Different

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Malou

Ocril

“The Marked gene will be completely eradicated hopefully in the next twenty years, it is a horrifying and debilitating disadvantage for all that reside in Plucia, their violent and menacing scars and marks show they endanger Plucia and its future, Marked creatures will be extinct and when they are all gone forever Plucia can live in safety again.”

The voice of Alaric blared out of the massive news televisions that littered the streets, it blared out Alaric’s propaganda against Marks, there was never any endangerment from the Marked people, they were harmless until they understood their powers. I was walking down the streets of Ocril, wrapping my ragged jacket around my small body tightly, it was the middle of winter, Ocril was the furthest north city of Plucia and the most rebellious in some parts of the city. There was limited healthcare, luxuries, and food and water rationing was at its worst rate since the fallout. My straight snowy white hair blew around in the bitter arctic wind. I looked around and saw people just like me, some didn’t even have coats over their bare skin, Ocril was also the most deprived city, no statuesque skyscrapers, no safety, and no sanctuary for the poor.

Ocril was notoriously known as a brutal sector in Plucia, known for its violent secret police and guards, the people that resided in Ocril were constantly indoctrinated with Alaric’s propaganda about Marked people, most Marked people originate from Ocril. I was one of three children in my family, my piercing white hair that could leave people blind, my intriguing pastel purple eyes lead to another galaxy. I was a Mark and no matter the age of the person they were completely segregated from society. Ocril had suffered too much, especially Marks, countless Marks were beaten in the streets for everyone to see, their blood stained the square where it always happened, there was no way of ever lifting the stains of their blood. My family knew of someone who was secretly known by a few families that took Marked children to some sort of ‘safe haven’ and when a kid was taken by him, they were never heard of again, they were crossed off a never ending list of Marks that suspiciously disappeared from the sector. One night, the night I turned fifteen, my sleep was cut short, the darkness of my room, under her duvet covers, turned into a truck. My family had to get rid of me now, my abilities were becoming stronger. I finally woke up more, tired and run down I rubbed my eyes.

“Hey Malou, right?” I heard a voice

“Where are we going? Who are you? Do all the Marks actually get killed or is there actually a safe haven for them? Are you going to kill me?” I said to the man in the driving seat, his bright eyes startled me at first and his dusty blond brown curls were swept back.

“Bloody hell calm down kid. We’re headed to a safe place that actually exists, not all Marks get killed, I’m not going to kill you, pleased to meet you, I’m Marcus.” he laughed

I allowed myself to laugh too “Sorry about that.”

“It’s totally fine, I would be worried if you weren’t like this, your mother said you’re always like that.”

I frowned at the mention of my mother, I still blamed her for this messed up situation.

“Hey don’t worry they had to send you away, they would’ve killed you and then killed your family.” He gave me a reassuring smile “You’re going to be just fine, you’re brave, you’ll fit right in here.”

Marcus stopped the truck at the high rise gates that guarded the place, guards soon came to the drivers window and had a conversation of business, Marcus said words I’d never heard of before but I thought nothing of it. We drove on for another 5 minutes, we soon had to stop.

The truck stopped and I looked around, loads of people. Some had blinding white hair like me, some had obnoxious scars and craters on their limbs and their faces, they were some sort of family in a way. They all smiled and me found myself smiling too. I was frozen in a mix of intimidation, fear, and relief. I had escaped Ocril, I had escaped Plucia. I was helped out of the truck by Marcus. The kids slowly dispersed after a few minutes. I was taken inside of a building with a group of people that seemed to be the leaders. They gestured for me to sit down and then they sat on chairs of their own or perched themselves on tables or just sat on the floor. There were a few kids around my age. Another man walked in seeming to be the leader. “Hello, It’s Malou right?” the man continued “I’m Alec, the leader or the shitty excuse for a leader, but this is Floucia.”

I smiled then looked around at the other people staring at me. “This is Sam and Cohen my mates and they kind of help around here, this place was only recently set up and things only really run smoothly now. It was set up around 3 years ago, may seem like a long time but to set up a place of great importance it takes a monstrous amount of time.”

“Any questions kid? We might as well start a conversation worth remembering.” One of the kids said

“Um, what are your superpowers here?” I mumbled

“I’m Atticus by the way, I possess extreme empathy, I can control thoughts if I want to and read them too.” He said with a slight smile

“What can you do then?” A girl called out, she was a little bit older than my by glance she had tattoos climbing up her neck.

“Pheromone manipulation.” I say quietly

“What’s that? I’ve never heard of that before.” The girl cut in

“Malou has the power to generate and should be able to control pheromones. Pheromones are a secreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in us humans." he took a breath "It's kind of like a mass human alarm, if she's in trouble she can basically call all of us to help her."

"When did Atticus eat a dictionary" the girl said

"For your information Drew, I was the son of the man who knows everything about Marks, their origin, definitions of abilities and aspects of identification." Atticus said, then quickly looking back down at his feet. He was nervous.

Drew looked around, mouth wide.

"It's true, don't even question it Drew." Alec said before anything could be said.

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