Author's note: I just had to write more. I get hooked on my chracters, and I have to finish with them.
Sometimes the Truth HurtsMy limbs were limp and useless at my sides, as if severed completely from my body. My head was heavy as an anvil, lolling tiredly from side to side as I tried to pull myself from the icy grip of the drugs tugging on my mind. A hurricane of sounds buzzed chaotically in my ears. An ice pick froze the inside of my left arm, and my skin was chilled, lying on a glacier. A diamond of soft light cascaded from up above me, tantalizing my blurry eyes.
I blink once, twice, and again, slowly regaining my senses, the severity of things starting to dim as I regained consciousness. I looked around me, and I saw that I was alone; alone in a dark sterile smelling room with an IV dripping a curious pink liquid into my vein as the soft whisper of the machines tracked my vitals.
I closed my eyes, and fought back nausea as I slid the needle out of my skin. When I was sure I wouldn’t throw up, I rolled from my back to my side, and struggled into a sitting position. I gripped the side of the metal table I was sitting on as my body swayed forward dizzily.
The room was enveloped in a cloak of darkness, with the exception of the one set of florescent tubes illuminating a one foot perimeter around my table. I slid to my feet, testing my balance cautiously, and then ventured away from it, shuddering when I saw the tray of surgical instruments glistening menacingly not even a foot from where I had been laying.
I felt my way to the closest wall, and then groped for a light switch, flicking the lights on when I found it. But I shouldn’t have. The switch only triggered a few sets of lights, but the things once masked by the darkness, made my stomach turn. The room was larger than I had expected, twice as long as it was wide with locked cabinets containing preloaded needles, and things that could be mistaken for torture devices. Sinister computers lined the wall, towering over me by at least ten feet. And then there were the stasis chambers, a dozen of them, filled with a slimy green liquid, each containing a person.
I was drawn to them, like a fly to honey, when I should’ve stayed away. I set my sights on only on, afraid that I might overwhelm myself if I tried to look at each sleeping face in the mass of tangling wires and green goo. When I stepped closer, I saw the face of the girl in her stasis chamber. I saw her wavy brown hair floating. I saw her small button nose, sprinkle lightly with freckles. I saw the unconscious twist of guilt on her small mouth identical to my own. I saw me.
Surely she couldn’t be me. This had to be some kind of trick. I thought about calling out to Stanley, “Ha, Ha, nice try. You’ve had your laughs, now come on out.” But I couldn’t. My voice stuck in my throat, and I reached out, pressing my palm against the glass. Two things happened when I did this: Her eyes opened, and her fist reared back, and punched through the glass knocking my square in the jaw.
I tried to catch my balance as my feet slipped on the slime that gushed out of the broken tank, but the girl leapt on top of me, and we both crashed to the floor, me on bottom, her sitting on my lap. She scratched my face with a feral snarl, and bit my arms when I tried to fight off her surprisingly sharp nails. I tried to fend her off, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t fight. I couldn’t process this. All I could think was she had my eyes.
And then she was gone, shot off of me by a brilliant beam of light that blinded my eyes momentarily. I watched her land hard against another stasis chamber, and then disintegrate in bubbling green ooze, her girlish wails becoming inhuman screeches until there was nothing left of her. I let out a shaky breath, expecting the same fate for myself, when I looked up to the shooter, practically standing over me now. I didn’t recognize him at first without his glasses, or EMT uniform, but the latex gloves helped me make a connection between the grim faced killer and Stanley.
Stanley was wearing a dark midnight blue coat that hung past his calves, black boots, and a black jumpsuit, with one hand holding the enormous gun that had killed my attacker in less than five seconds. I tried to stand to my feet, but I slipped on the ooze and fell again. Stanley looked slightly bemused as he picked me up with one arm, and carried me with such an ease that I thought for a brief second he might have some kind of super strength.
He set me down on the table I had woken up on, and turned his back to me, laying the gun down on a different table, just across from me, pausing to dig around in his coat. His hand pulled out one of the three egg shaped green cartridges strapped to the inside of his coat, and I watched him with a wary curiosity as he reloaded his gun. I stared at him quizzically as he turned back to me, but Stanley said nothing. His hands probed lightly along my head before tugging my shirt up slightly to check the stitches I must’ve torn open when the mugger was kicking me.
I glanced down and saw an ugly bruise starting to form, but also a clear film holding me together instead of the black stitches originally put in by one of my surgeons two moths ago. He laid me down, and his hands, feather light searched for any serious injury. I moaned softly in a spot where the mugger had gotten me twice directly in the same spot as a kick before, and Stanley glanced up at my face before he looked to where his hands rested, frozen in the spot that triggered the moan.
“It’s best if you remain silent, and relax,” he replied, cutting me off. He rolled my shirt back down, and grabbed some disinfectant, slathering it on the shallow claw mark on my face as he avoided looking into my eyes.
I stared at him, willing him to look at me, but when he finally did, I lost my nerve, and I looked away quickly. “She was…and she looked like…and I…” I blurted, unable to say what I was thinking.
“I’m sure by now that you’ve realized I am no EMT,” Stanley sighed, surveying my reaction for a conformation. When I gave him a no-duh look, he smiled slightly and continued, “And Sarah Sidle isn’t really a police officer.”
“Then who are you?”
“Well, my name isn’t really Stanley West, its Stanley McKinley, and I am a scientist.”
“Merely security around here.”
“Here? Where is here?”
