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The Genius Factor
Author's note: I first thought of this idea when I was in fifth grade and at the beginning of sixth grade. This idea was my first big idea and one of my favorite.
Albert Einstein, Socrates, Leonardo Da Vinci, Nickola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Aristotle, Thomas Edison, William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin and Niles Bohr. All of these people were geniuses in very different periods of time with very different backgrounds and quite a few of them had mentioned things that were so much similar that it had to be true.
In the year 2011, scientists had developed a theory that shocked everyone. Well everyone that knew at the time. They learned new things about Einstein and a few others that maybe they shouldn’t have. I don’t think it was the right time for us to learn about it and maybe that’s why we are in the situation we are now.
Right now it is the year 4126 and the government will do anything to keep life going as it is right now but without their genius they don’t know how to do that. Hopefully you will be able to believe my story and what happened to us.
I know that no one would find this journal for a long time and I hoped that this journal will be more welcomed here than it was in my time. If you do happen to find this journal don’t read it if you want to believe that everything that you are being told right now was because of the kindness of the government. If you do read this journal then everything you know will find yourself doubting everything you’ve been told. So I’m warning you, if you read this there is no turning back so be sure that you’ll take this as a fantasy or that you want to know this.
I’m a fifteen year old in like I said, the year 4126. As much as I would like to say we are much more advanced than we were in 2014 we were not. 2014 the year that they figured out most of the information we required and needed to survive. The year that unlocked that information also came with a price. The price was a very expensive price but the government didn’t know that at the time and that’s why I’m writing this right now.
My name is Darren and I live in the stacks. The stacks are parts of the cities that are crowded to the point that if you didn’t stack the buildings everyone would be standing on top of each other and it would obviously be very uncomfortable.
The government put people like my parents here because they thought that “important people” should be pleased and comfortable so they could do their work.
The cities were divided into three very big sections. The most crowded was the stacks which I just explained in a very, very short summary.
The next section was also quite crowded but not as near crowded, as some would believe. The next section was called the Alcatraz section because of an old, high security prison way back in history. The Alcatraz section was filled with the criminals of the city that were watched 24/7.
The next section, the section of opportunity, would be what most people would call the most important part of the cities but I have a very different opinion. If you look into this section you would find adults working while the kids went to boarding schools and then went to their jobs. You wouldn’t find anything else going on besides work. If you walked in this section you wouldn’t see any smiles or kids playing or using their imagination. To me the government is raising what they think to be the most important people to become emotionless robots to take control of the future.
The government is changing the course of human civilization. Now if you ask me I would say that humans are supposed to be sharing life together not separately. If you look into the stacks you would see that wasn’t happening either but at least we’re not walking drones! You would at least see some emotion.
I have found artifacts from ancient times that helped me find out that the old civilization before us hadn’t been like this. They had been a family, they had become a team.
After finding out this information, I started doubting everything the government told us. Once I had brought my ideas to school and I had been punished for it. I was told that I couldn’t talk about the government like that and so when I didn’t discontinue my thoughts I had gotten detention. Ever since I had found out about this ancient kingdom I thought about the differences between all of the sections and about the nation as one.
I was eight years old when I had fully developed my opinion about the government. It was at a very young age but these are desperate times and so it calls for desperate measures.
Being made to doubt everything I believe in through all of my years has placed so much as a little doubt in the bottom of my heart. When I was eight that had finally started to hit me hard. I knew then that I had to either live with the consequences in believing what I believed in or completely forget about them. I obviously chose my beliefs, but that doubt still hung in my heart tucked deep down.
I had been in class when I was called into the headmaster’s office. I had no idea what I did this time but I was getting accustomed to coming here. It started to become my schedule after a while of discussing my thoughts with the class. Apparently the teachers didn’t like hearing about it. I didn’t get it though. After all it was history.
I was climbing up the stairs when I heard the alarm. The alarm never went off. We only had one alarm and that alarm meant that there was an unauthorized person in the stack building. It was puzzling. Who would want to come into the stack community school? We weren’t the important ones in the city, so who cared? Right about now everyone would be out of the stack building and piling into the next building.
I then realized that I had just been standing there from shock. If I didn’t get moving then that unauthorized person could get to me. I was not too worried though. I had thought this through if this had ever happened. I then dropped my stuff on the floor and stepped onto the transporter. The transporter’s lights were turning red and then blue and then back to red.
I stood there stupidly and waited for the transporter to do its job but it did nothing. After a while it turned to a very dark red then turned itself off. So much for technology! I jumped off and was about to turn around when I was pulled off and thrown against the wall.
“Ah!” I shrieked. It was a government agent. I could tell by the clothing. The government agents always wore hard black and shiny suits.
“What are you doing in here still, kid?” He asked me. I could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t like me so much. I see the hate in his eyes, the way he glared at me when I shrieked. He must’ve hated the stack people. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did, he was just like any other agent I’d run into. I shook my head with disgust. I didn’t know how anyone could like these people.
“Get out of here before I take you to the system myself!” He scolded and let go of me. I looked into the agents eyes and gave him a glare.
“You don’t need to be such a …!”
“There you are Mr. Daniels!”
I looked to the side and saw that the headmaster was to the left of me. The agent was still glaring at me.
“Now come on before you get into serious trouble!” The headmaster commanded. The headmaster was a short man and funny looking but you didn’t want to mess with him. He was very strict and if you broke his rules you better beware.
“I don’t think so.” The agent said. His broad chest pumped up and down and with the anger in his voice I could tell he didn’t want to let this go. My heart thumped hard against my chest. Not because I was scared but because I was furious. I wasn’t going to let him push me around!
“Crawl into a dark hole and…..” I started. The agent leapt forward and shoved me to the ground. The headmaster stepped in front of him.
“I’m sorry for his behavior sir and he will be punished but could you please just find this intruder and get out of here?” He begged. The agent glared down at me then looked up at the headmaster and nodded.
“Make sure he learns a lesson or next to it’ll be straight to the system!” The agent threatened. The agent straightened up making his glare disappear and making him look as cold hearted as I could think an agent could look. The headmaster nodded and the agent walked away. I stood up.
“Watch your mouth!” He exclaimed.
“He didn’t …..”
“You’re really lucky I came in when I did otherwise that man would’ve been hauling you into the system right now.” He said. I nodded. The alarm stopped.
“Now come with me Mr. Daniels.” He said. I sighed and picked up my stuff then followed him to his office.
When we got to his office we sat down at his desk and got settled he as took out my file.
“Mr. Daniels you have quite a record.” He started off. I sighed. Another detention was going to be in store for me.
“Why do you hate the government so much?” he questioned me.
“I don’t want to hear about your crazed rebellion!” He snapped.
“They don’t have a right to treat us like this!” I argued.
“Darren keep your mouth shut or I’ll send you to that agent so he can take you to the system!” He snipped. I sat back in the chair ready to blow up. He calmed down.
“Darren you’re a very bright child and a very respectful kid too but if you keep going on with this rebellion talk you won’t have a future.” He said softly.
“I know but…”
“Listen, Darren you have a chance to turn your life around for the better, you could help your situation out with your parents, I know that they are having financial problems and you could change it.” He said. I straightened up. What could he be talking about?
“Wouldn’t you like that?” he asked me. I nodded.
“Then listen to me when I say this, you have the highest IQ that we’ve seen in a long time, a long time and believe me this is a great opportunity but you’ll have to listen to me about this.” He said.
“What is it?” I asked intrigued.
“You have a chance to transfer to the Section of Opportunity but you’ll be working with some government agents.” He said quickly.
“No, absolutely not!” I jumped off the chair.
“Darren sit down and listen.” He commanded. I sat back down grudgingly.
“Think about it, you could get out of this no good section and be set for the rest of your life not to mention your families lives too.” He said. I felt a twinge of guilt. He stood up.
“Just think about it.” He said and opened the door. I started to walk out and he grabbed my arm.
“Think this through very thoroughly, this is a very important decision and I’d hate to see talent go to waste because of some grudge.” He said. I nodded and he let me go.
“Now get to class, they should be just getting back into class.” He said. I started walking again and looked back. He had just shut the door. This was weird. He had just called me up to the office so he could tell me about this opportunity? This seemed very suspicious. If I had to choose in a second about this stupid dilemma I would say no right away, but if this could really help my parents then maybe I should do this. It would kill me if I did.
When I got back to class everyone was just getting everything out for math. I hoped no one asked where I had been. If they did they’d tell me that I should go to the school or maybe even tell my parents.
This was a decision for me to make and me alone. No one asked where I had been.
When I was in class all my worries had gone down the drain for at least a little bit.
Math was really easy, but I didn’t raise my hand for anything because if I did I feared that I would say something that the teacher didn’t like.
My parents told me that if I had any more detentions that I would be going to the system for two weeks. I had heard that the system was an awful place. The system was a place that the government took kids that were misbehaving.
I had heard from a friend who had a friend who was taken to the system and my friend said that he was completely different. He said that his friend had told him that in the system the government agents would make you become one of them. That they would train you how to channel your anger and that they would teach you in hand to hand combat. He said that if you were there more than two times that they would take you forever. That you wouldn’t be able to go back to your parents and that they’d force you to stay with them and go to a camp for their kind of training.
I shivered at the thought. I had seen his friend one time after he had come back from the system and he was all robot like. Before the system he was the kid who rebelled big time against everything the government had said and who caused all of the trouble but they had changed him. They had broken him and he was the person with the strongest will I knew.
If I was taken to the system I wouldn’t be able to resist whatever they made us do. Once I had talked to that kid after he came back and he had said that he now wanted to become an agent. Just the fear of becoming an agent made me regret what I had done to that agent. I was very lucky that the headmaster had been there.
I looked up and saw the teacher standing over me.
“Huh?” I asked.
“It’s time to go home.” The teacher said.
“Oh, uh, thanks Mr. Dexon.” I said grabbing my stuff and standing up. I started to walk but he stopped me.
“Make sure you think about it thoroughly, Mr. Daniels.” Mr. Dexon said. How’d he know about that?
“Uh, okay.” I said moving around him.
“Oh, and Darren, don’t be afraid to answer my questions, I know you’re a brilliant student.” He said. I nodded and walked out.
As I got my backpack I thought about what I should do. I knew that everyone here would jump at the chance to go to the section of opportunity, but I didn’t want to what so ever. I liked it here with all of my friends. I didn’t want to live with a bunch of snobs. I also wondered who else was being offered this opportunity to be trained by the government agents. I wonder what they would do if I told them I wasn’t going to go. Would they force me to go? Or maybe they would tell my parents. Or they could be okay with it and they’d leave me alone. I hoped that it would be the third option. I got out of the stack building and climbed down the rope to my stack house.
On my way down to my stack house I saw the agent from earlier today and sadly he saw me too.
“What are you doing now?” He questioned me. I glared at him.
“I see that you haven’t learned your lesson yet.” He spat.
“You can…..” I stopped myself. He wanted that reaction so he could haul me over to the system. He swung over to the building I was at and got at arm length.
“What was that?” He sneered. I clenched my jaw.
“Nothing.” I mumbled.
“I know you want to say something to me.” He beckoned. I was furious and didn’t know how much longer I could keep this up.
“I don’t have anything to say to you.” I said quickly.
“I think you do.” He said and pushed me against the wall. I tried to push him off me but he held me there waiting for me to blow up at him and if I did he would happily take me to the system.
“Please let me go.” I begged.
“Not until you tell me what.” He replied.
“Please it hurts.” I whined. He smiled.
“I think I’ll just rest right here.” He said. I couldn’t take it anymore.
“Get off of me or I’ll…” I started.
“Or you’ll?” he asked. I had enough and I wasn’t going to hold back this time. I swung forward and punched him in the nose. He let go of me and fell against the side of the stack building. I staggered back. I couldn’t believe that I actually just punched an agent. In the face. There was certainly going to be consequences but it felt good. He kept trying to get me to do something and he succeeded. When he recovered he slid back over to me and smiled.
“Got ya!” He said triumphantly and grabbed me. I sighed and let him pull me along. After about a stack building down he stopped and looked at me.
“Where do you live?” he asked me. I was a little surprised. What was he going to do with me?
“I live two stack houses down.” I said. He looked down.
“Your family must be really poor.” He said.
“Yes, we’re the poorest in town.” I said. He sighed.
“Let’s go.” He said. We were at the bottom of all the stack buildings and houses because it was the cheapest house in town. We would’ve been in the system right away if mom and dad hadn’t found a house. Luckily they did. I wouldn’t have been able to stand it in the system all that time. When we got down to the end of the rope and jumped down. We were now at my house.
“Open the door.” The agent commanded. I sighed and opened the door.
“Walk in.” he commanded. I walked in and found mom and dad at their desks working busily. When they saw the agent they stood up quickly and straight. They looked ridiculous as they were anything, but neat.
My mom’s hair was jumbled in a crooked ponytail with coffee spilled all over her white shirt. My dad’s hair looked like a small tornado went off in his head throwing what little hair he had left into a rat’s nest. His clothes weren’t much better as he wore a crooked tie and dirty pants.
I couldn’t stand it in here or looking at them.
The room looked as though it had been through a lot in the past few days as we had all been busy. At least everyone, but me. Books scattered the counters that were barely held together by duct tape. The hinges of the doors hung down to the floor and the white room looked brown from the smoke courteously of our oven.
If my older siblings hadn’t learned how to cook quickly, we would have been on the streets begging for food. The older two had been too proud to make us go to the streets and thank goodness for that. The humility that would have brought to our family.
“What’s going on, sir?” Dad asked. The agent pointed to me.
“What did Darren do this time?” Mom asked.
“It doesn’t matter, you have two choices, either he goes into the system or you pay a fine.” He said. The exasperation on their faces told me they’d had enough.
“That’s not fair, they didn’t do anything!” I yelled. The agent grabbed my arm and squeezed it.
“Ah!” I whimpered.
“What will it be?” The agent asked. Mom sighed and looked at Dad.
“How much?” Dad asked taking out his wallet.
“One hundred Yesos.” He replied. Mom’s jaw dropped.
“We don’t have enough to give it away!” Mom exclaimed. The agent pulled me in.
“Then he comes with me.” He replied. Dad sighed and handed the yesos to the agent.
“Dad just let me go!” I yelled. The agent let go of me then walked out. Dad had a despaired look on his face. I wish they had just left me for dead. The food we struggled to get from day to day would be cut down and us kids would suffer the consequences because of me.
I had just set my parents back for months.
“This is going to put us back for weeks!” Mom exclaimed.
“I’m sorry!” I cried. Mom sighed.
“What have we told you?!” Mom hollered.
“He was pushing me up against the wall and trying to get me to snap!” I protested.
“You’ve got to control your temper or when you’re out on your own you’ll be in Alcatraz.” Dad said, “ you’ve got to learn that we are no importance to the government and that they can do anything to us.”
“You can’t change that, it’s just the way life is.” Mom finished.
“But we can if we stand against the government together, it wasn’t always like this!” I countered.
“Enough about this, it’s ruining your life, just accept life the way it is!” Dad yelled.
I sighed and walked into my room and slammed the door. No matter what I did my parents scolded me! They’d rather have me be pushed around then to stick up for myself. I flung myself on my bed and stared up at the ceiling for I don’t know how long. I had been thinking about going to the section of opportunity when my older sister walked in.
I just wished they would let me be! It wasn’t as though I had just killed a child.
“I heard that you ran into an agent today.” She said.
“Leave me alone, Janet.” I said. She sat down on my bed.
“I know how hard it is to hold back your temper when it comes to the agents, but sometimes they just keep on going.” She replied. I turned around.
“What was I supposed to do; he was pushing me up against the wall trying to get me to say something to him?” I questioned.
“I agree with what you did, there was no way you could’ve avoided that encounter, mom and dad are just so stressed.” She said.
She wasn’t so good at this, but I would play along to renew her conscience’s life.
“Really?” I asked. She nodded.
I guess this wasn’t so bad, but Janet didn’t quite understand. She was the person that understood me the most though.
“Thanks.” I said. She stood up and was about to walk out.
“Wait, I have a question to ask you.” I said. She nodded and turned.
“I have been offered an opportunity and it could change our lives completely.” I said. Her eyes widened and she looked intrigued.
“Should I take it even though it could make someone miserable?” I asked. She stared at me for a minute.
“My best advice for that is to do what makes you happy.” She said. I nodded.
“Thanks again for the advice.” I said. She nodded.
“Anything else?” she asked. I shook my head.
“Oh, by the way, Jason and Lizzy are here.” She said.
“Okay.” I said and she walked out. Jason was my older brother who worked up in the highest stack building. Lizzy was my little sister who went with Jason today.
I stood up and walked out into the kitchen. Mom and Dad were still at their desks working. They never had time for us. Jason and Janet as I mentioned before were the ones that made dinner all the time. We might sound close as I have described how we kids stuck together, but we actually rarely ever talked to each other because everyone was working.
To pass away the unsettling time in poverty I often found myself outside climbing on the stack buildings or on the ground searching for anything from the past. It was the most amazing thing to be out there searching and finding treasures of the past that people used to own. You could find history in these things. I couldn’t believe that anyone could hate learning about the past. It was cool and interesting. This was technically illegal to be out there because of the law that said that you weren’t allowed to go back and visit the old nation. I didn’t care, it was as though I walked into a new life every time I went down there. It took away the worries of my life away.
“Darren, pay attention!”
“Huh, what?” I asked. Jason was yelling at me.
“You’re spilling the syrup all over the table!” He snapped. I looked down.
“Sorry.” I replied and picked up the bottle.
“This is why you’ll be put into the system.” He said.
“Jason!” Janet scolded. I stood up and picked up my plate. I wasn’t going to deal with this tonight. I had enough happen tonight. First the agent and now Jason suffocating me with hate.
“What, it’s true!” He said.
“He’s having a rough day today.” She said.
“Grow up!” Jason snipped. My head was throbbing with anger. I dropped the plate and opened the door to the house.
“What’s going on?” Dad asked.
“Wait, Darren!” Janet pleaded. I jumped out of the house and started running.
I greeted the president and he held out his hand so I shook his hand.
“How’s it going in the Stack Section?” he asked.
“Alright, there’s a kid who needs to be hauled, but otherwise fine.” I replied.
“How’s the search going for the intruder?” The president asked.
“Haven’t found anything yet.” I said.
“Listen, I have a very important task for you.” The president said. I nodded.
“Send these to the stack schools; we need to get some very valuable information.” The president commanded. I nodded and looked at them. It was an odd task, but I could do it.
I woke up to a car alarm going off. When I turned around I found that I never went back up to my house. As I sat up I turned and saw that the car that went off was a government agent car and it was right above me. There were agents jumping down from their car and were now surrounding me. I broke the law and I would go to the system if I didn’t get out of there.
“Don’t move!” One of them yelled. They had guns. Shocked from the guns I did what any sensible human would do. I ran and kept running until I got to the stack building and climbed up them.
After I climbed three of the stack buildings I had looked back and found that they weren’t following me anymore. I stopped climbing and thought back to what happened last night. Then I remembered.
After I ran off after Jason had been yelling at me I had climbed up to the old nation buildings and apparently had fallen asleep there. That’s why they were above me. They probably thought that I had been living there for a long time. I had dreamt of just moving out there so I could just get away from all of these problems with the world. So much for that.
I looked up at the sky finally realizing the time. It was about time to go to school so I climbed down the buildings and snuck in through my window.
My parents would be frantic with worry and I should tell them, but I’d let them worry. It didn’t even seem like they had been looking for me. I only would ever spare the worry for Janet and Lizzy.
When I got in I could see that everyone had already left. I shared a room with Lizzy and she went with Dad or Jason to work and Dad, mom, Janet and Jason all left at the same time.
I opened my closet door and pulled out an old T-shirt that had the numbers 826985268. That was my number when I was born.
All of us got T-shirts like this and we were expected to wear them every day. The boys color for the T-shirts was red and the girls were purple. After I finished getting dressed I grabbed my backpack and climbed back out of my window and headed to school.
Agents scattered the halls and rooms ambushing kids left and right. Something was definitely up.
I almost got to class weaving around everyone when an agent too ambushed me. He pulled me aside and handed an envelope to me.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
“This is paperwork that you’re going to be filing out all day today, head to the class that you’re assigned on the envelope.” He said. I nodded fighting the venom in my throat and looked at the envelope.
I was heading to Mr. Dexon’s class to fill out the paperwork. I guess that was better than most of the teachers but I still didn’t know if I wanted to be there.
The halls of the small empty school seemed unusually clear as no one was in sight. The walls that were usually smeared with dust were even in tip top condition and empty as though we weren’t allowed posters.
As I headed up to Mr. Dexon’s room, I ran into the agent. He smirked.
“What are you doing here?” I grumbled.
“None of your business.” He said. I glared at him.
“Keep up with this and you might just find yourself in a cell.” He threatened.
“How’s your nose?” I coaxed. He took a step forward and shoved me. I was falling and then I wasn’t. I looked back and saw the headmaster. He looked furious.
It was a little odd seeing him livid at another adult. His brow furrowed making them look like a uni-brow and his baldhead made him look even more intimidating. His bright piercing eyes didn’t help the goose bumps that shook me.
“What are you doing?” The headmaster questioned. The agent looked taken aback.
“I was… he was…” The agent started. Awesome. Looks like he threw off the agent that had a vendetta against me. I’d never seen an agent like this before so I took it in for all it was worth.
“You are here for security and a small task; not to push around my students!” He snapped. The agent stepped back and glared at me. I had no idea that the headmaster cared so much about me.
“I am doing my job, just do yours.” The agent said and walked away. I was shocked. The headmaster turned back towards me.
“Are you alright?” he asked me.
“Yes, that was so cool Mr. Jensen!” I exclaimed. The headmaster looked relieved.
“Us, uneducated stack people need to stick together.” He said straightening his tie. I laughed.
“Thanks for the help.” I said.
“You’re welcome, now get to class you have some very important papers to be filling out.” He replied. I nodded.
“Before you go, I will be pulling you aside to talk to you about what I mentioned to you yesterday.” He said. I nodded and walked up the steps. I didn’t get why he just didn’t do that right now. The less time with whatever was inside the envelope the better.
When I got into Mr. Dexon’s room everyone was in their desks pulling out papers from their envelopes. There were agents all over the room standing over all the students. When they noticed me Mr. Dexon ran over to me.
This made me even more suspicious.
“You’re late; you need to get started right away with the test.” He ushered me. I looked at everyone else. They all seemed a little anxious to fill out these papers. Mr. Dexon didn’t wait for me to respond.
“I need an agent over here and a desk.” Mr. Dexon said.
An agent came out of the darkness with a desk and sat me down in the front of the class right next to Mr. Dexon’s desk. I didn’t know why but I didn’t want to open up that envelope. I didn’t want to start whatever was in there. I backed up.
“Sit down and start.” The agent commanded. I shook my head. Mr. Dexon walked closer to me. Everyone was acting so strange. It felt like I was in a dream. This couldn’t be happening. Why would the agents want anything to do with us?
“Please Darren; this is for your own good.” Mr. Dexon begged. I sighed and the agent sat me down at the desk. If I hadn’t I knew that I would’ve been forced to anyway.
“Open the envelope.” The agent commanded. I shook my head but opened it anyway. In the envelope, it was the weirdest thing. It was a test. A test with all different kinds of questions. From what do you like to do to what’s the square root of 365 and that was just at a first glance. I looked back up.
What did this have to do with the stack people? We weren’t allowed to advance so sending it to us didn’t matter any. It had to have something to do with my meeting yesterday. I just knew it.
“Start.” The agent commanded. I glared at him.
“Now!” he snapped. I picked up my pencil and started. I didn’t want to go to the system. The test was actually very easy.
I didn’t know how long we sat there and took that test, but it was starting to wear on me. After it had to have been two maybe three hours I finally looked up again and saw that everyone else was looking up too. We all wanted to be done. This was tiring and very repetitive. I knew everyone felt the same way I felt so I asked the question everyone wanted to ask. It was idiotic to keep going at this pace.
“Can we take a break?” I asked. The agents looked over at me.
“We’ve been at it for hours; just let us for at least ten minutes!” I whined. The agents shook their heads.
“How far are you guys in the packet?” The agent next to me asked. The answers was kind of depressing to the agents as most of us only barely got through half the packet.
The agents wouldn’t let us take a break anyway. I was just glad that I was almost done. I only had two questions left so it wasn’t much of a loss. I stood up and the agent glared at me.
“What do you think you’re doing?” The agent questioned. I glared back at him.
“I’m done with the packet!” I sneered. The agent looked shocked. He swiped the packet from me and looked through with disbelief. It was clear he didn’t believe me, but looking through the packet he knew I was. He turned to an agent that leaned against the white board.
“He’s done. “ He told the other agent. The agent walked up to him swiping it away. He came back with the same dumbfounded expression.
“What do we do?” The agent asked the other.
“Come with me.” The other agent told the other. They walked towards me and pulled me into the hall. One of the agents pulled out a phone and started talking.
I guess they were just as clueless as they looked. Even being a stack kid I looked like a genius compared to them.
“There’s a kid done.” He said into the phone.
“I know we didn’t.” He said into the phone again. He looked over at me.
“What’s your name?” He asked me.
“Darren.” I replied.
“Full name.” he responded.
“Darren Daniels.” I said. The other man took out a device and typed in my name.
“Darren Daniels, 826985268.” The man repeated as he looked at the other man’s device.
I always wondered what the birth codes had to do with our names. Some thought it was just to keep track of how many people lived, but I believed differently. It was to dehumanize us, to make us feel inferior. Too bad, that no one here wanted to believe that.
“Okay, will do.” The man said and hung up the phone. I rocked from side to side.
“You’re needed in the headmaster’s office.” He said. I nodded. Mr. Jensen said he was going to pull me aside. I guess that meant now.
“Good job in there.” The agent told me. I was confused then, but I would soon find out why he said what he said.
When I got into the office I found that the agent that I had punched was in the office talking to the headmaster. It didn’t matter that I was quiet during their discussion. The agent got up from his seat glaring at me as he passed. I guess I didn’t cut it.
“Hello Mr. Daniels.” The headmaster said. I walked in farther.
“Hello.” I replied. He pulled out a chair and pointed. I sat down and he pulled out my file again.
“So, I heard about last night.” He said. I smiled. The look on his face was priceless. I wanted to do that more often.
“This isn’t funny Darren; you were almost taken to the system.” He snipped. My smile faded. Buzz kill.
“I know that he had to have been doing something to you too, but this could ruin your chances, that agent told me that if he had any more problems from you he’s going to take you away, forever.” He responded to my smile.
I looked down. This is why I hated agents. It was always about them and not about everyone else. If I was in charge that would definitely change.
“Now onto more exciting things, what did you decide?” he asked. I frowned.
“I…. I talked with my sister and…”
“Janet was an excellent student; hopefully she helped you make the right decision.” He interrupted. Everyone knew Janet and loved her. When they got to know me the family name grew hollow with no meaning.
“I think she did, but you won’t think so, I’m sorry Mr. Jensen, I’m not going.” I told him. He frowned this time.
“I feared that you’d say that.” Mr. Jensen replied, “Is there any way I can change your mind?”
“I’m sorry, but no; if I have to choose between my happiness and becoming a snob, I’d rather choose my happiness.” I said.
This still didn’t truly echo my feelings. I wasn’t sure what to think at this point. I could’ve just turned down a better life for my family. Was I that selfish?
“I really hoped you’d go to that school, but I guess you could stay here.” He said, “and between me and you, I’m glad you chose what makes you happy.”
I smiled. I actually had someone that thought I did the right thing. He stood up. I was beginning to think the rumors of Mr. Jensen were exaggerations.
“So how’s the test going?” he asked me.
“Actually, I’m already done with it and it was really easy.” I answered.
“Wow, that’s extraordinary, but now I have nothing for you to do!” He marveled. I still didn’t understand the exclamations of everyone, but who understands everyone?
“So what do I do then?” I asked.
“Well, I’ll see if the agents will let you go home early, after all we have absolutely nothing for you to do.” He grinned. I was happy with the idea of being out of school early. He opened the door and had me come with him. When we found the nearest agent Mr. Jensen asked him.
“I don’t see why not.” The agent told us. I turned to Mr. Jensen.
“Thank you so much!” I beamed. He nodded and I grabbed my backpack and ran off for the old nation.
“Uh, oh wow, um someone scored one hundred on the test!”
I ran over to the agent grading the papers.
“Who, who could possibly score a one hundred in a place as crappy as this?” I questioned. The agent fumbled with the papers to look for the birth numbers. Beginners! I really needed to start picking the recruits by hand.
“Um, a 826985268.” The agent told me.
“Well pull out your ludicator!” I snapped. The agent pulled it out and typed furiously.
“A Darren Daniels.” The agent croaked.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t get rid of this hoodlum. The disease that plagued my perfect web. The agent flinched.
