[ N O T E S ] ☣ - This is something that I'd been working on very hard, and at first, I wanted it to be a roleplay, but after seeing Maka create her story, and then Monochrome create her's, I thought this idea was better suited for a character dump story, so that's what I made it. Still, there is the chance that I may also make an RP of this. ☣ - The credit of the character sheet I used goes entirely to Maka, who was kind enough to let me use it. Thank you, Maka. ☣ - It should be said that this story contains ideas from the book series Maximum Ride by James Patterson, and I've also used the setting of 2K's BioShock, and a few other game elements. If you haven't read Maximum Ride or played BioShock, you need to, they're both really great. [ U P D A T E S ] [ J U N E the 1 0 T H ] ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇☣▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ So . . . it's been nearly nine months since my last update to this story. I feel like I can easily blame the lack of life in this story on this last year, because it was my senior year, but that seems a little, well, like not a good reason at all. There really isn't much progress on the sixth chapter, but there is some, so it's not all bad, but there's not much to show. I feel like maybe, but the end of this month, I'll be able to post something, which is what I'm hoping for, but I can't be sure . . . _______________ There's no place on earth like hell, so most people don't know what it's like . . . but you will - oh, will you ever. A MAN NAMED ANDREW RYAN once created a utopian city under the water, sixty years ago. He dubbed it a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the great would not be constrained by the small, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. He built Rapture upon these ideals and meant for it to be the most ultimate society that was ever created by man - and for a while, it was. But like every great society that has ever existed, Rapture fell . . . ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇☣▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ The current year is 2012. About nineteen or twenty years ago, modern scientist discovered Rapture and what now remained of it. They discovered ADAM and EVE. Babies began to disappear from hospitals all over the world; some were given up willingly, others were taken without consent.The disappearances continued for a span of three years, and became a time the world knew as "The Vanishing". These babies were taken to laboratories in various countries such as South Korea, Brazil, Jamaica, Greece, Mongolia, China, France, Norway, Canada, and so on. The secret labs that resided in each country in complete secret were known as "Centers". From birth, every child was tested on, experimented on, injected upon . . . They were still human on the outside, but it was the inside that the normal humans would fear. They were different, powerful, and kept a secret from the rest of the world. To test the children, now all old enough to stand alone, the scientists arranged for them to take the ultimate test of their abilities, the ultimate survival game, spinning them away from their adaptations to a normal human life. The scientists sent them to the one place where they could be hurt; the underwater, abandoned city of Rapture. It's time for them to play the ultimate game of Hide and Seek. ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇☣▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ R A P T U R E A FORGOTTEN, desolate, dead wasteland underwater that was once the pride of all who didn't want to be held down by the parasites - in Rapture, they could be free of that, free to do what they wanted, when they wanted. They say that it is an inevitability that all great societies will fall - that could not be more true for the city of Rapture. Once a magnificent citty, now nothing but ruins. This is the stage of our subjects' game. ▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇☣▇▇▇▇▇▇▇▇ T H E XC E N T E R Vertigo Industries is a maker of many, many things. They also had a love for science, and thus began the top secret program dubbed "The Center". Eventually, more countries came to find out about the facility and wanted in, thus spreading the seeds everywhere - from Russia to Australia, to Germany to Canada. A top secret project soon started up after The Center went international, a sort of . . . scientific race between nations: Create a powerful human weapon and put it to the test against its opponents. In the 90s, the race was on - every country began in full speed, zooming towards the date when they would put their final products to the test, nearly a decade-and-a-half later. To the subjects that fell victim to The Center, it was known as a place of blood, sweat, death, torture and the like. Many, many children and teenagers were killed in the progression of the experiments, but a special select few survived - these would be some of the best achievements of the scientific world. Spoiler Logan Nico Lucas Jean Adriana Aki Ada Rosalynn Mike Karian Rosalind Jaimie Alyssa Mei Claire SAXIMA☣ Subject Number: #77 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Logan Techlie ☣ Gender: Male ☣ Physical Age: 19 ☣ Date Created: July 21, 1993 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'10" | 139lbs ☣ Body shape: Refined/defined muscles, runner's build ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Black|Pale Gray|Tanned ☣ Subject Title: Imago Inuisibilis [invisible shadow] ☣ Country: Russia ☣ Typical Outfit: Khaki cargo shorts, yellow AllStars, and a v-neck white t-shirt. ☣ Morals: 'You've gotta try hard to see what's in front of you bro.' Thinks that a person should live for the now, rather than constantly thinking about the future. Believes that no person should be left behind in the world. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Easygoing, calm, relaxed, sociable to anyone whose up for it, 'Relax man, I'm not gonna eat you.' He's protective of his friends, especially Nico, and he respects the scientists to a certain extent, knowing that they do what they love [most of them anyway], but he's also been known to say that if they ever hurt Nico, he would personally be responsible for their deaths. He can handle a situation with a cool head until he's pushed over the edge because of something that happened to [you guessed it] Nico. He would kill for her. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Dude, just take a moment to look around. You'd be surprised what you'd find." ☣ Method of Transportation: Wings, or his motorcycle. ☣ Education: He's taught at The Center, would technically be a freshman in college. ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Rock, classical ☣ Theme Song: Enemy of the World by Four Year Strong ☣ Favorite Place to Be: Flying in the sky, or sitting in the tallest tree of the forest behind The Center. ☣ Present Goals: To protect Nico at all costs, to try and find his iPod. ☣ Long-Range Goals: To bust out of The Center and go live his life out with Nico. ☣ Pet?: None ☣ Favorite Food(s): Sushi, oranges, Mexican food, coffee. ☣ Hobby: Video games, running, martial arts ☣ Normal Skill: Has beaten every video game he's ever had in two days or less, and can eat three times his weight and not gain any pounds because he has an extremely high metabolism. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Has wings/can fly, can manipulate darkness, and turn invisible. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: "Bro, I don't even do books, so don't ask. But if you would like to know the last game I played, it was Killzone 3." ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Light blue walls, pale wooden flooring, black entertainment system, several video game consoles, a flat screen, and a Mac. Queen-sized bed with white sheets, and the only window is the entire ceiling. ☣ Parents?: None ☣ Fears: Not being able to protect Nico, never being able to find his iPod, that he'll be separated from Nico by the scientists. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Logan was one of the first subjects to be finished, and is one of the only subjects whose life is perfectly sustained as artificial. As an artificial life form, he needed to be bonded to something or someone else so he would know what to live for, and so he and Nico were subject to bonding experiments and were the first pair to be successfully bonded without dying in the process. ☣ Subject Number: #22 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Nico Chapku ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 17 ☣ Date Created: January 3, 1995 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'5" | 121lbs. ☣ Body shape: Slightly curvy, swimmer's build ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Light blond|Pale green|Pale ☣ Subject Title: Magna Lucis [portal of light] ☣ Country: Russia ☣ Typical Outfit: Plain colored shirts, cardigans, skinny jeans, and different styled AllStars ☣ Morals: No one should be forced to do what they don't want to, everyone should have a free will. She believes that there's good in everyone, and that no one can be completely bad, not even the scientists. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Quiet, a bit timid, but very kind towards everyone, even the scientists. She's been known to have had problems with a split personality in the past, because her darker side seemed to take on a personality all its own, but most of the time, she's been able to repress it. This other "Nikko" has hurt many people, including Logan, which Nico silently beats herself up about, because she would go to any lengths to protect him and all of the other friends she's made. Most of the time, she minds her opinions until she thinks that they would help. She actually enjoys being touched and is a rather sensual person, but wouldn't tell these things to other people for she's afraid they would use them against her. ☣ Favorite Saying: "I'd like some tea please . . . sweet, if you don't mind." ☣ Method of Transportation: Wings, Logan's motorcycle ☣ Education: She's taught at The Center, would technically be a junior in high Education. ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Pop, classical ☣ Theme Song: Little Lion Man by Tonight Alive ☣ Favorite Place to Be: High in a tree, or in the sky, or with Logan ☣ Present Goals: Download more albums from the internet, find a nice and quiet cafe. ☣ Long-Range Goals: To try and escape the Education and live out the rest of her days with Logan. ☣ Pet?: None ☣ Favorite Food(s): Anything sweet, strawberries and grapes, tea, Chinese cusine ☣ Hobby: Writing, drawing, pirating music and movies, flying with Logan whenever they can get out. ☣ Normal Skill: She can write a thirty page story in twenty minutes, can find anything she wants on the internet, and can read one book every three hours. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Has wings/can fly, manipulates light, and creates portals ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Creamy brown walls, sandy-colored wooden flooring, white desk, a flat screen and a laptop. Queen sized bed with black sheets, and the only window is the entire ceiling. ☣ Parents?: None ☣ Fears: Losing Logan, never being able to leave The Center, having her wings cut off, and never being able to fly again. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Nico was one of the first subject's who survived with having artificial life. A long time ago, she was one of the first subjects who a bonding experiment was tried on for two subjects of the same gender to bond. The experiment failed, but she became close friends with the other subject who they tried to bond her to, making them both friendship bracelets with the yarn laced with her powers of light and a few of the beads laced with her power to create portals. KAYATE☣ Subject Number: #74 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Lucas (Luke) Orell ☣ Gender: Male ☣ Physical Age: 18 ☣ Date Created: January 9, 1994 ☣ Height/Weight: 6'1"|124 lbs ☣ Body shape: Tall and thin, a slightly muscular build ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Light Brown|A slightly dark blue|Caucasian, slightly tanned ☣ Subject Title: Haze ☣ Country: United States ☣ Typical Outfit: A plain black T-Shirt, with an unbuttoned white dress shirt. ☣ Morals: Live life like you're dying. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: A laid back attitude, seen as a slacker, but simply wants to live his way, not how others want him to. Any friends he makes, he sees as companions in the world of Life, treating them all well, and willing to give up whatever it'd take for them. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Whatever you say, boss." (Note, the boss is with sarcasm) ☣ Method of Transportation Walking, or, if needed, his car. ☣ Education: High Education Senior ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Rock ☣ Theme Song: It Ends Tonight by All-American Rejects ☣ Favorite Place to Be: The parks around the city, or any kind of nature ☣ Present Goals: Discover his reason in life. ☣ Long-Range Goals: Live a happy life, escaping from the Center's abusive structures, and to somehow stop them entirely. ☣ Pet?: - ☣ Favorite Food(s): Spaghetti ~ ☣ Hobby: Martial Arts, being with those he cares about, video games occasionally, and a slight array of other sports. ☣ Normal Skill: Martial Arts ☣ Genetic Enhancements: An increased agility and strength, and elemental fire commonly issued with physical attacks. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: Harry Potter, which a friend forced him to read. ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: A SONY TV in the middle of the wall, with a laptop on a desk in the corner of the wall separate from the TV. A single poster of a Zelda game (which he'd taken a liking to) above a bed with simple coverings, white pillow and sheets, nothing too awful fancy, with a Nintendo Wii next to the TV. ☣ Parents?: Single Mother, his father left her some point after Lucas was taken into the Center. ☣ Fears: Losing his freedom and friendships. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: - BRITISHISM☣ Subject Number: #44 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Jean Veltan ☣ Gender: Male ☣ Physical Age: 19 ☣ Date Created: September 1, 1993 ☣ Height/Weight: 6'0"|115 ☣ Body shape: Slightly above-average height, thin. Very little muscle. ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Black|Green|Pale White ☣ Subject Title: Wisp ☣ Country: France ☣ Typical Outfit: White jacket over a grey shirt, black jeans, small glasses. ☣ Morals: There is no right or wrong. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Arrogant but kind. Smart and calculating. Subject is incredibly self-absorbed, and constantly attempts to make himself look and feel right. Beneath the outer shell, however, he's nice, if not polite. He loves to mock those less intelligent than him. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Hush now, I'm being clever." ☣ Method of Transportation: Bicycle, commonly walking. ☣ Education: None, just graduated high Education, doesn't plan on going to college. ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Techno ☣ Theme Song: I Am Not A Robot by Marina and the Diamonds ☣ Favorite Place to Be: A small cafe on the edge of town. ☣ Present Goals: Purchase a car, buy a cat. ☣ Long-Range Goals: To be utterly better than those around him. ☣ Pet?: N/A ☣ Favorite Food(s): He eats very little, but he enjoys bread products and coffee. ☣ Hobby: Writing, mocking people, listening to music, debating. ☣ Normal Skill: He's quite persuasive and intelligent. Good writer. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Minor telekinesis, minor mind control, increased speed. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: A Clockwork Orange ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: A simple room with white walls. A large mirror on one wall. Large bookshelves and a writing desk. ☣ Parents?: Mother and Father. ☣ Fears: Being outmatched, death, being alone. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: N/A HEART☣ Subject Number:#16 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Adriana Aqua ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 13 ☣ Date Created: May 30, 1998 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'9"|100 ☣ Body shape: skinny ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Blue|Blue|Pale ☣ Subject Title: Aqua ☣ Country: Italy ☣ Typical Outfit: A short sleeved jacket with pants boots and fingerless gloves ☣ Morals: Christian ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Sweet, kind and shy. Soft spoken ☣ Favorite Saying: "I like water . . ." ☣ Method of Transportation: Walking ☣ Education: Junior High ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Rock and country ☣ Theme Song: Listen To Your Heart by DHT ☣ Favorite Place to Be: Sitting under the trees writing or drawing ☣ Present Goals: Survive ☣ Long-Range Goals: Be a singer or a writer. ☣ Pet?: Dog named Nemo ☣ Favorite Food(s): Pasta ☣ Hobby: Writing, drawing, singing, reading ☣ Normal Skill: Smart ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Control Water, Ice, and Super Speed ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: Falling Skies Graphic Novel ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Blue walls with a white ceiling. Bookcases. A computer. A TV which she only uses to watch Falling Skies ☣ Parents?: Mom ☣ Fears: She's scared of the dark, and since she was altered to be a being of water, fire haunts her. