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A Book I'll Never Write
For the past twenty years, I’ve worked at the weapons branch of The Organization. A group and facility created at the commence of World War III to protect the American name and grant the opportunity to rebuild our great country when the end of the war has come. My name is Leonard Menas and I have greatly betrayed the people of The Organization.
The majority of the weapons branch, similar to many other branches, is made up of endless hallways, all colored in an earthlike grey that continually reminded you of the fact that you were underground. There are concrete floors throughout, in the creation of the facility it was seen as most cost-effective. You can hear the clicking of women's heels on it regularly. I've caught a girl or two taking off their shoes when moving posts as not to make too much noise or pose as a distraction. Every six or so feet there’s an old rusted lantern protruding out from the wall on a steel bar, they’ve been replaced only once, thus the vast amount of rust taking them over. The lanterns don’t completely light the area they’re meant to cover, so the halls have a feeling of eeriness, and suspense. Every so often when you reach one of the few intersections you should always expect there to be a light flow of foot traffic, people transitioning posts or running tests to the lab, all such things. But no matter what, something is always going on. Other than the stretch of hallways, you might also find areas that are sectioned off for certain tasks, these being called twigs as a joke to the different parts of The Organization being known as branches. Each twig had something different, one might be a lab, another a simulation room, and another could be living suits. The one I’m looking for is the test subject twig.
It’s a fifteen-minute walk from my living chambers to this specific twig, plenty of time to do the only personal thinking I’ll do all day. Simply speaking, this is the time I’ll be collecting my thoughts and preparing myself for the job up ahead. Today at 8:30 am I am to signal into the tunnels marking the ‘all-clear’ for thirty or forty Callegients to blow a hole in the wall of my twig. Nothing can go wrong today, our goal may be to take down The Organization, but I can’t lose another innocent life. I’ve already lost too much to this war. When my thoughts stray to those I lost, like now, it’s almost impossible to continue moving forward in my stride, or day. The latest news I heard was of the food outpost being destroyed somewhere in North Carolina. Some of my closest friends, the Hancocks, died there. And honestly, the hardest part of discovering those closest to you have been taken out isn’t that I have to keep moving forward in life, that’s something everyone has to do and you grow numb to it after some time, it’s knowing that the people I loved, and those who made me who I am today really did die in vain. If you haven’t discovered this yet, I am no friend of The Organization. I’ve been here half of my life waiting to complete a single mission and escape to my friends and family, or whoever is left.
Although I’ve been here so long, My life does expand beyond a single mission. I have found love, as any standard man looks for. I’ve found this in Eva Corleone, the most magnificent human to ever grace the halls of the weapons branch. Always holding herself highly with an air of confidence surrounding her. She looked as though she truly believed she was above all those around her, but if you ever got the chance to talk with her you’d find she’s one of the most caring, empathetic, compassionate, and kindest people you may ever meet. I’ve had the opportunity to discuss branch matters with her on a few occasions and every time her knowledge and wisdom astound me, my favorite part of these few conversations is always the way her eyes light up when realizing someone cares and has a genuine concern. During these conversations I find myself slipping away into a state of pure bliss. She’s told me of her visions of the future, she believes one day The Organization will shut its doors, the people of this world will once again live in simple harmony, and instead of world leaders, we will all split into our own individual countries with no access to the world outside of them. I’ve pondered these ideas for many nights, and I’ve found that it all seems so very bleak if I were to be separate from Eva. I can easily see us living out our days in the countryside in a quaint farmhouse and nobody for miles. When these few conversations have come to a close I am filled with great pain knowing that it will be a long while before I can speak with my love again, but at the same time, I am overcome with joy, a feeling that I can hold with me until our next meeting. I feel such a strong connection to Eva that it regularly slips my mind that she’s married to one of Callegients biggest threats, Branch Manager Corleone. I’ve grown more confident around Eva, and as result more aware of her husband's stupidity and blandness. She deserves so much better, but is too blinded by love to see that. Which is something I always thought her to be immune to. But, what can I expect even the most perfect angel has a flaw or two.
