I’ve been getting shakes, and I can’t tell if they’re from withdrawal or adrenaline. That’s the first thing I’ve learned since waking up. I’m always wired now, always nervous. I am a criminal, and criminals walk with the cold chill of paranoia always at their backs.

I have my own bathroom. I took an hour to scrub myself raw after I regained self awareness. After my shower, I discovered that none of the clothes in the apartment were mine, and none of them were clean. So I picked the cleanest and threw the rest in the chipped and mildewed bathtub with half a bottle of hand soap. I turned the taps to full blast and explored my self-created prison as the tub filled.

I went a bit domestic after I found trash-bags under the bathroom sink. It didn’t take me long to identify and bag the worst of the muck I’d been living in. I scrubbed up most of the stains too, thanks to the dizzying array of cleaning supplies and household chemicals I’d managed to hoard. Less than half of them were any good for making Crocodil, the rest? I don’t know why I had them.

I gave up on washing out the smell of boiled iodine. That stuff creeps into walls, clothing, skin, everything. The sick and slightly bloody stink will stay with me, even after I leave this place.

With the worst of the trash piles relegated to bags, and a few fat, sluggish rats chased back into their holes, I took inventory.

  • Four changes of clothing: Unremarkable street wear, jeans, t-shirts with faded logos, two hoodies. Three sets in the bathtub soaking. None of them mine.
  • Household chemicals: Enough to stock a hardware store. Most are pretty common. A few are a little odd. Why do I have three canisters of rubberizing insulative dip?
  • Exotic chemicals: Several glass jars of sulphuric acid, a gallon of formaldehyde, and a cereal box filled to the brim with little white pills. There are others even more unfamiliar. Small glass phials that look like they’re filled with water, but have complex chemical chains written on their labels in sharpie or pencil.
  • Food: If you can call it that. A week’s worth of ramen. Some canned soup. Half a chicken shoved in the freezer without a bag.
  • Equipment: Two tripods, a decent camera, a camcorder, two tennis-ball sized short range spy cameras (that look like they take horrid video), an old laptop, a work light that looks ready to catch fire.
  • Money: Nearly $5000 in cash. Random denominations, non-sequential bills.
  • Information: The camera and camcorder were both running. Their internal memory is nearly tapped out.

One dangerous piece of cargo: I’ve stolen something.