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I wake up in a dark, damp prison cell. The room is small. At least, I think it is. It's too dark to be sure. I hear someone cough. I'm not alone. "Hello?" I say cautiously. I hear a voice on my right, "Jaden?" it says, "Is that you?"
I recognize the voice, "Deserae?"
"Yeah" she answers, "where are we?"
"I don't know" I say. It's far too dark to make out any people or objects. Then I hear a moan, this time from my left. "Don!" I yell with joy. I was afraid they had killed him already. Don and I started talking when I heard another voice coming from behind.
"Will you love birds just shut up." It was Paul. Then the puzzle started coming together. All four of us were trapped in a pitch dark cell in who knows where. The "where" park was answered as we heard the door slowly creak open.
A man walked in, he was tall and muscular. He looked pretty intimidating. My fears were confirmed when he turned on the light. The room became illuminated. I had just gotten used to the dark so now my eyes couldn't take the bright lighting. My eyes eventually adjusted to it. "Good evening" he said.
"What's up Count Dracula" Paul said. Paul had a knack for annoying people, maybe this time it would actually pay off. "Count" searched our eyes for weakness, but after years of dealing with this crap, you learn not to show any.
"You amaze me", he says, "you've managed to remain invincible for this long, it's impressive, I must admit."
"Well if that impresses you, you should see what else we can do" Deserae responds.
"Speaking of which," Count starts, as he zeros in on me, "you've managed to put yourselves in a most precarious of situations, my friend." (Hmm, strange, I don't remember adding him on Facebook.) The Count continues, "it's funny, I remember seeing you guys before, but that was almost eight years ago, you four were barely in middle school. That was a time when you were so young and helpless. So how did you get from there to here?"
"Do you really want to know?" Don asked.
"Yes, tell me everything. “Count said."From the beginning," he added, with an odd glint in his eyes.
"Well," I said, "then let's go to the beginning."
8 years ago....
Once upon a time, four perfectly normal kids named Jaden, Paul, Don, and Deserae were kidnapped from their homes. They each lived completely different lives. Paul was the son of a movie start, while Deserae lived life in the slums. I was just a small town girl (livin' in a lonely world), and Don was a farm boy. But our paths crossed at exactly the same time.
June 12, 7:44 am
It was a peaceful Friday morning, complete with simplicity and innocence.
Don was on his way to school. He didn't really care much for it, but he was determined to be the first in his family to go to college. It was a ten minute walk from his house, but who says he was walking. Don was running across the street when they hit him head on. He was only twelve, so anything he did was hopeless. One second he was a school kid, the next he was a recruit for a company so dastardly it shouldn't even exist. But it did. And once they had you, there was no way out.
June 10, 9:54 am
While we're here, I might as well just tell you my "story of recruitment."
I was twelve, like Don, as were Paul and Deserae. I was already at my school. It was math class. I could solve any problem, but I wouldn't let anyone know it. I was staring out the window when I saw them, three men in dark coats, scary suspicious. Then I saw one of them snap his fingers. In that instant the fire alarms went off. No coincidence there.
We all shoved our way outside. I tried to stay further in the back. But it turns out that was where they wanted me, because, in a fast moment, I became invisible. I became one of them.
June 10, 10:56 am
I think when they decided to take Deserae they figured that it would be easy. That no one would miss her. And they were right. They approached her from behind. Her brother tried to stop them, but he was killed like he didn't even matter. They put something over her face, she collapsed instantly. She didn't stand a chance. None of us did, which is what they were expecting.
June 10, 11:45 am
Paul was the exact opposite of Deserae. Paul was a rich, spoiled brat. He went to a very prim and prestigious school. He was popular (mainly because of his parent’s fame). But all the wealth and fun suddenly vanished when they took him. Right out from everybody's nose. He was with his friends when they came. Singling his out from the group, they struck. He wasn't so good as self defense stuff, and these guys were FAST. So he was an easy grab.
June 10, 11:59 am
Each of us woke up in separate rooms. Every room was identical: spotless white walls, cement floor, with a steel- looking ceiling. I woke up on a medium- sized cot. The room was small, but not too small.
(Which was why this room we were in looked so familiar. The four of us were back where we started.)
June 10, 12:00 pm.
Deserae woke up, eyes wide and fearing. She looked at the door. No doorknob. She was trapped. But then, suddenly, the door clicked open.
All four of us slowly peeked our heads out the doors. We walked toward each other cautiously, with no idea if one of us was the enemy. This was a game of "friend or foe," a game none of us were prepared to play.
There was a brief moment of silence. It took a minute or two until one of us was even trusting enough to speak.
"Where am I?" Paul huffed.
Paul had that look of "I'm better than you so you better answer me" plastered across his face. We all looked at each other, and then we came to the pitiful conclusion. "I don't know," I said.
None of us knew where we were, or why. So we looked around. The majority of the rooms in our section were beds. But the more halls we went down, the more we learned about our captors. This place was like a maze. Rooms, halls, secret rooms with secret halls. We were scared and confused. We wanted out.
June 10, 12:25 pm
Matthias Lee stares at his computer screen in the technology lab. His colleague walks in, "Matthias" she yells.
"Ah, no shouting" says Matt, even though the four test subjects were in a separate wing he still feared being made known.
"Relax, no one else in here" Elisa (the colleague) says, much softer this time. She pats him on the shoulder and pulls up a chair. "Are they at the lab yet?" she asks (referring to the four kids that just arrived).
"No" he answers, "but that doesn't mean I can't give them a nudge." Matthias opens the lab door from his computer desk. Then the four curious children enter the lab, unaware of the fate that lies before them.
June 10, 12:26 pm
The four of us walked nervously into a large room. It's obviously a lab, because there are machines and computers that look too complicated to have an actual use. This whole place looks creepy. I was sure I was going to get nightmares. Matter of fact my whole day felt like a nightmare. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, one of their agents showed up.
He looked like a shadow, but he didn't seem too scary. The agent came a little closer, but he knew he should keep his distance.
"My name is Michael," he said, while keeping a blank face. He continued, "You may be asking yourselves why you're here. And the answer is simple. You're part of evolution. Survival of the fittest. You four are part of the pinnacle of this change. It's about time you learn your true potential. Welcome to Castle."
June 10, 1:03 pm.
Well that answered my questions. "So then why are we here?" Paul asked. Michael answered, "We're here to discover your potential. Your power."
"And what is that exactly?" I ask.
"That's what we're going to find out," he says with a smile. (It was one of those kind, evil ones too.)
June 10, 3:36 pm
Michael led us around the facility. Kind of like a nickel tour only through a secret, dark, agency. We met a man named Matthias Lee. He was a self proclaimed computer genius. He showed us how he programmed everything in this place himself. "I own this place", he said, (numerous times) "and don't you forget it."
We were led around a little bit more, and then we were sent to our rooms, which was when things got a little creepy.
June 10, 3:39 pm
After we were all sent to our rooms we were essentially left to our own sanity. I wondered if this was some kind of social experiment. There were cameras everywhere. At least that's what Matthias has said.
"Hey", a voice said, it was coming from the next room.
"What?" I said. I got closer to the wall.
"Do you believe what he said, do you really think we could have abilities?" the voice said.
"I don't know," I answered.
"Oh," the voice responded, "well, whatever happens, we should stick together, all four of us should."
"Yeah," I answered, "my name is Jaden, by the way."
"Don," the voice said. He sounded scared, I'm sure I sounded scared too. I didn't hear from Don anymore that day. It was like I could help it either, because "they" came in moments later.
June 10, 3:39 pm
Matthias was fixing one of his busted computers. He figured he had to do something to keep him occupied while he was stuck in a temperature controlled room underground. Then his boss came in. "Matthias" he yelled.
"Ah, too loud" Matthias said.
"Are the recruits ready?" the boss asked.
"They're in their rooms." Matt answered.
"Well then, call Mr. Hanson and tell Dr. Crane to get his team ready," he ordered, and then he sighed to himself, "it's time."
June 10, 3:41 pm
Two agents came into each of our rooms. They grabbed us and walked us down the hall. Don and I exchanged glances. He nodded to me. I nodded back as they pulled us along. We were taken back to the lab. They put us in large machines. None of us knew what was happening (or going to happen for that matter). Then they hooked us up to tubes and wires. At that point, Deserae couldn't take it. She ripped off the wires, fought her restraints. Someone had to inject her with some kind of drug. It kept her still, but conscious. I don't think I'd ever been that frightened in my entire life. "What’s happening!" Paul yelled as they shoved him onto the machine. The boss, Jacob, entered the room.
"Congratulations," he said, "you've made it to your future. Now it's time to receive your fate.” Then he proceeded to state what I am now to assume was their most used cover up story/method.
“Everything you've witnessed and experienced over these past few hours is a lie. It was merely a dream. A fictitious game."
"This is a dream?" Paul says in disbelief.
"Yes, I'm so glad you're catching on," Jacob says smoothly. "Here's how this is going to work, you're going to remain still while we run one last test, or experiment, whichever wording works for you."
"What's the test?" Don asks.
"You'll see... eventually." Then Jacob turned to Matthias, who was at one of the computers. "Lock 'em in" Jacob ordered. In the press of a button, we were cuffed onto the machines. Sadly, there was no getting out of this. We were poked and prodded even injected with needles. I don't know how long it lasted, but it felt like an eternity. Once they stopped, I was no longer distracted from the pain. My muscles ached, my skin felt as if it had been ripped apart. Everything hurt. But then I shut my eyes, and in a second, it was gone.
June 11, 7:04 am
Don opened his eyes to the light of a ruby sunrise. He looks around, not sure where he is. Then he realizes he's home. Confused. But home. "Was that just a dream?" he wondered, "have I really just been in bed all this time?" He goes over the dream again in his mind. But it was blurry. Questionable. He searched for signs of needle marks or scratches, but there was nothing. "Just a dream," he says to himself. Don jumps off the top bunk of his bed. But instead of landing on the floor, he hovers in the air. Don is flying! Maybe it wasn't "just a dream."