“McKinley labs. I work for my brother Cain, I have for fifteen years. I had always thought he was crazy when he talked about DNA, cloning, implantation of unimaginable abilities in the most normal of human beings, and even the creation of a new being in a test tube. I thought he was crazy when he had people experiment on him, and I was furious when I found out tests were also being preformed on me without my consent.
“But we’ve stuck together, and our progress has been phenomenal. We have successfully cloned a dozen DNA strands,” he said gesturing to the stasis chambers, “We have created powers in humans, we created you.”
I stared at Stanley incredulously as he waited for his words to sink in, “My parents-“
“Your parents were our lead scientists. They were brilliant kids fresh out of college, just as captivated as I had become to be. They wanted to make a difference, and Cain convinced them that the Glimpse Program was the way to do it,” He said, cutting me off again. “From DNA they submitted from their own bodies, we birthed a child in a test tube, a child with powers beyond our wildest dreams. But then your parents became too attached. Every experiment, every blood test or tissue sample taken was like pulling teeth.
“To them, you are their child. It didn’t matter to them that weren’t normal. Eventually, my brother got bored with the program as usual, and decided to shut it down. We couldn’t risk our competitors to get a hold of the progress we made, so we had to destroy everything, even you. But your parents wouldn’t have that. They stole you away, took on new identities, and raised you as their mild-mannered daughter.
“However, we knew where they were at all times, and I convinced Cain to let you live, to see how you would turn out. Perhaps we could use you in the future. So Cain took a special interest in you, spending a small fortune in secretly keeping your parent’s café afloat, sending you to the best private school in New York on a ‘scholarship’. He even submitted the name Glimpse to the media when you decided to become a crime fighter.”
I sat up and bit my lip, trying to process all of this, “So what you’re saying is that my whole life has been set up…I don’t believe you.”
“Riley, whether you believe it or not, your opinion does not change who you are.”
I set my jaw, starting to become angry, “Why am I here?”
“It was time for you to come home,” he replied simply.
“I was home! Until you drug me to this place,” I growled, sliding off of the table. I stormed away from him, towards the only door in the room. “I want to go home. I don’t want to stay here.” I tugged on the knob, but the door didn’t budge. There was a key bad on the outside, and the inside required some kind of card that you were supposed to slide on a panel bolted to the wall.
“You can’t leave, Riley. You belong to us. We own you. It’s time for you to accept that. It’s time to grow up and accept your destiny.”
“That being,” I demanded, and his mouth formed a hard line. “Being your puppet right? Well what if I don’t want to? Are you going to shoot me?”
“If it comes to that,” he replied, and then I saw an oh crap look cross his face when he realized that he had walked over to me unarmed, his gun at least twenty feet away, still sitting on the table.
I permitted a smile as I kicked him in the face, once in the jaw, and then as hard as I could in the head. I dodged his fist when he tried to fight back. I landed a punch to his stomach that had him doubling over, and while he was at my level, I gave him a clean right cross that knocked him out cold.
I paused only a moment to make sure he wasn’t faking, and then I picked his pockets, stealing his car keys, and his employee access card, swiping it on the panel. At first, it acted like it didn’t want to work, and I began to panic, because I heard a soft moan behind me, which meant Stanley was coming around. I flipped the card around, noticing that I had swiped it the wrong way, and the door swung open.
I ran to my right without hesitating, looking at the odd wooden beam running down both walls. I saw signs with arrows pointing left and then right and I paused momentarily to reach a sign hanging overhead that said, “A9” with an arrow pointing left, “Clinical Transplant Laboratory”.
I ran down that hall, nearly tumbling over an abandoned wheelchair. The next hallway was thankfully one with a wall full of windows, overlooking the city. I grabbed an old IV stand sitting by an empty gurney, and I picked it up, bashing it against the glass. To my dismay it didn’t shatter. It barely made a crack. I hit it again and again, until I was panting wildly, but the glass still didn’t break.
“What is this place?!” I growled angrily.
“It’s an old hospital,” Stanley said, and I gasped in surprise, whirling around to see him leaning against a wall with his arms across his chest watching me with a bemused grin. “It was condemned ten years ago, and Cain bought it and fixed it up.”
“This is where you tried to take me before isn’t it; that night I was shot at the robbery by that rookie cop?”
“Not a cop, but yes,” he answered and slouched off of the wall. And then he was standing beside me. I stared at him with a mixture of shock and confusion. He had moved so fast his body had been a blur. Stanley put a finger under my chin, and raised it up with a smile, cocking his head to the side, “Now are you going to be difficult again? I can tell you right now it’ll be no use. We’ve Glimpse-proofed this whole building. It’s a fire hazard, really, but it’s necessary. If you come without a fight, I promise I won’t let anyone hurt you.” He continued, stroking my hair affectionately.
I furrowed my brow in confusion. His words didn’t make since. If I was their ‘creation’ why would anyone want to hurt me? And then I got my answer. An army of Black Wrath’s henchmen appeared from around a corner, shoulder to shoulder, each carrying at least two weapons supposed to ‘hurt’ me.
I faltered a step back, which only brought me that much closer to Stanley. I bit my lip, and threw up my hands, willing them to shoot an energy beam at them, but nothing happened. My hands didn’t glow. My hands didn’t burn. My hands were normal hands, and I was toast. I looked back at Stanley for an answer, and he put an arm around me, tapping my nose as if he thought that I was completely adorable for thinking I could use my powers that had never failed me before, “Riley, the funny thing about you, is that you may have extraordinary abilities, but a little bit of the right drug makes you just like everyone else.”