About a year ago I got the most amazing opportunity to transfer twigs. With this transfer, I would get to work with Eva daily. Originally, I had worked in the labs, which can become very depressing and boring. The transfer opportunity was to move to the test subject division or twig. The lab was a very boring time for me, every day was the same thing, receive whatever was to be tested, run the needed tests, and return the results to the correct twig. These three steps, on repeat, every day, for years. That is until one day, (because it’s always one day, one day something happened that changed everything, one day, that’s always how it goes). So, one day, which ended up being one of my last days in labs, I received an interesting test, it was a blood test, but the blood was gold. This surprised me, of course, but didn’t concern me, there’ve been a few cases worldwide of people with golden blood, and it's nothing to pose as an issue. I am however a doctor, so I was very excited to have the chance to see something as rare as this. The attendant that handed it to me made it very clear that the subject who’s a test this was couldn’t have any more blood drawn today because they were going into a simulation. I completely understood, a weapons branch has a consistent demand for new and improved weapons, be it a weaponized human or not. As I ran my tests I developed a serious interest in this subject for a few reasons. The obvious, their blood is gold, and the less obvious they were going into a simulation. War simulations are completely normal here, but subjects don’t take part in it until they’ve been chipped, and that happens when they're five. The ones whose tests I’ve been running are only one. I wanted to learn more about this, but the twigs are very secretive about what they’re doing. You only know the information that you’re meant to know. I did ultimately find a loophole in this, though. If I were to hand-deliver the results, I might just get to see this subject and their simulation. It did cross my mind that doing this might get me fired, and here being fired gets you killed, but I’d been here for almost twenty years now, so the risk was outweighed by the possible reward. My lab partner and I never question the other when taking an outing or running an errand. When my tests had finished and the results filled out I grabbed it and started towards the subject twig.
It’s not very hard to blend in here, everyone’s in drab colors, walking quickly, with their heads down, I’ve trained myself to copy these actions whenever I run an errand. Every time I leave the lab I’m not always doing something that could get me fired, but it’s easiest to make yourself invisible than to risk getting questioned by a superior. I’ve only ever been called out once, but it is less than ideal. That particular time I was going to the mailroom on my lunch break. An old friend of mine had just gotten a post in tech and I wanted to congratulate her. At that time one of the twigs had gotten out of a lecture so there were a lot of people walking the halls. Something I’ve always found odd about lectures is that everyone always leaves talking to one another instead of the usual heads down and quickly paced. Because of this drastic change in demeanor from everybody else, I looked very suspicious, thus a guard approached me. I spent the remainder of my lunch break explaining to him what was in my package, and how I figured out my friend worked in tech, and why I was walking the way I was walking. That whole experience had rattled me, I stopped leaving my twig on breaks and just started running errands during working hours.
It had been about ten minutes by this time, and I should almost have been at the subject twig. But right before my final turn, I’m stopped in my tracks, not by a guard, but by a little girl. She’s very tall, looks insanely muscular, and seems to be seven years old at most, with a number tattooed onto her right wrist, it says 27C. She’s a subject. If I’m seen here with her my superiors will only assume the worst, like I kidnapped her or tried to smuggle her out. Everything in me said run, sprint, deal with the repercussions of the questioning, but my moral code forced me to stay and help her. She looked so helpless, laying on the ground, groaning in pain. I slowly began walking over to her, whispering “It’s okay, I won’t hurt you. I’m going to help you. I just need you to stay as calm and still as possible.”
“I’m fine. Just give me a second, something malfunctioned and it just needs to reset.”
“What malfunctioned?” I continued to move closer, less concerned now, but very intrigued. How could something malfunction? Was she some sort of cyborg?
“My tracker disconnected, it's no big deal, it just hurts while reconnecting. In case we try to run we won’t make it as far in pain.” She stopped groaning at this point, which I can only assume means that her tracker reconnected.
“I didn’t know the chips did that.” This statement was more of a mumble, but 27C managed to hear it.
“It’s not a chip, I don’t have that yet. But all subjects get trackers when they're born because it’s much easier to smuggle out young children.”
“You seem to be giving me a lot of excess information.”
“Well, you seem a little clueless.” She said this rather smugly as if it was meant to offend me, I was only slightly taken aback, although my ego was a little wounded.
“On another note, you seem much older than five, physically and intellectually,”
“I didn’t think I’d have to explain myself today after all the simulation is about to begin and all the participant information has been given out.”
“Well I’m not from your twig, I’m from the labs. Just running an errand.” I nodded down to my paper, and she moved her gaze to look at them too.
“Oh! That’s great, those are my test results, I kinda need them now.” She thrust her hand at me expecting me to give her the papers, almost in a routine sort of way.
