The 7 Plan Part 2

June 25, 2013
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I’m all alone. This is my second night on the island. The ocean turned into a pit of slick oil and reflected the sallow glow from the constellations above. I wrapped my arms around my legs and sighed. For the first time in over two years, I felt like giving up. There was no more hope for me, I was sure I would die here. I scouted the whole island, and there was not even a damn coconut in this place. I suspected there wouldn’t be any, the radiation has killed off or mutated most of the animals and plants, but it wasn’t the radiation that worried me. My only concern was starvation. I chuckled at the irony. Our world has fabricated suits that could protect us infinitely from radiation, but we couldn’t end world hunger. Our ancestors must be disappointed.
I didn’t care about my future as much as the future of this planet. There would be no more hope for it once the Determinators “saved” the world. All of human civilization will have turned into throng of mutations too; humans physically, but controlled by a computerized chip mentally. The 7 Plan was just a piece of paper but the most destructive thing that mankind would never know.
I couldn’t let Boss get away with this, he didn’t deserve to. I have to escape. I couldn’t let the whole world turn into a mass of robots; I had to at least try something.
“Hello!” I screamed. My voice just bounced off the clouds and back to my ears, I listened for a few minutes but there was no answer. No one was around me.

“When should I press the button Boss?” Keaira questioned. She was glancing down at the transparent, circular table glowing with a single red dot inside an irregular oval.
“Why are you so eager to press the button?” Boss snapped.
“Sorry, I was just trying to follow your orders. What’s up with you today, anyway?” Keaira stared at him curiously, Boss never got angry, or at least he never showed it.
“I’m sorry Keaira,” he said sincerely, “I was up all night; the lack of sleep must be getting to me.”
“So…should I press the button now?”
“No, not yet. I’m hoping–“ He caught himself. He was hoping to give Alatea enough time to find her way off the island, but he couldn’t say that aloud.

“Help! Help! Can anyone hear me?” My voice croaked for the hundredth time. I could feel my hoarse vocal chords straining for rest. I knew no one was around me, but my voice wouldn’t stop screaming.
I decided to pull out The 7 Plan again, hoping for anything. I figured if Boss left one clue, maybe he left another. For some reason, I kept feeling this magnetic force dragging my hand to that piece of paper, some gut feeling, so I gave into it. Unfortunately, I’ve stared at this crinkled piece of paper all of yesterday, until the sun cast an orange glow on the tiny flakes of sand and sinuous trees; dipping them in gold, but found nothing. Now, as the ghostly moon rose higher in the charcoal sky, I unfolded the paper once again and glanced at its familiar contents. I scanned over the note Boss wrote to me, which was of no use to me now, since I already left the ship. It just bothered me that if he was trying to help me, and knew I was leaving that night - which meant that I didn’t see the note - why wouldn’t he stop me?
Concentrate. I couldn’t think about Boss’s mental games now, I would find that out when I got back to the ship, if I ever found my way back there. I read over every blurred line, every fake word, every vacant space. Nothing. I groaned and shoved the useless paper back into my pocket. My fingers suddenly brushed across a small silky cube, and I pulled it out curiously.
“How could I forget?” I whispered astonished. How could I forget about the one thing that all of us Determinators carried around at all times, the one thing that could keep us alive? It was my ESC-pack. I can escape.
I automatically rushed to the rocky edge of the island and unwrapped the fabric from the metallic cube. It let off a red glow from the numerous buttons that covered its surface. My fingers slickly pressed the buttons and I then set my ESC-pack down on one of the smooth rocks. Seconds later the cube let out a jarring scream and inflated into my speedboat. It bobbed in the water, the boat’s slick surface reflecting the faint starlight. Meanwhile, I heard a low buzzing and mindlessly threw up my hand to swat away the pest swarming around my ear. The noise didn’t stop though, and I curiously turned back to look where its source was coming from. I didn’t notice the difference at first, but after a few seconds of staring, I realized the forest of palm trees were growing thinner. It looked like something was slowly consuming the island; the trees would sizzle until they disappeared into thin air. The buzzing grew more thunderous as that “something” got closer. What was going on? Well, I knew one thing; I wasn’t going to stay and watch that “something” eat me.
I hopped into the speedboat and pulled the lever to start the engine. The buzzing had become deafening, like millions of bees were swarming inside my ears. The boat jolted forward as I twisted the throttle. I rippled into the grayish water then turned my head to look at the island, but to my surprise, found nothing there.
“How is that possible?” I whispered to myself. I looked ahead at the desolate water that stretched before me. It was like the island was just soaked up into the sky. Was I having hallucinations now? Yep, I must be going crazy. I risked another glance and again saw the vacant space where the island used to be, it was as if it was never there. Then a long buried image exploded in my mind. A tiny red button enclosed in a glass case inscribed with the word DELETE, connected to a circular table that had a holographic map of the world. I can’t believe it. They deleted the island.
“What a plan, drawing an island just to get me off the ship.” I grumbled. The team had the power to create or destroy anything on this earth that they wanted. It was sickening. I was going to change that, I was. I hope they thought I drowned.
I had no idea where I was, but I remembered the directions Boss gave me before I left the ship. I hoped they were right because they were all I had. It seemed logical to start with the strongest Division first though. The 7 Plan would begin in two days, and I hoped that would be enough time to find my way back to the ship.