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Likes Falling Skies. NAMIN3☣ Subject Number: #19 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Aki Mori ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 17 ☣ Date Created: June 20, 1995 ☣ Height/Weight: 6'2"|115lbs. ☣ Body shape: Slightly above-average height, thin, medium sized bust. ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Pink and black|Blue|Caramel ☣ Subject Title: Autumn ☣ Country: Japan ☣ Typical Outfit: Pink and black sweater, light purple shirt and cut black shorts. ☣ Morals: Tomorrow is another day. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Quiet and slightly distant. Bad attitude, yet she knows how to control it. Slightly misunderstood. ☣ Favorite Saying: "You are dismissed." * Used with sarcasm* ☣ Method of Transportation: Walking. ☣ Education: High Education Junior ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Japanese pop ☣ Theme Song: Devil Inside by Utada Hikaru ☣ Favorite Place to Be: Under a tree in the park. ☣ Present Goals: Finish Education, buy a cat. ☣ Long-Range Goals: To expand her knowledge and become more social. ☣ Pet?: N/A ☣ Favorite Food(s): Eats very little, yet enjoys yakisoba [a Japanese dish] and green tea. ☣ Hobby: Writing, listening to music, reading. ☣ Normal Skill: Good writer, can read a 500 page novel in 3 hours, very intelligent. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Increased strength, fire control, wind control. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: To Kill A Mockingbird ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Simple room with black walls, a bed with purple comforters, a medium sized desk and a bookshelf stacked with novels. ☣ Parents?: Mom ☣ Fears: Death, being even more misunderstood. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Was taken from the hospital when her mom failed to show up to get her, yet has heard a lot about her mother. DAXA☣ Subject Number: #43 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Ada Flame ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 16 ☣ Date Created: March 7, 1996 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'6"|103lbs ☣ Body shape: Skinny, but strong, she keeps fit,and looks as strong as she is. (e.g well definied muscles) ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Red|Green|Very pale ☣ Subject Title: Pyro ☣ Country: Ireland ☣ Typical Outfit: Sleeveless bright coloured top, matching shorts, no shoes ☣ Morals: Everyone's gonna die. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Mood changes from bright, laughing and happy, to dark and murderous in the blink of an eye. Closed off, but when you become close to her, she will die for you. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Dont make me angry." ☣ Method of Transportation: Running ☣ Education: At The Center, Sophomore ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Rock ☣ Theme Song: Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars ☣ Favorite Place to Be: On the beach of the ocean or up in the mountains ☣ Present Goals: Dont die. ☣ Long-Range Goals: Find her brother. ☣ Pet?: None. ☣ Favorite Food(s): Chocolate. Lots of it. ☣ Hobby: Swimming, running, fighting. ☣ Normal Skill: Excellent author, and artist. Good singer. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Create and manipulate fire. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: Different Seasons-Stephen King ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Very bright, colourful walls (all in different shades of one colour, she repaints it every month or so). Rather messy, double bed, full lenght mirror on one wall, bigish window, bookshelves. ☣ Parents?: None ☣ Fears: People she cares about getting hurt/dying. Mild claustrophobia (fear of small spaces). ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Ada's younger brother Rue was taken away from her when she was 10, and she was always extremly overprotective and loving of him,so she desperatly wants to get him back,or at least find out if hes dead (and if the latter, take revenge). DESTINY'S HAND☣ Subject Number: #40 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Rosalynn "Lynn" Sosa ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 16 ☣ Date Created: December 24, 1996 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'8"|110 lbs ☣ Body shape: Curvy, but is also considered to be skinny ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Curly Dark Brown|Brown|tanned ☣ Subject Title: Visionary Mind ☣ Country: England ☣ Typical Outfit: Skinny jeans, Tank top, sweater, and accessories! ☣ Morals: Take one step at a time ☣ Characteristics of Subject: She's bubbly, but can also be laid back. She's very friendly, has an ironic sense of humor, and at times can be very serious. Rude if provoked, but she's got a big heart. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Do I look like I'm happy right now?" *Gestures to her face* ☣ Method of Transportation: Bike or jogging ☣ Education: High Education Sophomore ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Anything but Miley Cyrus and Brtiney Spears. ☣ Theme Song: Good Life by One Republic ☣ Favorite Place to Be: In the park ☣ Present Goals: Find a lost dog and adopt it ☣ Long-Range Goals: Graduate College with a degree in Art ☣ Pet?: N/A ☣ Favorite food: Pizza with Cheese crust, and Panini ☣ Hobby: Jogging, Reading, Painting, Drawing, Writing ☣ Normal Skill: Tai Kwon Do Black Belt, Can read really fast, and is very intelligent. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Telekinesis and Telepathy ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: The Help (Cause she really wants to buy the movie) ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Messy, but organized, with Light green walls, and blue accents. ☣ Parents?: Her parents are divorced, so she has an evil stepmom. ☣ Fears: Snakes, rats, heights, and death ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: She has a British Accent. She was born as a test tube baby, but in some part of her mind, she believes that her Dad just dumped her in The Center. She and her dad always fight, and recently, Rosalynn turned her back on him and started to look for her mum whenever she's out. Even though she hates it at The Center, she knows that it's her only home for now. KING MICKEY☣ Subject Number: #21 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Mike Decay ☣ Gender: Male ☣ Physical Age: 19 ☣ Date Created: June 20, 1993 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'10"|136 lbs ☣ Body shape: Between ordinary and muscular ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Brown (dark brown wintertime, light brown summertime)|Dark Brown|Between normal and tanned ☣ Subject Title: DK ☣ Country: Belgium ☣ Typical Outfit: Dark blue jeans, red sweater over a casual shirt and headphones ☣ Morals: Live for something instead of dying for nothing. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Chill, calm yet cheerful but when mad, ruthless and very serious. Not easy to get mad. Overall, a joker. Helpful, would do anything to help his friends. ☣ Favorite Saying: "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." ☣ Method of Transportation: Bike, running ☣ Education: High Education Senior ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Anything that makes his eardrums go 'I wanna hear more of this'. ☣ Theme Song: Remember the Name by Fort Minor ☣ Favorite Place to Be: On a bench in the park near his house where he can meditate and just think about his life ☣ Present Goals: Being the best friend he's able to be. ☣ Long-Range Goals: Living a good and happy life ☣ Pet?: Husky and a cat (the dog's called Cat and the cat's called Dog, 'cause he thought it was hilarious to call'em that) ☣ Favorite Food(s): Lasagna ☣ Hobby: Rap, writing, biking, and running (sports in general) ☣ Normal Skill: Can eat large amounts of food, excellent musician and songwriter ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Very high concentration [to the point of reading minds, speed [by using Chi], and kinetic absorption. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: This guy doesn't read at all, he loves movies though. ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Casual, has a guitar, posters of favorite bands, mp3 player with speakers, tv, bed, closet and a telephone. ☣ Parents?: Mom and dad ☣ Fears: The end of the world, afraid of losing someone who's dear to him ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: None LOXARE☣ Subject Number: #97 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Karian Morning ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 17 ☣ Date Created: July 23, 2000 [she was subject to some experiments in age advancements] ☣ Height/Weight: 5'11"|135lbs ☣ Body shape: Slender, a swimmer's body ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Bright red curls|Teal blue|Tan ☣ Subject Title: Morning Star ☣ Country: Canada ☣ Typical Outfit::Blue t-shirt over a lavender long-sleeved shirt, jeans, running shoes she got on sale, red scarf ☣ Morals: She just wants to have fun with life and will do anything she has to to do so. She feels that she's been cheated out of her childhood. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Bright, happy, easygoing outside with a hurt and trembling center. She acts bubbly, but this is mostly an act,covering up her childhood scars. However, Karian is always ready to help a friend, should they need it. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Of course I'm weird. Aren't you?" ☣ Method of Transportation: Car or bicycle ☣ Education: High Education. Graduated when she was 15. ☣ Favorite Music Genre: All genres ☣ Theme Song: Stand my ground by Within Temptation ☣ Favorite Place to Be: The ocean, the pool, the lake, anywhere with water ☣ Present Goals: To escape the Center ☣ Long-Range Goals: To be an Olympic swimmer ☣ Pet?: Yes. She has a few hermit crabs named Slate, Annie, and Turtle. ☣ Favorite Food(s): Cedar plank salmon ☣ Hobby: Swimming, reading, video games, watching anime, proving complex equations to Harvard graduates. ☣ Normal Skill: Can speed read a 500 page book in 2 hours, very, very smart (she was born a genius, she wasn't made that way.) ☣ Genetic Enhancements: She can breathe underwater, super accuracy, quick healing. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: Daughter of the Forest ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Blue walls, painted to look underwater. One (nuclear bomb proof) glass wall shows her an actual underwater view. The bed is round and placed in one corner, opposite the glass. The other corner opposite the glass is the door. In the corner opposite from her bed is a large screen TV and a rather large gaming center. Next to that is a very sophisticated sound system and a wall of CD's. The wall in between the bed and the door is filled floor to ceiling with books. The wall in between the bed and the glass has her dresser and her wardrobe. The glass wall itself is completely bare. ☣ Parents?: Karian has both a dad and a mom, Steve and Shelly respectively. She has never met them. ☣ Fears: Being caged, loss of freedom. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: N/A PLUMS☣ Subject Number: #31 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Rosalind "Rosi" Smiths ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 17 ☣ Date Created: October 31, 1994 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'7"|135 lbs ☣ Body shape: Curvy bby ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Blonde | Blue | White ☣ Subject Title: Roro ☣ Country: Switzerland ☣ Typical Outfit: Pink shorts and a t-shirt with the image of the Sorting Hat on it ☣ Morals: Protect your loved ones by keeping them distant. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Caring, Introverted, Loyal, Others come first mentality, believes in the whispers of the dead, Quiet, Commanding presence, Headstrong, Impatient ☣ Favorite Saying: "I am large, I contain multitudes." ☣ Method of Transportation: Scooter ☣ Education: High Education Senior ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Metal ☣ Theme Song: Black Rose, Green Sun ☣ Favorite Place to Be: Library and Coffee Shop ☣ Present Goals: Find her purpose in life ☣ Long-Range Goals: Understand and conquer death ☣ Pet?: Parrot ☣ Favorite Food(s): Seafood ☣ Hobby: Writing, Reading, vegetating in front of a computer screen, memorizing ancient Eldritch runes, drinking coffee, cleaning, jogging. ☣ Normal Skill: Martial arts, Eldritch tongue, rapping (no one knows this) ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Manipulation of space, teleportation, creating portals ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: The Complete Book of Eldritch Might by Monte Cook ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: It's decorated with Hogwarts memorabilia; Gryffindor blankets, Ravenclaw sheets, a Sorting Hat on the dresser, toy replicas of Gryffindor's sword in the closet, and a computer designed to resemble a butterbeer. ☣ Parents?: Mother and father ☣ Fears: That death will mean and be nothing. Just an eternal abyss of emptiness. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: N/A Maka☣ Subject Number: #27 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Jaimie Pedra ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 20 ☣ Date Created: December 13, 1992 (In the dead of winter, mind you.) "HA! I'm older than YOU! Older than dirt, as they say! That there was irony. Heh, irony? Old as dirt? Dah, don't tell me you don't get it!" ☣ Height/Weight 5'2" "What are you looking at, Shorty? Eh?"| "Oh come on now! You poked and prodded me all my life, can't a teen have her privacy?! Oh psh, fine. I'll stop fussin'." 103 lb. ☣ Body Type: Obviously has to be well toned to use her special ability, but she's not ripped like the Incredible Hulk. More like lean toned, subtle muscle underneath her wiry structure of hers. Kind of has girly features, but she feels like she doesn't attract any wandering eyes ☣ Hair|Eye|Skin Color: Fiery red hair [like autumn leaves]|Hazel green eyes with a flare of yellow around the pupils, kind of like a sunflower Cream color, infested with freckles "It's like they have an army going on there!" ☣ Subject Title: The Goddess of Kov "Hey, they were going to call me 'The Iron Maiden' for the longest time. That wasn't going to end well with me!" ☣ Country: Scotland "Oh hell yes, the land of the warriors. FREEDOOOOOM! Sorry, had to make that reference after they showed me that movie." ☣ Typical Outfit: Forest green and black stripped, sleeveless tank top with black biker leather gloves [you know, the fingerless gloves], a worn blue and green twain friendship bracelet tied on her left wrist (never took it off once), a small gold earring in one ear, hair done up in a French braid (Which reaches down to her middle back ["Why can't I call it 'The Scottish Braid?!'"]), wears either a baseball cap or a bandanna (both of them dark green) over her hair to keep the loose hairs back, but still has little wisps of red hair curled by the side of her face, black short shorts that reach to the middle of her thigh [Rolled up at the bottom and has a lot of intricate pockets with a chain hooked to one of the belt loops that disappears in one of the pockets], black combat calf-length boots with bright green laces, a dragon pendant she got at a Renaissaince Festival she was able to go to once when she was just a wee lass (the dragon is wrapped around a green jewel in the shape of a sphere), and a metal bracelet made from an asteroid on her right wrist (a gift from her mentors for a job well done with her progress and training).☣ Morals: "Do unto others as you would have others do to you. If you push someone around, expect to get clobbered back. If ya punch me, expect to have yer head mounted on a pig poll by mornin'." ☣ Charastics of Subject: As everyone can see, Jaimie is the fiery, loud sort. Despite her age, she acts like she's five to six years younger than that from time to time. She'll jump at any chance for adventure and thrill, and is not afraid to get down and dirty if she has to. She's also not afraid to express herself, and she always finds the best in life's worse. She's not afraid to speak her mind, which gets her in trouble almost all the time, but she's willing to take the consequences of her actions. Jaimie knows she's not perfect, nor is she a complete super human. She knows she has her weaknesses, and so respects others who pushes through their own tough situations, leaning from them. Once she makes a friend and they get past her tough exterior, they'll find that Jaimie is the caring, loving, loyal type. If someone is having a bad day, she finds a way to cheer them up in some way whether it's to sit there and take their brooding or do something with them to cheer them up. She's the unpredictable sort, so some times everyone is clueless of what she's really feeling in a certain situation. Jaimie hates to let others see her cry. