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Author's note: I just wanted to express what it would be like to be completely change.
It started out like another ordinary summer day. If you count a near frozen planet a “summer” place. My name is Garmatha Sedor, “Garm” for short. I know great name right? But that’s the way it is in the way my parents are, my dad, Ross Sedor is a science major from Penn. State. My mom, Isabelle “Izzy” Sedor, a zoologist. Being gifted is considered “in” now a days, and that’s the way it is in the year 2034, and the frozen world. Thing is, around 2015, scientist came up with a way to cool down the earth’s atmosphere using a chemically generated ozone layer. You can guess how that turned out. So we ended up in a snowball effect. I personally think that people shouldn’t be screwing around with things or ideas they don’t fully understand. That’s my philosophy.
Any way, our schools let us out at a traditional time as they did for years. Give us a break, but little did I know that that would end me up here. Here, is a deserted island off the coast of the North American continent. Ever since I got here, well it be better if you knew how it all started.
While in school, I was a prized athlete. Track and gymnastics, even if I was only thirteen.
Whenever our track team met, I won with a least 10 feet’s worth of distance. I know I may sound cocky, but it’s the honest to god truth. I just enjoyed it, a lot. I do it even in the five-foot snow. I guess I’ve adapted, but I also guess it’s why I was chosen. Still, I’m getting ahead.
My parents were always looking at activities to keep active other than running around wild or flipping off trees. So when a certain letter came in about a “special program” I was signed up, I thought it would be a highly esteemed athletic program for the best of the best. First class flights and everything, but that’s when I noticed at our boarding, a man had a small pouch on his belt shaped like a pistol.
Were we that important, or were they just over protective? But when we reached the island, my suspicions were correct. My protective instincts were on full time high. Guards that didn’t hesitate hide their guns, video cameras lining the electrical barbwire at the top of eight foot high fencing. So full with voltage you could hear the sharp, high pitched whine loud and clear. All adding up to major concerns, what were they planning on doing with me?
When we walked into the building a mile away from the landing strip, the founder and owner of the program came and greeted us. He called himself “Caeruleae”. It sounded foreign to me, possibly Latin, we learned a bit; little did I know his name described his heart.
As my mother and father went to see my dorm, I was told to walk and talk with the Professor. He requested even if I did not enroll, I call him in a professional manner. Out of the corner of my eye, at the far end of the hall, I saw a shadow move. With an outline of a boy. But with a swish of a lab coat, and a push on my back, I lost the silhouette.
The man brought me to a strange room, a lab I guessed. Filled with test tubes, syringes, tools (I had no clue what for), and other things I couldn’t even put a label on. His guard asked me if I would sit on the table, like at the doctor’s office for a check up. Said something about having all my medical records be as up to date and as accurate as possible.
He went over to his bench to retrieve some tools. But when they pulled out a needle labeled, “DNA Injection ‘sample A’” I panicked. Walking toward me, I asked what it was for; all he said was, my future here, as subject number five.
My survival instinct mode kicked into ultra high gear, guns, guards, I began screaming kicking yelling for any one. Even my dead brother. Dalren. The best, so caring and mot considerate person ever, he never thought of himself first; he was also in the National Guard. Served in Iran for five years. Left at 25 years of age.
That’s how he died, and the reason the guard’s pistols made me so much more on edge than an average person, was because I knew their guns all too well. A Desert Eagle 50 cal. I knew that weapon inside out, and all it took to break my brother’s heart, was one bullet. It took one word of it to shatter mine. That day I knew the truth, even if I didn’t know the reason why, it could’ve been complete accident, I had sworn, no matter how hopeless the thought was, to avenge him.
All of a sudden, my world went black, my struggle ended, and I felt a quick pinch in my upper shoulder. Possible my neck, but I knew this was it; I wouldn’t be able to run, or flip from this.