“Hello, sir.” A man in black slacks and a cream dress shirt greeted Boss.
“Hi, One.” Boss didn’t bother asking One any personal questions, he was always so gruesomely optimistic. They were both staring out of the glass building that was a home and office to One, a luxurious structure that stuck out like a shiny needle among a pile of dull, broken ones. They were in Division 1 headquarters and One was the Division’s leader.
“When are we going to initiate the Plan?” One turned to Boss with a huge smile plastered on his face. Boss believed it was permanently glued there and it annoyed him. But wasn’t that what he was fighting for, peace? Wasn’t he the cause of this man’s eternal happiness?
Boss looked back out at the crumbled landscape he was surrounded by. One’s building was in a safer part of Division 1, so there weren’t huge craters and broken chunks of asphalt surrounding them here. There did lay immense heaps of gray powder and scraps of melted metal from collapsed structures. The smoky clouds were slowly evaporating, exposing the slim rays of sunshine. Overgrown weeds were splashed among the heaps of brown and gray, the only color in this landscape. They were not the weeds he once knew, they were now thorny and a sickly green. Cat-sized rats scuffled across the road, their eyes were a bloody red, and their tails were long and thick. Boss knew several people had resorted to killing these animals for food, and he felt guilty that he could live in luxury while others suffered.
Coincidently, he noticed a man scurrying across the weathered, dirty path, hunching over something in his hand. Boss realized it was a basket filled with irregular ruby berries. The radiation had caused a lot of the plants to mutate, and he hoped those berries were safe for the man to eat. He was probably rushing to his Fallout, where his family lived to be protected from the radiation. The nuclear war was somewhat expected, so several Fallouts were built for families to live in while the war took place, to be protected from the radiation and heat. Unfortunately, only the ones who were lucky enough to be in their Fallouts and far away from any impact of the bombs survived, which were only a few thousand.
Boss didn’t want to do this. He knew what would happen. Once the Plan was in place, people would not resort to peace, and he would be ordered to implant the P-Chips into every civilian’s brain. He didn’t have a choice, no matter what he thought otherwise.
He stared into One’s eyes, a glint of silver peered through his dark pupils. Boss wondered about the man whose eyes those really were, the one who was born with those eyes; the one that seized them before he was cruelly erased from his own mind. These will be the only people left, if they could even be considered people. What did Alatea call them? Human robots? Human robots. But he didn’t have a choice.
“Tomorrow, at noon,” Boss stated through clenched teeth. One stared at him with that ghastly smile fastened to his face. It was slightly eerie, although One couldn’t realize that. He had no idea he was commencing the beginning of a mass murder.

