Onyx Bird

The cloaked figure floated down the eerie cobblestone streets, through the night, past the broken windows and mangled doors. Only the figure's footsteps could be heard, each one carefully placed, so as not to tread on any of the blank cartridges that lay strewn on the street. The moon glinted off the street post, in white letters reading, 'Velar Street'.

The figure then stopped, and slowly bent down, ear to the ground, eyes glimmering in the sparse light, a gas mask covering delicate features. Then, for apparently no reason they slid onto the ground, like a ghost, their cloak covering their entire body.

A lone soldier walked onto the street from the adjoining road, gun held pointedly, scanning the street. His eyes glimmered with an unearthly glow, his black hair tied into a ponytail.

The figure on the ground, however, was unnerved mostly by a pendant that was worn on his uniform.

It was an eleven-pointed, sinister black star with a stalwart red diamond in the centre, which seemed to shine with a life of its own, catching light that was non-existent. The solder scanned the street one last time then continued on, gun still poised, moving silently and gracefully up to the next road.

After five silent minutes, the figure slithered back to its feet then darted into a back alley, where one solitary door was situated amongst the rubble of an alley. Checking both directions carefully, the solitary person placed a gloved hand on a trash can, and then lifted the lid and tapped the inside twice. This time the door took on a translucent look and the figure stepped through.

The door led to a dank and musty room that appeared not to have been used for years and had been abandoned in a hurry. Cobwebs sulked in the corners of the room, the book case on the opposite side of the room lay clothed in dust. Strewn just under the bookcase lay a coloring book and crayons, the page half filled with childlike scrawl, the only readable text being the word 'Marina'. Voices echoed in from the direction of the opposite doorway. As quietly as possible the figure slipped through the door and into the room, where four people sat at a table, one chair empty.

Each of the people at the table shared three common traits: each wore a clear plastic gas mask, a black cloak of some variety, and all had a small black pendant on their cloak, each with decidedly different shapes. Seated around the five person table were three males and one female. The newcomer nodded to each in turn and then removed their hood, revealing a feminine face and shoulder length black hair.

The man who appeared to be the leader greeted her, "Glad you could join us Cimeara. Please have a seat. I trust that you had a fair amount of trouble coming here."

Cimeara nodded, a small smile crossing her face. "Much trouble I can assure you, Simon. It seems that the clones are waiting for some action and are alert as usual. There is one roaming the main road, and he appears to be one of the newer varieties, he had a much better hold on the gun than the older clones. It appears though that they still must resort to the pendant."

Then Cimeara's face became serous. "We have to make our move now, or else not at all, because soon it will make little difference."

Simon looked at the other members of the table before speaking. "We have considered the plan and agree. We move tonight. Are you prepared?" he said, addressing her.

Cimeara responded by pulling out a laser gun and a small grey object from inside her cloak. Simon nodded solemnly. "Then let's go."

Each of them, lost souls, glided down the graveyard street, in utter silence. Cimeara could feel the cold steal of the gun bang against her every time she took a step, and each time it bumped against her leg her mind filled with hate towards the scientists who had created the clones.

The clones had originally been created by a scientist named Vetting as a weapon for the government. However, when the time came for the army to be presented, the clones turned on the government and began to destroy the town, then had quickly spread until they captured the entire province.

Cimeara's parents had done their best to combat the engineered humans with their own, much weaker clones to no avail, and in the end they, and her little sister Marina, had perished in the final stand off in The Velar Street Massacre.

Before long Cimeara reached the clone complex, its crude concrete walls and ominous barbed wire fence stating its purpose clearly. Like a wisp of smoke, she slid around to the rear of the complex.

There she walked calmly over to the large tree and took off her pedant, an onyx bird, its wings outstretched ready to take flight. She placed it in the carved out hollow near the base of the tree on her wooden peg.

Cimeara felt along the edge of the dark hollow, feeling for everyone else's pendant, showing that they were ready for action. To her relief thirty pendants were there, showing that everyone was in place for tonight. If after five days a pendant was still there, following a mission they were presumed dead, and the pendant was buried; with or without the body. Cimeara's bird had always left this hollow, and she vowed it always would.

After silently praying for the safe return of everyone in the resistance, Cimeara skittered through a hole in the fence then wandered across the abandoned grounds, her black cloak giving her an undetected entrance. With cautious foot steps she made her way to Block E.

Each clone had grown up in the institution without any parents, their purpose only to be a weapon. All the clones had been genetically altered to have enhanced eyes, allowing them to see in the dark and sense movement exceedingly well, but the consequence was that their colour vision was reduced and they had limited vision below twenty degrees. However, they had also made these clones especially intelligent, and they could not be controlled simply by brainwashing. So the scientists used science to fix science.

They created a pendant that was connected to a chip in their brain which regulated all of their thoughts. This worked only when the pendant was connected to a blood vessel, so the scientists sewed the pendant into the skin of the clone, and in each shirt a hole was made for the eleven stared pendant, one point for each of the scientists in the project.

Cimeara entered the Block E with relative ease, no one was posted, as there were only a few Naturals left in this area and no clone was able to make their own choices, Naturals being unaltered human beings not involved in the clone project.

She pulled out her small grey clamp again, and attached it to the nearest clone's pendant. He froze for a moment then slowly he opened his eyes, their brilliant blue colour evident even in the low light. He looked at her, and she held her finger to her lips. He nodded and then slid out of his bed with the grace of a phantom.

The clamp was a tool used to quickly reprogram the chip in the clone's mind. It uploaded the information that she was there to help and that they would escape, but they had to wait for her signal, three fingers in the doorway, while she freed their 'friends'.

Cimeara continued on into the next dorm, and the next and the next, until that entire section had been reprogrammed. Turning back down the halls she flashed her fingers and soon had a troop of clones behind her.

Cimeara drew her gun, and walked through the halls, and onto the concrete area surrounding the grounds. Just as she and her group of clones were about to step onto the lawn from the concrete area, an alarm sounded from the dorms to her right, Block D.

The noise was deafening. Trying to keep as calm as possible she continued forward, though this time running. The rooms behind them began to fill with noise, and Cimeara in her heart began to panic. This wasn't supposed to happen. All the clones were supposed to get out alive, and take refuge in the multiple abandoned houses, and then regroup and destroy the institute.

They were not supposed to be caught. There were shots now, and people were falling all around her. She ran forward, her goal that fence line. The shots were now aimed at her. Stumbling over someone, she kept running, adrenaline her life blood.

She had to make it. Her onyx bird was waiting.