Origins: Jaime 2

Into Darkness: Part Two

Four years ago

“Subject F-19a6.” The voice coming from the speaker said, stirring me from my slumber.

I stumbled off the uncomfortable mattress and to my feet. The cold concrete floor of the cell chilled my toes. With the days of pain I’d endured after the tests they’d performed on me and the time I’d spent in the cell, I’d lost track of how long I’d been there.

“Lift the weight.”

I stepped toward the large lead weight that left on the ground and extended an arm, letting my powers run through it. The weight raised a few inches above the ground. I could feel my power straining in my mind. I struggled with it as long as I could until my power shut down.

“Six point nine seconds improvement.” The voice noted. “Impressive.”

The voice went silent only to be replaced a minute later by the sound of footsteps beyond the cell door. The small opening in the door opened and a tray of food was passed through. A bottle of water, some disgusting loaf of unrecognizable foodstuff, like always.

Every day was the same. Or I assumed it was, no natural light or clock to tell me the time. I went back on the bed, hoping it’d end soon…

***

The routine repeated itself several more times, I don’t even know if it was once, twice or three times a day, before it was broken. That time, the door opened for food but there was none, only a folded piece of paper. I took it and unfolded the note.

Be ready to escape. Stand Back! Was scrawled on the paper in a hasty handwriting.

I blinked but didn’t hesitate. Whatever that was, it was my only chance to escape this hell… I retreated to the end of the room and soon after the door blew off its hinges. Although it flew at me, I didn’t have to concentrate that my powers  batted it away.

I little dazed I stepped out of the cell only to run into a frazzled ginger woman wearing a lab coat, dark bags hung under her eyes and she shook lightly.

“Good you’re out…” She muttered in a panicked look. “You have to help me get out of here! Quick before the guards arri—”

“Wait!” I stopped her. “Where are we? Who are you?”

“I’m Meg… I’m a researcher, they’ve been keeping me captive same as you… Forced me to do things…” She said, eyes tearing up. “But you have powers you can get us out.”

I looked back at the exploded door.

“I smuggled some chemicals from the lab to free you. But I need you to get past the guards.”

I didn’t have time to consider her words that shouting down the hall caught my attention, a handful of men in dark military-style outfits coming our way, armed. They raised their gun at me and I froze. Flashes and roar of gunfire consumed all my senses And I closed my eyes, expecting the worst…

But nothing happened…

“Damn mutant!” One of the men shouted. “Overwhelm tactics; stingers.”

I opened my eyes and found the bullets riddling the hallways’ walls but I didn’t have a scratch. Meg who’d hidden behind me had been spared. I looked back at the men and saw them readying grenades. I didn’t even need to think; I raised an arm and held them, the men screaming as the grenades exploded in their hands. One second they’d been standing there, the next there was blood everywhere. I stood there, paralyzed in front of the scene…

“We have to go!” Meg screamed. “Before others arrive.” She grabbed me by the arm and dragged me a few steps before my brain could wake up.

We ran and she lead us, knowing the complex we’d found ourselves in, making us pass through corridors, labs and other rooms. Guards intercepted us, but I dealt with them easily, pelting them with whatever I could get my telekinesis on. My powers were nothing like they’d been during Juvie; I was stronger, my focus was clearer and I could sense things… Before it took me hours to recuperate after using my powers, now minutes was all I needed.

“We’re almost there. Past this door we can steal a car and get out.” Meg said.  

She opened a door with a card taken from a guard and we found ourselves in a hangar only to be faced by a small army of guards.

“Bravo!” A man said, clapping as he come forward from the group. Unlike the rest, he was dressed in a tailored suit. “Most impressive.” At his side I recognized Mr. Neville.

“You bastard…” I grunted at him. “I’ll kill you!”

I raised my arm to get a better grip at him but something hit me in the spine.

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.” Meg declared, whispering in my ear. The panic in her tone was gone. “Thank you for your cooperation, this demonstration was just what I needed.”

I couldn’t move, my muscles tightening. I tried to focus my powers but I couldn’t find that space in my head where I called the force from…

“As you saw, the enhancement is permanent it’s been three weeks since the treatment was administered and the subject is still improving.” She began, speaking as a matter of fact. “Basic parahuman abilities have been augmented by a ten-fold level, adrenaline fuels the ability further, secondary abilities have been fully developed and refractory periods have been shortened by eighty-three point seventy-nine percent. Subject is still healthy and psychologically stable.”

“You surprise me, Circe. It seems my wife’s faith in your abilities was well placed after all.”

“Enough with your empty praises, Alcastiel.” She snapped. “Our business is concluded. You know what your part of the deal is. Don’t disappoint me.”

“What about the test subject?”

“Kill her, keep her, release her. She’s yours to deal with.” Circe said. “The paralysis is only temporary.”

“Mr. Neville,” the man she’d called Alcastiel began. “I think I’ll leave her in your custody. Give her the standard treatment, make her cooperate. I believe she’ll be a great asset.”

“Yes sir!” He answered, nervously.

He retrieved a suitcase from the trunk of a car, opened it and came toward me holding a syringe of muddy orange liquid.

“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.” He said as he jabbed the tip on it in my arm.

***

Bound, gagged and blindfolded they dragged me out of the complex I’d been held in, into a car and then into a basement after a long drive. Every day, Mr. Neville would come down into the basement and give me menial orders, meaningless tasks. I’d tried screaming for help and fighting, but all that lead to was agony as he prodded me with some instrument.

I was half-passed out from the hunger, I wasn’t fed if I didn’t obey, when the cringing of the door brought me to my senses.

“I told you before. You should’ve listened…” Someone said, the glare behind them hid their features but I recognized her voice. Roxanne took a few steps forwards and out of the light. “If you just do as they say, everything’s fine.”

“What the hell is going on here?” I said, grabbing her by her shirt.

“You’ve become a weapon. The sooner you accept that, the easier it’ll be for you.”

“You—” 

“You can let me go and get something to eat or I can knock you out.” She said, taking a candy bar out of her pocket. “What will it be? They’re gone, we’ve got some time.”

I let go of her shirt and slid down the ground. She opened the wrapper and snapped the bar into bite sized piece, putting one in mouth’s reach.

“What do they even want?” I asked, after a few pieces.

“What every secret organization wants; Power, control, money, loyalty.” She said with a shrug. “Doesn’t matter really. It’s not our job to think, to question.”

“Can’t we escape?”

“No.”

“Why n—”

“The drug, the orange one. Did you get it?” She asked.

I nodded.

“You’ll need it every three days from now on. If you don’t it’ll hurt… At least until you croak. I tried going off, didn’t work. Almost died from the puking alone, and it was just starting.”

“So what, we just become their bitches?”

“We survive, it’s all that matters.”

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