The Result of a Change

By Eman Nabil Al Adl All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Action

Chapter 26

Edward

Hundreds and thousands have come out and still counting. Just about half an hour ago, they called all of us and told us to wait for the rest so we can all get the serum. But, that’s not it, that’s not what’s making my heart beat so fast and my knuckles turn white from balling my palms into fists for a long time. From everyone who have passed through this gate, she’s none of them.

She’ll be the last one to come. Maybe she’s just making sure all of them pass. Maybe. I keep telling myself trying to calm down.

“Relax man, she’s coming. I’m sure of it.” Peter whispers in my ear, failing miserably to hide the worry in his voice.

I nod absently to him, my eyes still fixed on the huge gate. Someone familiar steps out of it, looks around as if searching for a particular person, spots us and heads towards us.

I know this guy, I just ca-

“Logan?” Peter exclaims cutting me off my thoughts.

I turn my gaze towards Peter, “Who’s Logan?” I mutter out.

Logan rolls his eyes and stares at us for what feels like eternity. Then he finally speaks up, “His younger brother. I can’t believe you all forget me, even your fri-.” He stops talking and his eyes widen in realization.

“What? Even who?” Peter asks impatiently.

“Your friend, Zoey, the one who got us here...” he trails off and turns to look at the gate behind him, then back at us.

“What about her?” I inquire.

“She jumped in after me, and there was only 10 seconds left.” He suddenly gasps.

“Logan,” Peter warns, “Don’t play with our nerves and say it all at once.”

“She must’ve jumped at the last second which means...” he pauses to take in a breath of air, “she might not have made it.”

I stare at him in disbelief then back at the gate. That can’t be true, she’s not that stupid. I’ve always known her to have a sharp time measurement in her head, she can’t do this mistake.

“Edward?” Peter calls.

“Yeah?” I reply back absently.

“I hate to say it, but they’re shutting off the gate.”

My eyes quickly turn to look at Jonathan, only to find him ordering whoever is in charge of the controls behind the two sided mirror across from the gate, to shut it off.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I snap at him.

“Closing the portal?”

“Don’t. Don’t you dare do that.”

“Why would I? It’s not my fault she couldn’t make it. The gate on the other side is destroyed, she would’ve come by now... if she isn’t dead already.”

Before I could even react to this, I find Peter already there holding him against the wall from his neck.

“Get off of me!” Jonathan shouts.

“You idiots behind that freaking glass! Turn it off or I’ll choke him to death!” Peter yells staring directly at his own reflection, knowing they can see him on the other side.

“They won’t listen to you.” Jonathan points out.

Peter squeezes his neck more, making his veins bulge out on his forehead.

“Then make them.” He retorts gritting his teeth.

Jonathan raises his hand, points it at Peter, and then nods quickly. Doing so, Peter loosens his grip and backs away, leaving him coughing and choking.

Walking back to us, “Ms. Emma?” he calls for her.

“Yes?” her voice replies right from behind me.

He rubs his eyes and creases his eyebrows, an indication of his brain remembering something important.

“Can’t you both contact? Like talk in each other’s heads?” he asks suggestively.

“How hadn’t this occurred to me! I should’ve tried it.” She exclaims, nodding at him quickly, “I’ll do it, let me try.” She adds before shutting her eyes in concentration.

“I hope it works.” I murmur, watching him nod in response before his eyes turn to Logan.

“Where are Mom and Dad, Logan?” He asks his brother. I look around searching for my own parents in the crowd. Realizing I can’t spot them in the thousands here, I turn my gaze back at the two brothers.

The younger brother’s eyes turn glassy and a tear falls from one of them. He blinks and rubs his cheek with the back of his sleeve.

I look at Peter and find him just as confused as I am.

“What’s wrong, bro?” He asks, his eyebrows creased with concern.

“They caught it.”

“Caught what?”

“Pancer. Yours too, Edward.”

“And what happened to them?” Peter blurts out as if he’s scared of what’s coming next, but I don’t blame him for I am as scared as him.

He takes in a huge gulp of air, “They died, the four of them.”

“I got a connection!” Ms. Emma announces cutting our conversation.


Zoey

The mysterious void. Usually, our teachers would describe it as “the lost world” or “the lost hole in space”. It never made sense, to me if I were to be more accurate. But now that I am in it, well stuck and paralyzed in it, I couldn’t be more supportive of the fact that it exists.

One of the things that used to float around our school, that usually came out from our teachers’ mouths, was the effect of being there. Paralysis. But nobody ever talked about getting stuck there. Nevertheless, I know for certain what paralysis leads to. And that’s Hyper sleep.

