ALPHAS (Chapter 2: Evaluation.)
September 27, 2011. 9:14 p.m.
As I pulled up to the cinema in the back seat of my mom’s car, I didn’t expect to see who I saw. “Kohl!” I accidentally said a loud.
“What was that Hun?” My mom asks. “Nothing mom. It’s nothing.” I lied. The truth is, it wasn’t nothing. I only expected the four of us to be here. Trevor, Michelle, Julie and me. The only reason I accepted this invite was because Kohl wasn’t going to be here. No matter how much I try to avoid him, faith still tries to bring us together.
After the vehicle came to a halt, I got out of it.
“Good Tyro’s here.” Trevor sounded reassured.
“Just in time too. Let’s go!” Julie hurried.
I stood there on the sidewalk staring into Kohl’s blue eyes. Without saying a word he turned away and started walking into the cinema, they followed after him. Julie looked back and noticed that I wasn’t moving from on the side of the street. Out of the 4 of them, Julie is the only one that truly knows me. She’s a year older than I, African-American, and has short neck length black hair.
“Tyro.” She called out to me while walked over. “What’s the matter?”
“I can’t do this. I’m... I’m feeling a bit nauseous.” I explained.
“Do you have a cold? Or are you allergic to Kohl?” I could hear the sarcasm in her tone.
“What do you mean by that Julie?!” I raised my voice.
“What you’re doing, closing your friends off, it won’t make it any better. It’ll only bring pain to your heart. Sooner or later he’ll notice, if not already.” I looked at her and smiled a little to show that I was perfectly fine.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m actually feeling a bit better. Must have been all in my head. C’mon the movie’s starting.” I said walking away from her with a fading smile. If going to this move is the only way for her get off my case then so be it. I could feel her staring me down as I move away. Am I really that different around him? “She needs to understand that when I’m ready I’ll tell him. If he hates me afterwards, I don’t want to live anymore...
“Wake up... Wake up!” a voice echoed in my head. It grew louder by the second. “I said wake up!” I opened my eyes and pitched up breathing heavily. Emma was holding my shoulders with this started look on her face. I looked beyond her to the metal objects that were floating around the room. My eyes widened to this sudden surprise and they fell instantly.
Present Time. October 4th, 2014. 9:29 a.m.
I looked around the room noticing one area with two beds and a bathroom. “What... What happened?” I asked confused about all of this.
“Where do I even start?” Emma asked standing up out of the bed. “That must have been some dream. All of your Alpha energy was releasing bit by bit. The electricity in this room was insanely plummeting.”
“Not just this room, the entire school.” I looked up to see Gabe entering the room. “Everyone’s freaking out wondering if our only remaining source of power is finally running out.”
“I-I did that?!” I asked nervously.
“That’s not all you did. I realized it was you after the tanks, the cars and anything metallic started to float into the air. Now you’ve got the whole school on edge because they don’t know as yet that there’s an Alpha in Syracuse with that ability.” Gabe said. A sudden paranoid look emerged onto his face. “This is bad, this is really bad.” He started repeating.
“Calm down! You don’t have to be worried. No one got hurt. I think it’s amazing that his abilities are not only electric but also magnetic. It’s like having two Alpha abilities in one.” Emma says.
“I’m not nervous because I think someone got hurt. I’m nervous because... Ahhh!!!” Gabe dropped to the floor holding his head screaming.
“Gabe!” I shouted. The same thing began to happen to Emma and I got in a panic what this is. “Guys! What’s happening?! Is this because of me?! Am I doing this?!” My ears started to gain a rapid ringing sound all of a sudden, then a high pitched sound burst into my ears and it felt like my eardrums were going to burst. I held my ears and dropped to my knees.
“The Commander would like to see you two. Oh, and bring your new friend with you.” A female’s voice said in my head. Sounded like it was just said from a mic in a stadium. The pain was suddenly and the ringing ceased. I guess it also stopped for Emma and Gabe as well because they’re getting to their feet. “W-What was that just now?” I stuttered out.
