The air was warm, too warm, despite his desperate attempts to move in the past, he seemed to with ease, his body felt sore, everywhere. He was cold, and warm at the same time. Asen furrowed his brows in groggy confusion. Why was it warm? He didn’t understand. It was always cold in Black Swan. His thoughts traveled to the orphanage and the bombing. His family- Renata--
Asen’s eyes snapped open as he shot up, frantically searching around the room. It was bright blue, with marble walls that stretched high above him. there were neon computer holographic screens everywhere, something Asen had never seen before. Technology was far beyond his comprehension. He looked down at the cot he was under, he looked to be in a room of some kind, he was pinned to a heart monitor that beeped frantically to match his heartrate. Asen startled at why he was connected to a machine frantically ripped it out, causing his arm to bleed rather quickly. He let out a small cry in pain and opened a small heal source, closing up the wound.
Asen put his hands on the bed and struggled to stand, his legs trembled as he tumbled back on the bed, he furrowed his brow, unsure why he couldn’t stand but decided to stay. The room was empty, he was alone. Had Bonderev found him? Was he in Moscow with Hertzog? Asen tried to piece together where he was and why everything looked so different.
Suddenly a blue light formed from the ceiling projecting onto the ground, as it formed on a slightly raised platform, a figure formed, it was the same color as the technology around, It was a girl, glowing blue with numbers swirling around her slowly. She had long hair that floated behind her and a simple white dress. She looked transparent, like a ghost. Asen watched in awe as she formed in front of him.
“You’re awake! I welcome you to Cassell College! You did miss the Convocation Ceremony, but it’s okay!” She spoke out professionally, Her accent was strongly clear and fluent English, despite Asen’s thicker, Russian accent he spoke hesitantly
“W-Who are you?” He asked
“I am E.V.A. The Education’s Virtual Assistant! I aid students in Cassell College” She nods her head
“Eva..? O-okay- uhm...W-Where am I?” He attempts to stand again but fumbled
“Please don’t stand, who knows how long you’re muscles have been frozen” She holds a hand out to signal him to stop.
“You are at Cassell College” She then explains
“C-Cassell College...? Where’s that?”
“Cassell College is located in Chicago,” She explains calmly, her hands neatly tucked behind her back. Asen, now even more confused furrowed his brow
“Chicago...W-where’s that?” He asked again
“Chicago is located in Illinois, just by Lake Michigan, in the United States of America” She explains once again,
“A-America?!” Asen’s eyes widen as he frantically scooted away from her.
“I-I don’t know anything- H-Honest I was rarely into politics-” He stammered. Eva tilts her head quizzically in confusion
“I’m sorry, I’m not sure I understand-” She asked
“Y-you’re not here to interrogate me...?” He questioned. She simply shook her head
“Nope! Although the Principal may have some questions for you, he’s on his way now!” She smiled
“Who..?” Asen asked
“Principal Hilbert Ron Anjou is the owner and founder of Cassell College, He will be here to escort you shortly” She explained
Asen sat in silence for a moment before remembering his sister, he shot up, looking towards the hologram again
“My sister! I-I need to find my sister-!” He forces himself to stand yet again as if he hadn’t learned his lesson the first two times.
“Please don’t stand, who knows how long you’re muscles have been frozen” She holds a hand out to signal him to stop, repeating her statement the same time as before
“N-no! I got to find my sister--!” He argued
“Who is your sister?” She tilts her head
“R-Renata...Renata Romanova-” He tells her.
Suddenly coding flashes all around Eva as she continues to look up the name in the database
“I’m sorry, No one named Renata Romanova goes to this school” She explained. Asen, now frustrated shakes his head at her
“N-no- she doesn’t live in America-!” He explained
Once again Eva scans her database and furrowed her brow
“I’m sorry, No one named Renata Romanova is in our Visitors List, she’s not here,” Eva explained
“N-no I know that! She’s back home- a-at Black Swan! I have to go to her! I can’t stay here!” He argues
“Black Swan?” She questioned
“Yes-!” He added
“Black Swan Bay does not exist.” She explained
“What? Yes, it does!” He argued at her,
“Black Swan bay was a Hybrid orphanage from the years 1950 to 1979, in Zelenyi Bor, Russia. It no longer exists” She explained
Asen teared up a little, remembering his friends, he looked down,
“M-My sister is still there- I know it-” He argued
“I can assure you no one is in Zelenyi Bor, Russia, no one from Black Swan of course." She nods
"You're wrong!" He yelled
"I cannot be wrong, I am E.V.A., the Education's Virtual Assistant-" She explained before Asen cut her off
"Let me out!" He yelled at her
"I'm sorry, I cannot do that-" She said calmly, this only angered Asen more
"I said let me out!" He attempts to grab her hand only to phase through, he stared in confusion and waved his arm straight through her, she seemed unbothered by this and spoke again
"I'm sorry, I cannot do that." She said again, like a broken record
"You're...not real-" He stammered before walking past her to the door, suddenly the door opens to reveal a tall American man.