“Where is he now?” I asked.
“Um, we don’t know any more, he left the premises at eleven this morning.” The agent muttered. I sighed.
“Who let him go?!” I spat. The agent looked like he was about to pee his pants.
“I did sir.” He mumbled. My face got hot.
“Get out of here before I explode!” I snapped. He got up off his chair and ran out of the room. Agents these days!
“Andrews!” I yelled. The agent appeared within a few seconds.
“Yeah, what’s up?” He asked.
“You have a very simple but important task and don’t upset me because I’m already annoyed enough.” I told him.
“I’ll do my best.” He said. His suit sat perfectly on his shoulders and his complexion was perfect for this area of expertise.
“I need you to get this kid.” I said handing him the papers with the birth code on it. He looked down at it with curiosity.
“I’ll do it, but if you don’t mind me asking, why do you need him?” He asked.
“That’s not of your concern just get that kid.” I told him. He nodded and walked off. At least there was one good agent, which I was proud to say I handpicked. This kid was everywhere and I couldn’t get rid of him.
I don’t know how long I sat in the dirt on the bottom of the old nation, but I didn’t care.
Since I had a bunch of time before the rest of my family arrived, I started digging for more artifacts. I had found a bunch of old money from the old nation including jewelry and toys, but this was not what I was looking for.
What kept bringing me out here was the history of the old nation and the perfect thing to tell me that history were their journals. Those journals were fascinating and it told me so much about how people used to live about things that made people tick. They talked about how precious freedom and life was in general. Like I said, fascinating.
After I had left the school I went back to my house and dropped off my backpack and grabbed my gear and watch. I knew I was going to be there longer than usually and so I definitely needed my watch otherwise I would be there all day without knowing it.
I looked down at my watch. Opps. Five on the dot. I was late for dinner and school had been out for three hours. Jason was going to be furious with me. I had been digging out an old watch when I looked at my watch and knew that if I was going to get out this watch I would have to be here for another two hours. I had to quit and go back tomorrow.
I stood up and grabbed my things then hid the old money and jewelry. If I was caught with these ancient artifacts I would be whipped by an agent. I knew this from experience as a boy. Rarely did an agent come through the stacks, but when they did they were vicious.
As a boy, I was stupid forgetting to hide the artifacts. An agent had spotted me coming up from the Old Nation and held me in the middle of a crowd where he had taken out a whip. Everyone sat there with blank stares as my cries filled the air and the hate incinerated my heart. That was one of my first encounters of my life as a boy. Never would I forget that.
When I got up to the rope I had set out for me to climb back up I noticed that there was something different going on inside my house. Something that made me want to go back and turn around, but I ignored the feeling. After all I knew that no one wanted to be around us. We were the poorest in the stacks and rarely had visitors.
“Hey, Lizzy I found some cool new stuff at the old nation!” I yelled as I walked in and set my stuff down. Lizzy loved the history as much as I did, but still didn’t quite understand what all of it meant. As I looked up, I knew why I had that feeling of something bad that was going to happen. There were three agents in the living room and my parents were on the floor. Janet, Jason and Lizzy were nowhere to be seen.
The adrenaline pumped through my veins. I needed to get out of here, but didn’t want to leave my family in this mess.
“So you’re the one digging up all that old stuff!” One of the agents hollered. I backed up and started to run and found that I was surrounded. The panic was too much.
“Hello again!” The agent behind me said. The agent from the test was there. The one that stood next to me. I could tell by the mustache that swallowed his lip.
“What do you want, I didn’t do anything?!” I snapped.
“Actually you have been doing something, but that’s not why we’re here.” He said pointing to the artifacts.
“Then what do you want?” I asked. I clenched and unclenched my fists debating on whether or not to try to fight this out.
“We’ll discuss that later.” The agent said standing up. He turned to my parents.
“Thanks for the drinks.” He said. My parents looked absolutely terrified, but didn’t seem too terrified for me and I wasn’t terrified for them either. I was terrified for my siblings as I didn’t see them anywhere.
“Where’s my brother and sisters?” I questioned.
“They’re being put in the bedroom for security.” He replied. I sighed.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Somewhere you can be talked to without interruption.” The agent replied. He then snapped his fingers and the other agents grabbed my arms and pulled me out. I took one last look back and saw that mom had been crying and Dad had a bruise forming on his right cheek. I had a really bad feeling about this.
“It’s for you Agent Collins.”
I grabbed the phone.
“Hello?” I said into the phone.
“And how did it go?” I asked him.
“We’ve got him and we’re heading back to the school.” Andrews said into the phone.
“Okay, but be careful, he’s tricky.” I told him.
“Will do, but he doesn’t look like a threat.” Andrews said.
“Trust me, don’t underestimate him.” I said urgently.
“Okay, okay, I’ll make sure I don’t.” Andrews replied.
“Good, now hurry up and get back here.” I commanded. This kid was in a world awakening. He would soon learn that being disrespectful to his superior was a hug mistake.
“Bye.” He said. I couldn’t wait for this meeting. The more I thought of it the more I wanted it.
These agents weren’t very nice. They kept pushing me around and laughing at my interest in the old nation. I knew they were mean, but this was just a new low. They had asked why I kept going back to the old nation and I had refused to talk to them. That was when they started laughing at me. I must’ve looked as terrified as I felt. I just knew this had something to do with the system. It was just there.
This was another reason why I didn’t like agents. They acted all uppity and only cared about themselves.
When I finally realized that we were going back to the school I tried to get away because of the thought of being trapped in that school with those agents. The school was nearly impossible to get away without being caught. There were cameras in every corner and the only doors were in the front of the school and that would be guarded heavily. They had gone so far as to go to my house to get to me so I knew this was going to be easy. As we got above the school, the agents grew in anticipation.
“Get moving!” The head agent yelled at me as I stopped on the rope. I didn’t want to move so the agent flung me onto the ground above me with the two other agents. They knew I would try to escape which is why they had two of them go before me.
“Why do you want me here?” I asked.
“You’ll learn as soon as we walk in there.” The agent said and shoved me into the school. I looked around and found that the school was occupied by the agents that were here earlier. I was right with my guess of being trapped in here with these lunatics. I had apparently stopped so the agent pulled me along until we were in the headmaster’s office. I was becoming so unlucky. The agent who was going to talk to me was the one I punched. I bet he was going to make this as painful as possible.
“I’m glad to see that you’ve made it.” The agent said with a smile.
“Sit.” He commanded. There was no use. I knew that I wasn’t going to get out of here unless they wanted me out of here so I sat down like I was told.
“Finally some respect!” He exclaimed. I just stared at him blankly.
“I know that we got off on the wrong hand so let’s start over.” He said, “I’m Agent Collins.”
“Why am I here?” I asked. He frowned. He was so fake.
“Straight to the point, that’s what I like about you.” He said.
“Quit sucking up and answer me.” I said. Agent Collins sighed and took out my file. Who didn’t read my file?
“You have quite a file for the reason you’re here, some would think that we should just dump you into the system, but not the most important.” Agent Collins said.
“What’s going on?” I asked again. This wasn’t going to go over well. He pulled out a packet.
“What does a packet have to do with this?” I asked.
“Not just any packet.” He said handing it to me. I looked at it. It was the test I took earlier today and I had all of the questions right. A one hundred percent. I didn’t know how personal questions like ones in there could be right or wrong.
“It’s the test I took this morning, so what.” I said.
“You scored a perfect score.” He replied.
“So, I’ve had perfect scores before.” I said. Although this was different.
“This is different, this is an IQ test that everyone took and no one here has ever gotten this score.” He told me. I couldn’t tell whether he was impressed or disgusted.
“People here are smart, people here are a lot better than you snobs over there!” I snapped. He took a deep breath.
“I’ve heard that you were offered an opportunity.” Agent Collins said.
“Yeah, who cares.” I said. His face was getting colder by the second.
“You turned it down even though it could change your life for the better.” He said.
“I know, I don’t want to be like you.” I spat.
“Stop trying to make this a difficult thing and listen to me!” Agent Collins snapped. I quieted down for fear of the system.
“I’m going to offer this to you one more time.” He said, “Come with us to the section of opportunity and claim your destiny.”
I couldn’t believe this was happening and this was not my destiny. My destiny had nothing to do with Opportunity.
“No, definitely not.” I said happily. This backfired.
“I was hoping this wouldn’t have to come to this.” He said standing up. He whistled and the door opened. I stood up and backed away although I wasn’t sure how I thought I was going to get out of there. The agents came in.
“Let’s go!” Agent Collins shouted.
“What are you doing?” I asked with my heart leaping. This room was so small and cramped with just a desk and a book case in front of me that all of the agents couldn’t get in. The blue walls even seemed to be closing in.
“We’re going to the system.” He said.
“What, why?” I asked. This had to be a nightmare. This wouldn’t happen in real life. I was a stack kid and the poorest at that. Never in my life did I dream to be so known as I was now.
“You’re not coming with us and since you broke the law I have to take you to the system.” He said.
“You’re blackmailing me!” I snapped.
“Yes, yes I am.” He replied.
“That’s not fair!” I yelled. He smiled.
“Then come with me.” He said.
“No!” I yelled. He grabbed me and pushed me out the door.
“Then we’ve got to go.” He said.
“I haven’t even done anything wrong!” I spat.
“Either way, I’ll enjoy this.” Agent Collins said. I was now being pushed into a car. They took off real fast as the car sped off into the air.
“Last chance.” Agent Collins said. I really couldn’t believe that this was happening.
“Okay, come on.” He said, “But I always get what I want.”
“I won’t become one of you.” I said. Buildings upon buildings stretched out all over the ground. I thought it was bad in the stacks, but watching as the agents drove by I saw worse sights. In this section it seemed as though the sun never shined. Shade stretched as far as the crumbling buildings and the cells filled even the streets.
The most overpopulated section had now welcomed me as we came to a halt in front of the widest building I had ever seen. No wonder people caved in. There was nothing here but misery and everyone wanted happiness.
I looked over to see that Agent Collins studied me. I felt like a pet. He studied me as if I was his and if someone were to mess with me he’d throw them over board. I felt as though I was a prize to be won over.
After he realized I was watching him, too he opened the door grabbing me by the arm. Standing in front of me were buildings that weren’t stacked on top of each other which frightened me a bit. I had grown up only knowing the stacks now here I was. I was not an animal of change and the biggest change of all stood before me.
Agent Collins dragged me in front of revolving doors and we were met with agents. I guess they had been expecting us.
When we walked into the building I saw that there were kids on the side helping to guard. These kids really were brainwashed into becoming them. I was alarmed and knew it had shown.
“We can turn back right now.” Agent Collins said. I took a deep breath and shook my head. He sighed continuing.
I gazed around the room with awe. The room was the largest I’d ever seen. Some sort of magnificent contraption hung above us glowing. Gems hung from the contraption connecting into chains. Each little gem resembled tiny raindrops that illuminated the ceiling. The floor wore a beautiful red cushy carpet that ran down the middle of the room and before us stood a desk. There was a woman and a man sitting at the desk. As Agent Collins approached the desk the closer I got to passing out of fear. The man looked up and his eyes beamed.
“Hey Collins, it’s been awhile!” The man exclaimed.
“I know, but I have a special delivery today.” Agent Collins said pointing to me. Okay now he was trying to aggravate me. I couldn’t believe it. Delivery! The man looked over at me with curiosity.
“What’s so special?” he asked.
“This one the president wants; better train him hard and good.” Agent Collins replied. Why did the president want me? This was the first I’d heard of it.
“Really, wow, you’ve got a rough road ahead of you.” The man told me. I glared at him.
“You know what else?” Agent Collins asked. Of course he would.
“Huh?” The man asked.
“He doesn’t want to become one of us.” Agent Collins said.
“Oh, then we really have to work hard.” The man grinned. Agent Collins laughed. As if this were funny!
“What’s he in here for?” The man asked.
“I always get what I want.” Agent Collins responded.
“So he’s one of those.” The man said. I was in front of them! I could hear every word they were saying!
“That and you know those holes down in the old nation.” Agent Collins said.
“That was him?” The man asked. Agent Collins nodded.
“What do you do down there?” The man asked me.
“He loves history.” Agent Collins replied. The man laughed.
“Well better get him a bunk.” The man said.
“Have a good day.” Agent Collins said then looked over at me and smiled.
“I’ll be back.” Agent Collins told me and walked out. I couldn’t stand the guy! The man came out from behind the desk and pulled me along a corridor. Rooms scattered the hall and kids my age sat there in silence. Robots.
Finally we stopped at a room as he opened the door.
“This is your bunk.” He told me. I looked around and saw two other kids.
“What’s your birth code?” The man asked me. I sighed.
“826985268.” I read off from memory. He typed in my code then looked up.
“Well, Darren Daniels, this is going to be your home for two weeks.” The man said.
“I didn’t even do anything!” I snapped.
“But you did.” The man said. I sighed again and the man walked away locking the door behind me. I could tell this was going to be fun!
I looked around the room. The room was just a plain room with three beds. The walls were white as could be and there was a camera installed in the top right corner.
What did I get myself into? Why was I even being kept here? I should’ve listened to mom and dad when they told me to stop with all of this. This is what got me into all this mess. No matter what I wasn’t going to let them turn me into one of them. Absolutely not. I wouldn’t be able to handle it.
The other two kids walked over to me. One was a girl and the other was a boy. We all looked to be the same age. The girl had dark brown hair and the boy light blonde.
“What’s your name?” The girl asked me.
“I’m Darren, and you?” I asked.
“I’m Athena.” She said. I giggled.
“Like the Greek goddess.” I said. I didn’t know how I could laugh at a time like this. I was in the system! My brain was going haywire!
“What?” she asked me.
“You don’t know who that was?” I asked.
“No, but I’m curious to know as to how you know that.” She said.
“Never mind, what’s your name?” I asked the boy.
“I’m Johnny.” The boy said.
“Nice to meet you Johnny.” I said. He stared at the floor.
“What are you in here for?” Athena asked me.
“Because I didn’t do what an agent wanted me to do.” “I replied.
“Really, me too.” Johnny said. I wasn’t sure about Johnny. He looked too…polite.
“What about you?” I asked Athena.
“I punched an agent.” Athena beamed.
“Really, I did that too!” I grinned.
“Na uh!” she said. The disbelief in her face made this all the better.
“No, really, I wasn’t taken here earlier because my parents paid a fine.” I said. The flashes of my parents’ bruised faces haunted me taking most of the glee off of me.
“I never got that option.” Johnny said.
“Doesn’t it feel so good?” Athena marveled. The images of Agent Collins’ face made me smile. I remembered the relief it took off of me. The tension had rose from my chest. I had expressed myself and that was enough to take away my sorrow.
“Yes, but I couldn’t believe I did it!” I exclaimed.
“Me too!” Athena exclaimed. I laughed. Athena laughed too.
“How old are you?” Johnny asked.
“I’m fifteen.” I said.
“Just turned fifteen” Johnny said.
“I did a couple months back.” Athena said. I was getting bored.
“So what do we do around here?” I asked.
“Well the best one to ask is Athena, she’s been here three times and in two weeks she’s going to the all year round camp.” Johnny said. Did we all just arrive?
“Wow, really?” I said. She nodded.
“In the mornings we go out into the courtyard and practice fighting then they make us practice obedience and then we eat lunch.” Athena said. How corny could this get?
“What do we do after that?” I asked.
“We do our “studies” and then they put us in here until the next day.” Athena said.
“That’s got to be the dumbest schedule I’ve ever heard.” I said.
“I know and if we’re lucky and behave we could be picked to guard the walls with the agents!” Johnny said sarcastically. I chuckled.
“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.” I said.
“I know right!” Athena said. We all laughed again. I felt as though I was finally getting some good friends. Then suddenly someone banged on the door.
“Go to bed!” One of the agents yelled. I looked at my watch.
“It’s not even eight yet!” I whined.
“They make us go to bed right now because they wake us up at five in the morning.” Athena said. I nodded but didn’t like it.
“What happens if we decide to stay up?” I asked. Johnny shuddered.
“If you don’t listen to them they make you stay here longer and they train you harder than everyone else.” Athena said.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“It happened to me the first week.” She replied.
“What if I resist that?” I asked.
“There are worse things than what I’ve told you, but trust me you won’t, it’s always like a new timer like you to go around acting like a big shot, but you won’t after you’ve been here awhile.” She said. I frowned. That must’ve been what happened to that kid.
“Were you like me?” I asked.
“Yes, now go to bed before they come in here and punish us all.” She replied. I nodded and laid down on a bunk. This bunk was bare and didn’t help much at all as the cold air rushed through a vent in the wall. It was miserable as I felt my teeth chattering, but I didn’t want to go through what Athena had just mentioned.
“Goodnight.” I said.
“Goodnight.” Johnny and Athena replied at the same time. As I laid down and stared up at the ceiling for what felt like hours I realized that I never got to tell my sisters goodbye. They never got to see if I was okay after I had run off. I never got to see if they were alright. They were probably sick with worry after what had happened with the agents. I was worried about them too. I could just see Lizzy’s smile and Janet’s bright eyes. I missed them so much.
I don’t know when it reached the point in the night when the agents took me out of the room, but I knew it wasn’t good. They had lead me around the grounds of the camp until like Athena had said, we were at a courtyard. The courtyard didn’t feel like one as the only thing that filled the empty space were weapons and armor. I didn’t know why they were there, but they were obviously there for a reason.
“What am I doing here?” I asked. The man from the desk was standing to the left of me with two other men on the right side of me.
“You heard Agent Collins; we’ve got to work you.” The man replied.
“Why?” I asked.
“This is going to be fun, boys.” The man ignored me. All three men laughed and walked closer to me. I backed away, but knew I couldn’t do anything to prevent this.
The men had forced me into an armor suit and grabbed wooden sticks and started coming at me with them. They had tried to hit me with them, but I was skilled in hand to hand combat. I ducked from the first hit and with my quick reflexes I caught the next swing with my hands. The man looked at me with surprise and I kicked him and he fell back. The next guy lunged at me, but I jumped back and spun around in the air and kicked him. The man from the desk was actually the first one to hit me with the staff. I was jumping back again from the guy I kicked the first time and the man from the desk hit me from behind. We did this for hours and I was exhausted by the time they let me stop.
“You’re pretty good at this, you should become an agent, you’d be really good.” One of the men told me.
“Wouldn’t worry about that from this one.” The man from the desk said.
“Why?” The same guy asked.
“He doesn’t want to become one of us, thinks we’re snobs.” The man replied. The other man stared at me.
“I suppose that’s right.” The man told me. I smiled.
“I’m Rich by the way.” The man said holding out his hand. I nodded and grabbed his hand awkwardly.
“Don’t be trying to make friends with this one; he’ll snap one way or another.” The man from the desk said. Rich looked over at the man from the desk and frowned.
“I’ll deal with kids my way and you yours.” He replied. The man from the desk scowled.
“Whatever, get him a suit and send him back until it’s time for the others to come out.” The man from the desk replied. Rich nodded and grabbed my arm. When we were far away from the man from the desk Rich let go of me.
“So, I’ve heard why you’re here.” Rich said. I looked up at him with curiosity. He could have just gone along with the other men and messed with me, but he didn’t.
“I still don’t get why I’m here.” I replied. He frowned.
“I know, it’s unfair and I wish I could do something, but I’m just a beginner.” Rich said. I smiled. The thought of an agent doing something for me would be a miracle.
“Do you remember me?” Rich asked. I stared at him. I knew him?
“I’m sorry, but no, I have no idea who you are.” I said.
“I was around when you were younger, it’s me, Matt.” Rich said. A hint of recognition slapped me in the face.
“Matt!” I exclaimed. When I was younger Matt and I were pretty close friends. One day when we had been outside tossing a ball back and forth his father came and took him away from me without a word. Matt was three years older than me and the only true friend I’ve had. I never heard from him again until now. We had always been outside together searching for artifacts in the Old nation. I had missed him so much and wondered where he went to. Now here he was.
“Where have you been?” I questioned him. He half smiled and looked at the ground.
“After my dad had taken me away from you we packed our things and left the stacks; dad had gotten into some trouble with the agents and didn’t want me in the system, it didn’t work, after my dad was caught I was sent to the system right away.” He replied. I frowned.
“Do you remember our promise?” I asked him. He smirked.
“I wish I could’ve kept it, but as you can see that didn’t happen.” He said.
“When did you realize I was who I was?” I asked him. I missed Matt.
“Right after I heard what you were in here for, well what they could get you for.” Matt replied. I chuckled.
“There was no one else on Earth who would’ve been busted for going into the old nation.” Rich grinned. I stopped and looked at him.
“Do you ever miss going out and digging or even the freedom of not being under surveillance?” I asked him. He twitched.
“There’s not a day I don’t miss being out there with you.” He said.
“How did you make your way here?” I asked.
“I didn’t, I was forced here, after I had finished my training I tried to get away and go back to the stacks to become a teacher, but they didn’t want to let one of their soldiers go.” Matt said.
“That’s unfair!” I exclaimed.
“I know, but that’s life.” he said. He started walking again.
“I’ve heard that a lot, so why don’t we do anything about it?” I asked. He turned.
“That’s impossible, I’ve been in and outside of the system, I know how all this works, if I could you don’t think I would?” He replied.
“But if we banned together and stopped them they wouldn’t be able to do this to us!” I exclaimed. He walked towards me and grabbed my shoulders.
“Listen to me, I’ve been far into this, but it won’t work, just forget about all this, it won’t get you anywhere in life.” he said.
“I’m sorry that you feel that way, but it’s not going to change my mind.” I said. He sighed.
“Okay, but don’t think that I will help you out, we once were great friends, but I’ve grown up and have been taught differently.” He said. I frowned.
As we turned the corner I saw that we were closer to the room I was in before. I thought about what he said over and over again. Had they really changed him that much? If what I was hearing was right then the rumors were true and I was in for a rude awakening. He opened the door and shoved me in, but before he shut the door he looked back at me.
“I really do hope you change your mind about this, I’d hate to see you become something you don’t want to like I had to.” He said then closed the door. My famous temper was taking over my head. Emotions that I hid were now coming out. I didn’t want them to, but they were. I never liked showing anybody that side of me. It didn’t become of me. It was inhuman.
As I turned I heard the bolts clicking and saw that Athena and Johnny were up and in the corner talking. I walked over to them and when they saw me they quieted down.
“What was all of that about?” Johnny asked me. I shook my head.
“Nothing.” I said. Athena looked suspicious.
“Are you a spy?” Johnny asked me. If I had been in my right mind I probably would’ve laughed in his face, but I wasn’t. After years of searching for Matt I finally found him, but I didn’t like it. Matt had grown into an agent and now I was alone. My last hope was gone. I couldn’t hold back my reaction. A spy! I despised the government. Athena gave Johnny a deathly glare and elbowed him in the ribs.
“Ouch!” Johnny screeched. I couldn’t hold back my anger. I ran toward him and pushed him against the wall. I had no part in this. My body controlled itself shocking me at how violent it was.
“I will never ever be involved with the government, don’t ever forget that!” I snapped.
His face had gone ghostly pale. As soon as I realized I was doing what the agents wanted me to do I backed away.
The agents wanted me to snap so they could isolate me and get their way and I just handed it to them willingly. I couldn’t believe I had snapped like that and at someone that was trying to help me. I sat down on my bed. Johnny was almost in tears. My anger evaporated. Johnny was just a little kid at heart.
“I’m sorry I snapped like that, I just have so much on my mind right now.” I apologized. He nodded.
I looked over at Athena. She looked furious with me. The door opened and I looked over. There were two agents coming at me from the door with staves.
I looked up then closed my eyes and braced for some pain. I took one last look at Johnny and felt awful. I broke a kindhearted person’s heart. The agents stopped in front of me.
“Darren Daniels, come with us for violating the no fighting policy.” One of them said. I looked back and saw Johnny looking a little better, but still frighteningly pale. The agents grabbed my arms and pulled me along.
It took an eternity to get to where we were going. I knew that I was going to be isolated, but not this isolated.
They took me to the farthest side away from where I was staying before and as we walked past I saw that no one was in the rooms.
They were completely empty, which meant that this was probably going to be one awful week or however long it takes.
When we finally got to the last room, closest to the agent corridors, the agents opened a door and shoved me in.
When I looked around I saw that when I thought the equipment we had couldn’t get any more degraded I was wrong. The bed was a wooden board with a sheet lying on the top. The bed wasn’t even really a bed, but a hammock. There were metal chains holding the bed up and in the corner there was a small hole in the wall.
This was probably why no one wanted to be here. As soon as I was pushed in I was freezing and now I was going to have to deal with it, along with the wooden hammock.
It must’ve been an hour that I was in there until the agents came back and made me go to a room where they trained me hand to hand combat and one on one. At first I wouldn’t cooperate, but I learned a few minutes after that it would hurt me not to listen so I gave in.
After hours of practicing with different agents they finally let me rest in my room and a few minutes later came in with a tray with food on it. I was starving. I assumed that starving me was part of the isolation, but I couldn’t believe how long they made me wait to eat all day. It had to have been four at night when they finally let me eat.
It had to have been eight at night when they slid a book under the door for me to read. I also assumed that this was the “studies” book that Athena was talking about.
I didn’t understand why they hadn’t put me to bed until it the time reached 11:30. They were trying to wear me out so I would behave when I got out and this was definitely a way to do that.
It went like this for days. The same routine over and over and if I didn’t pay attention or I fell asleep they would work me harder. I learned that the hard way. One day I had gotten so tired and one of the agents was teaching me some move and I fell asleep when the agent realized I was asleep he hit on top of the head with a wooden staff. Didn’t feel good at all and gave me a headache the rest of the day.
It would’ve had to have been the sixth day when I finally got a visitor but not from a person I wanted to see. Agent Collins had come back and cornered me in the room. I sat there for about a half an hour until he finally spoke.
“I see that we’ve made some progress with you.” He said. That’s when I snapped at him.
“I am nothing like you!” I snapped. He chuckled.
“You definitely have become more muscular, I see that they’ve taken my advice and worked you harder than the rest.” He replied. I looked at my torso. I had taken off the shirt they gave me because it was torn and stunk bad. I could see now that I clearly had gotten more muscular. You could see all of my bones and abs. My arms were no longer scrawny, but ripped. I looked like I had been cropped to look like a body builder. I looked like an agent and that tore me to pieces.
“Now you see that it’s impossible to escape your destiny.” Agent Collins said. I jumped up and punched the wall. Agent Collins stood up and followed me.
“I will do whatever it takes to get my way and believe me I can do worse than this.” He said putting his hand on my shoulder. I took a deep breath and calmed down. He was right and I knew it.
“So you see if you don’t go along with me I can bring it down on your family and all of your worries will come true.” He said. I turned around and punched him in the stomach. He stumbled back and I kept my arms up. Fighting would definitely make me happier than his stupid words.
“Don’t ever mess with my family; they didn’t do anything to deserve this!” I yelled. He glared up at me and stood to the side of me and whispered in my ear.
“I could lay your parents off and have them arrested for overdue rent and have your sisters sent to the system permanently or maybe force your siblings to live on the streets where they can starve to death.” He replied to my anger.
I stood there shaking with anger and then it was gone. He was trying to bait me into going along with him, but if he did what he said he could then he would lose me for good. He wouldn’t be able to control me anymore. I smiled.
“What are you smiling at?” he asked.
“You can’t do any of that and you know you can’t, if you do I’ll never follow you.” I said. His reaction was not at all what I was expecting. He laughed at my response.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“If you only knew what I could do.” He said and then turned and knocked on the door. A minute after he knocked agents came in and I saw why I should be so afraid of turning my back on him. The agents walked in with my sisters and brother. It was clear what they were going to do.
I lurched forward and tried to tackle one of the agents, but Agent Collins caught me and pulled me back.
“I may not be able to do those things, but I can do this.” He told me. I desperately tried to get away from his grip, but it was no use. When I figured that out I started to cry from frustration. My panic was setting in.
“Please, please don’t!” I begged. Agent Collins nodded and one of the agents pulled out a whip and another pushed my little sister forward.
“Don’t, don’t I will do anything you want!” I shrieked. Agent Collins looked down at me and nodded again.
“Then this will ensure that you will.” He replied. I lurched forward again, but he was ready for it, slammed me against the wall, and made me watch.
“Just think you could’ve prevented this.” He said watching.
The agent pulled my sister’s shirt up and the other brought his arm back and then swung and hit her square on the shoulder. She screamed and fell forward. She was only four!
My scream was worse than hers knowing that I could’ve prevented this. The agent did this eight more times. Agent Collins knew my weakness. This tore me to shreds. It was so bad that I didn’t realize that my brother and sister had also been crying and screaming until it was already over. When it was over Agent Collins let me go and I dropped to the ground lying there for a few minutes while the agents hauled my sisters and brother away. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Agent Collins walked over to me and pulled me up. When I looked up at him he was filled with triumph. I despised him; I despised him worse than the government and wished he was dead. He was an evil man; anyone who could’ve done that to a young girl like that was heartless and should be burned. He was bringing out my violent side happily.
