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Beneath the White House
Elijah jumped up from his bed, thinking of the night before. It had been a close one. Without the help of his grandfather, Elijah would’ve probably still been lying on the road near the hospital. He was in need of medical attention desperately once his car had been hit. That was what he was told anyway.
Now, the only thing that he could remember was the name he had been given, Elijah. However, he didn’t know where the name had come from, but it was his identity.
The doctors still gathered around his bed when he tried to press his “grandfather”. They kept telling him that such stress on his brain could overwork it.
The thing was that he didn’t care. He didn’t have any memories to feel a need in this place. On Earth. There just wasn’t a strong feeling to do anything worth saving the place.
Every time Elijah moved his right arm, the pain shot through, making him gasp in pain. He didn’t know why, but he whispered a single phrase. Dolor amissi. Where it came from, he had no idea.
Afterward, the pain eased from his arm. He sighed, cocking his head as he tried to figure out how this had occurred. This was supposed to be impossible.
It seemed that he had talents he was not yet aware of.
“Elijah, sit down. You must rest before you fall over again.” A man said in front of him.
Elijah looked down, not realizing that he had gotten up from the bed. Slowly, his stalky build limped forward, onto the bed before the doctor tried forcing him onto the bed again.
He brushed back his light brown hair until no piece of hair inhabited his forehead. His green eyes twinkled in the bright lit up room. It had been bright enough with just the white walls and white furniture, but now it was just getting insane.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” He joked. The man rushed over to him, taking out something.
“Relax, I’m just kidding. I remember at least that much,” he grinned, his dimple poking out from his left cheek.
The doctor sighed, slightly shaking his head. The stress from all the chaos that had been caused by the kid’s accident had been immense. He may not have remembered exactly who he was, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was who he actually was. The president’s son.
The secret service had been up his butt all week trying to get the kid out of the hospital. Unfortunately, that was going to take a while. He hadn’t shown in progress in his memory and every time he tried getting the kid to remember, he went into a panic attack.
It was as if the events that had played out before the incident terrified him, like he didn’t want to remember. After that, it would all start over again. He was beginning to think that he just needed to let the kid go. He wasn’t getting any better lying in bed here.
It also didn’t help his position when the kid wasn’t cooperating. He needed some kind of compliance.
Elijah studied the doctor’s face, searching for concern. As far as he was aware, the doctor looked fine, but then again, his memory wasn’t the best. He didn’t know if he was good at guessing how others felt. He didn’t even know the doctor.
“How is your head feeling?” the doctor asked, plopping down onto his stool, made of leather and silver.
“Like someone set off a grenade in my head. Is my grandfather returning?” he replied. The doctor gave a look of confusion.
Elijah pulled the thin sheet over himself and watched intently. He was freezing. Did they have to keep the place so cold? It almost felt like he was laying on a block of ice.
“Who are you talking about? There hasn’t been anyone here to see you, but your father’s security,” he replied.
Elijah frowned. Sure he did, didn’t he? He could’ve sworn that his grandfather had been here. No, he remembered his grandfather being here.
He told Elijah that he had been in a car accident. He told him that he was in the hospital. He even told Elijah his name.
“How do I know what my name is then? How do I know I was in a car accident?” He questioned.
The doctor shook his head, frustrated. What, did he mean no?
He sat up on the stool and sighed.
“You’ve never been in an accident. You were shot, Mr. Brown.” The doctor shook his head.
Elijah’s mind strengthened to a point. He was fully aware now. Mr. Brown? That wasn’t his last name. His grandfather told him that it was Granger. And what was this shooting he was talking about?
Elijah didn’t remember any of this. Only the elusive memory of his grandfather stuck in his head.
“Do you know who you even are, Nathan? Do you know what’s happened to you?” The doctor questioned.
Elijah wracked through his brain, trying to come up with an argument, to tell him he was wrong, but couldn’t come up with anything. His mind was fogged, nothing could cut past him.