“I can’t give these to you, I have to give them to your caregiver or supervisor, has my colleague from the lab been giving them directly to you?’
In a mocking tone, she began a short rant about myself and how I need to look at all people as human and worthy of my trust, even if she’s just a subject, “Well of course your colleague has been giving them directly to me, after all, I’m much smarter than Laura or Ms. Eva. Yes, I’m a subject, and yes, I may be a year old, but I’m still a human. I still deserve to be viewed the same way as you look at other people. It’s not my fault I’m in the position I’m in here, it was just the luck of the draw.”
“Miss, I understand, it makes no difference to me who you are. All I know is that I don’t want to be fired, so I’d really appreciate your help in not getting me fired. I can escort you to the simulation room if you’d like, but I can’t give this information to you.”
“Ugh! Fine,” she was becoming very snappish with me, and I was getting tired of it. But of course, my stubborn self persisted, as I was very confused as to why this subject was a year old, but had the intellectual level of a college student and looked much older than that of an infant, “I don’t usually stand down in fights, but I really want to be a part of this simulation, it’s my first one.” This was her final remark and the two of us made our way to the simulation room, which was just past the test subject twig. On our walk, 27C took the time to give me all the information about her that I would need to know for the simulation. “Okay Mister, what’s your name?”
“My name’s Leonard Menas. What’s yours?”
“My name’s on the chart; Mr. Menas, to start simply…” This conversation was purely degrading on my part. Don’t misunderstand me here, good for the kid, great for them in fact, but I very suddenly felt very behind in life hearing all that she’s done in her sum of one year of living. Throughout this, I had somehow managed to take a liking to this child and wanted to continue to see where our journey took us. Very quickly we reached the simulation room, she was directed into a door to the right of us, and I was directed into a door on the left. When I entered this door I saw about ten people, not as many as I had expected. Of those ten I recognized only two, Eva Corleone and The attendant that had dropped off 27C’s blood for testing earlier today. I silently made my way over to the attendant and handed her the results, she was very surprised by my appearance here.
“Mr. Menas, what are you doing here, I told you I could pick up the results this afternoon!”
“I found the results rather interesting and wanted to hand-deliver them, on the way here I happened to run into 27C who’s tracker had disconnected, she invited me to watch.”
“Well, I see no problem with that, give me a moment to notify my superior.” The attendant slid past me and over toward Eva. They proceeded to have a short conversation in whispers and I was quickly signaled over to them.
“It’s good to see you again, Leonard.” Eva lightly smiled at me, sending my stomach into a knot.
“Good to see you too, Mrs. Corleone.”
“Eva, please.” I nodded to this, holding back a fantastic grin, “Leonard, I’d like to meet with you after this simulation, hear your thoughts, findings, and interests in 27C”
“That sounds great, I will speak with you then, Eva.” This felt so unreal coming from my mouth, as though in the past ten minutes I had moved from acquaintance to friend. I began moving back over to my seat on the right side of the viewing box, it was somewhat tight but manageable. The simulation began once I sat down. It’s a very small area with four subjects visible, all standing on metal pedestals. Three of them were on the far side of the room, and 27C was closest to the separation wall between them and us. A buzzer went off and the three farthest away began to sprint at 27C. Once the three reached where they were going all of the subjects broke out into hand-to-hand combat, this happened faster than visible to the viewers, and in a matter of thirty seconds all the participants except for 27C lay sprawled out on the ground, not dead just knocked unconscious. 27C was escorted out of the room and three stretchers were brought in meant to bring those unconscious to the medical ward. It had been a very interesting, and relatively appealing two minutes, I wasn’t very sure of what had happened in those two minutes, but it had my full attention.
I was completely unaware of where to go from this room, so I waited a few minutes in case I was going to receive further instructions. In those few minutes, I watched as a group of people cleaning up the simulation room. Without all of the technology changing the attributes, it was just a basic white room with a few metal stools in it. I hadn’t noticed it during the fight, but there was a pool of golden blood, 27C had taken a hard hit in the fighting. I didn’t know if the subjects would receive medical attention if they won the simulation combats, but this question was about to be answered. I caught a small glimpse of Eva waving me over in her direction. I stood slowly and looked around the room before exiting, making sure she wasn’t waving over someone else. Seeing as there was no one else present I walked out of the viewing box and was met at the door by Eva. She smiled warmly and directed me over to the medical ward to meet with 27C and her attendant.
