I was cold. I was wet, from the icy rain. I was dirty, though the rain was fixing that more and more as it poured down on me and the other experiments, which stood outside in the quad. Dirt in the center, with us standing in rows upon rows of columns of downtrodden, soaked, broken people. I’d been moved to the more advanced group, having kicked so many asses in the “How to Fight Like a Drac” portion of this “experiment” as well as the physical, which had shown that I had highly efficient muscles, lungs that were overly efficient, as are the rest of my organs. My resting heartbeat is around 45, as it’s so strong. Most people are in the 60-100 range. They’d discovered just a tad of my change ability, but they thought the changes I made were permanent, not something I could control, turn on and off as I pleased. Perhaps they would be, with the shock of losing…him.
I couldn’t even think his name.
Shaking my head – which was still a bit woozy- I try to think about what else had happened since we arrived. My blood work had come back yesterday afternoon, after our meager lunch of watery soup, and half cooked bread, with some water to drink. I’d gotten the results via Draculoid printout, handed to me before another round of testing, this one for my mental capacity. Blood work showed no signs of disease or drugs, but I already knew that. Then, my group and I had been taken to showers, which we got morning and night, before and after our meals. At least we went to bed somewhat clean, albeit, my hair hadn’t been properly washed since we’d gotten here, and as such was grimy, greasy, and over all disgusting. With all the exercise we do, my hair was looking greasy, but I could “sparkle” it out of my hair, as Ryan told me. Apparently, when I changed my appearance, there was a slight shimmer around me, more concentrated around whatever I was changing. He said it was pretty, but I no longer cared. Though making him smile was nice, it wasn’t the smile I wanted to see.
“OKAY!” Korse yells, and I’m yanked from my thoughts violently by the sound of his gravely voice. “Let’s go….” He looks at a clip board, finger running down the piece of paper on it. He stood on the second floor of a building, under a roof, yelling at us. Must be nice, pretending to be King, when really, here, he was God. Who lived, who died, who ate and who starved, all decided by him. “049 and 008! Please report to the inside of the building now.” With that, I step from my place in row number one and column number six and start walking for the Dracs that stood under an awning in front of the building. My companion for this days round of what I assumed to be torture –though it could b my execution, for all I knew- steps from her place as well, walking at a pace quick enough to be at the Dracs when I got there. It is now I really notice how the building looks, made of all sleek metals, sharp corners, and perfect lines. Nary a curve to see anywhere, everything mechanically ‘modern’, and everything technically advanced. The guards grab me by the arm, and handcuff me together. Nothing new, since they’d figured out that I’d completely lost my mind and snapped two different guards necks. Clean, quick, easy breaks, nothing messy or traumatic for either of my victims. Painless deaths, quick and simple. All they felt was a pinch, I guessed. Much more than they afforded HIM. His was messy, painful, and came in the most horrid way. And they made me watch. They made all of us watch as the life was sucked from Him, the emotion roaring through is veins too much for Him to bear, and the beating that ensued. I gave them quick and painless, they gave him prolonged and excruciating.
The guards lead me inside, though I’m soaking wet, dripping rain water mixed with some muck onto the immaculate white tiled floors of this hellhole. At least, the very least, they run me through a big dryer with the other prisoner. I’d never seen her in gene therapy, or GT as it was referred to around here. Come to think of it, if my memory serves me right –which it very well may not, I no longer knew day from night, or up from down- I’d not seen her anywhere around the camp. Stealing a glance, I observe her. Her body shakes a bit, and she’s covered in fresh cuts and bruises. I make out the ever so slight indent of where an IV had been recently. Maybe she was brand new. That would explain a lot.
Oh God, to get GT on you first day, after being brought here, beaten, torn down, emotionally hit with a brick and a wrecking ball…. It’s like being punched so hard you can’t breathe… she’s too young. The prisoners seem to be getting younger and younger, I’ve noticed. Two fresh groups had been brought in about a week ago, numbering about twenty little rebels in all. Now, only five remain. The other fifteen are either dead, or being tested on continually.
The guards walk us down a long white hallway, and we remain completely silent. My standard issue white tank top was dirtied, streaks of mud and filth streaking it, with some dried blood red marks from my lip being broken open during a particularly intense beating. Thankfully, the only contrast on it outside of my blood stain had stayed clean. The BLI logo was intact, the smiley face still ironically grinning at the world, while its wearer wasn’t allowed to feel anything other than pain, misery, with a hint of despair. I don’t think serotonin was even being made in my brain anymore, much less going through my body. Happiness? What’s that?
I’m jolted out of my thoughts when I see we’re led past the GT room. I give a look to the other person with me. 008. In her black tank top, with a white logo smiley, she stood out. She was 5’4, I’d say, and had her medium length hair, blonde in color, was tied in a ponytail with a piece of cloth. She gazes at me, and I take notice of her eyes, a green unlike any I’d ever seen before. It was an odd green, it had a slight blue tinge, but not enough to be called blue-green. Kind of like beach-glass, a translucent blue tinge to a deep green. I could see just the tattoo on her arm that said “Escape this Afterlife” and it made me smile a bit.
A SCARECROW throws me into a room, having led me and my counterpart past a pair of sliding metal doors. The rom we stand in brings back memories so fast, I stumble from the dizzy sense they give me. This is the room I was experimented on. The first time.
Korse strolls in lazily, smirking at me like a serpent. I nearly vomit, just from the mixture of the smell of the room –a smell of bleach, dying dreams, death, pain, and lemon—and that idiotic smile that made me want to punch him in his face. Hard. With a roll of dimes in my hand. Or maybe with a sock full of quarters. Yeah. Quarters would do the trick, or maybe a nice few blasts of frozen paintballs with a jacked up paintball gun. That’d leave bruises in a beautiful dark purple, the circumference of oranges….