-End of part one
June 11, 7:09am
I woke up to a rush of adrenaline, gasping for air while trying to focus. I was home. I tried to remember where I'd been yesterday, but it was too obscured. "What is wrong with me?" I thought I was going crazy. Once the rush faded away I got an obnoxious headache. Something was definitely wrong. But I got out of bed anyway and walked to the kitchen. The aroma of sizzling bacon and eggs filled the air. "Good morning", my mom said, smiling her flawless smile. I moaned, "I'm in too much pain for it to be a good morning." Every inch of my body ached. I couldn't deny this pain. But oddly enough, I didn't want to. I held onto the pain. In fact, I lifted it up. A part of me changed that day. We all changed.
June 11, 9:06 am
Some of us became something we really didn't want to be. Deserae woke up. She didn't know where she was. But she knew what she was. She saw her brother's lifeless body. He had claw marks all over him. HUGE claw marks. Deserae looked down at her hands, and what she saw before her were the claws of a beast. This knowledge (or "sight") didn't settle well with her. Succumbed with anger, she motivated herself to one point of action: to kill the people who made her this way. So she moved along, in search of vengeance.
June 11, 10:57 am
Paul sits outside his lavish mansion. He lies on the grass in the yard, looking up at the sky. But then he feels a burning sensation. He'd felt it before, a while back. Now it returned. It was worse. The burning grew. Suddenly, he felt a flame leap from his hand. The grass lit up, burning faster and faster. He couldn't stop it. Eventually, the whole house was engulfed. Paul didn't run. He was too afraid to. Later that day Paul was sent to the hospital. They tried to help him. They burned down too....
-These occurrences were just the beginning.
"Interesting," the Count said. Suddenly I realized who this man standing before me was. It was Percius. Percy actually was an old friend. Only we all thought he was dead. "Percius?" Don asked, "is that really you?"
Percy chuckled, "I was wondering how long it would take you to notice."
"That's impossible, I saw... you died in my arms," Deserae said. We watched as tears came to her eyes. Percy and Deserae were close (I heard they even shared a kiss once). He came closer to her. Then he raised her chin up so that their eyes met, and he said, "Yeah, it's great to be back."
"Don't you want to know the rest of the story?" I say.
"Yes, please, go on." he says.
So we continue this trial of tortures.
6 years later...
April 6, 7:00 pm
Over time, my aches and pains had vanished. I calmly listened as the rain poured down. Over time I had perfected my "gift" as well. I moved the TV remote closer to me, effortlessly with my mind. "Telekinesis." I looked it up. Moving objects with the mind. It's kinda fun, it felt pretty awesome, I have to admit. That feeling of power was intoxicating. But I swore myself to secrecy, and it turns out, we all took a similar oath.
April 6, 7:31 pm
Paul had gotten used to living in "solitary." It was like his second home. Especially considering that he burnt down the first one. He lies on his bed, staring at the wall of which he has covered in news-article clippings. Paul was determined to see the invisible people who had captured him. He was also determined to find the other three kids who were with him that day. Paul was going to find the truth. Somehow. Someday. For the time being, he played with fire. Literally. He made a flame, and then he passed it along his wrist, transferring it to the other, to the palm of his hand, then clenching it in a fist. The burning sensation still lingered, but barely. He thought of it as a reminder of who he was now. Who he had become. Who he was FORCED to become. He thought of it as a reminder to the people who made him this way. That now, THEY were playing with fire.
April 6, 10:47 pm
Paul wasn't the only one searching for answers. Don had taken a less "psychotic" route. But he came up with less answers than Paul did. So instead of searching for the captors, he looked for the captives. He decided to search names. It was still a bit foggy. Yet a name screamed out to him: Jaden. So he began his quest to find me. And that's when our lives began to stretch out and intertwine.
April 6, 11:22 pm
Deserae had gotten herself into something awful. A full moon made itself known as it glowed over the vacant lots of the city. Over the years Deserae had made a name for herself. Or at least an image. Deserae hadn't shown her face to anyone, but she would tonight. She was going to meet with someone she hadn't seen in a long time (someone who'd only known the human her). She had called him out of the blue, though, in hopes that he could help. So Deserae walked to the back of the hospital. Dr. Monroe was waiting patiently for her to walk in. He helped her into a room. Deserae was hiding her face in the hood of her jacket, her claws were masked with gloves. The beast of her had grown. It had grown so much that the human her was practically gone. She wanted to be normal again.
"I need help", she says. Even her voice had changed. Deserae pulls off the gloves, and takes off the hood. "I need you to make this go away," she whimpers as tears come to her eyes.
"How... what happened? Is this a joke?" he says. She retracts her claws, and then clicks them out again.
"I hope not," she says, almost with a laugh. Then he began to search for answers. Just like everyone else.
April 9, 6:08 am
Paul wakes up early to get a head start on his day of conspiracy. He processes the information before him. The articles are worldly; they talk about events from New York to Berlin. Then things started to click. Disappearances, odd occurrences, things that seemed normal began to jump out. Flashes came to his eyes in realization that he knew the truth. Nothing could stop him now. Well, except for the fact that he was stuck in a criminal detention facility. But he could work around that. "Let the games begin."
April 9, 8:57 am
Don wakes up after a long night of searching. He stayed up all night looking for Jaden. But he can't remember if he'd found her because he was too tired. He even fell asleep on the keyboard. Don stared at his computer screen. He did it! He found her. She didn't live too far from him. He was going to have to try and explain this. Explanations were due to everyone. His parents didn't have a clue what was going on. How could he possible tell this to anyone without them putting him in a mental facility? But if Jaden was there, she must be going through the same things as he is: the rushes of adrenaline, the surging power. If she was there… she was there. Deep down inside Don knew the truth. He knew what he had to do. This was unavoidable. This was happening. History (or at least what's left of it).
April 9, 10:32am
I was reading a book when I heard the doorbell ringing. I opened the door to a kid. He looked my age. Very familiar. I couldn't quite explain the feeling, but I knew that I knew who he was, f that makes any sense. We must've just stood there looking at each other forever. I felt an odd connection to him. And it seemed mutual.
"Do I know you?" I asked.
"To be honest, I don't remember," he says shyly. "Two years ago... I think we were kidnapped. I don't remember much I just remember that the next morning I was flying!" he said.
For some reason, to me, this made perfect sense. So my response to him was, "I know." And I did know. I understood what he was going through. "I can move objects with my mind," I told him. We shared our stories. Then we got into the deep stuff.
"How did this happen? Who did this to us?" We still didn't know. We needed answers. More accurately, we needed to find someone with answers. Someone who knew the truth: Paul.
April 9, 11:03 am
Don and I began searching. We looked at everything, every word, every conspiracy. Doctors, physicians, therapists. But no one had the answers we were looking for. However, one thing did stand out to us. A kid out in Pittsburgh burnt his million- dollar mansion to the ground. No one knew how it happened, but they put the little arsonist in a detention program. The kid was practically in solitary confinement.
"You don't think..." Don started.
"Should we go find out?"
"How? We have no way to get there," he answers.
I smile "well, we do have one way."
"Road trip?" he says.
"No. Sky trip."
Don and I step outside. "I'm not sure how this works,” he says.
I take his waist, "just think altitude." He holds me close, but nothing happens. "Hold on," I say. I focus my energy on his feet. I try to lift him up. "Now just try to get to the sky. Think 'altitude'" Together we make our way up a good 15-20 feet in the air. Higher and higher. We look at each other. Smiles on our faces. Once high enough, we started moving towards Pittsburgh.
April 9 1:55pm
Matthias had many computer screens to monitor. He did this all by himself. That was his job. Monitor those they had captured, the ones they let go, and even the ones they hadn't brought in yet for testing. But Matthias had been questioning this company's motives. He'd seen subjects (and even some agents) get terminated for being out of line. They abduct people. Run tests. If the subject had a useful power they'll use them, force them to join by threatening their lives, and the lives of others. If the company feels the person/ power is too dangerous, the subject is either killed or stripped of said power. This company was dangerous. Matthias believed this with all his heart. He dreamt of escape. Freedom. Matthias wanted out. But what he didn't know (or understand) was: there is no out.
April 9, 2:07pm
Paul was surprised to be let out of his room. He was usually only let out of his room to eat, but other than that, he was confined. Paul was led down a hall that he didn't recognize.
"You have visitors" the man told him. Paul couldn't tell if he was telling the truth or not. He wondered if this was part of the conspiracy. Paul stepped into the room. A boy and a girl sat on the end of the table. They looked about his age. "Can we speak in private?" the girl asked. The guard was about to speak. "Go," the girl commanded. And the guard left. The girl aimed her hand toward the security camera, in the twitch of her fingers the cord was pulled out.
"What is going on?" Paul asked, "who are you?" Paul was scared, but he looked at the kids before him and saw that they were too.
The boy spoke up first, "my name in Don," he said, "and this is Jaden."
"Why are you here?" Paul asked (although he already thought he knew the answer).
"We’re here for you" Don answered, "we're here to get you out."
April 9, 2:25pm
"What do you mean 'get me out'?", Paul asked.
"We know you didn't mean to hurt anybody. We know it was an accident." Don said.
"We don't care about your past." Jaden added.
"Are you one of them?" Paul asked nervously.
"What do you mean?" Don asked.
"Are you part of the conspiracy?"
"What conspiracy?" Jaden asked.
"Two years ago I was abducted, the next morning I woke up to confusion and flames radiating off my hands. So I'll ask you again: why are you here?" Paul stood up with the palms of his hands aflame.
"Calm down" Don yelled.
"You remember?" Jaden said. This time she was the one confused.
Paul cooled down. "Yeah", he said, "I remember all of it."
