The virus has spread. The feeling of burning flesh and wanting to cut off your limbs, puking even if you had no food in your stomach. You would scream until your voice was gone, lost in the ocean of misery and death, the intense agony unable to be coped with. Most would die of cardiac arrest or they would just die. For no reason they would drop dead. You would puke blood, cough blood, cry blood.
The virus would make blood a necessity for your body, and what is the only way to get it? Through others. They were like zombies, and you had to kill them or chain them up until they died. And losing someone to the virus, scarred you, but being the only person who survived the virus and lived to tell the tale, tormented you.
My body became more enhanced than others, which made me faster, stronger, and smarter but didn’t help the inward pain and loss. I was invulnerable. I could possibly hear a pin drop from a mile away. I could see you even if you were completely hidden. My brain was able to perform in the most complex ways. Some would say I was a superhuman, I would say I was cursed.
I was distant to my surroundings, as my mind was in a different place. I need to focus on my main priority, where Sean and Anna were last. They are gone and someone needs to find them!
It is the smell of fear and pain-and death.
I scrambled over a hill into the abandoned barn. The paint on the sides was cracked and peeling from decades of misuse and reject. The inside however was not the prettiest, but, it was made in the best way for a barn. Sturdy and strong. I entered the barn, my steps muffled by old hay but suddenly I stopped,
“ Oh my…!”
My shout was cut off by a fist to my face, I staggered back,
“ You!” It was Colonel Beverak. He had blood on his shirt and hands.
“ How could you do this?!” “ They were infected, it’s not my fault!” I was enraged.
“ Bull! I hate you!”
I gave a quick glance around and saw a pistol,
“Wesson 44 magnum”,
I thought. It was the most powerful handgun in 2017, but in 2046 most guns are really powerful, but you know what the long dead Clint Eastwood said,
I have very a strict gun control policy. If there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
So I had to get that fast. I slowly sidestepped, pretending to be eager to get away. His head hung low but when he detected movement he was alert.
“Trying to leave so soon?”
He started staggering towards me, I dashed to the gun. He pulled out The Knife and lunged at me, I was too quick and he fell flat on his face. I grabbed the gun but felt a strong grip on my ankle,
“There is no one to hear you scre… Ah!”
I connected with his jaw with a right hook. It all happened so fast, he threw the knife, I caught it and threw it right into his stomach, then he pulled out a grenade. And I blew a hole in his head. It was like a bomb went off in his brain, grey matter splattered over me and the walls. Times like this are when you feel you aren’t human anymore. I thought that I had built a barrier between me and pain. But even though 90% of things don’t hurt me, Colonel Beverak found out a way.
He tormented my brain, he played mind tricks on me, but then he found out my weakness. My real weakness. Knives lined with a silver and copper alloy. Anything lethal with a silver and copper alloy, actually. Obviously nobody owned a knife like that. But Colonel Beverak had one, I don’t know why. But all knifes were made out of a titanium and carbon alloy these days. He let me see it one day, and I accidentally cut my finger, I thought he didn’t see but he knew. It had something to do with the dead virus cells coming into contact with that mix that made it go mad.
My finger hurt for awhile. My thoughts drifted as the grenade rolled from his limp and lifeless hands, the pin hadn’t been pulled. Sean and Anna! I looked around the barn for any signs that might give them away… I saw two bloody heaps of what seemed to be humans. There bodies were mutilated in a horrific manner, blood everywhere, heaps of entrails on the dusty floor. I quickly looked away, I felt as though I was about to puke. The thing was, their hearts were gone. That evil, disgusting, no-good, Colonel had… I don’t even want to think about it.
They need to have a proper funeral, I looked around to see if there was anything that I could wrap them up in. There were some sheets hanging,
“But mom! These have been collecting dust for over ten years!”
I tried to impose a little humor, but couldn’t help the feeling of suffering inside me. I grabbed them off the line, making it bounce up and down giving off a slight vibrating sound. I wrapped up what was left of Sean and Anna. These two were my best friends, they helped me fit in. They helped me be me. Now they’re gone. My eyesight started to get blurry.