“Ah, I see my pet remembers this room…” he says, having approached me, though I was so lost in my paintball or dimes fantasy in my head that I’d not noticed. My arm is picked up, and he licks his thumb, and starts rubbing at my skin, the inside of my forearm being the recipient of his nasty fingers, which happened to be absolutely SOPPING wet with his spit. He removes the layer of grime, down to the leftover makeup from when I first appeared here, a month ago. A month since I’d talked to my baby. Or… no. I couldn’t think about that right now. “Pet?” Korse says, snapping me from my dazed state of mild hysteria that I kept cloaked under a mask of calm that years of emotional and physical abuse (inflicted by him and his drones, no less) had installed in me. “You have a bit of a scar from your last time here…. I will have to have them fix that. It’s a pity. Your beauty gene didn’t fix it. I guess we’ll just operate some more…”
“No.” I say. Korse sneers and laughs, quickly striking me across the face. His nails slid down my cheek as he administered the punishment. “You’ve done everything. The genes didn’t work.”
“Then why are you so strong?”
“I exercised a lot when I escaped this hell hole.”
“Why’re you so agile?”
“Always have been. No extra genes needed for that.”
“Well, we’ve got a whole bunch of vials with your number on it, just waiting for you to receive….” He says to me. I begin to panic; my brow starts beading with sweat. One drop runs down my forehead, and I move to wipe it away. Before I can stop anything, I’m hooked down to a table. Oh thank god I wasn’t showing yet…. They, these evil, evil bastards, hadn’t figured out my baby was still here, or even here at all. I was going to have a huge problem, once I started showing. I had trouble enough, keeping the symptoms hidden. Constantly having to pee kinda sucks. And I’m hungry. All the time. Ryan has started hiding food for me. Apples, whatever we can get that won’t rot. I eat it when I can.
A doctor appears over me, in a surgical mask. “This won’t hurt a bit…” He says, and I can practically see the smirk from behind the white mask. I try to summon the energy to say something witty, but before I can, my arms are strapped down, and an IV is inserted in one arm. A Drac-medic loads in a bag of fluid, pushing a button to let it flow. Another Doctor, this one with a black surgical mask, and piercingly black eyes, starts probing with his finger for a vein, his other hand holding a shot that contained a stringy, snot-like piece of what I guessed was DNA.
Once he finds a vein on the arm that holds the remnants of my last procedure, he begins speaking as he preps me for the shot. “This is just an upper for the beauty gene. This should erase scaring, allow for a better complexion, and brighten your eyes. I believe it firms your skin up to. Every girl’s dream, right? Look 16 forever.”
“Go to hell.” I spit at them. They are unphased. “Seriously. Both of you.”
The needle enters my arm. The initial entering isn’t bad, it’s when your mind catches up with you and starts screaming “HOLY COW THERES A NEEDLE IN YOUR ARM GET IT OUT GET IT OUT.” That’s when there becomes a problem. I screech as the material is injected into me, the familiar burn of icey fire returning to my veins. Funny, this is the same spot I had last time….
The drac-medic has now strapped down 008, who is blubbering, completely terrified, to an operating table much like my own. I stop my screeches of pure pain, trying to calm her. “Just go to a happy place.” I say, and she seems to catch it. “You’ll,” I scream again, as the next IV bag is changed, this liquid orange. I remember this one. This one makes my brain go all fuzzy. “Pass out eventually….” She nods, and squirms. “Don’t fight, it’s harder… just take it….” My head begins to fuzz over almost immediately. The orange liquid entering my body spreads and acts quickly and quietly.
The doctor who gave me the upper for the first gene has another needle, and is speaking to me again. My vision is overly bright. “This one is for athletic stuff, because the last one didn’t work. We’ll be re-wiring your muscles shortly, adding tone to make them more efficient, and the like. We’ll knock you out for that.” I nearly smile, but my vision is blurred around the edges.
“Possibly.” Korse sneers. “If you stop screaming.”
I flip him off as best I can. Another IV is loaded in, this one a red liquid. Fluorescent ruby-red liquid, that’s the new medicine they keep giving me. It makes my brain hurt. Like a migraine, from the very core of my head. My skull wants to spilt, cracking into a million tiny pieces. This, mixed with the orange, brings me somewhere in between wanting to die, and wanting to sleep.
Who am I kidding. I’ve wanted to die since…. What happened. With Him. That’s all I could call him now… Him. The feeling of wanting to welcome death with open arms is nothing new. If it wasn’t for my baby, I’m sure I would’ve found a way to die, just to be with him. Frank tried to make me happy, Ryan and Leslie too. But… I just… I missed Him too much. I needed a flash of His hair. His laugh, His scent… anything.
“Knock her out. I want the full procedure done. Today.” Korse says. Suddenly, a scalpel is slicing the arm where I had my scar, in the same place. The liquid fire is being dripped into it, followed by something that makes it bubble and foam. I screech again, and tears roll down my face. Korse hits me once, twice, three times, until I begin to sob quietly, almost silently letting the tears run tracks through the dirt on my face. I’ll --if they don’t make me shower after my surgery-- have stripes running down, patterns of clean streaking and splotching my grime covered face.
I fall into a deep sense of panic. This sense consumes me. I hate it. It drives me crazy. I want to move, to jump, but I can’t. I’m strapped to this table. Ever so carefully, the doctor who has now pumped me full of genetic mutations snips the straps to the shirt of my uniform. Now the anxiety and panic fully set in. My heart, hooked to a monitor, starts skyrocketing in pace. No longer was it a thump at a good fifty beats (my resting is around 45, because my heart has been made so efficient.). Instead, it had rocketed to nearly 200. I began to pour sweat and tears, both of them getting in my eyes, causing an uncomfortable sting. The red liquid’s dosage is uped, and my head automatically feels like it may split open at any moment, and my brain wants to explode. I scream, and continue screaming, crying out for help, for a reprieve. The doctor holds up a clear mask, with two big green tubes coming from the right and left sides. A Draculoid wheels in a big cylinder, stamped with the BLI logo on it. I know they’re coming to put me under for my operation. I fight harder.
“Don’t fight.” My doctor tells me. “It will all be over quicker if you let us put you under.” I struggle even as the mask is put on my face, head whipping around until three different SCARECROWS have to hold me still. The mask begins pumping in whatever gas they were using on me. Probably nitrous oxide. Like what they give little ones at the dentist for cavity fillings, if they’re scared. Just knocks you out. Soon, the world fades in a million different colors, and I could swear, with every fiber of my being, I smelt the faintest hint of cigarettes, peppermints, and hair dye. His smell. It’s comforting, going out to the smell I’d had fill my nostrils so many times, as I drifted to sleep in His arms. A faint smile must crack across my face, because Korse sneers out an insult I don’t quite hear. The last thing I remember is happily flipping him off with both hands.
