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Author's note: I wrote this after being inspired by a book in the Uglies Series: Extras. Also by the anime series called Naruto!
Even though I was warm enough I still was putting my hands in the pocket of my jacket. My frozen breath made little puffs of smoke in the air as I walked, nearly sprinted is more like it, through the thick snow. Crunch, crunch, crunch. The familiar sound of my hometown of Treble, the snow that fell almost constantly, even in early spring. The voice pops back into my head again. Crap.
“You know, you didn’t have to do that.”
“I had to. What other choice do I have?”
“Turn back. There’s nothing for you out there. Do you really want to be a mutt? Trust me. Go home Saria.”
“No! I did what I did for a good reason!” My voice was rising in intensity, my fists clenched at my sides, now out of the warm pockets they were in moments ago. Why does the Voice have to pop in when I don’t want it too?!
“They’ll kill you out there. And then they’ll find out who you are. Is that what you want? They’ll think you’re a freak. They’ll ban you from diners, and the government will steal you away. Don’t go! You’re one of the first G-bots ever created! Stay Jenny, just stay.”
That was the final conversation before I turned in to a Gadget. After the last word it drifted away, a faint echo behind. Man, I hate the Voice, the weird little person inside my head that tells me to go back to a life of horrible, horrible things. And sadly I didn’t have any other people like me, except for my friend Joham and two other Gadgets who worked at another base.
I sighed, remembering the day when the Order shot my family to death except for me, saying that I had the looks of a Gadget. I had a mother, a father, and two younger siblings. I don’t remember them that much though. I was the younger sibling, well one of them, so I stayed out of his way. Now, what is a Gadget? A Gadget, sometimes I call them G-bots, is a person who has a special talent and can do things other people can’t to keep people in town under control. When the news of spies and war got out, everyone freaked and tried to escape Treble, to go to a war free zone for their families. The G-bots must use force if this happens. But, there are only three other Gadgets, except for me. I do have a friend, but he usually just works in the cell block. I don’t know the other two very well anyway, for they live on the other side of Treble. Most of the time they’re just used for back up.
I did have the talents, and the looks as well. My skin is a terrible pale that reminds me of moon dust, with very dark eyes and hair that extends past my shoulders in a glossy curtain of raven black. My agility is superb, my hearing impeccable, but all of that happened because of the operations and the surgery to enhance my body to fight to the death if necessary. My skin is leather tough and is able to fight against temperatures above 110 degrees, or below 50. I can see from long distances, about three football fields to be exact, and I can sprint at about twenty five miles an hour. I didn’t want all of this. I wanted to live like a normal kid and grow up and live in a house by Full Moon Lake with a husband and two children. I’ve always wanted twins.
But that can’t happen now. I can still have a boyfriend but I can’t have children due to the surgeries. That was one of the sad things about being forced under the knife and having your organs and muscles reconstructed to fit Gadget’s standards. My walkie-talkie/cellphone gave a ring that meant trouble was coming my way. And I could see the intruder before she even got close. I sprinted after her. She was carrying a satchel that was stitched shut, and her hair was in a short cropped style on her neck. She was huffing and puffing, trying to get away. But I’m way too fast for her. Before long I tackle her to the ground and tied her hands behind her back in electro static handcuffs that work like tasers. One wrong move and she’s going to be toasted. I brought out a small vial and put some of her blood inside. That would come in good use later.
“You are under law of the Orders to remain still and silent. You will only talk if I ask you a question. Understood? Your cuffs are recording our conversation as we speak. Now, name?”
“Lucy Quenien Stall.” Her nose that was bleeding from the tackle had colored the snow slightly red. A bit stained her white windbreaker. Her cropped hair had a bit of down-ness to it, like it were made of feathers. Her ebony hair was highlighted with a bit of brown, but not much. Only a person like me would be able to notice.