Here we are, present day. It was nearly a year ago when I was taken into the Institution. Ever since then, my life has felt like a false start. Now, I have to re-adapt myself, and restart everything
I am now fourteen with three other captives. Hex, and his twin sister Raine. Lastly, Mance. Mance was different from any one you’d ever meet. All of us had been infected with a supernatural anomaly.
Hex and Raine, since their DNA was so alike, both got similar powers, they can manipulate matter each in a certain way. For Mance, he could disappear and reappear anywhere; he could conduct an energy field that repels a missile. Me, my speed, endurance, and agility had been brought up to their full power, and beyond. You may wonder what’s so bad with being super and special, but in actuality, it’s a living hell. Being watched 24/7, tested, over all, being a living lab rat. It’s nothing like the T.V makes it seem. No adoring fans. No government contracts for benefits of saving the country and the world. No one.
My parents apparently will never know what’s happening to me. Their memories of me were erased. So they’ll probably think Dalren was their only child. Any and all the people I’ve ever met or have had a possible link to had me cleaned from their brain. My name wasn’t there in any records, minds, or hearts. Nothing. But I still remember. Everything.
As for me, I’m stuck here. Even if I wanted to run away, I couldn’t. The Institution has a field around it that when our body comes in contact, it immediately rejects.
After I came to, and they explained everything to me, I ran into the field so many times I don’t even feel the pain anymore. I really don’t care either.
Lastly, everyone hates me.
I repeat, no one here likes me. Hex makes smart remarks at me, like telling me, “Actually think, use my brain if you had one,” and, “stop being such a tomboy and try being a girl, but oh wait are you a girl?”
Raine didn’t talk to me much, and when she did, she usually didn’t say more than ten words. Mance, well Mance was different all together. He’d stare at me with mixed emotions in his eyes. If I ran into the field when I got angry or so frustrated I couldn’t contain myself. But some how, he was always there.
I may never understand. But my thoughts of my life were interrupted by Hex voice screaming from the ground, “Yo! Daydreamer! Get your sorry butt down here!” Rolling my eyes, I fell back flipping off branch after branch and gracefully landing face to face to Hex before he could even yell at me one more time.
“What do you want?” I wasn’t in one of my moods to be bothered, especially if I was daydreaming.
“I see, don’t like keeping a man waiting. Very nice,” Pushing off his shoulders and jumping up to the nearest branch, I rotated and settled on a new perch just above his head.
“We’re having a scheduled match, the Professor wants everyone there. That means you scatterbrain.” Launching myself into the perfect powder snow, I set out for the building. Followed by the matter manipulating humanoid.
The building was entirely made of steel, that’s were we’re taken for examinations, test, or meetings. It’s when we meet up and the dumb scientist makes us duel to see our progress in developing our powers. The only time we’re really permitted to fight one another.
I usually have to battle only once, when the other three get to fight each other. They don’t apparently want to risk injuries with their newest toy. I believe I have something to prove to these guys, and now was my only opportunity.
* * *
The dueling room was roughly the size of my indoor gymnasium, well my old gymnasium, but a lot bigger. Nearly one thousand feet tall, and one thousand feet wide. It too had lining of field on the walls, there for it contained any one of us, or our powers in.
Even though we’re all supposed to be here, the Professor never was. He’d just observe us from a monitor from his little rat hole on this rock.
“Let us begin. First up, Raine and Mance.” His voice boomed and echoed through the empty hall. They were usually the first to fight. Raine seemed to have good control over her powers, Mance too. Each of them fought with amazing strategy. Almost graceful. Raine is strong, but Mance has never lost a match, to any one, not even to the robotic simulations. Which happen to be lasers fire at rapid pace and from all angels, and things swoops in to try and stop you physically with force.
The match had begun. Raine struck with full force wind blasts, manipulating matter it’s self came as natural as breathing for her. But Mance seemed to dodge a counter attach as smooth as gliding over ice. I can’t wait to be seen as one of these elite masters.
The match soon ended, Mance won when Raine left her back too exposed and reappearing right at the moment sending a “wave” to unguarded flank.