"Then you'd know that there were three other kids that were there that day too." Jaden said. Don looked to Jaden, she nodded in silent agreement.
"My name is Don, this is my friend Jaden," then he hovered in mid-air, "we were there that night too."
"And we're here to help you get out," Jaden added.
April 9, 2:51pm
After Don and I explained the situation to Paul we told him our plan to get him out. So together we slunk down the hall. We made it the majority of the way unnoticed. But then they came once they saw us heading for the exit. Hundreds of guards came running at us. But there was no fear on either side. "Get down!" Paul yelled. We hit the ground as scorching flames flew by out heads. I saved Paul from getting clubbed in the head. Together, the three of us fought our way out. Once inside, most of the building had burned to the ground.
"What now?" I said.
"I'm not flying, not with two people on my shoulders," Don said.
"We need a car," Paul suggested. We weren't about to refuse.
I unlocked the doors with my mind (loved that) and started the car. Don got into the driver's seat, Paul was in the back, I remained by Don's side. "Where to?" Don asked. "New York City" Paul answered.
April 9, 10:39 pm
Deserae had gotten a call from Dr. Monroe. She walked into his office through the same back door that they always used. He said he may have found the answer.
"What is it?" she asked.
"I think I may have found the reason why you're changing into..." he couldn't quite bring himself to say the word.
"A beast?" she said, "I not afraid to say it."
"Have you ever witnessed a traumatic event?" he asks.
Deserae thinks back, she had been kidnapped (possibly) and her brother was dead. "My dog got hit by a car once," She answers. Deserae didn't even have a dog. Dr. Monroe seemed to know she was hiding something.
"Well, I believe that it's tied in with stress and anger hormones. And I believe this was triggered by a traumatic event." She just nodded, not really caring.
"So where's the cure?" Deserae asked.
"It's you," he answered, "I still have to run some tests, but, my belief remains that you can control this."
"But how!" she yelled. She wanted this out, she wanted it gone.
"Right now I can only give you a temporary medication." He takes a vial and a syringe out of the cabinet. He sits her down and shows her how to use it. "This should weaken the change, just for a while, you'll need to use it repeatedly throughout the day."
"So whenever it comes back I just shoot up again," she says.
"Don't think of it like that. Think of it as a human gene enhancement." Deserae takes her first shot. She looks at her fur- covered arms. Nothing happened. "It's in your system. Give it a while. Have hope." The doctor patted Deserae on the shoulder.
"I should go", she said. So she left with her cure and crept back into the night.
April 10, 6:04 am
We hadn't been home in a while. It's not that I missed it, I was just concerned. The three of us were taking our time getting to New York. Paul still hadn't told us why we needed to be there (that was why Don was going so slow).
"Can't you go any faster?" Paul asked.
Don just sighed, "I would if you told us what was so important about New York."
"The final person who was there that day, her name is Deserae Connors, she lives in New York."
"How do you know this?" I asked.
"Solitary confinement can do extraordinary things." Paul answered.
"Where does she live?" Don asked.
"She's homeless, but I have a plan for that," he answered.
"Good, that's all I needed to know." Don said, and then he sped up. We were off to find the last captive.
-End of part 2
April 10, 7:12 am
Deserae woke up to a pleasantly good feeling. She stretched out her arms and saw what she had hoped for months. No fur, no claws. She was normal. She took off in exasperation. Then she saw her reflection and almost couldn't believe it! She was practically jumping with joy as she stepped out of the alleyway and into the bright sunshine. It was almost too much to bear. But the longer she remained in the light, the higher her hopes had gotten. She walked around town with a joy and a pride she hadn't felt since the kidnapping. The kidnapping: something that would remain in her mind forever. When she though back to that terrifying day it consumed her with rage. It made her remember the promise she once made; her promise of revenge. The thought of revenge made her rage grow even more. It burned deep inside her. She tried not to let it get to her, but the idea of vengeance helped her to cope with the ugly reality. Deserae continued down the street. It was different for her now. No strange looks from passersby, the normality in just being alive without having to look over your shoulder. But this realization saddened her. Because she knew she was no longer normal, looking over her shoulder was a natural occurrence. She wasn't normal anymore, someone would figure this out, and they would come for her. If that "someone" wasn't on their way already.
April 10, 8:04am
We had arrived in New York City with the exhaustion as if we had just run a marathon. We were tired of sitting in this car for hours. Don parked us outside a gas station.
"So what now?" I asked Paul.
"We need to get out of the car and go further into the city." he answered. The three of us abandoned the car (it wasn't ours anyway), and we walked down the street, into the heart of the city.
"What are we looking for?" Don asked.
"Who," Paul corrected.
"Okay, so then who are we looking for?"
"Deserae Connors," Paul answered.
I was going to ask him how he knew, but then I remember that when he was in solitary confinement he had searched for the answers among conspiracies and in doing so, became obsessed. He came up with a lot of theories. Some seemed pretty crazy. But these crazy theories had become pretty accurate over these past few days. Paul was our leader, whether we wanted to accept it or not.
April 10, 9:32 am
After Deserae took her “victory lap” around the city; she went to see the man who made this all possible. She walked through the front door this time (it was her way of showing off), and there stood Dr. Monroe. It was as if he had been waiting for her. "Deserae" he said with surprise. She smiled. To her, the world just seemed brighter thanks to him.
"Congratulations" he said.
"Thank you" she replied.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
"I feel great!"
"That's good" Together that walked into his office. "I would like to continue my investigation of your abilities" he said.
"I wouldn't call it an ability" she replied.
"Your gift, then."
Deserae stood a bit taller and said, "I can change into a beast, grow claws as sharp as razor blades, fangs. I can strike fear into the heart of a serial killer, hell, I am a killer. So when you call this a gift, I call it a curse.“ Deserae laid her head down, ready for the tears she felt coming to her eyes.
Dr. Monroe came to console her. "You're not the villain in this story, Deserae. The people that did this to you are."
"The morning after that day, I saw my brother lying with claw marks and blood on his chest. I think I killed him and I think they made me do it." Deserae's "inner beast" was returning. Her heart beats quickened to a hyperventilating speed. Dr. Monroe tried to grab her, but she pushed him out of the way. He flew into the wall and was knocked out cold. Deserae ran out of the room and through the exit leaving a trail of screams behind her.
April 10, 10:00 am
Matthias rewound the security tape of a hospital. (The same hospital that Deserae just barged out of.) Michael runs into the room and to Matthias. "You called?" he said.
"Yeah, look at this." Matthias shows him the footage.
"This is Deserae Connors?" he asks. Matthias nods, confirming Michael's fear and amazement. Then Michael says to himself, "it worked."
April 10, 10:13am
Deserae runs faster than she ever had when she was normal. Run faster, jump higher, immense strength. Better than she ever was. However, this came at the expense of a fourteen year old girl. She didn't choose any of this. No one ever gave her a choice. Not even a chance. By now Deserae couldn't feel a thing. Once she arrived at her home she was too enraged for words. She was on a rampage! She began terrorizing her loft of a house, throwing things out doors and windows until there was nothing left except for a briefcase. She tore open the bag and dumped out its contents. Syringes, medication, and files marking her progress with Dr. Monroe.
She took out the vials of medication that Dr. Monroe had given her and clenched them in her hands until they shattered. She looked at her hand where broken glass should be, only to find nothing. No scars or pieces of glass in her hand. Nothing. She opened the file that held the results of every test Dr. Monroe had done. Her strength and speed had risen, as well as her IQ, hearing, and eye sight. Whatever happened to her, it had some advantages. The file also mentioned her lack of feeling. Maybe that was why she couldn't get hurt. Nothing could touch her. She was invincible. Or at least that was what she thought. But then she heard footsteps approaching.
April 10, 10:28 am
She looked around for a weapon to use, but then she realized: she was a weapon. Matter of fact that was probably why they were coming for her. But for whatever reason, they couldn't take her. Suddenly, survival became key. The footsteps grew louder. There were too many to fight. She made a decision. She grabbed Dr. Monroe's files, and ran toward the window as men in black uniforms busted down the door. She dived out the window (like a boss), plunging down the many story- tall building. Then, before hitting the ground, she vanished. And only a smoke-like mist remained.
April 10, 10:31am
Don, Paul, and I were walking downtown. We saw a crowd outside a building. People were stunned and confused.
"What happened?" Don asked to a bystander.
"A girl just jumped out the window of that building."
"Where's the girl?" I asked.
"That's just it, she vanished into thin air." one guy answered.
"I couldn't believe it," another person added, "it was like in the movies."
"Sounds like our girl," Paul said as we left the scene.
"So what exactly are we chasing?" Don asked.
"Who," I corrected.
"We don't even know if this girl exists!" Don yelled.
"That's what she does," Paul replies, "she stays hidden."
"Why," I asked.
"Because she can change into a beast," said a voice from behind us. "My name is Dr. Joseph Monroe; I have been helping Deserae ever since she came to me a couple weeks ago. We were making progress until-"
"Until what?" Don asked.
"She wanted to be normal. Human again. So I gave her something to help take the edge off, but as soon as she gets angry or scared she turns into a beast again. I was just trying to help but then she just stormed off." I could see that Dr. Monroe was taking the blame for this situation.
"It's not your fault," I say. He looks at me, but I know he doesn't believe my reassurances.
"Dr. Monroe, do you have any idea where she might've run off to? Anywhere that would make her feel safe?" Don asks.
"I don't know" he replies.
"What about a place from her past?" Paul asks.
"I don't know, "he says, "her brother would always take her to this park, he would push her on the swing when she was younger, she always seemed to hurt herself on something."
"Thank you." I said.
Then we left, nervous, proud, and scared.
April, 10, 10:43am
Deserae opens her eyes. She sits up. Energy pulses through her veins like never before. Her new locations and nervousness are too much. She doesn't know where she is or how she got there. Deserae can't focus on anything. But then she notices something in the distance. A swing set. She was at a park, the same one that her brother would take her to. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she could see three figures approaching. They looked oddly familiar.
