Lost Noir: Chap. Forty-One "The Cage"

Megan Pace, flanked by Anton Mittelwerk and Mischa Bakunin, entered the lab.

Megan noted the Plexi Glas cage and the four small pylons at each of the cage’s corners that seemed to be emmiting a very low hum.

She didn’t know what to expect but was surprised as to what she saw.

She figured she would see someone, looking ill or in bed. At least that was the impression Megan took away from Mittelwerk’s description of the situation his wife was in.

Instead, Megan looked into the cage and saw no one. Just a dark mist that seemed to float gently about.

“Where is she?” Megan asked.

“She is there!” Mittelwerk replied.

“Where?” Megan asked again.

“Right in front of us!” Mittelwerk answered, motioning to the cage.

Megan was confused.

“Elke!” Mittelwerk called out, “I’ve brought someone for you to meet!”

Megan noticed the dark mist suddenly began to swirl, just before condensing into the shape of a beautiful blonde woman.

The beautiful blonde took a step forward and smiled.

“Anton!” the woman said, “what a surprise! You’ve brought me several visitors! I know Mr. Bakunin but who is this lovely lady?!”

“Megan Pace,” Mittelwerk began the introduction, “this is Elke Mittelwerk. My wife!”

“She..she came from that mist?!” Megan uttered.

Mittelwerk nodded.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Pace,” ‘Elke’ replied, “please don’t think I’m being rude, but why are you here?”

“She is here to help us!” Mittelwerk interrupted, “I have brought the item that will help restore you!”

Elke smiled, “So how will Ms. Pace be of help?”

Mittelwerk produced a syringe with a black liquid inside.

“Ms. Pace will enter the cage and inject you with this antidote,” Mittelwerk explained, “once it takes affect, you will once again become human!”

“But Anton,” Elke pouted, “why don’t you come in and give me the antidote yourself?”

“Better to have Ms. Pace do the deed!” Mittelwerk answered.

“Why?!” Elke wondered, “you don’t trust me? What do you think I will do to you? Tear you to shreads?!”

“Hey!” Megan nervously interrupted, “No one said anything about anyone being torn to shreads in this deal!”

“No one will be torn to shreads, Ms. Pace,” Mittelwerk assured, “my wife is just speaking...metaphorically!”

“Yes, Ms. Pace,” Elke smiled, “I love my husband. I wouldn’t dream of doing any harm to him! I thought he knew that. Maybe I am wrong!”

“Just a precaution,” Mittelwerk said, “so, if it is okay with you, I’ll send in Ms. Pace with the syringe. You DO want to get better, don’t you Elke?!”

“Of course I do, Anton!” Elke sadly said, “you know I want to be “normal”. You know I want out of this cage, to be free once again!”

Mittelwerk smiled, as he handed Megan the syringe.

“Go on, Ms. Pace,” Mittelwerk directed, “enter the cage and make my wife, “normal”! Then you and your cousin will be set free!”

Megan took the syringe and, with a deep breath, headed towards the cage.

Mittelwerk turned and addressed Bakunin.

“Go over to the control console,” he whispered, “after Elke has been injected and we have confirmed the antidote has been successful, I’ll bring Elke out but we’ll keep Pace in the cage. Once she is locked in, you power up the EM-field just enough to scramble her brain, understand?”

Bakunin nodded, as he walked slowly over to the console.

Mittelwerk walked over to the cage’s double security door. As Megan stood by, he pressed a button, which electronically unlocked the first door, that led into a small enclosed leeway.

Megan entered, as Mittelwerk closed the first door behind her.

“Go ahead and press the button just above the latch,” Mittelwerk instructed, “then you can open the second door to enter the cage!”

Megan pressed the button and heard a click. The second door was now unlocked.

Megan pushed the door open and slowly entered the cage.

Elke stood before her. Megan thought Elke looked so “real”. Elke smiled reassuringly. Strange, but Megan felt safer in the cage with this “creature” or whatever “she” was, than in being outside with Mittelwerk and Bakunin.

“If you’re ready, Ms. Pace,” Elke softly said, “then so am I."

Elke rolled up the sleeve of her blouse.

Megan injected the needle into Elke’s arm, then slowly depressed the plunger, until all the black liquid was gone.

Elke turned to address Mittelwerk, “How long before this takes effect?”

“Unknown!” Anton replied, “but I suspect not long!”

Elke suddenly grimaced!

“You okay, Elke?!” Mittelwerk called out, “how do you feel?!”

“Dizzy,” Elke replied, “confused! I…I think something’s happening!!”

All of a sudden, Elke faded from view but quickly reappeared. Then she started shape shifting into a variety of composites! She quickly changed from vapor, to mist, to fog, to haze, before returning to her physical form!

“Anton!!!” she cried out, as she fell to the floor of the cage.

Mittelwerk, ran to the cage, unlocked both doors and entered! He kneeled beside Elke, as she lay on the floor. She drifted in and out of consciousness, as he held her in his arms.

Megan backed slowly out of the cage and stood in the leeway.

“Elke!” Mittelwerk cried, “can you hear me! Answer me!”

Elke opened her eyes and glanced up.

“I think it worked, Elke!” Mittelwerk gleefully cried out, “I think it worked!!”

Elke smiled but Mittelwerk noticed it was not a smile of pleasure but one of devious evil!

“No, Anton,” she answered, “you’re wrong! It didn’t work at all!!”

Suddenly, Elke vaporized back into the dark mist.

Next: Chap. Forty-Two “Creepy Guys”

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