Foreword: Thank you for clicking on this link! This is an older story of mine, and I'm considering re-writing it. Once you've read a few chapters, please go to my profile and answer the poll there about whether or not you're interested in a newer version! Thanks, and enjoy!
My footsteps echoed loudly as I sprinted down the metal hall. I could hear my followers behind me. Shit! I glanced behind myself, seeing him. Somehow I knew he was enjoying this. God, what had I gotten myself into?
I could still remember that day. It seemed so long ago, but I remembered every detail:
I had never been to that section of the facility. It was off-limits. But I was eighteen that day and I deserved to finally know what was down there. At least, it seemed like a good idea when Sub.17 had watched me march down that corridor. I was trying to impress him. At first it seemed like a good idea.
It wasn't until later that I realized it wasn't a good idea. What if one of the supervisors found me down there? I'd be in solitary confinement for a week. Why did all of the lights seem so much dimmer there? I stood a little taller, I would do this.
I glanced behind myself. I didn't think I could've found my way out if I wanted to. I looked back and saw something scamper in front of me. I looked down, surprised. There were no rodents of any kind in the facility, except for those in the lab.
The little brown mouse looked at me with frightened eyes and almost ran away before I recognized it. It was the mouse I released from the lab a little while ago. I knelt and whispered, "Hello, little mouse. Do you remember me?"
Of c-course! You're the human with the beast look in your eye. Y-you let me go from the Man in that dark room.
I nodded and gave the mouse a little smile. It scampered toward me, You have to follow me!
My brows drew together, and I asked, quietly, "What's wrong?"
The large Man! The ones with the needles, they— It stopped and looked past me. Follow! It disappeared into one of the side corridors.
I followed quickly, slipping into the dark. Footsteps grew louder than passed. I saw the face of one of the scientists and thanked the mouse for warning me.
I stepped back into the main hall. I looked up and down the corridor. I got on my knees and looked into the hole, whispering, "Little mouse. Show me the way out."
Suddenly, a yell filled the empty hallway, echoing through the metal. I jumped and after a minute, took a deep breath, trying to slow my heartbeat. I stood and swallowed, then crept down the hall. If I was going to get in trouble, I might as well sate my curiosity.
I heard the echo of footsteps, again, so I hurried into one of the other hallways branching off this one. Once the scientist had passed again I tiptoed down the passage. I wasn't sure what I was expecting. The supervisors always told us about how we were safest here and that as long as we followed rules this place would always be better for us than Outside.
Outside was the name we used for the outer world. We were never allowed to leave unless under supervision, and even then trips Outside were rare. I was eighteen and I'd never been allowed out.
At least in that aspect they didn't treat me differently. In everything else they did though. I always supposed it was because I couldn't control wind or water or fire or earth like the other Elementals. I wasn't an Elemental at all, so I permanently thought myself lucky to have this place to keep me safe. No, I wasn't like the other kids. I could speak to animals.
I still remember the first day I had a conversation with an animal. It was a snake that was in one of the labs. I thought everyone could hear it, that's why I was so surprised when they were giving me that look. One of the supervisors asked me who I was talking to, and when I told them, they started yelling at the man in the corner.
That man was always in the corner, watching me. I heard them talking once about him having too much personal connection to me and his mistake when altering my DNA.
That's what they do here. They altered children's DNA, trying to create a new, super race. But something happened when they were doing me. Still, they hadn't gotten rid of me like some of the other mistakes. Maybe it was his 'personal connection' to me. Maybe because I couldn't speak to most animals still.
I finally reached the end of the hall, but there was only a door. A single door. This must have been where the yell came from. I glanced behind myself once more before pushing the door open.
I blinked once, trying to make my eyes adjust to the dark. The air was still in this room and heavier. I shut the door behind myself, squinting. I realized there was faint breathing in the room. I blinked again and my eyes finally adjusted to the dark.
I realized there was a person in the room with me. He—I knew this because he wasn't wearing a shirt—was unconscious, breathing shallowly. He was just as pale as any of us but he was dirtier. We had little washrooms with showers attached to our rooms. I looked around the room, but there were no other doors.
I looked back at the figure lying in the dark room. I took a step toward him. What was on his hands? I took another few steps before seeing that they were thick leather gloves that he wore with metal straps keeping them on. They went up to his elbows and a few sets of chains linked him to the wall, including two around his ankles.
