Chapter 6 - missing
Frey wasn't in the next day. Leon figured that she was ill. She wasn't in the next day. It must have been something serious, because Leon had recovered from bed setting flu in under 24 hours. His mother just saw him as a major hypochondriac. He suddenly decided that when she came back in, he would get her number.
But by Friday morning, things got worrying. Frey defiantly wasn't suffering from a regular disease. As Leon slumped towards English, he saw a crowd of year 10 pupils walking towards the arts theatre. Jonas jogged over to him.
"Emergency assembly, whole year. Apparently Freya's been kidnapped!"
Two words almost burned as they entered his ears. 'Freya', and 'kidnapped'.
The headmistress of Swendarr's college was a small woman, with short cut blonde hair. She was pretty young for her position. Mrs. Peatle cleared her throat.
"Good morning year ten" she began. It almost made Leon cringe, the fact that she had to speak with a "standard English" dialect. Some people still believed that dialect was important.
"Today, we are gathered to talk about a very serious incident. Some people have already heard rumors about it, and I think you deserve to know the truth. On Monday, Freya Lightheart never made it home from school." a shiver ran down Leon's spine. He had been with her Monday after school. He had watched her disappear into the fog and rain. She had been no more than a five minute walk away.
"Yesterday, her parents received a note, demanding that, and I quote "the one who shares her talents surrender himself"." chatter spread through the theatre like wildfire.
Leon immediately knew it was referring to him. He was too deep in his thoughts to process the rest of her speech. Whoever it was, knew about him and Frey, and worse, they had Frey. He had told her… no, promised her he would protect her, that he wouldn't let them take her. He had to do something! He had to save her somehow! Maybe he could-
"Leon, are you coming!?" asked Jonas.
Leon snapped out of the state of immense concentration that had taken his mind. The arts theatre was emptying. Leon shook his head. This was getting to stressful for him. He had lost his train of thought, and worse still, he had slipped into another of his trances.
Leon didn't have any success grasping the concept of trigonometry in math's, and had trouble concentrating all day. Eventually he turned his music back on to distract him. He couldn't concentrate, knowing what trouble Frey was in, so instead he tried to decipher the meaning of more Miike Snow lyrics.
"With a hole in my heart I was forced to ride, in morning traffic. With a golden hand by your fortress side, but without magic, somebody, somebody, somebody tell me, it won't be long 'cause a horse is not a home, a horse is not a home"
he wasn't sure if he was hearing the Lyrics right… maybe he was singing "with a cooling hand by your fortress side". He didn't make much sense of it anyway. Maybe he would have more success with a different song…
"Can you free me; form the logic that I knew?" That was simple. Clearly it was singing about someone trying to change, asking someone to free him from his old life style.
He carried on listening to the strange lyrics, deciphering them, and absent mindedly following the others around. But no matter what he thought, no matter what he did, every time he closed his eyes, he saw Frey, putting her hood up and walking out into the rain.
"Are you coming?" asked Jonas after school. Leon noticed he was doing it again. Just looking at nothing, worrying.
"Leon, I know how hard this is for you right now, but you can't do anything to help her. She'll be okay." Luke said. Luke was always more of a people person. He knew how Leon felt about Frey, probably more than Leon knew himself. He hadn't said anything, but Leon could just tell.
"I know, but still, I can't just act as if nothing's changed." said Leon. He didn't look up, to hide his newly forming tears from Jonas. He just walked away. Just walked. Without a care, without looking up, he just walked home,
He had promised her. And now she was in trouble, because of her abilities. It was starting to rain, just like the night Frey had walked away. The last time he saw her. He was near that subway now. He had to find out what had happened to her, he had to help her, and he had to-
For the third time that day, Leon snapped out of his concentration trance, as something hard made contact with his face. Before he had chance to recover, a fist caught him in the gut. He heard a click, and as he noticed the tazer, time seemed to slow. In fact, this was just because of the speed that his brain was processing. As the claw of the tazer gun opened in mid-air, Leon went to the floor, to dodge it. He couldn't see the opponents... he was moving too fast. He could make out their figures, but he couldn't tell what they looked like. Time slowed once again, as Leon began to concentrate. He dodged several fists, and a high kick. His head was beginning to ache, as time passed in slow motion. Even though Leon possessed superhuman speed, he could feel just how slow he was moving. Several things were happening, as two tazer claws sped towards him, a bolt of lightning struck the air. As it did, Leon tumbled back into reality. As the two claws grabbed hold of his skin, the immense pain of 50,000 volts flowed through his body.
Leon had experienced things that would be expected to be far more painful than a tazer in his life, but even so, this was the single most excruciatingly painful thing he had felt. He had a high tolerance for pain, but it was as if it had been stripped away. Now he had almost no tolerance for the pain. He blacked out in seconds.
Seconds later, thought returned. It was like Consciousness, but not quite their... Almost dreamlike... Perhaps it was a dream... But it was darkness. A dream was like a memory... This was like a trance. His thoughts where his own. In the darkness. He felt like he was falling, but he could feel the ground beneath his feet at the same time, like a fast elevator… but somehow different.
The electrical discharge from the lightning must have interfered with his abilities. He knew that. He had no clue why he knew. He couldn't explain what had triggered it, but he knew. That was why they had used tazers. The electrical current would disrupt the nanites...
In that instant, a lifetime of knowledge and experience flooded into Leon's mind...
Frey jumped. Leon sat bolt upright, his eyes opened. He stared into nothingness. She got in front of him, and looked into his eyes. A strange glow emitted from deep inside his pupils. As quickly as he had sat up, he fell back, unconscious once more.
