ZenoMorph

Alona Hart is a seventeen year old girl clouded in mystery. Even her real name is unknown. Her journey has been tough and long and now she is finally ready to tell everything that has happened in her fight against corporation Z-Note

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2. A Whole New World

 

I’ll be honest. Life beforehand was pretty simple; it was just my father, my brother and I. There’s not much that looks eye-popping yet but there’s more hidden under a simply described family structure. My mother wasn’t dead at least I liked to hope not back then, she just disappeared for lack of a better term. I always hoped to one day see her walk through that door.

If there was a word to describe my life then it would be: Abnormally ordinary. Ordinary for a young girl in some respects but not completely normal in others as I’m about to tell you.

Another day of school done and like normal routine, I would ride my bike back home and park it by the steps hearing my brother play his melody on the piano as he always did by the time I got home. It was beautiful and haunting so even if you heard it just the once, it would stick with you for a long time after that and I’ll never be able to forget it as I heard every single day of my teenage life.

Atticus would just nod his head to show that he knows that I’m there and he doesn’t stop playing. I go up to my room as there’s not much to keep me down here and Dad would probably be on his computer updating his video diary like he normally does. He has a thing about recording his work for future generations. I heard a sudden bang which causes the piano playing to stop and I sit straight up wondering what the hell it is.

“Come out of there!” Someone shouts.

I look out of my bedroom window and see three men in black suits with calm expressions on their faces while my expression had fear written all over it.

“Dad!” I shout keeping myself out of sight.

Dad rushes into my room having heard my shouts but he’s just as calm as those men outside. He told me that this might happen one day because of things he did but I never thought it would happen at least not after Mom.

“They’re here.” I say quite dramatically.

“I know. You know where my diary is?” Dad asks.

“Yes.” I confirm.

Dad takes my hand and forces me out of the room and reminding me at the same time that we had to go now. Atticus meets us on the stairs and those men have broken their way into the house which I give an alarmed gasp to and Dad takes the both of us downstairs and through the back door outside. My heart is racing like a vampire trying to resist blood at a blood bank but reality hits me when those guys break the door down and I rush to climb over the fence. I feel one of them grab my ankle and then feeling myself being dragged back down despite my struggle not to. Atticus grabs my hands and his strength being stronger beings me over to him instead much to my relief.

We keep on running through what seems to be an endless forest even though I’ve been through here every day for as long as I can remember. I feel my heart race even more when I can feel them only steps away from catching us and my fear starts to take over more and more.

 

They eventually lost us when Dad took us down a short-cut to an old mansion not too far from here. It would buy us time but very little as this is the first place they’re gonna look for us. I catch my breath and feel my heartbeat calm down as I finally feel safe even if I know it won’t last long.

“What is this place?” Atticus asks.

“Not important now. We need to keep moving.” Dad says.

“Where, Dad? There’s nowhere to go!” I reply bitterly.

“Follow me.”

Atticus and I glance at each other as we are both suspicious now but nevertheless follow Dad and he leads us behind the staircase which is this dim lit area and a door right behind the staircase and another door exactly opposite it. I hear a strange moaning coming from the iron double door and the sound of chains rattling. I put my hands on the door shaking it but realise that it’s securely locked. What’s behind this door, I wonder. Dad puts his hand on my shoulder snapping me out of my train of thought and making me jump a little.

“What’s behind there?” I ask hesitant.

Trust me, you don’t want to know.” Dad answers emphasizing the ‘don’t’.

At the time, I thought that my father asking me to trust him was pretty rich coming from what was going on. Although, now I know better considering most of the things that I have seen recently.

Dad leads us to this state of the art facility and laboratory; it looks like something that you see out of a sci-fi movie. The whole colour of this place was a laboratory blue or white and all the sections containing different solutions and experiments in progress. It scares me more than anything else as this place looks a little too perfect which adds to that feeling of no humanity.

“Why are we here, Dad?” Atticus asks with little patience.

“The organisation I work for use this mansion for trial experiments.”

I dread to ask as I think I already the answer to this question but it has to be asked anyway.

“What kind of experiments exactly?” I ask with hesitation.

“The illegal kind.”

