By Anonymous, Marquette, MI
"What's Up Count Dracula?"I wake up in a dark, damp prison cell. The room is small. At least, I think it is. It's too dark to be sure. I hear someone cough. I'm not alone. "Hello?" I say cautiously. I hear a voice on my right, "Jaden?" it says, "Is that you?"
I recognize the voice, "Deserae?"
"Yeah" she answers, "where are we?"
"I don't know" I say. It's far too dark to make out any people or objects. Then I hear a moan, this time from my left. "Don!" I yell with joy. I was afraid they had killed him already. Don and I started talking when I heard another voice coming from behind.
"Will you love birds just shut up." It was Paul. Then the puzzle started coming together. All four of us were trapped in a pitch dark cell in who knows where. The "where" park was answered as we heard the door slowly creak open.
A man walked in, he was tall and muscular. He looked pretty intimidating. My fears were confirmed when he turned on the light. The room became illuminated. I had just gotten used to the dark so now my eyes couldn't take the bright lighting. My eyes eventually adjusted to it. "Good evening" he said.
"What's up Count Dracula" Paul said. Paul had a knack for annoying people, maybe this time it would actually pay off. "Count" searched our eyes for weakness, but after years of dealing with this crap, you learn not to show any.
"You amaze me", he says, "you've managed to remain invincible for this long, it's impressive, I must admit."
"Well if that impresses you, you should see what else we can do" Deserae responds.
"Speaking of which," Count starts, as he zeros in on me, "you've managed to put yourselves in a most precarious of situations, my friend." (Hmm, strange, I don't remember adding him on Facebook.) The Count continues, "it's funny, I remember seeing you guys before, but that was almost eight years ago, you four were barely in middle school. That was a time when you were so young and helpless. So how did you get from there to here?"
"Do you really want to know?" Don asked.
"Yes, tell me everything. “Count said."From the beginning," he added, with an odd glint in his eyes.
"Well," I said, "then let's go to the beginning."
8 years ago....
Once upon a time, four perfectly normal kids named Jaden, Paul, Don, and Deserae were kidnapped from their homes. They each lived completely different lives. Paul was the son of a movie start, while Deserae lived life in the slums. I was just a small town girl (livin' in a lonely world), and Don was a farm boy. But our paths crossed at exactly the same time.
June 12, 7:44 am
It was a peaceful Friday morning, complete with simplicity and innocence.
Don was on his way to school. He didn't really care much for it, but he was determined to be the first in his family to go to college. It was a ten minute walk from his house, but who says he was walking. Don was running across the street when they hit him head on. He was only twelve, so anything he did was hopeless. One second he was a school kid, the next he was a recruit for a company so dastardly it shouldn't even exist. But it did. And once they had you, there was no way out.
June 10, 9:54 am
While we're here, I might as well just tell you my "story of recruitment."
I was twelve, like Don, as were Paul and Deserae. I was already at my school. It was math class. I could solve any problem, but I wouldn't let anyone know it. I was staring out the window when I saw them, three men in dark coats, scary suspicious. Then I saw one of them snap his fingers. In that instant the fire alarms went off. No coincidence there.
We all shoved our way outside. I tried to stay further in the back. But it turns out that was where they wanted me, because, in a fast moment, I became invisible. I became one of them.
June 10, 10:56 am
I think when they decided to take Deserae they figured that it would be easy. That no one would miss her. And they were right. They approached her from behind. Her brother tried to stop them, but he was killed like he didn't even matter. They put something over her face, she collapsed instantly. She didn't stand a chance. None of us did, which is what they were expecting.
June 10, 11:45 am
Paul was the exact opposite of Deserae. Paul was a rich, spoiled brat. He went to a very prim and prestigious school. He was popular (mainly because of his parent’s fame). But all the wealth and fun suddenly vanished when they took him. Right out from everybody's nose. He was with his friends when they came. Singling his out from the group, they struck. He wasn't so good as self defense stuff, and these guys were FAST. So he was an easy grab.
June 10, 11:59 am
Each of us woke up in separate rooms. Every room was identical: spotless white walls, cement floor, with a steel- looking ceiling. I woke up on a medium- sized cot. The room was small, but not too small.
(Which was why this room we were in looked so familiar. The four of us were back where we started.)
June 10, 12:00 pm.
Deserae woke up, eyes wide and fearing. She looked at the door. No doorknob. She was trapped. But then, suddenly, the door clicked open.
All four of us slowly peeked our heads out the doors. We walked toward each other cautiously, with no idea if one of us was the enemy. This was a game of "friend or foe," a game none of us were prepared to play.
There was a brief moment of silence. It took a minute or two until one of us was even trusting enough to speak.
"Where am I?" Paul huffed.
Paul had that look of "I'm better than you so you better answer me" plastered across his face. We all looked at each other, and then we came to the pitiful conclusion. "I don't know," I said.
None of us knew where we were, or why. So we looked around. The majority of the rooms in our section were beds. But the more halls we went down, the more we learned about our captors. This place was like a maze. Rooms, halls, secret rooms with secret halls. We were scared and confused. We wanted out.
