Date: 26 September 2035
Music blast all around the dark room as Emma went through all the martial arts steps her father had taught her. She moves to the beat of the music, allowing her body to relax after the events of earlier that day. She hates using her powers in public like that. She always felt like she would be discovered, which almost happened on several occasions.
A light knock on the door snaps her out from her trance. She quickly turns off the music and lights a candle. She squints slightly as she tries to ignore the light. It didn’t take the doctors long before they discovered her light sensitive eyes after the bear attack. As far as they could understand, her pupils could no longer change from its dilated form. They stayed like that the entire time, taking in all the light it could. No one was sure how it happened, and while her parents had tried everything to get her the best medical care, all the doctors agreed. At best, her eyes would neither get better or worse than they were now. At worst, Emma could end up blind by the time she was twenty. So far, there hasn’t been any change.
Not that her family hadn’t done anything to help the sudden change in the young girls life. Special made sunglasses were ordered for which she had to wear pretty much 24-7. Low light flashbulbs replaced the ordinary ones in the house, while hers was taken away completely. Heavy curtains made an appearance as did dull colours all around the house.
“Come in,” Emma called. She watched as a black haired woman came into the room, shutting the door after her. She didn’t look very happy. Then again, Emma thought, Abigail Knight was hardly ever happy. Mainly because Emma never came close to what she wanted a perfect daughter to be like.
“Your principle just called. Apparently you left the group during the tour. And after you came back, three security guards were seen being escorted off the premises.”
“Emma we’ve talked about this. You need to behave. I though at least with June not there, you might do as your told.”
“June doesn’t control what I do, Mother. I can actually think for myself you know.”
“Yes of course you can. But, every time you think, you get yourself in trouble. So excuse me if I don’t actually believe you when you say you use your brain. Now where were you?”
“I went to the bathroom, mother. Is that against the law?”
“Don’t lie to me!”
Emma only stared at her mother. She wouldn’t say she was afraid of the older woman; too many years trying to live up to her mother’s expectations had long ago become boring. Emma did, however, know when to stop and do as she was told. Even if she didn’t want to.
“I saw a door marked ‘Personnel Only’ and went inside. Everyone was being stupid. I was bored. There were some rooms, but I didn’t go in any of them. Then I heard a man yell. He was threatening a whole lot of people. Apparently they were involved with something. He saw me and I ran away. Some security guards tried to catch me, but I escaped from them.”
Abigail sucked in a breath.
“This man who yelled, did you see what he looked like?”
“Blond hair I think, but I’m not sure,” Emma said shaking her head, “He seemed to scare the whole room very easily, though. That was actually kind of funny.”
“Wesley Price,” the woman whispered in fear before turning to her daughter, “Emma, forget everything you heard and never repeat any of it. Do you understand me? If Mr Price finds out that it was you, who knows what he would do. We can only hope the cameras didn’t see your face.”
“Cameras?” Emma was scared. What if there had been a camera in the storage closet. What if it saw her use her powers? What was she going to do?
“Emma, go to bed. Now! If this clears up, we would be very lucky,” Abigail said and left the room.
Blowing out the candle, Emma allowed her powers to spread across the room. Sitting in the dark she knew what she had to do. She had to go back and make sure all video evidence was erased. She felt so stupid. How could she forget about the cameras? They’re everywhere, even if you didn’t see them. The whole of Hope City was on camera watch all hours of the day.
Standing up she moved to her closet to get a change of clothes. She picked out ankle length black tights and a long sleeved black shirt. She put on some black boots and black gloves. She then rampages through the very back of her closet to get an old burglar mask that only exposed her eyes. Putting it on, she made sure her hair was completely hidden. Moving to her bedside table she opened the drawer. Taking out everything, she exposed a secret compartment. Inside was a dagger. June had given it to her on their last birthday, making her promise not to tell anyone.
Using the shadows she landed herself in an alley near EnterPRICE. She made her way to a phone booth at the corner of the street and called a number she knew better than the back of her hand. There were a few rings before someone picked up.
“Hallo? Worp residence.”
“Hallo Auntie. It’s Emma. Can I talk to June please?”
“Sorry Emma, June’s not here.”
“Can I leave her a message then?”
“Sorry Emma. Not now. She’ll be back- (CRASH!)”
“Auntie! What was that noise? Is everything ok?”
“Yes Emma, everything’s fine. It was just the cat bumping into the table. Sorry sweetie, have to go.”