“Occupation and date of birth?” I hated having to do the same drill over and over, but it was customary. We had to memorize things like this, and watch for uneasy body movement. Any sign of escape could mean that I would have to kill her. Something I’ve never done before.
“Student. I go to Rekonship Academy over on the south-west side. My birthday is November 22, 2092” Her eyes were glued to my gun, still on safety lock. The girl’s eyes flooded with fear. I was surprised at her answer. My birthday was on the same day. Pure coincidence, I decided. I just had to brush it off. What are the odds?
“So Ms. Stall, may I see your satchel?” I held out my hand and reached toward the ground for the bag. It felt slightly heavy. I broke the sewing around the flap and opened the top. I saw school papers, and an Interpass wrist cuff. I knew what these things were. They could show holograms and you could video chat as well as find anyone’s near specific location with one of these. Expensive, but useful. I was stunned that she got a hold of one of these things. If she broke into a store, she’s got some guts or some brains. Security systems are hard to fool. I rarely ever used my cuff. My cellphone was equipped to do the same thing, but better.
“I won’t ever do it again. I swear! I need to sell that cuff for my family. My brother, he’s hurt and-”
Before she knew it, her handcuffs had shocked her with about thirty volts of electricity. She convulsed, and lay still in the snow. She wasn’t dead, but she could’ve been close. I lugged her body over my shoulder and sprinted towards town, radioing to Headquarters to get a cell ready for the arrival of Lucy Quenien Stall, a possible plot in the Gadget’s plan to take over the world.
“Got another one for you Joham. Possible burglary and stealing an Interpass cuff. Said something about needing money for a hurt brother.”
“Put her in. I’ll turn on the gas and send out an order for prison garb.” Joham, my buddy who runs the cell blocks, switched on the gas that wakes a person up from electric shock.
“You know that the truck couldn’t get her any clothes in the coming weather! I bet all of the other counties are already snowed in!” I smiled and winked. He laughed.
Joham is my friend who turned into a Gadget about the same time I did. We’re both fifteen years old, or at least we think we are. I know my real birthday, but he doesn’t. His hair is a very bright red that is the same color as his cheeks when I come around. He blushes like a flaming porcupine. His eyes are a stormy gray like the clouds I noticed before coming in. He smiled and pointed toward cell number 3.
Lucy Stall’s cell contained a small lavatory, a cot, and attack proof doors that were locked 24/7, unless we needed to get her out. It was cold in there, but not as cold as everywhere else. It hasn’t been occupied for a long time. The last prisoner was executed about three years ago. Tried killing an Order with a steel pipe.
“Monitor her for a little while. I got her information by DNA. Got a bit from a bloody nose.” Every-one’s information is saved on private file by bloodline. When you’re born, they take a little here and there. Adopted siblings need to give written information to the Order. It’s a long process that way, for it can take years.
I’ll tell the judge to be ready by tomorrow.” I then threw her in the cell, and locked it shut. On the video screen her eyelids fluttered, and then fully opened. She screamed, and coughed for a while. That gas is smelly stuff, I’ll tell you.
“Ms. Stall? We’re going to ask you a few questions, and we’d like to get some answers. Do this or we’ll have your family shot.” Joham’s voice boomed and echoed. Lucy trembled helplessly, either shivering with nervousness or with fright.
“Okay. I stole the cuff to get money for my brother Martin. He got in a fight with another boy, who had an axe. I stole the cuff from the store in town, and that girl tackled me in the field. What’s her name anyway?” Lucy’s brow furrowed, wrinkles appearing on her forehead.
I decided to get on the mic and say for myself. I knew this girl was officially a criminal, and she couldn’t lay a hand on me. I hated hurting people, but that’s my job. I have no one else to live for anyway, so what’s the point? Well I had Joham, but...never-mind him!
“My name is Saria. No one steals in Treble. The judge will decide if either you or your family will be punished.”