“Not what but who! It’s the head Commander’s dog, is what I like to call her. If ever get my hands around her skinny ass neck I’m going to choke that telepathic bitch!” Emma raged in anger.
“This is why I was nervous. The Commander knows everything that goes on within Syracuse, and that scene you pulled earlier made it even more noticeable.” Gabe explained.
“Colebrook, Asher. Be quiet! You have 10 minutes preparation time. I want you guys to think about what exactly you will say.” Emma said. She then turned to me and spoke. “As a male, if you’re not an asset to the colony you may not be accepted in, with exception of a disabled person. This isn’t a homeless shelter where you can stay carefree. You must bring something to the table. Tell him about your abilities. Alphas always get in.” She said to me while leaving the room. “I’ll be back.”
I turned around and looked at Gabe. “What now?” I asked. He shrugged his shoulders and jumped into his bed. In a minute he drifted into dream land. Honestly I’ve never seen anyone fall asleep that fast. “Okay... I guess you found something to do. I always knew Syracuse was a university when the world was once normal, but it still feels like I have to prove my worth in order to get in. I didn’t even bring my resume. I wonder what would be on it anyway. Electrocuted a few Shredders because I injected myself with a drug.” I thought heading to the bathroom.
Freshening up would do me some good. The thought of me not bathing for an entire 3 years is kind of creepy and disgusting. Entering the bathroom I saw a reflection in the mirror and it scared the crap out of me. I started touching my face wondering if that was my reflection in the mirror. Strands of tiny mustache was on my face and a little bit of beard. My hair grew just over my face. Let’s be honest, I thought I looked pretty emo with my dark brown hair and my bluish hazel eyes. Nevertheless, I expected my hair to be way longer since I hadn’t cut it in over 1000 days.
I turned on the faucet and was surprised when fresh water emerged from it. “They have electricity, they have water, and they have a secure facility.” I said to myself. Is this really a colony striving to survive? I arrived last night but was asleep when I came, so I didn’t get to see any part of this facility. Only this room that I’m in. I wonder what it’s like. “Hey Gabe do you have any shaving cream and razor... and maybe scissors for this annoying hair?” I asked. I never thought I’d see the day I’d be asking for stuff like that.
“No I don’t have any shaving cream.” He moaned, while probably still in dream land. “If you want to shave there’s a knife in my back pack.”
I didn’t hesitate to get the knife. Afterwards I shaved steadily, and didn’t even cut myself for my first time. And it was with a knife! Someone should give me an award.
I bathe, freshen up and cut my hair to a shorter length. It seemed like Gabe and I wore the same size so I tried on a black t-shirt and a long pants of his, and put on the pair of black and white converse I came here in.
“Just in time.” Emma said walking into the room as I finished tying my laces. “Wake up Colebrook! We’re leaving!” She said dragging him out of bed. I laugh at how she treats him. It’s too funny. I wondered to myself if those two are going. But seeing as there are 2 beds in here the thought quickly left my mind.
A minute passed and the three of us were strolling down the hallway, which seemed like it went on forever. Every minute or so a door appeared on both sides of the hall. Now that I’m on the outside of that room, I finally realized that these are college dorms. A few room doors were open and some people were even walking through the hallway. Most were shirtless, but all were guys. “Where are we?” I asked Emma.
“Believe it or not even in an infested world as ours, the boys and girls are still separated like everything’s normal.” Emma stated. “We’re in the boys section of the dorms.”
“I thought you and Gabe shared a room together back there.”
“I live in there alone.” Gabe claimed. “I don’t really get along with much people so I tend to stay by myself.”
“You and I both.” I agreed.
“Although I don’t stay there. I always crash into his room like it’s my own.” She said smiling. “The girl’s dorm is a joke and I I’m not a big fan of them.” She explained as her face became serious for a second.
We continued walking and ended up to an outside walkway about 3 stories high of the ground. It led to another building. The walkway was steady but it was still scary to walk across it. I wonder how many buildings are in this School. The boys appeared to have their own separate building so I bet the girls would too. We entered the building and it wasn’t like anything I was expecting. There were people everywhere and most of them wore heavy duty uniforms, boys and girls. The building was circular inside with three floors going up. You can see the whole bottom area just by leaning over the balcony and looking down from the third.