“Congratulations to you Mance. Still undefeated. Now to our next match,” I stood up waiting for my typical opponent’s name to be called. It was the same thing. Raine stood assuming her name would once again echo through the hall.
The Professor paused, “Shall we change the turn out, Gramatha, would you be up for a duel with, oh let’s say, our champ?” Our champ? Was he offering me a chance to really let my true potential out? All I could manage was a meek nod. Raine sat down with a blank face, and Mance took her place with me at the center of the ring.
I glance at the monitor out of the corner of my eye watching the trailing eyes of the Professor. When I turned my back, I could still feel them pressing against me. Continuing to watch in awe of hi precious toys.
As we looked in each other’s eyes, when the count down blared out, go. Neither of us made a move. I was expecting Raine; I didn’t actually know his typical fighting style. I don’t even know my real fighting strategy. I still went for it though.
Launching myself into the air, pushing my legs off the ceiling so fast the human eye could only make me out as a blur. I landed on the hard concrete leaving deep cracks in the ground.
Dammit, I didn’t hit him. I suddenly felt a rush of air on my back lifting the hair on my neck and arms, before I even knew he was sending me a wave, as he had done for Raine. I back flipped just when it reached the floor. I had beaten a defective blow. Feeling a bit more confidence, I stood still. Planning of using my speed as my weapon, I braced my self for an up-coming impact.
It wasn’t delivered.
He didn’t budge.
Why wasn’t he charged?
He taking it easy on me because I was year younger. Because he doesn’t see me as worth it, or too vulnerable. Well we’ll see about that. I’m not a defenseless as I started. Hurling my self forward so fast you’d miss it if you blinked towards his body. He had already had a shield up. I hit it full force. Staying put, I pushed harder and harder. I could see faint signs of struggle against me. I knew what to do now. I flung my body upward and back. I had used his technique of your opponent’s exposed back.
I stood over Mance now panting from having the wind knocked out of him. I could end it here now. He was a sitting duck, right beneath me, one more blow and I’d hold the title of defeating our finest athlete. I’d be closer to something I haven’t felt in over a year.
But I couldn’t. I’m not a cold-blooded killer. I wouldn’t forget I’m still human, and so was Mance.
Considering it, I heard the Professor’s voice, “Finish. Now.” Looking up at his monitor from the corner of my eye, I saw near excitement lurking in his eyes.
Those cold pools of darkness filled with excitement to my victory against Mance. Odd chances with an unfair win. He too was waiting to see how I’d end this.
Screw this crap, just because of what they did to us didn’t change a damn thing.
“Do as he says,” Mance’s voice sounded cold and unforgiving. One battle lost out of pure luck wouldn’t affect his record, who would know? Or was it to this kind of loose that made him angered? The fact was that I had used his idea against him. Deal with it for once.
“No, I’m not going to let you turn me into a monster.” Standing over him, starring him down, I made sure he knew where I was coming from. Stepping over him and back hand springing my self over the wall blocking the spectators, Hex and Raine and a few guards, and headed for the door.
The cool wind ripped at my parka, face, and tangled main of hair.
I ran for my home. My new home. Since I had refused to ever sleep in the Institution, they gave me an old movable condo. I had it nestled at the northern end of our five-mile radius island. Since I don’t go into the Institution, I have them drop off my rations for the month or two an make them in my “lodge”.
It, for whatever reason, tastes better to me knowing I made it. My diet consists of meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, dairy, and the ultra rare dessert. All essential. Apparently, here one of the few things they give special to us, is our food.
Well, I had special tests to see if anything wonky was in my food. A small mouse lives with me. I fed him bits of my food to see if anything happened to him. Rarely anything did. So, I kept him as a pet. He always came around near mealtime when I first moved in, he hardly ever showed himself. But after a month, he was my little sidekick. Whenever I talked to him about my problems or wished or dreams, he replied with a small squeak. Hence his name, Squeaks.