Deserae stood in a defensive stance, ready and prepared for a fight. They came closer. She could see their faces. This filled her with a feeling of pain. She knew the thought of them was a reminder of a pain or an event that caused her pain. The three figures were talking to each other. She couldn't hear what it was about, which made her feel angry with her lack of control. Then, one figure stepped closer. At which point, fear settled in.
April 10 10:44 am
We spotted Deserae at the park, just like the doctor had said. Don, Paul, and I talked about our method of action.
"Let's all just go together" Don said.
"No, that might make her feel endangered." I replied.
"Yeah, maybe just one of us then?" Paul suggested.
"I'll do it," I said.
"You don't know what you're up against" Paul said.
"Oh, and you do?" Don said angrily.
"Yes" he answered.
"Well, then why don't you go tell her!" Don said, almost yelling.
I put my hand on Paul's shoulder, "Just go," I said. And he left without another word.
Paul made his way cautiously to Deserae. "Why did I have to volunteer?" he said to himself. "This was the stupidest idea ever" he thought. And this was completely true. Paul took one more step, and then he stopped. Deserae looked right at him.
"Hello," he said to her, but she kept a blank expression. He carefully moved closer while saying "I'm not going to hurt you. I just want-" the rest of his speech was cut short because after one step, Deserae attacked. She knocked him to the ground. He was pinned and immobilized. But out of the corner of his eye he could see his two friends laughing at him.
"What's the point of telling you this?" Don asked.
"Why would I tell you?" Percius replied.
"Wow, answering a question with another question. Good call." Paul says.
"I thought it was," he replied, "so that's how you four came together."
"Well, I never said that Paul's attempt worked." I say with a cracked smile.
April 10, 10:47am
Deserae continued to hurt Paul. Then, we realized that this was no longer funny. Don and I ran to Paul's aid. "Deserae!" I shouted. She looked up. Our eyes met. I could see the rage, it was the cause of her inner-beast and her hatred of society, it controlled her.
"How do you know my name?" she asked scornfully.
"I know a lot of things," I answered, "I also know the truth. That's something you want, right? The truth? Answers?" I added.
"Who are you people?" she asked.
Paul stood up, while wiping off the dirt on his jean and said, "We're the good guys."
"We're like you," Don added.
"I wouldn't be so sure" Deserae said. Paul and I looked at Don. In a nod of his head he felt himself being lifted into the air. "How about now?" Don said. Deserae just stared in memorization.
"I thought I was all alone," she said.
"Well, surprise" Paul said. I saw as Deserae smiled, some of the "Beast" in her subside. And that, truly, is how the four of us came together. We didn't decide to destroy the program and all its partners until a good week or so later. (About the same time Percius arrived)
April 21, 9:04am (5 years later- from present time)
We lived off the streets for a while. Okay it was more like a long while. It wasn't easy, but eventually we found a nice place. Okay, it wasn't perfect, matter of fact it was kind of eerie. It was an old orphanage. Abandoned for years. No one had touched that place in forever.
"Wow, it's perfectly eerie, and downcast, all for us outcasts." Paul said as he set down our one bag of luggage.
Don walked past Paul and said "You're an idiot."
"Spell 'idiot' farm boy!" Paul yelled to him. Don came back, he took that personally.
"You don't talk about my family or my background." Don said, ready for a fight.
All four of us had left our families. Our pasts were forgotten. We had a new home in this place called Devils Lake, North Dakota. A new home. A new future. We didn't have much of a plan. It's not like we knew much about this secret organization. My guess is that that's why it's called a "secret". The four of us began our search. Paul seemed to know the most. With our knowledge of how they seemed to operate, we could find hidden clue. And these clues led us to a hospital. But the real action wasn't up top. It was below.
April 21, 3:13pm
We entered together. United in fear, but not shaken to Earth. Don took my hand. We looked at each other. He let go.
"We need to get below ground" Paul said.
"How are we supposed to do that?" Deserae asked.
I look to Don for ideas. "Magic?" he says. All four of us step onto the elevator.
"I saw this on a movie once," Don says. He looks over the buttons on the panel. "There should be one that's out of place, an odd button out," Don adds as he continues looking.
"You're an idiot" Paul says.
"Yeah, I know, but let me just check this out." Don says.
"What are we looking for exactly?" I ask.
"One of these buttons should take us to the underground." Don says.
"And what makes you think that the panel of buttons is the answer?"Deserae asked. Don looks at her. In her hand she holds a phone, the kind that would be used to call for help if the elevator got stuck.
April 21, 3:15pm
Now Don was just guessing combinations. Paul was focused on possibilities. But I was focused on answers. I, Jaden Pillard, was a "By- nature" problem solver. I looked at the numbers, saw the possibilities, focused my energies, and in a click of an epiphany, I knew the answer. I shoved Paul and Don out of my way and pressed the numbers. 1-4-0-6-8-9-2. Then we all held our breath and braced ourselves for the unknown. The “unknown”, by the way, was the thick, dark, nothingness that we found ourselves being dropped several feet into.
April 21, 3:15pm
It's kind of peaceful, really, just falling; the feeling of the air. It's a wondrous feeling, really... minus the screams. Oh, and did I mention the gut- wrenching fear. I didn't know when it would end, but I'm guessing the "how" part didn't look too bright either. Don grabbed my hand, he took Paul's too. By now, we knew that Deserae couldn't be hurt. We still looked at her anyway. She gave us a shaky nod as we (Don, Paul, and I) were lifted up a little. We heard a thud, Paul whispered to me "at least we know there's an end." Don brought us carefully to the ground. We couldn't see much. It was dim, but visible enough for us to know we were walking down a long corridor. I jumped as somebody grabbed my shoulder.
It was just Deserae. "Took ya long enough" she said. The four of us continued down the hall. We tried to look for anything that we could remember, but there was nothing of the sort. I guess it made sense, figuring that our memories were wiped. It gave me an eerie feeling. I couldn't stop looking over my shoulder. Don took my hand; it made me feel a bit better. I wondered why no one was coming to capture us again. I worried about what would happen next. Fear and paranoia, my greatest weaknesses, began to settle in.
Then they came. Swarming like flies. We were surrounded by guards. Our instincts told us to fight. So we did. Deserae was fast, agile, and deadly- that is, in beast form. Don was us high, while Paul and I worked side by side. I could control the movement of just about anything (Paul's flames were included). This was the first time the four of us had fought together. We were awesome, unstoppable. I was kind of impressed with myself. But then came round two.
April 21, 3:28pm
They came by the dozen. After the first round I began to get tired, this second one was too much. All of us were tired, we couldn't fight any longer. So I gave in to the pain, and dropped in an instant. The ground felt warm, but then I realized that was because I was lying next to Paul. He was down, bleeding fire. Each of us had fallen. Deserae was screaming in pain. Don started telling me something, but I couldn't quite hear it. Because that's when the world started spinning.
-End of part 3
April 21, 3:31pm
Matthias Lee and Michael watched the cameras. They had just witnessed four past test subjects fight for their lives.
Michael was impressed. "I guess the boss underestimated these four," Michael thought.
"Yeah, I guess so" Matt responded.
"Will you quit reading my mind?!" Michael yelled.
"Ow! Okay, okay!" Matthias cringed, "what about you? Will you stop bossing me around?"
"I don't have powers like you. You freely work for us." Michael said.
Matthias says, under his breath, "Yeah, you mean I work for free without a choice." Matthias watched the four kids being dragged away, almost entirely sure that they were about to face the same fate as him.
April 21, 3:33pm
Each of us were placed in different rooms. It looked exactly like the ones we left behind so many years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if I was in the same cell. "Don" I yelled, in hopes that he could hear me.
"I'm afraid not, friend," a voice answered.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Percius, but you can call me Percy. So what did you do to land yourself in a cell like this?" he asked me.
"My friends and I broke in here, in an effort to destroy this place." I said.
"What kinds of gifts do you and your friends have?" he asked.
I wasn't sure if I should answer, not sure you of who to trust. "I'm sorry, but I don't know you so I would prefer to keep my secret."
"Oh, I understand. I have the ability to produce and control water and ice," he said.
He continued to talk to me. "About your idea to destroy this facility, I'm afraid it won't work."
"Why not?" I asked.
"This place is heavily guarded, well armed, and ready to kill those who rebel. Escape and attacks are two things that this facility excels in preventing. There's only one way in, but no way out."
April 21, 4:21pm
Deserae was beginning to feel paranoid. She couldn't help being afraid. This knowledge of fear just made her angry. She began to beat the walls with her bare hands. She was screaming until she heard a voice.
"Relax, friend," the voice (Percius) said.
"I don't relax!" she yelled.
"Well then maybe calming down is a thing you should consider" the voice responded.
Deserae tried to slow down her fast paced breathing, but couldn't. Her anger became more consuming; she began to morph into her beast. Changing into the beast always caused her unbearable pain. She yelled in agony, then she started to cry.
"Are you trying to calm yourself friend?" the voice asked.
"Yes!" she said, though her efforts were useless.
The voice knew this, so he continued to help her, "just try to bring your heart rate down. Relax, breathe in and out, slowly. Calm destroys rage."
As Deserae does as he says, she could feel her claws slipping back under her skin and the fur disappearing from sight.
"Feel better?" the voice asks.
"Yes. Thank you" she responds with a sigh.
"I'm Percy" the voice says.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Deserae," he says, "May I ask you a question, Deserae?"
"Sure,” she answers.
"Now that you've finished your 'all caps rage', do you mind letting me get some sleep?"
Deserae smiles, but says and does nothing more.