“What is this place?” I was astonished by it.
“Welcome... to the mission center.” Gabe says ecstatically. “This is the center trade of all missions to be carried out by cadets.”
“The center of all missions... What kind of missions?” I asked in confusion.
“The kinds that are appropriate to help us survive.” Emma said. “In this colony we don’t just strive to survive, we try to live. The Commander of the colony is a former army soldier. He served in the war of Afghanistan so he knows what it means to master the Art of War, and he knows what it means to survive.” Emma explained. We continued waking around the edge of the balcony area heading upward.
“Floors 1-3 each has a group of missions that can be chosen by cadets that are mandatory to our survival here. Missions such as; supplying us with food or water, retrieving more ammunition or medicine, clearing out shredders from a certain area and so much more. The higher up the floors, the more difficult the missions.” Gabe explained. “Each Cadet is expected to be in a squad of three or more. No mission can be carried out by a single person so if you ever join a squad make sure it’s one that compliments your abilities.”
“A squad of three or more? But yours only had 2 last night when we met.” I argued.
“Oh... That’s because the third one got infected so I killed him.” Emma explained with little emotions. “And believe it or not...” She starts to say as her face became serious. “...there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation.” My eyes spread to think that a human could take another human’s life and not even care. “In this world, it’s either me or them. I choose me.” She said walking away. I stood there stunned by her.
“Don’t sweat about it Tyro.” Gabe said to me. “Believe it or not, she was doing him a favor. People would rather die than turn into a Shredder. Emma may pretend to be strong-willed but she’s just as scared as everyone else. Scared of what the world’s going to throw at us next.” I think I understood her fear that Gabe was speaking of. Everyone here has had their fair share of suffering. I always hated the world because the world hated me. But in all things honesty, now that it has changed, I really miss it. “Hey... Earth to Tyro.” Gabe said snapping his fingers in my face.
“Oh... Sorry. What were you saying?” I asked.
“Honestly you’re always phasing out of reality. I said that not all missions you choose can be carried out. There are guards at all exits of the gates of Syracuse that check the mission you’ve chosen before you leave. It’s a safety precaution to see if you have all of the qualifications. If the mission is denied, there’s always a legitimate reason. If it’s accepted, then you’re on your way.
“Oh I see. What gates are you talking about?” I wondered.
“If you were awake when we arrived last night you would’ve seen it. There’s a 10 meter gate surrounding the whole of Syracuse University. Four in total; east, west, north, and south. Then there’s that the gates connect to.”
“No way!” I gazed.
“There you go again, phasing out.” Gabe said frustrated.
“I can’t help it. This is all so new to me.” We continued walking and ended up in another hall. At the end of it stood two armed men on each side. They stood in front of the door as we were to enter.
“I’m Emma Steele.” she said to the guards. They moved aside and let us through.
“Tyro.” Gabe whispered as we walked through the door. “Word of advice, the commander is a very punctual man. So showing him respect will sway in your favor. Also do not think negative thoughts about Syracuse. The commander’s assistant is an Alpha and her telepathy is powerful. She always knows what you’re thinking.”
“Always? Why are you just telling me this now?! I can’t control what I think about!” I whispered almost shouting. He shrugged his shoulders at me, which in my opinion is the most annoying answer from anyone. The reason I’m worried is not because I might think something threatening about this place, it’s because I might think about Kohl. If I think about Kohl she’ll know everything about me and I’m not ready for the world to see me yet, what’s left of it that is.
We arrived to a room consisting of a spacious open area. Upon arrival, there were giant pillars on each side of the room. A long table stood before us as 5 men sat behind it. The table is located at the end of the room in front of a giant glass window, which reminded me of a building in the city of New York. Its logical sense that the man in the middle is the head commander and also the fact that he has a girl hovering by his side like a grim reaper. Her features are similar to Emma’s so I can easily tell that she’s also Asian descend. Her eyes are fierce and her face is strict but her beauty is that of an angel’s. The Commander appeared to be somewhat American looking. What’s strange though is that even in a world of such, he still finds time to wear a tuxedo and in his case, it’s neatly pressed.
