Abram Fletcher August 2nd, 2022
Three women in white lab coats stood before me, one holding a syringe full of dark blue liquid. Another with ginger hair was gripping a clipboard tightly in her hands. Her cheaply done nails made me wonder briefly how much she got paid. The one holding the syringe was in her late forties, with grey streaks throughout her hair. But the other one, a much younger blonde, gave me a sympathetic smile. “Abram Fletcher, age 12. Son of Lieutenant Liam Fletcher, who was declared KIA two months ago.” I flinched at Ginger’s harsh words. “His mother died giving birth.”
Syringe Lady gave me a grim smile. “Abram, my name is Dr.Holmes. I’m the head of the MutaGenesis Program.”
I shifted on the table. “Hello.”
Dr.Holmes glanced at the clipboard in Ginger’s fingers. “You’ve been specifically selected for this program because of your IQ scores. Correct?” I didn’t answer, trying to get comfortable on the metal table they had me strapped to. They’re lying. I was picked because my dad is dead. They wanted to use me like they used him. My dad was drafted to fight a war he didn’t want to fight in.
Before I could stop myself, words rolled off my tongue. “Is that what you want to call it? Selected? Thats bullshit.”
I knew that MutaGenesis Program wanted to use orphans of the war to finish off WW3. They wanted to stoop so low as to sacrifice children and teens. Because the orphans are wards of the state, the government put them to ‘good use’. That’s all anyone ever knew about the program. Now I was a part of it.
Ginger scoffed, scribbling something onto her clipboard. “Don’t you want to avenge your father’s death?” I didn’t answer, looking up at the ceiling. I learned years ago that hate gets you nowhere. Revenge is just a darker, more twisted form of hate. It’s better just to forgive, but never forget. You have to remember what happened in order to learn from it. Dr.Holmes studied me as Ginger and the blonde did a close up on my leg muscles. You have to stay strong, they said. That’s all that ever matters to them.
Dr.Holmes cleaned the crook of my left elbow, Ginger prepping the blue syringe behind her. Distaste flashed behind the doctor’s eyes, and I wondered whether or not she knew of the lipstick on her teeth. “You’re almost too intelligent, Abram.”
I resisted the urge to scoff. “That kinda happens when a bunch of adults want children to fight their war. The children grow up too fast.”
It’s hard to believe that only five years ago, the war started. North Korea launched a missile into New York City, killing thousands of people. The U.S declared war, and the rest of the world took sides. WW3 began at a fast pace. Soldiers were dying faster than the armies could train them. It’s been five years now, and the U.S was losing. Dr. Natalia Stumpff, a geneticist from D.C, had a revolutionary breakthrough. She discovered a way to rearrange a child’s genetic code. The serum, called Leviathan, could take your strongest gene or trait and mutate it. Her first test subject, an eleven year old named Stella Montgomery, could read and manipulate the minds of others. Of course, when Natalia introduced Stella, different countries scrambled to get a hold of Leviathan.
Instead of using children, the U.S attempted to mutate adults. Their body rejected the serum, sending the test subjects into comas and seizures. Most of the test subjects did not survive.
Ginger suddenly gripped my arm, holding it still. Her fake nails bit into my skin, where I’m sure she had drawn blood. I watched as the doctor injected the blue serum into my bloodstream, flinching at the prick and Ginger’s tight grip.
I let out a cry as an agonizing burn spread from my fingertips to my heart. I had never felt a pain like this before, and the sound of my heart in my ears was like a helicopter blade. Dr.Holmes murmured something to the nurses, but I was too busy listening to my heart slow down and speed up, to comprehend what she had said. The pain grew more intense, and my body began moving on its own. I couldn’t even open my mouth to scream, or cry. Hot, salty tears flowed down my face as my head began to pound. It felt like my body was ripping itself apart as the DNA rearranged itself. Shapes and stars danced across my vision, but my gaze somehow landed on a petite brunette that hadn’t been there before.
She was dressed in simple grey clothing, with wildly wavy brown hair that fell down to her waist. She had wide, silver grey eyes much like my own.