The theories lingered in my brain ever since I heard of them. And then, here I am, supporting the mere speculations myself. Frustrated, I let out a grunt, so low, it can nearly be a whisper. My chest heaves as if the effort to take out that much of a sound took away all of my energy. I look at the blank emptiness all around. Surprisingly though, a sudden feeling of peace and calmness sweeps over me, making my breaths even.

Stay put and calm, a solution will have to come across your mind. I tell myself, trying to relax a bit.

I have to go back, I need to. This is even worse than getting burnt and shred into pieces of flesh and bones by the explosion. I’ve always disliked the idea of hanging in between two different things. It’s so intolerable that my stomach churns and swirls until I finally get to either of the sides, and that’s what I’m feeling now. I take in a deep long breath, the only movement I can make.

Soon, my activated system will betray me and shut off. I have to find a way out before it’s too late.

Zoey! Can you hear me?

I could’ve startled if it weren’t for the paralysis I’m in. But, what in the heavens was that! It must be someone who can telepathically contact me, someone who knows me. And that for certain, has to be only one person. Ms. Emma.

Yes. I reply back to her voice in my head, already feeling it ache and spin.

Don’t worry, it’s me, Emma. Are you okay? Why aren’t you here with the others?

I’m doing well, just paralyzed and stuck in the Void, if you know what I mean.

What! How are you stuck in the first place?

An itch travels around in my brain, making it hurt as if someone stabbed my skull.

Would you simmer it down? My head is paining, and I don’t want to lose energy. This would lead to a hyper sleep, you know? Anyways, an error occurred and the process failed.

I sense a quick nod on her side and wait patiently for her to speak again.

I see. I know exactly what you should do.

What? I reply her with a sudden hint of hope.

Fight paralysis. Keep trying to move. Once you do, push yourself to the other portal.

Okay, I’ll try. I reply back taking it all in.

Don’t try, never give up until you move your bloody self out of there. We need you.

Whoa. Control your slang, I don’t want it in my head. I sense an eye roll but continue anyways, But, I promise I’ll get back. Thank you.

And then the connection gets cut off, leaving me alone once more.

Fighting paralysis, huh? Sounds not as awful.

I close my eyes and clench my teeth, forcing the blood to flow faster in my head. I push on the effort to move, even if a little bit, but nothing happens. I open my eyes, then shut them off again. I repeat the same technique over and over.

Clench. Force flow. Push.

Clench. Force flow. Push.

Not giving up, I repeat the tactic twice, thrice and multiple number of times until my head started spinning so fast and my eyes blurred so much so that I can’t differentiate whether they are opened or still closed.

And then it worked. My index finger moved quarter an inch to the side. On the twenty ninth time.

Suddenly feeling a rush of optimism, hope that’ll everything is ending, every dreadful thing, I take a breath and repeat.

Clench. Force flow. Push.

Clench. Force flow. Push.

Clench. Force flow. Push.

Clench. Force flow. Push

My left hand moves, completely, and then my arm. Encouragement fills me and I do it again. I’m getting out. I think to myself. Too good to be true.

Clench. Force flow. Push.

My whole body jerks to life. I gasp at the sudden twitch. I move my right hand, then my right arm, right foot, right leg, and then left leg, left foot. Sighing in relief, I take a breath feeling the excitement and victory occupy me, cheering the dark emptiness around.

Get to the gate. I remind myself

I look around, pushing my body forward as if swimming in a pool, slowly and swiftly.

Everywhere is pitch black, nothing to see, nothing. Floating in here feels like swimming in water, black non-liquid water. Where ever I glance, blank space hits my eyes.

But then, I spot a flickering light, the only reminder that I’m not blind yet.

I push myself to it, noticing how brighter it shines the closer I get. My eyes widen with joy when I finally understand what it is. The search is over.

I stare at the opening as it’s interior moves slightly in swirls similar to water waves, so light blue in colour, I almost thought it’s white.

Shrugging off my fascination, I push myself harder, faster, into the gate material as it swallows me with its waves. The moment I land on the white tiles, I wince as the pain seeps through my body, kicking at my bones with all its might. A shiver shakes me from the coldness of the floor, my head spins and my heart beats so fast that my ribcage hurts. I know what’s coming next. If I could beat it in the Void, it’ll have to hit me later, it’s unavoidable. But as long as I’m finally back on Earth, I don’t think that should bother me anymore.

I look up, just to see Edward’s concerned face towering over me.

“Get a doctor!” A familiar voice shouts. Peter.

And then, with no further alerts, it all falls into darkness.

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