“Fine, you have your wish, but I will never ever treat you with respect or ever do anything for you, this is all for my family, so leave them alone!” I yelled. He grabbed me and brought me in close.
“I will do what I want and when I want to.” Agent Collins said. I glared at him and pushed him away. I couldn’t take it anymore! If one more person pushed me around like that I would flip out and then they’d never get what they wanted. Agent Collins knocked on the door again. The door opened and yet again another agent walked in.
“I will come to get him in two days, don’t let him escape or else.” Agent Collins told him. The agent looked back at him then to me and nodded. Agent Collins pushed passed him and walked out. For a second I saw a flash of pity upon the agent’s face, but then it vanished.
“Are you alright?” he asked me. I shrugged.
“Then come with me and we’ll get you some new clothes and a shower.” He told me. I nodded and walked out behind him.
The shower wasn’t the best, but it did its job. The shower was just a metal pole sticking out of the wall with a shower head. The water was freezing, but with what I had been through the last few hours drained me and I sat in the shower for what must’ve been hours trying to get that refill of happiness. If this carried on much longer like this I would be gone, there would be no one here left to do anything, but whatever someone told me to do. I couldn’t stand the thought of it. When I was in the shower I thought about just giving up right there and doing whatever Agent Collins told me to do, but what about making things right so people couldn’t do things like they did to my little sister and me? No one should ever go through that, ever. I thought of what they truly wanted from me. They wanted me, but for what? In order to defeat them I would have to give them what they wanted. The anger was filling up inside of me and I embraced it. This is how I would bring the government down. I would go undercover.
When I was done with the shower the agent came in with new clothes for me. The clothes were modified for me. The clothes were made up of a t-shirt and pants. The t- shirt had my birth number on it and was black with red lines outlining the sleeves and torso. The pants also had my number on the side and were the same design. I had no idea how they got these clothes so fast, but they were there and fit me perfectly.
If I had been given these when I first arrived they would’ve fallen right to the ground, but since they had worked me and worked me so much I had grown with muscles, but none the less I had grown. The agent laughed.
“Like those do you?” he asked. I was shocked. An agent had actually showed emotion. I understood now why they were the way they were, but there was hope.
“Uh, yeah.” I said.
“Let’s go.” He said. I nodded. He took me back to the room where Johnny and Athena were and before he shut the door I stopped him.
“Thank you.” I told him. He smiled.
“You will be a good soldier.” He said. I smiled and he shut the door. My plan was working. I looked around and found Athena and Johnny sitting in the same corner. I walked over to Johnny. I had something to do.
“I’m very sorry, Johnny.” I said. Athena stepped in front of Johnny and pushed me away.
“Leave him alone, Darren, you don’t have any business coming in here and messing with him like that!” she snapped. I sighed.
“I know and I’m dearly sorry; that’s why I’m doing this right now; if Johnny wants me to stay away I will, but I just want to apologize.” I replied. We both looked over at Johnny. Johnny stepped forward and smiled.
“I accept your apology.” He said and held out his hand. I smiled myself shaking his hand.
“I’m so glad that you’ve forgiven me.” I said. He nodded and Athena stepped forward again.
“If you ever hurt him again like that I promise before I leave I will make you regret it.” Athena told me. I nodded and me and Johnny sat down and talked.
It stayed like this for hours with Athena in the corner glaring at me. I knew I should go and apologize for my behavior, but I didn’t have it in me right now. I couldn’t argue, not anymore.
Johnny had told me that he had seen me out practicing day and night with the agents to improve my skills and later that night he also told me that he heard the screams and pleas.
I finally told him what was going on and why. He was shocked to hear that and when I was done telling him what happened I could see that this truly bothered him. It was then I told him about my plan. I probably shouldn’t have told him, but I couldn’t help myself. I was excited and I knew that he thought that I was turned into one of them, but that was the plan. To “become” one of them so they’d let me move around freely. He was impressed and told me that he would follow me to the end of the universe. I laughed but our conversation was interrupted by the agents. I was supposed to train more and Johnny was supposed to go to bed.
When I got down to the room we were training in, I braced for an attack. Every day I walked into the room I was attacked by one of the agents teaching me. They said that it was because I had to be ready for a surprise attack at every moment when I was out in the real world, but I just think they loved to hit me.
When I got into the room I did a back flip right away and waited for the agents to come out and continue on, but they just stood there looking back at me. Finally when one of them came out of shock that same agent walked over to me and held out his hand. I shook it.
“Great job!” He congratulated me.
“Thanks,” I said, “I learned from the best.”
He laughed, “Nice one.”
Finally the other ones walked out and stood around me.
“I see that you’re learning to listen to your instincts.” Another agent observed. I nodded. This was doing wonders on them. I couldn’t believe my terrible acting was actually working.
It continued like this for about ten more minutes and we started practicing. My plan was working its wonders on the agents and so it was doing its job. By the time the practice was over I had hatched an escape plan. I observed every single detail of how things worked here and how I would get away. I also had a backup plan in case that one didn’t work. When I was put back in the room with Johnny and Athena I told them the plan.
“Please!” I pleaded. Johnny looked over at Athena and then to me.
“I’ll do it.” He replied. Athena turned back to him and looked like he just slapped her.
“You can’t!” Athena yelled. Johnny shushed her.
“You’ve got to quiet down or we’ll be caught!” Johnny snapped and pointed to the cameras. She calmed down a bit.
“You’re going to risk being put in a permanent camp because of him!” She snipped.
“Yes,” Johnny said, “I am; it’s the right thing to do.”
“I don’t care; sometimes in this world you can’t always do the right thing!” Athena exclaimed.
“Athena, I’m going to do this whether you like it or not; if you’re not going to I am.” Johnny finally said. Athena sighed clearly mad at me.
“Okay, here’s the plan.” I said.
Within an hour or so they made Johnny and Athena get up and go to their studies while they made me go to sleep. Only they didn’t know what I was about to do.
Today was the last day to prepare for my escape and I had to perfect my plan or Johnny and Athena would be caught along with me, but their consequences much worse than mine. I sat on the bed watching and listening to everything and everyone. The agents were in for quite a surprise tomorrow morning.
When Johnny and Athena came back they told me every detail that they saw walking around and I told them their part of the plan.
“Are you sure you want to help me?” I asked them before bed. Johnny nodded and Athena for once agreed with Johnny.
“There is no guarantee that this will work.” I said.
“I don’t care, Darren, this is what my purpose is in life.” Johnny said, “I didn’t understand why I was here before, but I do now; I’m supposed to help you bring down the government.”
“I didn’t think that this would work when we first started this, but now I see that this will be for the better.” Athena said. I nodded. These guys were truly good friends.
“Thanks.” I told them and hugged them both. That’s when they told us to go to bed. Together for once.
It was an hour later when they came for me and Athena and Johnny were ready for what was about to happen. Every morning two agents came for me to take me to train with the others, but this time it would have a different result.
When they opened the door they didn’t see me. I was behind the door waiting for them to come in. Johnny and Athena were pretending to sleep.
“What where is he?” One of the agents asked. The other looked down at a ludicator.
“This is the room.” The other replied.
“He’s got to be in here.” The other said and walked in further with the other following behind him. That’s when I attacked them. The first one never knew what happened but the second soon found out why his partner was lying on the floor unconscious.
“What do you think you’re doing?” The second one exclaimed. I came at him and kicked him, but he dodged it and I swung out with a punch.
He never expected that. I hit him with so much force that he fell back and hit his head against the wall. I stood up straight and looked back at Johnny and Athena. Both were supposed to be pretending to be asleep, but Johnny looked over at me and winked. Athena blew a quick kiss and then both of them closed their eyes and rolled over. I really hoped they didn’t catch that. After all they would be watching me not them two. Now all I had to do was get into my hiding place and then the rest was up to Athena and Johnny.
“What do you mean he escaped?!”
“I mean that he took down two of our agents and ran off.”
“I know what that means!”
“I’m sorry Agent Collins.” He replied.
“You’re lucky that I’m not there right now to wring your neck!” I snapped. There was silence on the other end. Just the way I liked it.
“You may have lost the most important child in the world right now!” I yelled.
“I know and we’re looking for him right now.” he replied.
“You’re a disgrace to the agent uniform; do something right for once and find the kid.” I said.
“Yes sir.” He replied. I hung up the phone and punched the car window. Its window cracked and glass caved in.
“Speed up!” I hollered, “We have important business to attend to!”
“Where is he?”
“I don’t know!” The boy with the movie star hair exclaimed.
“Of course you do, he was in the room with you all day.” I replied.
“I told you he was psychotic; I stayed away from him.” The boy told me.
“We already know that, that’s a lie.” I replied, “we have video footage of you and him talking for hours.”
“He was threatening me.” The boy replied.
“Oh and I suppose the laughing was a threat too?” I said. I could tell this wasn’t going to go anywhere. Time to drop the bomb.
“How would you like to see your family again?” I asked him. A wave of anger flashed across his face.
“My family doesn’t car e about me, that’s why I’m in here.” The boy replied.
“I have footage that says you’re wrong.” I replied.
“Liar!” The boy yelled. I snapped my fingers and a video appeared.
“John, Johnny, my boy I miss you so much!” the boy’s father exclaimed. A tear ran down the boy’s face.
“Now how about that piece of information.” I said. The boy looked at me.
“The boy, where is he?”
“You mean tall dark and psychotic?” The girl played stupid.
“You know who I’m talking about.” I replied.
“Depends, I know a bunch of boys.” The girl said.
“Darren Daniels.” I snapped.
“Oh that boy; never heard of him.” The girl said. I sighed. This was going to be a long day.
At first I was afraid that I was going to be caught, but so far no one had come close to me. It was a really long day and I was hoping to be out of here within the first hour, but no alarm went off. I was worried about Johnny and Athena being caught. What if they did notice the quick interaction between us?
“Agent Collins, I wasn’t expecting you here so early.”
“I’m sure you weren’t; have you found the boy?” I questioned him.
“I’m afraid not, but we are so close to getting one of his accomplices to cave in and tell us where he is.” He replied. I sighed.
“Can’t you do one thing right?!” I exclaimed. The agent shook with fear.
“Where is this accomplice?” I asked.
“Room 657.” The man replied.
When I got to the room the boy was in there with his head down crying. I could clearly see they did a number on him.
“Here’s the deal,” I said, “You tell me where Darren Daniels is and I won’t kill your parents.”
The boy looked horrified. Just the way I liked it.
“Where is Darren Daniels?” I questioned him.
“We already have a confession from the boy; you can tell us everything now.” I told the girl. She looked shocked.
“Johnny, Johnny told?” she questioned me. I nodded.
“Then where is he?” she asked. Smart girl.
It wasn’t long after the alarm went off that I opened the door slightly and when I saw no one around ran out.
I had run along four corridors and almost got away when I opened the door and ran into agents that grabbed me as soon as I opened the door.
I was so close! It was then I wondered how they knew when and where I was going to escape. It would’ve had to have been Athena or Johnny that told them. It would’ve. How else did they know? The whole walk the agents were holding onto my arms. I found it kind of funny, but it made it impossible to escape, especially since they had guns, guns that would send you into a world of hurt and they had them pressed up against my ribs. Oh, that would hurt!
I looked at each of the agents and realized that these were the agents that lost me the first time. They wouldn’t need a reason to shoot me with those guns. If I even twitched and they didn’t like it they would shoot me. I saw that clear enough. The walk there was an eternity. The agents were walking slowly and we were obviously going deep into the building.
When we walked into the room I found that Athena and Johnny were there along with Agent Collins. When Agent Collins saw me he smiled and welcomed me.
“Glad you could make it!” he exclaimed. I was shoved across the room and into a chair in front of Agent Collins.
“I’ve got to say that that plan of yours was marvelous especially since it only took you a night to assemble.” He told me.
I looked around the room trying to ignore Agent Collins. I didn’t want to acknowledge him. The room was big and would be much bigger if the long table hadn’t been placed in the middle of the room. It looked like a conference room especially with agents forming in the back of the room.
Agent Collins walked over to me and crouched down. I glared at him and he glared back then raised his hand and slapped me across the face. My heart beating a thousand times per minute was filling with hatred for this man standing in front of me.
“I’ve got to say that these agents are teaching you quite a bit good stuff and to fool the teachers themselves would have to take some skill, this only makes me want to take you more.” He said, “But we can’t forget that none of this would’ve been possible to find out if it weren’t for this young lad over here.”
He placed his hand on Johnny’s shoulder.
“I….I’m sorry Darren, he threatened….”
“You don’t have anything to say sorry about; you probably just made his chances of surviving even better.” Agent Collins replied.
I glared at both of them. I looked over at Athena who was no longer giving me the deathly glares but directed them at Johnny. I can’t say I felt bad for him. This was my only chance to get away and help my family and he blew it. I may not ever get another chance to help them out.
“Darren, please talk to me…. I’m so very sorry.” Johnny begged. I turned to look at him.
“This might’ve been the only chance I had to help my family!” I snapped. He looked like he was going to cry, but I didn’t care. This is what they were doing to me. My tears were running out and I had none left for Johnny.
“I know and this was mine.” Johnny replied. I probably should’ve felt some sympathy for him right then but there was nothing. This was survival against the fittest.
“Well, this is enough drama for one day.” Agent Collins said and walked in front of me. I leapt forward and tried to strangle him, but three agents were on me at once dragging me back to the chair.
“I think it’s time to go; don’t you Darren?” Agent Collins asked me.
I just sat there all of the hope leaving my body right then.
Agent Collins snapped his fingers and the other agents pulled me up and dragged me along.
As we were walking I realized that all of the love and happiness in my life, all of it was being replaced with hatred and fear within my heart.
Agent Collins was getting his way. I don’t know why he wanted me so bad, I didn’t even know why or where I was going but he was making me into some kind of soldier.
This was what I feared the most. I didn’t want to become some walking drone that didn’t know what the difference between emotions and the alphabet. Finally I was getting out of this building for good. Who knows, maybe this place I’m going to will be for the better?
We were loaded onto an airplane. I believe that’s what it was called in old times. It looked really old too and was very noisy but I liked it better than the cars we had now a days. The cars were very quiet, but the noise is what helped soothe me. This is what I needed to keep me from breaking down right there in front of the agents.
I wondered if the agents cared about anything. Or if they even got a chance to before they were taken from their homes and even their lives. It seemed as if the agents they had were always raised to be agents when they were my age and younger.
If you were seventeen and older, I knew that you went to prison, but what happened to you if you got out of the system and you messed up again? Did they give you a break and just take you back to the system or did they haul you to the camps and leave you there for good? Or what happened when you were done with the camps? Is that when you became an agent? It’s kind of ironic. The kids who hated the agents and government ended up becoming agents themselves. Was that what was going to happen to me?
The building we stopped at was even larger than the system building. It was even spread out on the ground which made it look bigger. When we were above the main building and I was looking around I could’ve sworn that it was a school. It was then it clicked.
Agent Collins wanted me earlier to go to this genius school, but I had told him no. He always got what he wanted. This is what he wanted, but why did he want me to go here so bad? I couldn’t seem to figure out why he wanted me to so badly.
“Get out!” Agent Collins commanded. I looked over at him and glared but got up.
“What am I doing here?” I asked.
“You’ll see.” He replied.
“Why don’t you give me a straight answer for once?!” I snapped. He turned and looked at me and looked like he was going to punch me but was interrupted by what looked like the headmaster.
“Finally you’re here!” The headmaster exclaimed.
“Had a few major problems along the way, but fixed it.” Agent Collins said looking back at me.
“Well at least you’re here.” The headmaster told me.
“I don’t want to be here.” I said. The headmaster looked taken aback.
His face was a kind face, but I couldn’t let that fool me. Everything about him rang snob. His hair was brushed back and smeared with gel to keep it there. His eyes were brown comforting eyes and his clothes were black except for a shirt inside his overcoat, which was a tan color.
“Well why not young man?” he questioned me.
“I don’t like you.” I said.
“You haven’t even met me!” the headmaster exclaimed.
“You’re all the same.” I replied.
“Well, I guess I’ll have to change your mind about me then.” He replied.
“I’ll just fail out.” I said. Agent Collins pushed me to the ground and held me there.
“You will do whatever it takes to do your best!” he snipped.
“I won’t!” I yelled.
“You will, remember what I told you that took so long.” He said then got closer, close enough to whisper in my ear.
“I still have full control over your family.” He whispered in my ear and when I didn’t say anything got back up. I stood up and saw the headmaster’s fearful face.
“This is Darren Daniels by the way.” Agent Collins said. The headmaster held out his hand and managed a fake smile.
“This was who I was very impressed by; nice to meet you Darren Daniels.” He said. I looked over at Agent Collins and saw he was glaring at me. I shook the headmaster’s hand and he turned.
“I’ll show you to your room.” He said. Agent Collins waited for me to follow before he followed.
My room was huge. It was far better than the rooms at the system and it was my own. The room was filled with games and had a huge bed and next to the bed was a refrigerator filled with snacks and pop.
I was the most impressed by the bed that looked like a giant marshmallow with pillows on top of it. This was probably the only thing that was going to be good about this place. As I looked around I knew that it tickled the headmaster that I was so impressed. When I was done looking at the bathroom I walked back over to the headmaster and found him laughing.
“Where exactly are you from?” he asked me.
“The stacks.” I said. The headmaster’s jaw dropped.
“Then you’re in for quite a surprise.” He replied at my astonishment.
“I’ll leave you to experiment.” The headmaster said and turned and walked out. I knew they left the door unlocked but I didn’t care at that moment. I wanted to explore and that’s exactly what I was going to do.
“I can’t believe they did that!” Karla Daniels fumed.
“They can’t do that, can they?” Janet asked.
“I don’t know.” Jackson Daniels replied. Jackson walked over to their poor little girl. The little four year old had been through a lot the last couple days as well as her older brother whom they just couldn’t seem to find.
“They tortured Darren to the point he gave in to them.” Jason said.
“It was awful being forced to watch them two.” Janet replied. As Janet looked from her mother and father she saw no emotion. No horror at all for Darren, their son that they never paid attention to.
“They changed him completely, he’s now very muscular and looks like he’s been through a war, and he’s very skinny.” Janet said. Still no emotion shown. When they told them about Lizzy’s whipping they were outraged, but there was nothing for Darren who had been kidnapped a week earlier. Not a single tear for the boy who tried to make everything right in the world. She just couldn’t help it. Nothing for their son.
“What’s wrong with you people?!” she exclaimed. Her mother and father looked startled.
“Your son has been taken by these horrible people for a week and you show nothing for him!” She yelled.
“Janet.” Jason said trying to grab her.
“No, Jason!” she snapped, “These heartless people need to know!”
“Janet, don’t.” he replied.
“They’ve tortured him every day that they’ve had him and you feel no remorse for this poor child that just wants the world to become a better place!” She shouted. They just stood there.
“Unbelievable, I’ve just told you that your son is miserable and yet nothing!” Janet shrieked. Jason was getting frustrated too.
“The sad part is that you’ve never actually paid any attention to him, he’s probably better off there than here.” Jason said. He had finally let out his feelings that he’d held in for so long.
“That’s enough.” Jackson said.
“You have no right telling us what to do when you don’t feel anything for your son.” Janet said.
“Janet, just shut up!” Jackson yelled. She shook her head. Karla stood up.
“You shut up, Jackson Nate Daniels!” Jason yelled. Jackson looked outraged. He ran forward and pushed Jason who fell against their glass shelves and hit his head. It was then poor little Lizzy woke up to her brother lying on the floor with blood spreading across the floor.
“I can’t believe you did that!” Athena screamed at Johnny. Johnny already feeling terrible slumped against the wall.
“I know I messed up.” Johnny said.
“No, you don’t know; Darren was your last chance to make things right in the world after what you did and you messed it up!” Athena shouted.
“I have a plan.” Johnny mumbled.
“Oh, you better!” Athena snapped.
“I do.” Johnny replied.
“Tell me right now!” she shouted. He nodded.
“You know I get out tomorrow.” He said.
“Yeah.” She replied.
“I’m going to talk to his parents and then the GR.” Johnny replied. Her mouth dropped open.
“Johnny no one even knows if they exist!” Athena exclaimed.
“I know, but this is the least I can do.” He replied. Athena instantly felt bad about how she treated him and even worse about Darren.
“What about Darren’s family, you don’t even know where they live?” Athena pointed out.
“I’ll ask around, he made it pretty clear that he wanted to help his family, so I’ll help them out.” Johnny said.
“Johnny, if you’re caught you could be killed.” Athena said.
“I know.” Johnny replied. Athena ran over to Johnny and planted a kiss on his forehead.
“I wish I could come with you.” Athena told him.
“I know.” He replied. There was a knock on the door.
“Go to sleep!” An agent commanded.
The school wasn’t that bad. It was way better than the system and I still wanted to see my siblings, but maybe they would be better off if I wasn’t around. My parents clearly felt that way. They had never paid attention to me during my early childhood unless I did something bad.
I learned quickly growing up that they didn’t like me and sadly I grew up to not care about it. The only ones that really cared about me were my sisters and maybe my brother. He clearly was my father figure, but did I want to be like him? Maybe Agent Collins was right and my place was here with the other geniuses, where I was actually wanted for once in my life. Destiny had brought me here. This was my destiny.
I remember thinking that when I was in a time of need. I desperately needed someone to save me from myself. I needed to be told that I was loved in the world and that there was something to live for in life. I didn’t have that in that period of my life.
The first day was great. After the headmaster left me to explore the room I figured out how to do so much more than I did before with the new technology. After I was done with exploring I went over to check out some of the games. The games were amazing! One game you had to put on headset and push a button, then a screen appeared in the air, you would get to choose what character you would be, and then you would play this game called fencing.
I had heard of fencing in old times but this was really fun. You would be equipped with a long thin sword and a mask then you would get to fight the opponent on the other side. The objective of the game was to beat your opponent by poking them with the sword. There were three rounds and after the first you quickly learned what to do. It was hard at first but I learned.
The next game was a combat game. You were put into a team of eight and you had to capture a territory. To capture a territory you had to make it across the field, but the other team was also protecting their territory so it was harder. If you were hit with a sword or a bullet then you were frozen until the game was over.
I played these games for hours getting better and better at it. I had learned so much from the agents at the system so I was so much better than the rest. The only other person that was as good as I was called durray123. I assumed this name stood for something, but I didn’t know what. I wondered if I would meet durray123. Maybe he was here.
At three in the afternoon the headmaster came to get me. I obviously didn’t get the memo.
“Darren, come on, you’re late for class!” The headmaster exclaimed.
“Where and what class?” I asked. The headmaster sighed.
“They didn’t fill you in?” he asked.
“No, I have no idea what I’m doing here.” I said. He sighed again.
“I should’ve come to get you myself.” He said. Ha! If only he knew what it took to get me here. I’m pretty sure if he would’ve come to get me himself I would still be in the stacks.
“So…..” I said.
“I’m Mr. Lang, this is the enrichment academy, and you are in it, there is only one class where all of the subjects are taught and you are late.” Mr. Lang explained. When he looked at my clothes he sighed again.
“You’re not even dressed!” he whined.
“I didn’t know.” I said. He went over to the wall and pushed on the dial on the wall and it opened. I jumped back.
“WA!” I screeched.
“This is the closet.” Mr. Lang said pulling out a long red dress shirt out with my birth code on it and a pair of black dress pants and shoes. I felt stupid.
“Put these on.” he said. I nodded and started to undress.
“Not here my boy!” he exclaimed, “In the bathroom!”
I nodded and walked into the bathroom and quickly got dressed. When I walked out Mr. Lang had a black overcoat to put over my red dress shirt. I pulled it on and he pulled out books.
“Let’s go.” He said.
When we finally got to the class room and when we did everyone stared at me. Even the teacher.
“This is the new student.” Mr. Lang told the teacher.
“Welcome.” The teacher said. The teacher was a tall man with a full head of hair. He looked like he was in his mid- twenties and was very muscular. While Mr. Lang was short skinny and scrawny. He reminded me of the change I had gone through.
“Your name?” The teacher asked.
“Darren Daniels.” I told him.
“Welcome to the enrichment class Mr. Daniels.” The teacher responded.
“I’m Mr. Ross.” He introduced himself. I nodded and grabbed an empty desk in the back.
“Now, can anyone tell me the answer to this?” Mr. Ross asked while scribbling on the board. I thought it was really simple. I took me a minute, but when I realized no one was going to answer I raised my hand.
Mr. Ross searched for a hand and when he finally found mine he looked a little surprised, but called on me.
“What is it?” he asked me.
“It’s simple really.” I said. I didn’t know how they didn’t get this kind of math. It was simple.
“Well?” Mr. Ross asked me. I gave the answer and he looked blown away.
“How’d you know that?” The kid behind me asked. I thought of the journals down in the Old Nation I suppose I wouldn’t have known this without them. They had taught me many lessons. I just couldn’t figure out why they were printed material and the other journals were hand written.
“Like I said it was simple, you just had to think of it in the right way.” I replied.
“We’ve just started learning this.” The kid to the side of me said.
“Yeah!” The others echoed.
“Quiet down everybody!” Mr. Ross exclaimed.
“Where are you from?” Mr. Ross asked me.
“I’m from the stacks.” I said. Everybody gasped. Including Mr. Ross. It was then that I realized Mr. Lang was still in the room and completely astonished.
“Where did you learn this kind of math?” Mr. Ross asked me. I didn’t want to be laughed at again.
“I didn’t, I guess I taught myself.” I said. Everybody gasped again.
“You must’ve learned it from someone.” Mr. Ross replied.
“Nope, no one ever cared enough to teach me.” I said. Mr. Ross sighed.
“Then you’re an extraordinary student.” Mr. Ross replied. I nodded.
“Okay everyone calm down and we’ll get to the next problem.” Mr. Ross told the class. I nodded. Maybe I should lay low for a little while.
Class was very easy and I learned quickly that if no one answered the whole class would be punished so instead of lying low like I had planned I began answering all the questions. This was in every subject and by the time class was over I had earned a bunch of points. I should probably tell you about that.
Class was a competition. There was a point system and who ever had the most points at the end of the school year was awarded the big prize on the last day. Everyone wanted it, but no one knew what the prize was.
I had learned that if you answered questions correctly you would get a point. I also learned that no one liked the kid who had the most points. Right now I was tied for second and I didn’t like it. I never liked being the smartest kid in class but it always seemed to happen. It ruined my chances of making friends and still does. Even in a room full of geniuses I was still the genius.
After class I was informed of all of this by a kid named Ryan.
Ryan was really good at math and science. He was also a kid from a big family. He said he was the middle child and that he was also the child with the least amount of attention from his parents. His older brother was the favorite in the family and he was the least liked so they sent him away to a school far away from them. I thought it was a very sad story but he had told me that he liked it better this way.
Now he says he always taken care of and could talk to his friends. I also learned that Ryan was a room down from mine and that he loved to play the game where you play to capture the territory. He told me that it was called Territory for short. He also thought that it was really coo l that I was from the stacks and still knew more than he did. He also said that I kicked him out of third place. I apologized for that. All he did was laugh and I was okay with it.
When we got to our rooms Ryan invited me to play Territory and I agreed to it. I was so glad I was finally making a friend.
“How does he know all of this?” Kyle Lang asked.
“I don’t know, I was just informed that I needed to bring him to you.” I told him.
“He was only here for half a class period and he already knows more than the other students and is tied for second place.” Kyle Lang said. I sighed.
“I think you already have your kid.” Kyle Lang replied to his sigh.
“Just keep on going with the program; I’m sure it was just a fluke.” I replied.
“You’re sure?” Kyle Lang asked.
“Yes I’m sure, just keep an eye on him for me; there’s something not right.” I responded.
I hung up the phone and walked to the president’s office. I walked to his front door and knocked.
“Come in!” The president shouted. I walked in.
“We might have a problem.” I told him. He sighed.
“What?” He whined.
“Darren Daniels, the stack boy; he’s stirring up some trouble.” I told him.
“Why?” He asked.
“He’s a stack child and the other kids don’t like being shown up by someone inferior to them.” I replied. He gritted his teeth.
“Just make sure this kid isn’t hurt, he’s our best chance right now and there’s nothing wrong with stack people!” he exclaimed.
“I know sir.” I told him. What had gotten into him?
“Did I ever tell you that I came from the stacks?” he asked me. I looked down uncomfortably.
“No sir, I just assumed that…..”
“You assumed that I was from here.” He said. I nodded and he stood up and stood in front of me.
“If anything happens to that kid you’ll pay for it.” He threatened. I nodded and looked down.
“Get out of my sight.” He told me. I nodded and walked out.
Ryan was really good at Territory. I couldn’t believe how good he was.
