I saw his life, and what he was talking about when we were at the mansion.
He held someone, probably me in his arms for I felt like that someone even when I knew it wasn’t me exactly. We danced the night away at a glorious ball before the war began. The two of us were royalty among his clan, rivaling everyone else present, or at least that’s how it appeared until the attack happened. I fell to the ground, as he transformed into a huge black beast with wings and fangs and claws. He pounced onto his attackers, but the onslaught was too much. Eventually he went down, amid the chaos and the blood. In the wake of the destruction, one of the few remaining survivors found his body and took him away from the grand dining hall. He slowly fed on blood until his skin grew back to its original color. His form shrunk down, regressing into that of a child, until only a small boy of age five remained from the once great man. He aged once more; sheltered in the basement of the house he lived in, and read lots and lots of books during his solitude. He didn’t age past thirteen, but that didn’t matter much to me because he retained that form whenever he was around people. His followers, the Dwellers, brought others of their kind to him. He anointed them as a part of their clan. He took them in and taught them how to control their bloodlust. He walked around the world in the aftermath of the wars, and found more of his kind in hiding. Some were too far gone from the lust, and they attacked him. He was forced to kill those that wouldn’t yield to his reign. But he slowly pieced together his people and the clan expanded. He met with advisors on both sides of the opposing Empires and talked about peace negotiations. He attacked some of their generals, my friends, to help prove his superiority. Eventually both sides yielded and the cease-fire was created. He placed members of his clan within the government run businesses to expand his influence further and increase his knowledge with the intellectual world. But that wasn’t all he did. During his free time he used every minute of the day searching for his lost love. The others told him she had died and would never come back. They weren’t able to save his Queen and bride. But he persevered, nonetheless. And then he spotted me, when I first saw him that day. He knew I was different though he couldn’t pinpoint how, just like I thought he was odd for a small child when his looks were incredibly gorgeous. He was prepared to sacrifice me to the werewolf, already knowing that I knew too much. But he realized what powers I possessed and took that upon himself to guess I was the reincarnation of his lost love. That’s why he saved me then, and didn’t let the beast attack me. I was special to him.
The images ended, but the feelings in regards to how he felt about my existence poured into my heart and soul. He adored everything about me, about what I was and what I would be to him. The problem was I didn’t return the affection. I wasn’t that girl, and he didn’t see it. I didn’t have another life; I didn’t belong to the Dwellers. I was a Sun-Walker as they put it, and nothing more.
His lips parted against mine and he sighed. “Hopefully you understand now.”
I couldn’t move. This wasn’t right. He should know that I wasn’t the one he thought I was, and yet, I couldn’t vocalize my opinion.
I had never been kissed like this before, so this experience was new to me. Even in all my past years of staying alive, when I should’ve died, one would think I had met someone after my old life and gotten married and settled down. But since the incident with the toxins on my skin, no one, except my family, wanted anything to do with me, at least not personally. They didn’t thank me when I saved their lives, though they knew I was the only one who could do so. They didn’t invite me to their parties, when they knew I ate and drank just like the rest of the Sun-Walkers. And they didn’t particularly speak to me, even though I knew every language in the world, and a few others that were now extinct. I had become an outcast to my own people, and here was someone that mistook me for his Queen but loved me…no adored me in a way I couldn’t think was true. This was out of this world and impossible.
“You still aren’t ready to share your experience?” he asked me.
I stared at his face, not really seeing him standing so close to me. I was afraid of looking into his eyes and losing myself in their compassionate gaze.
He sighed again. “I want to know how you found me.”
“I didn’t…” I trailed off. What could I say? I would crush him with the knowledge of who I really was. It was clear that behind his strong figure, he had a soft heart.
Two things happened simultaneously that interrupted our little soiree. One was from the street, where sirens from the Guard Transport stopped by the curb of the abandoned hospital. The other was from the rooftop of the building, where one of the Dwellers called down to Dustavian.
