Luck of the Draw

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Alright, we’re back to the nitty-gritty. The stuff you’ve been waiting for.

The drive to the facility was deathly quiet. Inside the affectionately dubbed ‘Degradation Machines’ that our quartet have been stuffed inside, they were essentially powerless. Y’know, I wouldn’t have expected such versatile and all-encompassing technology to have been developed in these two short months, had it not been so obvious that this moment was a long time coming for the world. The technology they used was terrifying. The handcuffs had a material that severely weakened their powers, the vans were fitted with a reflective material so even if someone like Paris managed to break through the cuffs’ grip, the only one who’d get hurt would be Paris. Which she did, allowing me to bring up the most terrifying tool they had; sleeping gas that only affected the bloodaltered. That’s a little terrifying, when you think about it. All this technology to subdue and suppress this minority, and for what? Just a slightly less explosive society? Y’all still got bombs and stuff, so I don’t really see the point...

By the time they reached the facility, Paris and Aether had been ‘subdued’ (knocked out) and Devyn and Rowen were still awake. But they were quiet. So, so quiet. The fear they felt during their escape attempt did not hold a candle to the despair and dread they felt now, stood outside the facility. Did I mention they were cuffed at the ankles, too? Yeah, that’s probably the best way to treat someone like an animal. Make it impossible for them to walk so they have to be dragged in. Great job, government.

The facility they were brought to was... awful. From the outside, it was a grey box with no windows, not even barred ones. The door that led inside was translucent, allowing our troupe to see just how dark it was inside. But it was really well built. In just two months, the team behind this building managed to pour, dry and assemble gigantic concrete slabs into something resembling a prison. Such a hatefire fuelled these people to construct something that was anything but what it was named: the Stockholm Realignment Centre. Or the ’Stockholms omställningscenter' for the Swedes out there. Not our group though, they're just immigrants from the UK. They had to leave after the UK was one of the first to enforce anti-alter laws and legislature. Pretty rough, all things considered.

As the four were dragged in by two emotionless government officials (dragged in two by two, can you believe it), they finally got the full brunt of what this facility was going to be. And that, unsurprisingly, was a torture chamber. Basically. People from across Sweden and neighbouring countries were howling and screaming down the endless corridors as they struggled out of their cuffs and hit the walls over and over again. Nobody was getting out of their cells, even if they managed to. They'd just be caught again. Imagine if you were one of these people, stuck in a cell like this. No light, no food, no water, just left to starve to death for about 3 days. And there was no end to the mix of people that were here. People like our four, with elemental bloodalters, demonist bloodalters, starsign bloodalters. Some people were more animalistic, others weren't so different from a nomal person. Common or rare, normal or weird, crazy or stable. It didn't matter. If you were here, you were here for the rest of your life.

From what I can tell, the four musketeers over here were placed into neighbouring cells, across from a couple who were married and previously with child and a literal psychopath. Like I said, it didn't matter who you were, so long as you weren't normal. They all hit the ground with a deafening THUD, Devyn's visor shattering in the process. Not like it mattered, they couldn't see anyway. Everyone was just laid there, on the floor, waiting to die. Dismal, I know, but what else could they do? Escape? Call for help? Rebel? There were no options. Except talking. Just talking.

"Rowen. Rowen... Rowen...?" Devyn began to whisper.

"Mmmf." Rowen replied, still face-down.

"Are you okay?"

"Yep. Just a little... yea."

"Okay." Devyn sat in silence for a moment before speaking again. "I'm a little worried..."

"You can say that again."

"Y- Well, yea, obviously, but I mean... You saw Paris and Aeth. They looked real bad."

"Yeah... Completely unconscious. That's a bit... overkill, I think."

"Mmm. Guess they tried to attack the drivers."

"Yeah. Oh, hey..." Rowen shuffled to a crack in the concrete. Clearly, in the construction team's zeal, they missed out some vital operations.

"What did you find?" Devyn inquired.

"A little crack. Check it out..."

Devyn would then feel a little brush on their hand. Not moving too quickly and shifting their weight, they would brush it back, to which Rowen would chuckle quietly.

"What did you do?"

"I made a lil' flower! Here, look..." Rowen made the flower coil its stem around Devyn's finger.

"Hehe! How'd you do that?"

"Well, there's a crack in the concrete here. I just found the dirt below and grew a flower out of it."

"Huh. Interesting." Devyn moved their hand away from the flower, which tugged on Rowen a little as the stem uncoiled.


"Well, if you can find dirt... Maybe I can find a breeze?"

"Hmm." Rowen pondered for a moment. "Maybe. This can't be the only crack in the concrete."

"Let me try." Devyn went quiet then, obviously trying to catch the wind and bend it to their will.

A few moments passed. The family opposite queried to Rowen whether they were escaping any time soon, to which Rowen had to admit that he wasn't sure. Devyn sure did take their time for that breeze, though. To be fair, it's not like they had much else to do. In the quiet, Rowen came to wonder what might become of him, had they have no choice but to spend the rest of their life in this concrete cell. A pitiful way to go, no?

"Got it." Devyn said finally.

"Where?" Rowen shuffled to the wall, and whispered slightly louder than before.

"Down the corridor. Can you feel it?" Devyn made a gesture to nobody particularly.

A cool sensation came over Rowen's face, tustling his hair slightly. "Yep. What do you plan on doing?"

"Might make it blow harder, see if it loosens any more of the concrete."

"Good plan." Rowen sat intently, waiting for something to come of the plan.

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