He was way better than me and must’ve been practicing for years.
I was freaked out when Ryan showed me that you could talk through the program to other members of your team. At first he just assumed that I already knew how to talk through the program so when he started talking I jumped back with shock and exited the game.
I figured that this was also how the ancient humans would’ve reacted to what we have at the stack buildings now, but here I don’t think they could’ve taken it.
When he came in and told me that it was him talking on the other side we laughed and he showed me several things I could do on these types of games.
“You got it now?” Ryan asked me when he was done. I nodded.
“Don’t you have all this stuff at the stacks?” he asked me.
“No, we have nothing like this; all this stuff here is amazing!” I exclaimed. I looked over at him. He looked depressed.
“That’s sad, what do you have?” He asked me.
“We have transporters.” I said.
“That’s it?” he asked.
“Yeah, that’s about it unless you count the buildings.” I replied. He shook his head.
“I can’t believe it; I always just assumed that you guys had all of that stuff.” He said. I shrugged.
“Why don’t you have all of these things?” he asked. I couldn’t believe that he just asked me that.
“Have you actually ever been in the stacks?” I asked. He shook his head.
“The stacks are full of poor people, that’s what I am, I’m a poor person; the government stick us in buildings on top of each other because we aren’t as important as people in opportunity.” I said. He shook his head again.
“But you made it here, how did you make it here; why did you want to come here if we treat you that way?” Ryan asked.
“That’s the point; I never wanted to come here; when the government wants something they get it no matter what.” I answered. I was starting to sound like Agent Collins. I shivered at the thought.
“What do you mean?” he asked. I sighed.
“I mean that they forced me to come here; they told me if I didn’t they would hurt my family.” I replied.
His mouth dropped open and his face got red.
“That’s not fair,” he exclaimed, “If they did something like that to me then they would be put in prison!”
“I know.” I said. He stood there for a while staring at the ground.
“Why did they want you so much if they just took you to school?” He asked me.
“I don’t know; it doesn’t make sense to me, especially since they tried so hard to get me.” I replied.
“It doesn’t make sense at all.” He said. I nodded.
“Maybe it has something to do with this school; the headmaster told us that they had sponsors and those were the people that donated the prize.” Ryan said.
It made since, but what would the government want with kid geniuses? What did we have to do with the government and why were they gathering all of us together? What would come out of it?
“But what would they want with a bunch of kids like us?” I asked.
“Beats me.” He said.
We sat there for a while on the bed thinking of what they could possibly want with us.
“Are we allowed to confer with each other?” I asked. He nodded.
“We’re never supervised; it’s like they don’t care what we do as long as we stay here.” Ryan said.
“It’s like they are trying to make us want to stay here, think about it; they gave us this advanced technology, treat us like royalty and leave us to do anything we want; they want us here.” I pieced it together. He nodded.
“It makes sense; a lot of sense.” He said.
“Could you get the other kids to come here?” I asked him. He shook his head.
“I doubt they’ll want to talk to you especially since you kicked all of them out of the running on your first day.” Ryan said.
“Good point; I just wish everyone would listen to reason.” I replied.
He nodded. Then a knock sounded off. Ryan walked over to the door and opened it. Then slowly backed away and looked over at me.
“It’s for you.” Ryan said.
I walked over at looked out the door curiously. Standing there was Agent Collins with another man. It was clear for once that Agent Collins was afraid.
I assumed it was the man next to him making him act like this. He was swaying back and forth and his hands were in his pockets going frantic. I didn’t see why Agent Collins was afraid of the man though.
The man next to him was an old man with glasses and short graying hair. His eyes were the only things about him that made him look intimidating. His eyes were menacing, ice blue and small tight looking. Like his eyes were always glaring at you. Above his left eye was a giant scar that lead right below the nose. I stared at the man with curiosity. Who was this man that made Agent Collins afraid?
“Uh, hello, what do you want?” I asked. Agent Collins glared at me then looked quickly to the old man. The man stared at me as well.
“This is Darren Daniels.” Agent Collins told the man. The man’s eyes turned wide.
“So this is the young man I’ve heard so much about.” The old man replied. I glanced back at Ryan. He was hiding in the corner of the room looking back at me with fearful eyes.
“So, what do you want?” I asked.
“Darren!” Agent Collins snapped. I glared at him but then I noticed he actually used my name instead of my birth code. He really wanted to impress the old man standing before him.
“Why are you acting like this?” I asked Agent Collins. The old man glared at him and Agent Collins stared down at me.
Through clenched teeth he answered my question, kind of, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I glared at him.
“Do you know who this is?” Agent Collins questioned me.
“An old man who you’re afraid of.” I responded. The old man chuckled. Agent Collins glared at me again.
“This is the…..”
“It’s alright, he doesn’t know any better; I remember when I was as ignorant as he is now.” The old man said smiling down on me.
I didn’t know what was going on with this man, but it creeped me out. It was then he walked into the room and put his hand on my shoulder. I looked down at his hand and back at him into his smiling eyes.
“What do you want?” I asked again. The old man nodded and Agent Collins walked in also.
“How are you doing so far?” Agent Collins asked. I shrugged.
“In school.” He said.
“I guess I’ve been doing okay, I wouldn’t say that I’ve been doing my best but okay.” I replied.
Agent Collins glanced at the old man. The old man nodded again.
“Keep up with your studies and keep your eye out for the other kids.” Agent Collins said pointing to Ryan who flinched. I didn’t understand why.
“Have a good rest of the day.” The old man said and they walked out.
“That was really weird.” I said to Ryan. He got up from the corner.
“What came over you?” I asked,” It was just an agent and an old man.”
He shook his head with his eyes still engulfed by fear.
“Those two weren’t just ordinary people; they were the president and his special agent!” He exclaimed.
Now I understood why Agent Collins was so afraid of him. He was the man that ruined all of our lives. He seemed nice, but I hated him. No wonder he didn’t want to introduce himself.
“I don’t know why he was here.” I replied. He shook his head again.
“Don’t you get it,” He snapped, “he’s interested in you, he wants you to be his winner, he likes you!”
I shook my head. Why would the president want me? A stack kid. It didn’t make sense. He despised us stack people, that’s why he made it the way it is.
“Why were you so afraid?” I asked.
“Have you ever actually seen what the president does to people like us?” he asked. I shook my head.
“He kills and tortures us to make an example and he clearly didn’t want me here with you!” He snapped. I still didn’t get it. Why me? I wasn’t even in first nor was I by myself in second.
“Why would he want me?” I asked.
“Think about it, it’s your first day, you’re a stack kid and you’re already in second place while the rest of us have been here for weeks.” He said. I looked down.
“I didn’t want to; you guys just weren’t answering the questions.” I said.
“It doesn’t matter, he still wants you and he always gets what he wants.” He said.
“Well, I don’t want to go with him; I don’t even want to be here.” I replied.
“Doesn’t matter, he will take you whether you like it or not.” He said. I sat down on the bed.
“Ryan Annen report to the headmaster’s office!” A voice from a speaker above us said. Ryan went pale. I looked over at him.
“Don’t worry, it’ll all be fine.” I said.
“No it won’t, I talked to you and the president doesn’t want that.” Ryan said and walked out of the room with wide eyes.
I sat there for a few minutes and couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t get rid of them and every time I got something that made me happy they took it away from me! I couldn’t win with these guys! I stood up and paced. This couldn’t be happening. I then turned around and punched the wall. It had now been fifteen minutes. When I tried to open my door it pulled back and shut itself. Every time I grabbed the handle it did the same thing.
“Let me out!” I shouted at the door. I grabbed the handle and it pulled back again.
“Seriously!” I yelled. I finally gave up after five minutes. I laid back down on the bed and fell asleep waiting for Ryan to come back.
I normally didn’t have dreams but this time I did. It was an awful, awful dream. I was in a room with the president and he turned to me and said, “Next week when you become the president I want you to take out the Alcatraz people.”
“Don’t worry I was already planning on it.” I said. I couldn’t believe it. Who was this guy? It certainly wasn’t me just someone that looked like me. I was wearing an agent uniform and it looked like it was ranked very high in the system. I couldn’t believe this either. I absolutely despised the government and was an agent in high ranking at was about to be the president! What happened to taking down the government? What had happened to me along the way? Had I just given up and let them take me, take everything that mattered to me? I hoped not. This I would not let happen. Definitely not. If there was one thing on the Earth that I most hated it would be the government. I turned on a computer and looked at the screen for a couple minutes then showed the president.
“This is what I’m working on.” I told him. He glanced down at it and smiled.
“This is brilliant and that’s why I took you all those years.” The president said. Not a flicker of sadness washed over me. I had gone cold. I had become a trained agent; they saw a break in me and took it for all it was worth. Everyone wanted me lately. Whether it was to be an agent or the president or maybe even just a friend. I didn’t understand why I had gone through all of my childhood and then get to fifteen and then everybody wanted me. In my dream I looked older. Much older, like I was twenty. Years had gone by with this evil man and I was becoming him myself.
I didn’t know whether or not that some of what I saw was what was happening or if it was what I feared. It definitely was something and it scared me. Could I really turn out like this? Then I remembered what had happened and jumped out of bed and ran to the door.
The door was still pulling away from me. What had happened? Where was Ryan? Were the people here controlling the door? Making them pull back was a way to keep me in the room, but why were they now trying to keep me in here? This most definitely had something to do with the president coming in. He didn’t want me with the other kids. Ryan was right I just hoped that it didn’t cost him his life or even freedom. He would obviously be told to leave me alone, but to lose his life. I would never forget it.
I gave up after the second try and walked over to the bed and sat down.
That’s when I realized I should look at the time and see how long I had been locked in the room. I jumped up from the bed and grabbed a ludicator I saw lying down on the table.
The time was ten fifteen in the morning. I was late for class, but they wouldn’t let me out. I walked over to the door again. Nothing. I decided that I should find another way out. If there was a way to get out without a door it would be hidden from me. I walked over to the walls and started pounding on them. I learned from a friend that you could pound on walls and listen to the sounds. You could tell if there was something behind it or not.
This was definitely going to be a little difficult since I hadn’t been raised with this equipment.
I pounded and finally found a spot that sounded promising. I pushed all around and accidently found a crack in the wall and broke it the rest of the way. Like I had thought there was another way out of the room. The difficult part was that it lead to the hallway which was heavily guarded by agents. I would need to be very stealthy.
I walked back into my room and switched my clothes to new more suitable clothes. Ones that weren’t as fancy, but still fancy. I didn’t know why the people of opportunity insisted on wearing so uncomfortable fancy clothes. It didn’t make sense to me. Why not dress in clothes that were comfortable rather than something so outrageously uncomfortable?
I walked into the hallway and was almost caught as I ducked behind a cart sitting in the hallway. I had no doubt that if I didn’t move quickly that I would be caught in any second. I glanced over the cart and saw that the hall was deserted. I stood up and dashed to the side of the hall and into an entryway. Right after I got there an agent ran past me.
“Code red, Code red, we have an escapee!” He yelled as he was running by. It was now clear that they had found out I wasn’t in the room anymore and it didn’t look like they were happy about it.
I dashed to the side again and ran into an agent. My heart leaped as I dashed backwards and the agent followed me.
I was no longer in hiding and it was clear I wasn’t going to be able to defend myself against him as he pulled out one of the guns that stunned you.
I glanced back as I was running and saw that he was already aiming for me. If I didn’t act quickly I would be taken back to the room and stunned while all of the rest of the kids were falling right into their hands. I wasn’t about to let that happen to them nor me. It was a mistake looking back as I ran into another agent that grabbed ahold of me and shoved me into the wall.
“Let go of me!” I yelled. He rammed my head into the wall and my knees buckled just as the other guy shot the stun gun and hit the other guy. A miracle that was!
As I stood back up and began running I saw that the agent that had been shot was already back up and following the agent that had shot him. Both of them chasing me. I didn’t understand why.
As I turned a corner I found another agent standing guard lurking in the shadows, but when he saw me he followed as well.
I glanced back once more and saw that now two of the agents had those stun guns and were both aiming.
I ducked just as one of them whizzed past my head. The other unfortunately, hit my leg and sent a world of pain shooting up my leg.
I almost fell but kept going. I got so close to the classroom and then they shot me in the back and on the back of my neck which sent me flying and I landed two feet away from the classroom.
I again looked back and saw that all three agents were just about to pull me up. I couldn’t let this happen to the rest.
I flipped over even though I hurt so bad, and kicked one in the shin. The agent didn’t seem to feel a thing. He instead threw himself on me and grounded his knee into my ribs. Pain shot up my chest and I cried out.
“You’re not going to get away this time.” The agent said. I then noticed who the agent was. It was Matt. Matt was grounding his knee into my ribs and with force. He wasn’t lying when he said that he wasn’t going to help me. In fact it was the exact opposite. He truly had been taken by the agents. He was no longer the Matt I knew.
“Careful,” One of the other agents said, “if you break his possession he will break you.”
“Matt, what happened to you?” I asked him between deep breaths. He glared at me. The other agents laughed.
“You know his play toy?” They chuckled. Matt pushed his leg harder into my ribs. Play toy? Possession? What was going on?
“Let’s get him back there.” One of the other two said. Matt glanced back at the others.
“Stun him first.” Matt said.
“He doesn’t need to be……”
“Stun him now!” Matt snapped. The agent closest to Matt came forward and pointed the gun at my head.
“I’m sorry kid.” He said and then pulled the trigger. My head flew back and hit the floor. I remember the excruciating pain in my head and then being dragged back to the room by the agent that shot me.
When I woke up I was in a different room. I actually wasn’t even in a room but a cell. Where I have no idea, but it was definitely a cell. I woke up with a world of pain.
When I tried to get up I fell back down, but the second time I forced myself to get up no matter how much pain it caused me.
When I stood up I ran to the barred door and began yelling. My voice was hoarse and my mouth tasted like metal, but other than the pain I was completely fine. I had failed in my mission but I hadn’t given up.
“Matthew Richards!” I yelled. A minute later an agent walked over to me.
“Let me out!” I yelled. I pounded on the door.
“When the time is right.” The agent said and walked away.
“Let me out now!” I yelled. He glanced back but kept walking. I sighed then turned and looked around the cell. The cell was actually still pretty nice. There were bars surrounding the little bit of room, but there was a very nice double bed and a nice floor. I sat back down and waited. There was nothing else for me to do other than sit and wait. It was about fifteen minutes later when the agent came back and I stood up.
“Will you let me out now?” I asked. He took out keys and unlocked the barred door.
“Come on, but if you try any funny business I will shoot you.” He said. I nodded and walked out.
As soon as I did I found that he wasn’t the only agent there. There were two others including Matt. I didn’t know why Matt was following me around, but he was vicious. He even moved from the system to this school. It was a little weird but I had a hunch that they knew he was once very close to me and so they sent him with me because he knew what I would do and what lines I wouldn’t cross. It was a very smart idea, but it wasn’t going to help me any.
When I took a step more out Matt grabbed me and threw me against the wall.
“No messing around, you will regret it if you do, we are going to take you to a room far from here.” Matt said. I nodded and he let go of me and I fell to the ground.
“Get up now.” Matt commanded. I got up glaring at him. He had completely changed. The old Matt would have never treated someone like he was right now; he wouldn’t even break the rules. There was something seriously wrong with him. Or had he just shut off his feelings? I figured it was both. Matt turned and started walking when I got up and the two other agents grabbed my arms and half dragged me.
We were almost out of the cell block when Matt turned and looked over at me.
“We can’t take him out of here without seeing anything; when and if he escapes again he would remember where this is.” Matt told the other agents. The one holding me on the left side nodded.
“What are we going to do?” he asked Matt. Matt looked down at the man’s gun at his side.
“There’s no reason for it.” The man on the right said.
“What would you suggest?” Matt asked.
“That’s what I thought.” Matt said. The man on the right looked at me with eyes full of pity and then grabbed both of my arms and held me back. The man on the left took out his gun. I think that Matt truly hated me.
When I woke up again I was in the room I was in before. Before I snuck out and ran through the building. I sat up and looked around. I was a little surprised when I saw that the president and Agent Collins were sitting in two chairs next to the bed staring at me. I blinked twice to see if they were still there and they were. How creepy was that?
“What are you doing here?” I asked them. The president stood up.
“Watching you, what else?” The president said. I looked down. Very creepy.
“Why?” I asked. He walked over to me and kept until he was two feet away from me.
“You passed.” He replied. I looked up at him with confusion.
“What?” I asked.
“You passed the test.” He said.
“What test?” I asked.
“I thought he was supposed to be the smart one.” Agent Collins said. I thought for a moment.
“You mean that whole thing was a test?” I asked. He nodded. I sighed.
“You guys are seriously messed up.” I said. The president laughed but Agent Collins jumped up and snapped at me.
“You do not insult him like that!” He yelled. I just blinked.
“What would the world be like without people like us?” The president said.
“A better place.” I said. He laughed a little more.
“That it would.” He said.
“Why don’t you just leave me alone!” I snapped. For once the old man standing before me got serious.
“You don’t know how rare you are right now my boy, if the world had more of you it would be in tip top condition.” The president said.
“You still didn’t answer my question.” I said.
“If I let you go then there would be no reason to carry on; we need your help.” He replied. I shook my head.
“I will never help you; I hate you and everything you’ve done; go jump off a cliff!” I yelled. For a minute I saw anger in his eyes but he calmed down and spoke to me once more.
“Everything I’ve done has been for the good of this world.” He said. I shook my head disagreeing completely.
“You’ve separated us, you took me from my family and wouldn’t let me go back, you’ve tortured people and you isolate them and make us shut off our feelings!” I yelled. His face got red.
“If I would’ve let you go then the….!” He stopped himself. I glared at him.
“You will be mine!” He yelled and pulled me up and shoved me to Agent Collins.
Agent Collins held me in place and the president took out a piece of metal and made it hot. It looked like a stamp, but it wasn’t. It was like what you did to horses to mark them yours. I knew this and struggled to get away. The president lifted up my shirt and brought the metal close to my skin.
“No, no let me go, I will not be marked!” I yelled. The president got even closer and was about to stick the metal on my skin when I kicked out and hit his hand. The metal flew out of his hand and he leapt backwards.
When the metal landed on the floor he came back with even more determination. This time he went to put the metal on my forehead and Agent Collins held my head back and still so I couldn’t move.
The president now pushed the metal down onto my forehead and I screamed as the mark was scorched into my skin. He wasn’t done though. I assumed since I had kicked the metal out of his hand my consequence was another mark. He lifted up my shirt again and pushed it down onto my chest and again screamed while it branded me for what I was now. The president’s property.
When he removed the metal from my chest and stepped away Agent Collins let go of me and I dropped to the ground.
When I looked up I saw that both of the men were smiling. They truly were cold hearted.
“Now you are mine and where ever you go you will be known as my property, there is no getting away from me now, even if you do escape this building you will never have escaped us, everyone will know to turn you in to me.” The president said. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes.
“I wasn’t going to do this until you forced my hand.” He said. I looked to Agent Collins and saw that he was truly enjoying this.
“You brought this on yourself.” Agent Collins said. As a tear hit the ground the president walked over to me and began whispering in my ear.
“You will accomplish nothing by resisting me.” He said and turned and walked out with Agent Collins following close behind.
I stood up slowly and walked over to the mirror. My light golden brown hair was singed to my forehead and right in the middle was a symbol. The symbol was a spiral with three thin lines jutting out of it. It was very noticeable and hurt a lot.
My blue eyes glowed compared to the rest of my face. My jaw and forehead was smeared with blood and the rest of my face was dirty. I needed a shower.
I then lifted up my shoulder and saw the same symbol on my chest.
I broke down and started crying right there. I couldn’t take it anymore. No matter how much I tried to make things right I was pushed back down into place and now my quest was perilous because of me being branded. That’s all I was now. Neither Darren nor 826985268. I wasn’t anyone or anything but the president’s property now.
This made my situation very hard to deal with. I could just give up right then and let them do whatever they wanted me to do, but if I did other kids would go through this and I didn’t want that. This was a futile quest. I walked into the bathroom and got the shower going. I smelled really bad and looked terrible.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Johnny, Darren’s friend and he needs your help.”
Jackson Daniels looked down at the small boy standing before him.
“What do you want?” Jackson asked.
“Well, your son, Darren was kidnapped by agents and he desperately needs help.” Johnny answered. Jackson sighed.
“Need anything else?” Jackson asked the boy.
“Well wouldn’t you like to help Darren?” Johnny asked.
“Nope, I’m fine with where he is now.” Jackson said. Johnny was flabbergasted. Darren was stuck with agents that tortured people to get their way and his parents didn’t even care! Johnny could see now why Darren was the way he was. He was never treated right by his parents. Johnny didn’t see why Darren wanted to help his family so bad if they didn’t care about him and then he remembered Darren talking about his little sister Lizzy and his older sister Janet.
“Could I see Lizzy and Janet please?” Johnny asked. Jackson shook his head.
“Why not?” Johnny asked.
“They ran off sometime yesterday and I have no idea where they currently are.” Jackson said then slammed the door shut. He really didn’t like Darren’s parents. This was going to be difficult. He needed to find Lizzy and Janet and fast, if he didn’t it might be too late for Darren.
When I got out of the shower and brushed my hair and walked out I found that the headmaster was waiting for me. Luckily I decided to wear a towel. I ignored him and went straight to the closet then back to the bathroom to get dressed.
When he got out I got out of the bathroom I noticed that he had placed himself in my way.
“What do you want?” I snapped. When he looked up and into my eyes he noticed the mark above my eyes in plain sight. He gasped.
“I can’t believe that he did that.” The headmaster said. I felt where the mark was and looked down.
“Are you alright?” He asked me.
“My head and chest is killing me, but otherwise terrible!” I exclaimed. He sighed and stared at my mark and then my words sunk in. Sarcasm was my thing.
“What’s wrong with your chest?” he asked me.
I lifted up my shirt and showed him. He gasped again and then leaned in to touch it, but then stopped himself and looked into my eyes. I looked forward and ignored it while he touched my chest where the mark was and I flinched. He looked back at me again, but I was still staring forward. He traced where the mark was then slowly took his hand away from my chest and I let go of my shirt.
“I’m sorry about all of this; no one should have to go through this no matter how rare you are.” He said. I looked into his eyes and saw that he meant it. He was dead serious. Maybe his looks couldn’t deceive you.
“What time is it?” I asked. He looked at his watch.
“Ten.” He replied. I nodded. It was time to go to class and the mark was going to be hard to deal with. These kids grew up in opportunity; they should know what the mark means.
“Are you ready to go?” He asked me. I nodded slightly. He nodded in return and we walked out of the room.
When we got into the classroom everyone was just getting settled and Mr. Ross was in the front of the class at his desk. When I walked in his eyes went straight to my forehead and then he flinched.
“Good morning, Darren.” Mr. Ross said. I nodded and walked to the desk I was sitting at the first day. I looked around and found Ryan sitting at his desk staring at the ground. I walked over to him and he winced as he also saw the mark.
“I’m sorry.” Ryan said. I shook my head.
“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I said. He shook his head.
“They told me that I wasn’t to report back to you but to go straight to my room and not come out.” Ryan replied. I stumbled back. My head started burning and filled with excruciating pain. Ryan got up from his desk.
“Are you alright?” Ryan asked. I looked around the room and found that everyone was staring at me. I cried out and stumbled back more. The room was doing dances around me.
Ryan grabbed me by the arm and pulled me to the wall and held me up against it.
“Darren listen to me,” he said, “I’m going to take you somewhere.”
I cried out again and he opened the door and dragged me out. I was being dragged and then I was falling and then I stopped.
“Don’t hurt him!” Ryan yelled. I looked over and saw Ryan with an agent holding him up off the ground.
“You’re no longer involved with him, go back into the room and let us deal with this.” The agent commanded.
“No!” He shouted. The agent threw him to the side and then went for me.
“Darren!” Ryan yelled. His yell snapped me out of whatever was going on and I stood up dizzily. The room stopped spinning and I looked around to find Ryan.
The agent grabbed my shoulder and started squeezing it. I let it hurt me for a second sinking down then I remembered my quest and it stopped hurting.
I straightened up and grabbed the agents hand and began squeezing it myself then kicked him. He stumbled back and slid across the floor over to Ryan.
“Stop or the kid gets hurt!” The agent demanded. I kept walking towards them.
“I’m warning you!” He yelled. The agent grabbed Ryan and held his arm across Ryan’s neck. I stopped and the agent smiled. He let go of Ryan then walked over to me.
“Come on.” he said kicking my back. I looked back and glared at him, but started walking.
“He’s too selfless.” The president said. I nodded.
“Do something about it.” He told me. I nodded.
“Agent Collins, make him shut down his feelings, do something terrible enough and he will.” He said. I nodded and walked out of the room. Darren was too selfless but that’s what gave him strength. If I took that away he might be broken or he could be the best agent ever.
I was again in my room waking up to see only Agent Collins. He stood up as I sat up.
“What do you want?” I asked. He walked over to me.
“I see that that mark on your forehead hasn’t changed your attitude about anything.” He said.
“And it won’t.” I said. He shook his head.
“You don’t get it, he won’t quit until he gets what he wants and he has no limits.” He said. I looked up into his eyes that seemed for once to have emotion in them.
“What’s so wrong with helping out this world?” he asked me. I stood up.
“I will help this world but not with the government in it!” I snapped. He closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath.
“And how are you going to get rid of this government if no one wants it to go, if no one helps out?” he questioned me.
“There are a bunch of people that want the government gone!” I exclaimed. He laughed.
“Like whom, the resistance, we made that up.” He said. I shook my head.
“Why would you do that?” I asked.
“To keep people from doing something stupid, like you’re doing right now.” he said.
“Even if you get away from us for a little bit that won’t stop people from turning you in for money, it’s just how the world works.” He told me. I sat down realizing that this was true.
“There are good people out there!” I exclaimed. He sighed.
“If there were don’t you think that the world would be a much better place than it is?” he asked me. I closed my eyes. He made a very good point.
“The world is the way it is because people don’t want a good place to live, they want conflict and money.” He said. I opened my eyes and saw that Agent Collins was kneeling down at my height. I cleared my throat and he put his hand on my shoulder.
“I understand how you feel, but it just doesn’t work.” He told me and pulled me in.
I tensed up waiting for a smack or to be stunned or something bad, but nothing happened. He pulled me up and then hugged me for a second then that’s when it happened.
He pulled out a gun and shot my arm. When he let go of me I fell back and started clutching at my arm. There was a bright blue metallic bug drilling down into my skin. I cried out and dug at my skin, but it was too late. The bug had crawled down into my arm and then the skin grew back where it had gone through. I stood up and glared over at Agent Collins.
“What did you do to me?” I questioned him. He smiled.
“It lets us know where you are.” He said.
“Why would you put that in me if it is futile to just go out with the marks you gave me?” I asked him.
“Just in case.” He said and started walking away.
“Why do you guys really want me?” I asked. He turned and looked at me.
“In time you will find out.” he said and walked out. I sighed. Stuck in the stupid room again. I was apparently too smart for them so they had to keep me locked in rooms. I couldn’t believe it.
“Hello?” Janet Daniels answered. Johnny stared at her. She was beautiful with her golden brown hair like Darren and her light blue eyes and long wavy hair.
“I’m Johnny, Darren’s friend and I think he might need your help.” Johnny told her. She dropped the cup that was in her hand and the water spilled all over the floor.
“Where is he?” She asked.
“I don’t think we should be talking out here about it, the government has a lot of spies lurking around.” Johnny told Janet. She nodded.
“Come in.” she said opening the door wider.
“Who’s that?” Lizzy Daniels asked.
“This is a friend of Darren’s.” Janet said.
“Oh, how’s Darren, is he coming back soon?” Lizzy asked Johnny. Johnny frowned as he realized this was the little girl who was tortured for the agent’s amusement.
“He said he’d try.” Johnny replied. Janet frowned and then turned to Lizzy.
“Lizzy why don’t you go watch some TV right now.” Janet suggested. Lizzy jumped up and then ran to another room.
“Tell me about Darren.” Janet said. Johnny frowned again.
“He’s being held somewhere high up with the agents.” Johnny said. Janet had tears in her eyes.
“He needs us, but what can we do?” Janet asked. Johnny leaned in.
“Help me find the resistance.” Johnny said. Janet smiled.
“How will we find them?” Janet asked.
“I know people.” Johnny said. She nodded and picked up a coat.
“Let’s go.” She said. He nodded and Janet and Johnny stepped out of the house.
As Janet and Johnny walked and talked they came across something startling. A photograph of Janet and Lizzy. A wanted poster with a huge reward. Janet stumbled back.
“We need to get out of this place and fast.” Johnny said. Janet nodded.
“We need to get Lizzy!” she exclaimed and they were about to take off when they ran into a bunch of men who spotted the poster.