(Four Hours later)
(Cyanide Killer’s POV)
I was on my bed, exhausted and sore from last night. My head was back on the pillow, which just so happened to have been washed and refilled with whatever they filled them with in this hellhole yesterday morning. Just as I’m curling up to go to sleep for the night, a heavy thump is soon being made against our floor. I snap out of bed, and hear a soft groan resonate from the floor. It’s dark, I can’t see a thing.
“Sweetie?” is that you? At this point, my brother is up. “Bro… she isn’t in her bed, is she?”
He clicks on a light, pulling a string above his bed to light the light bulb there. The whole room is dimly illuminated. I see a bloody lump in the center of our floor, right where she is most every time the people bring her back from GT. She’s usually awake. This time, I think she’s completely down and out. No. She couldn’t be. We were running tonight. I hurry out of bed, glad I’d worn our regulated “winter” pajamas tonight. Warm, black sweat pants for boys and girls, with the girls in the tank tops and a jacket-type thing, the boys in our long sleeve shirts.
I reach down and uncurl the shivering ball that is Neon. “Oh god, sweetie, wake up!” I yelp, shaking her. She opens one eye, and groans heavily. “Oh god, no, no… wake up sweetie…” I tap her cheek gently, trying to wake her up. “Honey. Wake up.” I reach into a groove in the nearby bed post, grabbing Party’s dog tags. I run her finger over his name once or twice, and watch as both her eyes shoot open. Once she runs her finger over it the third time, she’s fully awake.
“Les! Food!” I whisper, and he brings me a banana, and a water bottle. I open her mouth, and pour some water down her throat. She coughs a few times, spitting some of the water back up. She sits up carefully, and Leslie looks at me. “Behind her. Support her a bit.” I say, and he crawls behind her, putting his legs on either side of her, holding her around the waist gingerly.
She struggles, and I notice she won’t let my brother touch her back. “Um… what’s wrong?” Leslie asks. I shrug. It is now I notice that she’s starting to cry. “Oh god, crying chick…” Leslie says. He’d seen her cry before, but not out of physical hurt.
I carefully hand her the dog tags, and she plays with them, running her finger over the words and numbers, and the symbol on the other side. While she busies herself with that, I unpeel the hospital gown from her back. I had to use a small rock my brother kept on him, just in case a riot broke out between us prisoners. It was sharp enough to cut away the gown, but not hurt her. I gasp loudly when I see what they’d done to her. There is a huge incision, two of them, identical, but reflected over her spine. The idiots who’d done this surgery, whatever it may’ve been for, had sewn her up well.
“Sweetie… oh sweetie…” I say. I know it’ll scar. She’ll be crushed. No more backless tops or anything like that. I finish peeling the hospital gown off her, leaving her naked except for a pair of underwear. “Are you okay?”
“What’d they do to me?” She asks. I can’t bring myself to tell her.
“Answer me!” She demands, tears running down her face.
“You have… huge, huge incisions on your back.”
“Open?” She asks, sounding like she’s two and just wants her mommy. I crawl in front of her, and see her clutching her knees to her chest, sobbing silently. She seemed to do that a lot. I heard her, in her sleep, call out for Party Poison. She missed him so much, but she’d cry for him when she thought my twin and I were asleep. Les might be, but I’d heard it all. The lamenting, the forgiving, the ‘I love you’ before she fell asleep every night. She once stole an extra pillow, holding it to her body, just so she could pretend it was her she was snuggled into. She’d constantly rub the spot where her baby was, talking to herself. She swore to me, once, while we were talking to each other in KillJoy Code, that the baby answered her thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, the death had driven her insane. It’d changed her entire appearance. Her features more angular, her hair jet black, her skin pale as paper, eyes the same hazel-green that Party’s were. Her body was in mourning, because she couldn’t let herself be.
“They closed it up very well. It’ll scar. But… maybe it won’t.” She’s quiet and still crying. “Does it hurt?”
She nods. I pick her up, and Leslie jumps up, shielding his eyes so as not to look at her when she was about 90% naked. I roll my eyes. I may like boys, but I wasn’t going to freak out over her being nearly naked. I stand her up, and she wraps her arms around her chest. “Honey.” I say, having grabbed a shirt for her from her pile of stuff on the small table we all shared. I dress her, after layering on bandages that came through the slot after she moved from the floor, to her surgical incisions. Her arms and whole body is stiff, when I attempt to dress her. It’s like dressing a doll. I slide her sweat pants on her, and carefully lay her in bed. She cries.
“Cy would you-” She begins to ask me something. I climb in next to her, occupying the little space left on her bed. She didn’t even need to finish her request. I’d done this since she first started having nightmares. I’d lie down next to her, and make sure she fell asleep. She felt safer, more comfortable, with someone next to her. Maybe I wasn’t the right someone, but I was still somebody who gave a damn about her. And she needed to know that. Carefully, I wrap my arms around her, giving her the illusion of being held by the man who no longer could.
She falls asleep quickly, whispering I love you to Party’s dog tags, clutching them tightly in her hand, though they resided around her neck. Her quiet, occasional snores soon run through the room, a cadence for us to fall asleep to. Ever so carefully, I slide from her bed, into the one across the room that was mine. I slip under my small blanket, and lie on my back, looking at the ceiling. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep tonight, no matter how much I needed it.
Somewhere next to me, Mikey was faking being asleep.
“Kob?” I whisper. He responds with nothing more than a ‘sleepy’ grunt. “I know you’re awake.”
“Yeah. What do you want?” he asks me quietly. I snap once, and he knows the signal to move to my bed. It was easier this way, to have a private conversation. “What?” He asks, sliding next to me. I remained under my blanket, he stayed over it.
“What’re we gonna do with her if we get back to the Academy?” I ask.
“Her as in Neon?”
“No, the other her. Of course her, you idiot.” I say to him with a smile he can’t see in our darkened cell.
“Well… we’ll have to put her on suicide watch, after she fixes her predicament.” He references her pregnancy. “Don’t wanna lose her. She’s the best we’ve got. Helps keep us together.”
“She tore my best friend and I apart.”