“Leonard, this is Laura, 27C’s attendant, and caregiver.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Leonard.”
“The same to you, Laura.”
Eva quickly brought on the topic of 27C, “So, Leonard, you seem to have taken an interest in 27C and her makeup?”
“As a matter of fact, yes. She displays some very interesting features for her age, and her blood makeup is something that I’ve never seen before. I do have to ask, has her blood always been golden?” Eva looked over to Laura to answer my question.
“Well, 27C has always been very exceptional, so when the medical branch came out with an aging serum, we wanted to test it on 27C. After we completed the dosage regimen recommended to us, we discovered that her blood had changed color. Thus why we sent the test to you, and her participation in the simulation today.”
“That’s very interesting. Have you all considered studying her behavior and observing her living habits?”
This time Eva answered my question, “We’ve considered all of this, but it’s too advanced for an attending and there isn’t currently an existing position for such a thing. This is why I’d like to offer you a position in the Subject Testing twig, you’d be the one to observe 27C. Would that be okay with you?”
“That sounds fantastic, I’ve been waiting to get out of labs. What types of changes will happen before I begin?” Eva proceeded to explain to me what they’d do to prepare for my coming to the subject testing twig, and told me I’d start in a week.
I’ve been working with 27C since that day, but I know today will be my last, and if all goes as planned it will be 27C’s last day of observation, testing, simulations, and being a subject. Today’s the final day I’ll be an Organization worker, but as a result of that, my job as a part of Callegient has continued to grow in risk as today has crept closer. When I was first planted I’d receive new information once a year, over the past five years it’s jumped up to monthly updates. And in the past year, I got new information each week. The date for the break-in has been continually postponed up until the last minute. It’s taken twenty years to put everything into place. Now, there are over forty members of the weapons branch working for Callegient, including me, twelve different unknown points of entrance into the tunnels, and three different plans of attack in case anything goes wrong. The only thing I need to worry about is giving the signal at the right time, which is much more stressful than I could’ve ever imagined.
This morning while I’m observing 27C I’m thinking and analyzing everything but her. How will I know it’s the right time? How many other undercover members will I accidentally get killed when giving the signal? The list is endless and the one job I’ve been meant to do for the past twenty years seems very overwhelming. 27C notices how off I am today, and ever so kindly points it out to me. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothings wrong with me, don’t concern yourself with it.” I accidentally snapped at her, but that made no difference. It only caused her to press into the matter more.
“Oh, you must be getting fired today. I’ve seen this before, spaced out, concerned with things other than their job, sometimes people pray or break down. I’ve heard a few practice their last words.”
“That’s not what’s happening here 27C. I’m not getting fired, I’m just a little out of it today.”
“Well, get back into it or you’re toast.” She laughed at herself and continued to train, even though she didn’t need it, she was the strongest two-year-old I’ve ever met. I began looking through my notes and previous observations, if I were to destroy part of this place and flee I would at least leave them with some helpful information. It had crossed my mind earlier that The Organization would think that 27C was my accomplice, but I had a foolproof plan for them to think otherwise. My anxiety continues to grow, I don’t know what will ease it, there really is nothing that will. I look towards the clock, perched on a high shelf at the very back of the room, and read the time, 7:51 am. I have exactly 39 minutes to make the signal or the break-in will commence with no warning, whenever the group leader sees fit. There’s a meeting at 8:15 this morning near one of the entrances. I know that there’s a team on standby there and a line of communication across the entire branch. It took my leader almost three years to talk me into targeting the subject testing twig. It never crossed my mind before last year that all of the children in the weapons unit would be actual war machines, but after meeting 27C, I found that they all were actual war machines. I am glad that I’m the one meant to give the signal, I don’t want to risk more lives than I need to. The point of this break-in isn’t to hurt people, it’s to scare the Organization, make them feel weak and vulnerable. Of course, this won’t really come across as a threat unless some lives are lost. 27C’s finished her morning training now, and at this point, we’re ready to leave for the meeting. A lot of subjects now attend these meetings after I began bringing 27C to them. I thought that they’d deserve to know what’s going on and what’s going to happen in their futures. The other attendants used to be very reserved, but they all eventually came around, after a few months of begging from their subjects.