“Men don’t cry,” I whispered.
I heard that too much. But there was nothing I could do to stop the tears from dripping down my face, leaving little paths. It was like someone turned on a sink expecting a trickle but got a waterfall. I lost a piece of me I would never get back. I would be forever unwhole.
Back then, I was just a kid. I was only ten. I didn’t understand. Are mommy and daddy dead? Who are those guys with the guns? They grabbed me hard. I looked into their eyes, I saw nothing. They picked me up and took me away. I woke up in a whitewashed room. I wondered where I was. I wondered,
When can I go to soccer practice?
Little did I know, there no longer was a soccer practice. Two muscular and broad men, came in. One was tall and mean looking, while the other looked like the spitting image of Bruce Willis. They told me to follow them. They pulled out a chair and asked me to sit down.
“We need to ask you a few questions,” said Bruce.
“What is your name?.”
The tall one asked, in a deep and gruff voice.
“What’s your name?” I replied.
He gave me a sharp glare. At that moment I realized something... He LIKED fear.
“My name is Colonel Jon Beverak.”
He offered me his huge calloused hand.
“ Marcus- Marcus Jimenez.”
I said , taking it.
“Pleased to meet you Marcus.”
The next day I woke with a start, all I could hear were horns and a deep, bone chilling, spine shivering, voice shouting commands. I saw a huge, hulking figure knocking others off their bunks, I had been moved to the cadets quarters last night. I hurried and shot out of bed, rammed my feet and arms into the drab cadet fatigues. I quickly folded out any wrinkles and made myself presentable. He stopped at me,
¨ Keep your head high, you can become a good soldier.¨
He had us line up in single file like in school, we were a battalion-of children. He led us up to a huge field. It was a football field with a track around it. We stepped on the track which felt slightly compressible under my feet, and the Colonel shouted,
“Four laps! The first to get done has one hundred push-ups. while everyone else gets two hundred. GO!”
Everyone sprinted, I thought,
“I’ll let everyone sprint and lose their energy and I’ll do a fast jog and keep a constant pace! I’ll win this!”
So I slightly slowed trying to make sure my pace wouldn’t stop, I could already see the strain on the sprinters faces. I finished the first lap in around 5th, everyone already started to lag behind. My legs hadn’t started to burn yet, so I decided to look around not losing focus. These other boys looked slightly older than me, but not as fit as I was. Advantage 1. What I didn’t know was that I was on the third lap, my legs were starting to feel it… Pretty bad! I kept pushing, already in second. He wasn’t going to give up first, so I decided to take it. We were 100 feet away, dead sprint. I sprinted so hard, not focusing on anything but the end. 50 feet, 25. He wasn’t far behind. I pushed my body so hard, I was going faster than I thought possible.
“I knew you could do it.”
I heard that cold, hard, voice. I collapsed. As I started to catch my breath I could hear the other boy shouting and cursing.
“SHUT UP!”The Colonel bellowed,
“Say one more thing and I’ll make sure you can’t walk for days! One hundred extra push ups you little snob!”
I got up to do my push ups, but felt an oversized hand on my shoulder stopping me.
“I need you to come with me.”
The Colonel said, in a much softer voice than before. He had me sit in a chair and said to me,
“Look Marcus, there is something you need to know.”
“What?” I was so confused.
“You have a virus that could kill you. But we have a theory that one with immense willpower and mental strength could have an advantage against it.”
“What!” My eyes started to tear up, I didn’t want to die.
“We want to be able to use you for a cure. So before the virus spreads we are going to do everything we can do to edify you on becoming a soldier.”
“Do you want to serve your country?”
I felt weak and vulnerable, but I had to respond,
“Yes. Yes I do.”
The training was brutal, but not as much as the fact that I could die. I was taken into the middle of the field with a few others. The others consisted of three boys. Chris, Kyle, and Josh. Chris was Mexican, kinda tall and big. Kyle was Filipino, average height and lean. Josh was American, he was tall and kinda muscled. But he was the most annoying out of all of them. We were all handed a Glock 42. To operate it was most likely child’s play for adults. I took it from him and held it down near my waist, while the others were pointing it and messing around. All it took to ease their fiddling around was a deep roar from the colonel,
“Shut yer yapping! And point those down! Unless you want to make your face even uglier by putting a bullet hole in it!”
