Creature of Unknown Origin


10. Foundation in Trust

My eyes darted to the rearview mirror. Dr. Richards, thankfully, was still passed out in the

back seat. Beside me, the lights of the highway washed over an equally unconscious Ava. She

stirred when I turned off, taking the exit maybe a little too fast, but we were almost there and I

couldn’t wait to get back, though I had no idea what would happen when we did. Right now, the

important thing was that Dr. Richards didn’t find out Ava wasn’t going back through t hat portal.

If she did, I knew with absolute certainty that she wouldn’t help us.

“Where are we?” Ava mumbled, still half asleep despite the fact that her warm eyes were


“We’re almost there, forty minutes tops,” I whispered.

She only hummed in response. I stole another glance at her as she stretched and readjusted

the sweater she’d stolen from me into a better pillow before she settled back in her seat and seemed

to fall asleep again, twisting her hands in the sleeves of yet another stolen sweater.

I shook my head. Too bad sleep didn’t come that easily for everyone.

~ ~ ~

“What a mess!” Dr. Richards exclaimed, glaring at all of us in turn. “You turned my lab

into a third- rate pig pen!”

“ Excuse you? ” Delia stalked toward Dr. Richards; her eyes dangerously narrowed. “How

dare you come in here and lecture us about the state of your black-ops lab that you abandoned ! ”

For her part, Dr. Richards didn’t back down. I almost found myself admiring the woman,

but stopped myself. She was an awful person who experi mented with things she shouldn’t have,

things that the world arguably wasn’t ready for or fully equipped to understand. All I knew was

that Delia might’ve finally met her match. If not with Dr. Richards, then definitely with Ava.

“I didn’t want to abandon my lab,” Dr. Richards spat venomously, “but she made me!”

“I’m sorry, what? I didn’t ‘ make ’ you do anything,” Ava glared, “If you really want to

point fingers, point no fa rther than yourself!”

Something told me that if Ava had ‘shifted,’ as she called it, her hackles would be raised.

I couldn’t exactly blame her for her temper, either. Ever since we got here, and she’d woken up

this morning, Dr. Richards had done nothing but complain and make difficulties out of the simplest

task. If ever there was a molehill to make into a mountain, this woman would do it.

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