
No, not of cancer...
Natalie crosses something out.
... I, uh -
Did--sorry, you go.
No, what were you going to say?
(crosses something else out)
Um... Did you ever have a personal experience with cancer?
Um, being a doctor means you have a lot of experience with all kinds of health issues. And back then, yes, cancer was one of them. There were of course only a few types left, but...
About Dr. Bemmers... err... he helped with...
Yes, all the way through. He...
It's all right. I know what you want to ask and I have a good clue about what you've read or heard much about me, why I'm not in text books--
About the Nobel prize then, whatever happened with that?
(keeping things light:)
Well, they never reclaimed it, so I still have it... which is good I suppose...
(notes a little)
There were, um, three major classes of cancer left, how did one solution -
Dr. Holden walks in. He comes straight over to Natalie with a stern look. He turns to Clara.
I should get going. Thank you.
Ok, thank you.
Natalie walks to the door and looks back. Her eyes meet Dr. Holden's, she looks down.
Dr. Holden, what can I do for you?
Probably nothing. I'm after Joe.
I'm not sure where he is, but he shouldn't be far. Why?
Dr. Holden looks down at the papers on her desk.
He walks out.
INT. LAB - LATER
Clara has set up more Petri dishes. She looks to the clock on the wall and then the door before continuing to work.
A dish catches her eye. The lid rises slightly, the solution effervescing, turning to a silky silver.
She picks up the dish as it turns murky and then goes clear. A drop of blood reappears in the now clear solution.
INT. ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
A healthy set of red blood cells.
Clara stands up shocked, waiting for something more to happen...
... nothing does.
She takes out the successful Petri dish and holds it up, gazing into it with a glimmer of hope.
Putting the dish down, she rushes over to her pile of papers and begins searching for something.
The Petri dish lid starts rising again.
Small perforations develop in the plastic. Wisps of silver gas filter out of the holes.
The solution starts to smoke, the dish slowly melting.
INT. OUTSIDE THE LAB - DAY
An alarm blares.
Smoke seeps out of the lab door.
Two men in yellow protective gas suits kick open the door.
Smoke billows out.
In they go.
Moments pass like hours as plumes of smoke keep flowing...
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM TURNED QUARANTINE ZONE - DAYS LATER
Clara's FATHER and SISTER, in yellow protective gas suites, are led in by a government OFFICIAL - also in a yellow suit. They all wear QUARANTINE ZONE passes around their necks.
Clara's Sister and Father hold onto each other's hands, looking down at her attached to numerous life support machines.
How could you make us wait so long?
Clara's Father squeezes her hands. The official speaks to him:
We need her in a place where she can be preserved and monitored.
You want to cut my daughter to pieces?
No. We have the technology to prolong her life, a gravity swell. She will not be further touched.
I don't understand. What have you done to her?
The Official takes a moment's pause.
It's not our job to explain, but to try and save millions, possibly billions of people - just as your daughter once did.
We'll never see her again?
We advise you say your goodbyes.
This is bullshit. Dad...
He hugs her.
The Official leaves.
INT. GOVERNMENT FACILITY - DAY
Clara's body is placed into a metal container.
A yellow glove squeezes her cheeks, slipping a metallic capsule into her mouth. The glove then plants a circular black pad onto her chest. It's marked with a symbol: a G, locked into a horizontal figure-8.
The symbol flashes, Clara's body convulses, a microscopically thin layer of transparent material pressing through her pores, out of every crevice on her body, enfolding her in a metallic sheen.
Her body stiffens. A lid closes over her.
Clara lies lifeless, braces forming from the container around her, a mask covering over her face.
A house, somewhat familiar.
On the hallway floor, a cobalt ball.
A shadow glides, gripping the ball, picking it up.
The shadow stands flat against a pale wall, tossing the ball between its hands.
Clara stands opposite, hands in movement as if she plays with the ball too.
Her hands stop.
Still throwing the ball hand to hand, the shadow cocks its head. It then gestures for her to follow.
Clara trudges up the stairs.
Air is sucked out of the container.
