Only 10%

An espionage story centred on a girl named Jenna who can use more than the 10% of the brain that scientists say is all we can access. She therefore has certain abilities that make her coveted by certain underground organisations. Will she succumb to the seductions of The Bureau, or will she turn spy for the gornment?

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2. TB

Most commonly, when presented with the letters TB, you would think of the disease Tuberculosis. A disease that rots away at your insides and makes you cough up blood. But TB is also an acronym for something else, a different kind of disease, an organisation.

The Bureau. Sounds official doesn’t it?

Well officially, it’s not an official part of the official world. But unofficially, it tends to ‘take care’ of the issues that the official world doesn’t want to be linked to, officially. At least, that’s what they tell you. TB is a fitting nickname, as The Bureau will also rot away at your insides, and whilst it may not make you spew bodily fluids, they will definitely make you give up something, whether its information, a skill or a genetic defect; they will take it if they want it. If you don’t have anything they want, then count yourself lucky. Because once they have you, once they’ve drained you of whatever substance they took you for, you disappear. Whether they relocate you, or just plain slit your throat, nobody knows. But we do know that you don’t get to return to your family and your previous life. Because that life is gone, and your family think you’re dead. Like mine do.

The Bureau can kill you in many different ways; it’s a particular skill of theirs. I'm pretty sure that they have a massive book somewhere that documents all the techniques they have used to ‘kill’ people in the past. The way you die depends on what it is that TB wants from you. But no matter what there is always one rule; there must be witnesses.

From me, they wanted my brain, or at least the parts of my brain that I can access when I'm unconscious. So they decided to shoot me, with a very special type of bullet. It might be best if I explained it a different way. Within The Bureau, there are different departments, sort of like at a school. Some deal with research, some tactical, some practical, and some departments no one ever gets to know about, unless you’re asked to join, in which case other people cease to know anything about you. Two of the most prominent departments within TB are; The Department of Scientific Experimentation (DOSE) and The Department of Military Expansion (DOME). Often working together, although a lot of the time it is reluctantly, these two departments have the capacity to develop the worst kind of science. Science, with the intention to kill.

That’s how the Ice Bullet was created, and that’s how I was shot without actually dying. The Ice Bullet, aptly named even if it’s not very original, allows all the pain and blood loss of a real shot without nearly as much damage. Upon impact with the body, an IB immediately begins to dissolve in your blood. Whilst dissolving, a toxin will be released into the blood stream, one that targets the red blood cells in particular, and so is carried up to the heart. Once there, it increases your BPM until blood is being pumped around your body, and out of your wound, much faster than normal. Once you have lost the sufficient amount of blood to fall unconscious, another toxin will then be released through the oxidised red blood cells. This is how the Ice Bullet got its name. This second toxin travels to your heart the same as the first, but instead of speeding up your heart, it slows it down. Eventually, your heart is beating so slowly that it can’t even be picked up on the most modern of technology used by hospitals. I was effectively put into a coma, and was officially declared dead as that was how it appeared to the doctors at the hospital that I was sent to. Luckily for me, although luck really had nothing to do with it, there was a TB operative at the hospital, and they were able to get to me in time to start my heart up sufficiently, so that I would stay alive, but not brought out of the coma I was in.

And that, ladies and gentleman, was the end of my life as Jenna Masterson. I was cremated, in accordance with ‘my wishes’ without anyone else every being allowed to see my body. That way they would never know that I had been whisked away, and that the person they actually set on fire and buried was someone unknown, probably a subject of The Bureau that they had finished with. And so officially, I died. But like I said, The Bureau isn't official, and they wanted me, they wanted me badly. All because of a tiny little accident that had happened a good thirteen years before. An accident, which would obviously change the course of my life, for the worse.

When I was five years old, I was in a car crash. My mum was driving and I was in the backseat. Somehow, she came out of the crash with just a few scratches, whereas I was in a coma for the next week and a bit. No one could tell how it had happened, I had been sitting on the left side of the car, with a seatbelt on may I just add, and the opposing vehicle had hit on the right side. Technically, I shouldn’t have been damaged at all really, but by some cruel trick of fate, it was at that moment that I was reaching over to the other side of the car to get something. I call it fate, because if that hadn’t of happened, then The Bureau never would have found me. I’ve been deliberately evasive so far, about what it actually is that The Bureau wants from me, and that’s because I just hate explaining it to people. I'm the type of person who hates not being able to understand something, and I really don’t understand this. But here it goes.