“She didn’t. You two and your competivieness and hormones did. And frankly,” I gigge, inturputting him. “yes, very funny.” He clears his throat and continues. “Frankly, you’ve got no chance.”
“She has to love me. Her other option is gone.” I say. I’d been mulling it over, the past few days. It gave me something to think about during beatings, or long hours in the cell. The idea of a ‘Neon Ghoul’ --as I had so cleverly named it-- excited me. It’s how things were going to be. Sun and I, together. She’d love me again. I’d help her raise her kid. I’d love the hell out of her and that baby; maybe knock her up with one of my own, after I married her, and had healed her as much as possible.. Maybe not. It’d all depend on what she wanted.
“What if my brother was her ONLY option?” Mikey asks me quietly. This is something I’d neglected to consider. Maybe Party had been her only option, and she’d never be quite able to love again. The death of my best friend had hit me hard, and had hit Mikey so much worse. I’m sure, absolutely sure, he and Sun were taking it the worst. She loved him, and god, Mikey was his little brother. He’d beaten drugs, alcohol, suicidal depression, cutting, everything… and BLI takes him down. Maybe, just maybe… he’d died, and taken a piece of Sun with him. A piece I can’t re-create. A piece I can’t patch up. A piece I can’t become.
“I dunno. But. We’re flyin’ tonight.” I say. Ryan would give the signal, and the riot would start. It’s tomorrow. I can wait until tomorrow. Then, we’d get to the Academy. I’d help Sun. She’d have her baby. And everything would be okay.
(The Next Morning)
I woke up, curled in a ball, with something digging into my palms. One of my eyes, puffy from sobbing, opens to inspect whatever it is that was going to make grooves into my palms. It’s early, at least 4 am. Ryan is up, and walking around the room. Our breakfast would be here soon. Breakfast! The thought of it sounded good. My stomach makes a grumbling noises, and Ryan looks at me.
“Good! You’re up. C’mon darling, you need to get up and grab your crap.” I automatically am confused, and he just stares at me. “Sweetie, we’ve got about thirty minutes in which to pull this off, so I suggest you get your crap ready to go.” I get out of bed, still warm from the jacket and sweatpants I was in. Y’know, these were actually something I’d keep. I strip, Leslie turning to fact the corner, and my shirt won’t come off.
“Uh… Cy?” I ask, moving to raise my arms. A shock of burning pain runs through my shoulders, and I gasp at the feeling. “What the hell?!?” I breathe in pain, gasping for air. The movement was like I’d been punched in the stomach, and I couldn’t breathe.
“They… they operated on you.” Leslie hands me a small chunk of mirror, and I look at myself. My skin was firmer, like being 16 again. My hair was clean, shiny, healthy looking. My eyes were still… not my usual color… but they were brighter. My scars were gone, and my pores looked miniscule. I was the physical picture of health and perfection, standards wise. My cheeks were still hollow, I was starving. My skin, though firm, looked yellow. Through the perfection, there were flaws.
“Get. Your. Crap. We. Have. To. Go. Soon.” Cyanide repeats, and I start bundling things up, tearing off the sheets from the bed, which happen to be fitted, and securing my crap in the makeshift bag. A quick knot is made, and I have my bundle o’ crap.
“I’m ready.” I say, though I was scared out of my mind. The punishment for rebellion was usually death, and though yesterday I would’ve welcomed it, I feared it when it was close at hand. I have Ella, and she will be my baby girl, no matter who tries to take her from me. I will survive, for my baby. For my sister, who was back at the Academy. For myself, because that was the animal instinct.
There’s a tapping on the door. With my hearing, which seemed heightened, I heard Frank take a breath, Violet chuckle, Mikey giggle, and Infernal huff. Bob and Ray remained silent. We were all ready. It was time.
“Ready?” Ryan whispers. “Let’s do this.” I turn my genetic mods on, and feel the animal instincts come out. My shoulders twitch near the incisions that have been made, and I know they’ve done SOMETHING to me to make me stronger. I was ready, and crazy.
They say women are driven crazy in grief. They think Infernal had lost it? They hadn’t seen anything yet.
The guard throws open the door, and I give a four note whistle, and everyone storms out of their rooms, knocking over the Drac’s that had come to wake us. Everyone draws whatever they can, be it a ray gun that had been stolen from where they kept confiscated items, a piece of wood good for whacking Dracs, or a pillow to shock them, killjoys poured from their cells. I heard the whistle take up down the hallways, and more people poured from the rooms. The Dracs tried to fight, but all I see is a flash of black hair, flying around the room, tackling and knocking out Dracs at a lightning pace. It was Neon, and there was no stopping her. Though she may be grief-wrought, the girl had a score or two to settle, and you could tell she was determined to get out of here. I grab her crap, and start taking off down the hallway, leslie right behind me, helping Mikey with a Drac. One fantastic right hook is thrown by my brother, and the Drac is down and out. Mikey gets a good punch in for good measure. He too, had a score to settle. Damn he looked good throwing that punch…
Ryan, head in the game. No time for boys right now. I have to remind myself of the mission. I take off down the hallway, closely followed by a mob of killjoys. A black haired girl, the one and only Neon Sun, is catching up to me, kicking and throwing open the very few unopened doors lining the walls as she goes, screaming for the people inside to run with us.
“go! We’re busting out! GO GO GO!” She yells, zipping ahead of me.
Killjoys poor out of doors, like ants from a hill that’s been stomped on. Sun’s hair was flying, trailing behind her like a tail. Her muscle were working to their full capacity, she was working the mods shed been given as fully as she possibly could. I’d never seen anything run so fast, kick so hard, or have such a joyous look in their eyes, though she was still mourning the loss of her love.
Leslie, Mikey, and Frank are all running with me, while Infernal and Violet completely lay waste on about five Dracs. Whatever they’d learned at the Academy had paid off. Neither had a single scratch, and didn’t look phased. Whoops of joy came from all around me, and I keep running. Trying to catch Neon Sun was useless, she was so far ahead of me.
We make it down a flight of stairs, and Sun is ahead of us by at least three flights. With the set up of the stairs twisting in sharp ninety degree angles, I can see the groups of Dracs running towards her, and she senses it before I can warn her. She jumps over the railing, landing directly on top of two of them, which sends a domino effect down to the rest. She jumps down two more flights of stairs, landing as nimbly as a cat would, and runs down to that floor. I follow her, getting there with the rest of her group and Leslie about five minutes after.
