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The Facility

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Cassidy Gray has telekinesis and is kidnapped by the Facility. They want to study and use her - for what she can only guess. She and two other prisoners escape and are hounded by Hugo Forrester, the head of the Facility. Aided by an ex-cop,his K-9,and a carjacked woman, they lead Hugo and his men on a chase through several states in an attempt to get away. This is the first of two books (so far) and it being uploaded in chapters. The first twenty plus are uploaded and more will follow shortly. A quick note: I understand that Inkitt suggests to keep chapters short (no more than 3000 words) and you will find that some chapters in this book are more (some twice as many) than the suggested amount. The book was written before I had thought about posting on here or the "other" site, and I can't really rework the story to shorten chapters. I never liked chapters that ended just to keep it short, and then started again like it hadn't been broken. To me, a chapter is an action, conflict or plot that starts and ends. So please, if you only like shorter chapters, keep that in mind. Also, give it a chance, you might find you like it, even if you read a little more in one setting. Thanks!

Scifi / Action
Kris N
4.8 6 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Cassidy Gray sat on the decaying dock, face inches from the globe of water that held the small catfish. She sat with her legs over the edge, feet inches from the slow-moving water below her toes. If she flexed her feet, her toes could dip into the cool water.

Cass, as her friends called her, lived in the Georgia bayou, her house only thirty or so feet from the quietly lapping water.

The dock extended over the water fifteen feet from the semi-firm mud bank. The banks had plants and trees growing randomly in patches wherever it suited them.

Further along the banks in both directions, bulrushes, better known as cattails to the uninformed, grew among the sawgrass. A small patch of cowslips grew next to her house.

Her mother taught her they were also known as march marigolds, but she liked the silly name cowslips better.

The small yellow flowers contrasted with the small white flowers of the marshwart that grew beside them.

A small herb garden grew there as well, providing cooking herbs as well as a few medicinal ones like buckbean.

Cass was only marginally aware of the bird calls around her. The bayou was full of life, mostly innocuous, some poisonous, and a few deadly ones, but she was unconcerned.

A pair of marsh warblers called to each other as Cass examined the catfish. Her mouth opened and closed as the fishes did; her breath rippling the surface of the water lightly. She leaned in to get a better look and stopped just short of her nose touching the globe of water.

So intent on her close examination of the little fish, she did not hear anyone approach her until a voice said, “And what do you think you’re doing young lady?”

Cass jerked with a start and the globe of water suddenly lost its shape and both water and fish dropped into the marsh water below.

“Mom,” Cass said without looking behind her. She inwardly cringed, knowing what was to come.

Her mother sighed. “It should go without saying that doing what you just did wasn’t smart.” Cass knew she was shaking her head. “Out in the open like that. And how long was the fish out of the water?”

“Mom, you saw the fish in the water,” Cass replied.

“Like that, the fish has a limited supply of oxygen in that little bit of water. Were you trying to suffocate it?”

Cass knew her mother did not believe that, even if the question implied it. “No mom, it wouldn’t have been in the water if I was,” was her answer, contrite. “It wasn’t out long enough to suffocate. It wouldn’t do that.”

Behind Cass, her mother smiled knowing that she indeed would not let the fish suffer like that. Hopefully it would survive the shock of what it had gone though.

“You probably wouldn’t have had to get so close if you were paying attention to the time. It is getting dark. And cold. Here you are sitting next to the water in a tank top and shorts. I’m not sure what will happen first: you catching a cold, or you getting eaten alive by the skeeters,” she said slapping her own arm.

Cass never told her mother how easy it was for her to keep the bugs away from her. It was pretty much second nature to her at this point. She did not even have to concentrate to do it. A whisper of thought in the back of her mind was all it took.

“Dinner is ready. Come on inside,” her mother told her.

Cassidy took after her mother physically. At twelve, she stood five foot two, and weighted maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet.

Her mother was five foot six and thin. Both had blond hair; Cassidy’s was lighter due to spending more time outside. Cass’s hair, hanging loose hung down to her waist, while her mother kept hers just past her shoulders.