“It’s her, get them!” One of the men yelled. The men began encircling them.
“We need to get out of here right now!” Janet shouted. Johnny nodded and the shoved men out of the way and began running. They were being turned against the stack people and every one of them would do anything for the reward even Janet’s parents.
I was no longer allowed out of the room because they feared that if I was that I would get help from the other kids and then their plan would be destroyed. The only other person that came in the room besides Agent Collins was Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross gave me one on one lessons then he would leave and come back the next day with more advanced lessons.
I had been in the room for days and with no company besides of the people I already mentioned. One day when I was waiting on Mr. Ross I had snuck out of the room through the hole I had made but had been repaired but I had torn off again and found that there were no more guards lurking around. Probably because I had the chip in my arm and the marks to let people know what and where I was, but I had gone out anyway. This was what I did for hours at a day. I studied the routes and where people were until the day came to escape. I knew the building inside and out by then and the only thing left for me to do was to release the other kids.
The night before I had trained and trained and trained so I could be ready for the herd of guards that would be waiting for me. I was definitely ready for an escape. When I was waiting for the only guard to do his route I snuck out and began running down to the other rooms. The first room I went to was Ryan’s.
I knocked on the door and waited.
“Ryan, Ryan it’s me!” I exclaimed. He hesitated to open the door, but when he did he was so relieved to see that it was me.
“Darren, I haven’t seen you in ages!” he exclaimed. I smiled.
“I know, but you’ve got to let me in.” I told him. He opened the door and I told him my plan.
“It’s a very risky plan, any one of the other kids would be happy to report you to the agents.” Ryan told me. I nodded.
“Where am I right now?” I asked. He smiled.
“You’re in first and by far the best out of us with a thousand points higher than the second place.” He said.
“Who’s second place?” I asked. He smiled again.
“I am.” He said. I smiled this time.
“Great job!” I exclaimed and then got serious.
“We’ve got to go right now before the agents realize I’m not in my room anymore.” I said. He nodded.
“Let’s go.” He said. We walked to the other rooms and told the other kids what was going on. Fortunately the other kids listened to us when we explained to them the situation and then we were ready to escape. It was then the alarm went off and the agents realized we were no longer in our rooms. If we were to make one wrong move we would lose most of us. When the alarm sounded and we saw agents running around while we were hidden the kids began panicking.
“Quiet down, if you don’t they will find us and we won’t be able to go back and see our families!” I snapped. Everyone shut up and we sat quietly while five agents passed us and they yelled into their walkie talkies.
“Okay now.” I whispered and ran out of hiding. As I looked back I saw Ryan leading the other kids and then ran up to me.
“What’s your plan?” he asked. I looked over at him.
“Run and don’t get caught.” I said. He stopped running for a second.
“I know all of the routes and the fastest route to get out of here.” I told him. He looked a little more relieved.
“Just don’t tell the other kids or they’ll freak out and give up.” I said. He nodded and then I spotted an agent walking towards us.
“Hide!” I told the other kids. As I watched all the other kids ran into different corners of the hallway. I stood in the middle of the room waiting for the agent to come and fight me. That’s when I saw that there wasn’t just one agent but four of them. I needed to be very careful otherwise I would be taken and the other kids would be doomed. They finally started running and stopped in front of me.
“Where are the others?” One of them asked me.
“What others?” I asked.
“We know you let all of the other kids go.” Another said.
“It doesn’t matter, he only wants him anyway, we can find the others later.” The farthest one away from me said.
“How do you know?” The first one asked.
“He has the mark.” He said pointing to my forehead. The others nodded and came towards me.
I glanced towards Ryan and saw that the other kids were holding him back. He was worried and I was too. The farthest guy ran towards me and started attacking me, but I countered all his moves and shoved him back.
That’s when two others ran at me at the same time and both started beating on me. I did the best I could countering all three of their moves but I wasn’t doing so good. I was being pushed back and forth between the three men and finally I realized that they were just playing with me. I couldn’t take on all three of them let alone four. Two was my limit.
“Okay, enough!” The fourth guy shouted. The others stopped messing with me and one of them grabbed me.
“Let’s get him back in the room.” The fourth said. They nodded and pushed me forward. I glanced back and now saw that all of the kids were coming out of their hiding places.
“No, don’t!” I mouthed. Ryan was the first to hit one of the agents. The agent was so surprised that he just stood there dumb founded. Then Ryan took down that guy and knocked him out while the other kids started beating on the agents. One of the agents was still holding onto me and dragging me away, but I started dragging my feet across the ground so that agent had to pick me up. I reared my head back and hit him in the nose. He let go of me and clutched his nose right away. I could see now that all of the kids had taken down all of the other agents and that this was the only agent left. I punched him then kicked him and shoved him to the ground and picked up his stun gun. It was light in my grip, but could I really shoot these agents? I had to otherwise they would get right back up and shoot us.
“Grab their guns!” I yelled. The kids nodded and picked up their guns.
“Now you’re going to have to shoot these agents otherwise they will come back for us!” I yelled, “If you can’t handle shooting someone give the gun to someone that will.”
A few of the kids handed the guns to other kids, but most of them wanted revenge. It was clear that all twenty of us kids were ready to get out of this place. I shot the agent in front of me three times and then the others followed me in shooting them and we took off.
We were very successful in attacking these men and the few women that came for us. We were now twenty feet away from the exit and found eight armed agents in front of the door. The kids were a little nervous, but pulled out their guns and began shooting. We took out three of them right away. Each of us had our own stun guns and like I had said there were twenty of us and it looked like ten of us were trained. When there were four men left the leader stopped us for a second.
“Wait!” The leader yelled. Everyone looked at me. I nodded. The leader smiled and stepped forward.
“I’ll make you a deal.” The leader said. I looked over at the other kids.
“Go on.” Ryan said. The leader nodded.
“Turn in this boy to us and we’ll let all of you go freely.” He said pointing to me. My heart skipped a beat as I looked over and saw that the other kids seemed to be thinking about this.
“Hurry grab him!” One of the kids exclaimed. A couple of the kids started walking towards me and then when I thought they were going to shoot me down they pointed their guns at the agents and all the rest of the kids started shooting. I was so relieved. When all of the agents were down I thanked them all for their help and we walked out of the building.
“Wait, before you all go I want to propose something to you.” I said. All of the kids stopped and looked at me.
“I’m going to stop these people from being able to do stuff like they did to us, and in order to do that I need some help, would you guys like to help?” I asked. The kids looked down at the ground and then back up at me.
“Sorry Darren, but I’m trying not to go on perilous journeys.” One of the kids said. Most of the kids agreed but there were a few that decided they would help if called on, but wanted to see their families.
Ryan was the only one that went with me. As all the rest of the kids walked away I looked back at Ryan who was smiling.
“That was awesome!” Ryan exclaimed. I laughed.
“Yeah it was and it felt good.” I said.
“Yeah it does!” He yelled. I smiled.
“So what are we doing?” he asked me. I sighed.
“We need to get me a headband and someone to remove this chip in my arm.” I replied. He nodded.
“Then we’d better hurry before they find us.” He said.
“How are we going to get out of here?” I asked. He smiled.
“Helicopter!” Ryan exclaimed. I nodded.
“Sir, they’re gone from the premises.”
The president sighed and said, “The boy?”
“He’s gone too.” I replied. The president stood up ran to the wall and punched it.
“Don’t forget, you’ve branded him and I have something very helpful.” I said. He turned to me.
“What is it Collins?” he asked me. I smiled for having thought of this earlier.
“I installed a chip into his arm.” I replied. He took a deep breath in and looked at me.
“Brilliant idea, Agent Collins, but find him right now.” He commanded. I nodded and walked out. This boy was causing me so much trouble. Good thing we branded him and I installed a chip in his arm. All I needed to do was send out a reward to whoever found this boy and brought him to us. This boy was in a world of trouble.
As soon as we hit the ground we jumped out and ran to the nearest shop as Ryan bought me a headband that fitted my outfit.
The headband was red with a white circle and a red dot in the middle of the circle.
“Thank you so much.” I said. He smiled.
“It was the least I could do since you helped me escape instead of escaping yourself and what I did to you.” He replied. I looked down.
“It doesn’t matter, you stuck with me.” I said. He smiled again. I sighed then hearing a beeping sound. It was very loud and close. Ryan was looking around too. I looked down and saw that it was the chip in my arm beeping and glowing. Ryan saw it too.
“I think we’d better get you to someone that will take that out.” He said, “And I know just the person.”
He was right when he said he knew just the person. As soon as we got to the place we saw and old man working on some paperwork. We walked in as he smiled and greeted Ryan.
“It’s been a long time Ryan.” He said.
“I know it has, but I need you to do something for me.” Ryan said and pointed to me. The beeping was still going. The old man nodded.
“What have you gotten yourself in?” he asked Ryan.
“Something that shouldn’t be happening.” Ryan replied.
“What do you need me to do?” the old man asked.
“I need you to take this chip out of his arm.” Ryan said showing him my arm and pointing to the chip. The old man sighed.
“What makes you think I will go against the government?” The old man asked. Ryan frowned.
“Please.” Ryan begged. The old man smiled.
“You’re lucky that I know you well.” He said. Ryan smiled and the old man turned his attention to me.
“This is going to hurt.” The old man said grabbing a knife ready to push it into my skin.
“On three.” He said. I took a deep breath.
“Ouch!” I cried out. The old man had stabbed the knife into my arm and began quickly picking at the chip, but he had to work quickly otherwise the wound would heal and the knife would be stuck.
“I thought you said three!” I exclaimed. The old man chuckled finally pulling out the chip and smashing it.
“You’re lucky you got to me in time.” He told me then walked towards me and before I knew it he was pulling the headband off as he backed away. He gasped.
“Get… get out of here you…. Get out before they find you here!” The old man snapped. I stepped back. Ryan ran up to him.
“Jack, he’s a friend!” He yelled. Jack glared at Ryan.
“You shouldn’t be hanging out with the likes of him!” Jack shouted pointing to me.
“Why?” Ryan asked.
“He’s been marked the president’s private property, if you mess with him you will find yourself getting in a world of trouble!” Jack exclaimed. Ryan glared at him and started walking with me.
“No, I will not let you get caught with him!” Jack snapped and grabbed Ryan.
“Let me go, it’s not your choice!” Ryan yelled. I finally noticed how much trouble I was causing other people. If I let Ryan come with me then he’d be in trouble too. The old man was right and if I let him come it would be selfish. I would ruin his life. I frowned.
“I’m sorry Ryan, but he’s right I never should’ve involved you with this.” I said. Ryan stopped shouting. I started walking away.
“No don’t, Darren, don’t leave me!” Ryan yelled. I looked back and put the headband on then took off. I wasn’t about to get another person into trouble.
“We almost have him!” The president shouted excitedly. I smiled. Finally I was doing something right.
“He’s in opportunity, in the business district and….” I said.
“Where’d it go?!” The president snapped. I sighed.
“The chip has been destroyed.” I said. He jumped up from his chair and dropped the ludicator.
“We were so close!” He shouted.
“I know, we might not have the exact location but we can send the men there to intercept him.” I said. He calmed down.
“Send five men there and have them post a poster.” He commanded. I nodded.
“How much?” I asked.
“One thousand yesos.” He replied.
“What if he’s gone for more than a day?” I asked.
“Then two thousand yesos, whatever it takes to get him back before they get to him.” He said. I turned and walked out. This boy had no chance of surviving the world outside of the school with the mark and the bounty.
It didn’t take long to find agents posting wanted posters with my face on it. I had figured that when I got it they would send them out, but I didn’t expect them to set the price at five thousand yesos. If people here didn’t get me here then I would certainly be caught in the stacks. This was not going to be easy. My goal for right now was to get away from the agents all around opportunity.
The old man had been right for me to leave. If I would’ve stayed any longer with them the agents would’ve caught me with them and they would be punished. I felt bad for leaving Ryan, but if I hadn’t he certainly would’ve been caught. I started walking very slowly as I passed the agents then realized that they were stopping people in the crowds and making them line up so they could check for me. If I blended in with the crowd I would be fine. I would be able to make my way through the crowd without being noticed if I walked fast enough.
“Everyone line up now!” One of the agents shouted. I took a deep breath and quickly slipped through the crowd running into the inn. It was a very close call, walking through there. I had seen an agent staring at me and had to hurry but I made it.
I looked around and found that there were two agents sitting at a table together talking. Laughing. Something I missed dearly. I walked up to the inn keeper and she looked up.
“What do you want?” She asked with a snooty tone.
“I would like a room.” I said.
“Ten yesos.” She said. I sighed. I had only taken fifty yesos from the agents.
“Okay, here.” I said. She smiled and took the yesos then pulled down a key.
“Room 214.” She said. I nodded and started walking up the stairs when one of the agents stopped me.
“You there, boy, come here.” He said. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath as I walked to the agent.
“Yes?” I said.
“What’s your name?” he asked me.
“Simon Garris.” I said.
“Well, Simon, bring me a beer.” He said. I sighed walking to the inn keeper.
“The agent over there would like a beer.” I said pointing to the agent. She nodded and handed it to me.
“Be careful with them over there, they’re drunk.” She warned me. I smiled and nodded but walked to the agent and handed him the beer, but before I could walk away he grabbed my arm and pulled me into a hug.
“You’re going to be an agent aren’t you?” he asked me. I nodded to keep him off my trail.
“Good, good, maybe you’ll someday be as good as me.” He said. I smiled.
“That would be cool, my dear sir!” I exclaimed. He smiled then handed me thirty yesos.
“That’s for your service.” He said. I nodded and walked away. I was for sure seeing a different side to these agents, but those words in my mouth were bitter and I hated saying them, but it was what I had to do to stay out of trouble. I began walking up the stairs right away. I was exhausted and needed a place to hide for the night. As soon as I got in the room and dropped to the bed I fell asleep.
“You know him better than any of us.” I told Matthew Richards. He nodded.
“What would he do if he was isolated and trapped between the stacks and opportunity?” I asked. He thought for a moment.
“He would find a place to sleep for the night and then right away in the morning he would go to find his family.” Matthew Richards replied.
“Good, I’ll tell the agents that.” I said and got up from the chair.
“Wait!” Matthew Richards exclaimed. I turned.
“I want to be involved with his capture.” Matthew Richards said. I nodded.
“As long as you can keep guessing his moves right.” I told him. He smiled.
“I won’t let you down!” he said excitedly.
“Where’d you find him?”
“He was renting a room and looked miserable so I took off his headband and pulled the covers over him when I finally noticed the mark.”
“Trish this boy is worth thousands in yesos.”
“I know, but I can’t help but feel bad for this poor kid.”
“We could be set for life.”
“I know, but do we really want to send this poor boy to a life of misery?”
I tried to open my eyes to see who these people were and to see where I was, but my eyes wouldn’t cooperate.
“How’d you get him past the agents?”
“They were drunk, it’s kind of hard not to.”
“Let’s turn him in.”
“I don’t know.”
“Trish, this is our opportunity to start the life we’ve always wanted!”
“Okay in a few hours, but for now let the boy rest.”
“We’ve got to get something to hold him in.”
“If this boy escaped the president and his goons then he’s got to be dangerous.”
“He doesn’t look dangerous.”
“Even before he was sleeping, I can tell that he has a good heart, I hate having to do this to him.”
“I know, but this is survival.”
“I just wish we could do it without harming this poor boy.”
“Quit your whining and let’s go.”
I woke up a few hours later and found that I was locked in a cage.
It was a big cage, but it was very uncomfortable. I jumped up right away and ran to the door trying to pry it open, but it was far too strong for me to do anything..
I then noticed the inn keeper staring at me with sad eyes through the cage. My hands went up to my forehead. There wasn’t a headband there anymore.
“Where’d my… where am I?” I asked. She stood up.
“I’m sorry, but you’re in the back of a car heading to the agent base in opportunity.” She said.
“How’d you find out?” I asked. She ignored me.
“You looked so peaceful when you were sleeping and it’s such a shame I have to ruin it.” She said. I frowned.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked.
“We need the money, its survival and you’re too weak in the game of survival, everyone was looking for you, you wouldn’t have made it out there long anyway.” She said.
“How far are we from the base?” I asked.
“About a block away.” She said. I sighed.
“I understand and that’s why I escaped, to make sure that the government can’t do this to us anymore.” I said. She smiled.
“I wish I believed in miracles, but I don’t anymore little boy.” She said. I turned and looked to the side as a light started flashing inside the car. She stood up.
“That’s them.” She said.
“He’s over here!” She yelled. The light came closer and closer until it was on the woman.
“I’m so glad you’re here, we found him in the inn, and I’d like the money now.” she said. Suddenly the woman collapsed and the light came to the door. I crawled to the back of the cage as I realized that the woman was dead.
“Over here!” A man’s voice yelled. I heard footsteps then the door opened shining on a tall man.
He walked into the cage and when he spotted me grabbed me and pulled me out of the cage.
I was so scared that I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know who these people were and I didn’t wish to find out. The tall man carried me out of the car then shoved me out onto the ground. When I collapsed I was surprised to see who it was. It had to be. The man looked exactly like Ryan. He had to be Ryan’s father. Next to him was another familiar face.
“Mr. Richards!” I exclaimed. He smiled.
“Hello Darren.” Mr. Richards said. I smiled back.
“You’re quite hard to find, Darren.” The tall man said.
“You’re Ryan’s dad aren’t you?” I asked. The man nodded.
“How do you know Ryan?” He asked me.
“I was in school with him, with the agents.” I said. His face turned red.
“There weren’t supposed to be any agents there!” He snapped. I looked down.
“Where is he now?” he asked me.
“After I freed him I left him with an old man named Jack.” I said. He calmed down.
“Good, Jack will take care of him.” he said.
“What are you guys doing here?” I asked. They looked at each other.
“What does it look like,” Mr. Richards said, “we’re stopping you from being taken back to the agents.”
“Why?” I asked.
“We’re the resistance.” He said. My jaw dropped. The fathers of my best friends were in the resistance.
“Thanks for the help, but I would like to get going now.” I said and started walking. Ryan’s father stepped in front of me.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked me.
“I’m going to the stacks.” I said and then walked past him, but Mr. Richards stepped in front of me.
“If you go to the stacks you’ll be pounced on within a minute.” Mr. Richards said.
“I’ll be fine.” I said and walked past him but again Ryan’s father stepped in front of me.
“You don’t get it,” he said, “you don’t have a choice, you’re coming with us.”
“Where are they?”
“I don’t know they should’ve been here an hour ago.” Matthew Richards said.
“I’m going to call.”
“No, I know where he is.” Matthew said. The agent sighed.
“I’ll give you an hour to get the boy and bring him back.” The agent said. Matthew sighed.
“Deal.” He said and walked out.
We were almost to the resistance camp when the agents attacked. They knew where I was and they were fighting for me.
Mr. Richards and Ryan’s father jumped out of the car and I saw a glimpse of Agent Collins and Matt standing on top of the car shooting the soldiers around them.
I jumped out when I realized that I wasn’t being forced to go anywhere anymore. I could go home to see my family. I took one last look and saw that Mr. Richards was lying down on the ground bleeding out with Matt standing over him.
He looked up and saw me running away and ordered agents after me. Three of them hopped on scooters and sped towards me. I sped up and pretty soon I was climbing the hill with my house about thirty feet away from me. I looked back and saw that the agents couldn’t go any farther. I got up the hill and ran for the house when I tripped and my knee skidded across the hard concrete.
I stood up crying out when I stood on my leg that skidded across, but ran that last twenty feet reaching the door.
When I opened the door I found mom and dad at their desks.
“Mom, dad, I’m home!” I yelled. They looked over at me and Dad’s face turned red.
“Get out now!” he yelled. This wasn’t the reaction I was expecting.
“Dad?” I said. He stood up.
“I said get out now, Darren!” he yelled. I looked at him.
“Don’t you miss me?” I asked him.
“Darren now.” he said. I looked at mom and saw that she was still at the computer.
No answer. She just sat there. Dad pushed me out.
“We don’t want you here, you’ve caused enough trouble!” he yelled.
If I hadn’t been through what that agents put me through I would’ve been balling, but there was nothing there anymore. My heart had gone numb. The agents turned me into some mean killing machine. There was nothing left in my heart. I turned as Dad slammed the door and saw that I was no longer alone.
“I remember this place.” Matt said. I looked up at him.
“I expected you to be balling when your father had said that to you.” He said. I looked down at him. His words didn’t affect me anymore. The agents had succeeded in their quest to make me go numb. My family didn’t want me anymore so I shut down. I wondered if this was how Matt turned cold.
“You shot your father and felt nothing.” I said. He smiled.
“And you let him die.” He said.
“I couldn’t do anything else; they made me come with them.” I said.
“You could’ve ended the fight by turning yourself in to us.” He replied.
“I really don’t want to do this right now.” I said.
“You’ve gone cold like the rest of us.” Matt said. I looked into his eyes. He truly had nothing left in his heart and I was becoming like him.
“Isn’t it ironic that the kids who hate the government the most become the best agents.” He said. I let his words sink in. The kids that hated the government the most were treated the worst and pushed to the point that they had nothing left to care about.
“I’ve got to say that I’m a little surprised that you gave up so quickly.” He said. That’s when I snapped.
“You want to fight, fine let’s fight!” I snapped. He smiled.
“That’s what I’ve been waiting for.” He said dropping his gun.
I ran over to him and lunged forward and punched him square in the jaw. He flew backwards and hit the ground, but got right back up. He jumped forward kicking me and I almost fell, but the rage stopped me from letting him win so quick.
I pounced on him and pounded on his face over and over and over again. I punched until I saw blood caked in my hand then I flung myself backwards. I realized what I had become. I had just killed a man in cold blood murder. They had made me into a killing machine. I backed away scared to death, scared of myself and backed into someone.
I looked up. Ryan’s father was standing above me. He picked me up and we started walking to the camp. I didn’t talk to him. I feared what might come out of his mouth. I murdered someone and with my bear hands.
When we got to the camp I saw that it was in the old nation. No one could find the resistance because the resistance wasn’t in a place where people went. It was a beautiful place. Kids were playing, adults were laughing and chatting and businesses were selling what they wanted. The houses were beautiful looking just like the old Nation houses before all of this. Ryan’s father lead me to the tallest building there was and it was the oddest thing, when people saw my mark they cheered. I didn’t get it. It was the president’s marking and they liked it. When we got into the building I saw people I never thought I would see again.
“Darren!” Janet yelled over the crowd.
“Janet!” I cried. I ran through the crowd and she jumped into my arms. I held her until I thought I couldn’t hold her anymore. When I let go of her I saw that she had been crying and hadn’t realized I had been crying too. I had been crying. I had some emotion left after all.
“Where’s Lizzy?” I asked. She smiled.
“I never thought you would ask.” She said.
“Lizzy!” she yelled. I didn’t notice it was her until she was already in my arms. She had grown so much within the last few weeks.
“I missed you so much!” Lizzy exclaimed. I cried like I never cried before.
“I missed you to.” I said between sobs. When I let go of her I noticed who was next to her. Johnny. Johnny was there taking care of my little sister. This hurt me the worst. Johnny had done everything to make what he did up to me. He was a true friend.
“Johnny.” I said. He walked over to me with tears in his eyes.
“I’m sorry Darren; I’ve done everything possible to make up what I did to you.” He said. I smiled.
“You have.” I said. He smiled and I held out my hand. He grabbed it leaving us standing there until Ryan’s father had me follow him. He led me up to the top floor where I saw not a man nor a woman, but a boy. A boy my age.
“Hello Darren.” The boy said. The boy part wasn’t the surprising part. The boy had a mark, the mark I had on his left cheek. He was just like me, the president’s property.
“You’re like me.” I said. He smiled.
“Yes I am.” He said.
“Why, how long have you been like me?” I asked him. The boy’s blonde hair flipped to the other side of his face.
“For a couple years now.” He said.
“How, why am I like you if you’re still here?” I asked.
“I’m too old now, you’re the right age to break and you’re more brilliant than I ever was.” He said.
“What does that have to do with anything?” I asked.
“He hasn’t told you yet?” he asked me. I shook my head.
“You’re very stubborn then.” He said.
“But what does that have to do with him wanting me?” I asked him.
“He needs very intelligent kids, kids that he can break…”
“Seth, they’re here, they’re here for the boy!” A man yelled. Seth turned around immediately and ordered everyone to do something then turned back to me.
“You must truly be brilliant if he has the guts to enter our base.” Seth told me. I nodded.
“Find your sisters and get out of here, we won’t be able to take his fleet and you’re too valuable to let go into his clutches.” He said. I nodded and started running, but then Ryan’s father grabbed me and forced me into the room.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“General!” Seth yelled. Ryan’s father looked over at Seth.
“I’m sorry Seth, but he has my son, I can’t let him hurt my son.” Ryan’s father said. Ryan. Ryan had been taken by the government. It hurt me. I started walking off again, but shoved me back and into Seth.
“He wants you and the boy back.” Ryan’s father said. Seth stared at him with sad eyes.
“We could’ve worked together to free him from the president’s clutches.” Seth said. Ryan’s father nodded. I heard footsteps coming closer.
“They’re here.” Ryan’s father said. I looked into his eyes. They were filled with tears. It truly hurt him to turn against the resistance, but he had to save his son.
A minute later I watched as Agent Collins and the president walked up the steps and over to us. When Agent Collins stopped in front of me he smiled and pulled me into his arms holding me as the president walked up to Seth.
“It’s been a long time, Seth.” The president said.
“That it has, Eric.” Seth replied. The president slapped Seth.
“You’d think that you’d treat your father with more respect!” The president snapped. I watched shocked. Seth, the resistance leader was the president’s son. Agent Collins laughed at me.
“It really isn’t that hard to believe they’re related.” He said. I looked up at him.
“How old are you now, eighteen?” The president asked.
“Nineteen.” Seth corrected. The president stared into Seth’s eyes then pulled out a gun.
“I’ve been waiting for this for so long; I just wish that we could’ve worked together.” The president said. Seth spit in his face. The president sneered and dried off his face.
“Goodbye Seth.” The president said and pulled the trigger. I jumped as the gun fired and the bullet tore through Seth’s head. I could hear Agent Collins laughing as he went down and I jumped. This spooked me enough to make me finally react to Agent Collins holding onto me. I kicked him in the shin and tried to leap forward, but he was too strong. The president walked over to me and laughed as I tried to get away. I was trapped in a room full of cold people.
“You are very hard to get ahold of.” The president said as he walked in front of me.
“I don’t have anything to do with you!” I snapped. He grabbed my chin and pulled my head up to get a good look at the mark on my forehead.
“I’d say that’s my mark.” He said. I pulled away from him.
“I would’ve killed you the first time you escaped if I hadn’t known you were the one.” He said pulling me forward by my shirt and slammed me against the floor. I coughed as he forced his knee onto my neck.
“You have succeeded in impressing me, but you have to earn my trust before I will treat you right.” He said and got off of me. I lay on the floor until Agent Collins pulled me off of the floor and held me again.
The president walked over to Ryan’s father.
“Great job in leading us here, your son is outside of this building waiting with the agents outside.” He told him. Ryan’s father smiled and ran for the door. The president turned towards me again.
“You brought this on them.” He said. I gasped as I realized that I really had brought this upon them.
“You really are a rare one.” The president said.
“You try so hard to help people, but all you do is make it worse.” He said. I was beginning to realize why Agent Collins was so afraid of this man. He was so cold hearted that he could do anything and no one would stop him. I couldn’t help but hate him.
“Let’s go and bring him back to the academy.” The president said. Agent Collins nodded and pushed me out of the building.
I was surprised to find that no one was hurt. Everyone was left in peace as they huddled together.
When we started walking through the crowd I finally found my sisters and Johnny in the back of the crowd watching us leave. Johnny had started coming for me, but I told him not to. I needed him to protect my sisters. They were more important than I was. He nodded as I shook my head, but Janet pulled him back. It had to be this way. They would never stop coming for me and if they caught my sisters and Johnny the y would use them against me to stop me from acting out. I wouldn’t let them do what they did to Lizzy again, they had to stay hidden.
As we were getting into the car I took one look back and saw Lizzy crying.
“Get going!” Agent Collins snapped. I frowned and hopped aboard then Agent Collins did and we took off.
Poor Lizzy, she just got me back in order to lose me again. Then I thought to myself, where’s Jason?
“Why’d you let him go?!” Johnny snapped. Janet looked down.
“Don’t think that this didn’t hurt me too, if I would’ve let you go up there and try to save him they would’ve taken you with and used you against him!” she snapped. Johnny closed his eyes.
“Chances are that you would’ve gotten up there and that agent would’ve taken you down within seconds.” Janet said softly. Johnny looked up into her eyes.
“That’s something I could’ve done to repay him after what I did.” He said. Lizzy looked up at both Johnny and Janet.