April 21, 4:53pm
After a while of being alone, we were all placed in a larger room. It looked like one of those interrogation rooms you would see in all the crime dramas. We just sat down and waited for our enemy’s next move. No one talked. Our expressions did the talking. We were going to stop this program one way or another. But there were more pertinent issues to solve first, like getting out of this room. Then, to our surprise, the door opened. It was Michael. He looked a little different since I last saw him, scruffier. He looked angry, scary almost.
"It seems we have underestimated you," he says.
"Who is 'we'" Paul asks.
"Paul, has anyone told you that you're a terrible liar?" Michael retorted.
"Michael, has anyone told you that you're terrible at first impressions?"
Michael doesn't pay any attention to Paul's remark, he just carries on with his speech. "I know you four probably have already prepared a poetic defiance speech, but right now, all I want you to do is listen. I'm guessing at least one of you has been wondering why we haven't killed you already. I supposed it makes sense how you would see it that way. I can see rage in your eyes. You're looking for your opening, your chance to strike. Believe it or not, I understand you. I understand how the thought of vengeance can so easily obscure the line dividing right and wrong."
Michael was about to say more, but I interrupted with my own thoughts. "I believe we can see the dividing line just fine."
"Or at least well enough to see what side of it you're standing on." Don adds.
"Do you?" Michael asks.
There was a moment of question, but then, Deserae spoke up. "Yes," she said defiantly, "you hurt people, you hurt us, you made us this way."
"No we didn't. We didn't make you this way. You were already born with the gifts that you have. All we did was wait. We thought we could find a way to activate it, your powers, but had no such luck. So then we sent you back into the world, and then, to our surprise, your powers activated. People were sent to retrieve you four, but they were too naive, they didn't anticipate the capabilities of you powers. Neither did we. We underestimated your capabilities."
I had to admit, it was a pretty convincing speech. It made me think for a second, but I was still in denial of it.
"Why should we believe you?" Paul asked.
"You don't have a choice.” Michael says. “If you can't beat us, then join us."
"And if we say no?" Don asks.
"Don't say no." Michael says, "Think about it." Then he leaves.
April 21, 5:13pm
Once he left, some guys came to take us back to our rooms. The hall was almost empty. I looked at Don. He was studying the structure of the building, looking for cameras, guards, entrances, and exits. Paul looked nervous, like he knew something was going to happen, and something did.
Deserae stopped. Guards tried to push her, but she wouldn't move. One guard pulled out a gun, he was about to shoot her when, in an instant, she went into "fight mode". She set the “Beast” loose. Paul set one guy on fire. Deserae tore skin, broke limbs. Everything else was too graphic to even describe. After Paul and Deserae took out all the guards, Don flew up to the cameras and disabled them. Once this was done, they all looked at me for a second.
I didn't know what to say or do next. "Well, let's go!" Deserae yelled. We ran down the halls. We came to some rooms/cells. I could see the innocent captives.
"Wait," I said.
"For what?!" Paul yelled.
I used my ability to unlock all the cell doors. All the captives stepped out. "Come on!" I screamed. More guards were coming. "We better hurry, Jaden" Don shouted to me. I could barely hear him over the frightened exclaims of the other captives. We all ran to the bolted double doors, I took care of that easily. Continuing through the "death" corridor we finally came to an elevator. One elevator. There was no way we could all fit in that tiny thing.
"Stairs?" Paul suggested.
"Any ideas, my fearless leader?" Don said to me.
I was no leader. I wasn't even the smartest. I have no clue how I was thrust into this position, oh wait, I remember, it was when I got kidnapped by three men from a facility that preys on innocent lives!
"Don, you and Paul should find another exit, take half the captives. Deserae and I will take the rest out through the elevator and hope we don't die."
"Okay" Don said, "Good luck."
"Right back atcha." I said in reply. Then life as we knew it started to change… again.
April 21, 5:22pm
Deserae and I crammed as many people as we could into the elevator. We slowly made our way to the top. I hoped that this wasn't a trap. I had lived too long, made it too far for it to end like this. Then, the moment of truth and fate finally came as the doors slid open. Three guards stood before us, guns drawn. Deserae got ready to strike, but to our own amazement, two of the three guards turned to ice. The last remaining one took off his helmet and said, "My name is Percius, and I just saved your ass!" I didn't know what to say. I knew the voice, now I had a face to go with it.
"You're Percy? Deserae asked.
"Yes, Deserae, now come on, we don't have much time," Percy said with a nod as he safely led us out of the building.
Paul, Don, and the other captives were already waiting for us when we ran out.
"Do you think they'll follow us?" one of the captives asked.
"They wouldn't risk it" Paul said in an assuring voice, but in truth, we didn't have a clue if they were still down there or right behind us.
April 21, 6:07pm
The four of us helped the other escapees on their way to a new and better life. After that, we found our way home to our abandoned place in Devil's Lake. "Home sweet..... ah, who am I kidding? This place sucks." Paul says as he lays on the couch/bed. All of us were tired, tired of running, tired of sleeping in a spooky orphanage. We needed something different. Something new. And there is was, knocking on our door.
April 21, 6:09pm
Percy was nervous, but he was always nervous. Ever since he was kidnapped at the age of five he’s been like this. But Deserae, she had somehow made him feel better. These four were like him. Percy had followed them here. So, with all his hope and strength, he knocked on the door. Don opened the door to him. "Can we help you?" he asked.
Percy didn't know what to say, "uuuuuhhhhh....."
Don smiled and said "Ah, I'm just kidding, Percy! I heard how you saved Jaden and Deserae. Come on in."
Don practically had to pull him inside. Percy was experiencing a number of emotions, far too many for him to process anything.
"Anything you want, you got it. Consider it our paid debt." Don said as he led Percy to the main room. "Welcome to the team." Don said with a smile. Percy smiled too, but for a whole different reason.
"You essentially know everything that happened after that." I say with a sigh.
"I don't care, continue!" he yells.
"Percy, what are you doing down here? Why aren’t we dead? And you?" I ask.
"It doesn't matter. I ask the questions!" Percy sounds angry, but he looks scared, like he's in a rush.
"Well then maybe it's time for a change of pace," Deserae suggests calmly.
"You were the first person to suggest it," Don adds.
Three years ago....
July 1, 10:17am
We hadn't given up on our mission, we were just taking a break from it, trying to be normal for once. But it's hard to be in hiding (at an abandoned orphanage) due to being in possession of mind-melding/ kick-ass super powers all while going about a normal life. It just doesn't work. We had to make a choice: be normal and remain in hiding (at the same time), or prepare for our full on/ all out battle against our once captors now enemy/nemesis/every terrible expression you could think of.
"I think it's time for a change of pace." Percy says, "at least for a while."
"I agree with Percy" Deserae says.
"You always agree with Percy" Paul responds. Paul always seemed a little jealous when Deserae was with Percy.
"What kind of change did you have in mind?" I asked.
"I don't know, but I just want out of this place. Let's just move somewhere new!" Percy exclaims.
"This place is kind of creepy" Don says.
I look at Percy, "any place you had in mind?" I ask.
"I've always been a fan of the UP of Michigan," Percy answers.
July 7, 11:50pm
We had made it to Michigan, we just weren't sure what to do after that.
"We came, we saw, we conquered.... can we go home now?" Paul asked.
"This is home," Percy said.
"No, this is the middle of Nowhere" Paul argued.
"It's Houghton, not Nowhere" Don noted.
"Whatever," Paul said disappointedly.
"I'm tired, can we rest?" Deserae moaned.
"Let's go a little bit further" I said.
Everyone seemed to moan in unison. We kept walking until we made it to a campground. There was a huge cabin. It seemed empty.
"Let's find a way inside" I said.
"Are you crazy?" Paul yells, "they've written horror stories about this!"
"Come on, how can you be scared? You can throw fire!" Don shouts.
"I don't care, I'm not going in there" Paul says.
"Yes you are" Percy says.
"Make me," Paul responds while he crosses his arms.
"Alright, friend, but I warned you." Percy get's ready to leap, then he grabs Paul by the shoulders and thrusts him through the window. Suddenly, he started screaming. We jumped through the window after him. Paul stopped screaming. "Somebody's here" Paul whispers. We thought he was just over reacting. But we went silent just in case. And then we heard it.
July 7, 11:57pm
It was getting closer, then we heard a loud creak. Paul tossed a flame at the sound. We saw a shadow move. Paul held the fire close to provide some lighting.
“Who are you" Don yelled.
"Who are you" yelled the shadow, "why are you here breaking into my house?"
"We're running," I say, "We're tired, we just wanted to lie down, get some rest for the night." To our surprise, the lights turned on. A man walked toward us.
"What are you running from," he asks.
"The correct question would be 'who'" Percy says.
"Who then?" the man asks.
We weren't too sure if we could trust him with the answer. With the truth. But then he surprised us.
"Castle." he says, "They kidnapped you, tested your strengths and weaknesses. I can only imagine the pain and confusion you were going through at the time. And what you must feel now."
"How do you know all this?" Paul asked.
Then he replied with something none of us were expecting, "because I created it."
-End of part four
July 8, 12:00am
At the realization of this, Don was filled with a vengeful rage. He grabbed the man and carried him into the sky. "How could you create something so evil!" Don yelled as he flew the man higher and higher.
"We didn't make you this way. " the man said.
"So you're telling me that I was just born this way?" Don asked.
"Yes" he replied.
"I don't believe that for a second."
"It's the truth... think about it."
Don had to think about this, question this new thought. Slowly, Don lowered the man back to the ground. “Then explain," Don said.
Don had placed the man before the others. They gathered around him. Paul punched him in the face, "you son of a-"
"Paul!" Jaden stopped Paul from finishing his sentence.
"Tell us the truth behind Castle." Don said. The five kids had their arms crossed and held a similar gaze of frustration.
"It started out small. Just a few guys and me. Two of them were doctors, the other four were scientists.
"What about you?" Deserae asked.