Now that he realized it, he couldn’t even really picture his grandfather’s face anymore. How was this possible?
He shook his head. He was speechless. What else could he do? He couldn’t very well argue a point.
The doctor sat down, looking more concerned than he was before. Why was he looking at him like that? Why did it look like he was planning his funeral?
He pushed back his snarly brown hair, trying to ignore the speeding up of his heart. His breathing was getting heavier by the second. This was starting to concern him. Was his chest tightening?
“You’re the president’s son, Nathan. You and your father were traveling to your favorite camp resort for the night when you were attacked. The tires were shot in the rear. Soon, gunshots fired and when your father saw that the agents were dead or occupied, he told you to run. Unfortunately, when you did, your father had been caught trying to get out of the car. You jumped in front and suffered severe damage to your brain. I’m sorry, Nathan. You’re suffering from amnesia, Dissociative amnesia.” He explained.
Flashes of blood, and a man…a man with slick black hair, appeared in front of his eyes like tears clouding.
His hands began to tremble, weakening his stomach. Was he going through a panic attack?
He could now hear his own breath, the shakiness that it had acquired. The doctor was standing in front of him, waving his hands in front of his face, trying to calm him down.
Every time he saw the flashes in front of his face, the more his heart sped up.
“Calm yourself, Nathan. You’ll put too much stress on your brain; you’re going to lose all of it again!” The doctor exclaimed.
He stared into the doctor’s eyes, his dark mesmerizing eyes. They seemed to soothe him…for at least a while.
His heart began to slow. He seemed to think that he had been through this before. Why couldn’t he remember this?
“Finally, you don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to get through to you, Nathan.” The doctor sighed.
He stood up, wobbly on his feet. The blood seemed to rush to his face. Had he not stood up in a while?
“What if I don’t believe you? You could be messing with me. For all I know, you could have some rivalry with me,” he questioned.
The doctor sighed, his eyes flickering between anger and frustration.
“I wouldn’t lie to you! You’re the president’s son for goodness sake! Why on Earth would I mess with the president’s son!” he exclaimed.
He thought about this for a minute. He made sense, so why did his mind make up a lie? Why would he believe he was someone he wasn’t?
“So what…I’m not Elijah? My mind has just made up some lie?” he grumbled.
The doctor closed his eyes, instantly calming himself down. The relief of Nathan’s quietness. This kid had been a big pain in his butt and he was starting to become overstressed.
Nathan rolled his eyes, still astonished about what he had just heard. He was the president’s son? And he had been shot trying to save his life?
He didn’t even know what he looked like! How could he be someone so important to his country?
“With some cases of Dissociative Amnesia, the patient had been affected by numerous symptoms. One of these affected patients had experienced an unexplainable memory, a fake memory. The reason for explaining this was supposedly due to the brain trying to cover up severe trauma. In order to do that, it made up a lie so the patient would believe in something with much more ease.” He expounded.
Nathan shook his head, unbelieving. He didn’t know what to think. It wasn’t as if he had any information on anyone. He couldn’t even remember who he was.
A knock on the door made Nathan jump, collapsing into the bed. His legs weren’t yet cooperating. Why on Earth was he so weak?
“Nathan, oh my boy. You’re awake,”
Nathan’s face twisted into a look of bafflement, covering his face as a mask. Nathan had no idea who this man was. His well-tanned skin bore no memories from the past, neither did his articulating eyes.
The man licked his lips, tugging on the ends of his cuffs and held out his arms. Nathan tried to pull out any memories, but there was nothing. Nothing came to mind and the man was beginning to become agitated.
The doctor rubbed his temples, sighing. He stood up from the chair turning his attention to the man.
“Sir, Mr. President, Nathan is not yet well. He’s only just coming to his senses. Your presence may set him off,” he warned.
The man’s chest pumped out, angrily. He was done with all the waiting. It had been a week already. He was going to take him to someone else. Or maybe, who knows, he’d fix Nathan himself. If that didn’t work, he could just take him back and they could deal with him.