June 10, 12:25 pm
Matthias Lee stares at his computer screen in the technology lab. His colleague walks in, "Matthias" she yells.
"Ah, no shouting" says Matt, even though the four test subjects were in a separate wing he still feared being made known.
"Relax, no one else in here" Elisa (the colleague) says, much softer this time. She pats him on the shoulder and pulls up a chair. "Are they at the lab yet?" she asks (referring to the four kids that just arrived).
"No" he answers, "but that doesn't mean I can't give them a nudge." Matthias opens the lab door from his computer desk. Then the four curious children enter the lab, unaware of the fate that lies before them.
June 10, 12:26 pm
The four of us walked nervously into a large room. It's obviously a lab, because there are machines and computers that look too complicated to have an actual use. This whole place looks creepy. I was sure I was going to get nightmares. Matter of fact my whole day felt like a nightmare. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, one of their agents showed up.
He looked like a shadow, but he didn't seem too scary. The agent came a little closer, but he knew he should keep his distance.
"My name is Michael," he said, while keeping a blank face. He continued, "You may be asking yourselves why you're here. And the answer is simple. You're part of evolution. Survival of the fittest. You four are part of the pinnacle of this change. It's about time you learn your true potential. Welcome to Castle."
June 10, 1:03 pm.
Well that answered my questions. "So then why are we here?" Paul asked. Michael answered, "We're here to discover your potential. Your power."
"And what is that exactly?" I ask.
"That's what we're going to find out," he says with a smile. (It was one of those kind, evil ones too.)
June 10, 3:36 pm
Michael led us around the facility. Kind of like a nickel tour only through a secret, dark, agency. We met a man named Matthias Lee. He was a self proclaimed computer genius. He showed us how he programmed everything in this place himself. "I own this place", he said, (numerous times) "and don't you forget it."
We were led around a little bit more, and then we were sent to our rooms, which was when things got a little creepy.
June 10, 3:39 pm
After we were all sent to our rooms we were essentially left to our own sanity. I wondered if this was some kind of social experiment. There were cameras everywhere. At least that's what Matthias has said.
"Hey", a voice said, it was coming from the next room.
"What?" I said. I got closer to the wall.
"Do you believe what he said, do you really think we could have abilities?" the voice said.
"I don't know," I answered.
"Oh," the voice responded, "well, whatever happens, we should stick together, all four of us should."
"Yeah," I answered, "my name is Jaden, by the way."
"Don," the voice said. He sounded scared, I'm sure I sounded scared too. I didn't hear from Don anymore that day. It was like I could help it either, because "they" came in moments later.
June 10, 3:39 pm
Matthias was fixing one of his busted computers. He figured he had to do something to keep him occupied while he was stuck in a temperature controlled room underground. Then his boss came in. "Matthias" he yelled.
"Ah, too loud" Matthias said.
"Are the recruits ready?" the boss asked.
"They're in their rooms." Matt answered.
"Well then, call Mr. Hanson and tell Dr. Crane to get his team ready," he ordered, and then he sighed to himself, "it's time."
June 10, 3:41 pm
Two agents came into each of our rooms. They grabbed us and walked us down the hall. Don and I exchanged glances. He nodded to me. I nodded back as they pulled us along. We were taken back to the lab. They put us in large machines. None of us knew what was happening (or going to happen for that matter). Then they hooked us up to tubes and wires. At that point, Deserae couldn't take it. She ripped off the wires, fought her restraints. Someone had to inject her with some kind of drug. It kept her still, but conscious. I don't think I'd ever been that frightened in my entire life. "What’s happening!" Paul yelled as they shoved him onto the machine. The boss, Jacob, entered the room.
"Congratulations," he said, "you've made it to your future. Now it's time to receive your fate.” Then he proceeded to state what I am now to assume was their most used cover up story/method.
“Everything you've witnessed and experienced over these past few hours is a lie. It was merely a dream. A fictitious game."
"This is a dream?" Paul says in disbelief.
"Yes, I'm so glad you're catching on," Jacob says smoothly. "Here's how this is going to work, you're going to remain still while we run one last test, or experiment, whichever wording works for you."
"What's the test?" Don asks.
"You'll see... eventually." Then Jacob turned to Matthias, who was at one of the computers. "Lock 'em in" Jacob ordered. In the press of a button, we were cuffed onto the machines. Sadly, there was no getting out of this. We were poked and prodded even injected with needles. I don't know how long it lasted, but it felt like an eternity. Once they stopped, I was no longer distracted from the pain. My muscles ached, my skin felt as if it had been ripped apart. Everything hurt. But then I shut my eyes, and in a second, it was gone.
June 11, 7:04 am
Don opened his eyes to the light of a ruby sunrise. He looks around, not sure where he is. Then he realizes he's home. Confused. But home. "Was that just a dream?" he wondered, "have I really just been in bed all this time?" He goes over the dream again in his mind. But it was blurry. Questionable. He searched for signs of needle marks or scratches, but there was nothing. "Just a dream," he says to himself. Don jumps off the top bunk of his bed. But instead of landing on the floor, he hovers in the air. Don is flying! Maybe it wasn't "just a dream."
-End of part one