“Almost there,” I softly said. Today was the second day, the day The 7 Plan would begin. I could see a spot of a gray mound in the distance, and I knew that had to be the ragged edges of Division 1. The ship had to be close by. They probably didn’t hide it in a cave this time. There was no need to when they would be implementing the Plan today and it was basically invisible. Before the war, I might have said it was impossible to notice an invisible ship, but after two years of practice, I’ve seen the slight clues that give it away. When the sun shines directly on the ship, it looks as if a thousand stars haven fallen to the earth, just random glitters in what seems like nothing. I looked for that now, but the sun wasn’t shining, so hopefully it would break through the clouds once I got closer. But I doubted that, I haven’t had the best of luck lately.
I was about half a mile away from the gates of Division 1, and there was still no sun.
“I guess I have to find it on my own,” I mumbled. I slowed the boat down once I was a hundred feet away so the engine wasn’t as loud. I didn’t want anyone to know I came back, yet. Once I arrived I parked my speedboat into one of the docks that jutted out of the pier. I stepped onto the wood and glanced around the dock. I stood there for a good five minutes and probably looked like a clueless idiot to the men guarding the gate. But I was; everything looked normal to me. Maybe it was impossible to find without the sun because I could not see the ship anywhere.
“What you looking for ma’m?” A rugged man wearing the Determinators ID underneath his RA suit approached me from the gate he was guarding. I guess he finally decided to help.
“The ship for the Determinators, is it here?”
“Can I see your ID? I don’t want no imposters going in there.” Of course, he didn’t need to ask this question, the only ones that would know about the ship would be the Determinators, but I guess he did it for safety reasons, and to stop unwanted guests, like me.
I was ashamed to be a part of the Determinators, but sadly, it was the only life I knew after the war happened, and maybe I was an imposter now, but he didn’t know that, and I still had my ID. I showed it to him.
“Wow, must be nice to be a part of the team. I mean, I am to, but I don’t do any of the fancy stuff you must do, only sit here and guard this fence from –“ He was interrupted by the sound of a shrill siren pulsating in the distance. I was shocked by the sound, and could do nothing else but stand still and listen to the piercing noise. I didn’t know what went on in the Divisions, so I was mesmerized.
After a few minutes the noise abruptly stopped, and a man’s cheerful voice swept through the air.
“Attention all civilians. Please go to your nearest medical facility. It is time for another radiation checkup. This is a mandatory assignment. Those who do not go will be found and forcibly taken there. Remember, this is for your benefit. Again, this is mandatory. Please report to your nearest medical facility promptly. Thank you.”
I could feel the blood drain from my face. Every single one of his words was thick with lies. I felt dizzy, I recognized the voice as One’s; he was one of the seven “human robots”. His voice sounded so optimistic and sincere, that none of the civilians could ever doubt his motivations. Little did they know they weren’t his. They were starting the Plan, and I had to stop it.
“You okay ma’m? You’re lookin’ a little pale, “commented the rugged man whose name I still didn’t know.
“I have to go. Where is the ship located?” I hoped that Boss would still be in there, and not helping One yet.
“I’ll walk you there.” We walked a little ways down the pier, and he pointed to an empty space. It wasn’t vacant, though; it was where the ship was docked. I noticed the fragmented pieces of sea and sky, and realized it was the mirrors of the vessel that fractured everything it reflected. I whispered a “thank you” to the man, and walked along the wood to the side of the ship. I pressed my hand onto the scanner, and the mirrors glided open to reveal a dark staircase. I stepped inside and climbed up.