You know how scientists say that we can only access 10% of our brains, and that within the rest lay dormant powers and skills that we can only dream of? Well with me, that’s not so true. It turns out that whilst I'm unconscious parts of my brain become active. Apparently, whilst I was in the coma strange things happened in my hospital room. Objects went zooming across the room, electronic devices kept turning on and off seemingly of their own accord, not to mention the massive electric shocks that anyone got if they came within a close enough radius of my body. Eventually, they managed to do some brain scans, by putting me in a machine that was impervious to electromagnetic waves, and what they found was puzzling to say the least. Lights were flashing in the areas of the brain that had been completely blank up until then. Clearly there was something wrong with me, something different. And different sometimes attracts the wrong kinds of people.

Somehow, my brain scans ended up in the hands of TB and they decided to keep an eye on me. They sent out a seeker (which is basically a nicer word then stalker, which is what they are). These ‘seekers’ would somehow inseminate themselves into the lives of the child they were watching, so that they can keep an eye on their progress. The most common hiding place is as a teacher, and that’s what it was for me. My year five teacher at primary school was actually my seeker. Funny, because she had been my favourite teacher. Anyway, once the subject (i.e. me) has reached a certain stage of maturity, the seeker becomes more involved in their lives. For example, my year five teacher moved with me to my secondary school, where they became my form tutor. Thus they had a very real link to both my educational development and my social development. It must have been quite frustrating for my seeker, as I had a very normal childhood growing up, mainly due to the fact that my parents had decided not to tell me that I could move objects in my sleep. Even if they had told me, all it would have done would be to make me feel like an outcast, a freak. It didn’t affect me when I was awake, and only when I reached the very depths of REM sleep did things start to happen, so what was the point in worrying me?

Well, that rhetorical question is not as unanswerable as you may believe. The point in worrying me would have been to prepare for the day when a complete and total stranger, would come up to me in the local park where I was reading, and tell me that, since I would be eighteen in a years’ time, it was my duty to use my gift to serve the greater good of my country.

Now, not knowing what my ‘gift’ was, I just assumed that this was some really lame pick up line, and just packed my stuff and moved away from the strange man in the dark suit. It was only when he began to follow me that I became a little more concerned for my safety. Lucky for me, about the only time it’s ever been lucky mind you, I had been…blessed?, with an extremely overprotective father, who insisted that I carry around with me that pepper spray thing that you see in all the really corny American films and TV shows. You know, boy meets girl, boy stalks girl, girl sprays boy with pepper spray and then they fall in love, get married and end up killing each other in the end. Well, the majority of that didn’t happen with my current stalker, but as you know, I did end up dead, didn’t I?

Anyway, before I could even reach into my bag to get my aerosol saviour, the stranger had clamped my arms to my sides and pulled me behind a rather large tree, one that concealed his behaviour from passer-by’s rather nicely. For him anyway. ‘Look, whatever you want take it. My purse is in my bag, it doesn’t have much money in it cause I haven’t been given my pocket money this week yet. You see I kinda forgot to do the ironing and…’

‘Shut up you idiot!’ the voice growled in my ear. He was a little too close for comfort, and it suddenly dawned on me that he may want me for other purposes, rather than robbery. My heart almost stopped, and then started working over time, I began panting and sweating like mad, reflexes to fear. I was about to gather all my strength and scream bloody murder, but the man’s hand had clamped down on my throat, cutting off all sound before I could make it.

‘Come on, is that the best you can do? Scream? And they told me you were worth it, that you were special, but you don’t even know what you can do! Ha this was a waste of my time, so I might as well have some fun whilst I'm here.’ He smiled leeringly at me, his breath fowler then the sulphur we had had to react in science last year.

I couldn’t believe it, I was about to get raped, maybe even killed and there was nothing I could do about it. He had one hand around my throat, steadily cutting off my air supply, the other hand was holding my wrists together behind my back, to make sure I couldn’t hit at him. To make matters worse, he was standing to the right of me, so I couldn’t even get a good kick in, not that it would have had much power behind it, since I was growing weaker by the second.

I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me, ME, of all people. I was a perfectly normal girl. In fact I was about as average as you could get. Five foot five, brown curly hair, green eyes, pale skin, there was nothing particularly gifted about me! There was nothing that I could do, that any other person my age couldn’t. I wasn’t special at all, I had come to terms with that a long time ago, so the fact that this man had implied that someone had told him to target me especially, not only terrified me, but greatly confused me as well.

Why me? Why now? What did I have that he wanted?

Of course, now I know the answers to all those questions. Not that it means much anymore, TB took what they wanted and what’s worse, is that part of me, some deep, dark, creepy, wants to take over the world part of me, let them and enjoys what they’ve done to me. You'd think that my biggest fight would be against The Bureau, but the hardest fight of all is the one I have with myself every single day.

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