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Screw the rules, I have money." "Come at me with all ya got."|"Everyone with your fists raised high, lemme hear your battle cry tonight!" ("It's not really my saying, but I'd like to think it's mine.") ☣ Method of Transportation: "HA! You you think they trust this fiery lass with a set of keys?!" Her own two feet or her skateboard. ☣ Education: University, Freshman (Jaimie is really smart, smarter than she lets on. She's studying chemistry to try to enhance her metal abilities, but also studying biology as a second major.) ☣ Favorite Music Genre: "Must I choose just one?" She likes them all, except rap. It's nothing but senseless babble to her. ☣ Theme Song: Frontline, by Pillar ☣ Favorite Place to Be: On an island in the middle of the lake, not too far away from The Center. There is a grove of willows bunch together that she made a little fort out of. No one can see into it, and there's plenty of room for her to train, think, and do pretty much what ever she wants. She has an area where there's an open roof so she could see the stars at night, and little tunnels and "rooms" that protect her from the elements if it's storming. She gets there by paddling her canoe over, or swim in the freezing water (If the scientist take her boat away for punishment reasons) ☣ Present Goals: Get better, get stronger, make friends along the way. ☣ Long-ranged Goals: Survive, live life to the fullest. ☣ Pet?: "I think they're afraid to even give me a cotton ball." ☣ Favorite Food(s): Black olives "I like to stick them on my fingers. They make my hand look like an alien.", mushrooms, Asian apples "A cross breed between an apple and a pear. Random and different is what I like.", shrimp, Oreos, hot chocolate, watermelon, rice, cooked mix veggies, and Twix ☣ Hobbies: Skateboarding, acting out theatrical acts with different voices (Whether it's on Broadway, a Musical, or from Disney), playing video games like Final Fantasy XII (She has a little geek in her), fencing, Krav Miga (Israel's karate), beading, drawing anime, whittling, listening to music on her iPod Nano, and singing (if no one else is around to here her, because she feels like she can't carry a tune to save her life). ☣ Normal Skills: Knows Krav Miga and only uses it when she's stuck in a corner, basic video game skills, can survive off of the land if it's required of her, and pack a good punch. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: The ability to control metal and anything related to combination of it thereof (can bend it, shape it, move it, make armor out of it by walking through it, what ever she has to do to fight)|Phasing (can't go through walls over seven feet thick, and she can only do it at least six times in a half hour. If she pushes herself too much, she'll wear herself out and possibly collapse.)|Empathy (but she hates to pry, so she doesn't use that one very often. Unless she wants to get out and the scientists don't let her) ☣ Favorite and Last Read Book: Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner and Princess Academy by Shannon Hale "And they're not your ol' fluffy princesses in a Disney cartoon!" ☣ What's the bedroom like?: Large and spacious, has replica of Excalibur tacked above her window facing the east, a poster bed that has deep purple curtains that circle her bed (Though she doesn't like to be completely closed in, so she keeps the curtains back or leaves at least one side of the bed open), a homemade blue, pink, yellow, purple, and green striped quilt she received from an old woman when she was younger, a punching bag hanging in the middle of rooms, movie posters of Green Lantern, Chronicles of Narnia, Bleach, Smurfs, Jack Sparrow, and other posters like Pillar, dragons, and all sorts of things she finds interesting pasted in a collage on her wall (also cuts out words and sayings and more pictures out from her magazines and has them on the posters and every where), glow-in-the-dark stars pasted on her ceiling (put her favorite constellations up there), has a sturdy oak desk by the west window to study her Education work with a sweet stereo sitting on top, a lumpy red couch to flop on with a small TV in front of it with a PS3 hooked up to it right by the door of her room with a round fuzzy blue rug in front of it (the TV that is), a cherry wood nightstand with a little desk water fountain on top that soothes her so she could sleep, has a rotating fan in the corner close to her bed that's always on (to create white noise. She hates the silence), and a ceiling fan that has glow-in-the-dark-stars plastered on the blades so it looks like an alien space ship when the lights are out and it has little keychain trinkets from all sorts of Disney movies and anime movies alike hanging off of the rope you pull to turn on the ceiling fan light, and the other to turn the fan on and off. Her room is kept somewhat clean most of the time, but her bed can have books and other things piled on it if she's too tired (or too lazy) to clean it up. ☣ Parents?: "Mum and dad? Nah, I'm my own parent! I mean, I'm not like those animals that make their own... Okay, disturbing image. I dunno. They've been telling me they died the day after I was born." ☣ Fears: "Heh, I'm not afraid to die, that's for sure!", Spiders ("Nasty varmints!ACK!"), failing any mission (for the scientists and for friends), tight enclosed spaces that she can't get out of ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: The only time Jaimie looses it and breaks down is when she is trapped in a room she can barely move in, being pushed underwater and can't get out, and for some reason smokey enclosed rooms freak her out. Fire though, she loves to get near it. As for her friendship bracelet, it was given to her by a wee lass, many years ago when they tried to see what would happen if they put two subjects together. JAYN☣ Subject Number: #69. ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Alyssa White ☣ Gender: Female. ☣ Physical Age: 19. ☣ Date Created: January, 3rd 1992. ☣ Height/Weight: 5'7"|130 lbs ☣ Body shape: She's fuller than she'd like, around the thigh and chest area, but her waist is average. Her stomach is flat... Flat enough. ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Black curly hair. It falls down past her shoulders, when straightened|Her eyes are golden brown|Her skin tone is a pale, whipped cream color. ☣ Subject Title: Wonderland ☣ Country: South Korea. ☣ Typical Outfit: Here. ☣ Morals: She has strict moral code and always tries to do what's right; She's quite outspoken about her beliefs, though she's quiet until provoked. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Proper, practical, logical. ☣ Favorite Saying: "Peace~" in replacement of later, bye, all of that. ☣ Method of Transportation: AN ADORABLE MINI COOPER. ☣ Education: College, Freshman ☣ Favorite Music Genre: J-pop, K-pop. ☣ Theme Song: Everlasting by BoA ☣ Favorite Place to Be: The library. ☣ Present Goals: Live, survive, drone onward. ☣ Long-Range Goals: She wants to be the very best, that no one ever was. // Srsly, she'd like to feel like she belongs somewhere. ☣ Pet?: No pet. ☣ Favorite Food(s): Noodles, noodles and more noodles. Any type, but she hate spicy food. ☣ Hobby: She is a musician, so she sings. A lot. ☣ Normal Skill: She's good at math! ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Noise control. The ability to drown other's out, mute her own thoughts and direct sound waves at a person. Without god modding. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: She doesn't like to read anything much more than blogs and junk. ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Pretty in pink. Fluffy and girly. Smells like bath and body works. ☣ Parents?: Both parents are still alive. ☣ Fears: Rats, flies. Death. FIRE☣ Subject Number: #67 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Mei Feng ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 19 ☣ Date Created: April 4, 1993 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'1"/115 ("Yes, I know I'm short. It's the genes. Be quiet." ) ☣ Body shape: Skinny curvyish? ("Uh... I guess I'm healthy and look pretty enough...") ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Black/Brown/Pale ☣ Subject Title: Dian Jiao (Lightning Bird) ☣ Country: China ☣ Typical Outfit: For formal events, a red qi pao (Chinese dress). For all other occasions, comfortable loose fitting jeans and a comfortable t-shirt. ("Comfort is better than style.") ☣ Morals: Always try to do what's right. Though be aware that there are shades of grays. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Extremely loyal and empathetic to others due to her strict yet caring upbringing. She tries her best to help in any way she can (as she was taught to do), though mostly she follows orders carefully to the best of her ability. Unfortunately, the subject can be fairly clueless at times and is prone to forget various things, be it tasks, orders, or objects. Though this is a minor glitch in the otherwise perfect subject. She can be shy at times, but also somewhat loud and is overall a fairly caring person. However, the kindness could be a shell over how she truly feels about the world. It has been noted that though she can be empathetic, the subject is also very apathetic. We blame this on hormones. Because the subject is a girl and has such shifting emotions, subject can also be very carefree but also stressed. Though the stress seems to only linger on the surface. She is not really feeling that stressed out. ☣ Favorite Saying: What're you talking about? / Huh? / Oh be quiet, you! / Hmmm...interesting... / I can't remember. / I don't know. / I forgot. / Are you all right? / SUUUUCK. / It'll be all right. ☣ Method of Transportation: Walking ( It's free ). Car ( Much faster. ) ☣ Education: Subject has been educated at the center but would be a college freshman. ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Rock ☣ Theme Song: Summer Daze by Wong Fu x Harry Shum Jr. ☣ Favorite Place to Be: Wherever there's internet. ("I think I've turned into a bit of a recluse. I've certainly sold my soul to the internet.") ☣ Present Goals: Beat FFX ("The scientists decided to be a little less strict with me. The previous subject went insane when they pushed them too hard, so they tell me.") ☣ Long-Range Goals: Help the world. ☣ Pet?: Nope. ("They said I wasn't responsible enough. True.") ☣ Favorite Food(s): Anything that's edible and not gross. ("Wasting food is bad.") ☣ Hobby: Playing video games, reading manga, reading books, learning about medicine, learning new recipes ☣ Normal Skill: Can cook a bit ("It's a work in progress."), is trained in some kung fu ("At least I'm fast enough to dodge most attacks."), knows some first aid as well as other things about the human body (Such as locations of arteries and pressure points. This is also a work in progress.) Knows a few languages, mainly English, Mandarin Chinese, and beginning to work on European languages as well as Latin. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Mainly control of electricity. Can paralyze with small focused shocks in the muscles screwing up a person's nervous system for a time. Can produce electricity if the subject focuses intensely. (It's also a work in progress) Because of this ability, she also knows tai chi to better control it. ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: Witch and Wizard by James Patterson ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Plain white with a few wall scroll posters and a carpeted floor. Desk with her beloved laptop in the corner. ("I'm not a creative person.") ☣ Parents?: "I was given up. *shrug* It was the law and this was one of the choices." ☣ Fears: Failing, Being alone forever with no friends, Monsters (Supernatural stuff is scary all right?) ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Subject has been fairly innocent despite spending a great deal of time on the internet. Her mentality is to be as little mind-scarred as possible. A great feat for one who deals with the internet a lot. ???☣ Subject Number: #5 ☣ What is the Subjects Name?: Claire ☣ Gender: Female ☣ Physical Age: 20 ☣ Date Created: May 27, 1992 ☣ Height/Weight: 5'7"|141 lbs ☣ Hair | Eye | Skin color: Dark brown, almost black| Blue | Pale ☣ Subject Title: The Variable Dreamscape ☣ Country: Sweden ☣ Body shape: Leaning towards fit, with a little extra weight for her height. Slightly curvaceous because of it. ☣ Typical Outfit: she wears: Varies greatly. She prefers comfortable clothes above all else, though she likes colorful clothes if light and shades of gray if dark. Prefers jeans or shorts to other kinds of pants. ☣ Morals: She does not believe in morality. If anything, what pleases her most is the basis of her morality. While she may appear to have a complex honor code, it is only because these standards please her most, and not because she believes they are right. ☣ Characteristics of Subject: Multifaceted. When left to her own devices, she has a tendency to get obsessed with whatever she is doing, especially if it includes problem solving. She loves riddles of all kinds, and poetry and artistic writing are her favorite mediums. Externally, charisma and egotism are her defining traits. She greatly enjoys conflict, takes great pride in persuading even the most staunch of people, and generally loves to stir things up. She is hard to predict because she sometimes shows deep regret for her actions and can even be caring at times, and in others ruthless and unsympathetic. She has a god complex and is extremely possessive of her things. Tendency to sexualize things needlessly, she seems obsessed with pleasure and sensation, showing more of her hedonistic nature. She especially enjoys melodic music, in contrast with her otherwise violent and chaotic personality. ☣ Favorite Saying: "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." ~ Oscar Wilde ☣ Method of Transportation: Car. She does not have exotic tastes, though she would not be above stealing something. ☣ Education: Graduated, independent study. ☣ Favorite Music Genre: Folk, melodic. ☣ Theme Song: Evil by Andrew Jackson Jihad ☣ Favorite Place to Be: Alone or with a select friend on a country road at night. ☣ Present Goals: - ☣ Long-Range Goals: - ☣ Pet?: A black cat, gender unspecified. ☣ Favorite Food(s): Spicy rice and home made pizza. She loves to work with her hands. ☣ Hobby: Reading or playing a strategy/puzzle game. ☣ Normal Skill: Very good at puzzles and strategy. More than planning, she knows how to adapt to new things and use them intuitively. Her charisma makes it very easy for her to persuade people. ☣ Genetic Enhancements: Ability to alter others and her own perceptions; works best if she is touching them and even better if knows them well | The first ability grows with her emotional involvement, can become mental projection | Ability to influence minds while sleeping; enter dreams; especially strong by touch, though not needed ☣ Favorite and/or Last Read Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. ☣ Describe Their Bedroom: Kind of frilly, she likes her beds to be soft and inviting in case she has any visitors, with a large wooden headboard. Colors vary, though she seems to like pink more than the others. Other than that, her room is relatively small with black bookshelves lining at least one side and a modest collection of favorites next to her bedside desk. There are some CDs on the desk, and in the centeris her laptop. On the other side is her wardrobe, which is not terribly full but still far from empty. It is rather minimalist for a bedroom, so the bed stands out in the center of the room. You might see her most recent novel on a small wooden nightstand, an old brown lamp sitting above it. Cozy if eccentric, you would wonder who decorated this room and why they bothered to make everything so different. ☣ Parents?: No parents right now, but she has vague memories of them from when she was a kid, maybe five. Never showed much interest in them aside from the occasional memory. They were nice people, but did not influence her greatly, not having been involved her for very long. ☣ Fears: Losing. She fears losing, so she fears getting attached to things, and if she does, then she fears losing it more than anything. ☣ Additional Notes on Subject: Due to her abilities, she is often unsure of her reality; deep feelings derealization hit her whenever she encounters something that seems too perfect. [T H E C H A P T E R S] [I N T R O D U C T I O N] Spoiler "Does it fit you alright?" asked a boy with black hair, placing his hand on the fragile shoulder next to him, "Are you sure it's alright?" Next to him, the girl with near-white, blonde hair put her hand on top of the boy's; she gave a soft giggle, "I told you it was fine." she said to him gently. The two of them looked back at the small crowd of adults that were watching them, one of them holding a remote in which the young man glared at with a fire in his eyes. Usually, he was such a calm person, but when it came to his companion's protection, he was basically anything but. Still, there was no use in getting riled up - that's exactly what the collars were for; to control them, to get them to do what the adults wanted them to do. To