I leaned closer, admiring the boy's face. He was handsome. I wondered if he was a wind Elemental. They were always attractive and most of the time graceful. And very full of themselves. I couldn't see him being a fire Elemental; all of the guys had burns on their faces from some stunt or other. He might be a water Elemental, but they all had dark hair. His was a shocking white-blonde, but he also wasn't as freakish muscular as an earth Elemental.
I hadn't realized my hand was stretched toward his face. There was something about him…as I was about to touch his cheek, his eyes opened, wide and feral. A striking yellow eye looked at me for a millisecond before swinging at me as far as his chain would allow.
I fell back, hitting the hard ground, staring at the boy. Well, boy might not be the right term. He was about my age, maybe a little older. He leaned against the wall, looking at me with strange eyes. True, sometimes a fire Elemental had red eyes, or something like that, but he had one yellow eye and one the was stormy grey.
I backed up a little, but he just watched me, not saying anything. For the first time in my life, I didn't know what to say. He looked over me, then growled, "Who are you?"
I finally found my voice, "I'm Subject A. Who are you?"
He didn't answer for a second before rumbling, "All of the Subjects are numbers. Why are you a letter?"
I shrugged and asked, "Why are you in a cell?"
He looked away and said, "Get out."
My brows drew together, "Why?"
He looked over at me and again I was shocked at those eyes. He snarled, "Aren't you afraid of what they'll do if they find you here?"
I thought about it, "But they won't. It's after curfew and the scientist that came down here all ready gave you your evening medication." I stood a little taller, "Why did you yell?"
He rolled his eyes, "Not all of us get pills. And not all of us take them willingly."
My mind flashed back to the scientist. In his pocket, there was something. I realized it was a needle. I swallowed. His voice brought me back, "Get out before the do room checks. They might notice if one of their precious Subjects is missing."
"I'm not precious to them. They ignore me most of the time."
He cocked an eyebrow at me. I said, "Tell me why you're in here."
He didn't answer, he just said, "Go play with you're little power over water or wind or whatever it is you can do."
I know now that it was a bad idea, but at the time I was just so frustrated, I said, "You think you're so smart, but what you don't know, is that I don't have an Element. I can talk to animals, so there."
He looked away and at first I thought it was because he was embarrassed, but then I realized he was smiling. I asked, "What are you smiling about?"
"You just bought me a way out of here."
"What are you talking about?"
He looked over and said, "You are going to help me escape."
I shook my head, "What gave you that idea?"
"The fact that you have no choice." I looked over and he continued, "I know your identity, Sub. A. I know you have a photographic memory because of how distant your eyes became when you remembered the scientist. I know you can sneak around by the fact that you're here. You told me they ignore you, and best of all, you speak to animals."
My stomach twisted. Had he really told all that about me from just that? I hadn't been here more than 5 minutes. He laughed, saying, "It's funny. I planned my escape perfectly for either gender, any Element, and here I get a little girl that speaks to animals."
"Well, if it's a problem I can find someone else to help you," I mustered as much dignity as I could. So I wasn't even good enough for this dirty prisoner?
He looked over, surprised, "No. You're perfect. Who knows more ways into or out of somewhere than the rats?"
I stood a little straighter, "Why should I help you?"
"Because if you don't I'll tell them you were here. This is a restricted area. And they're eyes never adjust enough for them to see it, but if I tell them, they'll see that footprint in the dust."
I looked down, seeing the print my bare foot left in the dirt. I looked back up and he said, "Well, the first thing you have to do to be of any use to me is stop taking your pills."
"Have you ever wondered why they give you those pills? They stunt your ability."
I hesitated. A part of me wanted to go along with this, but…"How do I know you're telling the truth? What if everything they tell us is fact and you're the one who's lying?"
He paused, and then brushed his white-blonde hair out of his eyes. I wondered how heavy those leather gloves were. He said, "The scientist Deplle. You know him?"
I nodded. Deplle was the one always observing all of us. He continued, "Find his office while he's not in it. Read his notes. They should tell you more than you need to know. Now, get out."
I stood, slightly dizzy, and made my way to the door. I'd almost reached it when he said, "Oh, and report back here at the some time tomorrow. Just so I know that you're doing what I want you to. That footprint isn't going anywhere."
I turned and looked annoyed into his mismatched eyes, "Blackmail?"
"You would be shocked at what I wouldn't do to get out."