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Shane swallowed hard. “That, is how you tell these.” He said in a raspy voice, not having realised how dry his throat had become. 

With another swallowing he glanced to Killian, and saw that he too had been taken in by Irma’s version of the story. 

“It ain’t over.” Irma snickered maniacally. “Of course Celine reported the incident, filed the picture she had taken. But when security arrived the ground was just a dirty patch of soil. No grass, no blood.” 

Reassuring, but as secretive as possible, Shane felt for the grass. It was there. 

“Other than Bobby missing, nothing was awry. Security logs on the entrances showed no tampering with locks or lights, and so the investigation into his disappearance focused on Celine. After all, she had a sexual relationship with an underage patient, and was married. It seemed only natural that she had killed him. Investigators assumed that he wanted to make the relationship publicly known, and in a fit she had murdered him, and then fabricated that insane story. She was put in the brig as a mentally unstable, and possibly criminal insane person, as she kept insisting on her version of events, always brought up the picture of the bloody grass as evidence of her innocence.” Interested, but in no way spooked the others listened to her. 

“Until, some months ago, a bunch of cat bones had been unearthed in preparation for another terraforming project here in the gardens. They showed marks. Teeth marks. Of human teeth, someone, or dare I say, something had gnawed off the flesh of these cats. The bones showed no way of heating, so they must’ve been eaten raw.” Goosebumps crawled over Shanes arms. 
“Do you hate animals, Mrs. Fennington?” Celine glared at the counsellor assigned to work with her. “No.” She replied truthfully. “What makes you think that I would?” 

“Well,” he produced a series of images on the table, which had a built in display, showing bones with teeth marks. “these were found in the garden, where you have murdered your lover.” She had grown accustomed to the fact that she was held responsible for Roberts disappearance. Even her husband and daughter thought so. 

But cat bones? Gnawed off, cat bones on top of that? “Take a print of my teeth, or check my dental records. They won’t match the marks on these bones. I believe Bobby’s dental records are on file, just to make sure it wasn’t some sick love game we played.” She intensified her gaze. Did they really think that of her?

“True,” admitted the counsellor, “but they are in a bad state. They were found near a small pond, during preparation for another creek.” 

Celine reclined in her seat, this conversation should be lead by an interrogator, not a counsellor. Then again, he was a working with the criminally insane, so he probably was both. “So? You want to pin these on me too? Saying I either faked the marks, or they don’t match due to deterioration in wet soil?” There was a twitch in the man’s face. 

“Listen, I’ll gladly retell the events yet another time, but you don’t believe me, so I see no point. Just continue with your investigation.” 

“Please,” folding his hands the images on the table disappeared, John Hopkins leaned on it, “tell me again what had happened?” 

Celine raised an eyebrow, was he being serious? “I went to the gardens to meet with Robert, as I entered the doors locked and the lights went out, despite what the records tell. After looking for him, I was infuriated and wanted to leave when I heard that cry. It sounded like a tortured cat, with something metallic to it. Then I discoveed the blood, took a picture of it and left as the lights around the exit came back, and I figured it was unlocked. I hadn’t called for help prior to that, because there was no connection.” 

Although she made it sound simple, her heart beat to her throat, and she felt the terror beneath her calm exterior. 

Was it in John’s eyes, or his glasses that she saw that he believed she was lying? Uncertain she sighed, it didn’t matter. “The implant tells me you’re quite agitated, this is closer to PTSD than a lie on the detector.” He mused. Although he had worked with her before, apparently he never had bothered to monitor her biosigns. “Now you’re either calling this a fabrication so my conscious mind won’t have to deal with what I did, or you are toying with me and in secret you keep believing that I did it. Don’t forget Mister Hopkins, I am a counsellor too.” She winked. 

“No,” he unfolded his hands again, “I actually believe that you witnessed something, but also that you murdered your lover.” The door opened and two armed security guards entered. “Come.” He rose to his feet. 

Again she felt her blood run cold as ice. 

Without him saying anything she knew he was going to take her to the gardens. A place she hoped to never see again.


Already the programmed dimming was setting in, to simulate a sundown. Celine’s intestines formed a tight knot as she laid eyes on the gardens. 

Especially the hill.

“Soon it will be dark, I thought it would be a good therapeutic way to show you the gardens.” Swallowing her heartbeat Cekine took a deep breath, and small step forward. Beneath the soles of her shoes she felt the soft ground give way to her weight, unlike any surface she walked on outside the gardens. “Of course you did. It is in our nature as counsellors to think these things, but you know what?” She turned to him in a swift motion, causing the guards to reach for their guns. “We are wrong! Now get me out of here!” She found herself incapable of maintaining her cool exterior, panic now reached the exterior, boiled over like water in a pot.

She threw herself in the direction of the exit, but was caught by the guards. “Celine! We need to do this. You need to. The sooner you realise that you killed,” John Hopkins words caught in his throat as the sound echoed over from the hill. 

A noise as if a cat cries, mixed with something metallic. 

In panic, additionally fuelled by Celine’s story of the events, he bolted to the exit, the guards rushed behind him. 

With a glad sigh he leaned agains the reassuring cold wall plating in the corridor after the door had closed, it was only then that he noticed Celine was missing.


Petrified Celine stood two steps from the door, something inside her was screaming for her to make a run for it. But she barely noticed that it closed behind John and his guards. Let alone her inner voice urging her to leave.

That sound again. 

That cry again. 

Unable to move a single muscle Celine stood there in silence. 

An unusual sound came from behind her. It was a thump. A knocking of sorts. Trembling Celine forced herself to turn, what she saw made her wish she had a gun, a crowbar or explosives.

The door wasn’t lit. Presumably it was locked, the knocking came from the other side of the door. Still trembling Celine turned to the hill.

Tears shot to her eyes, she was thinking of Bobby.

Gingerly she placed one foot in front of the other, stopped as she felt something beneath her foot. 

John Hopkins’ glasses, he must’ve lost them in his flight. Uncertain whether he had locked them or not she picked them up with cuffed hands, put them on.

Accessible! 

“I…I am recording this in the event that the mysterious thing that killed Bobby strikes again, to prove my innocence, and perhaps show my murderer.” There was absolutely no network connection, so she had to use internal memory, for that to last, she had lowered the quality of the recording.

Just like the last time she had been in the garden, she used the flash as headlight, as she slowly moved up the hill. Again the eerie cry sounded, Celine’s heart lumped in her throat. 

There it was. 

About as tall as her shoulder, patches of hair on its head that was just a lump on top of a bulky body. Spindly arms and legs, the creature, the man, she noticed, stood naked before her. The skin was rosy and raw, as if inflamed. 

“Fuck.” She hissed. Her hands were cuffed, even if she had something to defend herself with, how would she strike at the thing? 

Another metallic noise filled the air. It was the door! John’s guarsa had cut through it with their guns, the hole they had cut out had fallen to the ground. 

The two men jumped through, looked around and saw her, and the creature. Immediately they opened fire.

A screech of agony rose from the man as the first darts hit him, but it moved with incredible speed towards the guards, so they switched to the lasers.

Wounded, and crying in pain the thing retreated into the onsetting night. 

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