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I never thought my life could be, as some people would put it, exciting. I was just a normal girl who lived in New York City. I had a single mom because my dad was shot in a robbery when I was nine years old. Ever since my dad died, my mom hasn't been around all that much. I am Faith Cartinae, by the way. Seventeen years ago, when I was born, my mother was seventeen years old. Two years later she and my dad got married. Since they were both really young when I was born, neither one of them ever had a real career. My mom decided to go to cosmetology school, but when my father died she dropped out. I never knew what my dad did, until that day. I should probably explain.
I was just a normal girl who didn't have many friends and ditched school every once in a while. Everyone thought I was kind of a freak so they kept their distance. I lived in the area of NYC where there were gang fights on the streets and dealers everywhere. Most people thought I was just weird some, others thought more along the lines of me doing drugs, which, by the way, is absolutely not true. My life was not very safe at all, neither, I discovered, was my mother's.
One rainy Thursday afternoon, I left school to find a three of sketchy people waiting inside of my apartment.
“Who are you and why are you here?” I asked them. The one in a black, official looking suit and sunglasses replied,
“I'm Agent Parthen and this is Angel and Dan. We came to ask you a few questions.” I thought to myself, Agent? Yeah, right. Angel that's ironic, for the man named Angel was large and mean looking. I also noticed he had a gun.... a big gun. Dan and Agent Parthen just looked very sincere.
“What kind of questions?” I asked them.
“I wanted to ask, when was the last time you saw your mother?” Agent Parthen answered.
“Well, I haven't seen her for at least a month, probably longer. Why do you ask?” The conversation went on like this for about an hour until I finally got them to say why they were interrogating me. I learned that my mother hadn't been seen by anyone for over a month and a half. They explained to me how she was an Agent, like Agent Parthen. She had gone to London on her last assignment and disappeared. They wanted any information to her whereabouts. They also explained to me why she was never around. They had recruited her when my dad died because he also had worked for them and she showed potential. The truth to his death was not a bullet in the head during a robbery, but he died during one of his assignments. Also, they asked me to go along with them to find my mother. Since I had nothing better to do, I agreed.
We left that night and the plane ride took what felt like days but was really only about seven hours. I couldn't stand the thought of losing my mother as I did my father. When we arrived, the first couple of days we just wandered around collecting information. On the fifth day, we went into the British Museum. I was really confused by that point and wondered why we were going into a museum to find my mother, but I kept my mouth shut, assuming they knew what they were doing more than I did. Just as I was thinking that a museum wouldn't help us find my mom, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was a woman who looked like she could be some sort of archaeologist. The only thing weird about her was that she looked strangely suspicious about something. She glanced around nervously to make sure nobody was watching as she went through a door that was concealed in the wall. It was very odd; like something out of a “James Bond” movie. I went to tell Agent Parthen or one of the others, but when I turned they were caught up in a conversation with what looked like the museum's curator. Right there I made a really stupid decision that changed my life forever.
I walked over to the spot where the door was, looked around, and went through it.
Inside was a corridor lined with metal and blinding fluorescent lights. At the end of the corridor was a door that appeared to lead to an elevator. The only problem was that I needed to have a key card or something to open it. I heard something outside the door and panicked because there was nowhere to hide. A man in a white lab coat entered. Thankfully, the man was searching for something and failed to see me. My heart was pounding as my mind was racing, trying to figure out something to do. The man looked up and started to say something, and I remembered the pepper spray I had in my back pocket. Without thinking I sprayed the man in the eyes and punched him to knock him out. Wow, I thought, Adrenaline rush. Quickly, I stole the card attached to his coat and activated the elevator with it.
I was practically shaking with fear and excitement as the elevator descended. I must have been well beneath the museum, for it took at least twenty minutes before the elevator came to a halt. When it stopped, the doors opened to reveal what looked like an area where they examine artifacts. There were at least thirty people in white lab coats looking at various bones, jewels, and even old weapons. It was like a warehouse almost. There was a path to my right leading to another doorway. I decided to take that route so as not to be noticed by the other people. Before I left, I noticed a rack of white lab coats and chose to wear one so blend in more. I went through the doorway, and I found myself to be in another hallway with a staircase leading further down at the end. I was headed toward the staircase when I heard a voice behind me yell,
"Hey! You there! Are you going down to deal with her?" I whipped around, startled. Without thinking I replied,
"Yes." The man looked suspicious for a moment and then yelled at me to get to work. I hurried to the staircase and down the stairs. I took a deep breath before I slowly opened the door, and what I found almost made me sick to my stomach.
My mom, attached to the wall by a chain closed around her right ankle, was at the far side of the circular room. She appeared to be sleeping; she was badly injured, as if she had been in a really bad car crash.
"Mom," I shrieked. She jerked awake and as soon as she did, I realized I probably should have been a little quieter. "Mom, why are you here? What have they done to you?" I whispered as I ran over to her. She had a black eye and cuts and bruises all over her.
"Faith? I'm here because I'm being held captive until I give them information of who I work for, and I've been tortured with an amount of methods that I cannot remember. Why are you here?"
"An agent came to the apartment, Agent Parthen, and asked me to come along to find you. We have to get you out of here, mom. How do I undo the chains?"
"You can't. I've tried everything. It's welded shut."
"There has to be a way. Oh!" I started rummaging in my bag for something I remembered Agent Parthen had given me on the plane. "Here it is." I walked over to my mom holding a small bottle of acid that Agent Parthen said could dissolve anything. I poured it on the spot where the chain met the cuff and it instantly steamed and dissolved. "Do you know a way out of here where there are no guards or people who would put us both in this prison cell?" I asked.
"I only know of one; it wan unguarded when I came here. It's how I got in, but they might have put someone on guard there after I broke in."
"It's the only chance we've got. You're too weak to fight and we need to get you to a doctor. Which way do I go first?" We went through another door in the chamber and walked silently out.
We managed to get to within sight of the door without any trouble. As we were about to turn the corner, an army of at least twenty-five people, with guns pointing at us, emerged from a door on the left. Everything was so chaotic, I'm not even positive what happened next, but I remember gunshots and a sharp pain in my right leg. My mother was trying to fight off three people, one of which had grabbed her hands and was holding them behind her back. It was like my life was in slow motion. I looked to my mom and she had noticed something that I hadn't. I saw the fear in her eyes as she screamed at me to run. As much as I didn't want to leave her, the look on her face motivated me to go. With tears running down my face, I ran as fast as I could with the wound in my leg. About ten feet to the door, I looked back to see everyone fighting. I saw a fiery ball engulf everyone, including my mom and the next thing I knew, I was blown off my feet and into a wall.
I opened my eyes to find a man standing over me.
"Welcome back," He said with a smile. I sat up as quickly as I could to find.....my mom.....and my dad sitting on either side of my bed.
"Am I dreaming?" I asked extremely confused.
"Not anymore, baby." My mother said with tears in her eyes.
"Technically you've been asleep for fifteen years," The man said.
"I was in a coma?"
"Not exactly. You're in the Meridian Psychiatric Hospital in Chicago," He said.