Model 10

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Chapter 12

Ten sat in slight shock as she stared at the computer. Her mouth hung open as her lips moved apart and together as she tried to speak.

"Do you see what that man has done to you? He tortured you-"

"That's not real," Ten said in a fast and yet somehow intense voice.

"What do you mean it's not real?! You just watched it!" Blake almost yelled in frustration. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Thinking that they had made some progress recently it was devastating to realize you had made none

"He's my family," Ten robotically responded like she had been trained to. "He wouldn't do something like that to me. Every ounce of pain he's caused me is for my benefit and I'm happy to oblige and do that for him."

"How do you not see that he's brainwashed you. He captured and tor-"

"Freedom is slavery. To wish for true freedom is to betray natural programming. Natural programming can't be denied. To deny it is to deny 'freedom,'" Ten recited these words as she stared straight ahead. The words didn't sound like hers but rather someone else's and it looked like she didn't even know that she was saying them.

"What are you talking about?" Amber asked. Ten suddenly looked at them with a slightly confused look on her face before it turned to one of complete assurance.

"I'm talking about the truth." Her voice was still in the unemotional tone.

"That's not the truth..." Blake trailed off, not knowing what else to say. It was clear to him that what Ten was saying she wasn't actually saying by her free will. A sudden unexplained anger washed over Ten at even the thought of someone going against her Creator. He had made her, given her everything she needed, loved her, taken care of her, made sure she was in perfect health, the list went on and on. The thought that they couldn't see all he had done for her made her even more furious.

"No!" Ten shouted as she stood up, causing both Blake and Amber to slight jump back. "This isn't the truth." She pointed to the computer before she slammed her fist through the screen. Her pointer finger and thumb grabbed one of the main wires (she knew by instinct that it was so) and pierced it with her fingernails. With her already cut pointer finger she placed it on the wire and felt as she downloaded all the videos about her into her system. Pulling her hand out she stood up and walked out of the room. Knowing that the download had only taken her a second she knew Amber and Blake had no idea what she had just done.

"What did you just do?! That was one of the only working computers in the entire city?!" This time it was Amber's turn to yell.

"That was barely a computer," Ten said as she continued to walk. It had a keyboard for goodness sake, not even one touchscreen. Blake grabbed her shoulder and before he could say or do anything Ten had lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the wall. Blake struggled against her as fear rushed into his body. He was confused as to where this new found belief system, violence, and even way of speaking was coming from.

"Ten, please put him down," Amber said as she slowly approached Ten with her hands up. Ten didn't say anything, only breathe slightly heavily as she glanced between Blake and Amber. After a few seconds, her breathing slowed and she let go of Blake. As soon as she did so she began to walk away.

"Where are you going?" Amber asked as she got in front of Blake and pursued Ten.

"My Center, I'm going home. Too long I have been without a progression test, update, actual practice, and my Creator."

"You don't even know where home is," Amber said.

"I'll find it."

"It's dangerous out there."

"It's dangerous everywhere, except for the Center."

"The guard should be coming here soon, he works for your Creator. Once he comes I'll tell you and you can go with him."

"Why would a guard come to the Pigs, unless-" Ten suddenly stopped and turned around. It happened so fast that Amber ran into Ten and Blake ran into Amber. "Do you mean to inform me that there is a Pig among me and my Creator?" Ten took a step towards Amber.

"Just observing... meaning you and your Creator no harm."

"How do I know he means no harm?"

"Because he's been there for ten years."

"Why so long?" Amber remained silent. "Why so long?!" Ten growled as she took another step forward as her eyes had light blue shoot through them. Grabbing her wrist Blake saw this going nowhere but good. Stepping between them he shoved Amber away from Ten.

"Just come back to your room with me and we can talk about it. Amber will come and get you when the guard is here and you can go back to your Creator." His voice was so shaky with fear that it was impossible to pick up on the tones that indicated he was lying.

"Why should I listen to a Pig?"

"Have we wronged you thus far?" Amber asked. "I promise that when he comes I'll come and get you."

"I'm checking my system and when I'm done if he hasn't come, I'm leaving."

"That's fair enough," Amber said. Ten started to walk back to her room as Blake quickly followed her. Amber sighed in relief as she went to go meet Dan.

Ten sat down on her bed before she crisscrossed her legs. Reaching her left hand over to her tattoo she laid her pointer and middle finger on it as she tapped into her system. Closing her eyes she scanned through the videos.

Blake sat down in a chair and just stared at Ten. Despite her recent outburst he couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Her mind was so damaged she couldn't believe something that she saw with her own eyes, only something she was told to believe. After seeing the methods her Creator used in order to brainwash her made it all the more painful. He didn't know why but all Blake wanted to do was hug Ten and never let her go, never let her get hurt again, help her see her real life.

***

"I can't stay for long," Dan said quickly.

"What are the updates?"

"The Creator has become even more hostile towards anyone and everyone. He's practically calling the shots in Center Nine. Every day he sends out more and more guards, it's a miracle I haven't been paired with anyone but that'll probably change soon."

"It somewhat makes sense why he is. I watched another video... he's spent a lot of time and effort on getting her like that."

"Yeah, ten years."

"What?" Amber asked. "He's had her for ten years?" Amber felt bile rising in her throat as a sickening feeling made its way throughout her body. "But... I put you there ten years ago..." Amber trailed off again as that rising bile turned into a saddening feeling. A slightly shocked and realizing face came across her.

"Did you not watch all the videos?" Amber only shook her head. "I'm sorry, I thought you knew-" Dan was cut off when he saw Ten standing behind Amber. Amber met his eyes and turned around, however, her expression stayed the same.

"What's a mother?" Ten asked as she stared at the ground. Her jaw was clenched and her hands were tense.

"A mother is someone who has a child." Amber paused as she swallowed that sickening bile. "Why?"

"My entire life I was told that I was made by my Creator... I downloaded those videos and I watched the first one. I don't remember it but I can't unsee it." Ten finally looked up at Amber with tears of anger in her eyes. "I was talking to my Creator about my parents. I said your name..." Ten stepped closer to Amber as her fists clenched in anger.

Dan laid his hand on his gun. Amber stepped back in fear, realizing that Blake wasn't there. She knew what Ten was capable of and knew they could both be killed within a blink of an eye.

"Are you my mother?"

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