“Where’s Seth?” Lizzy asked. Johnny was thinking the same thing.
“I was thinking the same thing, I’ll be back.” Johnny said. Janet nodded and grabbed ahold of Lizzy. Johnny and the two sisters had become very close within the past few days.
When Johnny saw what happened to Seth his whole world turned upside down. Seth was the leader of the resistance, Darren who was going to take his place was kidnapped and Ryan’s father was a traitor. The rest of the camp were civilians. Who would take Seth’s place?
When he walked out into the courtyard he gave Janet the dire news. Then she made a boast.
“I’m sorry to inform all of you this, but Seth is dead and with his death Darren has been kidnapped, who thinks this young man over here should take his place and avenge his death?” She asked as soon as everyone quieted.
“All in favor say ay, all opposed say nay!” She yelled. Johnny just didn’t know what to do. He didn’t ask for this, but something always came to him.
“Why’d you do that?” Johnny asked Janet. She smiled.
“You wanted to help Darren, now’s your chance don’t waste it.” She said. Johnny took a deep breath in and started commanding his camp. The resistance would be even powerful than before. Seth had done this for revenge, but Johnny did it for something more. Freedom.
“We went over this three times, now what do you do in this situation?” Agent Collins snapped. I was exhausted as anyone would be after working endlessly.
“I’m not going to answer you until you let me rest.” I said. Agent Collins sighed.
“Fine, you get an hour, that’s it.” Agent Collins said. I stood up and he opened the door and lead me back to the room I was staying in. I had found it funny that Agent Collins was the professor of the academy here. Part time teacher and part time body guard. Two complete opposites. I even laughed in his face when he told me that, but I paid the consequences when he made me train longer than he was supposed to.
Normally if I hadn’t acted out I would’ve been in a classroom full of the other kids, but that hadn’t worked out so well the last time I was in a classroom so they kept me hidden from the rest of the kids.
The room I was staying in was a major setback from where I had come from. The room was a small room with a small bed and a dresser. Nothing more than that. It didn’t matter anyway. I was out of the room most of the time training or Agent Collins was teaching me. It had been two days since Seth had been killed and I was taken back with the president and Agent Collins. I had been crying on the ride back when I realized that I might never see my sisters again.
After my parents had kicked me out of the house I gone completely numb and hadn’t cared anymore, but after seeing Janet and LIzzy then completely losing them again I’d lost all of it. I had lost all of the hope that had been thrust into my life after seeing them. Now that I knew they were in good hands there was no other reason for me to live.
“Remember only an hour, if I come in and find you sleeping while I’m in here you will have consequences.” Agent Collins said.
“I don’t care anymore.” I said. He looked at me a little worriedly. I knew my sisters were in good hands. There was nothing else that mattered.
“I’m warning you.” He said and walked out.
“You’ve pushed him too much.” I said.
“He’s fine.” The president replied.
“No you didn’t see him like I did; he would rather die than fight for his life.” I said. The president looked into the agent’s eyes and saw genuine worry.
“He’s a strong hearted boy; if you don’t think you can keep going on like this, make him feel again and just when he’s at the point of loving again rip it away.” The president said. I hated this part of his job. Training the recruits, the ones that wanted to be were easy, but when you got someone like Darren that didn’t want to carry on. It was just too depressing. If I had wanted to deal with kid’s problems I would’ve become a parent. I deeply worried about him though. I guess the kid had grown on me.
“Get up now, right now!”
I looked up to see Agent Collins standing above me. He wasn’t angry just acted like it. Either way I didn’t care if he was or not. I rolled back over and closed my eyes.
“I said get up and I meant it!” he yelled.
“I don’t care.” I mumbled. He began pulling me off the bed.
“No don’t!” I whined. He pulled harder and kept pulling until I was on the floor. I looked up at him and saw that his face was red, but he wasn’t angry.
“Okay, we need to talk.” He said. I just stared up at him. He sat down next to me and studied me.
“What about?” I asked.
“You are shutting down completely.” He said.
“Why do you care, I thought that was what you wanted.” I said. He sighed.
“We wanted a soldier not a drone.” He said.
“Same thing.” I said.
“No they’re completely different, soldiers fight for the people they care about, drones have no emotions.” He said.
“You took away all the people I cared about, how am I supposed to react?” I asked.
“You of all people know that’s not true, I saw them at the camp, Darren I know where they are.” He said.
“Leave them out of this!” I snapped.
“See that’s what I need from you.” He said. I glared at him.
“I’m warning you, I won’t do anything for you if you hurt them!” I snapped. He smiled.
“That’s more like it.” He said and snapped his fingers. The door opened and I saw one of the people I cared most about. I hadn’t known her very long, but I connected with her.
“Athena!” I yelled. The agents let go of her and she ran to me.
“Darren, I thought you would be dead for sure!” she yelled as she ran into my arms. I smiled, but then realized I shouldn’t be. If Agent Collins knew I cared about her then he would use it against me. I looked over at Agent Collins and saw that he was watching us. He was staring at me intently.
“I saw Johnny.” I said. She pulled back.
“You did?” She questioned me.
“Yeah, he was at the resistance camp.” I said.
“Is he okay?” she asked.
“Yes and he’s done me a great favor.” I said.
“He said he was going to find them, but I thought it was futile, he proved me wrong.” She said.
“He did me too.” I said.
“So have you forgiven him?” she asked. I nodded. I sat down and she noticed the mark.
“Darren, oh no, that’s awful.” She said as she saw it. I frowned.
“I know.” I said. She ran her hand through my hair and then gently brushed her hand over my forehead.
“How are you feeling?” she asked me. I shrugged.
“Let’s sit down and talk about what’s happened so far.” She suggested. I nodded.
We sat down and we talked for hours and I told her how I escaped and what she missed after I left. After all of that talking I began to care about her again. I knew this was exactly what they wanted but I couldn’t help it. As I sat there and listened to her I began to study her. All of her freckles and the way her hair moved back and forth. How she laughed. All of it.
When Agent Collins came in to take her she did something that I never thought would happen. She leaned toward me and kissed me. I thought I ought to back away and not let him see, but I didn’t want to. Instead I leaned in and kissed her back. When she pulled away I smiled and he pulled her away.
“Good bye Athena.” I said.
“Goodbye and keep fighting it.” She said. I laughed as she was forced out. A few minutes later Agent Collins came back in with a smile.
“I knew it.” He said. I glared at him and turned away.
“You are no longer a drone and not a soldier yet, this is how we are going to make you a soldier.” He said.
“Don’t you touch her!” I snapped. He stepped in front of me.
“What are you going to do if I do?” He asked and shoved me. I held back my anger not giving him what he wanted.
“Come on, fight.” He said. I shook my head.
“I’m not going to fight you.” I said. He shoved me again.
“Fight.” He said. I sighed.
“No.” I said.
“I’ll bring her back in here and we can do what we did with your sister.” He threatened.
“Leave her out of this!” I yelled and pushed him to the ground and started pounding on him. I punched him until he had enough and threw me to the side.
When I looked up at him I saw that his face was bleeding. He got what he wanted and maybe a little more.
“That’s better.” He said. I scooted away as he grabbed for me.
“Get up now.” he said.
“Just leave me alone, you got what you wanted.” I said. He laughed.
“I won’t have what I want until your training is done.” He said. I glared at him.
“And when is that?” I asked.
“You really haven’t started yet, but we need you now more than we will in a year.” He said.
“Why are you having me do all of this,” I asked, “What is the purpose of me being here, what am I supposed to do?”
He sat down.
“I can’t tell you that.” He said. I paced.
“Then get me someone that can!” I snapped. He sighed.
“I can’t.” He said.
“Then what am I doing here if I can’t do what you want me to?” I asked. He stood up.
“I told you I can’t.” He said and turned and almost walked out but glanced over at me.
“Be ready for training in fifteen minutes, I won’t deal with your attitude so be ready right away or I’ll bring her in and we…..”
“I know!” I yelled. I ran to the wall and punched it as soon as he left.
It was all just so frustrating. I knew as soon as I punched the wall that it would’ve cracked and I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was let some anger go. After my adrenaline had vanished I sunk down to the ground and waited for the fifteen minutes to be over.
“What’s he doing?” Agent Collins asked. The agent leaned forward.
“It looks like he’s lying down on the floor, he’s breaking down.” The agent said. I sighed.
“He’ll be fine.” I said. The agent looked up at me.
“Wait, look at the ground.” The agent said. I studied the video closely, but didn’t see anything.
“What do you see?” I asked. The agent zoomed in on the picture.
“He’s sharpening something.” The agent said. I leaned in and then realized what he was doing.
“Hurry, send someone down there!” I exclaimed. He jumped off of the chair and started making calls. I watched as three men burst into the room and saw as he spun around and tried pushing the sharp metal he had pulled off of the side of the wall.
The men got there just in time; if they had been a minute later he would’ve been bleeding out. The men pulled him up off of the floor and threw the metal to the side, but he fought back and shoved two of the men to the floor. I sighed and threw the door open running past the corner throwing the door open to the boy’s room.
When I got into the room he had grabbed the metal again and the men were getting back up. I dashed across the room and threw him to the side then snapped the metal in half.
When I looked back down I saw that the men grabbed hold of him and that he was bleeding. I looked down at my own hands and realized that they were bleeding too. As I looked at the boy I figured out where the blood had come from. When I had torn the metal from his hands it cut all the way across his hands. I took a deep breath. That was a very close call.
“Stitch his hands up.” I said. The men nodded, but then stopped.
“I think you should get your hands checked too.” One of the men said. I looked down at my hands again and nodded.
An hour later we were in the infirmary with bandages on our hands. I looked up and turned to him as the doctor smiled and walked off.
“Why’d you do it?” I asked him. He looked into my eyes.
“What would you have done?” He asked me. I shook my head.
“That’s why.” He said. I looked at my hands. With the bandages on it didn’t look bad, but without….
“Let’s go.” He said. I stood up and grabbed his arm.
“Not yet.” I said. He glared up at me.
“If you ever try something like that again there will be major consequences.” I told him. He was still glaring at me, but nodded.
Two Weeks Later
It was a hard sixteen days compared to how it was in the system. Agent Collins pushed me to my limit to the point of tears every day. No one cared what I thought anymore. It was as simple as counting. I wasn’t going to get out of here without my cooperation.
After the first week Agent Collins decided that it would be wise to install another chip into my arm. I didn’t care anymore. Agent Collins would always remind me that he had Athena and what he’d do to her if I didn’t listen to him. I hated being here and I still wasn’t learning why I was here. No one would tell me anything about why I was here; no one would even talk about stuff outside of the room. The only people that were allowed in my room were Agent Collins, the president and Athena. I knew why they kept bringing her in here, but I needed someone to talk to and Agent Collins wasn’t the person to show your emotions to.
Athena always listened to me and made me feel human again, but during the training I started losing a part of me. The part that cared about what happened to the people from the sections. It was awful knowing that I was turning into one of them, but I didn’t understand what I had to do next. So many people had tried to help me take down this awful government run by the man I was marked by, but how was I to do that if I was his pet?
It was very demeaning knowing that I was treated like his pet. I was his pet according to people outside of here, but I wasn’t going to let them take me down that easily. There’d be so much kissing up to Agent Collins to get there, but I had to do it. The ones I cared about would be harmed otherwise.
The door opened. I looked back and spotted Athena who was standing there with a smile.
“Darren!” She exclaimed running to me. I opened my arms wide and let her jump into my arms. We had grown closer every day that she visited. I didn’t know what it was about her, but I liked her so much.
“So what’s going on?” I asked. Her face darkened.
“They… they’re taking me out of the academy and letting me go tonight.” She said sadly. My happiness disappeared.
“I’m not going to be able to see you anymore.” I said sadly.
“I don’t want to go, but they said that I have to or they’d hurt you.” She said softly. Rage illuminated through my heart. I ran to the wall and punched it with all of my strength.
“Everything and everyone I care about is being taken away from me!” I snapped. She walked over to me.
“Don’t give up; don’t let them consume you; keep fighting and the resistance will be here to break you out.” She told me. I looked into her eyes and she grabbed me and began kissing me. I kissed her back of course, but we were interrupted by the agents who pulled us apart.
“I love you.” She said.
“I love you too.” I replied. We both smiled and Agent Collins walked in.
“I see that my plan has worked.” Agent Collins said. Both of us looked at him with confusion.
“What are you talking about?” I asked. He pulled out a knife.
“Hand her over to me.” He told one of the agents. Athena was pushed into Agent Collins and Agent Collins brought the knife up to her neck.
“Let her go; we didn’t do anything!” I yelled.
“Get down on your knees and accept your destiny.” He demanded. I looked at Athena. She looked absolutely terrified.
“Don’t do what he says!” Athena yelled. He ran the knife lightly across her neck and it started bleeding.
“Don’t do this!” I exclaimed. He was about to run it across her neck again.
“Wait, wait I will just leave her alone!” I pleaded. He took the knife away from her neck. I looked around and found the agents waiting in anticipation. I got down on my knees and looked up at Agent Collins.
“Now say you accept your destiny as one of the government’s soldiers.” He commanded.
“I…. accept my destiny as….” I started.
“Don’t Darren; don’t listen to him!” Athena shouted. Agent Collins slapped her and it took everything not to get up and tackle him.
“Finish it.” He said.
“One of the government’s soldiers.” I finished. Agent Collins smirked and let go of Athena. I sighed as Athena ran over to me and gave me a hug. I looked at Agent Collins to see that he was clearly happy that he could get me to say that.
“I’m perfectly fine; don’t get all teary eyed on me.” Athena said. I grinned and then Agent Collins walked over to us and grabbed Athena. He pulled out his knife again and lodged it into Athena’s shoulder.
“Don’t we had a deal!” I snapped jumping up and pushing him away from her.
“You accepted your destiny as a soldier; as a soldier you need to turn your emotions off; the best way to do that is to take away your loved ones.” Agent Collins said pushing me to the floor. The other agents grabbed me and held me back from Agent Collins.
“Please, please just leave her alone; I will become your soldier; leave her alone!” I begged. He stared at me then his scowl morphed into a smile and the door opened again. The old evil man walked in.
“Now my young pet you’re ready to hear what you’re going to do.” He said. My fury towards him rose up in the rage- o- meter.
“I’m not your pet!” I snapped. He smacked me and I fell back, but the agents kept me in place.
“You’re now officially one of us.” Agent Collins said. I was ready to rip all of my hair off of my head.
“You’ll see in time that being an agent isn’t so bad.” The president said. He grabbed the knife and pushed Agent Collins away grabbing Athena.
“No…no don’t… I accept my destiny; don’t hurt her!” I screeched. The president shook his head.
“I won’t make that mistake again like I did with Seth.” He said slitting her throat. Blood gushed out immediately and she fell to the ground.
“No, Athena, Athena!” I screamed with tears bursting out at the seams. I lurched forward trying to grab the president, but no such luck. He kicked me in the stomach which sent me backward gasping for air.
I looked around as the men took Athena away. I was so weak from gasping for air that I couldn’t do a thing. They took Athena away from me, permanently. I stood up seeing Agent Collins and the president standing there with satisfaction.
I sat there for what felt like an eternity staring at her motionless body then the tears disappeared and I sat there with no emotion showing on my face. I felt the emotions drain away as I forgot how to love.
“That is how you make a soldier.” The president told Agent Collins. I didn’t care anymore. They were going to do this to me every time I tried to feel again. It was better to just let my emotions go away.
I looked up into Agent Collins’s eyes. They were pitiful.
“Come with me, Agent Daniels.” The president said. I stood up looking around.
“Finally you start acting like a gentleman.” Agent Collins said. The president walked out of the room expecting me to follow him. I of course did.
We walked down several halls as he showed me the classrooms full of nineteen year olds training to become agents.
“These men aren’t as smart as you; they train to become slaves serving me.” He said as we walked past the classrooms and into a different hall filled with agents experimenting with all kinds of things.
“You won’t become just an agent; you will become my agent and much more.” He said. I thought of my dream. It was all coming true.
“In 2014 it wasn’t just information the government found.” He said. What could they have found?
“What else did they find?” I asked. He opened a door and I saw what I never could’ve imagined. There was a humongous strange ship in the middle of the room with agents working all around it.
“I understand you’re interested in the past.” He said. I nodded.
“There was just something about the past that didn’t seem simple.” I said. I couldn’t help, but still let the bitterness seep out off my tongue. He nodded.
“What you felt was the presence of who landed here ages ago.” He said.
“What are you trying to say?” I asked. He sighed.
“What they found in 2014 was a ship; this ship.” He said.
“What does that have to do with anything?” I asked.
“I’m sure in the journals you’ve read they talk about a sudden jump in technology.” He said.
“Yes; they talk about it a lot.” I said.
“In 2018 the government started taking apart this ship and making technology from the parts of this ship.” He explained. I didn’t understand.
“I don’t get it; why did they use parts from this ship; why not make something new?” I asked.
“That’s just it; they can’t.” He said. This was truly starting to intrigue me.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Because this ship isn’t from Earth; this is an Extraterrestrial ship.” He said. This completely blew my mind. An alien ship?
“What does this have to do with anything?” I asked.
“This ship didn’t get here in 2014; they discovered it beneath the ocean before the water vanished; this ship is from before their time starting with the Sumerians then going to Egypt and so on.” He said. It clicked.
“You’re saying that this ship had more than just parts; aliens were here and they taught the first civilizations.” I said.
“Very good, but there’s a very big piece of information that you’re missing.” He said.
“What’s that?” I asked. He sighed and started walking up steps. I followed until he came to a stop. I absolutely hated him, but he was making a lot of sense. All the gaps in the information I’d collected over the years were filled in with perfect fitting pieces of the puzzle.
He stared at the ship.
“All of the things that I’ve done to this world were for the better of this civilization; if I hadn’t done the things I did then we never would’ve survived.” He said.
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked. He turned to face me.
“All the people that have brought our race this far, the geniuses like Socrates; the first recorded genius have somehow come up with these ideas that take us farther have been given information.” He started.
“What does this have to do with me?” I asked. He ignored me completely.
“Socrates had shown a very different way of thinking that lead to the thinking of today; Einstein created formulas that changed the course of history.” He said.
“I’m losing you.” I said.
“The point is that geniuses back then made this race go far; farther than any other because of information; information that they could’ve never known without help.” He said. I nodded. I finally understood what he was saying.
“Geniuses have developed their brains more than anyone else which is why they find this information.” He said looking over at the ship.
“So you’re saying that somehow these people had been contacted by these aliens that gave them information to survive?” I asked.
“Exactly.” He said smiling.
“So you want me to do what?” I asked.
“I’ve done so much for this race, but I can’t save it without a genius.” He said.
“What’s happening, why do you need to save us?” I asked.
“The ship wasn’t the only other thing that the government found back in 2014.” He said. I tilted my head.
“They found that there wasn’t just one alien race, but two; they found remnants of another ship; the first race liked us; they saw potential in us, but the second race swore to destroy us.” He said.
“Okay two races.” I said.
“In history there have been many times different species have died of natural causes except they weren’t natural, those disasters were caused by the second race; so many other races like us have been wiped out, but the first race keeps bringing us back.” He continued.
“How?” I asked.
“Producing us.” He replied. I felt sick to my stomach.
“You mean that we’re their offspring?” I asked. He nodded.
“After they had enough of humans alive to keep creating enough of us to survive as a race they stepped back, but the last time most of us were wiped out the first race was never awakened.” He said.
“So they weren’t woken up the last time the second race struck.” I guessed.
“Yes and now that we’ve progressed enough the second race is coming back to destroy us and without the first race we won’t survive.” He said.
“How do you know all of this?” I asked.
“The last genius that discovered this from finding these aliens and wrote it down before the aliens left once again.” He explained.
“So once again; what do you want me to do?” I asked. He took a deep breath.
“This is where it gets complicated; I need you to contact one of these aliens.” He said. My heart leapt.
“How am I supposed to contact these aliens if we don’t know where they are?” I asked.
“We do and that’s why you needed to be picked out of all those people; only the best genius can contact them and that’s why you were trained; in case anything goes wrong.” He said. I nodded. I knew what I had to do.
“Where are these aliens?” I asked. He pointed to the ship.
“How could they have survived in the ship all these years?” I asked.
“You’ll see when you get in there.” He said snapping his fingers. Agents ran up the steps instantly.
“Take Agent Daniels to the pods.” He commanded. The agents looked at me then nodded.
“Let’s go.” One of the agents said.
I couldn’t believe all of the information. The president, the man that destroyed this civilization, the man that seemed so heartless actually did all of this to save humanity. Wow. It was a lot to take in especially from the man that had taken everything away from me. I understood now. I understood why they wanted me so bad and did anything to get me back, but should he go unpunished? What will he do when this war is over?
The ship was so much bigger on the inside. All of the technology was so familiar and yet looked alien. Imagine that, alien looking technology on an alien ship.
The men lead me down several corridors until we came to a room bigger than anything I’d ever seen. Millions and millions of pods were stacked on top of each other. That must’ve been were the stack idea came from.
Aliens were in the pods. Aliens that were so tall and scary looking. They had a sharp angular head with two rhombus looking eyes. Their mouths were grey with lips like ours and their skin was black, but the funny part was that they looked a lot like us. Their skin was just like ours except it was black texturized skin. It was weird.
The men kept walking until we came to the end of the room where a single pod resting against the wall. I wondered if we’d moved it or if the aliens themselves put the pod there. The men walked away leaving me alone in the room.
I didn’t know what to do. The pods were purple gooey things that the aliens rested in. I didn’t know how they survived through so many attacks in those.
I pushed my hand through the liquid feeling it harden around me and pulled the alien out. Immediately the alien’s eyes shot open. As I stood it up it pushed its hand on my head.
Images flashed through my head. Men and women were running trying to get away from fire sprouting from the sky. The image changed to showing the aliens running for their ship barely making it to their pods as everything blew up.
The alien pulled away sending me flying to the ground. After the flashes vanished I stood up seeing the alien staring at me.
“Now you can understand me.” The alien said. My heart leapt. The alien was talking in my head! It scared me to death.
“How can you talk in my head?” I asked. The alien’s mouth morphed into what looked like a smile showing its tiny pointy teeth.
“I now understand you and what’s going on and you understand what happened to us.” It said. I was so confused.
“I sense that you’re confused; I’m assuming that you’re young.” It said. I nodded.
“I’m fifteen; it’s very young in this society.” I said.
“I know; we did create you.” It said. I nodded feeling stupid. Duh!
“Why don’t you talk aloud?” I asked.
“You humans I believe you’re called, preferred us to talk in your brain; I think; yeah brain.” It said.
“What would happen if someone that didn’t just do what we did tried to listen?” I asked. The alien scratched the back of its head.
“They’d feel pain.” It said. It seemed like it was having a really hard time trying to remember words.
“What exactly did you do?” I asked.
“I deciphered the noises we make so we could both understand each other.” It said.
“Are you a female or male?” I asked.
“I’m what I believe you call a man.” It said.
“What is your name?” I asked.
“I’m Ieashmak.” It said. That was a really weird name, but I guess they were alien.
“I’m Darren.” I said holding out my hand. Ieashmak looked at me uneasily then grabbed my hand.
“You humans have disgusting ways of greeting; we never taught you that.” Ieashmak said. I laughed. Ieashmak looked around alarmed. I laughed harder.
“You sound a distress call when there is nothing.” Ieashmak said disapprovingly.
“No, Ieashmak; I’m laughing, laughing shows joy.” I said. Ieashmak straightened up.
“Why have you awakened me, decipherable?” Ieashmak asked. I was guessing that meant genius.
“The other race has come back to destroy us and we need your help.” I said. Ieashmak looked surprised.
“We destroyed the Karzmians.” Ieashmak said. Karzmians? I’m guessing they named the previous civilizations.
“They’re back and we need help.” I said. Ieashmak ran over to a console I hadn’t noticed before. He pushed a bunch of buttons making them glow white and then I heard millions of clicks. Ieashmak turned around and looked at me.
“We are awakened now take me to your leader.” Ieashmak said. I turned around seeing millions of aliens jumping from their pods and onto the floor staring at me.
“The Karzmians are back.” Ieashmak said. All the other aliens didn’t look surprised but upset.
“Time to arms yourselves.” Ieashmak said. All of them got in lines and lined up at the end of the room next to the console. The console split apart and left a gaping hole. The aliens marched over to the console and Ieashmak grabbed my shoulder.
“I believe there’s a saying; let’s get moving.” He said. I nodded and we walked out.
We overtook most of the academy and from talking to one of the agents I heard that they took Darren to the end of the hall. We were so close.
I couldn’t believe how far we’d come in the past two weeks training all of the men in the resistance camp to become soldiers. Janet had been right to appoint me the leader. I couldn’t wait to see Darren’s face when he saw that I was the leader. I couldn’t wait to see his expression when we took over the government.
“Ieashmak says that he’d like to talk to you.” I said. The men had been terrified of Ieashmak when he first came up and pointed their guns at him. Ieashmak hadn’t been so happy about that. Good thing I could understand him.
The president watched Ieashmak with fascination.
“What exactly did Ieashmak say?” He asked.
“Take me to your leader.” I said. He laughed. I didn’t get it.
“Well you’re going to have to tell Ieashmak that Ieashmak has already met the leader.” He said. I was confused. I looked over at Ieashmak and told him.
“Ieashmak wants to know what you mean.” I said.
“I feel his anger; all of their anger, but from you I only feel peace.” Ieashmak said. I nodded. It made perfect sense.
“Ieashmak is confused.” I said. The president put his hand on my shoulder.
“He is happy, but still full of so much anger.” Ieashmak said.
“You, Darren are now in charge.” He said. The door flung open and men poured in.
I looked over and saw Johnny looking furious. He had changed. He wore the resistance uniform. The men pointed their guns at Ieashmak.
“They want to hurt me.” Ieashmak said.
“Don’t hurt him!” I yelled pointing to Ieashmak. Johnny looked at me confused and motioned for the men to stop pointing at Ieashmak. Johnny was in charge. I stood there with shock.
“Surrender President!” Johnny yelled poking the president in the back with a gun. I stepped forward.
“I… James he’s not the president.” I said. He looked at me with shock.
“This is definitely the president; are you blind?!” He snapped. I shook my head.
“These men are filled with more anger.” Ieashmak said. I heard a click and looked back to see the rest of the aliens behind us.
Johnny looked at them with fear.
“Darren, tell me what’s going on.” Johnny said. I looked around at the men from the resistance. They all looked disgusted or afraid.
“I… I guess I’m the president.” I said. Johnny dropped his gun.
“He’s confused and overjoyed at the same time.” One of the aliens said from behind me.
“That’s great; we won!” Johnny exclaimed. I shook my head.
“You have so much to catch up on.” I said.
“I’m guessing that has to do with the aliens behind you.” Johnny said. I nodded. A thought occurred to me. I looked over at the president. Well I guess the previous president.
“Why weren’t we allowed in the Old Nation?” I asked him.
“They had so many things left behind that would’ve jeopardized our mission to find the genius.” He replied.
“He’s telling the truth.” Ieashmak said. I looked back at the aliens and saw them waiting for me to say something.
“Ieashmak why don’t you guys prepare yourselves in the ship?” I asked. Ieashmak nodded.
“They will go, but I must stay with the leader.” Ieashmak replied. I nodded. The aliens turned and boarded the ship.
“Darren I think you’d better explain right now.” Johnny said. I nodded.
“First what are we going to do with him?” Johnny asked me. I had no idea what to do.
“Let him die!” One of the resistance men yelled. The others echoed their feelings too.
“I’m sorry, but we’re not going to murder this man.” I told them.
“They’re all very angry with you; they feel he should die.” Ieashmak said.
“I don’t regret what I did; I saved this race; so what, a few lives were sacrificed.” The previous president said. He was so not making this easier.
“I hope you mean a few hundred!” Johnny shouted. I shook my head at James.
“I know how you all feel; I hate this man; he took everything away from me, but if we murder him we’ll be just as bad as him.” I said. The men booed. I looked at the agents behind me who hadn’t said anything since Ieashmak came out.
“What do you think?” I asked the agents. One of them stepped forward.
“I think this man should be put in jail, but not murdered; I’ve been working with this man for years and can vouch that everything he did was for survival.” He said. I nodded.
“Take him to Alcatraz.” I told them. They nodded and cuffed him and pulled him away. For just earning three really big titles in a couple hours I thought I was doing pretty well. I actually commanded people. I could actually prevent everything that happened to me. I pulled off the headband that I’d worn for the past two weeks. I was proud of what I accomplished.
“Could you ask your men to go home to their families?” I asked Johnny. Johnny nodded.
“All of you go home to your families; I promise that no harm will come to you or your families.” Johnny said. The men cheered walking out of the room.
“I can hear this boy’s thoughts.” Ieashmak said astonished. I blinked twice.
“Could you do the same thing that you did to me to him?” I asked. Ieashmak shook his head.