obey. "Logan, Nico," called one of the men who wore a white lab coat and held a bullhorn, "Are you prepared?" The boy with black hair, the one named Logan, raised his hand and waved down at the whitecoats. He grabbed the girl's hand, "Ready Nico?" he asked with a smooth grin on his face. The girl's pale green eyes lit and she smiled lightly, "Let's go," The two teenagers broke contact and spread apart with about thirty or forty feet of space in between the both of them. They stood on top of a building; why, you might ask? No, they weren't crazy, no, they weren't suicidal, and no, they weren't "bungee-jumping". They were doing what they did best - being freaks of nature. Nico glanced over at her friend who gave her a relaxed wave and a thumbs up; she waved back at him timidly like always and then the two of them focused on what was in front of them. "Ready . . ." began the man with the bullhorn, "Three . . . two . . . one . . . GO!" Logan and Nico shot from their spots, not with extraordinary speed, but certainly with light feet. Closer and closer the two of them drew towards the edge of a building which was set on the fringe of a forest in a warmer part of Russia. Within the next few seconds, the both of them leaped off of twelve stories, falling at dangerous speeds. The blonde girl snapped her neck over to look at her friend who seemed to be having yet another adrenaline rush as they fell to their deaths. Logan whipped his arms about himself and was then encased in silky, black threads of darkness. Before the black took him over entirely, Nico saw him grin widely at her - Here we go . . . ! he thought in excitement. She threw out one hand in Logan's direction as his shell of darkness began to melt away into the surroundings that whistled by their ears. Right before the last drop of black was gone, a square shaped hole appeared five feet below it, quickly engulfing the microscopic drop of shadow. Down on solid ground below, the observers jotted notes down and closely watched the two teenagers, one of which had fallen into a square hole, and the other still going down. Nico was now twenty feet from death. Fifteen, ten, five - Right before she became a pale pancake in the Russian sun, her entire body was snapped upwards and a few of her joints were popped. Hoisted by seemingly nothing, the girl bobbed up and down while in a bridal-style position, dangling in the air for a few seconds. A few seconds too long, that is. A painful electric sting shot through her entire body and she cringed into herself. When she opened her eyes, recovering from the pain, she was looking at a teeth-gritting Logan whose gray eyes nearly shot lasers down to the people on ground level, but instead of setting Nico down and going after their creators, he sighed, shook his head, and gave an easy smile to his friend. About five seconds later, he dropped her. You may think he's crazy, you may think he's not, but he did know what he was doing. The two of them did meaningless tests like this all of the time, it was pretty much something they were used to . . . Still, that didn't exactly mean that they liked doing tricks like trained animals in the first place - the both of them had almost died so many times in the last fifteen years of their life that the death penalty would be a blessing on their artificial lives. Logan's black-feathered wings kept him high in the sky as he watched his falling friend, waiting to see what shape she would do this next time. He smiled to himself, she always liked to have a little bit of fun with her portal creation every now and then; just watching her sometimes made him smile. Oh that's right, you might have missed that, his wings . . . He had wings, and he's had wings ever since he was born. Or created, or hatched possibly, however you would like to look at it. They weren't natural, of course, but they might as well have been, considering they were in his artificial embryo. He and Nico would have been normal fake babies if it weren't for all of the DNA restructuring that scientist-freaks did to them when they were nothing but little eggs in tubes. Test-tube babies, if you will. Still, that was for later in time . . . While falling to her death once again, Nico threw both of her hands out in front of her and began to focus on the shape of a teacup in the white of her mind. When she opened her eyes again, an opening in the shape of teacup was rushing towards her, and soon enough, she plummeted through. The black-haired nineteen-year-old soon landed gently onto the cement near the group of scientists as he looked about ten feet above his head, shielding his eyes from the afternoon sun. He watched easily as he saw a pair of white wings fly out to either side of the tiny frame that hung above them all. The body in the air soared and he grinned, the body dove, and he grinned even wider. Nico landed lightly right next to her friend and she folded her snowy-white wings slightly as Logan did the same to his black pair. The both of them turned their attention to the whitecoats and waited for their next command. When none came, they frowned at each other; usually, they were put through so many more stunts than only one - why were the evil doctors stopping now? The scientists began consulting among themselves for a good ten minutes while Logan and Nico waited patiently. Man . . . I hope I can find my iPod soon . . . Logan thought, rubbing the back of his neck. Last week, he'd lost his iPod thanks to Subject #51 getting loose; the guy practically rampaged all over The Center - it was one helluva nightmare it was, and he'd lost his iPod in the process. Still, what happened to that poor ******* . . . That's just wrong. But it was the way The Center worked, it had always been the way they worked. Science was a funny thing - making new discoveries beyond imagination, but at a terrible price sometimes. He shook his head and sighed as Nico smiled at him. The whitecoats finally finished their little huddle and turned to the two teenagers, "You are dismissed." Dr. Martovolisk said to the both of them, "You are allowed to leave, but you must be back by nine." Logan decided that the rest of what ol' Marty wanted to tell them wasn't really important, so he grabbed Nico's hand, "Alright, thanks for letting us off early doc." he said with a cheery smile, "We'll be back by nine." And he began to pull Nico along. "Will we be looking for a cafe?" she asked softly as the two began at a running start, "I really want to find another good one since Subject #89 burned down the other one . . ." They broke contact and began running in different directions, their opposite-colored wings expanding gracefully, nearly sixteen feet across on the both of them. When they were in the air, Logan smiled easy, "Sure, we'll find a new cafe." he told her. In the world, there are two kinds of secrets; there are secrets, and then there are secrets. What no one knows is that among the normal people, some of the most powerful beings walk the earth in plain sight, looking just like any other, acting just like any other. The normal people don't know that they go to Education with, are friends with, have talked to, have had crushes on not normal people - aren't even considered people sometimes. But it's alright, because the less people that know, the better off the abnormal are. It wasn't exactly as if the freaks of nature that roamed the earth were going to be amidst society for much longer anyway - no, they had an interesting future in store for them, one they might not come out of alive, and the normal people . . . ? They won't even know a thing. [C H A P T E R O N E] Spoiler The United States As long as they don't make me do anything today, I'll be just fine. The teenager thought as he rested on his bed, one hand behind his head and the other throwing a tennis ball against the white walls of his room. Still, he was pretty bored. He wondered to himself exactly what the heck were the whitecoat freaks thinking? Days off were few and far between â€“ they almost never happened. Maybe they had found a new toy to play with, some other poor kid who was stolen from a hospital â€“ or worse . . . given up. What kinda parents just gave up their kids anyway? That was just messed up â€“ he hated people like that. His stomach growled and he caught the tennis ball but didn't throw it again. Lucas sat up and threw his feet over the side of his bed, observing the Legend of Zelda poster that he had snagged from a GameStop on the other side of town way back when he was a little thieving freak of nature. Now he was just a freak of nature who happened to like spaghetti. There's this nice little place in Little Italy . . . the teenager thought as he ran a hand through his light brown hair; he was pretty hungry now that he thought about it. The food that they served at The Center was crap, almost as bad as the sorry excuse of a lunch that they served at Education. Lucas stood from his bed, rubbed the back of his neck tiredly, and made his way over to the little radio that hung out by his door, â€œHey Doc,â€ he began lazily, â€œLemme get out for a bit.â€ Moments passed an all he heard were a few discussing voices in the background. He began tapping his foot on the ground, making sure the whitecoats would be able to hear it, grinning to himself all the while. â€œLucas, you're permitted to leave,â€ said Dr. Jermone's voice, â€œBut you must return by eight.â€ Man, always so early with these guys, get up early, come back early, do training early. Early, early, early. He hated early, but, â€œWhatever you say boss.â€ he replied with a grin, not even bothering to wait for the doc to reply again. Besides, he deserved a bit of freedom, especially with what happened yesterday with him and Subject #36 . . . Lucas shivered slightly when the door that was reinforced with lead and steel slid open. The brown-haired boy started down the hall with his hands in his pockets, passing several doors like his own, one square window and reinforced to be nearly impenetrable. Unfortunately, just because the doors were sound proof, didn't mean you couldn't hear what was going on through the walls. It was what went on inside the room that everyone knew about, but didn't mention. Lucas kept his blue eyes forward. Once, when he was younger, he had made the mistake of looking through one of the windows. What he saw that day was forever burned into his mind â€“ it was the results of the whitecoats forcing that subject to do what the subject didn't want to. That's why he vowed to himself that all he ever wanted to do was live his life his own way, get out of The Center, and grow to be a happy, slightly freakish, old man. He cringed slightly when he heard a bloodcurdling scream of terror and fear, but he kept walking. There was nothing he could do. Not by himself anyway. The teenager started sprinting down the hall, little by little actually picking up speed. He needed to get out, needed to be free of this place. And even if it wasn't permanent now, it would be some day soon. That much he could say. France It wasn't exactly anything big, or anything like that really, but it did give him an advantage over his opponents, and that was all he needed. He was, after all, the pride of The Center - he couldn't help that. Sometimes actions were all Subject #44 needed to make his opponents feel like utter ****. Then again, it's not like they weren't that anyway - compared to him at least, but why tell them that when you can show them? His enemy was strong, check. Bigger than him, check. Fast enough to dodge a rock, not check. When his opposition started taunting him and yelling at him, he ignored it, only focusing on the thirty-five pound rock he was lifting from behind him with his mind. Yes, you read that right, with - his -mind. Unfortunately, he couldn't lift anything that was over forty pounds, his telekinesis wasn't that strong, but coupled with his strategic mind, forty pounds was more than enough to knock even the biggest of them down. His green eyes flashed as a pretty big rock hurled over his head towards the other subject who had started running towards him - like the idiot the other guy is, he'll add. The boy watched with a blank expression as the rock squished the other guy. When the deed was done, the teenager glanced over to one of The Center's many windows, trying to find his doctor-whitecoat-chick. He still hadn't found her when a loud voice sounded, "Well done Jean." said his doctor, Doc Bellrie. Bellrie was a pretty nice woman, and fortunately for him, she was easily persuaded; it was people like her that made his semi-there mind-control a piece of cake. The ironic thing about that was Dr. Bellrie was the one who had suggested the mind-control thing. Greatest. Present. Ever. Other than that writing desk that he got when he was five, that is. Jean cupped his hands around his mouth, "Hey doc!" he called back as loud as he could, "Whaddaya want me to do with this guy?" "Don't worry Jean," Bellrie responded with a smile obvious in her voice, "He will be reengineered and and altered for next time." He ran a hand through his hair, suddenly tired. He was better than the guy he just pounded, sure, but that didn't mean he wanted to keep fighting him and fighting him. Every time the other guy would be beaten, he'd be taken back to the lab and improved, then put to the test again. Eventually, Jean feared, he was going to be outmatched. "Doc," he called back, "You can't keep doing that to the poor guy! Do it any more and he's gonna lose his humanity!" Another voice replied to his comment, "Like you, Monsieur Veltan?" ****, it's Doc Langtreis . . . Jean thought, rubbing the back of his pale, almost white neck, That guy hates me. "Keep your opinions to yourself Monsieur Veltan," the other doctor then said, "You were created to fight, not to think." Jean couldn't help but sigh. He hated this place. He hated what this place was all about. Still, he wouldn't worry about that right now, he was still thinking about that kitten he saw in town. He'd been meaning to get one for a long time, but he was worried that the scientists would take it and turn it into a monster or something. Just like him. But probably less tame. Or something like that anyway. Italy The young girl sighed. That was one of the most uncomfortable tests she had ever been through; she had almost never hated anything so much in her life. Then again, keyword: almost. She was the youngest person that took the test today, everyone else was fifteen or older, she was only thirteen. Sure, she might have been a little taller than your average fifteen year old, but that was no reason to stick her in with the older people to swim! Not to mention they had to wear bathing suits! Then again, Dr. Vespucci said that they were lucky they were allowed to wear anything at all. Her pale skin grew goosebumps as she shivered. She was already self-conscious enough, no need to add onto that! But she sighed again and laid back onto her soft bed, staring up at her white ceiling. She played with the ice in her hands, not paying attention to it, but making different shapes; a star, a heart, a horse, a funny hat . . . She was actually working on sculpting Tom Mason from Falling Skies. She really liked that show; it was the only reason she had a television in her room in the first place. She giggled to herself; she remembered begging Dr. Viaca to let her have it after the show premiered and she watched half of the first episode at a department store in the city. It was the next best thing that she had gotten next to her dog Nemo, which had been given to her for her tenth birthday. Nemo, besides the other stuff she had in her room, was the only thing that made her happy. The Center wasn't exactly like that place that she had seen on TV . . . What was it called? "The happiest place on Earth," and there was in Paris, France. The Center was the exact opposite of that. It was the most . . . Well, she couldn't think of the word now, but it was the opposite of happiest. And no, it wasn't "saddest", it was a lot darker than that. A lot darker. Her dog yipped happily as he rubbed against her leg, doggy-smiling at her ice figurines. At least someone likes them . . . Because the other day, some jerk, Subject #5 from Sweden had told her that her figurines were annoying that she probably shouldn't try to pursue a career in singing because it was annoying too. What did she know? [a/n: rep for anyone who can guess who I'm talking about on KHV. c:] She scowled down at her latest figuring and let it melt; Nemo whined. Right before she was going to make another one, someone came over the intercom, "Adriana, Dr. Vespucci would like to see you." The blue-haired girl blinked her blue eyes. And by the way, the hair was natural - so be jealous. What did the doctor want now? Hopefully he didn't want her to do another test with older people again - the first one was so embarrassing . . . "Umm . . ." Adriana began in an unsure and shy tone, "C-could you tell me what for?" she asked. Then again, she knew better than to ask a scientist why they did anything. The only reason she would ever get was 'For science's sake itself.' For a man in a white lab coat, that was the only reason they ever needed. About ten or fifteen minutes later, the blue-eyed girl was standing in front of Dr. Vespucci's desk. She really, really hoped she wasn't