“Stand your ground!” The commander said to us in what sounded like a Canadian accent. We all stopped walking as we knew that’s what he meant. “It has come to my attention that we have an intruder before my presence. An intruder that was brought in by two of our very own. Care to explain Emma?
“You call him an Intruder. I call him a survivor. The only reason I didn’t bring him directly to you so you can evaluate him was because he was exhausted.” Emma explains.
“Syracuse population is just under 600 humans, all of whom must eat on a daily bases.” One of the council members said. “Bringing him here meant feeding another mouth. Our food supply is weakening. I’m sure he would’ve survived on his own as he did before you found him.” He stated. For some reason anger just rushed over me and I couldn’t stand being spoken to in third person while I was right in the room.
“No I couldn’t!” I raised my voice. “How could I have survived when I didn’t even know what had become of my world?! I didn’t even know what a Shredder was 24 hours ago! Actually I Wasn’t awake 24 hours ago” I saw as their facial expression changed to confused or surprised. “Leading up to yesterday I’ve been in a comatose state since September 2011. I’ve had a crappy ass 24 hours and I’m still pretty confused about what the hell Alphas are and how I became one!” I shouted in anger. The Commander put his hand across his assistant as though he was telling her to not do anything. “I sure as hell know that as long as I’m breathing I’ll never stop search for K... for someone important.” I almost slipped out his name. I must have just been in the heated moment.
“I must admit that your spirit is quite bold and outspoken.” The commander said. “You were in a coma pretty long. Where did you awaken?”
“A general hospital in New York City. When I woke up boards were on my door like someone had nailed me in.” I said.
“Boards...” Gabe repeated in shock.
“The City? Lying is an offense in which you can be severely punished. Syracuse is the only place in New York with power. Everywhere else is in darkness.” Said one of the councilors.
“Like he said he’s an Alpha!” Emma explained.
“Due to my calculation and examination of his Alpha ability. It has come to my conclusion that he generated his own lightning into the machine which kept it running while he slept.” Gabe explained. “His will to survive is really high if he was capable of doing something like that in an unconscious state.
“What’s your name and your age?” The Commander asked me.
“Tyro Asher and I’m 16... I mean, 19 years old.” I answered stuttering. My body aged 3 years but apparently my mind remains as if no time has passed. I’m just a 19 year old teen with the knowledge of a 16 year old. If I’m 19 now that means Kohl would be 21, same age as Emma.
“Can you show us what your Alpha abilities are capable of?” The Commander asked.
“I’m not sure how to use them yet sir. Sometimes it just happens without warning.” I explained.
“Hmm. Interesting.” He said squinting his eye. “Dig!”
“You’re hiding something. Who will you not stop searching for?” A voice said in my head. I knew exactly who it was. When I looked at her, all of her focus was placed on me. She stared at me like she was looking into my soul. “Care if I dig around your head a little.” Her voice echoed in my head.
“No! Get out!” I shouted while dropping to my knees and holding my head.
“What the hell are you doing Emily?! Stop it now!” Emma commanded her.
“He’s hiding something and I intend to find out what it is.” She stated still staring at me strictly.
“It’s none of your business!” I struggled to say while still in pain on the floor. I felt a rush of power emerge from me and sparks of lightening generated around my body.
“Emma, him being in so much pain could cause a random spasm of his power!” Gabe said.
“I said get out of my head!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. A wave released from my body in a 360• circle, it pushed everything and everyone it came in contact with away. It shook the pillars but they remained standing. Steele and Colebrook were the first to be sent flying back and straight into the wall. The guards on the outside were even sent flying forward. Before the wave had released from my body, I noticed the commander already on his feet and putting Emily on the ground. It was like he knew what was going to happen before it happened. He pulled her to the ground reducing the effects of the wave. As for the other council members, they and the table were sent flying through the window as it shattered to pieces.