This morning's meeting was set up a little differently than usual. We were all placed in a circle, subject, attendant, in that order all the way around. Eva would always lead these meetings and at the beginning, there would be some sort of team-building exercise, the subjects would play a separate one because they’d get too competitive and hurt people, we experienced this issue at our first few meetings. This morning Eva had her daughter, Cerise, with her. Upon seeing Cerise I was instantly flooded with regret and disgust as to what I was about to do. I had a plan, a very simple plan. I would walk over to Eva and greet her, allowing 27C to occupy Cerise, lucky for me, 27C loved Cerise so much that she offered to sit with Eva and watch her. While 27C and Cerise were across the room from me, I watched and waited for about five minutes. The meeting began at exactly 8:15, and at 8:16 I turned my head to the left and yawned. This was the first step of the signal, it was multi-step so that my yawning wouldn’t be mistaken for the signal. I then turned back to face Eva and politely waved in apology. This was the second half.
Almost immediately the ground began to shake and the floor blew open, taking out the few unlucky people that were on those spots. The entrance was opened fully and a team of thirty to forty men and women charged into the room carrying guns and bombs. Everyone was overwhelmed in the commotion, but I couldn't focus on that, all I was worried about was making sure Eva and 27C made it out alive. I got up and sprinted to Eva, trying to provide her cover, but she wouldn’t accept my protection; that thoroughly hurt me, in our final moments she wouldn’t even embrace me. I couldn’t blame her though, she was making a beeline for her daughter, who 27C was clutching to her chest. 27C looked up and saw Eva running towards her, she opened her embrace and passed Cerise to her mother who then fell to the ground covering her. I stared in total oblivion at what was happening Twenty years in the making and all I could focus on was a lost embrace? I was so outside of myself that I managed to hear screams from across the twig, of all the other test subject areas that were being attacked too. I had never seen this much death in my life, left and right people being blown up, shot down, and everything in between, a few lucky people had made a run for it, but I don’t believe they’ll make it very far with the injuries they have. 27C was up and fighting, a few friends of mine had become victims of her hand. Layla and George Hancock were lying on the ground both bleeding out, they hadn’t died in the outpost attack, but this one took them, I hope they found it worth their lives, and the futures of their children. I continue to stand in the midst of this in pure shock at what I brought upon these good people.
27C continues on her warpath, one thing I never believed I would have to see is a young girl mercilessly killing. But we all see things in our lives we never wish to see again. In this mass of chaos I’m trying to locate Eva and Cerise, find them alive or not find them at all, hoping they managed to escape this massacre. It wasn’t meant to be a massacre, it was just meant to scare. When had the orders changed? I was never expected to fight in this, just to escape into the tunnels where I would be greeted by my group leader, but as you know I wasn’t able to make it there, or anywhere for that matter. I kept scanning every person, every face, but I couldn’t find them. Too soon did I hear an earth-shattering shriek and a wail, Eva fell to the ground coddling Cerise in her arms, when she was on the ground a Callegient shot her in the head. Seeing this horrific event unfroze me from my spot, I ran towards Eva and Cerise, hoping and praying to find one of them alive, but both lay cold and motionless on the concrete floor. I screamed full of regret and sorrow “I never meant for this to happen!” tears of agony and pain welled in my eyes, 27C heard this and turned to me, rage burned in hers. She had just seen her friends slaughtered, and her nature had forced her to fight, she was introduced to all of this terror and pain because of a job her closest ally had taken twenty years ago. She could never forgive me and I knew that the only reaction she would have, the one that had been wired into her from birth. Kill me. I saw her coming, but I knew it was no use running, I’d seen her in action. The only reason she hadn’t killed before now is that she only fought those like her. She came at me, knocking everything out of her path, I didn’t know how I was going to die, there were so many different ways to go, all I wanted was to live, and forget. But I know that isn’t an option. 27C came to me at eye level and whispered one final thing to me
“I’m sorry you chose the path you did.” She said this with a look of remorse in her eyes, she knew what she was about to do, but couldn’t stop it. Somebody had to kill me, that was clear. It didn’t have to be her, but it was. In one calculated hit, I felt my skull crack inwards and my breath leave my lungs. My neck went limp and I slumped over, falling forwards on top of Eva’s body. All I could think of in my last moment wasn’t how Eva and I would be together, I knew I was kidding myself with it, but of how I had caused the deaths of so many innocent lives, and for what. To scare a few people sitting in luxury while the rest of the world crumbled.