in trouble. She didn't get in a lot of it often, but she remembered the last time she did, it was awful. A nightmare; she never wanted to see fire again in her life. "We were just discussing your grades #16," the doctor began, and the young girl prepared herself for the worst - it was about Education, that ought to be punishment enough. Would they bring the fire back? Would the make her stare up at the black ceiling for hours again? She was just about ready to cry. "You did very well on your report card," Vespucci finally told her and her feelings of anguish immediately disappeared and her face lit. "Really?" she asked with bright eyes. The doctor nodded, no smile or any praise on his face - a man not easily impressed, but accepts mild cases every so often, "You're allowed out again. Be back by seven, alright?" Adriana couldn't be happier today. Then again, it was only today. Tomorrow . . . Who knew what was coming . . . Japan She looked up at Dr. Origama, or as she thought of him - Mr. Origami. She hated that guy with a passion, she wanted to turn his face into an origami. Unfortunately, that would just end with her being put in a water tank like last time because 'of her attitude'. Honestly, it was just one little back talk, that was it, she swore! But no, the scientists loved torturing her - loved torturing all of them, all 'for the sake of science'. A very ridiculous reason, if you asked her. With a sigh, she adjusted the sleeve of her hot pink sweater. It was her favorite because it always ticked off the doctors; they said it hurt their eyes. She found it funny. Still, she didn't want to be put in that tank again - that was the last thing she wanted, so for now, she would comply. Holding out her hand, she focused on the heat around her, even though it wasn't really that hot. She was always taught to concentrate on what heat was around her, even if it was ten below zero. In that case, she would use her own body heat which was a bit like using her life force and like every ability, it could kill her. What was new? There were always downsides to things that were great. A baby-small flame sparked in her hand and didn't get any bigger or smaller - it was almost microscopic. This was where her other hand came in; she brought it up to cup around the flame and she then divided her focus - a very hard practice, but achievable. Right as she was about to harness the flame even more, Mr. Origami spoke. "That's enough for today Aki." he said from the upstairs. In surprise, the girl cut her palm, "Ow!" she exclaimed in pain. There it was, another downside. The wind she was using in her other hand was very sharp - do you get that? Wind is actually very sharp; a person like you wouldn't be able to use it because your body wasn't genetically altered to utilize wind, therefore, your body is immune to its sharpness. Her's, however, was not, so if she wasn't careful, it would cut her, just like it did now. Dammit . . . she thought, trying to keep the sleeve of her sweater from getting stained. What the heck was Origami thinking? That was one of the shortest ability-runs she had ever had - obviously, that didn't happen much, "Doctor?" she asked curiously as the flame died on the ground after she'd dropped it. "You're released early today, you may do as you like." he told her as he turned away, "You have to be back by eight. You are dismissed." Her blue eyes flashed in confusion as she watched the whitecoat walk away, but she quickly snapped out of it and grinned, "No, no," she began, "You're dismissed." Although he probably didn't hear her. Still, it was pretty strange for them to let her go early . . . Maybe they had another poor subject to attend to. And, as if right on cue, someone in another part of the hall screamed. About an hour later, Aki sat under a tree in the park across from The Center - they basically hid that place in plain sight. No one even paid it a second thought once they saw it. The adults at The Center were just that good. And just that evil. Since no one paid it a second thought, they never heard the screams at night, the psychotic laughing, the blood splashing on the windows as one subject was forced to kill another - or one subject just killed another for the hell of it. She hated The Center. But the only thing she thought about at this moment was Pride and Prejudice; Jane Austen was a very good author, and Aki had read some of her other works like Emma, Sense and Sensibilities, Mansfield Park . . . With the current book she read, she was almost done with it - she'd started it just a little over and hour ago and she was half-way done already. From ever since she was young, she'd taught herself to speed read, it was good when she had nothing to do - and a lot of the times, that was often - she had a bookshelf in her room that was drowning in all kinds of novels and comics and manga. She loved to read; couldn't you guess? The pink and black-haired girl paused for a second as her attention turned to her sliced palm - really, the cut wasn't that bad, but she shouldn't have it in the first place, she shouldn't even be able to control wind in the first place. All around her were normal people who had no control over the wind, and yet never got cut. The Center . . . they had turned her into this. [C H A P T E R T W O] Spoiler Ireland "No," the girl with red hair began in irritation to the boy next to her, "I don't think you're cute, so leave. You really don't want to make me angry." The nameless boy looked a bit poutish, but when the girl gave him a killer glare, he flinched away. No girl, human or not, should have a stare that went straight into his soul - or something like that . . . He quickly turned away. As soon as the irritating stranger was gone, the girl sighed in exhaustion and flopped back onto the cool white sands of the beach. She loved it here, it was one of the places where she could relax - not be herself, but . . . not being herself is an alright thing. It's a freak-of-nature thing, you wouldn't understand. One of the best things about the beach was the end of another day; people left, they didn't want to catch their deaths or anything like that, and she loved it when she was alone. To her, running along the shore was one of the most amazing feelings in the entire world; she felt so free, so unconstrained, so . . . non-Centerish. Back "home", she was anything but, and the thought that other people in the world were subject to the same horrors she was wasn't exactly a comfort to her. Yes, others in the world, not in just Ireland. Once, a while back, she had met this girl named Rosalynn Sosa, another subject from England. It happened when Vertigo Industries was doing their annual subject exchange, where, between the many Centers of the world, subjects were swapped between the countries for research, to see the differences, to help with flaws, to find out flaws, to improve. "Lynn", as the girl said to call her, had been tested on many things and was temporarily swapped with one Subject #56, who had completely lost it and set an entire corridor in The Center with poison and plants. It was then that she met her. They quickly became good friends, despite some of their clashing views, and Lynn had made her something of a less pessimistic person. Yet, even with all of that good friendship that they showed to the scientists, she and her friend were separated, and she knew it was forever. "Don't worry, we'll see each other again Ada," Lynn had told her with a smile. That girl really had a big heart, one so big that she even had gotten through to Ada herself, which, mind you, was no small feat. Her pocket began to vibrate and she cringed at the unwelcome feeling, quickly pulling out her phone, Oh . . . Dr. Nolan is calling . . . But really, did they have to build something that shocked into the phone? She quickly answered it before it could vibrate again, "Doctor . . .?" she asked. "It's time to come back Ada." Nolan told her sternly, "You've been out for far too long," Silently, Ada scoffed. He acted like she stayed out for more than two or three hours, which never happened because the whitecoats didn't want her running away. She should. She should do it right now. Leave The Center and never go - "Ada." came Dr. Nolan's voice, "I wouldn't even think of it if I were you." The redhead sighed, How do they do that . . .? she thought to herself with tiredness, "Fine." she huffed, "I'm on my way back." Chocolate . . . she thought as she started running back home. Maybe they would have some chocolate for her. She loved chocolate, sometimes more than her life itself - if that's what you could call her existence. One day, she would leave The Center. And then she could find her brother. I'll find you Rue. England "You're improving." Dr. Chillcott told the girl with dark brown curls who was panting slightly, "That's three more walls than yesterday." Lynn, as she was known amongst a few of the other subjects collapsed back into the chair. Concentration was more hard work than you would think, especially when science freaks were getting you to breech a person's mind through about eight walls of steel, cement, and lead. Go on, you've been dared to try that with your mind - watching your head explode would be wonderful entertainment for the scientists. The girl wiped some of the sweat off of her forehead, not even bothering to look at Chillcott. Sometimes, he took bland facial expressions as something else than what they actually were. He was a bit of an over dramatic man, so Lynn barely ever spared a look at him. Really, all she wanted to do right now was go back to her room and sleep. They had been working her ragged all day and she only wanted to rest, maybe have a Panini or something as well . . . Still, knowing the scientists, she wouldn't want to show any signs of weakness; they didn't like that. If they ever did find out that she was just too tired, they'd take her back to the lab and probably have her taken apart and prodded at, then switched all around. Probably into a whole different person. Either that, or they would stick her in solitary confinement with snakes. She visibly swallowed and Dr. Chillcott immediately looked at her, "Is there something wrong, Miss Sosa?" Lynn clasped her hands together happily in her lap and smiled brightly at the whitecoat, "Of course not Dr. Chillcott, I'm perfectly fine!" And now that she thought about it, she really was alright, just a bit tired, "Would you like me to do anything else for you? Do you need help in the lab maybe? Or . . . with some of the other subjects?" Most of the doctors had always been nice to her, showing kindness unlike some of the others she had seen. She really had a big heart, so most of the time, she was nice to them, always kind of wanting to be of some sort of use in any way she could - as long as it meant keeping her body safe from needles and scapula. Most of the time, it worked. Rosalynn waited patiently as Dr. Chillcott thumbed through the rest of his paperwork, "That is all you need to do for the day Miss Sosa," he told her finally, looking down at her, "You can return to your room and rest or go out if you'd like." The girl's face brightened up and she was about to point at it and say "Do I look happy right now?" but she thought the better of it because Chillcott had no sense of humor at all. Instead she got up and smiled at him, "Thank you, doctor." she began, "I think I'll go rest a little and then go out." He nodded as he began to walk off, "Just remember Miss Sosa, you must be back by eight." "Alright!" she told him brightly as he disappeared into a hall on the second floor. I have such a headache . . . she thought to herself as she started walking up the stairs. I wonder if Subject #62 will help me out . . . Maybe later she would go get something to eat. Right now, she just wanted rest . . . Belgium "Who the hell is he anyway? He never really talks much Never concerned with status But still leavin' them star struck Humbled through opportunities given to -" There was a knock on his door and the brunette immediately stopped and leisurely walked over to turn down his mp3. As a few more knocks continued, Cat began to bark as Dog leaped onto his bed and made itself comfortable. "Mr. Decay," came a whitecoat's voice, "Dr. Lambert would like to see you now." He stood still for a moment, observing his door. Did he really wanna go and talk to Doc? Nah, not really. It was probably about Cat and Dog. He had brought them here against the rules - psychopath Subject #79 was allergic and would lose it if she started sneezing. Still - she was on the other side of The Center, so it's not like keeping them was really a big deal or anything. To him at least - he didn't know what Lambert thought of it. Mike turned off his mp3 player and opened his door, "Hey Dr. Dubois,â€ he said with an easy smile, folding his hands behind his head in a relaxed manner, "How are you?" The woman smiled at him, shutting his door as he started walking, "I'm doing fine, Mr. Decay." she replied as she fell instep in front of him, "Dr. Lambert has summoned you." He didn't looked at her and continued walking, but he smiled anyway. About ten minutes later, Mike was sitting in front of Lambert's desk as the scientist flipped through documents and folders. He thought to himself about what the doc might say to him. What if he wanted him to get rid of his pets? Mike had been keeping them forever, he didn't want Lambert telling him that he couldn't anymore because some of the other subjects were allergic - that was in no freaking way fair. He wanted to rub his face; that was one of his only fears - that someone or something he cared about would be taken away from him. Then again, he was overreacting at this point; Lambert hadn't even said anything yet. At last, Dr. Lambert said something, "Mr. Decay," the doctor started, "You know The Center's policy on pets due to some of the subjects' physical conditions." Mike tensed up slightly. He was a normally chill person, but . . . these were his pets, some of the only consolations he had in this hell house. If he had those taken away from him, he wasn't exactly sure what he would do then, but it'd be serious. He wanted to rub his face again. This place is amazing . . . he thought tiredly; he just wanted to wipe his hands of this place and be done with it. Go out and live a happy life, away. "So what will you do?" Dr. Lambert asked. The brunette grew serious and leaned forward, folding his hands, "I'm going to keep them Dr. Lambert." he replied, looking the doctor square in the eye, "And they will be perfectly fine." Lambert was quiet for a long for a long time, meeting Mike's intense gaze with calmness. Scientists of The Center weren't exactly known to scare easily by their subjects, even though compared to them, they were easily breakable. Still, that didn't mean that any of them would like to go a round with a person . . . non-human stronger than they were. The doctor leaned back in his chair, "If you can properly take care of those two beasts of yours, Mr. Decay," he began calmly, "then you are allowed to keep them." Mike was already out of his chair and heading for the door even before Dr. Lambert had finished. As long as I can keep them. Canada The girl looked up at the math equation on the board with a sigh. Why did they keep putting her through all of these academic tests? She'd already graduated high Education two years ago, they didn't need to keep showing her the same material over and over again. She sighed as she looked over at her over-watching doctor. The older woman didn't spare a look at her and continued to write on whatever she was writing. "Doctor," the girl began brightly, "Can I go out now?" she asked as she lifted her head, her bright red curls bouncing with the movement. The woman, named Dr. Princip, looked at the subject for a long while. When she saw the teal blue eyes that sparkled with "please", she sighed, "Very well, Karian." she said, But what is the answer?" The subject was already happily out of her seat and heading for the door, "The answer's five doctor, you can have everyone check that for you!" And with that, she skipped out of the 'classroom'. Once she was in the hallway, she looked up and down to see if anyone was coming. She wasn't much of a runner, but she loved to swim, so she was going to run down to the pool. Hopefully, there was no one there . . . Karian ran down the hallway, her curls having no choice but to chase after her as she made her way to the pool. She really wished that it was a natatorium, so she could actually leave this part of The Center instead, but unfortunately, it wasn't. She was still able to hear the screams. The girl tied her curls back and stuck her feet into the pool, resting her elbows on her knees, and leaned forward. Teal eyes looked back at her with a melancholy glint as Karian stared at her own reflection. She did this often; sat at the pool, watched herself in the surface of the water, listened to the soft echos that went throughout the big, airy room . . . some of which were not so soft. Still . . . it was times like these where she thought to herself, wondered about herself, tried to figure out herself . . . Why she was here, in The Center, and not with a family of her own; she had parents, named Steve and Shelly, but she had never met them. She'd barely been told about