Clara kneels by a door, by a patch of pale blue carpet amongst the otherwise plain red floor.
The door opens, on the opposite wall stands the shadow. It waves.
Clara smiles, rising to her feet as the shadow gestures her in. It opens its arms for an embrace.
Clara doesn't see the gesture, she steps in the door, turning with anticipation.
The shadow doesn't like it. It presses the blue ball into its face - now its only eye.
Clara steps into the room again, turning around the door--
She's back where she started, stepping in--
Again, unable to step into the room before glitching back--
The shadow stands smug.
Time stops, the symbol of Clara's chest flashing rapidly.
Clara stands with trepidation, gaze locked onto the shadow's singular blue eye.
It walks away, toward the section of the bedroom Clara wishes to turn in to.
Clara calls out, but nothing comes of it.
She runs forward--
Back to the door frame. Frustrated, fearful, she tires again--
Glitched back into place.
Panicked, tears welling, she tries again, begging to be allowed around the door--
Disallowed, she falls, crumpled in the patch.
Lights glisten either side of her. There's two doors, pink lights splintering through the hinges, spilling from below them.
A white beam of light streaks across Clara's face from the hinge of the door she tries to pass. With sudden realisation, Clara presses her eye into the crack of the open door, trying to see what lies behind.
The shadow takes a hand.
She calls out again, begging, throwing herself into the room.
Time beyond the container speeds tremendously.
Clara propels herself into the room, gravity cutting off, leaving her to flail weightlessly, to...
... slam into the opposing wall.
Quickly coming back to her senses, she sees the bedroom to be empty, filled only by a king-sized bed.
Outside the small window above Clara's face lights flash on and off at an astounding pace.
The door slams closed.
Clara floats in the middle of the room, helpless, trying to reach the closest wall.
Her fingers stretch, coming closer, closer...
The walls recede, all four drawing away from her. Losing hope, Clara looks to the floor. It crystallises, turning sapphire.
Clara looks up. Nothing. A deep void.
Clara stretches toward the sapphire ground, but the closer her fingers come, the more the floor bends, begins to warp as if under some tremendous heat, melting, dripping away, giving way to another void.
Bubbles litter the surface of a glistening body of water. Slowly and one by one, they all pop.
A dark room. A table sits central, surrounded by a dozen empty chairs.
Light washes down over the table.
Clara finds herself in one of the chairs.
She stares across at a moving shadow. Looking around the table she sees each chair filled with an imitation. They all stare back with their singular blue eyes.
Clara looks down at her hands.
Between them sits a small pool of water.
From above drips crimson droplets. They sit central in the water.
The shadow opposite also sits before a small puddle with a crimson bullseye. It's eye has gone.
The shadow slams its hand down on the table, no water splattering, no one but Clara flinching.
The shadow pulls its eye from the table, forever smug, gesturing with it for Clara to try.
Clara takes a breath, looking down...
... she slams her hand down...
... screaming, a metal spike pierced through her palm, her eyes gone from her head, viscous red/brown material oozing from her empty eye sockets.
Time continues to careen past the container window.
Suddenly the the roof above crumbles away leaving an ever changing sky reflected in the glass.
An empty bedroom.
Clara's bare feet.
They start forward, stepping across blue ice.
The feet stumble onto soft sheets of a bed...
... onto the cold floor of a laboratory...
... audaciously trudging through broken glass, no signs of trauma...
... up carpeted stairs...
... down wooden steps. They reach their end.
... landing on sand, starting forward again, moving faster, kicking up the silt, jumping over children's beach toys, sprinting--
--the feet hit water.
Clara falls in the shallow shores.
Wind, rain, debris, strange figures, pass over the window. Greenery grows over and recedes again and again as the world outside changes...
Floating in the void, Clara looks down, seeing a rising smog curl toward her.
Clara stares straight at us.
Her eyes are gone, the red/brown sludge has dried to her cheeks, filled the holes in her head.
She purses her lips into a tight 'O'.
Smoke surges from her lips consuming all in a grey haze.