She grew still and began to sob. I hated the sound of people crying, because that was the last sound my mother made when the second bullet entered her chest. She was a fighter, taking a shot to the ribs. The second shot was to kill her off. The Order got pretty ticked off at using two bullets for one person.
“I’ll call her family soon. You can use the knock out gas if you need too to silence her weeping.” I waved goodbye and opened the door. The chilly air hit me in a rush that nearly sent me backwards. I caught myself on the end of the steel counter-top, and before I hit the ground, back flipped. I landed right on my feet.
“The storms looking pretty bad out there. Why don’t you stay here until it lets up. I’ve got a spare cot in the back room.” Joham then waved me away while he tried to zone out the crying of the girl.
The backroom was a damp, stuffy place with a small fan to keep it cool. The cot lay in the left hand corner, covered in a white sheet and sleeping bag. A bathroom, I knew, was across the hall. A small window lay near the top of the ceiling, a rectangular piece of glass that let a bit of the frozen air in. I laid back on the cot, my hands behind my head. I reached up and stroked my hair, feeling the silky raven locks. I just decided to get up and braid it. Grabbing three equal pieces of hair I began to go under and over while staring at a cobweb in the corner. I knew if I looked in a mirror I would mess it up. Finally, the result was a midnight braid that went nearly to my waist. I rarely ever cut my hair, only if it goes to my upper thighs. Then, by regulation, I must cut at least five inches off.
“Hey Saria, come back to the front. The girl wants to speak with you.” Joham’s eyes were filled with a strange mixture of sadness and regret. I knew something must’ve happened.
I ran to the front cell to find that Lucy Stall hadn’t succeeded in breaking out. But she did end up breaking one thing. Her arm. It hung in an awkward position at her side, bent in a strangely grotesque angle that made me squirm. She was panting, doubled over in intense anguish, but still ran toward the front wall. Her hair, almost as black as mine but tinted with bits of chocolate brown, was out of its braid and a few strands stuck to a sheen of sweat on the nape of her neck. And her eyes! The near obsidian pools were filled with a malice that I could only describe as pure endurance and strength. Now, our cells don’t have metal bars at the front. Oh no. In the past we’ve had people strong enough to bend metal. These walls are solid Sealonite, a compound that is nearly unbreakable unless you put so much pressure on it that it’s enough to saw a thousand pound diamond in half. Lucy still ran toward the wall, and I heard another one of her bones crack. Her hand this time, began to swell purple and blue.
“Let. Me. OUT! Martin. Needs. Me. NOW!” Lucy’s injuries were slowing her down, but not enough to make her stop and realize how much damage she’s doing. I would say she’s delusional, but I know the feeling. Wanting to help a person you love.
A couple of years ago, right after I first became a Gadget, I found a kitten in a dumpster. He was so cute, with silvery fur and large, yellow eyes. I would run back to my shack every day after training to see him. I called him Cairo. He would pur and move in-between my legs while he brushed his long tail on my foot. I loved him so much, but I knew Gadgets weren’t supposed to keep pets. Gadget’s weren’t supposed to feel love, sadness, or regret. Only hate and anguish. But, I realized that me and Joham were different. We could feel the good feelings that set us apart. It made us stronger. One day I came home and found my little Cairo dead on the porch. He had been shot by an Order.
“Joham don’t just sit there! Use knock out gas!” I screeched to my friend at the top of my lungs so loud that it could make a pack of wild dogs run in terror.
“I tried! She used up all of it! She just won’t stay down!” Joham was about to call for assistance, but I told him to put down his Interpass cuff. If the Order came down here, she would be shot. And I saw allot of potential and strength in her.
“Let me in that cell. If there’s anyone who can calm her down, I think that’s me.” I punched in the code for the side door to open and ran inside, just as it shut behind me. I was left alone, in a sealed room, with a criminal. A deranged, delusional, possibly psychotic girl wanting to save her brother. And, with luck, she might just kill me in the process.