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Chapter Thirty-Four: Natalia

Molecular Officer Gaines escorted me in the direction of medical but continued walking down the hall with no windows or doors lining it. At the very end sat a single door. It was a holding cell as clear as day.

I willingly walked through the door into the empty, white observation rom. I took a quick look around for any weak spots before deciding to create a molecular chair in front of the large window in the room. It'd been placed in the center of the wall connecting this room to the interrogation room.

Molecular Officer Gaines stood in front of his side of the window. He touched something on the wall. "You're going to want to get comfortable."

I stared at him unafraid. I could handle whatever they'd throw at me. I wouldn't break. "What do you plan to do to me?"

Molecular Officer Gaines smiled. I hated watching his face brighten at the thought of the torture he had in store for me. It sickened me. "We thought we might hit an obstacle when transitioning you back to your rightful place. We put in a few fail safes to help guid you back to us."

I crossed my arms. "Do your worst."

Molecular Officer Gaines did something else near the wall. There must've been a keypad of some sorts there to control this room. "You never lost your spunk. Glad to know some things never change."

There was an annoying buzzing around the room, but it never entered it. The buzzing could only mean one thing. I dropped from my chair and ran to one of the walls before placing my ear against it. The high pitched noise was being emitted into the wall.

"It's Molecular-proof."

I pulled away from the wall. "How?"

A door opened behind Molecular Officer Gaines. "Frequency emitters were built into the foundation of the room. It keeps Moleculars in and others out. It's a work of pure genius." He paused as if he had some big reveal planned. "It's your work."

I marched over to the window. "I didn't invent this monstrosity."

The door closed, eliminating the extra light pouring into the interrogation room. A projector was noisily wheeled into the room by a Terrain Telepath, which I could only tell by the grass green jumpsuit they were wearing. I couldn't sense anything outside of the empty white room. It was like everything outside didn't exist.

Molecular Officer Gaines moved off to the side so the Terrain Telepath could set up the projector in the center of the window. "You helped create this room in case this exact thing happened. Your knowledge of your full powers was impressive for your age at the time. You were smarter than even me."

I slammed my hand against the glass. "You don't know anything about me."

Molecular Officer Gaines got closer to the glass. "I know more about you than you do, Princess."

The projector emitted light into the room. "Are you sure this thing's on?" I froze. That was my voice.

I slowly turned around to face the back wall where an image of myself danced upon it. From the looks of it, I was around thirteen or fourteen. "Wh...how?"

"Watch. She'll help you remember."

I slid down to the floor, spreading my feet out in front of me. It was clear this was a real image. None of the image was distorted from piecing together. My voice didn't sound fragmented as if it was from several recordings collected by the TWA over the years. This was me being captured on video five or six years ago.

"Go ahead, Natalia."

I looked at myself on screen. I was wearing a black TWA Molecular jumpsuit. On my chest sat a silver crown with a beautiful pink rose laid over it. A lump was forming in the back of my throat as I fought to hold back the tears threatening to overpower me.

I fidgeted on my chair as I looked up and over the camera at someone in the background. "You're not going to need this video, Grandpa. I'd never leave you."

"Natalia..."

I sighed. "What?"

"You know why we're doing this. It's a safety precaution so I won't lose you."

My emerald eyes ventured from above the camera to straight in the lens. "If you're watching this, Natalia, you're refusing the help of your fellow TWA officers. You're refusing to embrace you true memories." I looked up at the person behind the camera. "This sounds stupid. I'd never say this."

"Please read the script, sweetie."

I rolled my eyes. "My name is Natalia Atwood. I am the daughter of Nate and Thalia Johnson, traitors of the TWA and the king. I am the granddaughter of King Richard Atwood. I'm the rightful heir to the throne.

"The year I'm recording this is 2075. We've gotten reports of the Rebels gathering in large masses in order to start a full scale war against us within the next ten years. I've volunteered to go undercover in order to gain access to one of these large Rebel bases. I have chosen to go because they'd never pass up a rogue Molecular child untouched by the TWA."

I paused for a second. "I won't be going in alone. Storm Officers Ascher and Terrain Officer Rouzard, along with a human volunteer, will be accomplanying me in my mission as my family. We will blend in as rogues in the Charlotte region where we've received reports about a large recruitment scam taking place there.

"We will be monitored by covert TWA officers tasked with finding potential targets we may come in contact with. Once contact is made with a known Rebel agent, I'll be 'discovered' by the TWA. I will have no choice but to take refuge with the Rebels. This will allow us to locate their base. I'll return to Efland to be debriefed and help with the invasion of the Rebel base."

I looked up and away from the camera. "Why are we recording all of this? If the Rebels get a hold of this, my cover will be blown."

There was a low chuckle. "They won't get a hold of this. I'll keep it safe. I promise."

I looked back at the camera. "None of this has been coerced from me or manipulated by third parties. I'm a willing participant wishing to bring down the traitors plaguing our world." I smiled.

Static flashed across the screen for a second before cutting off. The wall remained black from the projector. I sat there on the floor, staring at the wall unable to believe my own words from that video. There was no way I could be the princess, heir to the TWA.

I pushed myself up from the floor. Molecular Officer Gaines stood at the window smiling at the black screen. He'd watched it all with me. "I always thought of you as a daughter."

I slapped my palm against the glass. "It wasn't real."

Molecular Officer Gaines signaled the Terrain Telepath to shut the projector off. "You and I both know that wasn't doctored. That was all you."

I pounded my hand against the glass; I felt my bones break and heal repeatedly, but I didn't care. "No!"

Molecular Officer Gaines and the Terrain Telepath exited the observation area through the door in the back. "We'll be back once you've had some time to think." They closed the door behind them, leaving me to stew in my empty cell.

I ran to the center of the room, unsure what to do. I wanted to punch or throw something and scream at the top of my lungs while I did so. My hands ran through my auburn strands until they found their way to the roots. I tugged, feeling the pain as my hair fought to stay. This wasn't a nightmare I could wake from.

I collapsed to the floor and stared up at the plain white ceiling above me. Molecular Officer Gaines was right. The girl in the video was in fact me. Every word I spoke came from my own lips. The unbelievable part was the hatred she held for the Rebels laced within her voice and the patriotism for the TWA in her eyes and soul. She wholeheartedly believed the TWA was doing the right thing for everyone. She believed her own parents were traitors to the cause. She was everything I hated, everything I ran from.

Bur that girl on the video was who I really was. The person I was now was just a cover, a fake. My purpose for existing was a mission that was now over.

My entire life was fabricated. My family were TWA officers pieced together to look like a bunch of rogues clinging to each other for survival. They were my protectors and that was it. My friendship with Alex was obviously orchestrated. He'd been my one true friend only because he was brainwashed. He was a drone. Every memory I had was created to make me the perfect candidate for the Rebels. I was a pawn.

The real master was the girl in the video.

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