"I was just a business man. I was just a face to begin with. The person that the world would see. But the more suggestions I made, the more questions I asked, the more they trusted me.”
"What kind of suggestions?" Percy asked.
"When we formed the group it didn't even have a name."
"What kind of suggestions!" Percy yelled.
"We didn't really know what we were doing. We were just researchers."
Paul held a flame in his hand to speed his tongue.
"I suggested that instead of just finding them, we bring them in. You know, run some tests, se 'em face- to -face. But it was only 'catch and release'. No one was meant to get hurt." he said.
"Yeah, that must not have lasted very long," Deserae said.
"Once they started hurting people I left the group.
"I bet" Paul said sarcastically.
"It's true," he said.
"You couldn't try to change their minds, make them see you way?" Jaden asked.
"You've been there. Do you really think they'd listen?" he said.
Their angered looks softened. "Exactly," the man said. "Why are you here Mr...." Don started. "Thomas. Mr. William Thomas Glover. But I prefer the middle name." he said.
"Why are you here Mr. Thomas?" Don repeated, "Most people don't live in a log cabin in the middle of 'no where'"
"After I left, I went to the authorities about the program. My colleagues tried to stop me. They even sent someone to kill me. But I wasn't home at the time. They planned to blow me up, but like I said I wasn't home. But my wife and kids were. I've been hiding here for twenty three years. In case they ever were to find out I was still alive. Who would look in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?"
They all held solemn faces as they stepped back inside the log cabin. All expect Percy, who was suppressing a smile.
July 8, 10:00pm
We spent the rest of the day talking about our life stories. Or at least, the parts we could remember. Thomas listened to us intently. He wanted to know everything. How we felt, what we thought, what the rooms looked like, how the doctors and agents acted, everything. It was like he didn't know anything. "It's changed so much since I was there." Thomas said, "everything is different now." We continued our conversation until about midnight. After that, we went to sleep. Thom got us some pillows. All of us slept on the floor. But if we had known what was coming the next day, we wouldn't have been sleeping at all.
July 9, 1:04am
Percy opened his eyes. He scanned the room with his eyes, making sure no one is awake. He knew what he had to do. They had prepared him for this day. Lives were at stake. It was a matter of security. These people were a threat to the world. They had to die. Percy pulled out his gun. He aimed it first at Paul. Percy breathed calmly. Placing a finger on the trigger, preparing to shoot, he closed his eyes. But he couldn't do it. He knows he can't go home until the mission is done. He hasn't seen his family in over twelve years. The job had to be finished. He aimed the gun at Paul again. His heart was racing now. Percy pulled the trigger as hard and as fast as he could. But all he heard was a click.
He kept pulling the trigger, but nothing was happening. Just clicks. Thomas stepped out of the shadows and walked toward Percy. "It needs bullets in order to work, and I took 'em all out while you were asleep." Thomas said, "So, you work for Castle."
"I have to. It's the only way I'll be able to see my family again. They said they'd help me if I help them. I own them this," Percy responds.
"So what was plan Percy? Kill us in our sleep?" Thom asks, continuing to move closer to Percy. "Tactically, that plan was inept.”
“It was stupid! It wouldn't have worked. The gun shots would wake us all up."
"What are you going to do?" Percy asks.
Thom looks at Percy, he can see how scared he is. "I'm not going to do anything." Thom says, "but if I were you, I'd be gone by sunrise." Percy stands motionless. "Go," Thom says, almost to the point of shouting at him, "go". So Percy leaves the cabin and runs into the woods. But then he stops, takes out his phone, and makes a call.
July 9, 1:23am
Percy dials the number of his boss at Castle. "Sir," he says, "I found William Thomas, I have the other targets as well. But, I thought instead of killing them we could just take them as prisoners. See what they know, maybe we could use them?" Percy listens for his boss' response. "Yes, sir. I'll text you my location." Then Percy hangs up, gives his boss the location, and waits for the team to come and put his plan into action.
July 9, 4:28am
Thomas had woken us up fairly early. But by now we were used to waking up at around five in the morning. Only this felt different. I sensed an urgency in Thom's voice as he spoke to us. I knew the others felt it too. Then I realized that Percy was missing. Had Percy been captured?
"Where's Percy?" I asked.
"He's gone." Thom said, "Percy had been misguided, he's not coming back."
"Not ever?" Deserae asks."
“Not ever," Thom replies, "I'm afraid we have to move."
“Who said you had the authority to make the decision of where and when we go?" Paul said angrily.
"We're not going anywhere" Don said.
"Then I guess you just sentenced yourselves to death, because agents are coming to kill us," Thom said.
I could tell by his tone and expressions that he wasn't kidding. "I agree with Thom." I said. Since I was their leader (for the most part) they had to agree. Or at least go along with it under protest.
July 9, 4:35am
We ran through the woods swiftly, dodging trees and other obstacles. I was in a zone of complete focus. Thom was leading us. He was pretty fast for a fifty year old man. I had to sprint just to keep up with him.
The problem with sprinting at full speed is that you get tired really fast and from what I've seen and heard, you're the most vulnerable when you're tired.
July 9, 4:41am
Percy waits in a trees. He remains perfectly silent, and listens. He hears footsteps approaching. It's not long until he spots his targets running in his direction. Percy gets ready to jump. They're getting closer. Once they were directly under him, he took Deserae. It was easy since she was at the end of the line. One hand over her mouth, the other around her waist kept her quiet. Suddenly, Deserae changed into her beast. The two fought for a moment, but once she realized it was Percy, she stopped fighting. She returned to her normal self.
After they stopped trying to kill each other, there was a short pause before they kissed. "I thought you were dead" Deserae said between kisses, "I was so worried." "Well you don't have to worry anymore" Percy replied.
The kissing continued for a few more seconds. But then Percy held her in front of him. "Everyone is in danger," Percy said urgently, "they're coming to kill us all. We need to run!" But it was too late, because by the time he said "run" they were already surrounded.
Bullets were dispersed from all directions. Percy stepped in front of Deserae to protect her from the bullets. He fell to the ground bleeding profusely. Deserae held him close as he died in her arms. Some agents tried to take Deserae and the "dead" Percy. Deserae was about to go Beast, but then they shot her with a tranquilizer dart. Many darts. Then Deserae's world went dark, both literally and emotionally.
-End of part five
July 9 9:48am
I woke up to a throbbing head ache. I hadn't had one like this in a while. I had no idea where I was. It didn't look like a prison. The room was bright. I was lying on a small bed. There was a door, but it was locked from the outside. Since I had nothing better to do, I took a look around. There was a chest full of clothes, white shirt, gray sweat pants, and a black hooded sweat shirt. There were about five pairs of these. Above the chest was a shelf with one book. But it was all Cyrillic letters; I couldn't understand any of it. I could hear footsteps in the hall, and talking, lots of talking. It sounded like they were getting ready to move something. They said something about using caution while transporting it (them). the rest of the conversation was hard to hear, even with my ear to the door. I decided to lay back down on the bed. I lay there, but I couldn't help wondering about what they were transporting. The longer I lay on that bed, the more tired I got. But my relaxation was cut short when two men walked through the door.
I stood up for some reason, thinking I could defend myself. One guy injected me with a slight sedative. My body was fighting it. The two guys took me by the arms and walked me down the hall. I drowsily walked as they pushed me along. I glanced and saw Deserae walking beside me. She seemed to be under the same sedative as me.
Eventually, all four of us were slowly being nudged along the long hallway. "This looks different in the dark" Deserae mumbles. This makes me stop for a second. I can't help but agree. Then it hits me, we were back at our captor’s base. We were the volatile subjects they spoke about moving. So, where were they taking us? And why were they calling us dangerous?
July, 9, 10:01am
I dozed off after a while. I'm guessing the guys carried me the rest of the way, because I woke up in a large room, cuffed to a table. The room looked like a cafeteria that you'd see in a school. But it had a gymnasium look and a gymnasium sound. There were four tables. We were each cuffed to one of them. We lay as close to each other as possible. There was still a gap between us all. Even extending my arm as far as I could I still couldn't reach Don.
"Don!" I whisper, in an effort to wake him up, "Don!"
He slowly opened his eyes. "What?" he says drowsily.
"Are you alright?" I ask him.
"Yeah," he responds, "where do you think we are?"
"Back to where we started," I answer. Neither of us liked the sound of that. Within minutes, Deserae and Paul woke up. It was perfect timing too, because that's when our old "friend" Michael walked in.
July, 9, 10:05am
"Oh good, you're awake!" Michael says with a smile (or smirk you could call it). A bunch of agents came in. "Congratulations, you get to move again." Michael says.
"Why are you moving us?" Paul asks.
"You'll see," Michael answers with the same smirk as always. We didn't have much of a choice. So were followed them as they led us further down into the belly of the beast.
I was studying my surroundings. Taking note of the turns, cameras, guards, rooms, everything. By the time we arrived at the new cell, I had a mental map of this place.
July 9, 10:06am
Matthias Lee watches the four kids being led off to another, more secure, cell. He can't help feeling sorry for them. He knows how they feel. He also knows what's going to happen next. This is exactly what they did to try to recruit him and his friend. Matthias just prays that no one says no. Otherwise, they'll suffer the same fate as his friend. And his friend is dead.
July 9, 10:07am
The cell we were placed in was completely empty. Nothing unusual. I was beginning to get used to the dull and bland decor. We sat down on the floor with one arm dangling from our cuffs that were attached to the wall.
Michael just stood there. It looked like he was waiting for something. Then he went into what sounded like a semi-rehearsed speech. "You're probably asking yourselves why you're here. I'm sure most people would be wondering too. That is, if they still believed you were alive.alt." I didn't know what he was talking about until he showed us the newspaper. Front page. "Your lives are over, but I'm here to offer you a new one," he says, "come and work for us."
"Is this the same 'us' that tried to kill us a little over a day ago?" Don asked.
