Part III: Alien Monsters
I later learned the person inside the huge metal suit was Nucleon, a hero whose powers involved radiation like mine. Although hers had evolved to the point that she no longer had a solid form. I hoped that wasn’t some sign of my future. If I even had a future anymore.
Some people turned up with some seriously high tech equipment and we were both waiting outside a huge lead van. She told me the girl was okay, although she would have to undergo intensive tests and chemotherapy as there was a high chance she had developed skin cancer; and that was the more positive scenario.
“This is so I can see the extent of your abilities whilst we are being transported to Priest Island,” Nucleon had explained. My phone vibrated in my pocket and i frowned as I recognised my step-dad’s number. I answered instantly, praying it was mum.
“Allen, it’s Daniel,” my step-dad answered.
“Hi Dan,” I replied, ignoring the growing pit of dismay in my gut.
“I’ve spoken with your mother and we’ve done some research. I understand you’re with someone who wants to try admitting you into Ravenhold Academy. However there’s another school that we feel would be more appropriate called Myrmidon Academy,” he explained.
“Myrmidon academy?” I repeated aloud. Nucleon immediately stood behind me and reached out a hand. I frowned at her and gave her the phone.
“There’s a reason I rushed to the school. I will not allow you to sign away your child’s life like this. I have already spoken with Ravenhold and his admittance has been guaranteed providing he respects the other students.” She listened to whatever my step-dad had to say and hung up.
“Erm, I appreciate the help but if my parents think-” I began nervously.
“You will thank me later for my intervention,” she cut me off, and even though she had no face to see, I sensed she watched me with strict maternal instinct.
I didn’t argue further and we both got into the van. As the vehicle began moving. I tried not to feel like some kind of criminal or monster trapped in a cage as I sat on the metal benching.
I spent the hours long drive going over some basic exercises with Nucleon. She frowned at my inability to replicate the rays but said this was to be expected. There some mumbling about a mental block but I tried not to overthink anything.
She gave up after two hours and pointed out a box under the benches. I pulled out the sleeping bag and slept as she advised. I’m amazed I managed to fall asleep but I must have, as when i next opened my eyes broad daylight was streaming through the small thick glass windows at the top of the van.
“Nucleon?” I looked around to see she was no longer around. I released the vehicle wasn’t moving and pushed on the doors. They opened and immediately a battle suited person appeared.
“Please remain in the van sir,” they said, some kind of filter in their suit making it hard to work out if they were male or female. I peeked over their shoulder and saw there was a small plane and we were now on a runway.
“Let him pass.” Nucleon said to the person blocking the van. She had another needle in her hand. It was a good thing I was used to injections. I had to get regular testosterone injections since I was born with an intersex condition called Klinefelter Syndrome. It wasn’t something I really talked about, or my family since I know it made my mum feel uncomfortable.
“To ensure the safety of the pilot it’s been requested you be knocked out for the duration of the flight. Once we get to Priest Island things should be simpler as the academy has ways of keeping students and yourself safe,” she explained.
“Okay,” I replied, wincing at the needle went into my arm. It was weird to think that just yesterday the idea of letting a hero touch me would’ve freaked me out and here I was, letting Nucleon inject me with god knows what. A sudden panicked thought hit me before i passed out. What if the substance somehow made my powers even more active?
The paranoia was still with me when I shot awake later. My eyes took a moment to adjust in the dimly lit room. There were machines around me taking various readings. I pulled at the pads stuck to my body and stood up. A clipboard was nearby but the scribble wasn’t in any human language I recognised. Where was I?
“Oh, you’re just awake,” a voice said, sounding relieved.
I blinked at the light as a door was opened and gaped at the creature who walked in. It was a grotesque lizard-like being with four eyes, strange tentacles on its head and weird dark blue scales. It had a slight hunch as it moved through the room and took the clipboard from me. I let go quickly, not daring to touch it. It looked at the monitor readings and made more notes before looking at me with those weird cat-like eyes of its.
“I’m the doctor of Ravenhold, you can call me Doc Venus or Sij. There’s no need to be alarmed. We thought it might be best you stayed here in case you had any reactions to the medicine upon waking. If you can just wait here I have another student to review. You’re both in the same room so you can find your way back together. If this is acceptable with you?” It asked.
I nodded quickly, just wanting this thing to leave. I seemed to sense my huge discomfort and left the room without another word.
I let out a relieved breath the moment the door closed and looked around the now lit bay. I saw my clothes and quickly got dressed, trying not to worry about what may have been done to me while I was naked.
What on earth was that thing?
I’d never gone out of my way to learn about the aliens. I never expected to be face to face with one. I knew of the Itharii because of the red fever fiasco but that was it.
The computer was password protected so there was no way to figure things out form that, but there was plenty of logos to indicate I was now in Ravenhold academy. I knew that was a big deal for hero types, something about it being difficult to get into. Here I was, someone who didn’t even want to be here, or have anything to do with heroes or mutants.
I went to the door and pulled it open slightly. I peered at the person sitting opposite the alien. I couldn’t quite work out if they were male or female, but they were wearing a skirt so I assumed female.
I shut the door, wanting to respect their privacy whoever they were. I sat back on the bed and waiting, my toes tapping impatiently. Eventually the door opened and Sij said I was free to go. The other student watched me quizzically as I walked carefully past the alien.