For as much as she resembled her mother, Cassidy had inherited one striking difference from her father – her eyes. While her mother’s eyes were emerald green, Cassidy’s were a deep cobalt blue.

Cass put her arm around her mother’s waist, and they walked inside together.

“Dinner smells good,” Cass told her.

“Go wash up while I dish it up.” Her mother swatted her as Cass walked to the kitchen sink.

As Cassidy washed, her mother dished up dinner for them.

They sat and said grace – her mother always insisted – before beginning to eat. They ate in silence for a few minutes before Cassidy’s mother said, “You know how dangerous it is to show your gift in the open like that. People won’t understand.”

“But I didn’t – “ Cass started but her mother interrupted her.

“It’s for your own good. Even if you ignore the fact that people would want to treat you like a lab rat or make you into some kind of weapon, what would simple folks say if they knew? How would your friends at school treat you?

“You’re an intelligent girl, think about it. Some would be curious. Some would think you are a freak. Most would be afraid of you. People are afraid of what they do not understand, honey. The kids would believe you would hurt them. So would the adults.”

“But I wouldn’t,” Cassidy protested.

Gwynne Gray gazed at her innocent daughter. “Maybe not willingly, but you can’t always control it. Neither could your father.”

Cass started to open her mouth but abruptly closed it at the mention of her father. She had been four when he had been shot and killed. Still too young to remember him, her mother had told her what had happened to him when she became aware that Cassidy had inherited her father’s abilities.

They had lived in Arkansas at the time and he had gone out to the store. On the way back, he had been pulled over by the police. Ordered out of the car, the two officers pushed him against a wall and one roughly patted him down while the other took his ID and called it in.

The one patting Peter Gray down pulled one of his arms behind his back, wrenching his elbow, and he cried out. The police body cam on the other officer showed the first officer put his cuffs around Peter’s first wrist, then the officer yanked his other arm back forcefully before adding his second wrist to the waiting open cuff.

Peter could clearly be heard objecting to the rough treatment on the video before he was shoved face first into the wall.

The video then showed that officer stumble backwards as if pushed. He would later claim that he had been, but the video clearly showed Peter Gray motionless and cuffed.

The officer then pulled out his baton and hit Peter in the back of the legs, causing him to fall. Once again, the officer hit Peter, this time in the side. The autopsy would later show a broken rib as a result of the blow.

The officer drew back his baton over his head and swung again. As he swung down the video glitched, but it appeared that the officer struck the wall, causing the baton to rebound and strike the officer in his own head. He staggered back in the video and faces the officer with the body cam. You could clearly see the blood running down his face, which showed he was dazed and out of it.

After taking a few steps towards his partner, the video showed him pulling out his gun, turning and shooting Peter Gray four times before his partner stopped him.

At the trial, the officer was found not guilty of murder due to temporary mental impairment – the baton to the head was clear – but he was found guilty of using excessive force and wrongful death.

The second officer, who did not do anything to Peter, but also did nothing to stop his partners abuse, was found not guilty but was still fired and Gwynne Gray was awarded a settlement for her husbands’ wrongful death in civil court.

The money could not replace her husband or Cass’s father, but it did mean she could focus on raising Cassidy and not have to worry about money any time in the foreseeable future.

What could not be seen on the video was that Peter Gray had attempted to stop his mistreatment, although most likely unconsciously.

When he cried out in pain, the automatic reflex would be to distance the officer from him, thus, he pushed the man backwards.

The video did not glitch but was ever so briefly interrupted by the release of energy by Peter deflecting the baton blow, which unfortunately happened to be back at the officer, knocking him silly.

Gwynne knew this was more self-preservation than skill. Peter’s abilities were not a fraction of Cassidy’s. If he tried hard, he could move small things a bit, but it took all his concentration to do it.

It was evident in the video he was not concentrating. The pain would have made it nearly impossible. If Peter could do that unconsciously, it only stood to reason that Cassidy could do it as well. Which was why her mother was warning her now.

“Cassidy?” her mother called.

She blinked before answering. “Sorry mom, what did you say?”