"We underestimated your potential."
"Poked us with needles." Deserae added.
"We tried to access your powers. The tests were necessary. Everything was necessary."
"I'm sure it seemed necessary from your side of things. But we were on the other end of that needle. The captive. We would never work for such a torturous enemy." Deserae says proudly. Michael stared at us for a moment, then, instead of a comeback, he left.
July 10, 6:14am
This cell was beginning to make me feel claustrophobic. I was starting to feel my skin peeling away where the cuff was squeezing my wrist. I could hear footsteps walk past the door, followed by a long, loud scream, then a sudden pop. We all held our breaths in silence. The footsteps continued away from us.
"What do you think is going on out there?" Paul asks, even though he's usually the one with all the speculations.
"Where is Percy?" I ask.
"He's dead." Deserae says. There's no emotion or anything in her voice as she responds, "And my guess is that fate isn't very far from us" she adds. Sadly, I couldn't help but agree....
We remained in that cell for week with minimal food and water. Michael would come in every so often to try to gain our trust, but each time, we turned him down. It was somewhat painful conditions, but manageable… until those conditions changed.
August 13, 7:42am
I woke up strapped to a machine in what looked like an experimental lab. There was an IV in my arm and another machine nearby to monitor my breathing and brainwaves. I wanted to scream, but I couldn't. Then, someone injected me with something. All I could do was watch as they did they same to the others. I began to feel a burning sensation. It pulsed through my veins, slowly intensifying until it became an unbearable pain. An unceasing agony that I could, in no way, avoid. So I gave in, and once I did, the pain weakened.
All of a sudden, a bunch of scientist guys circled around my brainwave monitor, gasping in awe as if they'd just cracked the code of some phenomenon. One of them was cheering, saying that “he'd found it”. Whatever "it" was it sounded pretty important because the head chief, Jacob came in to see what they found. "Good work" he said as he looked at the results of the test. "Keep me updated as you continue" and then he walked out of the room with a smile on his face.
-Four months ago-
February 3, 9:30am
I rested on my bed. I didn't move. I just laid there, looked at the ceiling, wishing for a way out. But escape was pointless. It had already been done and my guess was that they'd fixed any flaws in their system. Michael opened the door. "Jaden" he said, "it's your turn." So I got up and left with Michael. I wasn't sure if the others were dead or alive, but my heart had grown so cold that I just didn't care anymore. I just sat through the tests and did anything they said. They had me use my gift. The called it a miracle. It’s not very scientific, I know, but it was almost nice to be away from the idea that my body was just a science experiment. They had watched with amazement as I dragged objects that weighed half a ton without even touching it. They also gave me psychological tests. They wanted to know how I felt when I used it, how I activate it. I openly answered their questions. I freely did whatever they asked. A long time ago I had told myself never to work for these people. But now, not only was I working for them, I was practically one of them. And while I held a proud face, in truth, I had lost all hope.
"But now I see you standing here before us, you've given me back my hope and relinquished my desires" I say.
"For what?" Percy asks.
"My desire to kill you."
"And why is that?"
"Because you betrayed us. You handed us over to them. So don't act so innocent, as if you did nothing wrong."
"You're right," he responds, "I shouldn't be making this about me, let's keep talking about you."
Two days ago-
June 1, 8:56pm
They laid me down on a slab of steel and placed a board of sorts over my body. It felt cold. It seemed to be molding to my figure. I wanted to move, but I couldn't. Suddenly, I felt a jabbing pain in my side and then, slowly, the cold and pain went away until I felt nothing. I started to remember everything I'd forgotten. Or what I thought I'd forgotten. Everything I'd went through over the years had become so jumbled I was beginning to forget my mission. The plan at first was driven by revenge, then by anger. But what was it now? Was there even a mission anymore? Was this plan all for nothing? My mind shifted back to the mission. I remembered everything. The abduction, the days after, the years spent searching, the times where we'd just about given up, the times we were running. I'm not running anymore.
I felt angrier than I'd ever felt before. I could feel pain again. It hurt with a torturous strain. But that only fueled my anger. The ground began to shake. My metal- like coffin burst into a thousand pieces. I sat up as if under a trance, controlled by my consuming anger. The anger of which I unleashed on the guards and the others who thought they could destroy me! I fought with all my power and strength. Killing them one by one until all that remained a pool of blood marked with bits of bone and flesh. I was conscious and aware of what was happening, but I couldn't do anything to stop myself. And the worst part of it all was that I didn't want to stop. I defeated them with the abilities that they were once in awe of. Now they fear it.
I used my abilities to unlock the bolted door. Then, I made my way to Michael's office. I burst in and glared at him with a look on my face of a rabid animal. But Michael wasn't alone. Matthias looked at me and then, instantaneously, my head hurt, a nose bleed followed by light-headedness. Moments later, everything went dark......again.
June 2, 12:01pm
Matthias watches as they move Jaden's body into yet another room. Michael joins him. "I didn't mean to knock her out for this long," Matthias says. The other three, Jaden's partners in this destruction all had the same reason to the casket test (which is apparently when they literally mold a cocoon or coffin to your body and essentially leave you in there while they take notes and test how you react to near death experiences… like being trapped in a coffin- for days). So now they have no other choice but to execute them. Matthias knew this, but still asked, "What’s going to happen to them?" Michael looked at him with almost grief stricken eyes and said "we have to put 'em down like the rabid animals they are." And then he walked away.
"But here we are," I say, "alive and breathing. How? Or more importantly: why?" I could see the look on his face, and that told me everything I needed to know.....
Percy walked down the halls, searching for Michael. He saw him talking to Matthias, once Michael walked away, he ran to catch up with him.
"Michael" he yelled, as he ran to Michael's side.
"What is it, Percy?"
"Have the four kids been executed yet?"
"No," Michael looked at Percy, analyzing his every movement and feature. Something was off. "You aren't feeling attached to the four test subjects are you?" he asked.
"Of course not," Percy responded, "but maybe they don't have to die, you could erase their memories, make them forget, you've done it before."
"They'd lose eight years."
"What if you just took certain memories, have them just forget this place, the people here, they could know about everything else, couldn't they?"
"Memory swiping is a complicated endeavor."
"I could help," Percy says," they trust me"
"They also think you're dead."Michael explains.
"They don't have to know it's me. Keep them blind so they won't see my face. I can act like someone else. I can act like you!"
Michael pauses to think, "fine, as long as you stay detached from them, especially Deserae. I've seen the way you act around her."
"You don't have to worry about me. I can handle this," Percy said proudly, but the look on his face as he walked away showed something else entirely.
Percy walked down the empty halls. There were many rooms that housed the more dangerous projects. Percy opened a small latch to look inside the room. There was a young kid inside, maybe seven or eight years old. It was impossible to tell if he was dead or alive. Percy held in his emotions. He moved along.
Once he reached the end of the hall, he opened the final latch and saw his four friends lying on the ground. He wasn't sure if they were alive either, until he looked and saw smoke coming from Paul's hands. Percy called over a guard and made a request for four chairs and some rope. He watched as the four were tied into their chairs. "Thank you" he said as the guard left. The guard looked at him gloomily, huffed, and moved on.
Percy looked at them with sorrow, pity almost. He didn't know what to do, so he left the room and walked back upstairs to his room and closed his eyes, waiting for something to happen. And not long after he lay down, something did happen. A woman named Elisa walked in.
"Hey," she gives an awkward smile, her gesture is genuine kindness, but she isn’t used to it. "I couldn't help but notice you looked a little mortified earlier. Are you okay?"
"Who are you? Why are you talking to me?"
"I just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help." She keeps a warm, overly joyous smile on her face.
"I don't need any help," Percy responds.
"You're one of them aren't you? What’s your power?"
"I don't like being called a 'them'."
"Neither do I."
"Do you have a power?" Percy asks.
"What is it?"
"Tell me yours first."
"Then at least tell me what's upsetting you."
"Why should I tell you?" Percy sneers.
"Let's just say I have a way with emotions. I can make you feel as happy or as sad as you want."
"Happiness isn't something I'm looking for right now."
"Then what?" she asks.
"Michael wants me to help with a memory removal of four people. They're my age, and they're friends of mine."
"And you don't think you can follow though?"
"I don't want to. It's not who I am."
"Well, what if I could make you someone else? What if I could give you the courage you need to accomplish the mission? If you're here for the same reason as the rest of us, then, odds are, you owe it to Jacob and to Michael to get this job done. Let me help you Percy." Elisa looks at him with begging eyes.
Percy questions what is truth and lie, trying to find a catch. "What do I have to do?"
"Take my hand," she says, holding out her hand to his. Percy paused, unsure, he takes her hand.
"Now close your eyes. Relax your muscles." Percy accidentally tenses, squeezing her hand. "Relax!" she yells. Percy looks at her. He's skeptical. "Eyes shut. Focus on a thought of hope. Turn it into an image. Now, I want you to think of a fear, I want you to picture it and then see yourself defeating that fear." Elisa looks at Percy, smiling. "And lastly, sleep." Percy instantly falls asleep like the way you see those hypnotized people do. Elisa lets Percy fall to his pillow. She stands up and says, "good luck, Percy, and don't fail." Then, silently, she leaves.
5 hours earlier-
Percy wakes up. He feels different, as if for his entire life he'd been sick and just now is feeling the cure. He stands up. A new strength presents itself. It's so powerful it almost causes Percy to fall backwards. Percy looks at himself in the mirror. He looks different too! His eyes are more narrowed and darker. He looks older, taller, and muscular. "Good afternoon," he says out loud, just to hear himself. He's surprised to find his usual nervous voice is gone. "This is the new Percy. Wow, this is awesome!"
Elisa enters the room, "you look good."
"Absolutely," she responds, "come on." She and Percy go into the hall where Michael is waiting.
"Are you ready?" he asks.