“Where do we go?!?” The rest of the jail broke KillJoy’s ask.
“Just run to the court yard! We’ll be there in a minute, this is the last floor of prisoners!” I say, and we all charge in. Frank runs to Sun, helping her with a Drac. She wasn’t tired, but was multi-tasking. She punches a Drac in the face, just before he can draw his gun to knock us out or kill us. She takes the gun, pops off a shot, and continues kicking open doors and I give the 4 note whistle.
Freedom. It was so close. I could taste it. It was so, so, teasingly close. Sun finishes the floor off, throws us all ray guns, each of us having about three on us. We all run for the stairs, and fly into the courtyard. All around us, there are Dracs trying to stop the rebellion. Sun jumps, landing in the same spot Korse usually stands.
“Killjoys! Fight back! We’ve been tortured, demoralized, dehumanized! Art may be the weapon, but our fists are just as good! Give em hell! GO!” She shouts and a whoop of joy goes up. Korse is somewhere, and Dracs all have ray guns.
I’m shooting, handing out guns I have tucked into folds of my clothing to whoever I see first, allowing us a fighting chance. Dracs are falling left and right, but more are coming out.
That’s when the siren goes off.
Oh bloody hell! Why can’t things just go smoothly? For once in my life, go smoothly! Well, silly moo, it’s a rebellion. They don’t exactly go smoothly. The Voice says. Ah, it’s returned. Lovely. Just what I need. Tick tock, Sun. look behind you! It says. I listen, and turn around.
“Bad pet.” Korse says, before I can realize he’s there, he pushes me, so my back is against the railing of the balcony we stood on, my back arching over it. “You’ll have to be punished. Hm… we took your dearest… let’s take… I think the twins? Yes, the twins will do nicely. Ohh, we’ll have you watch…” He says in a snarl disguised by a smile that makes me want to vomit. Which I highly consider trying to do. But instead… I just raise my knee sharply, kneeing him right in the crotch. He, like most guys, goes down, whimpering a tad.
I smirk at him, lying on the ground. I crouch next to his head, and give a rather scary giggle. “Whoopsie, guess I’m stronger than you thought, eh Korsy?” I say, with another giggle. He glares and hisses at me. I blow him a kiss. “Tootles!” I say, before leaping from the balcony and bracing for the landing on my feet.
That nice, agile, catlike landing? Yeah, it never comes. I don’t land on my feet.
All around me, people were fighting, Dracs dropping. People had barricaded the doors, so no more Dracs could be deployed. We were winning. All the prisoners were freed, and we were about to escape. Now... to get past the fence and we’d be home free. I’m looking for Sun, who should be flitting around, kicking ass. That’s when I hear a startled shriek, and look in the air. There is something, it’s black wavy-curls flapping in some kind of wind, hazel eyes glowing, pale skin shining in the just now dawn-light… and it is flying, supported by a pair of wings.
“What. The. Hell.” I hear about ten people all scream. I’m wondering myself, and that’s when I see it start spinning in a circle, soaring up. Ohmygod in heaven that is Neon Sun! Those incisions were the insertion of wings! They’d given her wings! Those sick bastards!
Neon looks heavily confused. I am too. She draws her ray gun, pops a shot off at Korse, and stuns him, and I see her smile. For the first time in a month, she had smiled. A true smile. YES!
I punch a Drac in the face, stunning it with the ray gun in my hand, not ever taking my eyes off the girl in the air. The girl with pearlidescent wings that were glittering in the light. She looked… angelic. Like a dark angel. Fallen, almost. The black hair was really quite striking against the wings that seemed to sparkle a million different colors. She finally figures out she has wings it seems, because she starts awkwardly zipping down, landing on her feet with a small stumble, the air shimmering around her as the wings folded back into her shoulders, which makes her squeak. She lands near me, and throws herself into fighting mode.
“Did you just fly?” I ask, as we take on a crowd of Dracs. People were surging for the fence, but she had a score to settle, so she was gonna finish off every last Drac she could. She punches one in the face, followed by an impressive kick to one to its right. Frank joins us, while Violet and Infernal, as well as Mikey, Jet Star and Mr. Moonstruck all run to help kids destroy the electric fence. That’d be the hard part, getting past that. We’d need Neon, to strong arm the box. Or fly kids over.
“I think they gave me wings!” She says excitedly. Frank smiles at her. Aw, that kid has it bad for Neon Sun…. not good. Cute, but not good.
“Yeah, they did. Big, feathery wings. Awesome!” He says. He throws a Drac my way, right into my foot, which gives a perfect kick to the stupid thing’s temple. Take that.
“I dunno how to work them.” She says, as she crouches, allowing two Dracs, the last two, to run into each other and knock themselves out. “I kinda just flapped and prayed to not fall. They aren’t super strong yet. I’ll work on it.” We take off together, running for the fence. Sun runs, leaps, and opens her wings again, tearing through slits in her tank top. Awesome. Just amazing, watching them unfurl, and her soar into the air. She goes above the fence, and everybody watches. Someone tosses her a ray gun upon her request, while we all pant in exhaustion. Rebellion is energy consuming. Really, it is.
“Killjoys! Run for the hills! Expect Death to come over the radio’s tonight! I will report on the Academy to you all, it is open for anyone needing medical care! GET UP AND GO!” She yells, and with a whoop of glory, Killjoy’s start scaling the fence, and running like hell. Sun lands, and groups up with us.
“Oh we are so celebrating later!” She says, and high fives Violet. “Now... do we run to the academy?”
I take a quick head count while there is a hurried discussion of what to do about transport. We’re missing someone… who? Frank, Violet- My thought’s are interrupted by a voice.
“We drive.” Mikey says, pulling black van, with the BLI-logo on the side in white. “Hot wiring for the epic win!” He says. Sun busts through us to open the doors, I throw our stuff in the back, and everyone piles in, and Mikey takes off. I jump into the passenger seat, and he drives off.
As BLI-labs fade into the rearview mirror, I lean out the window, flip the lab off with both hands, and lean back inside. And that’s when we all start cheering.
