The Icarus Project

- INCOMPLETE AND ON HOLD-
In an alternate reality, the vampires live.
And they are making a stand. They want the world, and they will take it.

But what will become of the humans?

Are they forever trapped in the Icarus Complex? Bred and eaten like cattle, the humans are getting sick and tired... And then an unfortunate turn of events provides them with the chance they need for a rebellion. The only problem is...

Will they take that chance?

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7. vi

Jen

Once the feast was over, most of the humans slowly returned to their rooms. Some stayed at the feast, either asleep or waiting to be bitten. A lot of the vampires would be fed for two days or more. 

The humans were quiet as they returned to their rooms. Jen noticed even Han was distant. 

"Straight to sleep guys. I don't want to be cleaning your decapitated bodies too." Han was trying to joke, but no one took it lightly. It must be nice not having to worry about any injuries or illnesses.

"I think we all took the hint." Saphina muttered. They entered the room, and sat down silently. Jen fell onto her bed, Bee started boiling the kettle. Saph sat on her own bed. The air was heavy, and they all had their thoughts but none of them knew what to say. 

"I hate this." Saphina spoke first. 

"As opposed to what? None of us know any other life. You're stuck here, face it. No, you're not even stuck, because there's no where else to go." Jen snapped. "I'm tired of you complaining, you need to deal with it." 

"But why? Why should any of us stand for this? It isn't right." Saphina protested. 

"If you want to be tortured and then killed because of some stupid attempt to escape, go ahead. No one is stopping you." Jen shrugged. The rest of the night was spent in angst-filled silence. 

 

In the morning, the Complex's alarm woke them at nine-thirty. Usually it woke them earlier for work, but today was special. Jen reminded herself of this as she dozily got out of bed. There was little chat as they all got dressed and woke themselves properly - none of them were morning people. And on this particular event, the girls didn't particularly feel like people.More like cattle, or the chickens in the factories they worked in. Jen felt vulnerable, and naked. They had scrutinized her, and condensed her down into some measly words on a form. Just for the Queen's selective breeding. 

She was lead to the great hall again, and she tried to stay close to Saph, who also had been selected. They were instructed to stand about a meter away from the row in front, and a meter away from anyone beside themselves. Jen recognised a lot of the people in there, and she hoped she didn't look as nervous as the rest of them. A few of the girls were even crying, although silently. Somehow, this was more degrading and frightening than the normal breeding routine. The Queen entered, and some braver people began to turn round. 

"Face forward."  The Queen called. Jen stood still, measuring her breathing. She didn't want to pass out now, she would be ridiculed. The Queen walked through each of the rows, her face expressionless and stony. She was flicking through a thick wad of papers, which must have been the files. Anyone who cried was sent out immediately. Jen supposed she could cry, if need be.

After what seemed like an age, the Queen drew closer, and circled around Jen.

"You, to the front." She pointed. Several other girls were also stood there, and one boy. Jen's breath hitched in her throat. She moved clumsily to the front, convinced the Queen was watching her every move. She waited, feeling dizzy, and the seconds seemed to drag on to minutes. The Queen sent more people away, and only sent three more to the front. Two boys, and a girl Jen had worked with in the kitchens a few times. 

"Congratulations, you've made it to the finals." The Queen sneered. "Line up again." 

They all shakily resumed their positions, and this time the Queen was much slower and more deliberate in her selection. She started with the girls, and reduced the number to three. The girl Jen knew, Jen herself, and a stranger. The girl from the kitchen hiccuped, and the Queen stared at her. Clearly wondering whether she made the right decision.

"Send for the King." The Queen called. Someone at the back left, closing the door noisily behind them. Jen concentrated her eyes forward, jaw stiff and tight. She stood stock still, her heartbeat thundering in her ears. She wondered if the boys felt the same, or were they detached from the situation? They waited quietly - the King was not prompt to enter. When he arrived, the Queen tutted and sighed.

"Take a look and tell me what you think." The Queen waved a hand, clearly she had lost interest. How cold, and heartless, Jen thought. The King was a lot quicker and less thorough than his wife. He clearly was not as concerned as her of the outcome. 

"I like him." The King pointed to the boy in the middle. "And I like her." He pointed straight at Jen, and her heartbeat fluttered like a tiny bird.

"That's what I was thinking. You two stay, the others are free to go." 

"And me?" The King asked. 

"Yes, fine." Queen Vivienne rolled her eyes. "Congratulations, you are the couple that we are happy with. Your offspring will provide the next royal generation." 

Jen let out a breath she didn't know she had been holding. She felt herself pale dramatically. 

"Obviously, you will be upgraded to a room together, closer to my quarters. I will leave you for a moment to get to know each other, then I will be back to speak with Jen." She scanned their faces, and smiled brightly. She was enjoying this. 

When she left, Jen sobbed quietly, and the boy put his arm around her. 

"My name's Cam." He said softly. Everything was happening so fast, she couldn't think.

"It'll all be okay. For us, it's just the same as any other year. We'll just get better treatment for it."

"But what if I have a girl? She'll kill us both." She cried. 

"Hush now. Most of yours are boys, we'll be fine." He assured her. He was looking through her file. 

"I'm scared." She whispered. Now she could understand how Saphina hated this place, even though she hadn't and couldn't know any different. Although, Jen was glad Saph wasn't chosen. She wouldn't be able to handle it, especially with it being her first year. 

"I know, you need to be brave. Show the Queen you're made of stronger stuff." Cam smiled weakly, wiping the tears from her face. Jen breathed deeply, and decided she'd deal with the emotions later. There was a knock at the door.

"I want to speak with Jen alone now." 

 

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