“They’re searching for the code breakers. If they find you here…” the teenager called down to him, not finishing the warning.
Dustavian pulled away and smiled sadly. “Time to go. We’ll meet again soon.” He released me and shrunk back into his thirteen year old self. He leapt up to the top of the building and disappeared from view.
As soon as he was gone, the boarded up door from the abandoned hospital broke apart and the Guards massed into the garden. They shined their flashlights on me, and spoke in a robotic voice, using the speakers in their suits.
“You have been caught in violation of the Night Law. ID code needed for verification.”
I stepped away from the wall and turned on them, making sure they could spot my face in the green light of their night vision goggles. Already I knew they were using the laser scanners on my body, in order to learn who I was. The problem with the scanners was my body wasn’t in that system. Ten years ago, everyone who lived in Anea had their blood taken for diagnostic testing. The government wanted to keep its citizens healthy and alive, which is why nearly everyone had their genetic blueprint plastered into the program, for easy identification. But my blood hadn’t been taken from me in over ten years, so I wasn’t in that system. Instead, I carried an ID card on me, to verify who I was. But the problem with this scenario was the ID card was at home, in my room, and not on my person. I hadn’t the need to take it with me when I left the house, because I wasn’t prepared for the change in the night’s events.
“Scanners can’t pick her up. She’s not in the system,” they spoke to each other from within the suits.
That was the problem with my extra sensitive hearing. Every time they used their intercoms between the suits I heard them, despite the noise blocker they all wore. Maybe that was why most people avoided me, because I was a freak now, and knew what they were saying when they thought they planned in secret.
“ID card pick up?” the original voice asked the other guy.
Oh joy. Another second passed and the guns opened fire on me. Unfortunately for them, the bullets ricocheted off my skin and hit the bricks around me. I crossed my arms, feeling the force against my skin, knowing that if I could bruise I would.
I took several steps forward, against the force of the bullets, closing the distance between the eight of us.
“Hold your fire!” the speaker commanded to them all.
The shooting stopped and so did I.
“Evelyn? Is that you?”
I smiled and nodded. “You got it, boys.” Evelyn Price was my codename within the government. My ID name was the same as well, since the name changed every year. Last year’s name was Nadine Juniper. They really liked using the old world female names with my second identity. At least my real name was something that no one had ever heard of, and one that only my immediate family used when we weren’t in public.
“Where’s your ID card?” One of the soldiers moved over to me, speaking with regality.
“At the house.”
“Then what are you doing out here?” Another soldier asked while shouldering his gun.
I kicked the dirt. I thought up a lie that could pass for the truth. “My grandparents were dining on Third Street so I left the house early to check up on them. They decided to bunk at the lodgings there rather than travel home so close to the night hours. By the time I returned home, I was locked out. I only came out here to stay until I can get back inside. I left my ID card in my other suit, as I wasn’t prepared to leave the house so soon. It was all last minute.” I glanced at them all. “It won’t happen again.”
“You should come with us. We have another assignment for you.” He motioned to the other side of the street where I knew the Transport awaited. Already the others headed back into the abandoned building, their mechanical suits tinkering.
I sighed. “And my ID card?”
“We’ll have your parents send it via pipe.”
I nodded. Hopefully they wouldn’t ask about the neighbor. They knew enough to be wary about the government and its questions. Things could get complicated and scary all at the same time, and I didn’t want that for them. I prepared myself to head to the transport, knowing that I wasn’t going to get any peace tonight. The main speaker turned around so he could follow the others out, but before he took any steps, I grabbed him and propelled us both to the top of the roof and then across it, landing back down onto the street. I deposited him just as the rest of the team scuttled out of the abandoned hospital. They stopped in alarm when they saw me and their commander by the transport. I rolled my eyes and headed into the decontamination chamber. After the rest of them boarded and sat next to me with their helmets removed, we headed off for the Lux district.