I was panting heavily by the time I arrived in front of Boss’s ornate door. I glanced down both sides of the hallway. Empty. Everyone must have left to help with The 7 Plan, I least I got lucky with that. Now I just hoped that Boss would be in his office, which I was starting to doubt. I glanced around the hallway: plush crimson rugs spilled across the floor, a glittered diamond chandelier drooping from the ceiling, and carved maple doors littered the hall. I looked out toward the window and caught a glimpse of the smoky, dirty mass of Division 1. It was shameful, so shameful that those people had to live in poverty and we had all these luxurious materials that we never even admired. This was ridiculous, it had to stop. Please let Boss be in there.
I pushed open the door and stomped in. His head snapped up, and sapphire blue eyes stared back at me astonished. He stared at me for a few more seconds, then his eyes softened and relief washed over his face.
“I knew you would come back Alatea,” His voice inflicted no emotion though, but I saw a smile twitching at the corner of his mouth. Why would he be relieved to see me? He tried to kill me! He did warn you not to go. I swatted the thought away; he didn’t stop me, that’s what mattered. I wasn’t sure that he was on my side yet. For all I knew, that note could have been another one of his games. He frustrated me; I couldn’t make sense of his actions.
I had so many questions swirling in my head, but I decided to be straight and to-the-point, I was tired of the guessing games. “Whose side are you on Boss?”
He glanced up at the clock, and his face creased with worry, like he was late for an appointment. I figured he probably had to oversee the Plan with One soon.
“You have to leave Alatea. Right now. I can’t talk at the moment.” He grabbed my arm and tried to pull me out of the room. I stationed my hand on the wall for support and planted my feet firmly on the floor. I was determined to get my answer.
“I’m not leaving until you tell me.”
He glanced at the clock again, then begged, “Please Alatea. You need to go. We can talk about this later. Meet me at ten tonight, in the –“
“No! I need to know Boss, right now. I need to know if I have to save these people alone, or if you’re going to be there to help me. Just tell me.”
He shook his head slowly, in amazement, and his mouth turned slightly upwards. “You are more of a Determinator than I will ever be Alatea. You deserve to be on this team, I don’t.”
What was he talking about? Did he think that I would be a better leader than him? Is that why he threw me off the ship, did he think that I was going to try and take his position? But then again, why would he be jealous if he knew he didn’t belong on this team?
“Does that mean you agree with me?”
He ignored my question, like he didn’t want to answer it out loud. He started to nudge me out of the room. “We are all controlled by someone else Alatea, whether it be the P-chips or not. None of us are really free.”
“Only if you give those other people the power to control you,” I countered, pushing back against his grip, “If you truly believe in something that’s right, then you should fight for it and not give a damn about anyone else.”
He stopped pushing and nodded his head, smiling proudly at me, “That’s exactly why you belong on this team and I don’t Alatea. I wish I had the determination that you do, but I believe it is too late for me,” he paused to look up at the clock then continued, “You know what I do believe though?”
“What?” I was flattered that he thought so highly of me.
“I believe you are going to fix this injustice and save these people. That is what I’d want you to do.” I was shocked, and a tingling feeling spread through my heart - the pride of knowing that someone else believes. So he did support me, but something still didn’t make sense.
“If you’re on my side, then why are you still initiating The 7 Plan?”
He looked up at the clock again and groaned; he seemed annoyed that the time was passing too quickly. “Alatea, I really don’t have the time to explain this all now.”
“Once I leave here Boss, I’m not coming back.” I meant it.
Boss glanced behind him then pushed me towards the entryway of the door, blocking my view of his office. He moved his head to my ear and whispered hurriedly, “Everything is not always what it seems Alatea. Everything on this team is not what it seems. Whatever I told you or made you believe before is probably a lie.” I was dumbfounded. What did that mean?
“Like what?”
“Well, Keaira, for instance. She was just a ploy; she was never really a trainee. She became our new Second in Command when you were left on the island,” he spoke hastily.

