He was not expected the girl sitting on the desk next to the cameras. She was young, maybe twelve, maybe less. She couldn’t have been older than that, but she held herself like an adult as she watched him. She was well dressed; her clothes couldn’t have been cheap. She smiled down at him from her perch, her eyes wide open, unblinking, her head skewed to one side, like the psycho girls in the movie, except her smile: warm, welcoming, sad. Her hair was a mess, frizzy and knotted, yet clean, shiny and utterly healthy at the same time. She was a mess of contradictions.
Her voice was crisp and businesslike. “Hello security guy. What’s your name?”
“You shouldn’t be here little girl. How did you get in here anyway? You should get going and head home.”
“Well, see, I’ve been here the entire time, kinda. And I can’t leave. I live here, kinda. You should be the one to leave. Then again, I guess that’s not possible for you. So in the meantime, what’s your name?”
“My name’s Robbie. So, what’s your name? How about you tell me your name and I’ll see what I can do.”
Her face scrunched, as if the question were some difficult thing. “I… Maiva, Maiva De Lacey. I think that’s my name, anyway. I haven’t heard my name in so long.”
“Alright Maiva –”
“May!” She said quickly. “Please call me May. I haven’t had anyone call me May since… a long time ago.”
“Alright. May, what are you doing here? Where’s your home? What did you mean when you said you lived here?” He got up, and moved towards her.
“Don’t touch me! Please! I’m having difficulties holding this form as it is!”
“What?” he asked, slowing shifting back into his seat.
“Well, see, I’m here, but not really. I’m a hologram at the moment. I…hijacked the camera up there in the corner. I have good reason though. I’m going to help you.”
“A hologram? Are you serious?”
“…What are you planning to do to ‘help’ me then, little Miss Hologram?”
“Well, I’m going to keep you alive, hopefully. No guarantee, but I’m going to try.”
“No offense to you, little girl, but what can you protect me from that I, a grown man much bigger and stronger than you, can’t deal with on my own?”
“The things you’re guarding, the leftovers of Experiment Group 1.”
Robbie shook his head. “You’re playing with me kid. I’ve got a job to do, and you’re in the way. How about you stop playing games and go home?”
She stared at him silently, a condescending look spreading across her face. “You think I’m an idiot child. Fine. I’ve tried enough. You can’t blame me for anything now.” She grinned. “On that note, I think I’ll just sit here and watch you try not to die.”
He stared at her for a minute, unsure what to do, before slowly turning back to the security cameras. After a few minutes of silence, May’s figure flickered in and out of existence. Robbie blinked, not believing his eyes.
“You really aren’t real, are you?”
“Yes, I AM a hologram, if that’s what you’re saying. Of course, now you believe me, when it’s already probably too late.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, she already knows you’re here. She’s already made her move. He’s coming to get you, so you’re basically dead.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Are you going to believe me? Are you going to let me help you?”
“Just tell me what’s going on kid, and we’ll take it from there.”
She frowned. “I don’t like that answer.”
“Just tell me, you idiot!”
She glared derisively down from her perch. “No. Besides, it’s too late. Remember that flickering? I told her you were here. She doesn’t see so good when I’m blocking her view, so I have to inform her sometimes.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Because I was mad at you,” she laughed, as if that were the most obvious thing in the world. “I’d run if I were you. It won’t save you, but it might spare you some time.”
His eyebrows rose. He wasn’t sure whether he should believe a word that came out of this devil’s spawn’s mouth. She giggled. “The wonders of entertainment. I haven’t had this much fun in forever.”
He started to ask her something, he wasn’t really sure what, but she faded out right before his eyes.
Robbie turned back to his cameras, only to find that half of them were out. So, maybe staying here wasn’t really going to do him any good anyway. He grabbed the flashlight from his desk and headed out into the open hallway.