The light was blinding and Claire's chest burned. White tile and chrome were all she could see from where she was seated, and it felt like someone had their fingers in her ribcage. She was alone, or at least thought she was. She thought she could hear whispers, but there was no one in the room. Or was there? Something at the edge of sight? Shadows? With all of this brilliant light?
"It's good to see you Claire. It's a shame you have to go so soon."
Marni? Here? The room suddenly looked so familiar. The lab back at ARD Corp. The tiles should be green, though.
Marni's blonde curls framed a face that was disconcertingly happy. Not blonde, but gray. Almost a platinum color. Claire could almost smell her perfume. It reeked of copper and chemicals. She reached out with a hand to caress Claire's cheek. Her fingers seemed cold to the touch, and were just a little too long. Scalpel blades protruded from her fingertips. Claire tried to move, but her limbs wouldn't budge. She tried to scream, but no sound came out.
"You've been a wonderful subject, but now it's time to go."
From a door that Claire was sure wasn't there a moment before came two insanely large men in white scrubs. The more Claire tried to discern their faces the more they didn't have them. This isn't right. They each grabbed her by an arm and picked her up bodily. Claire began to panic. She felt her heart beating like semi-automatic. They're here to take her away from Marni.
The faceless titans dragged her down an interminably long hallway. Marni floated along behind, a deranged smile pasted across her face. They passed through a pair of doors and out into the rain. Marni stopped just inside the portal and waved. As they drug the Clade across the pavement, the doors to the ARD Corp facility closed, sealing Marni away as the whole building folded in upon itself. It closed up into an oversized storybook and locked fast.
At the edge of the concrete, Claire could see the ocean far below. The stormy winds churned the blackened waters below, nearly upsetting a large teacup with a balloon attached to it.
"Enjoy your time in Angelus." Marni chided.
The man-things tossed Claire to the winds.
* * * * *
With a sharp intake of breath, Claire awoke in a hospital bed. The gentle pitter-patter of rain outside played a familiar tune. Her body tingled with chemical induced numbness. Various monitors and tubes and wires indicated that she was in a suite, most likely in the XSWAT wing of the hospital. How long have I been here? She was too weak to get up, but she could at least move her head. In the corner, Tyche dozed in a chair. How long had she been there? The exhaustion caught back up with her. Just as well. A calm smile crept across her face while she drifted back into unconsciousness. She wouldn't have to worry about another bad dream this day.