Sun lay panting next to me, wings tucked back inside wherever they hid when she didn’t want them. And she was sobbing while we all cheered.
“food.” She says. “I need food.” I take her in my arms, laying her black haired head in my lap, petting her hair softly. “Ella, the baby, she needs me to eat. I’ve never turned on my modifications on all the way…” She’s panting, face flushed bright red. The air shimmers, and her face is no longer dripping sweat. “Frankie, I’m tired.”
“no, no sleeping.” I say. “Not until you eat. Ella, remember?” I say, and she nods. Cyanide, ever prepared, hands her an apple, which she devours in a few big bites. He tosses her another one, which she eats slower. I place a cautious hand on her stomach. She lets me keep it there, smiling at me between bites. I smile back, and find weird warmth in my stomach. Like when I first met her. Even with dark hair, pale skin, and smelling like hell, I found her beautiful. I regretted being such San idiotic douche to her, being such a douchebag. I’d really messed up my chance to have this girl be MRS. Fun Ghoul. To be carrying MY kid right now, a planned pregnancy that would have been going smoothly. Not with… Party’s kid he’d never get to see.
It is now that I stop smiling. She sees it, looking back up from what is now her third apple. And she knows, immediately. She sits up, and wraps her arms around me. Violet crawls over. Mikey is driving, but I’m sure he would too. There is a moment of silence. And then Sun drops her apple, and promptly starts sobbing, nearly wailing. Kobra jerks the steering wheel in surprise, but rights the van, pushing it to go to 100. We needed to get to the Academy, and fast. Sun needed medical attention, for the baby. Violet had a wound on her leg, a cut that had been oozing pus for days. I’m pretty sure Bob has a concussion, and Ray is bleeding from a huge gash on his shoulder. We had to be at least an hour away, maybe more.
“Oh my god…” Sun says in between heart wrenching sobs. I kept choking mine back, swallowing a lump in my throat. The girl sounded like it had just become REAL to her, like she knew he was never coming home, for the first time. She couldn’t bring him back. No matter what, she couldn’t ever see him again. “They killed him!” She says, sobbing as hard as she can. “He’s dead and I didn’t get to tell him I loved him!” She says. “He’ll never meet baby Ella, see her grow up, walk, talk, be 16 and boy crazed, or get married… oh my god my baby isn’t going to have a dad. She’ll end up a stripper or something. Oh my god oh my god…” She’s hyper ventilating, and I start sobbing with her, crying over the loss of my best friend.
“I never told him I was sorry for everything, the fights, stealing his hair gel, everything.” I say the gel part with a laugh. “I’ll never see him again…” I start crying with Sun, who holds me closer. Violet is the only one who seems to be able to hold back tears. Even Infernal sheds a few, quietly in the corner. Bob is talking about tacos, and Ray is trying to block it out. Vi just holds Sun and I, who sob. Mikey is driving faster, going 150 now, and really trying to get us home.
I pick Sun’s head up after a good thirty minutes more of sobbing. “We have to be strong. It’s what he would want. I’ll help you with the baby, we all will. Bob and Ray can sew for her. The students can make her clothes, babysit when you need a break, we’ll give you time off of teaching when you first have her, and then she can start coming to class. We’ll give her a family, even if she doesn’t have her dad. She’ll grow up with at least 20 big brothers to watch out for her, the teenage guys will take care of her. She’ll have Mikey for an Uncle; she can’t turn out too bad.” I gain a giggle from her with the last bit, and a weak smile from everyone else. “He’s still in your memories. He still all around you. He’s here, you just can’t see him.”
I lean into her, while she picks up her apple and resumes eating, Cyanide handing her another one while wiping tears from his eyes. My mouth near her ear I whisper to her. “And you still have me. I’ve always been here, I always will.” She finishes the third apple, and has just started the fourth, when she falls asleep on my shoulder.
Making sure she was comfortable, I lay her down; covering her with a blanket from inside our sheets of crap we’d taken with us from BLI. Gauze we’d stolen, food, medicines, anything we could hoard and steal. I’d stolen a few of the thermal blankets, and laid one over her. They were kinda cool, considering they sensed your body temperature and adjusted how warm or cold they were accordingly. She curls it around her, smiling a tad in her sleep, and lets me put her head in my lap. I lay my head back, and shut my eyes.
(Two hours later, Mikey’s POV)
Seeing Sun cry and wail like that… it’d torn me up. I couldn’t do that, it wasn’t a possibility while I was driving. But god knows, when I had time, I was going to my special place in the mountains, and having a good cry to lament the loss of my brother. All the things I’d never said, the things I’d never apologized for saying, doing… it was eating me up inside.
I can see a crowd of blocks. Oh thank god, we were home. I slam on my brakes, everybody getting jolted awake. Sun sits up, crouched and ready to attack if needed. She was still in animal mode. She’s holding the apple next to her like it’s a weapon. Which with Sun, it could be. She’d probably be able to commit serial murders with that apple.
“Easy girl… we’re home.” I say, and she relaxes, a huge smile breaking across her face, and she flies out of the car. Not literally. She runs, leaping out the back doors of the van, and running straight to the student dorms. I get my stuff, and look at Cyanide Killer. He runs a hand through his hair, and smiles at me a little. My stomach went all... flippy floppy. Weird. I look away, feeling a blush creep to my cheeks for no reason. Weird…
I kept running, just soaring across the open land on my feet. My shoulders ached, my calves, my thighs, everything on me ached. But I give a whoop of pure joy the second I come to the student dorms. Without any warning, I throw open the door, and almost start crying in joy. “Kiddos! I’m baaaaccckk!” I say, throwing my arms out grandly. “Outside!” I call, looking at twenty pairs of eyes. “Now!”
I hurry out, as do they. Without any warning, I jump up and scale the drain pipe, and climb on the roof. Frank, Mikey, Violet, Infernal, as well as Cyanide Killer and Ray, Mr. Moonstruck, and Leslie all join me, climbing up to join me. I’m standing on the roof, looking at the kids. Frank gives a few sharp whistles, and more kids pour out of dorms.
My eyes scan the crowd for a blonde with a ton of color in her hair. I can’t find my sister. Where is she?!? No, don’t tell me they got her…. No, they can’t have her AND… him.