Emma was frozen in place as she listened to the disconnected sound. As she hanged up she couldn’t help but wonder when June had gotten a cat.
Emma walked into an alley, closed her eyes, and reached into the shadows. Normally to find a place she would need to be inside that shadows. However, since she had been in the building before, all she needed was to find it again with her sight. She searched for EnterPRICE’s security room, finding it after a few minutes. Emma walked over to the wall, pressed her hand against the shadow and travelled to the room.
Screens covered the walls, each of them showing a different area. Emma looked at them noticing something strange. There were no people, no guards. In fact, no one was even in the room. The entire building was void of life.
Emma knew she should be suspicious, but was too busy applauding her good luck. She went to the computer, quickly identifying the cameras for the storage room. After rewinding to the time she was inside, Emma frowned. She couldn’t find it. Fast forwarding and rewinding several times, she concluded that it wasn’t there. Looking at the time confirmed it; some of the video was missing. Going to the camera in the hallway she found the same thing.
Someone had already removed the scenes she wanted. The question was: Who?
“Looking for something Miss Knight?” a voice said behind her. Emma recognized the voice, having heard it that very same day. She turned around confirming her suspicions. There by the door, leaning against the frame of it, stood Wesley Price. He was a tall man with wide shoulders and short blond hair that fell into his cream colour face. He had an air of confidence surrounding him, not to mention the look to pull it off. If Emma wasn’t so scared right now she would have thought him attractive.
“To tell you the truth, I’m not all that surprise that you’re here,” Price said as he walked, quite casually, into the room. As he came closer, Emma backed away, walking closer to the most shadowed area of the room. Price laughed at her actions. It sounded cold and cruel to her ears.
“Please don’t take me for a fool, Miss Knight. I’m well aware of your…abilities.” Price smirked as he leaned against the computer table. He then took something out of his pocket. It was a flash drive.
“I do believe you know what this is,” Price said. Calmly he inserted the flash drive and typed a few things. Immediately the screens changed. Some showed her walking down the hall. Others showed her pranks on the security guards. Only one, however, showed something entirely different. It was the screen right above Price’s head, and what it showed almost stopped Emma’s heart. There she was, using her powers; the video playing in a loop.
“You’re quite amazing Miss Knight. I’ve never actually met someone like you,” Price said, looking completely amused.
“H-how do you k-know my name?” Emma asked, once again trying to leave. Then again, she’s been trying to leave since he entered the room. Not that it was working. She wasn’t surprised though, sometimes when she was too stressed or too emotional she couldn’t use her powers. It happened to June too. It probably happened to all Torrics.
This meant, however, she would have to leave using more normal way.
Price turned to type a few things, causing all of the screens to change again. Most of them now showed pictures of Emma while a few showed information about her. Her name, age, school, grades, polices records, the time she usually goes to bed, what she eats in the morning and much more. There was also information on her parents, June, classmates and teachers. The pictures weren’t much better, for they showed the places she normally hanged out: her house, June’s house, school, the café called Sugar Me Up, even as Fire-Cat at Diamond Dust. Price, Emma realized, knew pretty much everything about her.
“Impressive, isn’t it,” Price asked.
“So I guess you think you know everything don’t you,” Emma asked quickly thinking up a plan to get out.
“Oh?” Price said, looking at the girl with amusement, “are you saying there’s something I don’t know?”
“More like forgotten.”
“And what would that be?”
“I’m a lot more stubborn then I look.”
At that moment Emma was glad her PE teacher wasn’t a sexist jerk, and had made sure every girl in her school knew how to play ruby, especially the tackling part. She charged at him, shoulder out and slammed into his chest, grabbing the flash drive and running off.
She ran down several fights of stairs. There was no use in taking the elevator; after all, Price could just stop it. She ran through the building, stopping only to catch her breath while she tried to remember where she was and where to go.
Suddenly something came up from behind her and started chocking her. She tried to pull the arms away from her neck, but the person was too strong. She craned her neck to see who it was.
It was Wesley Price!
Lacing her fingers together, she brought her hands up before slamming her elbow into the man’s rib cage. He- no it let go, but Emma was sure her elbow was injured in some way. Whatever the thing in front of her was, it was not Wesley Price.
Emma took one of her martial arts stand, the Not-Price doing the same. She charged at it, first swiping at it with her foot. Then she kicked back and threw punches at it. She repeatedly kicked and punched at it, keeping the Not-Price on the defensive. At least at first.