They immediately stopped and cowered in fear. Then somewhat stood at attention. We went over the basics of the weapon and disassembled it. I had slightly advanced motor functions and cognitive acuity and other things that I didn’t know how to pronounce. I was the first ever born with a defect that actually helps increase brain function. They called it Jimenez Syndrome. He then prompted us to reassemble it. I could see the bemusement in their faces. I remembered the steps of disassembly and then did the opposite, it took roughly over a minute for me to reassemble it.
“ Done sir!”
He sauntered over to me, picked it up, and examined it thoroughly, then he spoke.
“Excellent. You finish this in amazing time while these screw-ups have not a single idea of what to do. Watch.”
I noticed he pulled a bullet out of his pocket, loaded it into the pistol, then proceeded to toss an object onto the grass. The others eyeballed it with the most vacant expression. He pulled the trigger hitting the object, causing it to explode with a blinding light and deafening noise. It was a flashbang. The others screamed and ran around crying. The Colonel snickered.
“If they’d had any idea of what to do they would have taken cover when I threw the grenade in plain sight. But no, they stared at it like the cretins they are!” He looked very resentful of the others.
“Screw-ups. Cretins. The Colonel was just full of anger, and hatred. It gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I hated it. It made me angry! I hate being angry!”
My thoughts lingered in a different place while The Colonel was jabbering on how they were “imbeciles” and “kooks” and lots of other rude things that I didn’t bother to listen to. Then all the frustration built up and I had to let it out.
“Sir, may I please have the gun.”
I stared at the human-like targets, my hand extended waiting for the pistol. His evil grin going unnoticed as he handed me the pistol.
“As you wish.”
I felt the cool metal being placed in my grasp, I gripped it. I walked over to the bucket of bullets, filling up the magazine all the way. Six rounds. I snatched a pair of ear protectors on the way to the target. I gripped the pistol firmly and lined my eye up to the sight. I pulled the trigger, savoring the smell of cordite in the surrounding air. It bucked in my hand, I loved the transfer of energy. POP! POP! POP! Three more shots fired at the target. Two left. I switched my grip to a single hand. I pulled the trigger, POP! This time I pointed it at Josh.
“I’m tired of you. You’re so bothersome. I can’t stand it anymore, maybe this will make you act like a soldier.”
I stared him down, then turned my attention to The Colonel, waiting for his approval. He grinned his heinous grin and nodded his head in approval. My mind hesitated but that didn’t stop my finger from pulling the trigger. POP! He screamed in agony as the bullet hit him in his midsection. I aimed for the “fleshy” part so that he wouldn't be in critical condition. I knew he’d be fine.
“Let this be a lesson to you lot. Any more of this and I don’t think Colonel would be as lenient as I am.”
I snarled. I was done with it. I turned over the pistol to The Colonel.
A voice prodded in all the excitement,
I growled in a bloodcurdling growl.
“Look at the target.”
It was Kyle. He looked absolutely stunned but didn’t look as uneasy as Chris. I slowly turned my head to the bearer of my rage, all my shots had hit the head and heart. I hadn’t even noticed how accurate my shots were.
The Colonel burst out laughing not pausing for a breath, deep chuckles from the gut. It was obviously funny to him watching a kid shoot another kid. It soon seemed to be forgotten as the medics came to take Josh away, they pulled his limp, passed out, body away on a stretcher. We continued our indoctrination, that’s what it felt like. It was forced upon us, it felt wrong. One of our training courses that was interesting was the ‘Spec Ops’ course which consisted of survival tactics, army tactics, weapons, phys ed., martial arts, and LOTS of ‘wars’ as we called them. It was actually MilSim, or Military Simulation. It was when we went to a paintball arena and used different weapons to fight. Sometimes it was hand to hand, or fencing, or we used guns. Today we were going to use paintballs. At dusk. I picked the Dye Dam. It was made for MilSims, so why not? We suited up, I looked like a Spec Ops. I was ready. I had a few flashbangs, plenty of ammo, and my taser. I knew this wasn’t going to last long.