them. This life of hers . . . it wasn't really an actual life â€“ she had no fond memories, nothing in the past to laugh about, no real friends . . . She sighed and rubbed her face. Quickly stripping down to her bathing suit (which she always wore under her clothes), she prepped herself, and then dove in. "Yes, she and Subject #16 should be very compatible together." "To the point where #16 will hold her life?" "Not quite, but it could turn out to be that way." Kairian's head snapped around from under the water, breathing in it easily and looking through the surface to try and find the voices she heard. There wasn't anyone there. [C H A P T E R T H R E E] Spoiler Switzerland With a shy tone to it, the girl with blonde hair and blue eyes puffed and panted, trying to catch her breath. Her opponent didn't look like she was doing too well either . . . She quickly straightened herself out and her enemy thought that she was ready to fight again, but all she really wanted was just the opposite - the blonde didn't want to fight anymore, she was tired of fighting . . . Twenty minutes later at the local coffee shop . . . She couldn't get that other subject's facial expression out of her head . . . It was definitely something that was going to be haunting her nightmares tonight. She probably wouldn't sleep at all tonight, or the next few nights, for that matter. Her tired blue eyes stared at her reflection that was in the coffee cup. Most of the time she drank tea, but she needed something with a little kick to keep her going. It wasn't that she was tired, but - no, yes she was, she was very tired . . . For as long as she could remember, the silent whispers of The Center had always gotten to her. She could hear them - at least, she believed she could. In a residence built entirely on logic, theory, facts, and science, no one else really believed her. Not any of the whitecoats anyway. "Miss Rosalind, you only hear what you want to hear." Frankly, she didn't want to hear them at all, but they were there. She knew the voices wouldn't go away because it was The Center, a place that might as well have been the concentration camp in Auschwitz. No - it almost made the Auschwitz concentration camp look like a really bad summer camp, that was all. Before the girl could continue her thoughts, she averted her eyes from the coffee and looked out the window to her left. On the other side of the park, not too far away, she could see a boy surrounded by a few other ones. A frown grew on her face as she squinted her eyes to get a better look; she recognized him . . . Isn't that Subject #12? she thought while getting closer to the window. It is . . .! Rosalind shoved her hand into the pocket of her pink shorts and reached for money. She could always get more to drink later, she thought to herself in a rush, accidentally slamming the bills and some change down. "Thank you!" she called to the cashier as she dashed out of the door, leaving the man at the counter looking confused. As fast as she could, Rosalind worked her legs across the road, across the sidewalk, and across the park. Unfortunately, she wasn't getting far anywhere near fast enough, and from the looks of it, things were about to turn pretty ugly for that other subject . . . She slid to a halt, almost falling on her face, and looked around for a tree that no one was near. Panting and now on a bit of a coffee/adrenaline rush, she spotted a tree a ways away from a couple and their dog. The girl started running again and blew past the couple, doing a perry to end up behind the tree where no one could see her. Her blue eyes quickly glanced around, making sure no one could see her. She then put her hands to the brown bark and closed her eyes, focusing on the other subject and tree that was conveniently placed behind him. C'mon . . . c'mon . . . she thought, trying to rush the process, though she knew it couldn't be done. Finally, after what seemed like eternities, a spark flashed in the black of her mind. When her eyes opened, the back of a boy's orange shirt was facing her and Rosalind could see the faces of older boys in uniforms who were about to do something terrible to the poor subject. Without anymore hesitation, she grasped the shoulder's of the boy and pulled him back, hearing the group of bullies begin to exclaim and curse in surprise. A few minutes later, a young boy with brown hair and brown eyes was leaning against the tree, panting and on the verge of tears. When she saw this, Rosalind put a comforting hand on his smaller shoulder, smiling. The boy looked at her and smiled, placing her face immediately, "Y-you're the one they call 'Roro' . . ." he told her, "Why'd you save me . . .?" She sighed and looked at him again, "Adults aren't going to save us." she said, "Especially the ones we know. Someone's gotta do it right . . .?" Scotland "C'mon laddie!" the fiery young woman shouted at her opponent, "You've got to do better than that if you wanna fly's chance of beatin' me! And ya seemed to be doin' so well this early mornin'!" But her enemy wouldn't come at her. Frankly, she didn't blame the poor kiddie, he be lookin' like he was about ready to die right where she left him. She really hadn't meant to beat the lad up so much, but today was . . . a heated day, if you will. Not only were the whitecoats more annoying than usual, but they seemed to have something up their sleeve, something they were hiding from her - she didn't like it. "Number twenty-seven," one of the science-nerds called, "Do not wait for the subject to reply. Move forward." She whipped her head to look at the adult, her red hair going everywhere in a mess, "Don't get your knickers in a twist you ol' geek!" she yelled at him, balling up a fist and shaking it at the adult feverently, "He be my opponent, I attack him when I want!" And then the whitecoat raised an eyebrow at her. He sighed, loosening his shoulder. Why did he have to watch over the uncooperative one today? When the scientist didn't reply to her, the girl's hazel green eyes glittered with yellow and triumph. No old man was gonna tell her what to do! Or . . . at least not right now anyway . . . She really only half-obeyed them when she wasn't fighting, otherwise she would end up back in "The Box". She shivered. Quickly, before she could think of that horror anymore, she turned her attention back to the other subject. As quietly as she could, she whispered, "Oy, laddie . . . I don't like this much more than you do boy, but the quicker we finish this, the quicker we can return to our rooms." she told him, leaning forward slightly, "Sounds like a pretty good idea, eh?" And that seemed to do the trick for the other person. Of course it would, After all, it's not like I don't have any control of laddie's feelings or spirit, right? She laughed to herself hardily. "Get a move on Jaimie!" the whitecoat said from the upstairs. She gave him a sharp look and then found that the other subject was now ready to go again. She grinned, "That's the spirit m'boy! Let's finish this!" Instead of waiting for the other to come at her, Jaimie started running at him. About half-way there, she put a fist into the ground and began to drag it along, leaving a trail and picking up spare pieces of metal. The Goddess of Kov, what a fitting name! When she raised her hand again from out of the floor, a two-feet-and-a-half long sword was raised up into the air, â€œCome at me with all you've got!â€ she chanted at her opponent. "Does she still wear that bracelet?" "The one she received from the female AFL in Russia? She does. She never takes it off." "Once they're down in the city, make sure she loses it." South Korea She finally finished making her bed. She loved her room being clean, even though it was a pretty cluttered place, but come - on! Everything in her room was absolutely adorable! Pink, fluffy, cozy, and . . . pink. A lot of pink. No - she didn't have enough pink! The girl put a finger to her chin and crossed her other arm; did she have enough pink? She then commenced laughing to herself. I'm probably the only freak of nature whose room is a pink wonderland of fluffy. But she couldn't help it - it was one of the things that kept her happy in this place. In a sudden rush of goosebumps, the girl ran a smooth hand over her creamy, and now bumpy, skin. It always happened around this time! And she looked over at the clock on her wall which was - you guessed it - pink and pretty; it was about to be five. Of course it suddenly got cold in my room, she thought to herself, Subject #51 was icing his room right about this time. She shook her head and looked for her light brown cardigan, Why did he always do that?! Walking over to the speaker that was built in right next to her door, she sighed, Welp, looks like I'm off to the library again . . . "Yes Miss White?" came Dr. Geum's voice, "What is it?" "I would like to leave for a little while, if you don't mind." Alyssa told the man politely,"Subject #51 has started freezing his room right now and I wouldn't like to be in mine by the time he's done." she then explained. "Very well, Miss White. You must be back by nine." he told her. "Also, could you talk to him about it please?â€ she asked, "I'm sure I'm not the only one who is getting a bit tired of it." The other line was silence for a few seconds. Alyssa frowned, she only asked - it wasn't a command or anything like that. She was always as polite as she could be to them, and sometimes it paid off; she cooperated, they didn't kill her or stick her in a noise proof room where she couldn't use her powers and slowly die - noise was apart of her lifeline. "We'll talk to him about it, Miss White. Good day." And the line immediately went dead. Alyssa frowned again. Her door slid open and she took a step out, wrapping her cardigan around her even more tightly because the hall was breezy and cool. Unfortunately, the next thing Alyssa knew, a raging scream echoed from her right and she quickly pressed herself against the wall right next to her door, her black, curly hair pressing against the back of her head. All of the sudden, something on all fours rushed past her in a beastly manner and she heard shouting going after whatever it was. Another subject on the loose . . . Alyssa thought while shaking her head. She headed out to her Mini Cooper and drove off to the library. She thought to herself, I don't want to be that person whenever they're caught. China "You do not weigh enough." Dr. Xang told her, "You are too light." The Chinese girl looked at herself in the mirror and raised an eyebrow, I mean . . . I thought I looked pretty healthy . . . she thought. See, this was why she hated the monthly check-ups with the doctors, they always, always, always found a fault in her body or on the outside of her body. They were very strict and expected perfection a lot of the time and wouldn't accept anything less than that. She held back a sigh as she turned to watch Dr. Xang finish up his paperwork. When the man was done, he stuck his clipboard under his arm and turned to her, "Well Mei Feng, I suggest you return to your room and consider what you are going to do about your weight." Mei looked at him with a bit of obliviousness in her brown eyes, Weight, right . . . "Mei Feng." "Weight, right!" she blurted out to Dr. Xang, who looked a tad more than surprised at the outburst. Oh . . . Mei thought to herself with a frown as she studied the doctor's face. Walking back to her room . . . There was this new recipe that I wanted to try . . . Mei thought as she walked, I wonder if Mr. Dehua Mao will let me use the kitchen. She wasn't really sure about it though; last time she was in there, she had almost burned it down. It was an accident, really it was. She'd like to see you power up an entire fourteen story building and still try to control the electricity channeling into the kitchen. She would also bet you would like to show that to the whitecoats too, that way they could take you and put needles and other crap in you. She sighed and rubbed the back of her neck. "Man, forget trying to cook today," she said out loud, "I've gotta beat FF ten." A few feet in front of her, a door to her right opened and Subject #83 stuck her head out with a grin, "You remember that one kid from the United States?" she asked, "Orell?" Mei looked thoughtful and tried to remember. Even digging way back in her head, she couldn't remember anything at all about someone named Orell. Unless it was a last name or something like that. She scrunched her face up awkwardly, "Pssht, yeah" she said with a half-laugh, "'Course I remember that guy. Whats-his-face Orell." The other subject rolled her yellow eyes, "Yeah right, Mei." she said with a laugh, "Anyway, I wanted to tell you that we were talking the other day and he told me that he beat Final Fantasy X." For just a second, she was quiet. Oh that's right, Lucas Orell, #74 . . . That one month he was here a few years back . . . She remember they had played a few games together right before the scientists made him fight the boy named Boqin Yu. Needless to say, with a subject that went international like Mei herself had once, Boqin was defeated. He beat the game before I did . . .? The echo of Mei's cursing in Chinese echoed throughout practically the entire building. [C H A P T E R F O U R] Spoiler A man sat behind his desk, leaning forward on his elbows and his hands were at his mouth. He waited. He was a patient man, a man of many ambitions. A clever man, and only a clever man could make it this far. Of course, the path had its bumps and drops, but those were to be expected; the important thing was that he rose again after such falls. He waited a little bit more. He would have his time. Now, he had so much more than he could ever ask for, but that wasn't enough; he didn't fund this project for no reason. That wasn't to say that he was the sole funding of this project, but he was the first and has since then been the donation source of the largest amount of funds to the project. He continued to wait. The phone rang. He glanced at it for only a moment, letting it ring once more, and then he picked it up, "Yes?" he responded coolly into the receiver. "It's time." "Already?" he replied with a feigned surprised. Who was he trying to fool? He had been waiting for this for a long time now, "Very well. Spread the word." And then the man put the phone back into the receiver. He leaned back in his chair. He waited. He was a patient man, a man of many ambitions. A clever man. It was all going to pay off soon. Lucas laid back in the grass, watching the clouds go by lazily. This had been a pretty strange week, the most work he had done was answer a few questions for some of the whitecoats, and then for the rest of it, they left him alone. Don't get him wrong, he really didn't mind having free time, it was pretty great and it gave him time to focus on the other stuff he liked doing. He had beaten Final Fantasy X a few days back and called Subject #83 over in China so she could tell that one girl chick Mei Feng that he had crushed her in their race, he had gotten in a bit of practice with his martial arts skills, smoothing out his Tae Kwon Do so he could use it better in combat, and he had also made a bit of progress on making friends outside of The Center. Sports . . . You gotta love 'em. he thought to himself with a grin. Still, it was pretty strange to have all of this free time. There had to be a reason for it â€“ scientists didn't do anything without a reason- trust him, they had a reason for giving him all of this time off. He grinned to himself. Something was coming, he knew it was, and it could be his chance to be rid of that place. He would finally - "YAAAAH!" Lucas shot up from his spot and was on his feet immediately. If someone was causing a scene, a park had to be one of the worst places to do it. His eyes danced around to check where the shout had come from; he had a feeling it was for him. In the next instant, a man in black was hanging over him. Lucas flinched backwards and prepared himself for an attack and then to retaliate. What the heck is this guy coming after me for?! he thought to himself, spinning around to keep an eye on his attacker, And in a park with all of these other people? But when Lucas whipped his head to look around the area for bystanders, he couldn't see anyone. There was no one else in the park besides him and his attacker, and, When did that happen? Where did everyone go? But he didn't have anytime to think about that; the man in black was right behind him. The brown haired boy squatted and dragged his leg all of the way around on the dirt and tried to trip the other guy, but with no success. Lucas cursed to himself when the man jumped to dodge. â€œFine then!â€ he shouted, bringing a fist forward. As it flew towards his enemy's face, sparks began to fly around it and conjoin to form burning hot flames, â€œHave it your way!