I quickly realized what I had done subconsciously and ran to the shattered opening. Standing on the edge, I spotted three stories down. “No!” I screamed reaching out my hand. The table and chairs moved at my will and caught each of them. They were holding on tightly to the furniture. I was surprised that I caught them, but at the same time I wasn’t. Both the table and chairs had steel areas in them, and that’s another thing I can manipulate.
Not even a day has past and I’ve already made a reputation for myself. What’s worse is that hundreds of people were outside in the open space of the school area and all of them saw what I did. “So much for that perfect resume.” I sighed to myself. This evaluation will not end well.
About half an hour later, people started clearing the school ground of the table, the chairs, and the shattered glass. Meanwhile I stood nervously before the council in the same room. They whispered to each other. Without a table or a chair they had no choice but to stand up and evaluate me. Gabe and Emma were quite mad that they were pushed into the wall, but shockingly Emma was way angrier at Emily than she was at me. The silence in the room became unbearable. “Look I’m sorry things happened the way it did. I just don’t want anyone in my head. My secrets are mine and mine alone! So if you want to kick me out of this place, then what’s stopping you?” I stated bluffing. Seeing as I’m an Alpha I really hoped that that’d work.
“Are you trying to get yourself kicked out?! Gabe asked.
“You are free to leave anytime you please.” The commander said with an innocent smile on his face. “And may I be the first to say, welcome to Syracuse. Choose a room with a roommate and let him teach you the rules.” I saw as Gabe’s face turned from worried to shock. As for Emma’s, her eyes were still fixed on Emily fiercely. “Oh and Emma. Flying that far out of range from Syracuse is a complete violation of our rules. We have lots to discuss. Shall we do it on a later date?” The Commander said to her. Emma didn’t seem to pay any mind to what the Commander said so we left the room. My first impression of him, he’s strict. But he seems like he keeps his word. A man of honor is what he is, but he doesn’t play games.
First Person. Commander’s (POV)
I watched the three of them leave and just as the door shut, the council all started to bicker.
“Having two Alpha abilities in one. That boy is a valuable asset indeed.” Jarred, the youngest of the councilors spoke. “This evaluation was pointless because there was no way we were letting him go.”
“His abilities are what we’ve been searching for.” I noted. “Emily can you please wait outside the door?” I requested. She reluctantly left, knowing that I'm keeping things from her.
“Her telepathy abilities are powerful. Don’t you think she’ll find out soon enough?” A council member asked.
“I always know when she’s in my head.” I stated. “Everyone’s walking around here thinking that everything is normal. They don’t even know that in a matter of days Syracuse could be in darkness, and a few hours after that, overran. Do you remember what I told you a few months ago about the comic?”
“How could we forget? You seemed deranged and completely fixated that it was more than what it was.”
“Well it seems my fixation upon it was exact. What are the odds that the comic I found is named Alphas, directly after what I labeled my blood type A’s? And what are the odds that a boy shows up with the same abilities as the boy in the comic?” I rhetorically asked.
“So you think it’s all connected? You think that the comic is actually a prediction of what hasn’t happened yet?” They continued questioning.
“What I saw in it, the empire state building being continuously struck by lightning, may very well come to pass. Have you created the list as yet?” I asked.
“As you requested.” One of the council members responded giving me a sheet of paper. “But I just don’t understand sir. Your ability is the only one capable of protecting it. Why don’t you take it to California yourself?”
“Leaving humanities last hope in the hands of only one man would be a big mistake.” I answered. “Lightning Tower will come to pass and everyone on this list is a part of that event. There are forces out there that are even more powerful than the Shredders, forces that will do anything for power. Creating this list is the only way to ensure that it’ll be safe. If Syracuse falls, it’ll be left in the hands of these individuals; the Stones, Emma and Emily Steele, Colebrook, Valentine, and Snow. There’s just one more name I need to add to the list. Tyro Asher, you’ve been chosen... to protect and deliver the cure!”
End of Chapter 2