“We’re taking him out, Dr. Locke. We’ve given you enough time. C’mon Nathan, we’re leaving.” The man said.
Nathan’s heart sped up. He didn’t want to leave just yet. He didn’t know this man. He was still figuring out whom he was.
“I—I don’t know…who are you?” Nathan stuttered, tightening his fists. The man looked at him with disappointment, frowning.
“Nathan, I’m sorry, son, we do not have time for you to figure yourself out. We must leave, now.” He said, pulling him up from the bed.
If Nathan hadn’t been so weak, or even scared, he would’ve shoved the man away, but he was frozen. The man had caught him off guard.
“Wait, you can’t take him out yet! He’s still healing, he’s still processing everything!” The doctor exclaimed.
Nathan’s arm was pulled over the man’s shoulder, his weight all on top of the man. He seemed to be very strong. He could even tell that by his bald head, the muscles in his head bulged out, constructing sharp angles on the back.
“We’ve already paid the bill, doctor. You’ll find your services have been paid in full, with a little bit more. I thank you for the care you have provided.” He replied.
Nathan glanced up into the man’s eyes, the president’s eyes. His father’s eyes. His irises dark brown, but the whites of his eyes pink. He either had pink eye in both his eyes or he had been crying. Or there was that chance of drugs, but he highly doubted that the president of the United States would be smoking pot.
He swung the door open, revealing four other men, all highly intimidating. Nathan felt the breeze go between his legs and glanced down. He was wearing a hospital gown, unfortunately revealing more than he wanted.
“Uh, I’m a little uncovered.” He cleared his throat.
The president glanced down at his apparel and sighed. Nathan stood there uncomfortably, unsure of what to think. Did he look away and try to not realize that this man was indeed the president. Was it bad that he actually didn’t know who the president was?
“I suppose we should stop somewhere to get you clothes. It would not be wise to continue on in a hospital gown,” he frowned.
Nathan gazed up at the man with all the power. His dark hair was brushed back, a clear sign of wealth. Nathan didn’t quite understand why these people seemed to dress the same or even dress like they did. It just didn’t make sense to him.
“Nathan, you’re finally out!”
Nathan spun around quickly, meeting the voice of a tall man, scarred and rough. His face was full of sorrow as he looked down at Nathan. His bright eyes glistened in the illuminating white lights. His dark skin made his eyes stand out even more, the skin of an African American. Bright pearly white teeth also glistened.
Nathan took note of this as he stared the man down. Was he recognizing him? He looked very familiar to him. What was so special about this man?
“Um, do I know you, sir?” Nathan questioned.
The man peered down at Nathan, with squinted eyes. He opened his mouth, ready to say something to him.
“I…I am someone important in your life. I forgot that you could not remember anything. Your father is a great man, he’ll take care of you and your condition. Do not worry about anything else,” he said, simply, although this situation was anything but simple.
This was all so confusing to Nathan. His head was spinning with all the missing fragments of his memory floating about in his mind. He didn’t know how to fix any of this. He wished that he had at least a fraction of his memory left, but yet, nothing.
“I suppose we’d better leave before your father is late for his meeting.” The man replied. Nathan looked from one to the other, his supposed father glancing at his phone.
He felt like a fool. These men were here for him. They were here to parade him along like a trophy. He assumed that was also what his father was doing. He didn’t seem to have much interest in him.
He had hoped that his father would have at least taken some interest in him. The man held out his hand, waiting for Nathan to grab it.
“I’m Jenkins, by the way. You could say I am your personal bodyguard.” He grinned, as Nathan took his hand.
His hand was very rough, his knuckles big and meaty. He was built for being a bodyguard. He could see this man standing tall against a formidable opponent, but there was something off about him. He couldn’t quite place it, but he didn’t think this man was a bodyguard.
Perhaps it was his eyes? Or maybe his clothes? Something about him just didn’t seem to be bodyguard.
