Kaan and Alli walked through the night, their flashlights cutting wide swathes of light through the darkness. The beams bounced off the trees, shone through translucent leaves and often pointed down at their toes.
The night hung like a shell over them. The stars wavered like ghosts in the ether. They were making their way down the hill, in a long, sweeping arc. Their shoes dug into the layers of dead, brackish plant matter. Dust congealed in the conic sections of their artificial radiance.
In the valley, a bulky black and gray building swam in front of them, materialized out of the inky gloom. A twisted chain-link fence, long rendered useless, cordoned the area, festooned with loud ‘Keep Out!’ signs of black and white painted metal.
The door was rusted and hung ajar. The lock had long been picked and someone had taken the time to kick the entrance in. Leaning down, Kaan and Alli folded themselves into the parcel-sized opening.
The two of them turned their lights to race down a long, abandoned corridor, with sheet metal walls. “Still feels like a prison,” Kaan remarked.
They got to one of the many test rooms, with a white, battered chair – much like one a dentist would use – only fashioned with heavy, leather straps for the abdomen, legs and arms. In the white room, at the top corner, was a two-way mirror, that opened into a control room above.
“I’m surprised they still haven’t torn this place down,” Kaan thought aloud.
Kaan looked around. The room was dusty from lack of use. Twigs had blown in, through unseen holes. Webs stretched across corners. Little rat feet could be heard crawling around in the walls.
“Do you think Nealy would ever come back here?” Alli asked.
“I doubt it,” Kaan said, “This place was abandoned for a reason.”
“Still worth a look, right?” Alli wondered.
Kaan didn’t answer.
They left the dilapidated, unmarked lab. As she got on the back of Kaan’s old Harley, Alli pretended she could see Nealy there – between the branches, coming through the ether, bleeding through from the other side, wearing a beige suit and a red ascot, ensconced in the brilliant rays of an aura – bright and shining, like the sun.