Itsuki wakes up in a chair. His memories are shaky, but the room is familiar. He lifts up his shirt; the scar in his abdomen is still there. It's a little faded, but still makes him wince when he presses down on it.
There's a cup on the table in front of him.
His mind races.
It's almost certainly toxic. At the very least, painful. He's never really been part of the core group of scientists who design experiments, but he knows the first few are the most lethal. They test the limits of their powers, the limits of their strength and survivability.
It's not uncommon for the first people of a specific power to die.
Itsuki knows he only really has one choice. If he doesn't drink voluntarily, they'll find a way to force him.
His hands shake as he picks up the cup. The liquid is dark and murky, but the taste is sweet.
Maybe he was wrong about it.
His mouth is dry. His throat feels sore.
Itsuki hates that his first instinct is to pick the cup up again. There's nothing left to drink anyways.
His head starts pounding.
Itsuki stands up.
His vision becomes blurry.
Itsuki feels the table in front of him and the chair behind him. Using the chair as support, he sits down on the ground, backing up until he reaches a wall. He doesn't want to collapse and hurt himself.
A scientist comes in.
Two scientists. Three.
They sit at the table and wait.
Chizuru is dragged in.
Itsuki wants to get up and run over, but his body doesn't respond.
A nurse stabs Chizu. He screams.
"Don't you want to help your friend?"
Chizuru cries. Itsuki slowly stands up and stumbles over.
"It's too late."
He feels Chizuru's skin turn cold under his touch.
Itsuki turns around. His sister is standing there. He's back home. There are sweets on the table and the television is on in the background.
"You need to relax."
"Where did she go?" Itsuki hears himself say the words, but it almost doesn't feel like him.
His eyes close.
When he opens them, there's a wolf in front of him.
Itsuki tries to raise his arm, but it doesn't work.
The wolves multiply.
The one in front of him turns to face the rest. Then it growls.
The pack moves forward. The lone wolf steps forward.
Itsuki can't look away.
The wolf leaps, biting and gnashing at all the others who come near. Blood slowly pools at the wolf's feet.
Strange sounds that don't compute enter his brain: a door slamming, someone yelling.
The sound of claws slashing fabric.
Someone picks him up. It's his father.
"It burns." He mumbles, trying to get more comfortable.
The scientist throws him over his shoulders.
Itsuki frowns. Most scientists aren't hairy, they have to shave on account of the job.
But then who's carrying him?
The rocking feeling soothes him to sleep before he can find out.