Keaira. I couldn’t believe that she betrayed me like that; she was like a little sister to me. Strange enough, I couldn’t feel any anger towards her, sympathy washed through me instead. It’s not like she wanted to do that to me, she was probably forced to, and I felt pity that she had to go through that. I had a funny feeling that Boss wasn’t the one to come up with that plan either, that he was forced too.
I was about to ask why he left me the note on the Plan papers and didn’t stop me that night, when he leaned his head back and glanced at the clock again.
“You have to go now Alatea, I mean it.” His tone was serious but worrisome as he gently nudged me out the door, but he was too late. I heard the faint ding. I looked at the huge screen hanging on the wall opposite his desk. I saw what he was trying to hide from me. I saw another one of the lies he was talking about.
There was a man on the screen. He was unfamiliar to me, but he looked strong, powerful, and authoritative. He had oily black hair and dark beady eyes to match. His eyes were focused on me; they were full of surprise…and hatred. How could he hate me if I’ve never seen him before in my life?
“I told you to get rid of her!” The man’s eyes were now focused on Boss, his voice was deep and intimidating, and his face swelled with rage. Told him?
“I didn’t think she would come back,” Boss answered calmly.
“Call security! Now!”
Boss ran over to the phone on his desk, his cheeks bleeding with a red blush. He spoke furiously and hurriedly into the phone, all the while staring at me with his sapphire eyes, pleading something. They were saying, I’m sorry. When he was done, he said goodbye to the man on the screen, then shut it off.
“Who was that?” I whispered. He didn’t answer me, so I tried again. “Is he actually the one in control of this team?” Still no answer. “For God sakes Boss! Just answer me!”
He clamped his hand over my mouth to quiet me. His voice was quavering, “I am ashamed to be underneath him Alatea. It hurts me that I don’t have the strength that you do.”
“It doesn’t make sense though. Why doesn’t he want to be seen? Why pretend to put you in charge? Why fool everyone on this team?”
“Remember what I told you Alatea. Remember all of this, promise me you’ll try.”
The door slammed open then, and two colossal security guards walked in, wrapping their bulky hands around my arms, one on either side. A middle aged woman stepped in front of me, a thin silver needle shining with a gold liquid in her hands. Was she going to put that in me? I thrashed in the guards grasps, trying to wriggle my way free, but it was useless, they were too strong to budge. What was Boss – or maybe I should say the man on the screen – doing to me? Was this whole thing set-up?
“Where are we bringing her Boss?” One of the guards asked.
“The cellar,” Boss answered resolutely.
“But that’s where –“
“I know. Put her in the cellar.”
The lady stepped closer to me, the long, slim needle aiming towards my neck. She was not putting whatever that strange liquid was inside me. I tried kicking my foot into one of the guard’s legs, but he avoided it. I tried the other guard, and I struck his shin, but he muffled his groan and tightened his grip on my arm. I wailed out in pain, and writhed in their grips, but to no avail could I get free.
“You will be okay Alatea, don’t worry.” His voice was soothing and I felt reassured. Boss believed in me, he wouldn’t hurt me, right? His eyes confirmed his words, and I could tell he was being genuine. He would take care of me, I trusted him.
I suddenly stopped flailing and stood completely still. It threw the security men off guard. I moved my head to the right to expose the skin of my neck. I looked at Boss with trust, and his sapphire eyes looked back at me, burning with hurt. Not for himself, but for me. Yes, I could trust him, he supported me, and he felt my pain. I made the right decision. You will be okay Alatea, don’t worry. I kept repeating the words inside my head, reassuring myself that I would be alright. I glanced at Boss again, and I could hear the silent pleading of his eyes, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the silver glint of the needle inching closer to my neck. Then, I felt its pinch. At first, my neck burned from the gold liquid entering my body, but then the burn spread. It crept to the tips of my fingers and the ends of my toes, leaving a white-hot buzz throughout my body. It crawled up my neck into my skull, and left my brain frantic and burning and buzzing. Black dots blinked around the edges of my vision, and the scene before me started to get blurry. The burning buzz grew heavier in my system, made every organ, every bone, weigh ten times more than it should have. My legs started to grow limp, not being able to bear my weight anymore, and slowly slinked to the ground. My head drooped, and I could feel one of the guards pick me up from the floor. His arms slide under my back and behind my knees, carrying my semi-lifeless body. The black dots started multiplying, threatening to obscure my vision. I looked at Boss, pleading him to release me from this strange pain. His eyes still blazed with pity, but I could have sworn I saw a smile across his tight face. Maybe I was wrong to trust him. But it was too late, the black dots stole the last of my visibility, and I was lost in the darkness.

When I opened my eyes, I was cloaked in obscurity and the smell of salt burned my nose. I wasn’t sure if I was awake, because it was still pitch black and my head was spinning and confused. I went to move my hand to my head to steady it, but it was pinned behind my back by some kind of cloth. I tried to focus, but my head was swimming. Where was I? What happened? How did I get here? I couldn’t remember a thing. Something tugged in the corner of my mind, begging to be released, but I couldn’t seem to access it. I tried to break through the wall that surrounded it, but it wouldn’t shatter. I felt like I knew what happened, but someone locked up the information inside my head, for what reason, I couldn’t remember. What happened?
I huffed, I was getting frustrated. I focused on what I did know. I was on the Determinators, I got mad at Boss about the details of the Plan, and he ditched me on an island that Charles was supposed to be on. Boss left me a note, but still let me go. I was mad at him. The 7 Plan was going to commence and I escaped the island, heading to Division 1 to stop it. So why wasn’t I there, what made me end up in this dark and musty place? I didn’t know where I was, but maybe someone else was here with me.
“Hello?” I croaked into the darkness, my voice was sore from being unused. How long had I been out for? My voice rippled into the air, echoing to the farther recesses of the room. I listened for something, anything, but only heard the slow beating of my heart, and the sound of my breath. Nothing. I was alone, again.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of feet shuffling on the ground, lost and confused. I heard something hard topple over and hit the ground, and someone’s breath catch, stifling a groan. Then I heard a voice.

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