Percy stands straight and answers, "yes sir!" Michael and Elisa stand together, both smiling. They look like a mother and father watching proudly as their child gets ready for college. But the happy faces become solemn fast as Jacob approaches. He looks at Percy.
"Are you the agent interrogating the four subjects?"
"Yes, sir" Percy responds.
"It's very important that you get everything. I'm counting on you."
"I won't let you down, sir."
"Good," Jacob gives a nod of approval to Percy. Then he looks at Michael, "he's ready." Michael gives a nod, affirming each of their hopes.
1 hour ago-
Michael walks Percy down an unfamiliar hallway. "We moved the four test subjects to a different area. It'll be more secure here in case something happens," Michael explains.
"It's nothing against you. These four like to escape. We have to make sure they don't leave until we want them to." Percy and Michael stand in front of the door of the room. "Good luck, Percy."
"I'll try not to fail."
"We're counting on you to follow through with this mission. Failure is not permitted down here." Michael walks away, leaving Percy to his own silence and fear.
Percy takes a few deep breaths. His strength and courage returns. He nods to himself and then opens the door. He can hear five sets of breathing between the subjects and his own. He turns on the light. It's still pretty dim for him, but he watches the four squinting against the light. Once they adjust, they look at him fearfully. They have no clue what is about to happen. But Percy did. He kept his intimidating stature and began with "good evening."
-End of part 6
"Was everything just a lie?" Deserae asked. Percy doesn't answer. "I trusted you," she says, "you betrayed me." Tears stream down her face, "you betrayed us all."
Percy bows his head and says "I wanted to tell you."
"But you didn't" Paul says. "You're a traitor!"
"I'm not a traitor" "Treacherous coward," Paul says.
"I'm not a coward either." Percy responds.
"Then help us get out of here." Jaden says.
"Then you are a coward" Paul says.
"I'm not a coward!" Percy yells, "I made a deal, I bring you all in and I get to see my family again!"
For a moment, nobody knew what to do. "You have a family? Jaden asks. Jaden hasn't said, let alone heard that word in so long it sounds like a foreign language to her. Percy speaks softly with a bowed head, and the weakness he's tried so long to conceal resurfaced itself.
"I lived in Houston Texas," he begins, "with a mother and a father like you once did. We lived on a farm, but there was a drought one year. There was scorching heat, but I didn't feel a degree of it. It was because of my gift. My ability kept me cool. And it wasn't long until I realized the rest of its capabilities. I saved the crops and my family from dying. But this 'miracle' as they called it soon brought people to our doorstep. And not long after that, Michael arrived.
‘How would you like to save the world?' he asked me. I agreed to join him, so he and I waited in the car as his friend went to explain it all to my parents. Once he returned, we left. I haven't seen my family in a long time, but Michael promised me that this would be the last mission. Then I can return home and see my family again."
"WOW" Paul replies, "you are so brainwashed. They're just using you like they do to everybody else."
"You're wrong!" Percy yells.
"Open your eyes!" Don exclaims.
"Open yours! Don't you see? You've become deniable assets, you're dead weight!" Something in Percy's mind clicks him back to his more vile self, "or just dead."
Jaden is intrigued by Percy's sudden changed in personality. "Are you okay, Percy?" she asks. Percy bolts. He runs into the hall, slamming the door behind him. Michael has been standing by the door, waiting for him the whole time.
"Having trouble , Percy?"
"There is no problem, you got what you wanted, now let me go."
"You're mission isn't over yet."
"What are you talking about?"
"You got them to tell you everything, now you have to make them forget everything that they told you."
"Well how am I supposed to do that?"
"Go meet Matthias in the lab, number 207, bring the four."
"But how am-"
"Matthias will walk you through all the memory swiping stuff. You'll do fine. Good luck, Percy." Then Michael walks away, leaving a briefcase behind for Percy. He opens the case to find four vials of a clear liquid. At that moment, he knows what he has to do. Once he re-enters the subject's room, the four know what they have to do too...
Percy enters the room, syringes concealed. He looks at each of them. In his jacket pocket, four fates wait, helplessly holding out their activation. There is a pause. No movement or sound makes itself known. The four stare angrily into the eyes of their very own Judas. Their betrayer. Then, Deserae shrieks "NOW!"
In that instant, everything happened at once. Paul burned through the restraints of both himself and Don. Deserae turned Beast and tore out while Jaden telekinetically frayed each line of rope making it look as if it were exploding. Deserae lunged at Percy, but he was ready, because as she lunged at him, he held out the syringe full of "The Monroe Cure." Once he injected the last person, all four were passed out.
Jaden opens her eyes. She would've jumped in fear had she not been attached to yet another machine. Percy joins Jacob, Matthias, and Michael as they watch the four from a distance as if they were on Safari.
"They had a good run," Matthias says.
"It would've been better if the program had actually worked," Michael adds.
"I would've enjoyed the success of the project, but you boys are making that quite difficult," Jacob says.
"What success?" Michael asks.
"What project?" Percy asks, completely confused.
"Do you see any of their abilities manifesting?" Jacob asks.
"No," Michael answers.
"You got their powers to stop!?" Michael says dumbfounded.
"And it won't be long until we reverse the effects." Jacob watches as the four are prepped for the final test. He smiles; as does Michael. Percy and Matthias are too scared and disturbed to say or do anything in far of their malicious masters. They just gaze at the four with similar dead eyes.
"Percy," Michael says.
Percy looks up at Michael. Michael nods. It's time to finish this. Percy walks solemnly to his friends once more. His mind clicks evil again.
"Any last words?" he says slyly.
"Why did you have us tell you our pasts?" Jaden asks weakly.
"So that we know which memories to take." Percy answers, without a hint of emotion.
"That's not the real reason" Jaden says, softer than before. Percy returns to him "better half." He looks like he could cry. "It's because you wanted to care. You're not a coward, you're a hero." Jaden closes her eyes. Percy freezes the switch that is keeping her sedated. He cracks the switch without Michael or Jacob seeing.
He leans in and whispers in Jaden's ear, "and you can be a hero too." Her eyes open to see him walking away. Jaden uses her ability to stop all the switches. Thanks to Percy, she helps her friends as they slowly awake. Percy looks at Matthias. Matt nods in agreement to help save the four. Percy joins him at the computer, looking at the screen, he watches Matthias open the exits and gets ready to shut off the power.
"No," Percy whispers.
"Then what?" Matt asks.
"Can you pull the alarms?"
"Yeah, but that would override any system, not to mention grab the attention of every agent in this building."
"Do you have a death wish?"
"Do it. I have a plan." Percy looks at Matthias, waiting for an answer.
"This better be a damn good plan," Matthias says. He presses a button, triggering a fleet of alarms. They look at Jacob and Michael.
"What's going on?" Jacob asks.
"I have no idea, sir" Michael responds as he masks a slight smile.
The four subjects look around nervous and fearing. Matthias presses another button that lets them out of the machines. Paul throws fire at Jacob and Michael. The bosses flee. Jaden looks at Percy. Neither of them can speak. Percy gives a sullen nod, and smiles as the four run out of the room. Matthias watches them on monitors and opens any door they come to. But he couldn't stop the agents from coming after them. They were running as fast as they could, but, like all people running for a long time, it can get tiring....
We were running for a long time. It hurt, but fear kept me going. A fear of what we would run into if we kept going, and a fear of what would happen if we stopped. I was their leader. I wasn't about to lead them to their death. But I had to stop. I paused and turned to the enemy at the end of the hall. The others stopped and looked at me.
"Come on!" Paul yells.
"Jaden, we gotta move!" Don shouts.
"No, I can't." I respond. Then they realize what was about to come. If I was going out, I was going out my way.
We got ready for a fight. I heard footsteps from behind. I turned to see Percy. He stands beside us. He doesn't have to say anything. Rescuing us was enough.
"I have a plan," he says to me.
"So do I," I say.
"Trust me. You need to run." I don't move. "You need to run now!" Percy yells, "trust me." So, the four of us run, leaving Percy behind.
Percy looks at the nearest security camera. He nods to Matthias, who has been watching this the whole time from his computer. Matthias turns on the sprinkler system of the hall way and crosses his fingers for luck. Percy waits for the right moment, once found, he positions himself and focuses his energy. He puts his hand on a wall. The walls and floors are soon covered in sheets of ice; the agents too are frozen solid. As is Percy.
We're still running. The exit is in sight. By now, we're all using the last of our energy to get through this. But then our final obstacle approaches. 15 soldiers each equipped with guns and knives. I was getting tired of this crap, I could see everyone else was feeling the exact same way. I think I've gotten stronger. I was able to snap a neck in an instant. I sent a guy flying too. None of us were paying attention to what the other was doing. We just wanted out. At that moment, that was all we were fighting for: a way out. That's what made us fight our strongest.
Once they were out, we got into the elevator and escaped. We limped through the hospital (that is where Castle is located under, in case you forgot like I almost did). It wasn't long until a nurse stopped us. "Are you alright?" she asked. We didn't have time to answer before she led us down the hall to a waiting room. "You three wait here, I'll be right back," then she left. It took me a second to realize what she said. Three? I looked at Don, then Paul, but where was Deserae?
After hearing of all these events that unfolded, Jacob and Michael gave a moment of silence for their failed mission.
"I would've preferred not having failed," Jacob said, disappointedly.
"They had a good run, sir. I suppose... we could always find new subjects."
"I'd need a successor for this project if I were to allow it to continue."
Michael smirks, "I'd be honored to take it over."
"Excellent. Let's drink to it!" Jacob turns around, but freezes as he hears the cocking of a gun which is being aimed at him. Jacob stays down, "Michael." Then he turns to face him.
"Don't worry" Michael responds, as he shoots him in the shoulder, "I'll take good care of it." Michael finishes him off with a shot that pierces the silent air. Then Jacob drops to the ground, with a hole through his head.
END OF BOOK ONE