I’m not saying I can talk to animals he just listens. I’m glad, but I wish someone, meaning a human, did. But no one here ever thinks like I do. I think of life beyond this place. Back to my old friends family, peace of mind. Freedom.
My mind was completely oblivious to the knocking on my door. Snapping myself back to my unwanted reality, I walked over to my door. The cool air flowed through the cracked open door frame. No one was there. I could’ve sworn I had heard a noise. I looked one more time, and fought to close my door.
“What, I though, why are you here?”
When I turned around, Mance was sitting on my couch reading my book, He had already made himself comfortable with his parka sprawled out on the floor, and sat like a Roman on my sofa. I wasn’t a fan of having people knock on my door and slip into my house, all with out my permission; actually, I don’t like people in my house period.
“They wanted me to check up on you. I mean, you had us surprised after you didn’t finish and barged out. We thought something might be wrong with,”
“Wrong with me? As a matter of fact there is something wrong.”
“Oh? do tell.”
“This, this is wrong. They have no right to do this to us.” Now I was getting mad, I was letting myself become out of control.
I turned around, punched the wall, denting it trying to gather myself together. But couldn’t. No one would ever know my side of the story, I turned back to face him. But found him inches from me.
His eyes seemed to show hints of something. His face was so close I could feel his breath blowing lightly on my check. Mance’s eye shone in the light from the window. Perfect skin. His warm brown hair fell around his eyes. Tousled like he ran his fingers through like a substitute brush.
He placed his hand on my shoulder, and then it found its way to my neck, and then, right cheek. I normally wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about romantic crap like this. Yet, something in the pit of my stomach was turning and vaulting everywhere.
“Go on, let it out.” What was he playing at? You don’t let a grudge like whipping your butt in front of the Professor go and then be all sweet and forgiving and understanding. So I’d play along, let him get a sense of being played too.
“I just want to be free to be me,” Now I was really getting into character. I was in this situation before. Two years ago, a boy from our rival school played me to loose my game at the next track meet. I kicked his sorry butt afterwards when I found out he had a girlfriend. I ramped up my version of charm and seduction. Or at least, that’s what I think it is.
Batting my eyelashes, and taking his arm, I whispered, “You know, no restraints.” I knew it was working because when I decided, I became much more forceful, I had pushed him to the wall. Now I knew it was working, his faced flickered crimson red. Was he truly embarrassed to the fact I was acting this way?
Now for the finale, “So, you really want to know what I want? I want you,” moving him in the opposite direction, “To leave my house,” grabbing the door and pushing him into the open cold. And throwing his jacket in his face, “Leave me alone, and don’t follow or check up on me ever again!”
My breathing increased, my anger level continued to skyrocket. I now officially had reason to despise him. He let me act that way; he didn’t protest in anyway, he allowed me play a fool. I thought he cared in some way, but I was wrong. No one cares about me anymore. Those already hollow dreams were now dead to me.
“No promises. Just don’t let me in anymore.”
“You make me sick! You know what I wish to be free from, jerks like Hex, the guards, the Professor! And people like YOU!” The wind whipped at my hair, stinging my eyes.
“People like me? You’re the one acting all girly! Why the sudden change?” His voice carried out through the empty woods.
He caught me off guard; normally I’d slap or send someone out if things like this happened. But this sort of thing happens, well, never. Why did I behave that way?
“Well, answer me!” Mance was getting agitated, but why should I care he played me first.
“Why? What will you take from me like everyone else here has if I don’t?” Now I stumped him.
“I’m fed up with things being stolen from my life, me being stolen from my life, and just so you know, you did participate in that as well.” I slammed the door.
My little mouse scurried into my hand. “Are you going to take something from me?” “Squeak.” “Right, you take my food. But you stay by my side.”
I served my self and my little fur ball some chicken noodle soup, great for when I feel lousy. Put on my beat up t-shirt and old school spirit pants, and tucked my self into bed. Dreamed of my old life, and life beyond even that. I slipped deeper into my dreams, the only thing that they could never, ever take from me. In the silence of the night, I let my self be free.