“You all are ready to go right? Ready, GO!”
We sprinted in different directions, but I was ready. I hooked around to where Kyle went I immediately found him,
I murmured to myself. I opened fire on his back, POP POP POP! It was hushed by the silencer on the end. He held his hands up to signal he was hit. I crept back into the shadows, then I took off in search of Chris. I found him sheltered behind a wall. He was waiting for me, I started to creep closer but stopped. He placed motion sensors, that smart fool. He tossed something in my direction, a paintball grenade. It blew paint, I hid behind a wall as he opened fire. A childish grin spread across my face, I quickly put out my gun and fired a few shots. I knew what he was doing, he was going around to get me, I made sure my pistol was ready to pull out. I kept firing at the wall, then I pulled out a flashbang I held it up but felt a cool muzzle pressed against my neck,
“Stand up! Slowly! Don’t do anything stupid!”
I grinned under my mask, in a split second I spun around shoved his rifle up as he pulled the trigger shooting in the air, POP! As I pulled out my pistol and shot at his gut. POP! POP! He flattened on the ground grabbing his stomach. I won. Again. I walked over to him and gave him hand up. We both walked into the middle of the arena where The Colonel and Kyle were.
“Well boys, time to go into hibernation.” This was the time I was fearing the most, anxiety filled my soul. I shuddered at the thought of going into “hibernation”. It was when we are going to be put in a coma for who knows how long. I know, until we survive. If we survive. The future was bleak but I should have prepared myself for this moment a long time ago. We all followed The Colonel like a group of muscled melancholy fruitcakes. We walked into a corridor of the most downcast gray hue. It drained me of all my hope, all my heart. There were three hospital beds with the craziest things on the sides. There were a small group of doctors who hooked us up to the machines and fluids on the sides. Then to top it all off the pulled out prolonged syringes. They put something in us, something that would put us to sleep for a long time. My eyes grew heavy, my mind became cloudy. My vision started to blur, then everything became dark.
“You better wake up alive Marcus.”
THU-THUMP. THU-THUMP. THU-THUMP. My heart beat steadily. My eyes were too heavy to open. But I heard the rush of doctors.
“Subject 1 is awake. Check body functions.”
“Oh gosh we’ve done it!”
My limbs felt heavy.
“Give him a small shot of adrenaline.”
I felt pressure on my skin.
“We can’t. It broke on his skin.”
I opened my eyes and shot up.
“Get him down!”
They all tried to shove me down but a girl walked in, a very pretty girl at that.
“You need to lay down Marc.”
I immediately laid back down, I looked at my body and realized why my limbs felt heavy. I put on pounds of pure muscle. Also there were no needles in me. My body rejected them.
“Hey, how long have I been out?”
I was so perplexed.
“Six years Marc. Six years.”
It was the pretty girl.
“My name is Carmen”
She was beautiful, she had a dark lovely tan. And also beautiful long black-brown hair. I was in love wasn’t I?
“Can I please get up?”
I asked one of the doctors.
“There is nothing he needs. Let him get up and walk around, he needs it.”
They let me up, I was in some dingy medical gown. I stretched and looked at the other hospital beds. They were gone.
“Oh! Chris and Kyle already woke up! Where are they?”
Good thing Josh was sent home. He bothered me so much. I just wanted to know where Chris and Kyle were.
“Subject 2 and 3 are deceased.”
The doctor stated nonchalantly.
“They are DEAD.”
I bolted to the doctor and snatched his collar fiercely.
“You say it like they were nothing? YOU DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEM!!!”
He was terrified. I let go. It wasn’t his fault. This was his job. So what if a few kids died. He was just doing his job.
“No. No No No, NO!”
This wasn’t real. I was still asleep.
“This, this is just a dream. I’ll wake up any moment now!”
But it wasn’t. I knew all too well it wasn’t.
“No it’s not Marc.”
That soothing beautiful voice. I turned into her gaze, she had the most beautiful brown eyes. I really was in love.
To be concluded… :)