“Okay, we’re leaving,” his father called.
Nathan’s eyes snapped to the man holding the gigantic phone. He gave Nathan an odd look, like he was trying to figure something out. Maybe Nathan was just seeing things because a moment later, his father smirked.
Whatever it was, his father seemed to enjoy it. He closed his eyes for a minute, taking a deep breath. He would need it for the trip. He didn’t know why it was, but he felt that it was going to be a rough one.
Nathan buttoned the slick looking, white shirt. With the black jacket over it he knew that there would be some stares. They even slicked his hair back, with gel holding it in place.
No one normal would wear anything like this at his age. That was for sure. He didn’t know exactly how old he was, but he knew he was a teenager and that this wasn’t normal for a teenager.
“Very nice, Nathan. We should start taking you out more often,” Jenkins, grinned, pulling the jacket over his shoulders.
Nathan gazed into the mirror in front of him, surprised. He was a pretty tall, stalky figure like he had been in his mind. He also had light brown, wavy hair. The only difference was that he didn’t have green eyes. They were a light pastel blue, almost a cold ice blue. It didn’t take a genius with a full working brain to know that it was highly unusual. He knew that at least that was true.
Why did he get the thought that he was different from everyone else here? Why did he get the thought there was something they weren’t telling him? That he wasn’t just the president’s son?
Nathan pushed his ear up to the door. He had been let go into the bathroom a few minutes ago, but all the way through, he could hear their arguments. It was a bit annoying.
“The ambassador will not settle for his son’s memory loss! You may be the almighty president above ground, but you are not below! That kid is the heir to the throne!” Jenkins shouted.
He heard huffing coming from his father next to the door. What did he mean by “his son’s memory loss”? They weren’t talking about him, were they?
“I understand that the ambassador wants his son’s full cooperation and memory, but that isn’t going to happen. I’ve tried, believe me I’ve tried!” he exclaimed.
How long had this been going on? How long had he actually lost his memory for?
“He’s been in the hospital for over a month! We were foolish for allowing such things to happen! Nathaniel should’ve never been allowed to go with the surface dwellers!” Jenkins hissed.
He heard shuffling of feet before he realized that it was his father moving away from the door.
“No, this isn’t our fault! We protected his son with all we could! It was the air people that is responsible for his condition!” he argued.
Nathan crouched down, inching the door open as he crouched down to the tiled floor. Jenkins leaned up against the wall, his face piercing hot with anger. He could almost hear the sizzling.
His father paced back and forth, rubbing his temples. He recognized this as a reaction to frustration. It seemed to be his father’s signature move when he was frantic.
The men were nowhere in sight. He wondered where they could have gone.
After seeing this, he laid flat on his stomach and listened.
“He didn’t even recognize his own uncle, Pierce.” Jenkins sighed, sliding down the wall. They all looked exasperated. Nathan felt a little guilty by this, though, he did not know why. It wasn’t like he had done this on purpose.
“When are you going to tell him that he isn’t human, Pierce? He’s going to have to hear it from you. He wouldn’t believe someone that isn’t supposedly his family.” Jenkins questioned.
What was he talking about? Of course he was human. They had to be joking. Maybe they knew he was listening in on them. That would explain it, right?
“He’s sixteen, he’s going to have to go through his ritual soon and without the knowledge required it is going to be hard for him.” Jenkins continued.
Nathan was starting to think that Jenkins was just trying to make his father guilty. He was sure that if he had done what Jenkins was suggesting that he would be angry enough to do it too.
“I understand. The kid should have stayed with you. I just got excited. If you had seen beings that could soar through the air and bend the magnetic field around the Earth, don’t tell me you wouldn’t have acted foolish?” his father sighed.
Jenkins shook his head and glared at Pierce. What had he been thinking?
“No, I would not have acted foolish. I would have kept my mind about me and not almost killed the most important kid in their civilization!” He snapped.