“So, first thing first…” I say, and all the little students look at me. “What’s for dinner?” They all laugh, and I smile. “Np, but seriously… we’re back. Healthy, for the most part. And we have a new idea of what Drac’s are like. Stronger, taller, faster…. They have a new breed of them.” I say, giving a small briefing on everyone’s time in the lab’s. “Most of you are too new to the Academy to remember the time when I fiorst came from the lab’s. Well, those of you that can… the labs are worse. Cleaner, higher powered… ev erything is a thousand times worse than we can ever imagine. I will not speak on what they did to me.”
Everyone is quiet, staring at us. I’m looking out at them, trying to keep a fake smile on. Frank grabs my hand. As does Violet. “But I’ll show you.” I say. I strip my shirt off, making some of the boys give a woop of excitement. I’m left standing in my bra in front of forty kids, which I generally wouldn’t be okay with. But, for this, I am. Frank and the others move away, giving me room to show off. I flip the switch in my brain (figuratively, of course) that turns on the modifications, and my wings come from my back, unfurling quickly. I snap them through the air once, and then turn, so they could see them. I had legitimate angel wings.
Gasp and squeals go through the crowd, making me smile a tad. I hear a familiar voice. My sister! “Why Is it you get all the cool shit?!?” She says. I laugh, and soar down to her, hovering a few inches above the ground. “Hiya.” She says. I grab her and lift her off the ground, hugging her to me. Carefully, she is set back down, and I pump my wings, flying up and towards the roof again, where the wings retract into my back again. Not a fun feeling.
Frank steps up. “What happened at the labs, to us and other killjoy’s was especially cruel, and it hurts to even think about. We have two new teachers with us, as you can see. Cyanide Killer, Northern Lights, please introduce yourself to the class.” Frank steps back, grabbing my hand in his. I squeeze it once, and he squeezes back.
Cyanide Killer steps up. “heyyyy everybody!” He coos to them. A few boys in the crowd raise a single eyebrow, and all the girls start giving looks that all females know is the ‘damn it! He’s gay!’ look. Yeah, I know that look quite well. Cyanide speaks back up. “I’m Cyanide Killer! I’ll be teaching here, it seems. I have a twin,” he points to Northern Lights. “He’s rather quiet. But he’s nice! Sooooooo, I’ve known Neon Sun here since she was itsy-bitsy, before she was all modified and that fun stuff. Ohhh! I like your shoes!” He says to some guy on the ground. Cyanide Killer laughs, and steps back next to Violet.
His brother steps forward. “Erm. Hi.” He says. The kids all stare, wide eyed and curious. “I’m Northern Lights, as my bro just told you. And erm… yeah.” He gives a sheepish smile and a wave, and steps back into line.
“Hey!” A kid yells at us. We all turn and look for his voice. “Where’s Party Poison?” And suddenly, all the KIT’s and upperclassjoys are repeating the question. The call strikes up, asking where their beloved teacher was.
My brain goes fuzzy. I feel my eyes dilate to pin pricks. My hand yanks from Fun Ghoul’s. My wings snap out. My eyes go hellfire red, and I zoom into the air. Frank tries to yank me down, but I zoom up to fast he doesn’t even have a chance of getting my ankle, much less holding me down. I flap my wings to stay hovering as if I were standing, the traditional superhero pose of legs relaxed, arms folded. “Never speak that name in my presence again.” I command, voice cold, harsh, filled with venom and malice. “never do I want to hear those words, that name, or any mention of that person. Ever. Again. Am I understood?” I ask them, flying down to look at them a bit. My wings were black with red streaking through them, and I could tell I looked almost demonic. How odd, a demon with angel wings. Ironic, more like. “Anyone caught saying those words in my presence will face more physical training than you imagined possible, and could risk expulsion from the school.”
They all nod in fear, and quietly step back a yard or so, which relaxes me. I fly back up to my place, snap my wings in, and “sparkle” away the modifications. My hair remained black and long, my eyes returned to a honey-drizzled hazel. Fun Ghoul grabs my hand, squeezing once. I squeeze back.
Kobra Kid steps forward. “What happened to the person you asked about was… it was an atrocity. It is unlikely I can recount the horrible things done to us, as each received a different torture routine. Though, routine isn’t the right word.” Kobra seemed… different. More grown-up, in a way. He was assuming the role of the brother he lost. Protector and leader. “What we all received to break us down, the very first thing they did in the labs… it was the worst kind of torture. That may be what killed,” He is about to say the words, and Violet Rage slaps a hand over his mouth. He remembers my threat, and keeps quiet on it. “someone. But it could be what they did to him after. We will hold a memorial service in a few days, though we have no body. We will hold the service here, in the camp.” He says, and steps back.
Fun Ghoul steps up. “Morning, kiddos. I know, you’re all scared and confused, but hell, for a bunch of teenagers… the Academy doesn’t look too bad. Nothing seriously broke, as far as I can see… now. Go make dinner. I have to get cleaned up, as do the rest of us. Jet Star requires medical attention.” He steps back, claps twice, and the kids all run to make dinner. “IT BETTER BE GOOD, YOU LITTLE SQUIRTS!” he yells after them.
Watching them go to where we make food, the instructors all start hopping down, getting off the roof. I simply snap my wings out, shake Frank’s hand from mine, and slowly float myself down. Cyanide Killer approaches me. “Sweetie? We have to go get you cleaned up. C’mon, your baby needs a mom that’s clean.” He puts a hand on my back, inbetween where my wings are, leading me down the row of blocks. I get to mine. Juliet.