I can’t believe I’m hearing this. No wonder we’re being chased down by those guys. Dad definitely knows how to keep secrets but why are we being chased down if we haven’t done anything? The only reason that makes sense is that because we’re associated with our father for obvious reasons then they must think we know something.

“It wasn’t something I had planned to be a part of. They have a system of once you’re in there, you can’t get out of it. I wanted out of it because of what I had been seeing here.”

That’s no surprise to me because I don’t even know why you would want to be part of that anyway but I guess not everyone who works for them work by choice. Something tells me that isn’t the worst of the story though.

“The reason I wanted out is that they were working on a new project known as the Zenomorph project. I couldn’t be part of that due to the nature of it and what it would do to its volunteers.”

“God! We were the volunteers!” Atticus says breaking his silence.

My mouth just drops as I realise that is the real reason why they want us. I can’t become a freak of nature.

“Did you...?” I ask slowly not sure what to believe.

“I was willing to help with the project but then when I realise who they would need three of us. I couldn’t do it.”

“So because of your volunteering, we’re being hunted down. Great job, Dad!” Atticus snaps with a sarcastic tone.

Atticus and Dad have their issues even before this whole thing. Atticus became different when Mom disappeared unlike me who managed to just cope with the constant hole in my family life. Atticus still looked out for me like Mom would have wanted but Dad couldn’t really talk to him without provoking him in some way.

“Is that the reason why Mom disappeared?” Atticus asks, his face looking like he was about to lose it completely.

“No! What happened to her was nothing to do with that!” Dad says almost automatically.

“Like I’m gonna believe that. I don’t believe anything you say.”

I just want to run away, just anywhere. This isn’t the type of situation that I want to be in. Talk about be careful what you wish for.

“So what now?” I ask trying to lessen the tension.

“The virus that makes people become Zenomorphs is in that container.” Dad says.

I look at the container in the dead middle of the room and seeing it makes me feel nervous.

“You’re going to destroy it?” I ask.

“I could but we need to be practical.” Dad answers.

“Practical would be what? Keeping it?” Atticus responds.

“We could use it to our advantage.”

Atticus just has this look that screams whole what-was-the-point-of-running-then and so do I.

“So after all that? You still want all of us to become those things?” Atticus replies.

“Hell no!” I confirm quickly.

Dad shakes his head probably thinking we’re being stubborn but we’re just wanting to remain the way we are. I’m not stupid enough or desperate enough to do something that wrong.

“Let me explain this properly. The Organisation isn’t going to stop tracking us. They will look for us day and night until they know we’re dead for a fact. There’s no way of fighting them with just us. The virus will make you two stronger, much stronger than they are.”

Us?

“What do you mean by ‘you two’?” Atticus questions.

“There’s enough to turn two and you two are more important than me.” Dad says.

“Easy for you to say then.” Atticus and I say in unison.

“It’s either that or spend the rest of your life which won’t be very long as a trial subject.”

Charming choices when it’s put that way: Trial subject misery or become a Zenomorph. Wait a sec, we’ve been discussing Zenomorphs but the one obvious question has seemed to avoid me.

“What exactly is a Zenomorph?” I ask.

“It’s a human combined with fiend DNA. There isn’t much change but certain attributes from fiends you receive because of it.”

“Such as?” Atticus asks.

“Strength, speed, probably cunning and heightened emotions are amongst the effects.”

Sounds like becoming a vampire more than a Zenomorph to me.

“What’s the difference between a vampire and a Zenomorph?” I ask.

“Zenomorphs age but the whole DNA will take time to settle so aging won’t happen to either of you for a couple of years. You’ll be frozen in time temporarily but it will pass eventually. Also being a Zenomorph does mean faster healing but don’t think you’re invincible, there are limits to what you can survive but you’ll have to work that out on your own.”

There’s a lot of perks to it but there definitely more side-effects than Dad is mentioning. I’m not an idiot because even being a vampire comes at a cost despite the immortality it promises. I’m wondering whether being a Zenomorph is any different.

“You’re not actually thinking about this, are you?” Atticus asks.

“What choice do we have?” I sigh reluctant.

There isn’t much of an alternative in the matter. It’s either fight or have a life of constant wishing I did take option while I had it. Atticus is normally pretty stubborn but he’ll end up agreeing with me at the end of it but I don’t want to do this alone to be completely honest.