â€ And the punch connected with the other guy's stomach, causing him to cough in pain. Lucas was just about to pick up the man in black by the collar of his suit, but right before he had his hands on him, there was a piercing in the back of his neck. It wasn't anything like a bee's sting, but it was more like the poke of a pencil. Distracted by the odd feeling that was quickly coming over his body now, he reached a hand around his head and pulled something fuzzy out, bring it back around to see what it was. A dart . . .? he thought, his eyesight going a bit blurry, What the heck would a . . . dart . . . be . . . Before he could finish his thought, Lucas' mind went blank and he fell over to the side, the fire around his fist dying out. _________ Fading in and out through the blackness of his mind, Lucas was trying to focus on one thing at a time â€“ he had no idea what the hell was going on, and his head was on fire. Unfortunately, that was the only thing he could feel at this moment; his arms and legs were numbed, he couldn't move anything at all. Oh god . . . he thought to himself as he tried to force up to conscious level. These were all bad signs; he couldn't move, he couldn't see, his entire body basically was numb, and he could feel something prodding at his arm - just barely though. What was happening? What were the whitecoats doing to him? There was a loud thunk and moments later, something pecked sharply at his neck. "It should be enough to keep him under until he arrives." he heard someone say through his screaming head, "Whenever the word is given for launch, he will be ready." Lucas felt his body be placed on a long, rounded to the side cushion. He still couldn't see anything and could barely feel what was worth crap, but when he heard the slamming of a metal door and locks turning, he knew that whatever the hell was going on, it was serious. What's happening to me . . .? He blinked his green eyes at the giant, bronze, metal sphere in front of him. "Because keeping something like this in a room with absolutely nothing in it is not strange at all." he said loudly, making sure Dr. Langtreis heard him. Jean rubbed the back of his pale neck; he'd been coming to see this thing for the past three days, Langtreis was annoyingly insistent up on it, but what he didn't understand was what the hell was he coming to see it for? There was never any studying on it, never any explanations about it, nada. The best he could figure out for what the damn thing was that it was a submarine, or something close to that sort. He dropped his head to look at the white ground, put his hands on his hips, and began tapping his foot. This was stupid, coming to look at this thing every day for no reason. Instead of all of this crap, he could just be getting better than he already was, fighting more of the other subjects to ensure that he wouldn't be topped. But he looked back up at the ridiculous hunk of metal, Still . . . I've never actually gone up to observe the thing . . . He sighed with exaggeration loudly enough to where Doc would be able to hear him and began clopping across the floor. If nothing else, I might be able to get some sort of enjoyable reaction out of Langtreis. he thought, making his way over to the sub-thing. Jean whistled, the submarine was about four or five times his size. When he looked through the giant window that mostly made up the door, he could see inside that it could fit about five or six people. It looked pretty comfortable in there, he wouldn't mind going under water in this thing. Still, give him about a day and he'd be able to make something better - he was more dexterous than the scientists were; they, after all, didn't utilize their mind enough. "Do you like it monsieur Veltan?" Langtreis asked him. The black-haired boy circled it once, then turning back to the Frenchman. He scoffed with a grin, knocking hard on the sub, "Better things have been done Doc, specifically by me." he told him, arrogance underlining his tone, "Still, it's not a complete piece of junk. I wouldn't mind taking a ride in it." he continued, turning back to the submarine and opening the practically-glass door. "Is that so, Jean?" the doctor asked again, once the subject had the door open and was leaning into it. The next thing Jean knew, he was shoved into the sub, tripping on the bottom of the doorway and was face flat on the red-carpeted metal. He cursed loudly as he forced himself up to his hands and knees. The green-eyed subject wrenched his neck to look over his shoulder through the glass door; two blank-eyed subjects (ones he recognized as Subjects #45 and #56) were standing in front of his downed body, on either side of a smiling Langtreis. In a rush of rage, something he would later be ashamed of, Jean whipped around to his feet and slammed a fist into the glass, his glare shooting daggers at the Frenchman who still continued to merely smile. Dr. Langtreis turned to Subject #45, a boy of twenty-one and one of Jean's friends, and nodded to him. The subject turned to the side of the sub and, as if he were being forced, he reluctantly pressed a button or something. A soft whizzing sound began to fill Jean's ears as he jumped back from the glass and looked to the four corners of the door with alarm; a creamy white gas was filing the chamber. "Enjoy the submarine, monsieur Veltan," he could barely hear the doctor saying before he turned around and began walking off. The gas was quickly filing the inside and the pale young man tried his best to keep it from entering his respiratory system. His green eyes began watering and his vision started to get blurry - everything was filling with black. Before the black completely took over his mind, he saw Subject #56, a girl of fourteen, breath onto the glass and quickly began to scribble something. Jean tried slamming into the glass door once more, but his body gave out. The last thing he saw was the writing on the glass, starting to drip, "We're sorry Jean." [CENTER[/CENTER] ]Not here either . . . the blue-haired girl thought to herself as she left the isolated sound room, Where could he be? Since late last night, Adriana had been up because there was a disturbance in the rooms next to her, and then one in her own room as well. Someone had come into her room and taken something, but she had been trying to stay as "asleep" as possible, so the girl had only focused on trying to not let them no that she was awake. The unfortunate part of that . . . when the person or whoever it had been was gone, Nemo was gone with them; they had taken him somewhere. The young girl was so worried; where could they have taken Nemo? She knew that it couldn't have been another one of the other subjects because some of them had their own pets - it for sure had to be someone who worked here at The Center . . . She started down the stairs in the 2100 hallway where all of the subjects with animal extensions were kept, better labeled as Furries by the rest of the subjects. They were known for being a bunch of thieves, but they were kind and did it for fun. Still, Adriana would rather avoid this hallway - then again, she would rather avoid any hallway, she didn't interact with many of the other subjects except for the ones that were at least around her age. Everyone else was kinda . . . well, she just wasn't comfortable around them. "Nemo," she called out, trying not to be loud; she didn't know if anyone in this hall was awake or not, and she'd rather not find out, "Nemo . . . Where are you?" she called out again, continuing to walk down the hall. The 2200 hallway, Adriana's least favorite hallway in the entire building. Why, you may ask? This entire hallway was basically filled with pyrokenetic freaks who loved to tease everyone with their fire. She honestly wouldn't put it past them to have taken her dog; they loved torturing people who used water and ice like her. They were so mean . . . She was really worried about Nemo. He had to be in this building somewhere . . . "Subject #16," she suddenly heard over the intercom, nearly jumping out of her pants at the abruptly broken silence, "Your canine is in Testing Lab #5, please come and get him immediately." Starting off at a run, relief filled the young girl, she didn't even pay attention to where she was, only where she was heading. Nemo . . . her dog was one of the only things in this place she could actually feel human around, she needed Nemo to remember who she was. As she ran to Lab #5, her blue hair whipping behind her, Adriana laughed and blinked her blue eyes that were slowly filling with tears; a thirteen-year-old . . . having an identity crisis. About halfway to the labs, Adriana had made a sliding board with her ice and started riding on it, paving her way with ice. In no time, she had finished her trip to the labs hall, hopping of her board and letting it crash into the wall ahead. As she turned to her left in the long white hall, ten doors lined the wall in front of her. She took a few steps back and began counting, One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . She heard a dog bark from the fifth lab door. A breath of relief escaped her lips as she relaxingly strolled over to the door and looked through the small square window. A scream quickly filled the hall. The fourth lab door was thrown open and one of the whitecoats strode out from the startling scream, seeing what the commotion was. He looked on the floor and saw a shaking Subject #16 curled into a ball on the floor. The man frowned but once he fully realized who the subject was, he looked through the window to the fourth lab door at his colleagues and he nodded; they motioned for him to bring her. Through a hazy and tear filled mind, caused by what she saw through the window of the door to Lab #5, Adriana could feel herself being lifted up. She cracked her eyelids opened and barely saw that one of the scientists was carrying her. A sudden flash of memory came to her and she began to quietly whine at what she had seen through that window, Nemo . . . she thought, tears falling down the sides of her face, How could they do that to you . . . She couldn't even think of what she'd seen, it was . . . it was . . . Her mind went blank again as she was put inside a capsule submarine and the door was shut, I'm sorry, Nemo . . . Blowing a bubble, the girl with pink and black hair strolled down the sidewalk in the park that was situated across from The Center in Japan. She was currently heading to her favorite tree near the river which she had named Shizukana Sekai or "Tranquil World", because that tree . . . under that tree, she felt at peace, as if the world she truly lived in, the life she truly led didn't exist. That it was all just a bad dream. Right before she decided to sit down under her Shizukana Sekai, she remembered that there was an adorable kitty she had seen in the store a few blocks down from The Center. She had been wanting to get a cat for a while now, she didn't have many friends she could talk to in The Center, they were almost always separated because the whitecoats were afraid of some kind of uprising. The caramel-skinned girl spun on her heel, away from her Tranquil World, and started making her way back towards The Center. As she crossed the dead street and stepped onto the sidewalk that was paved in front of her hell, she looked up into one of the windows on the fifth floor. A person passed her and the girl was just barely able to hide her flinching away from the sight that met her from the window. Another subject gone every day. she thought with her hands in her jeans, trying to calm herself by blowing another bubble with her bubblegum. Right before the blue-eyed girl could fully pass The Center to continue on, she heard the shattering of a window and a wild and bloodcurdling scream. Her hands automatically flew out of her pocket and she whipped around to see what had happened. A figure with a mess of fiery orange and purple hair slammed onto the sidewalk, landing on their knees and fist. Aki automatically recognized the figure as the dangerously unstable Subject #73, the one subject the whitecoats had continuously been trying to destroy because of the threat he posed to the other subjects. For just a slip of a moment, the girl shuddered and considered running away, but that thought quickly died as she remember she was one of the best - if not the best that The Center in Japan had created. The gleam that flashed through the eyes of #73 was psychotic, lunatic . . . but lost and in pain; Aki had no choice, she would have to put this one out of his misery. #73 charged at her and she quickly began to stand her ground for impact. He collided with her and she met his own crazy fists with her hands, quickly using her strength to hold him back. Normally, she wouldn't have a problem with defeating another subject, considering she was made out to be one of the best in The Center, but Subject #73 had extended experimenting and he wasn't normal, not even a human anymore. Aki grunted and forcefully blew her pink and black hair out of her pale face, trying to focus on her opponent. She quickly began to heat up her palms, hoping to get some early damage on him before it got out of hand. There was no paying attention to the people who were stopping to watch on what was happening, the girl would just have to leave that to the scientists; the mess was, after all, their fault to begin with. To no avail, #73 was able to force Aki onto her back and this was where she started to get angry. He hung over her, his reddish eyes not focusing at all, this was where she saw her chance. The girl punted him in the stomach with her hands, forcing him up and then some as her wind carried him. He landed roughly on the sidewalk twenty feet in front of her, and when he looked up at her, she could tell there was no damage done to him. Aki sighed exasperatedly, I can't take this guy on . . . It's supposed to be my day off! But she stood her ground again - no use complaining about surviving against #73. Right when she was about to charge at him, he suddenly appeared right in front of her face, sticking something rather sharp into her neck. Her body automatically started to go numb and she was going limp, He . . . tranquilizer . . . she thought, her mind going blurry. Black. [C H A P T E R F I V E] Spoiler She skillfully and quickly pulled her hands apart, a small flame soon being born. Her pale hands began to rotate in vertical circles on either side of the flame, it growing warmer, brighter, and bigger with the movement. Ada sighed with content as she watched it; this little flame that she always made relaxed her, brought her just a little piece of serenity - with her life, she was thankful for that. Then again, this week had been everything that was serene; the whitecoats hadn't bothered her once unless she was asking them permission to leave The Center, but that was it. Although she figured something was going on, she thought that this was nice - she didn't want to spoil it for herself by asking them what was up and what they were doing. No, she was a smart one to take advantage of this. Still, however peaceful she might be, the girl couldn't help but feel like this was the quiet before the storm. At this thought, the hovering flame between her hands quickly shrank, almost dying out completely. Luckily, Ada was able to catch it before the last little spark had gone out. What an unnerving thought. Ada thought, sighing to herself with an annoyed look dressing her features. Now that she really thought about it, it did make sense. Her sense of serenity was quickly being drained away and being replaced with anger. Of course, the scientists never did anything without a reason. The flame that sat in her hands quickly grew with her rage, her hardly paying attention to it and letting her emotions take over. Why couldn't she catch a break? Why did they always have to torture her? She didn't ask for this! And worse yet . . . and worse yet . . . they had taken her brother. Her brother, Rue. The only thing she had left in this horrible, inhumane world - and they took him from her. Ada's rage made her flame burn so strongly, so nearly uncontrollably that it nearly made her red hair look as if it were set aflame. With a loud and frustrated grunt, the teenage girl flung the flame at one of the concrete walls that surrounded her, causing a loud crashing noise and smoke flaring everywhere with the debris. The little flame that was, just moments ago, her small piece of serenity, was now the product of her anger, causing destruction in its wake. Breathing hard, Ada was leaned over with her palms resting on her knees, glaring up at the smoke that dressed the area around her, watching it dispel. When she was finally able to see through it, her green eyes went wide and she let out a small gasp, automatically standing straight up. Although the girl was barely able to make out their shapes, she knew that there were two . . . somethings coming toward her. One step back, another step back . . . Ada spun on her heel and began to run. You may misunderstand her as being scared, but she knew exactly who the two figures were that were running at her - and to be honest, she was very sad and slightly distraught; it was Abbie and Aghna, the 'Twisting Twins', Subjects #94 and 95. Neither one of them was singularly good enough to defeat Ada, but together . . . they would be a lot of trouble. Ada was so sad, as she continued running for the wall, because they were the very first people that she had made friends with after she was let out of confinement at age ten. She had become very good friends with them . . . They were this way now because of . . . because of . . . the whitecoats. The girl with fiery red hair skidded to a stop and spun around, preparing herself to take on the