His father stopped and sat on the floor. He looked desperate. He wished he could’ve done something to make him feel better, but didn’t know how. After all, he was just getting his memory back.
“Do you even know who attacked him? Or how your guards let them slip past?” Jenkins questioned.
His father looked up at Jenkins, shaking his head.
“We believe that it was your rivals, looking for Nathaniel. They wanted to take him with, but it seemed as though Nathaniel was too powerful for their forces.” He replied.
Jenkins nodded. He seemed to be agreeing with this.
“Anyone would love to get their hands on Nathaniel, especially the air walkers. They try claiming him over our people. I guess I can understand it, his mother was an air walker and Nathaniel is a very powerful kid.” He gasped.
Nathan thought about this. As far as his memory went, he didn’t recall a mother or a father. He didn’t believe it was the man in front of him. Neither of them.
“I’d better go check on the kid before he passes out from exhaustion.” His father said, standing up.
Quickly, Nathan scrambled up and ran towards the sinks, turning them on before the door opened. He just knew they were going to question him.
“I know you overheard us, Nathan. I may not know how the grounders’ minds works, but I know how a teenage boy mind works.” His father said.
Nathan turned around, knowing he had been caught. He nodded slightly, not allowing his eyes to come in contact with the man’s before him.
“Look up at me, Nathan. I have to explain something to you.” He said. Nathan sighed, fixating his eyes on the man. He looked a bit concerned. Nathan didn’t know what to do. Did he believe what he had just heard? Air walkers? Grounders? Not human?
“You’re not human as you’ve heard. You’re what they’re calling an Airgrounder, a hybrid between the two species. And obviously you’ve figured out that I’m not your father. No, I’m not. I’m just a regular being, a human, but you…you are so much more.” He explained.
Nathan scratched the back of his head, trying to come to terms with this.
“You wanted to come up here, you know. You were so excited, a grounder going above to the surface. You believed that you could do anything, you wanted to commerce with the humans. You wanted to thrive in a place full of beings, but then they attacked.” He continued.
Nathan listened intently. From what he could gather, that seemed like him. He seemed to want to connect with someone. He seemed to want to have fun. He wanted to be normal and right now, that’s what he felt like. He wanted to be normal, but he had the feeling that wasn’t going to come true.
“We were headed to a safe house, made to protect important people. You sat next to me, grinning up at the sun as we wound through the forest. Then the tires were shot. You had sensed this and jumped out of the car, shooting up into the sky, pulling the magnetic fields around you, throwing blasts of wind at the attackers, but they got to you. You were hit from behind and drove down into the ground, smacking your head into the ground.” He expounded.
“That was six weeks ago. And now your father wants you back before another attack occurs.” He finished.
Nathan tried piecing this together, his mind calculating. It seemed to all add up. The story made sense and fit with his injuries. A hard impact with the ground would’ve certainly caused brain damage and broken limbs.
“How does this explain my heritage? Who is Jenkins?” Nathan asked.
Pierce looked into his eyes, knowing he would have to answer truthfully. Grounders had an impeccable ability to tell lies from truths. Nathan would be no different.
“Jenkins is your uncle, a man high in ranks within the Grounders. Your father is the highest, a king mostly, but you are going to be much more. You will be a ruler, a prophet, a seer.” He said.
Nathan shook his head. How could they possibly know that? How could they know he was going to be all those things?
“You’re in a prophecy, Nathan. The son of the higher beings and lower beings. A boy born of both bloods and used for the advancement of either species, but only one.” He recited.
This seemed familiar to Nathan. The words of wisdom brought images to his mind. A scroll and quill. Ancient writing, writing he recognized. And a single phrase. Death.
His heart sped up, almost giving him a heart attack. He knew death was nothing small. He knew that it would be his death.
This was why he had wanted to come to the surface. He wanted to escape his death. He wanted to have fun and be away from all his daily pressures.
Images of blood flooded his eyes, thoughts of anger. They were his. They were his before the trip. He was fed up with his father’s pressures. He was done with his father.