Friday, March 16th, 2029
“It begins with the one you know as Reinhardt. His real name is Jack Adata,” Gavin explains.
“And you met him before,” I say, looking at the both of them.
I see Andy look up at the ceiling and close his eyes. “Jack was a freelance scientist funded by the American Government before it had shut down to research foreign elements. The part that connects us all is that each of his teammates that worked with him had children who were a part of a test that had gone wrong.”
“So, that means that…” Iris begins.
“It means that our parents were working with Jack,” Andy says.
“It’s really very complex, so I’ll try to keep it brief,” Gavin says, taking in a deep breath. “We believe that you, Sarah, John too, are in some way related to those scientists. That you had those tests done on you,” he says.
“That’s pretty insane sounding if you ask me,” Iris says.
“It may be a tough pill to swallow, but we are pretty sure that we know John is one we’re looking for. His father is actually the one who gathered us,” Andy says.
“His father? His father is dead,” I say.
Gavin shakes his head, “The two people murdered in John’s bedroom are not his birth parents. He was adopted, his birth father is a man named Jay Rein.
“How can you be so sure?” I ask.
“I wasn’t at first. Honestly, at first when you called me I’d thought it was just some kid who got mixed up with the wrong crowd, but your descriptions of Jack and your abilities aren’t something to be ignored,” Andy says.
“It’s been a long time we’ve been searching for him, too,” Jen speaks up.
“How long have you been searching for John?” Iris asks.
“Seven years,” Andy says.
“S-Seven?!” I ask.
“It’s hard trying to find one specific person throughout all of New York, especially when they could have left at any time. We were lucky enough to find you here and now,” Jen says.
“W-What about me? My mom is my real mom, no doubt,” I say.
“What about your father?” Gavin asks.
“My mom said that he died when I was real young,” I say.
“He most likely is dead, the only scientists from those days alive now are Jay and Jack.
Was my father one of these scientists? Is that really true?
“You aren’t native to New York, are you?” Andy asks.
“N-No, how did you know?” I ask.
“Are you from Colorado, by any chance?”
“Y-Yes,” I say, quietly.
“I’m now one hundred percent sure that you’re one of the people we’ve been looking for,” Andy says.
“So, these two, what is so special about them? I mean, they’ve seen the end of the world? What next?” Iris asks.
“They’re special because...they have an abnormality in their genetic makeup. Those tests I mentioned involved chemical radiation and these two have some very foreign substances running through their blood,” Gavin says and he looks towards the ground.
“So I’m like, poisoned?”
“To keep it simple, we call it the Radical-9 Virus. While not viral in nature, it is radiation poisoning that takes on the effects of a viral parasite. It latches onto the infected person’s system and never lets go. It is inside of every child that was tested on during those times. We have strong reason to believe that there are ten children that were infected with the virus,” Gavin explains.
“So there’s...Me, John, You, and Andy...that’s four,” I say.
“And me,” Jen says.
“Okay, so there’s five. Do you know about the other five? And what does it do?” I ask.
Gavin takes a deep breath, “The other five…won’t be helping us. Four of them are dead and I’ve no clue where the fifth is now,” Gavin says.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I say.
“And the virus…” Gavin continues, unflinching. “It’s called Radical-9 because of the elements it was created with. Radium, Calcium, and two elements that were found on Mars, Dicoberene and Lantrate. The scientists under contract by then president Hal Valhart were testing these elements when it all went horribly wrong.”
“What happened?” Iris asks.
“Jack was the one who did the testing. He was the newest to the group and so he was chosen to do the tests as a sort of grudge by my father,” Gavin says. “I don’t agree with it, but it’s what happened. The elements blew up and hospitalized Jack, burned nearly everything on his body, and the ensuing radiation spilled out into the building, where the first five kids were exposed to the radiation,” Gavin begins.
“Those five including myself, Gavin, and Jen,” Andy adds.
“You, Sarah, were exposed to the radiation in 2014, alongside John and two others who died in the testing. John was at this point too, you were both infants at the time,” Gavin says.
“It gives us extraordinary abilities like your dreams,” Andy finishes.
“So, that power of yours, your ability to deduce when someone is lying,” I say.
“When people lie, or aren’t telling the whole truth their body seems to resist against that. They begin to show their nervous habits because the body isn’t used to spreading falsehoods. I can see these habits. It is my gift,” Andy says.
I turn to Gavin and Jen. “What about you two?” Iris asks before I can even open my mouth.
“I’m like you, believe it or not. I can dream and see visions in those dreams. The one thing is you seem to dream of the future. I see memories and sometimes they aren’t even my memories. I see bits and pieces of the past as they actually happened. That’s how we’ve learned a bit of what happened,” Jen says.
“Mine’s a bit more complicated,” Gavin begins.
“How much more complicated can it be?” Iris asks.
“Plenty,” Jen says, chuckling.
“Alright, lay it on us,” I say.
Gavin sighs. “Okay, I can travel through alternate realities.”
“Care to explain?” Iris asks.
“You ever hear of the parallel universe theory? Where there are millions of universes similar to our own except for small differences? I can tune into this sort of feeling that allows me to see these different universes and travel to them if need be.”
“Wow, that sounds awesome,” I say.
“I’ve had to be sparing with how I control it, only using it if I need to,” he explains.
“Okay, if you can time travel, couldn’t you-”
“Before you even ask it, I’m going to say no. It’s ten thousand times more complicated than just going back and fixing everything. There’s no such thing as fixing a timeline by going into the past. The closest you get it creating a new universe where that problem didn’t exist, but that doesn’t help the people living in that current timeline. People get hurt and you can’t fix that,” Gavin trails off, a hurt look in his eyes.
“Oh, was there someone?” Iris asks.
“It’s…it’s long since passed. I’ve moved on,” Gavin says.
I have a hard time believing it.
“I wanted to tell you so that you know what is at stake. Jack’s a big problem, we’ve been trying to stop him for the better part of a decade now. This guy went as far as to sacrifice his own son,” Andy says.
“That’s messed up.”
“In more ways than one. I want you to understand that because I don’t think he’s ever going to stop unless we find a way to, and to do that we’re going to need John’s help, we need to keep him safe.”
“That makes sense. I agree,” I say.
“Oh, uh, Andy, if you see John again could you apologize to him for me?” Iris asks.
“Sure, for what?” Andy asks.
“Uh, he’s kind of in this mess right now...because of me.”
“Iris, what are you talking about?”
“When you and John went into his house I...I was the one who called the police.”
“I had to do something, Sarah, and I thought that was the best thing because I didn’t trust him. This was before he pulled us out of the wreck and hearing all of this. I feel awful about it, but at the time I did what I thought was right,” she says.
“Yeah, I’ll tell him,” Andy says. “We should get going, I think the trial should be starting soon,” Andy says to Jen, breaking the tension. He pulls out his phone and types something really quick.
“We’ll be sitting in the gallery to cheer you guys on. I know you’ll do your best,” I say.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ll try my best to get this in our favor,” Andy says, looking at each of us individually.
“Good luck,” Iris says.
“You got this Andy,” Gavin says.
“Come with me. I’ll lead you to the gallery,” Gavin says. “Lindsey will meet up with us there.”
I nod my head and we begin walking.
“Hey, Gavin, do you mind if I sit next to you in the gallery?” Iris asks, walking up beside him.
“Uh, no, not at all,” he replies.
Iris, I feel like I should get you a leash.