His hair reached past his shoulders and was slicked back. It was silver which matched his beard and mustache. He looked old, although young at the same time. His suit was a navy color and he wore a white turtleneck sweater under it. His coat slung over his shoulder which was held by one hand, the other was tucked into his pant's pocket. He looked through his glasses before offering a warm smile.
"Hello, My boy! Welcome to Cassell College" He said strongly
Asen stumbled back and tripped, within a split second he found himself caught by the man as if he had lightning reflexes.
"Careful now, wouldn't want you to fall" He chuckled and set him on the cot. Asen hesitated looking at him worriedly
"Now let's start with your name, Let's hear it sport" he pats his shoulder
"A-Asen.." He uttered
"Asen...hmm, sounds Russian" Anjou scratched his beard
"I-I am Russian" He explained
"Oh! Haha, hopefully, you're not still mad at us" He chuckled
"Principal Anjou- you are acting inappropriately, this isn't endearing" Eva explained
"Mad...?" Asen questioned
"For the war" Anjou explained
"War...the- cold war?" Asen mumbled out
"Yes, although I suppose it did end a few years ago, I was always told you Russians hold quite the grudge!" Anjou laughed
"T-The war isn't over?" Asen questioned him. The room fell silent for a moment before Eva spoke
"The cold war started in 1947 and ended in 1991" Eva explained
"1991..? That hasn't happened yet-!" Asen argued, looking confused
Anjou's face fell as he walked towards Asen quietly. He sits down beside him as Asen eyes him cautiously
"Asen what year is it for you?" He asked
"I-it's 1979-" Asen explained
Anjou and Eva shared a look, as if how to handle the situation that just laid before them. The older man places a hand on his shoulder before speaking
"Asen, The year today is 2000. Its September, 17th, 2000" Anjou spoke
Asen's eyes widen as he pulls himself away from Anjou "N-No- No! Y-you're wrong! It's not! It's December 26th, 1979! You're wrong!" He shouted, Anjou, watched him sadly
"Asen...It appears you have been trapped in the sea...for about twenty years..." Anjou softened,
Asen frantically shook his head, clutching his hair as the tears fell, he kept repeating "No" over and over again, he looked down to his lap, which his coat had faded shades of red-stained in them, He realizes that he has lost everything, his family, his home, even his time, everything was gone, nothing was familiar, he began hyperventilating unexpectedly, his eyes flickered that golden color again
"Principal it appears that Asen Romanova is having a Post Traumatic Stress Attack" Eva explains
"I'm aware-" He says calmly before he stands up, noticing his hands as they scaled up slowly
Asen suddenly opened his mouth to speak but suddenly felt strained, he tried again and again but his voice refused. Stressed and now scared he let out strained, weak cries, Unsure why he couldn't talk, he looked to the professor
"Asen- Asen calm down-... You're having a panic attack. You need to breathe." He told to the trembling boy
Suddenly Asen forces a hand to his mouth, he looked green. Anjou quickly grabbed the nearest can and handed it to Asen. The seventeen-year-old boy puked into it, all the stress wrapping up inside of him as he cried and pushed out anything that was in his body. Anjou looked away, not wanting to shame the boy. Despite this now being over Asen still couldn't talk, it frustrated him. Anjou took the basket and placed it down carefully.
"You can't force it, You will make yourself sick," He told Asen before grabbing a small book from his pocket and handing it to him
"Write in this, We can talk through that okay?" He mumbled out, rubbing Asen's back gently before turning to Eva
"Contact Professor Jane, Let her know she's urgently needed in the Nurse's Office" He instructed
"Okay," Eva said calmly before she faded into the air, off to do her task.
Anjou sighed and turned back to Asen, who had written something in Russian. He furrowed his brow
"Can you not write English?" He asked, Asen shook his head. Anjou sighed and looked at the book, adjusting his glasses before grabbing his cell phone, scanning the lettering to translate it. Asen slightly intrigued watched before Anjou wrote back in Russian, just below Asen's entry. The boy shakily wiped his face to try to stop his crying, his hiccups, and shaky breaths were the only sound in the room.
Anjou proceeded to write, in Russian, everything Asen needed to know while comforting him, Asen slowly was being informed about everything he missed out on. the two stayed in the nurses' office while waiting on Eva.