Chapter 1: Discovery
Danielle sat hunched at her desk, the one that she had spied left abandoned on the outskirts of the forest on one of her late evening walks. She’d managed to get her dad to sand it back as well as staining it a rich dark brown, all the while he’d teased her about her love of old décor. Danielle had a thing for the vintage style, which really didn’t fit the situation too well. Ironically, she was sitting at her beloved desk, staring with an irritated look on her face at the slim, silver laptop in front of her, and with a great measure of exasperation, she put both hands on her pale face and groaned with frustration. Apple had really down - graded the quality of their products and they were now in heavy competition against the pure enemy in technology, Lentras.
Danielle thought Apple would have at least tried to up their game a little. But it seemed as though they had completely given up, as she was glaring in disgust as the computer informed her through a string of binary data that there was some kind of virus on the computer and it needed to be removed. Danielle was convinced they would go out of business this time next month.
Just as that thought crossed her mind, the laptop all of a sudden sparked heavily all around her, purple and blue light arced around her and she jolted back in surprise, knocking over her chair and tumbling to the floor while the chair clattered in the other direction. Danielle quickly leapt to her feet as she rushed over to check the fizzled instrument.
With a frantic hand, she pressed the power button. Nothing. Panic rising in her chest she pressed it again, repeatedly. But to no avail and thumped her fist down on the top of the desk in aggravation.
She had an essay paper due the next day and her clearly infected and now dead laptop sat in front of her. She glowered at it, grabbed the chair and slumped down on it in exasperation. All of a sudden, the massive clock that sat on the carpet at the end of the hall struck 11:00. Eleven long thudding chimes that seemed to echo through the whole house and leave imprints inside her head.
One thought crossed Danielle’s already rushing mind.
Then it disappeared as quickly as it had come. Sucked out of her path back down into the locked chasm in her mind.
Danielle pulled back in confusion and then narrowed her eyes as she manually searched her mind.
She found no trace of the thought in any of her neural pathways.
“No.” Dani whispered as she stared unseeingly at the diseased, black screen in front of her.
They were back again.
The Library was forbidden from the average citizens, only government agents, lawyers and the president could access the Library. She had always wondered why the Library was off limits, but she never dwelled long enough on why because that usually took her mind down into places she shouldn’t be going. Theories and senses she should take no notice of. They often burst in uninvited, with no warning, random signals of energy often suggesting wild conceptions and events that could happen.
It wasn’t the thoughts that scared her, she was so used to them by now, and she barely even gave recognition to their presence.
What scared her the most about them was that they were always right.
Everything they showed her or told her was always right; it would always pan exactly as they said it would. At first she thought that she was crazy, insane even, stuck in an endless dream. But that was not the case. In the beginning, they just warned her of small, insignificant things. But as the months moved by, they told her more significant things, things that often influenced her whole city.
She ignored them, panicking, perhaps if she pretended they weren’t there they would go away. They increasingly got louder and louder, until they were silent screams, yet still somehow penetratingly deafening inside of her head.
But they increased the more she tried to ignore them. They banged against the concrete cell of her head, rattling the bars of her carefully concealed mind, begging to be set free. But she opened her mouth and swallowed the key to the cell.
And so they became silent.
This was the first time she had heard them in months.
She thought that she was used to the sound of them, but she jumped in shock again when they ran through the corridors of her head.
She knew she had to listen to them, it was almost as if they were tied the strings of her soul. But she couldn’t let her soul be controlled. It was too dangerous, leaving her vulnerable and fragile glass of a soul exposed and bare to the air, fully capable of being shattered.
Then she paused to consider. What was the worst that could happen if she tried? If she risked and broke the rules? What was there to leave behind? What would she discover?
She didn’t know.