“I asked how your day at school was.”

“It was okay I guess.”

“Did you make any new friends?” her mother asked, knowing that she had few friends.

Cass shook her head tersely.

Her mother gave her a sad look and said, “Oh honey, you should really try harder.”

“It’s easier to hide my powers if no one is around to see any slip-ups,” Cass countered.

Her mother sighed again. “You know better than that. I want you to be careful, but not a loner. You need friends. It’s not healthy to always be alone.”

“I’ve got you.”

“And I cherish our time together, but I won’t always be here. You’ll grow up and move out on your own, fall in love and have a family of your own someday.”

“Mommmm,” Cassidy said, drawing it out as the spoon that was heading to her mouth was lowered.

Her mother raised a hand to stop further complaint. “At some point honey, it will happen. Unless you plan on spending your life alone after I’m gone.”

Cassidy opened her mouth again, but her mother continued. “I don’t intend to go anytime soon. Not if I can help it. But I will not live forever, so no sense in trying to fool ourselves. You must be careful out in the world, but you do not need to live in seclusion. That isn’t living.”

Her mother paused, looking at her daughter. After a second, she smiled big and told Cassidy, “I want you to be as happy as your father and I were.”

Cassidy said nothing but did let her exasperation show by sighing.

They finished dinner in relative silence and when Cassidy got up her mother said, “I’ll get the dishes, you go get ready for bed, then finish your homework.”

The young girl did not argue and went upstairs to her bedroom. Closing her door, she stopped and looked around her room.

Cassidy took it all in and decided it was time for a change. What she saw was a little girl’s room, yet she was nearly a teenager. It was time to grow up just like her mother kept telling her.

She decided to tell her mom and start this coming weekend.

Walking to her computer, she started up Spotify and selected a play list of a favorite artist of hers, a techno-violinist named Lindsey Stirling.

While the music started playing, Cassidy danced around, gathering her change of clothes before heading into her bathroom.

She started the shower and undressed as the weather warmed up.

Pulling the elastic band off the end of her long braid, she pulled her fingers through the plaits, undoing it until her long, thick hair hung free.

Cassidy always turned her music up just loud enough to hear over the running water, but her mother never complained.

Testing the water and finding it the right temperature, she stepped into the shower, letting the warm water run over her head. As it soaked up the water, she felt the tug of the extra weight on her head.

Other than a small trim of the ends, her hair had not been cut as far back as she could remember.

She grabbed the shampoo and washed her mass of hair, then put conditioner in it, letting it sit while she washed the rest of her body.

The music played and she hummed along with it, while visualizing herself playing the music. She had taken up playing the violin after seeing Lindsey Stirling come in second on America’s Got Talent.

Cassidy had only been playing for two years, but had made a lot of progress, her teacher saying she was a natural.

Like Stirling, she took up writing her own music that was outside of the classical or bluegrass types normally played. Thankfully, living in the South for all her life, her mother had a broad outlook on music and encouraged Cassidy to play whatever her heart told her to play. After Cassidy proved that this was not just a passing fancy and she was serious about it, her mother used some of the settlement money to buy Cassidy a top-quality violin.

Cassidy rinsed her hair a final time and shut off the water just as a tune called Moon Trance started to play. It always reminded her of something that belonged in a scary movie – one with a graveyard scene.

Grabbing a towel, she began the long process of drying her hair. Once she got it to the point it was only damp, she wrapped the towel around it and using another towel, dried herself off, then put on her night clothes.

The nights were getting cool, so she put on sweats and a t-shirt. Pulling the towel off her hair, she grabbed her brush and began the process of brushing it out.

While brushing, she swayed to the music but paused when she heard the crash of something breaking over the music.

At first, she thought that maybe her mother dropped a dish, but then she wondered if she would have heard that all the way upstairs, in her bathroom, over the music.

She padded barefoot over the hardwood floor – carpet being impractical in the moist air of the swamplands – and turned off her music at the same time a loud bang came from downstairs, causing her to jump.