twins with tears in her eyes, but before she could even realize what was happening, the two snake-like girls were upon her - much faster than she thought they would be. A gasp, one more shocked than the other from before came out of her mouth. Before she could make a last-ditch maneuver to get out of the way and avoid being caught, the twins coiled their bodies around her and restricted nearly all movement, only sparing her neck and head. She quickly sucked a sharp breath of air in and took stock of the situation she was in; they were, together, squeezing the life from her and if she didn't do anything soon, she was going to start having a panic attack because she was pretty scared of small spaces, and the whole not-being-able-to-move thing wasn't exactly rolling well with her. As her defenses were about to kick in, as she was about to set her entire body aflame to damage the twins, they finally pulled the last constriction. Ada's head fell limp. The tanned girl with chocolaty brown eyes felt a chill run down her spine, giving rise to her sitting up. Odd, that never happened . . . Only when something bad happened, but that was a sensation that a lot of the subjects, especially the ones that have gone international, shared. She could only hope that everything was alright for everyone. She was sitting in her favorite pizza diner with a few other subjects waiting to eat lunch. They were kinda celebrating another year of surviving, which in Rosalynn's eyes was a big, big accomplishment. The girl enjoyed this time out of The Center, especially when it was with other subjects who were just as sane as she was, though they all wished for the other ones to be just as sane as well, but . . . Rosalynn visibly shook her head; she wouldn't think sad thoughts - not when the others were so happy about just being alive. The international subject chatted animatedly with the others as they all waited for their pizza to be sat down on the table. Although this was free time for them, they had to be careful because all subjects, no matter who, always gave off a . . . vibe that made people feel the need to stare and become curious or suspicious. The brown-eyed girl didn't like it much at all, but she was never rude to another person unless the gave her reason to be. "Really?" she said excitedly to Subject #37, "Ahh, I really want to see that movie so badly!" she whined as the table's pizza was finally being put down. Without a second thought, Rosalynn glanced up at the person who had delivered it to them, and then did a double-take; he was another one of them, the ones who liked to look. She sighed as the others began digging into the pizzas like little monsters. At the ironic thought, she laughed to herself; technically, they were monsters. As she grabbed her own slice, she watched the person who had set it down walk away slowly, expectantly. It was like he was waiting for something to happen . . . The girl was completely on guard now. As she pierced the back of his head with her line of sight, her pupils dilated a little and she focused on breaching his skull, to get to his thoughts. That should keep them asleep for just long enough to be sent . . . Rosalynn heard him think, and then her eyes widened sharply. Cutting with her mind, she snatched all of the slices of pizza out of the other subjects hands and tossed them as far as possible, throwing her own away. Collectively gasping, the other subjects looked at her with either surprised, shock, or irritation, but she quickly dispelled it with her serious look towards them; it was rare that she was ever serious, but the tanned telepathic had her moments, "They spiked our pizza," she said with a dire tone, and all of her fellow subjects had snapped their looks to the person who had set it down, who by this time had turned around and was looking at all of them. Rosalynn wasn't exactly sure what to do at this point, she was never a very good leader, but this person was trying to put them to sleep - that called for immediate action. Suddenly, it seemed like more people had become involved; everyone else in the pizzeria, in fact. They were all enemies, and the subjects were being ambushed. Never a moment's rest . . . "Everyone, fight!" she called out, her tone slightly wavering, for she was a bit nervous about commanding. But then there was no need, everyone seemed to step into roles, and it all started going with the flow. She decided that she would take care of the person who gave them their pizza, and in good time too because the guy was rushing towards her. With her mind, she lifted one of the table's chairs and hurled it at the man who was about to attack. There was no way she was letting him get away with what he did, but right before the chair could hit him, his speed increased almost indefinitely - he was now hovering, for a millisecond in time, above the girl's head, and in one swift movement, the man pulled out a small vial, popped it open, and poured just a drop on her. That small drop hit her like a plane crash, and her world went black. Jeezus . . . My head is dying . . . the boy with dark brown hair thought to himself. He had no idea what the heck was going on, and the only thing he could remember was fighting one of the other subjects, then a needle in his neck, and then . . . nothing. One of the scientists must have somehow slipped into the fight without being noticed or being hit and injected it in him. Mike wrenched his neck slightly to check if he had any movement left in his body. The tanned subject winced slightly; he was stiff, it was like he'd been in some sort of a coma for days after collapsing from a really hard workout or testing session. Man, what ever they'd stuck inside him really did a number; he felt like crap right now. He could have been out for days - hell, maybe even weeks, with the way he was feeling. What he wanted to know was, why did they want him out for so long? Kneading out his left shoulder, the boy finally decided to take stock of his his surroundings. Bronze metal surrounded him, he was in an enclosed space, and he'd been laying on a bench with a red velvet cushion laying on it that was formed against the curved wall. The brown-eyed boy stood and stretched, taking another moment before observing his surroundings again. The ceiling of whatever he was in was barely taller than he was, and it looked wide enough to hold about six people. On one side of him, there was a screen, a built-in television, it looked like, and then to his other side . . . To his other . . . side . . . Mike was frozen in his place, his eyes locked onto looking out of the glass door. A giant, huge fish tail glided by. Giant. Huge. Fish. Fish. He was in a submarine. He was in a submarine. A submarine. Underwater. The boy shook his head, trying hard to grasp his dripping thoughts that were just flying out of his head one by one. Mike didn't understand, why the hell was he in a submarine, and a very small one at that? He quickly turned away from the glass to calm down and get a grip. He wasn't panicking, you should know, but you can't say you wouldn't be even a little freaked out to wake up and suddenly find yourself in a submarine in some godforsaken ocean. Subject #21 took a deep, calming breath and sat back down on the bench he'd woken up on. He rested his face in his hands and began to process all of his thoughts thoroughly and carefully. There was a reason for everything, the whitecoats used to tell him all of the time when he was younger. So there was a reason he was underwater, in a submarine that was going to who-the-hell-knew-where. One thing Mike knew for sure . . . The whitecoats were not sending him off to his death. How can he be so sure? you're thinking. Because, Mike Decay, also known as DK, is a subject that went international. International subjects . . . Of what he knew, there were only thirteen others, besides himself, that had gone international. Out of all of the countries in the world that were participating in this . . . apparently, it was some sort of sick race, only fourteen subjects had gone international, and those subjects were supposed to . . . duke it out or something, so Mike knew, absolutely with out a doubt, that the whitecoats were going to keep him alive. Now, he needed to figure out where they were sending him - because he knew he couldn't be tested against anyone in this thing. Hell, there was no one else in it. He sighed - that was a very dense thought. He felt . . . stupid even thinking that. The boy needed to get out of this sub soon, otherwise, he feared he was just gonna loose it. Breathing deeply, Mike continued to calm himself down. He was coming to terms with what was happening right now, and that he was going to be alive for a lot longer, as soon as he got out of this damn thing. He heard a static spark and snapped his head to the left, for fear that something may have caught on fire, but it was the television that had turned on. "Good evening, Mr. Decay," Mike looked on with surprise; it was Dr. Lambert, with a few other whitecoats, including Dr. Dubois, in the background, "I see that you've finally woken up from your rest." the man continued, and Mike realized they were on video in real time, "You may have noticed that you're not in your room," The subject rolled his eyes, No ****, you asswipe, "You being put to your final test. In an underwater city dubbed Rapture." She was calm. She was perfectly calm. Of course she would be, she was very easygoing, it was hard to get this prodigal genius worked up. Although waking up after a few days in a very small submarine may do the trick. She sighed into the red velvet cushion she had woke up on; she'd been laying there for a little while, trying to be calm, and trying to figure out what the hell was going on. One thing she knew for sure, and the girl had easily deducted this without even trying, they scientists weren't stupid enough to kill her. Karian felt like she knew exactly what was going on - she was an international subject, what Canada was offering up for the twisted race the secret society of the world was running. This was her final test. And she was going to meet subjects from other countries . . .? That would be definitely new. Of course, these were all just assumptions, possibly correct ones. She then heard the flicker of a television and looked over to the one on her left that was built into the wall. It turned on and she blinked her rich teal blue eyes, looking at it curiously. The girl frowned when men and women in white lab coats were what she saw on the television. She recognized a few of them, and then she saw Dr. Anderson, the head doctor that had always overseen her progress since she had been at The Center. A little ways behind him, the girl could make out the face of Dr. Princip, the woman in charge of educating her. "Good evening, Miss Morning, I assume you had a nice rest?" Dr. Anderson began, and Karian decided not to answer, "No matter. If you haven't noticed already, you are no longer in The Center, you are also no longer in Canada. Right now, you're in a submarine that is currently in the North Atlantic Ocean, heading towards the coast of Greenland." The girl was about to ask exactly where they were sending her, but he continued before she could, "I am not permitted to disclose the location in which you are heading to, but I will tell you that you are the best subject that Canada has to offer, and so this is why you are no longer in The Center," Through the entire, very vague explanation, the girl with vivid red curls stayed quiet. She felt like that last bit was probably the nicest thing Dr. Anderson had ever said to her, You are the best Canada has to offer. She sighed as he continued. "I will tell you this, Morning Star, you may not come back to The Center at all, for you may be dead. You are to be wary, you are not alone, and even when you think you are, continue to be attentive and alert. You will need to have all of your wits about you, and you must call upon every technique, every skill you have ever been taught. If there is ever a time to utilize all of your potential, that time will be when you arrive." Okay, now Karian was just a tad nervous. This was . . . extreme. Possibly. "We wish you luck, Karian Morning." And then the television turned off. The girl sat in silence, only the sound of the small sub's propeller was being heard. She slowly processed everything that Dr. Anderson had told her. They were keeping her alive, good, and . . . her suspicions were correct, they were offering her up for contesting in the race. Contesting . . . She knew now, Karian would definitely meet other subjects. The girl averted her eyes to look out the glass door, and saw Educations of fish swim by, amongst other things. Her eyes strained for anything that looked out of the ordinary, anything that may indicated she was arriving in the destined location. Once, long ago, Karian had discovered that she could not truly be hurt, and she discovered this on her own. She may have been able to feel pain, but she was never physically hurt, not by any human or by any other subject. The reason was, there was this . . . chemical, of sorts it was, and it had a great many uses, but it was very rare, and imported from somewhere very far away, and it had been infused in her DNA, making her impervious to all physical damage. According to what she had overheard, all of the fourteen international subjects had it inside them. But she had forgotten what it was called. ________________________ The girl sat in a chair in the office of the esteemed Mr. Changrish, the CEO of Vertigo Industries, or so she had come to learn. Patiently, she waited for the man to come while they had given her a Rubix cube to pass the time. She hadn't touched it, for she thought she wouldn't have to wait so long as to become bored and solve it. But apparently she had. She picked it up from her lap and began to move its parts. Right, left, right, up, down, left . . . Attentively, she continued to move it around, lining up colors and then rearranging them. The world was bleeding out around her, it no longer existed to her as she continued to solve the cube's complexity, as it the world's continuation depended on her solving it. Up, left, down, right, right, up, down, left, down, down . . . Her pale face was passive, but inside her mind, a storm was raging on, spawning, producing the many solutions to this cube in her hands. It was the only thing real to her in the very moment, the only thing that existed besides herself. Left, left, down, right, up, right, down, up, left, down, down . . . The office door opened and the girl snapped back into reality, looking just as she had the entire time. A man in a sharp looking-business suit appeared from behind the girl and moved around until he was standing next to the his desk chair. He appeared to be in his early forties, his features were defined, a strong chin, a somewhat pointed noes, a broad forehead, his hair was showing signs of age, but he was a good looking man. Also a semi-young CEO. "I believe this is the first time we've actually met, Miss . . . ?" The girl's vibrant blue eyes looked him over once, sizing him up for his worth, which wasn't much. The girl then stood from the chair and headed towards the window, as if this were her office, "I firmly believe names aren't important, Mr. Changrish," she said, contradicting herself by knowing his name, "Now why have you called me here?" Looking slightly offended, the CEO took his seat and folded his hands on his desk and then cleared his throat, "Well, moving on from the formalities, I believe you have been briefed on the international project that Vertigo is funding?" She didn't look at him at all, "Mmm, yes. Project G.E.H., I believe it's called. Centers from around the world have been developing genetically enhanced humans in secrecy for nearly twenty or so years, only to send them to the abandoned underwater city of Rapture, founded by Andrew Ryan in the middle 1960s to escape the political and social anxieties of the post-World War II world, and it was completed in late 1951, is this the same project we're talking about?" She looked over her shoulder slightly. Mr. Changrish looked slightly bewildered; he wasn't expecting someone so young to know so much about the project - especially a participating subject. "Exactly, what is it that you want me to do, Mr. Changrish, CEO of Vertigo Industries?" the dark-haired girl went on to ask, "I have not been selected for the project, and therefore I have nothing to do with it." Not that she wanted to have anything to do with it. "You do, in fact." Changrish told her, "And you were selected to attend the final assessment." The girl had looked back out the window again. "The world's finest achievements will all be in one place soon, and so will you as such. They will fall, one by one, and only one can be left standing. I want that one." he explained with a calm demeanor. "And this involves me, how . . .?" "Your powers, your . . . 'genetic enhancements' allow you to alter not only your own perceptions, but others as well. They will not go down easily, and this is where you come in. Your charisma, your powers, they're perfect for coaxing the final subject to come to me." The girl looked at him, and she knew what he wanted. This was an ambitious man indeed. "I will see what I can do."