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August With Offgun Couples

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Off was starting to have doubts about his job. He had been working there for years, but his loyalty had cracked over time, finally breaking when he laid eyes on the latest ‘specimen’ he was meant to study.

It had all seemed normal when he first joined. Studying flowers or whatever small things he couldn’t truly hurt made its way to his lab table. Then they started to give him strange things to study. Animals that didn’t seem quite right and plants that made Off sense things he couldn’t quite place. It felt wrong every time he saw them in the lab. They did not belong there.

The latest specimen was the most out of place. It was a person.

Off was frozen in the doorway. Did his boss really want him to perform experiments on the man looking back at him? Beyond having a certain draw to him that made Off want to protect him more than anything, it was unethical.

“You must be Dr. Adulkittiporn. The guards told me you’d be in charge of me,” the man glared at him. “You are going to regret keeping me here.”

“I didn’t take part in capturing you. I’ve only studied plants and animals before. This… this is unethical. I don’t support human experimentation. I’ll talk to my boss right away,”

The man laughed, “Do you know where you work? That’s obviously not going to do anything. I don’t need your false promises. And what does human experimentation have to do with anything?”

Off took a deep breath as he moved a little closer, “I don’t know where I work, only that it’s for the government. I couldn’t turn down the job after college. I had no money and nowhere to go. A van with blacked out windows takes me to work every day.”

“You’re trapped too?” The man looked him up and down, “Do you want to escape? If we work together it might be possible.”

Off nodded, feeling a wave of fear and excitement wash over him, “I can’t work here any more… if we try to leave, would they…”

“Kill us? Probably. But don’t worry, I will do my best to protect us. You just need to lead us out of the lab. You can call me Gun, by the way.”

“Gun,” Off repeated, “What do we need to do to get out of here?”