Are you proud of yourself? Was your life worthwhile?
Helen looked at herself in the mirror and wondered. The woman staring back at her was old. Much older than she had thought. Time moves too fast and too slow when you’re stuck in a laboratory. She envied those who lived outside once in a while.
But, as Prof. Ballinger had pointed out multiple times, the laboratory was a safer place than the town. And they could never leave because they had duties to fulfill. Helen fiercely believed in Ballinger’s work, but these days she wondered. She had tried to talk to him about it.
“Tony, do you sometimes wonder if what we are doing is right?”
“What do you mean, Helen, of course it’s right and you know that.”
“Yes, I know we saved the world and all that. Well not the world technically, but some people. But was it worth the cost? What these people are living… is it really a life?”
“It’s better than no life, Helen”, Ballinger answered and with that he indulged back into his studies.
Helen believed he was writing a book about his life’s work. And what a work it was. Ballinger didn’t feel he was better than others. But he believed in his work and what he had achieved. No one else had done it. No one had believed him. But in the end, they had all been wrong and Ballinger had been right. Now, they were dead.
But was Ballinger always right? Helen often found herself watching the screen. She is on the right track… how long until she figures it out… But on the other hand, how could she ever figure it out. Not on her own…
She stood in front of the door and hesitated as always. She could do it, just turn it off. There was no hope for this woman. She wasn’t sure if Ballinger was right in keeping her alive this way. The others had been different. Most had done great and had been released after a few days. Some had gone nuts, some had died, but this was something else. They never had a case like her before and Ballinger was obviously thinking of the woman as some sort of strange animal that they could study. Was that fair? But Helen always stopped at the door and never went inside. She was not ready to make this decision.
But there was something else she could do…
Next: Chapter 7