“I can only hear his thoughts.” He said. I nodded.
“Let’s go find somewhere to talk.” I said. Johnny nodded. I motioned for Ieashmak to follow me.
Once we walked into the president’s office I found Agent Collins sitting in the chair.
“His plan was to give you the position the whole time; he’d always told me I’d take his position; you’re just a boy.” He said. James pulled out his gun.
“Don’t Johnny.” I said holding him back. Agent Collins stood up.
“You were his mission and now that he found you…” He trailed off.
“He’s given up.” Ieashmak said.
“I’m sorry, but I hate you; I don’t trust you to lead this race the right way.” I said. Agent Collins grabbed my arm and began digging down.
“What are you doing?!” I snapped. He pulled out the chip and smashed it.
“I don’t think you’ll be needing that anymore.” He said. I was shocked.
“You don’t want to kill me?” I asked surprised.
“Why would I want to kill you; you are what’s best for this race; you will do great things and I hope you will trust me enough to stay at your side.” He said. I was surprised. Nothing prepared me for Agent Collins to pledge his allegiance to me.
“Uh, stand up and uh, listen.” I said. He did as was told. This was really weird. Anybody else would’ve killed both the president and Agent Collins for what they did to me, but like I was told; I’m rare.
Johnny watched me amazed. Ieashmak stood at my side.
“He is very loyal to you.” Ieashmak said.
“I think you’d better explain all of this now.” James said.
“The president has ordered for everyone to gather at the academy.” An agent told me. I looked around at the students. I hoped Darren was alright. After I’d heard that he’d been taken to the president I was worried. He was definitely the best student I’d ever had.
“Mr. Jensen; you’re needed at the academy right away.” Agent Collins said. This was weird. Agent Collins even all of the agents were acting polite. I wondered what this was about.
“I’ll get my car.” I said. Agent Collins shook his head.
“The president sent a helicopter for you, but we need to make a few stops first.” Agent Collins said. I nodded suspiciously.
A helicopter hit the ground next to my dad’s mansion and I ran out wondering what was happening. My dad was already standing next to the plane. He turned to face me.
“Uh, Ryan the president would like to see you.” My dad said.
“Not just him.” Agent Collins said. Who else could it be?
I missed Darren. He’d sacrificed everything for me twice and he made me believe the world could change. I hoped nothing bad happened to him. He gave me hope in this dark world.
“He wants to see you too.” Agent Collins told my dad. I took a deep breath and stepped in with my nervous father.
I heard a propelling sound and turned to see a helicopter. Everyone ran in the camp ran away as they realized it was an Agent helicopter, but I wanted to see what was going on.
“Janet, come on!” Lizzy exclaimed running towards the helicopter. I became terrified as Agent Collins stepped out of the helicopter, but there was something different about him.
“Janet and Lizzy Daniels you’re needed at the academy.” He said. I believe he sensed our fear.
“No, you’re fine; it’s a good thing that you’re going there.” He said. I’m not sure why I trusted him right now, but I got into the helicopter.
“Only two more stops to make.” Agent Collins said as I saw the others. There was something going on.
I missed the kids running around here. It was so lonely around the school without any of them. After they’d gotten Darren there was no reason to continue the program so they left. Darren was in a world of trouble with the president and his trusty stead, Agent Collins.
“Mr. Lang, you’re needed at the academy.”
I turned around and came face to face with Agent Collins. I dropped the cup I was carrying.
“I haven’t hidden Darren anywhere; just don’t hurt me!” I exclaimed. He laughed. There was something definitely up.
“Just come with me.” He said. I nodded and followed Agent Collins into a helicopter seeing Ryan.
“Ryan what are you doing here?” I asked. He shrugged.
“I could ask you the same thing.” He said. I stared out of the windows. This was really odd. No other agents except for the pilot and Agent Collins.
A helicopter touched down right next to my shop blocking my customers! I’d already told the agents everything I knew about Darren the escapee. This was really starting to make me angry.
I ran out of my store and was about to yell when Agent Collins stepped out. I filled with fear. I hadn’t done anything!
“Jack Nichols; the president would like to see you.” Agent Collins said. This was weird. No hitting or guns pulled. Really weird.
“Why should I go with you?” I questioned him. He smiled.
“Because there’s nothing bad going to happen.” He said. Hmm. Why not? I hopped in the back of the helicopter.
Agent Collins walked in first with a smile.
“They are all here like you asked.” He said. I smiled. Things were going wonderfully.
“Thank you for not forcing any of them.” I said. He bowed.
“You don’t have to do that; just have them come in.” I said. This was all too weird. I looked over and saw that Ieashmak was studying me.
“You feel sad and happy all at once.” He said.
“All of these people did stuff that sacrificed their lives for me; I want to reward them and I want them to be the first to hear the news.” I said. Ieashmak tilted his head.
“I think I understand.” Ieashmak said. I cleared my throat and the doors flew open. Here goes nothing! Jack, Mr. Jensen, Mr. Lang, Mr. Annen, Ryan, Janet and Lizzy walked in with surprised expressions.
“Darren!” They all shouted at once. Janet, Ryan and Lizzy all ran for me.
“Where’s the president?” Mr. Jensen asked. I smiled.
“You’re looking at him.” I said.
“You’re the president?” Jack questioned me. I smiled wider.
“Then we won!” Mr. Jensen exclaimed. I didn’t expect that reaction from him. I loved Mr. Jensen. Mr. Lang shook my hand.
“I knew there was something about you!” He exclaimed. I sat in the chair trying to look professional.
“I think I need a hug, Mr. President.” Janet said. I laughed and jumped from the chair giving her and Lizzy a hug then looked to Ryan.
“I thought you abandoned me.” Ryan said. I shook my head.
“I would never abandon you.” I said shaking his hand.
“You actually did it; you brought down the government.” He said. I nodded.
“He’s so full of joy.” Ieashmak said.
“Why are we here?” Mr. Annen asked. I became serious.
“All of you helped me majorly and without every one of you I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I did; every one of you deserves a reward.” I said. Jack smiled for the first time.
“I missed you.” Lizzy said. I smiled and picked her up like I used to.
“Since all of you helped me all of you will receive enough yesos for a lifetime.” I said. All of the men jumped for joy. I was glad, they deserved it.
“What will happen now?” Johnny asked. I almost forgot he was still in here.
“Now we all start off new; everyone will be freed from Alcatraz and the stack people will have an opportunity to join the section of Opportunity.” I said. Janet and Lizzy smiled with joy. Before I made this law they weren’t allowed a future. Now they were. Mr. Jensen also looked overjoyed. I imagined that he never got to do what he wanted.
“Also anyone may go down to the Old Nation and explore or even build a civilization there.” I said. Mr. Jensen smiled knowing I loved to do that.
“What’s the catch?” Jack asked. All the smiles vanished as I pointed to Ieashmak.
“This is Ieashmak; he’s going to help us survive.” I said.
“They’re afraid of me; tell them we won’t harm them.” Ieashmak said. I explained everything.
I looked at my watch and started walking out of the room.
“I’ll explain everything over the meeting that I’m supposed to be at right now; everyone from all sections is there.” I said. Everyone followed me even Ieashmak.
“Maybe I should wait to step out.” Ieashmak said.
“Whatever you want.” I said. He nodded and waited in the hall as I walked out onto the balcony. It was all so packed as everyone waited outside of the academy waiting for me to walk out. Agent Collins was already waiting for me there. When I walked out everyone stared at me. The agents were ready for anything encircling the crowd.
“People of the sections; things have changed, things that were destroying this world; things that made all of us feel inferior, but that time is over; every one of you have been through terrible things that should’ve never happened and that’s what is about to change.” I started. The people stared at me with confusion until one of them spoke up.
“What’s going on?” She asked. I laughed.
“That’s the number one question; I have overthrown the government and the previous president has been put in Alcatraz; this world is going to change; from now on everyone has a choice in what they want to do; all of the barriers have been removed; everyone that had been imprisoned has been freed; anyone can go into the Old Nation.” I continued. Everyone cheered and I spotted my parents and almost broke down.
They hadn’t cared about me. It hurt to think about it; to know I wasn’t allowed into the house. My parents were crying. I still didn’t see Jason.
“Your parents are just afraid of change; they still care about you.” Ieashmak said.
“You can do whatever you wish in life; you can even go into the Old Nation to build new lives along with a town for anyone who wants to live there; the agents have been told to act like human beings; if one of them isn’t report them and I’ll take care of it.” I continued once again. I sighed. Now for the hard part.
“We have major problems arising; extraterrestrials have come to help us; these aliens may look scary but they aren’t they are our guardian angles, but there’s another race that will try to destroy ever one of us and to stop them we need these aliens that are here; if anyone of you hurt these aliens there will be consequences; we all need to work together to bring down this threat; in a years’ time the attack will be upon us; so let’s come together to destroy this threat before they destroy us!” I exclaimed. The crowd cheered. They were happy that I’d freed this place. I don’t think they quite understood what I was saying, but I’d let it sink in.
“Come out.” I told Ieashmak. Ieashmak walked out and everyone gasped.
“This is Ieashmak; Ieashmak is the leader of the aliens; if anyone harms him there will be serious consequences.” I said once again.
“You may go.” I said. Everyone started walking away as I turned to see my saviors.
“Not too bad for being the president for a day.”
Tears rushed down my cheek.
“You don’t think I’d leave you that easily.” Athena said. I hugged her as she pulled away then decided she didn’t want to stop at a hug pulling my head down and kissing me. I never thought I’d see her again. I’d missed her so much. Emotions I noticed were never turned off, just dulled down.
“I just can’t believe you’re back; I thought everything was lost, that nothing mattered anymore.” I said.
“That doesn’t matter anymore; I’m here with you now.” She said grabbing my hand.
“Athena, I think I love you.” I said. She shushed me.
“Let’s just go in a room where we can talk.” She said. I turned searching for Ieashmak who seemed to be staring at us smiling. Too bad his teeth made him look menacing.
“Go on; I sense love.” Ieashmak said.
“Stay with Johnny.” I said.
“Ieashmak plans on it; he seems more peaceful than the rest.” Ieashmak said. Johnny smiled at me then turned to Janet who’d been watching us also.
“I can’t believe he did that to me!” I yelled. Athena looked a little startled herself.
“He made me believe that you’d died; that everything that I’d worked for was destroyed!” I yelled. She put her hand on my shoulder trying to calm me down.
“He’s in Alcatraz now; everything is taken care of; just let the agents take care of all of this.” She said. I pulled away from her trying to take control of the situation.
“I can’t I’m the president; I’m in charge of the whole world!” I exclaimed. She grabbed my hand. I stared down at our hands feeling the warmth of her body calm me down.
“You’re also just a kid; let Agent Collins handle it for a while.” She said. I stared into her eyes as they sucked me into them making me forget everything else, letting my worries slip away at least for a little while.
“You’re so easy to get distracted.” She chuckled. I brought her closer wanting some comfort.
“You’re right, let’s just go relax for a little bit.” I said. She smiled.
“Finally; it’s been a stressful month.” She said.
“Don’t remind me.” I said. She nodded. I searched around for James who seemed to be lost in Janet.
After we’d left the hall James and Janet had followed us physically, but mentally they were lost in each other. I wondered if there was something going on between those two.
“Where would we go?” I asked.
“Back to the stacks; we could resume life as it was or we could make it better.” She replied. I smiled at the thought. Everything I’d tried to get done could finally come true. I could finally do whatever I wished to change this place.
“Okay but there’s something I’ve got to do before we leave.” I said. She smiled larger than before then jumped back in excitement.
“I promise you this will help so much!” She exclaimed. I smiled.
“Nice to know.” I said walking out of the room.
“I’m going to leave for a couple days to try to clear my mind; keep things running like I’ve explained, please.” I told Agent Collins. He nodded.
“I will try to do my best to respect your wishes, but please bring another agent with you sir.” Agent Collins begged getting up from the chair. I sighed.
“I don’t think I’ll…” I started.
“Please, this way we can make sure you’re safe plus it’d just be one.” He replied. I looked over at Athena who shrugged in response.
“Well, fine, but make sure Janet, James and Lizzy are well protected.” I said. His expression turned from worried to ecstatic. He was finally going to be able to become the president for a few days.
“Where will you be?” He asked me. I looked over at Athena.
“I think we’ll be around the stacks.” I said. Athena turned to me in shock.
“You don’t mean…” He started.
“Yes, the Old Nation.” I interrupted.
“Can’t you at least stay at a hotel or something?” He asked.
“We don’t have any hotels.” I said.
“Well we should definitely change that.” He replied.
“We will be fine Collins.” I said.
“Then will you please take three agents?” He begged again. Frustration was starting to take over.
“Fine, but only three and we’re going to the Old Nation.” I said. He nodded.
“Be careful.” He said.
I stood up grabbing a pin that was programmed to read where I was at all times and a few suits that recognized me as the president. Personally I would’ve rather gone by myself with Athena to the Old Nation without everyone being able to watch my every move, but I guess when you were someone important it didn’t matter what you wished.
We were about to board the helicopter when I heard shouts coming from behind me.
I turned seeing Ryan with luggage behind him.
“Wait for me!” He exclaimed.
“Ryan, don’t address him like that!” Ryan’s father shouted behind him. Ryan glared at his father.
“What’s going on?” I asked looking from one to the other.
“I’m coming with.” Ryan said. I looked to Athena who just simply shrugged.
“You don’t even know anything about the stacks!” Ryan’s father snapped. I stood up straight.
“That’s why I’m coming with!” Ryan exclaimed.
“If you get permission!” Ryan’s father yelled. Their yelling was getting on my nerves.
“Enough!” I yelled. Both of them straightened up and stared at me in surprise like they’d never noticed I was there.
“If Ryan wants to come with he can, I don’t care, the more the merrier.” I said. Ryan’s father looked defeated.
“Let me come with.” Ryan said. I nodded. It was the least I could do for him and it wasn’t like he wasn’t with a trained agent.
“Ryan can come with and I’m sorry, but I need you to look out for my family.” I said. Ryan’s father nodded.
“Make sure he’s safe.” He replied. I held out my hand.
“No hard feelings.” I said. He grabbed my hand shaking it then stood back.
“It’s time to go, sir.”
I looked behind me finding an agent stepping out of the helicopter. I turned to Ryan.
“I hope you’re ready.” I said. He smiled.
“I can’t wait!” He exclaimed. I looked at Athena finding her even happier than ever. I didn’t know how she did it. She’d been through so much yet she acted like nothing could get any better.
“This… this is the Stack section?”
I nodded watching everyone rushing from one section to the other like little ants.
“These are the stacks.” I replied.
“It’s so… so wonderful!” He exclaimed.
He must need to get his eyes checked. There was no way this was wonderful!
“Um, Ryan the stacks aren’t as near as perfect as you think they are.” I said.
“What are you talking about, kids are playing, adults are free to walk around and the agents aren’t swarming you here!” He exclaimed. I guess that was one way you could put it.
“They’ll be better now that I’m in charge; these people won’t have to suffer; we’ll be a team.” I said watching as the helicopter got closer and closer.
“Better get ready sir, we’re entering the stacks.” One of the agents warned me.
“I can’t wait to get down there.” Athena said. I took a deep breath in.
“I can, I’m the president now; what if they don’t like me?” I said. Ryan reared back.
“Darren you just freed this whole place.” He said.
“I know, but I’m… the president’s property.” I said. Ryan shook his head.
“You mean the old president’s property and no you’re not; you’ve made this place free; it’s every man’s world.” He replied.
“I hope you’re right.” I said. He nodded.
“We have to leave now before we run out of fuel.” The agent said behind me.
I looked around finding four agents following me out of the helicopter. One of the agents grabbed my stuff as Athena grabbed my hand and we jumped out all at once. So much for the three agents. Agent Collins needed to get a hobby. He was like a mother.
I turned around expecting an angry man, but instead found someone I thought I’d never see again.
“Mr. Dexon, it’s nice to see you again!” I exclaimed. Mr. Dexon’s hair grew longer and it seemed as if he’d just recently shaved a beard he’d once had.
“You look nice, Darren.” He replied. I held out my hand.
“As do you.” I said. He looked over at the agents.
“I never thought I’d find you with so many agents.” He said.
“Neither did I, but it happened; I guess I was just destined for it.” I replied.
“Is it true you… you’re… you know?” He asked. I sighed.
“Yes, I’m the president, sadly.” I said.
“That’s great Darren; you’ve changed this world for the better.” He said.
“I wouldn’t be so sure; I don’t have any experience with this; I don’t even know where to start!” I exclaimed. His face softened.
“Darren everything is fine; I already know by you being worried that you’re going to be a great leader.” He said.
“I don’t know Mr. Dexon.” I said. Athena stepped up.
“Darren you’ll be fine now quit your whining.” She said.
“I’m Athena, pleased to meet you, but we should probably get going sir, we’ve got a crowd forming.” She replied motioning around us.
I looked around finding bunches of kids from my grade amongst people I’d known my whole life.
“Please sir; let’s just get to our destination.” One of the agents spoke up.
I turned fearing the worst and then something I wasn’t expecting happened. Everyone started clapping, people were cheering with enthusiasm and I felt loved for the first time in my whole life.
One of the agents grabbed my arm.
“Sir we’ve got to go.” He warned me. I pulled my arm away stepping into the middle of the crowd.
“People of the stacks thank you so much for your appreciation, but we’ve got to go, but before we go I’ve got an offer.” I started. Everyone fell silent.
“We’re going down to the Old Nation; if anyone wants to go with us feel free to do so.” I said. I looked to see what happened to Athena and found her in deep conversation with Mr. Dexon.
The agent motioned for me to go again.
“That will be it; you may go.” I said.
“Darren; where are you; I need you?” Ieashmak sounded off in my head. Opps. I completely forgot about Ieashmak.
“I’m sorry Ieashmak; I’ll send someone out for you.” I said. The agent looked at me in confusion. I guess he’d never had a voice in his head.
“Let’s go.” I said walking away.
“I need one of you to help me out.” I said. The agents looked worried. I guess they didn’t trust me.
“Bring me Ieashmak.” I said sitting down in a chair I’d dug out of the ground a few years back.
“Who’s Ieashmak?” One of them asked.
“The alien, but you mustn’t hurt him.” I said. They looked confused.
“I thought it was supposed to be a vacation!” Athena snapped snapping out of her amazement.
“I’m sorry I forgot about Ieashmak.” I said.
“Let Ieashmak be for a few days; this is our vacation.” She said pulling me into her arms making me wander into her eyes.
“He’s scared.” I said. She glared at me.
“I…he’s by himself.” I said.
“He’s with a whole army of his kind.” She said. I sighed. I saw that I’d lost this fight.
“I agree with Athena, Darren.” Ryan spoke up. The agents nodded as well.
“I think it’d be best if you’d get a little break.” One of the agents agreed.
“Fine.” I said frustrated.
“So where did this come from?” One of the agents asked. I was starting to remember this agent. He looked very familiar.
“What’s your name, agent?” I asked. I loved being able to disrespect these agents!
“Agent Andrews, sir.” He replied. I remembered him now.
“Have I seen you before Andrews?” I asked. He nodded looking almost nervous.
“I was there when we took you away from your house, sir.” He said. I thought so. It was a little ironic. He’d taken me from my home and was now bringing me back. Kind of.
“I remember you; you were the one in charge; you were Agent Collins’s top agent, isn’t that right agent?” I asked.
“Yes sir.” He replied.
“Darren where are you going with this?” Athena asked. I shook my head.
“I’m not going anywhere with this, relax Agent Andrews.” I said. Andrews’s shoulders sank down looking like the weight of the world had just been taken off of them.
“So you’re third in command?” I asked him. He nodded again.
“Yes sir, if you were to get hurt and Agent Collins took your place I would be the head agent.” He said. I hoped he meant nothing by the “if you got hurt”. It sounded like he was meaning something about that.
“So where did this come from; I was here when we were searching the Old Nation and we never came across this place.” He replied.
“I hid this place in plain sight; every day I came out here to explore I would bring my findings in here then cover my tracks by covering the entrance with rubble from the wreckage long ago.” I explained.
“Smart.” He replied.
I looked around finding Ryan looking through the jewelry. I wondered where Athena went.
“Why don’t you four agents go get something to eat for tonight?” I asked. Andrews looked at me with a stubborn expression.
“At least one of us has to stay with you.” He said.
“Fine you.” I replied pointing to the agent that looked least familiar with this.
“I’d prefer it to be me to watch over you, sir; after all you’re on vacation and I’m supposed to look over you.” Andrews said stepping in front of the agent. He was more annoying than ever.
“Right now; you’re not the president, you don’t have the resources or the forces and you’re by yourself.” He continued.
“Fine!” I snapped. This was all too much.
“Get the food.” Andrews told the other three.
I wandered up the old rickety stairs that had once been inhabited. The walls were smeared with soot that had been forced down here once the explosion had happened.
The books I’d placed on the shelves in the small room were neatly stacked which clearly mismatched the rest of the house.
I found Athena gazing up through the hole in the roof at the stars. The stars seemed like they were brighter than usual illuminating the whole room like I’d imagined it used to be with the Old Nation.
Athena’s light blue eyes glowed in the dark making her look even more beautiful than ever.
“I found the book you were talking about when we first met.” She said
“What are you talking about?” I asked. She turned smiling.
“Like the Greek goddess.” She mocked. I laughed.
“You were the first one I’d met that had a name that resembled someone of the past.” I said. She hugged me.
“Do you know why I connected with you so much?” She asked me. I shook my head.
“It was because I never had anything or anyone to care about; my parents… my parents didn’t care because I didn’t have any; I was four when both of my parents died, luckily my grandfather was still alive to do something about it; I was taken to the section of Opportunity where my grandfather raised me with five other kids, but because there were so many of us, some of us were ignored; I was the outcast of my family.” She started. I cleared my throat.
“I ignored every warning I’d gotten from my grandfather being the kid that acted out all the time; soon my life was headed for a rough road bringing home failing grades; my grandfather had finally made up his mind about me; he was done with me; the third night I’d brought home failing grades he sent me to the system for two weeks; when I came home I’d found that my things had been packed up, my grandfather sold me to the system; I was now the system’s property.” She said. I felt the tears pour down my shoulder drenching my neck and shirt. Her sobs filled the room making my surroundings turn dark and eerie.
“When I first met you I figured you for another jerk; another bully that’d been sent here because his daddy got tired of hearing his whining, but then I’d gotten to know you; you were another outcast, someone to relate to and then I realized…” She trailed off then pulled back. Her eyes bore down into mine.
“Darren, you inspire me; you make everything seem like it’s all rainbows and unicorns; Darren, I love you.” She said.
“I can’t imagine a world without you; I don’t think I could survive in a world without you.” She said pulling me into a kiss. I felt her lips press up onto mine then the next thing I knew we were collapsing onto the bed embracing each other.
One thing led to another and soon I felt the body heat of more than just mine.
“Sir they’re back with food!” I heard Andrews exclaim. I jumped up off the bed immediately grabbing my shirt and looking back at Athena who looked irritated.
“Duty calls.” I said smiling. I can’t believe we’d actually just done it. We’d made out. We’d actually kissed; we’d admitted our feelings for each other.
“I see that I’m interrupting more than just a conversation.”
I turned seeing Andrews standing there with bread in his hands. I finally realized that I hadn’t put my shirt on. I felt my cheeks get warm and knew they were red.
“Young love.” He replied. I looked over to Athena who also seemed embarrassed.
“I’ll see you two down stairs; get dressed.” Andrews hollered walking down the stairs.
“That was awkward.” I said. Athena looked horrified.
“I hope it isn’t going to be like this every time we decide to take a vacation.” She said. I smirked.
“See you down stairs.” I replied. She nodded looking out at the stars. This was actually happening.
When I got down stairs all of the agents were cackling like little girls.
Ryan was cackling as hard as the rest of them. When they all saw me the laughter stopped. Ryan gave me a thumbs up.
“I knew it was a matter of time!” He exclaimed. I shook my head.
“Where’s the food?” I asked ignoring all of the stares and comments. Andrews tossed me bread and a burrito. I had no idea where they’d gotten this from. It was rare to find good food out here.
“Let’s eat!” One of the agents exclaimed. I felt a hand on my shoulder and saw bright flashes and hearing voices, but not anyone’s that I knew. I then turned to find that no one was there. What was going on? I looked all around searching for someone that looked like they’d just moved.
“Are you alright sir, you don’t look too good?” Andrews asked.
“Did you see anyone around here?” I asked. Everyone looked concerned.
“Darren, no one is here, but us.” Athena said walking in front of me. This was really starting to scare me. Was I hallucinating? Was I finally losing it?
“You didn’t hear the voices?” I asked. Andrews stood up.
“I think it’s time to go back to Opportunity.” He said. This was really scaring them.
My head was starting to throb with a headache following it.
“No, we need another few days.” I said. The agents looked conflicted.
The flashes returned with ringing, ringing that tore through my ear drums.
“Ah!” I screamed out. The ringing was getting louder and I found the voices getting closer.
“Die!” One of the voices yelled. I sank to my knees covering my ears.
“We’re getting him out of here!” Andrews yelled. I felt the ringing get higher. I felt the strength of the agents as I felt them lift me up off of the floor.
“I’m going to stay with him!” I barely heard Athena yell. I couldn’t hear anymore. This couldn’t be the end. This couldn’t be my end!
“Well what are we supposed to do?”
I felt my heart thumping against my chest as we thought of a solution to Darren’s situation.
Andrews stood in front of me looking just as worried.
“We can’t have our leader sick during the most important year of this world; we need him.” I said. Andrews nodded.
“So what do we do?” He asked.
“Do you remember the stories that Eric used to tell us?” I asked him. He nodded slowly.
“What does that have to do with anything?” He asked.
“Do you remember the one about the Old Nation, about the stories of the old ghosts?” I asked.
“You don’t think that that’s what’s happening do you?” He asked. I nodded.
“It’d explain the chills.” I said. He nodded.
“I wonder if it’s them; the aliens.” He said. I sighed.
“Do you remember why we couldn’t talk to the aliens ourselves?” I asked him. He shook his head.
“It’s too high pitched; the sound destroys us; unless we’re smart enough to interpret the high pitched sounds.” I said.
“What if these are the other aliens that are doing this to him?” I asked. He smiled.
“That makes perfect sense; this means we can fix it!” He exclaimed.
“We still have to figure out a way to communicate this to the leader; the alien.” I replied. He nodded.
“Do we know someone else that can communicate with them?” He asked. I shook my head.
“We’re going to have to try to talk to him.” I said.
“He’s not ready; it’ll be too much for him.” He said.
“He’s going to have to be for the survival of the world.” I replied. He nodded.
The voices! The voices were too much. All of them were talking at once! Uh!
I pounded my ears trying to push out the voices.
“Stop talking!” I yelled. Was I going crazy?
“Stop it!” I yelled. I couldn’t even hear myself thinking.
“Go away; I haven’t done anything!” I exclaimed. With what they’ve done to me it wasn’t a surprise that I was finally losing it.
I couldn’t tell if that call was real or if it was a figment of my imagination.
“Darren; you’re not crazy it’s me; Agent Collins!” I heard a yell. I turned looking over finding Agent Collins standing before me.
Flashes ran through my head seeing children playing then watching as a pink hand flew out then as true as could be an explosion went off exploding over the world.
“Darren listen to me; I need to know if there’s anyone else that can communicate with… Ieashmak.” Agent Collins said. I felt his hand on my head feeling the coolness of it.
“You have a fever; listen to me, tell me if anyone else can communicate with Ieashmak.” He said.
I felt my breathing speed up. The one word had to come out; the one word that could save me.
“Johnny.” I said. Johnny could communicate with Ieashmak; he’d told me that.
“Johnny can communicate with Ieashmak?” Agent Collins questioned me. I shook my head.
“Ieashmak can hear his thoughts.” I forced out. Every word sent my lungs into excruciating pain.
“Hold on Darren; we’re trying.” He said. I didn’t know how I heard all of this.
“Hurry.” I gasped out. The flashes returned showing me parents; parents that were sitting at picnic tables visiting. They were there and then they weren’t. The explosion sent a wave of wind knocking over everything and everyone that came in its way.
The screams filled my head feeling as if it were going to explode itself.
“Janet!” I screamed.
“How am I supposed to communicate with Ieashmak?” I asked. Agent Collins shrugged.
“Think of our predicament.” He said. I shrugged looking over at Ieashmak who’d been following me around for the past twenty four hours.
“Ieashmak if you can understand me nod twice.” I said. Ieashmak nodded twice.
“Nod if you can hear my thoughts.” I thought. He nodded.
“Darren is in trouble; we think that he’s being haunted by the other aliens.” I thought. Ieashmak looked as confused as I thought an alien could.
“We think these aliens are ghosts.” I thought. Ieashmak tilted his head.