Cyanide leads me inside, making me fold my wings in first. I put them away, letting them retract into my back. He slowly sits on a chair, looking at me. “Sweetie… I’m gonna go in there;” he points to the bathroom “sit on a chair facing the door, while you shower. Just to make sure you don’t hurt yourself. Is that okay?” I nod, staying silent. I strip and get into the shower, leaving it cold. No point in a hot shower. Wouldn’t take the dirt and grime off so easy. I stand under the water, letting the dirt fall off as I begin to sob. Ryan pokes his hand around the curtain, handing me shampoo and conditioner, which I have no idea where he found. I smile, though he cant see it, and scrub my black hair. How odd, having black hair. I’d always been blond, my hair long. This was about shoulder length, with blunt, razor cut bangs. So odd… I wash my hair, shampooing twice. As I finish up my shower, I notice something in the corner. In a little metal basket a KIT made for us a year or so back, I see a little thing of peppermint body wash, a man’s razor, and my razor, along with respective things of shaving cream. No clue as to why HIS razor was in the shower, he always shaved at the mirror…. Party’s things. My razor. My razor… I go very quiet
Ryan notices I’ve stopped crying. He throws the curtain open, making me squeal a bit. His back is turned to me. “Sweetie, I’m not interested in your lady parts. I don’t go that way. They are of no interest to me.” He clicks off the water, still not facing me, and grabs the cady type thing, chucking the body wash at me. “You need it. We all do.” He says. I shut the curtain again, and look at the wash. I put it carefully on the floor, making sure the top was on.
“Cy?” I ask in a small voice.
“C-can I have my vanilla and strawberry stuff?” I ask, sounding toddler like. I sounded innocent, almost. Like I hadn’t just watched the love of my life die. Like I wasn’t a freak. A mutant. An experiment.
“Of course, hun.” He hands me my body wash, and I smile, using it liberally. “If I give you this razor, you must use it to ONLY shave. Not hurt yourself.” I whine in frustration. “I know you want to. I can tell. I’ve been through that kind of hurt before. And it SUCKS. But you have to push through. What would Party say if he found out you were cutting?” He says his name. It’s like it echoes in my brain. With anyone else, I’d have flown out of the shower and tried to kill them, but with Ryan, I let it slide. The guy’s like my older brother. I finish washing, and ask quietly for a towel. Ryan produces one, and steps out, taking my razor with him.
Cyanide allows me privacy to walk out of the shower and I stand in a bra and some underwear a minute or so later in the main room that serves as my bedroom, kitchen, and living room. Soon, I’m looking at myself in a full-body mirror. “Cy?” I ask, and he looks at me through the hands he was using to cover his eyes, parting his fingers to look. “What month is it?” He thinks for a moment. “Calendar is on the wall.” He checks it out.
His finger runs down the paper, and he runs it across to find the day. “October 14th.” He says. “Why?”
“That means I’m four months pregnant.” I say. He stand sup abruptly, and comes over to me. “Look.” I say, and he looks at my stomach. I put my hands right about where my baby should be. Ryan squeals in excitement. “I have a bump.” I say to him.
“You do! It’s teeny, but it’s there!” He looks all excited. “You have a baby bump! OHMYGOSH WE SO HAVE TO GO TELL DEATH DEFYING AND MY BROTHER AND KOBRA KID AND JET STAR AND AND AND” I slap a hand over his overly excited mouth, shushing him. He struggles, eventually licking me to make me move my hand. I do so, with a squeal of disgust. “C-can I touch it?” He asks. I think for a moment. Maybe Baby Ella would like Uncle Ryan.
I nod. He puts his left hand where one of mine was. “There’s a baby in there, Cyanide.” I say, as he starts poking my belly. “Be careful.”
“HI BABY!” he says, talking to my small bump. “I’m Uncle Cyanide!” He already has assumed the title of uncle, which I like about him. A lot. “And you’ve got the bestest mommy in the whole wide world. Don’t worry; she’ll take care of you. I will too, when she’s super duper tired. She gets that way sometimes. Oh, I hope you’re a little girl so I can dress you up! I’ll put bows in your hair, and you’ll have little baby pink converse, and heart shaped sunglasses and I’ll give you your first lesson in heel walking when you’re older!!” I laugh at him, playing the typical gay guy.
Ella pipes up in my head. Hi mommy. Who is this man? Why is he so excited?. I could swear she laughs about the heels thinQg, but it sounded far away, distant. He seems nice. Is he your boyfriend?
No sweetie. Mommy loves Unqcle Cyanide, but not like that.
Does he love you like that?
I almost laugh out loud at her questions. So cute. No. Uncle Cyanide doesn’t like girls. He likes boys. And that’s perfectly okay.
Ryan is still talking to my baby, and I’m talking too (though it’s in my head, not out loud like him.). Ella speaks again. Oh! Okay! Mommy, will you go eat? I’m really hungry… I tell her yes, and just like that, the voice is gone. I build a box around where it is in my head, imagining that she can’t see or hear the things going on outside of where she was right now.
Ryan removes his hand off my baby bump, and throws me a tank top and shorts. “C’mon!” He says, looking for keys to a car. He finds the ones to my Camero, and he hurriedly looks me over. “We have to go see Death. Get you vitamins and food and test your blood and set everything up…” I pull on the bright turquoise lace tank top, and the purple shorts with black studs covering one leg. He throws me some silver doc martens, and a few black and green stud bracelets. “neon,” he whines. “let’s goo!” And I let him lead me out of my room. I smile, one hand on my bump, as we leave my bunk behind and hop into the car.
A/N hey guys! I’ve missed you all bunches and bunches, but school, swim, dance, a few oteher things got in the way. Went through a little I can’t write for crap stage, but then looked at all these reviews and noticed that hey, maybe I’m not THAT terrible! Haha, well, I’m back. cue the scary music yes, I’m back, and happier than ever in my life. I have an amazing boyfriend, a good school and social life, and tons of iTunes money for teh musics, not to mention some great people in my life who’ve really helped me along. I promise more chapters, with more action, food, clothes and other goodness y’all will love. Oh, and Ry? A few chapters from this one is all for you, my gay-older-brother!
So, I’m going to (for those of you who can’t visualize) make a TUmblr page for this, I think. With pictures, sketches, GIF’s, the whole kit and caboodle, of the gang, the Academy, classes, characters, outfits, scenes… everything. Any requests? Lemme know in the review what you wanna see as an illustration. Woo! So,I have a sequel starting to form on paper, though nothing is concrete, but it’s super duper amazing and special, the way it’s set up (it’s set to music!). Oh! I NEED UNIQUE BABY NAMES. Winner gets rating points, and a dedication on a chapter! I wanna see all fives on my chapters, so turn those boxes green for me? K? Thanks.Yes, slight Maximum ride rip-off, but Y’know what? I planned this whole wing shit LONG before I read the series or had it pointed out to me by someone. But Y’know, it’s fanfic, so let's not get our panties in a twist?