At one point, when she tried to kick it in the head again, it moved down, swiping her feet from under her. She fell, but immediately moved her body to get up again. However, the fall had still cost her, her edge. Now she was the one on the defence. Unfortunately, while the Not-Price was able to move quick enough that none of her hits landed, Emma was not as lucky.
After a few minutes, Emma took a large jump backwards, trying to get both her breathing and composure under control. The thing had stopped moving, waiting for her to act. She took out her dagger, and held it in front of her. She charged at the Not-Price again, this time using her dagger for the attack.
It didn’t take long before Emma’s attacks became wilder and less coordinated. She was, after all, desperate to hit it. Emma could, on one hand, count the amount of people who were faster than her, and the fact that this thing was so much faster irritated her.
Emma knew there was only one thing she could do, and that was a sacrifice manoeuvre. She reared back, making the thing think she had lost her footing. By doing this, the Not-Price thought it was safe to attack again. As it hit her in the stomach, Emma shoved the dagger into the Not-Price.
The Not-Price flickered before revealing to be a Security Robot underneath. Emma should have known. Security Robots had a holographic projector installed inside it. Not to mention it was a level 1 AI. L1’s aren’t able to talk, but can follow verbal commands. While they didn’t have much processing power they are able to predict your needs after a few weeks.
No one likes looking at robots however. That’s where the holograms came in. All AI had them, to make them look more human. Some of the more advanced once could be ordered with synthetic skin, but it was expensive. The holograms could be set to anyone’s likeness. That way they could all be the same person. If you didn’t know they were robots, you’d think the one person was everywhere.
It was creepy.
Emma looked at the robot as it was lying down on the ground. She had, fortunately, hit a vital circuit. With that damaged, the robot wouldn’t be able to get back up. She took hold of her elbow, wincing. It was defiantly fractured, maybe even shattered. Slowly she turned and walked towards the exit.
Only for everything to go black.
Wesley winced as he stood up from the floor. The girl was a lot stronger than he anticipated. Turning, he saw that she had taken the flash drive.
“So predictable,” he said smirking. He pressed the button to open the DVD drive, taking out a disk clearly marked: ‘EMMA KNIGHT’. He loved playing games with people, making them think they won and snatching it away.
Turing the screens back to normal he watched as Knight ran through the halls and stairs. Wesley smirked as he watched her, pushing buttons to lock or unlock doors, leading her right where he wanted her to go. She thought by avoiding the elevator that she was out of his control. She had so much to learn. As she neared the exit, he activated the Security Robot, setting its hologram to his image.
Satisfied, Wesley walked to his office. He needed to get a few things. In all honesty, Knight did surprise him. He expected her to stay in the room like a good little scared girl and listen to him, but she was obviously not that easily to scare. She really was stronger than he thought she was.
Opening his office door he headed straight for his desk. He pulled open the top drawer searching for something. As he did this he typed in several commands on his computer without looking. Just as he grasped the object he was looking for his computer made a ‘ping’ sound. Wesley looked up, watching as his look alike fought against the teenage girl. She moved with precision, just as her files had indicated.
Wesley looked down at the collar in his hands. It was silver with a circular object attached to it. The circle had a T on it. A quarter of the way on either side of it was hinges and at the back was the opening. Reaching into the drawer again he pulled out the remote for the collar.
Standing straight he cast one more look at the computer. Knight was close to fanatic with her actions now. She was desperate to defeat the security robot. Good. The more frantic she became the greater possibility of her making a mistake.
Wesley stood on the second floor, watching Knight defeat the Security robot. As she backed away, dropping the dagger, Wesley assessed her injuries: shattered elbow, bruises on arms and legs, sprained ankle, two broken ribs as well as three fractured ones, two heavy bleeding cuts, two black eyes and probably –not that he could see due to the mask- a spilt lip.
Knight stood tall and limped towards the exit. Wesley watched her, wondering how long she would remain conscious. Apparently not very long, for the young girl didn’t even take a single step before she dropped to the ground.
Taking out the collar and the remote, Wesley made his way downstairs. He looked at the girl, covered almost from head to toe in black clothing, and bent down, attaching the collar to her neck and locking it in place with the remote. Afterword he picked her up, cradling her in his arms, and walk to his car.
Wesley placed her in the back and covered her with a blanket, completely obscuring her from view. He then got into the driver’s seat and drove to the entrance. Taking out his ID card, he allowed the machine to scan it before driving home.