Parting my dry lips, I struggled to speak. “W-who is that?”
The doctor looked around to where the girl was. “He must be hallucinating. Put him under.” Confusion clouded my mind as I felt another needle prick my skin. They couldn’t see her? My body movement suddenly stopped, and a wave of drowsiness washed over me. I could barely keep my eyes open, let alone speak. The voices of the doctor and nurses slowly began to fade out as I focused on the girl. She looked frightened, but held her ground.
Her lips began to form words. “You can see me?”
Carmen Thorne October 3rd, 2160
I woke with a start.
My heart was pounding in my ears, and my chest was heaving as I gasped for breath. My dreams aren’t normally this vivid. In this dream, I could actually interact with Abram. Shivering to myself, I wound my thin cotton blanket around myself. I don’t know if it was for warmth, or protection, but it worked. No doubt I would need plenty of protection for today, considering today is my seventeenth birthday.
Today is the day I discover my origin.
I live in Eden, a large city in the country of Atristan. In our country, you are either a Purified or an Anomaly. It was all based on what blood type you had. If you are declared an Anomaly on your seventeenth birthday, that means you have the Leviathan blood type. That usually means you have weird powers or abilities that the Purified don't. To be an Anomaly means to be an outcast. A freak.
That won't happen to me, though. Both of my fathers are privileged Purified citizens. It's in my bloodline.
In Eden, The Council and the Chancellor decides everything for us. Because choices are dangerous. They can lead to war and disaster. The Council decides who we marry, our job, where we live, and how many children we are permitted to have. Eden is a place of peace and prosperity.
Then there is 'The Edge'.
The Edge is the outer border of Atristan, and is where you are sent if you are revealed as an Anomaly. The Edge is a place riddled with small forests and mountains, and it's desolate. From what we've learned in school, Anomalies usually travel alone or in small groups. Anomalies are usually put under 'The Anomaly Regulations.' But you are only sent to The Edge if you and your Anomaly are declared harmless by the Council.
If you are deemed otherwise, you're executed on live television.
That's the way its been for hundreds of years.
Feeling my bare feet touch the chill wood floor, I stood and made my way to the small closet on the other side of my unit. I only have seven day outfits, and seven night outfits. All are gray and dresses that reach my knees. After changing into the itchy fabric, I faced the small rectangular mirror hanging in my closet.
My dark chestnut hair fell in waves around my face and down my back, making my tan skin seem pale in comparison. I've always thought I was pretty average-looking. That is, except for my eyes. Silver grey eyes that seemed to brighten my face. They rested on high, defined cheekbones and a slim nose I always thought was too small. Thin, pink lips and thick eyebrows. Average. I'm average.
"Carmen!" My father's voice snapped me out of my thoughts.
Jumping slightly, I quickly put my dark hair into an elegant bun. Standard Purified wear. "In a minute, Papa."
Plenty of my peers thought it was odd I had two fathers, but it's against the Purified way to judge someone based on lineage. Making my way down our simple flight of stairs, I'm greeted by both of my fathers' eating breakfast at our white table. Everything was simple. Elegant. Colorless.
Papa smiled at me, showing perfect pearly whites that made his blue eyes twinkle. "Happy birthday, Adaobi." Adaobi is African for princess, which my father named me as soon as the Council approved my adoption.
I smiled warmly at both of my parents. "Thank you, Papa." I nodded at my Dad. "Good morning, Dad."
My Dad contrasted from my Papa greatly. While my Papa is pale-skinned, with blue eyes and blonde hair; My Dad is much darker-skinned with brown eyes and black hair to match. I enjoyed the difference my family had in our community, especially considering Papa is an active member of the Council. My Dad grinned toothily, his dimples showed off as he smiled. "Good morning, Adaobi. Excited?"
I sat at my seat between my parents. "More nervous than anything."
Maybe that was the truth, maybe it wasn't. Maybe I already had a hunch that this was my last morning with my parents.
And that terrified me.