Her mind began to try to identify the sound. It reminded her of a hammer hitting wood with some force. She took a step towards her door, but stopped as she hard her mother scream run, along with another, more muted bang.

Her mother went quiet and Cassidy wanted to call out to see if she was okay, but something stopped her.

Not sure what to do, she stood there frozen with indecision. She heard footsteps coming up the stairs and again thought to call out to her mother but stopped herself – the footsteps were too heavy for it to be her mom. Something told her to run and hide.

Too late for that, her bedroom door was flung open and a man in all black stood in the doorway, pointing a handgun at her.

Cassidy opened her mouth to scream but as she did so, the man in black pulled the trigger. To her surprise, the bang from the gun seemed a long way away, and she flinched expecting to die. Or at least feel pain from the shot.

A second passed, then two, and no pain seemed to be coming to her. She thought she remembered something from TV where shock caused a delay in pain, so she opened her eyes, which she had closed automatically when the gun went off.

Eyes open, she saw the man in black still standing in the doorway pointing the gun at her. Ignoring him she looked down at her body for signs of blood. She did not see any.

So, what happened? She thought as a slight throb came from her left arm just below her shoulder. Looking over, she saw a silver object about the thickness of a pencil and an inch and a half long, ending in what looked like a red puffball. It was sticking out into her arm where it was throbbing.

Her left had still held her hairbrush, and it was starting to go numb.

In a panic, Cassidy made a flicking gesture with her right hand and the dart flew out of her arm.

She heard the man standing in front of her fall, albeit through a curtain of something that absorbed sound. She had a problem remembering its name.

Turning her head to look at the man, she knew something was wrong when her room took what seemed like several seconds to catch up with her eyes.

She heard her brush clatter to the floor without felling it leave her grip.

The room started to tip on her in a way that reminded her of some slow-motion movie effect. It continued to tip until she was looking across the floor after bouncing off it.

Belatedly, her mind registered she had collapsed and bounced off the floor. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she thought she was going to be sore because of that later.

She tried to move but could not. Being unable to move, she looked forward and saw the man who shot her lying across from her. He was in all black, covered totally except for a small section around the eyes and the bridge of his nose.

Cassidy now heard other voices, but they were fuzzy. She could not move to look for them, but she heard one who asked, “The mother?” and another man’s voice replied, “She’s been taken care of.”

Still looking at the man on the floor in front of her, she noticed that one of his eyes was red. The world went black before her mind could work out that his eye was not red, but that was all that was visible of the dart she had flung back at him.

She did however feel the tear roll down her cheek as she processed what the men said about her mom before then.

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Further Recommendations

halsteaddawn1960: I really liked the book. Could you please continue the book or make a sequel

Aj: Great book so far. Cant wait for more chapters

4mysanity: I like the flow. Would recommend it as a fantasy romance. Sexy

Britt Morgan: Couldn’t stop reading! I stopped at what I thought was close to the end so I wouldn’t finish it so fast only to find out there were only a few paragraphs left. LoL little bummed. I didn’t want it to end.

Tiffany: I absolutely love this story so far. The world building, the characters, how the characters interact with each other and how their inner dialogue plays out....all just lovely. Looking forward to reading the rest!!

rutewhitestone23: I like everything about this story...can't wait for the conclusion. Really talented author. I wish I could focus like that!

Jacinta: Your words are brilliantly strung together. The story line was intense, sensitive, unexpected, sad, happy, descriptive, so wonderfully balanced. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your gift. This is one I shall remember forever because it was THAT good!

Hayley J: Shame the brother in law never got a chance to explain or meet raven.

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maggie Brown: Loving this story! These two are just the cutest!

BookWitch: @Booklives75 you did it again... Amazing book. Looking forward to another ROS book. You had me laughing and crying, as well as having my anxiety going haywire... Wish you the best with more creative writing and a wonderful imagination for your next book.

dtijsmans: Thank you for another lovely book of yours.

Lizelle Nel: Absolutely love the story. The mother is quite hilarious with the innuendos. Could feel every emotion the characters went through. You wanted to cry with them. Laugh with them. Highly recommended to read. Keep it up.

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