“I need you to go see Darren; perhaps you can help him.” I said.
Ieashmak stood up and walked out of the room. Hopefully he was going to Darren.
“Athena; Athena!” I yelled. I felt a hand drop to my forehead and opened my eyes in reaction. Agent Collins stood over me. He seemed to be talking to me. I saw his lips moving, but nothing was coming out. I couldn’t hear him. He stared at me for a minute then backed away.
When I realized that Agent Collins was done talking I started to sit up, but my head pulled me back. It was just too heavy. I don’t think that was healthy. I fell back down feeling the pressure of the weight of my head dull down a bit.
Suddenly Ieashmak appeared in front of me putting his hand onto my head.
“You’ll be fine.” He said freaking me out. I wanted to say something, something to express my thoughts, but it was so hard to force it out.
“I…” I forced out.
“Quiet; I’m going to help you; we need the leader.” He said. The letter l stuck out with Ieashmak lingering on the word.
“Ieashmak is going to pull out the spirits.” Ieashmak said.
His hand felt cold cooling down my head a fraction. My head felt as if it were a millisecond away from exploding then some mysterious force took most of it away. I could feel my raging heart beat slowing down then a flash appeared.
I was in a field lying down next to Athena looking as her eyes met mine and we nodded in agreement. She grabbed my hand and pulled me close.
“I love you Darren; I’ll be so thankful when this is over.” She said. I smiled pulling her closer to me and pressing my lips against hers. It felt as if nothing could take us away from each other and then Athena pulled back.
“What?” I asked. She stared pointing her head up. I turned quickly seeing an explosion looking as if it were coming for us. I stood up pulling Athena up as she held me in fear.
“Darren; what is that?” She asked. I stared into the explosion watching as trees, bushes and everything were swept up whizzing past us. I gasped as Athena grabbed my arm.
“Darren come on!” She yelled. Her yell didn’t even faze me.
“Darren!” She screamed. I felt my arm being yanked then heard a scream and whipped around to find Athena being swept up with the trees.
“Athena!” I screamed. Her eyes turned into a giant o then she was gone disappearing into the mysterious wind. I collapsed to my knees feeling the tears rush down my cheeks scaring me how scarcely it was. Then from nowhere Ieashmak appeared with another alien being.
The other alien, the pink alien looked just like Ieashmak with the sharp features, but had hair, hair that was so coarse and green.
“We had an agreement!” Ieashmak screeched. I covered my ears hearing the high pitched noise and the tension between them.
“You’ve broken our agreement; we get the genius this time!” The other alien yelled. Ieashmak got into a running stance and was there a second then the next second he was clenching onto the other alien’s neck making the other alien seethe with anger.
“This genius is mine; every ten thousand years!” Ieashmak spat back.
“This genius is special; working against every force that’s been thrust upon him; he’s very interesting, Ieashmak.” The alien said.
“He’s mine, Yovanak!” Ieashmak snapped. Ieashmak threw the other alien to the ground beating upon it. I stood up walking over to Ieashmak. He was still beating on it then he turned around staring into my eyes.
“Wake up, Leader.” He said. I tilted my head.
“Wake up Leader.” He said again putting his hand on my hand.
I opened my eyes feeling all the tension melt away from me. My head felt normal again and it didn’t hurt to breathe.
I was lying on a bed with Athena and Janet at my sides. Ieashmak stood in front of me holding a blue silhouette in front of him.
“Yovanak.” I muttered. Ieashmak nodded.
“I must explain something to you.” He said. I nodded then turned to find Agent Collins holding Athena back.
“I’m glad you’re feeling better.” He said. I sighed sitting up.
“By the way you’re never going back there without me.” He said. Athena smiled looking filled with relief.
“I’m ready.” I told her. She looked up at Agent Collins who seemed hesitant. I nodded and he let go of her arm. She took a running start and jumped into my arms squeezing the breath out of me with so much joy.
“Darren I’ve missed you so much!” She exclaimed. I coughed.
“If you could quit squeezing the life out of me.” I squeaked out. She jumped back with her cheeks filling with red.
“Let’s not go back to the Old Nation.” She said. I chuckled.
“I’m still going to go back; we’ve got to start a new colony; a new land.” I replied. I turned finding Janet still standing there.
She seemed to be crying immensely. She must’ve thought she lost me.
“I… I missed you little brother.” She said. I laughed feeling the tears I didn’t know I had left fall down to my neck.
“You don’t know how much I missed you; I thought that you were gone; that Lizzy and I had lost another family member.” She cried out. I held her in my arms for I don’t how long, but we needed it being through so much in this past month or so.
“You wouldn’t believe what went through my mind.” She said.
“Well, I’m here now.” I said pulling away finding her eyes looking puffy.
“I think I should get back to Johnny now.” She said noticing everyone watching us.
“Don’t look at them; it’s just about us right now.” I said. She shook her head.
“I just can’t do it anymore, Darren; it’s just too much now.” She said. I shook my head. She couldn’t say this, this was all for us.
“Don’t say that, Janet; this will all work out.” I said. She shook her head pushing her arms out with frustration.
“Darren it’s too much; we don’t even know if all of this will be okay; if it will work.” She snapped. I felt my heart stop even just focusing on it. She was right; there was no guarantee that what I was doing was going to work; that everything would be fine and we could start a new colony, a new world; a team.
I couldn’t let that doubt cloud my judgment. I turned my head resting my hands on my head.
“Just trust me; it’ll work.” I mumbled. She rested her hand on my arm.
“I’m going to go find James and Lizzy.” She said. I peered into her eyes remembering how far we’d come. It seemed like years ago we’d been in the house with mom and dad. We both had changed so much from those little kids especially her, she had been sheltered and now here she was in the heart of the problems.
“This is all for you, Janet; you and Lizzy.” I said. She nodded then left me as I stared into the distance trying to forget that conversation had ever happened.
“We need to talk Darren.”
I looked up seeing Agent Collins turning from that cold hearted agent to the mother hen that had cared for me when the president left.
“Let’s go somewhere private.” I said. He nodded.
We sat down at the finely polished desk that I’d cleaned out a few days ago. The chair I was sitting in was much more comfortable than Agent Collins’s looked. Never could a president’s job be done.
This reminded me of the beginning. The beginning, when I’d first met Agent Collins. We’d been sitting at a desk one in front of the other when I’d officially been introduced to him. The desk hadn’t been as near as great as this desk, but none the less it was a desk.
I guess you could say the first time I’d actually run into Agent Collins was before that, before even getting along when I’d been pushed up against that wall and felt the pressure of anger truly overpowering me for the first time.
We’d changed so much from the boy who’d been ignorant to that fact that the world could be changed from the outside and the agent that got everything that he wanted. I guess we had gotten to know each other with each of us giving in some part of us. Or more like we had been forced to get to know each other.
The man sitting before me was so much different now. He’d probably changed more than I had being forced to relearn how to be a human being then becoming my mother hen. It’d been so unreal how much he changed in that short amount of time.
I guess I had changed too becoming that leader and genius everyone had forced out of me, the puppet that the president wanted and the agent I had eventually become. I’d been tamed and I knew it.
“So what’s the news?” I questioned Agent Collins. He frowned.
“It’s the president; I mean the previous president; he’s slit his own throat.” He said. I was speechless. I thought he had wanted to help. I thought he wanted to live; he was my guide for the upcoming events. This was terrible. Now how was I supposed to lead this civilization? He was my only help and mentor, now he was gone.
“Wha…. when, why?” I questioned. He shrugged.
“I don’t know I’m shocked myself; Eric always talked about an honorable death.” He said.
“Something doesn’t seem right.” I said. He took a deep breath in clearly in aggravation.
“I’ve thought about this; I know there’s something up; I just can’t figure it out.” He said sounding depressed. I didn’t know what to say, I hated the guy, but I guess I also hated Agent Collins and now he wasn’t so bad. He must’ve been pretty close to him. It wouldn’t surprise me if the president had raised him.
“Do you think that this was of the alien’s doing?” He questioned me. I shook my head fiercely. Ieashmak and the others would never do that without my permission which reminded me that I needed to visit him.
“I don’t think that they’d ever do that without my permission.” I said. He sighed.
“I just thought this ought to be heard by the president; please let me be alone for a little while.” He begged. I nodded standing up from the chair feeling the tension return to my back.
“Just let me know of any other information when you’re ready.” I said. He nodded letting his head collapse into his hands.
“I believe it’s time.” Ieashmak said spooking me. I’d been staring up at the ceiling for probably the last hour and a half. I still couldn’t get used to the depriving me of my thoughts in my head with an alien voice. I shivered thinking about it again.
“You owe me a lot of explaining.” I said. He did what I thought was a nod.
We entered the ship walking through the gelatin looking door and into a room I hadn’t seen before. They must’ve hidden the rest of the ship.
I wondered how all of them fit on this ship I guess that explained it.
Ieashmak pulled on my hand pushing it down on to some kind of scanner. A green light appeared glowing around Ieashmak then scanned my hand.
“What is this?” I asked Ieashmak. I felt a sharp pain in the palm of my hand and pulled my arm away searching for the pain.
I had a small incision in the center of my palm. Blood spewed onto a hand print where my hand had been and the scanner went frantic scooping the hand print up.
“Ieashmak what’s going on?” I demanded. Ieashmak shook his head.
“Just watch.” Ieashmak said. His voice in my head echoed. I could see clearly that I still wasn’t fully back to health.
The wall split apart as the scanner shut off and the blood soaked down into the hand print. I watched as my blood splattered to the wall and a new room appeared in front of me.
You could tell that this room was made by the same technology as the rest of the ship, but this room seemed more ancient like it held a great deal of power or honor to these people. It seemed dark and eerie like the rest of this place, but then again it seemed so… so natural like I’d seen it before.
“Come, we have so much to talk about.” Ieashmak said. I hesitated. Should I follow him? He had protected me so far, but something about that dream or illusion had made me hesitant in trusting Ieashmak and his people. What if they were actually the bad guys? What if we lost the vital information down the road?
I swallowed down hard and stepped through the wall after Ieashmak.
The room was worse than I could’ve ever imagined.
“Ieashmak; what is this place?” I asked feeling the goose bumps rise up my arms.
“This is the Hall of prophecies.” He said. I looked around at the shadowy room as the murky water jumped from the thistly rocky spikes above us. Hieroglyphics smeared the tattered walls surrounding us.
“Why are we here?” I asked. He pointed to the furthest hieroglyphics away written what looked like in gold. A light irradiated around the hieroglyphics written in gold making it look very important.
“Ieashmak can you just….”I started.
“Shh, follow.” He said. I sighed walking into the light blinding me momentarily.
“This is the most important prophecy in our whole history; the Year of the New World.” He started.
“What does this have to do with me?” I asked. I was tired of hearing all of these history lessons.
“It’s said that in the Age of the New World the last genius; one of the youngest with the purest heart will free us of this war with the Karzmians; the youngest pure heart will change the way everything works; my people and your people will unite and take down the Karzmians for the final time.” He said standing an inch away from the hieroglyphics.
He turned to me.
“If I may recall you’ve just done this.” He said. I recalled my speech earlier this week.
“In your people all I sense is fear and anger, but in you there’s something more; peace.” He said touching my chest where my heart was.
“I recall that you have said that you are pretty young, yes?” He asked. I nodded not sure what this had to do with anything.
“The youngest pure heart.” He said smiling his toothy smile.
“You’re saying that I’m this savior; that I will take down these Karzmians.” I questioned him. He nodded slowly.
“You’re an important part of our history; of your history.” He said.
I stared at a picture of a boy with longish hair holding up a staff, but there was something more. On the boy’s head was the mark of the president. Ieashmak’s people stood together of what looked like a vague outline of a human.
“This is me.” I said pointing to the boy. Ieashmak nodded.
“The Karzmians have been hunting us for centuries and we’re tired; we want to be done.” Ieaskmak said sadly.
“What is your people’s name?” I asked.
“The Humarians.” He said. Well that made a lot of sense. We were named after our father species.
“What does this have to do with Yovanak?” I asked. Ieashmak sighed.
“It holds great honor to find the genius, especially the youngest pure heart; the new genius only spawns every four eras because they are so rare, but a few times before the last we were split off from each other when the Karzmians came a few years before we expected; the men and the women were split into two groups when we had different ideas on how to survive; Yovanak is the leader of the women.” He said. I understood now.
“So you had a deal on who would discover the genius every four eras, were the women wiped out?” I asked him looking up.
“The women were wiped out when they tried to get back to the ship as the Karzmians once again returned early.” He said.
“Is that how you weren’t woken up?” I asked.
“The women were allowed to be out leaving us in the ship then waking us for the next era.” He replied.
“Why did Yovanak still want to find me then?” I asked.
“Yovanak believes that she is still alive; we have ways to still be awake in death.” He said.
“How did you know that they were wiped out if you were still sleeping?” I asked.
“When we are in the capsules we are near death; closest to death as we can get without dying so when one of us dies we are capable to communicate with them; we are fully aware.” Ieashmak explained.
“Alien.” I mumbled.
“I understand now; Yovanak wanted to find me for the honor and was trying to show me what happened to them; she was trying to decipher me like you did.” I said. He nodded.
“There’s just one thing; what am I supposed to do to defeat the Karzmians when the other older geniuses failed?” I questioned him.
“You’re said to have the purest heart; the purest heart will think in different ways than the others; thinking with your heart sometimes is better than thinking with your brain.” He said.
Hmm. Some wise advice from an alien. Never would’ve guessed.
“I don’t see how my heart will help any of this.” I said. Ieashmak shrugged.
“You’re the genius not Ieashmak.” He said. He really needed to work on his English. Well I guess he didn’t need to speak it.
“I want to go.” I said.
“You’re a very rare person and a very important person at that; stay safe.” He said.
“So I’ve heard; I’m going to my new office; I need to think.” I said.
“I will follow soon after.” He said.
“I sense that you’re not in the best of moods.” He said.
“Darren you’re back.” Johnny said leaping up from the couch.
“Yes; I need to think now, Johnny.” I said flopping down into my chair. He sat down in front of me. I sighed.
“Johnny please take a hint and leave!” I snapped. He stood up sighing.
“Darren I need to talk to you.” He said. I stood up kicking my chair making it slam back behind me.
“What is so important that I can’t think?” I questioned him.
“Your parents are here; they want to talk to you; the president.” He said. All of the wrath melted down the drain.
“My parents are here?” I asked. I couldn’t see why they wanted me now; after months of pure torture and all of the pain I endured mentally when they took my heart and tore it to shreds then incinerated it.
“Tell them to go away.” I said.
“I really think you should talk to them.” He said.
“Johnny this is none of your business.” I said.
“Darren; remember who you are; the boy that only wanted to get back to his family.” He said. I hated being reminded of something I’d said or done in the past.
“Fine; let them in.” I said.
“Darren my boy.”
I looked up seeing my father look as dumbfounded as ever.
“What do you two want?” I snapped. He smiled, but I knew it was fake; the only time he ever smiled genuinely was when he got the pay check.
I surprised myself at how much bitterness I had thought of about him and my mother.
“We miss you.” My mother said. I clenched my jaw not wanting to shed a tear on them.
“You pushed me away when I needed you the most; you weren’t even there for me when I was a kid; now you expect me to let you!” I yelled.
My mother walked towards me.
“Darren, don’t say that.” She said. I shoved her away making her slam into the wall.
The doors were pushed open and I looked over seeing Agent Collins and two other agents standing there looking concerned.
“Do you want me to take them away?” Agent Collins asked. I stood there feeling the anger dim down a bit.
“I’ll ask you two again, what do you want?” I questioned them. My dad sighed.
“You know how it is for us; we’re the poorest people here and we struggle to pay the bills; we need money.” He said. My mom was pulled up by the agents.
I figured it was something like that, but it still kind of hurt. My parents only wanted money from me; they didn’t even want to see Lizzy or Janet.
“What makes you think I will give it to you?” I asked them. My mom pushed away from the agents standing an inch away from me. I clenched my jaw harder trying to make the pain go away. Spilling out all of my emotions wouldn’t solve anything.
She put her hand on my cheek rubbing it. I twisted my head fighting off the tears that tried to steal my anger away.
“We know you; you’re this young pure hearted kid that would do anything for the freedom of this world; we were wrong when we told you that this world is unchangeable, you’ve managed to start a world with the freedom we all deserve here.” She said.
I took this in remembering who I was; the boy that fought for the freedom of the stacks, for the whole world. The boy that came from the stacks to build the greatest new world we could live in. The boy that wanted to destroy the conflicts everyone wished for, the boy that wanted a fresh new start for everyone.
In being that boy I had to grant everyone a fresh start and to do that I had to give my parents the money they needed to do that. I had to forgive my parents no matter how awful they were to me. It was survival against the fittest in this world that we were just now ending.
I looked into her eyes then to my father’s. Both of them seemed so desperate.
“I grant you the money you want, go start your new life and if you ever have more kids treat them with kindness, the kindness we all need to not turn out like so many of my generation has.” I said shutting my eyes.
I felt her hands pulling me in and holding me.
“I’m so sorry for what we have done to you, Darren; thank you for the new life.” She said. I opened my eyes finding that my father was right next to her.
“This new world you’re creating, the next era in human civilization, will succeed only because what we have done to give you your heart; remember that.” He said resting his hand on my neck. My mother backed away letting my father get closer.
“We will always remember what you have done for us, my boy.” He said backing away also.
My breathing slowed down. My emotions have finally come back down in control leaving me drained.
“Agent Collins will you please escort these two to the treasury then out of here?” I asked him. Agent Collins nodded looking drained himself.
I sat down at my desk thinking of some way to free this world of the Karzmians. This was impossible. I was supposed to be this all powerful hero to these Humarians by defeating the Karzmians, but without any guidance. How was I to do that without any idea how to defeat them? How was I the person in history that freed our civilizations forever?
I thought back to my conversation, kind of, with Ieashmak. The youngest with the purest heart will start the new era, The Age of the New World, but will succeed with the pure heart not his brain.
Okay so I had to lead this civilization with my heart. How would I lead this civilization with my heart?
I punched the wall hearing my knuckle snap. This was so complicated! I gasped now feeling the pain of my stupidity. I clutched onto my wrist not wanting to touch my fist fearing the searing pain.
“I see that your emotions have gotten you into some trouble.”
I looked up. Athena stood in the doorway smiling at me. I could tell she was tired by the bags sprouting down her cheek bones.
“I just don’t know what to do anymore; I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and it’s crushing me; I’m just lost, I can’t think!” I exclaimed. She kneeled down looking me in the eyes.
“Don’t panic; let your mind rest before you start thinking of the world.” She said wrapping the hair on the back of my head around her finger.
“I can’t rest for another minute; the world is relying on me to save them from these Karzmians!” I exclaimed. She sighed.
“Darren, look into my eyes.” She said. She rose up to eye level.
“Athena I need…” I started.
“No, Darren just look into my eyes and listen to me.” She snapped at me. I shut my mouth.
“The Karzmians are coming in a years’ time; you have plenty of time to think of a solution the world will be fine as long as you keep a straight mind about this resting for a little bit will ensure that.” She said.
I sat down in my chair feeling the exhaustion rush down on me.
“That’s better, now let’s go to the infirmary and then we’ll go to bed.” She said pulling me up. I nodded.
“Okay, let’s go.” I said following her. She sure knew how to calm me down.
I flopped down into the king sized bed I’d finally had a chance to sleep in. Athena laid down next to me rolling over to her side knowing that I was not in the mood for talking.
My fist still felt pretty crappy, but they had healed most of it. I rolled over onto my back staring up at the ceiling. The bags sank down into my cheek bones making the pressure rise giving me a head ache.
I was so ready for another vacation, but seeing as how the last one didn’t turn out so well I closed my eyes.
My dreams filled my mind making the pressures disappear.
My lungs hungered for the precious air. I felt the water envelope me in a world of death. I pushed my arm up through the water fighting the light that tried to take me from this world. I wasn’t going to let this light take me away from everything I had worked for so hard.
I felt the warmth of my heart speeding up and spiraled up clutching for the wood that held Athena above the water. I couldn’t let the light take her either. I finally got the grip I needed and pulled with all of my weight and might to get up onto the dock they had built.
I soon felt the relief as the air surged through my lungs again and gave me the strength I needed to get Athena out of here.
The tall contraption they had her in took some of the hope I carried away from me, but I found a sharp piece of glass and cut into the rope they held her neck with and she soon fell onto the dock.
A grunt erupted from her mouth and I rushed to her. Her luscious dark brown hair was damp with whatever goo they had made her smear on herself. Her skin color terrified me as I saw that it was pale, a ghostly pale.
“Athena, I’m here; you’re safe now.” I mumbled.
A high pitched noise sounded making me clutch for my ears. The pain tore through my head scrambling whatever nerves I had left in my head.
I looked up afraid of the being that stood in front of me. A giant being with green glowing skin and an enormous head stood in front of me. A Karzmian. The Karzmian had taken me from my bed and Athena followed getting herself in trouble as well.
“Please Karzmian let us be!” I yelled. Its mouth stopped moving and it glared down at me.
“What do expect you do us to?” It asked in my head. I had it! It had asked me what I expected them to do.
“We just want peace; we want to live in peace.” I said. It apparently hadn’t been around our language very long.
“Peace?” It asked. The words melded into my brain.
“We want to live without conflict.” I replied.
“You did expect us do to that when you did not us for!” It exclaimed making my ear drums ring.
We did that to them? What was it talking about?
“What are you talking about?” I asked. It pushed its hand onto my head.
“We peace come in.”
A Karzmian stood in front of an old man dressed in some kind of animal skin. The man took out a spear glaring at the Karzmian.
I looked around seeing a beautiful landscape. A beautiful view of a lake and with the sun going down made everything look beautiful even with a house made of stone.
A Humarian stood next to the Karzmian smiling down at the man.
“Ge ti ou to ov eir; nu mo re fien di!” The man yelled. I had no idea what this man had yelled, but I feel like it had to do with something like, “get out of here you fiend!”
When the Karzmian didn’t move the man lunged forward with the spear impaling the Karzmian in the chest.
The Karzmian let out a high pitched scream pulling out the spear and the man sank down to his knees covering his ears. Blood starting pouring out of the man’s ears and the Humarian looked worried looking from the man to the Karzmian.
“No, no see potential!” The Humarian yelled. The Karzmian shook its enormous head screaming louder.
The Humarian looked stuck having to choose between the man and the Karzmian.
“You’ll kill!” The Humarian yelled. The Karzmian smiled as the Humarian got more desperate. The Humarian picked up the spear making it glow and pierced the Karzmian in the chest pushing it further than the man had. Pretty soon it pushed out pushing out part of its back bone.
The man stood up glancing up at the shocked Humarian and collapsed. The Karzmian looked up right before it died saying, “You personas pay will eternity for!”
The Karzmian backed away seeing me collapse.
“Pay will you for crime committed you.” It said.
“But that was millions of years ago; people have changed!” I exclaimed. The Karzmian shook its head.
“Stuck ways are you personas in.” It said.
“But we aren’t I will change that!” I snapped. The Karzmian seemed to think about this.
“Decipherable you are you perhaps could.” It said.
“If you would forgive us we could end this and live together in peace!” I exclaimed.
“Me, Karashak.” It said.
“I’m Darren; the leader.” I said.
“Location: Latitude: 40°28'43.07"N Longitude: 93°28'36.42"E.” It said.
The bright light flashed over me making me blind and made me close my eyes.
I opened my eyes feeling the sweat caked on my body. Athena was out cold snoring as loud as could be.
I stood up grabbing a towel and wiping the sweat off of my face. This tired me out just thinking about wiping the sweat off my face.
Then I remembered my dream. The Karzmian had sent me numbers. This had to be real not just in my dream. It would be just as real as Yovanak being stuck in my head.
It was clear that this Karashak was going to be my solution. I had to get to him. Karashak would help me, he had to. He was what I came up with using my heart. I used forgiveness not the statistics of a Karzmian betraying me.
I had to hurry up and write the numbers down before they vanished leaving me still worried about what I had to do.
I threw the towel down opening the door and running out to the office. If I forgot these numbers it would cripple me and the world beyond repair.
It must’ve been midnight or early in the morning seeing that everything was pitch black in my vision.
This building seemed so creepy at night as I walked past all of the rooms full of sleeping agents and dirty experiments that they had started before I got there.
I’d soon have to put a stop to them. That wasn’t a way to treat anyone; men with holes blown through them, women that had four stomachs, children with five feet. It just wasn’t right.
“Darren what are you doing out here?”
I jumped turning to find Agent Andrews behind me walking in the dark.
“I need to get to my office.” I said. He shook his head.
“You shouldn’t be out here alone seeing as how you’re the president; you could get hurt without protection.” He said.
Something about him seemed off right now. Maybe it was the way he moved his head around. The way it bobbed like it was too heavy for his body or maybe it was the way his words were coming off his tongue, like a snake. I guess it could’ve been the way he was walking too. Like he had a cob up his butt.
“I just need to get to my office right now; if you wish you could take me there yourself, but I’m going.” I said. He smiled uneasily.
“Let’s go.” He said sliding in front of me. I felt a shiver flow down my back.
When we got into my office I immediately rushed to my desk pulling out paper and a pen. I quickly wrote down the first few digits when a flash blew up in my face.
The face of a Karzmian appeared showing me its grand green head and its big black eyes. The sound of the how the Karzmian spoke slithered down my neck. My breathing sped up.
When the flash disappeared I found Agent Andrews standing in front of me with a creepy smile.
“Karashak?” I questioned him. He looked at me with disgust.
“No not that traitor; ick, no I’m just a mere follower.” He said. I swallowed hard.
“You’re not a human are you, Andrews?” I questioned him. He smiled.
“Of course I am.” He said.
“Drop the act; I know you’re not human; you gave that away tonight.” I said. He cackled.
“I am human just possessed by my Gods; the Karzmians.” He said. I backed up into the wall. Agent Andrews was getting closer and closer.
“So you follow the Karzmians, even though they’re trying to destroy our race!” I snapped. He smirked.
“And so much more, but I wouldn’t expect you to understand.” He said taking another step towards me.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“You have impressed the Karzmians with your strength which is why I’m here; join us to help ignite this new world; The Age of the New World.” He started.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The Karzmians wanted me to join them?
“The Karzmians are powerful, they wish to lead this place to the future, to give us the powers that we deserve; the weak fear having that power, they’d follow the Humarians, but you’re not weak are you Darren?” He questioned me.
I had no idea what to say. I was supposed to lead this world to the new age; the Age of the New World. What was that new world? Wasn’t I supposed to unite the Humarians and the Humans together to destroy the Karzmians?
“The Humarians have planted a seed, I see, don’t listen to them; they’re weak and don’t know the meaning of power.” He continued. He took another step towards me.
“The weak will be annihilated, think about Athena and your sisters; you wouldn’t want them to suffer, would you?” He asked me.
I couldn’t let them hurt anyone, no matter what section or race they were from.
“I can’t do that, Andrews; I won’t let you murder anyone!” I hollered. He shook his head.
“I know you Darren, you wish to seek out the freedom for us all, the Karzmians will give us that; they’ll give us more than that as long as you cooperate with them.” He said.
“How have they even found out about me?” I asked trying to ignore his persuasiveness.
“I’ve followed you Darren, I was always in the shadows secretly guiding you to your destiny; showing you the artifacts of the past, the house; giving you the knowledge you needed to claim your destiny; giving you the opportunity and convincing the president of sending the test out to the stacks; pushing Agent Collins to hunt you down.” He revealed.
This was a pretty big bomb to drop on me.
“I was the voice behind the scenes telling you to do what you needed for survival; I convinced the president to retire his position to you; I sent Yovanak upon you, forcing Ieashmak to reveal to you the secrets they hid from you; I even slit the old president’s throat.” He smirked.
Wow. Every achievement I had thought I had achieved was given to me by Andrews. This was a bummer.
“Why would you do all of that?” I asked. His face hardened.
“Because I was you, Darren, I was the first youngest pure heart; I was the last genius that the Humarians had thought would achieve them their new world, but then the Karzmians had shown me the truth, what they’d done to help us, come with me Darren.” He said.
This was too much now. I spun around towards the door.
“I won’t join you Andrews; I see what they’ve done to you; they’ve corrupted you; turned you into a monster!” I yelled. I was suddenly yanked back and thrown into something.
“See, the Karzmians foresaw that about you, Darren; that’s why you’re coming with me either way.” He said.
My heart sped up and my head throbbed as I turned trying to see who my attacker was.
The old president stood over me grinning a slimy smile.
“What are you doing with me?” I questioned him. Andrews walked over to me staring down.
“Goodbye, Darren.” He said.
Darkness rained over me as a door was slammed down and locked. I moved around trying to get out of here. I was locked in some kind of metal box. I pounded on the side and felt as all the hope drained. I wouldn’t get out of here. I’d failed my job.