He understood. He knew why they had powers. He knew now what his purpose was.
He was Swendarr's weapon. No, they all were. 13 children, selected to receive an injection. Each one containing thousands of bio-mechanic nanoscopic machines... Nanites... Programmed to replicate, to mutate the DNA, to fix what evolution could not. But they had to be injected as an embryo. For the full potential, the mutation had to begin before the development of specialized cells.
They had literally been born for this...
He was unconscious right now because his body was activating a part of his brain un-used by anybody. But the change was complete...
Leon opened his eyes. Déjà vu struck. He knew exactly where he was. He had seen this before... No, HE had seen this before...
"Leon! Oh my god, Leon, your okay! Leon! I was so... I... And..." Frey was sat next to him, tears welling in her eyes. Before he knew what hit him, Frey was squeezing the breath from his lungs. His heart skipped a beat. He wasn't sure if it was because Frey had knocked it too hard with her embrace or if it was just the sudden shock of her hugging him. Either way, he held her back, grateful at that moment for her safety more than anything.
He didn't know why he was in the lost laboratory of James Swendarr, or who had brought him, but he knew that at that moment in time, all he wanted to do was hold Frey in his arms. He just held onto her.
"How sweet…" came a sarcastic voice. One of those horrible ones that sounded so airy, that it was almost a whisper. A hint of an Irish accent came through the plastic cockney dialect.
"It's almost as if you're human... Not quite" he was stood in the shadows, but Leon was sure he had a mask concealing his identity anyway, judging by the slight echo in his voice.
"But even if you are mutants, you can help us." the man stepped forwards. He wore a cheap plastic mask, like those seen in amateur theatre. All black, with eye holes, revealing hazel-green eyes.
"Now, you will do as you're told, or else, we will tazer you."
Leon understood. The electrical discharge from the tazer would affect the nanites, overload them. Without the nanites, the body wouldn't be able to cope with the extra stress. Their abilities wouldn't exactly disappear, but it would be incredibly painful to use them. And could result in brain damage. Without their abilities, they were incredibly fragile. Luckily, the tazer's effect was very temporary, and the nanites should learn to adapt over time, but it was a risky procedure.
"You've read the computers, I see." said Leon.
"Leon, what are you talking about?" Frey was confused. She was in the middle of a conversation that made little sense to her.
"Oh... Well I wasn't expecting you to know so much" said the mysterious figure in a jeering voice.
"I know why I'm here, and I won't do it." Leon said.
"So you do know how to unlock the main system... It seems we struck gold!"
"Not quite. You see, it takes a sample of the blood of all 13 of us to unlock the system, and even if you knew where all 13 where, I wouldn't allow you to take a drop of her blood!" during his little speech, he had taken a defensive position in front of Freya.
Frey suddenly noticed what he had said, and it hit her like a brick wall. She felt a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. Unfamiliar to her. She wanted to say something, but she couldn't think of what to say.
"Oh, but you see, we are in control here!" as he reached for his tazer, he broke eye contact, and Leon took his chance. As time slowed, he sprung into the air. His foot made contact with the man's chin, and a loud crack was heard. Two more tazer claws came from the shadows, shocking the consciousness out of him.
Frey let out a noise, as she saw Leon fall down.
"Are you going to try something stupid?" he asked her, in a menacing tone, as he wiped the blood off his chin. He spat a molar onto the floor. Frey stared into those hazel-green eyes and shook her head fearfully. The man chortled, and walked away. The second all three men had disappeared, Frey was at Leon's side. She cradled his head where it had struck the floor, as he lay there, barely breathing. Barely alive. She felt tears fill her eyes. She doubted he would survive another shock like that.
Being underground, it was hard to tell, but by the decrease in temperature, Frey judged it had gone dark outside. Apart from a few twitches here and there, and the occasional mumble, Leon hadn't moved. Frey was now sat huddled in the corner.
As Frey grew tired, she began to slip in and out if consciousness. She couldn't tell what was dream, and what was reality... She couldn't tell-
"Hello subject seven, this is a recorded message, to be activated upon the event that you should fall asleep within proximity to home base."
"What?" she asked, she turned around, and saw the last person she expected to be stood there. She recognized him from photographs, in school. He was a little older here, and unshaven.
"Listen carefully. I, James Swendarr, committed a very unethical atrocity. I know I had not the right, but desperate measures had to be taken. Right now, I don't doubt the civil war is still raging overhead. In the event that we lost, and the rebellion falls, or fell, the duty still falls on the shoulders of the 13."
He paused to give chance for the information sink in. Frey's head filled with questions, but she couldn't ask a single one. It was a recorded message. He was just going to speak, until the message ended.
"During the civil war, I created a weapon, or so the rumor goes. In actual fact, I made 13 weapons. You where the seventh."
"Frey..." came a third voice, like an echo... the familiar sound made her heart skip a beat.
"Find the other 12" said Swendarr.
"Frey...?" the echo came again, and as everything faded into darkness, Frey was sucked back to reality.
"Frey!? Frey! Come on, wake up!"
Leon was frantic. She had been rolling around, and talking in her sleep when he had awoken, and the thought of Frey in distress terrified him. Especially in her own mind. She grunted, and slowly opened her eyes. It happened in the Blink of an eye, and for the second time, Leon found the air squashed from his lungs by Frey's embrace. But he didn't care. He squeezed her back, with strength that no other could withstand. For that short while, Leon just wanted to hold on to her forever. He wanted that moment to last as long as possible. He moved his hand up, and rested it on the back of Frey's head. He could hear her sobbing as her hold loosened.