“Atticus, this isn’t something that I want you two to go through but I want you two to survive this. You don’t deserve to have your lives cut short before they’ve really begun.”

I’m sixteen and this is just about the biggest thing to ever happen to me. I’m pretty sure that no-one else would want this choice but the more I think about it, the more I seem to agree with it.

“I’ll do it.” I confirm.

Atticus looks at me with astonishment thinking that I wouldn’t agree to it but basic human instinct is to survive above all. It’s not normally the way I look at things but it’s the only reason why I think this is the right thing to do because I want to be safe and I want a somewhat life after this incident.

“Good.” Dad sighs with relief.

Atticus shakes his head and I feel like I’ve just betrayed him by siding with Dad over him. I normally have to be the mediator when it comes to those two ever since Mom died which isn’t a fun job to have.

“Fine. I’ll do this for her, not for you.” Atticus says with reluctance.

It’s better than him being a complete idiot and not taking a way out of this mess that honestly Dad has probably gotten us into even if he didn’t want it.

My nerves take over when I see Dad actually open the case containing what we would ultimately become. Each of my heartbeats feel like a sledgehammer has hit it which makes me feel even worse. Atticus is still ticked off with me for agreeing to this but probably more annoyed that he’s doing it as well. I see the actual blue-coloured vial containing a strand of the virus which looks like human DNA which is something I didn’t really expect.

“Ready?” Dad asks.

“No.” I say shaking my head.

“You won’t feel a thing.”

Dad puts one small vial into an injection gun and then he readies himself to inject the strand into me. Each second he takes feels like an eternity right now so I wish he would hurry up before I change my mind about this.

“Will you hurry up!?” I snap losing my patience.

Dad is taken back by my response but the longer it takes, the more likely I am to back out of this. The gun injects the strand into my body and it feels like I’ve had a thousand little pieces of glass enter my arm. God, it hurts! The whole sensation spreads throughout my body. I feel like blood is about spill out of my mouth.

“God.” I groan feeling more pain than it sounds.

I rip off some of my T-shirt and wrap it around the injection site in my arm to prevent the blood loss. The pain seems to subside after around thirty seconds even though it feels a lot longer than that.

“Feeling any different?” Atticus asks.

“No. I just feel numb.” I answer.

That whole sensation has left me feeling so dizzy that I bend down like I’m about to be sick. Atticus helps me back up slowly and I sit beside the wall and I close my eyes to try and make the room stop spinning.

“The initial shot will leave you feeling a bit strange but it should pass in thirty minutes, give or take.” Dad says trying to give me comfort.

I wish he would have told me that beforehand because this feels like hell. Atticus seems more nervous after seeing my reaction to it.

“Ready, son?” Dad continues.

Atticus still keeps his eyes on me even though he prepares to have the same reaction as me. He’s concerned more about me than himself which is, I guess, a big brother trait and I’ll always be his little sister. I keep on taking deep breaths to try and keep myself from thinking about the sharp-shooting pain.

“This better work or I will never forgive you.” Atticus says harshly meaning every word.

That sentence makes me focus on my brother rather than anything else. Dad nods understanding that Atticus is doing this for me and not for Dad or anyone else which also makes me nervous about how far Atticus will go to for me. Dad injects the strand into Atticus at a faster pace than me which shows that he isn’t going to show Atticus the same level of hesitation. I see Atticus wince slightly when the strand enters his body and he doesn’t do much else.

“How are you then?” Dad asks probably wondering the same thing as me.

“I’m fine. No problem.” Atticus says ripping some of his black top off to cover the injection site.

“Wait, you’re completely fine?” I reply puzzled and annoyed.

“I guess everyone has a different to it.” Dad concludes.

He’s lucky to avoid the pain I just had to deal with. Why is it that I get the short end of the stick? Atticus sniggers at me when he sees that I’m annoyed he got off lightly compared to me.

“Beggars can’t be choosers, little sister.” Atticus sighs in a lecturing tone.

I give a sarcastic laugh knowing that he is probably enjoying this more than me. Brothers are such a nightmare sometimes.

 

We head back to the main hall and I wonder why we’ve been left along for so long. It’s longer than I expected for Z-Note to find us.

“This is almost too easy.” I mention feeling dread.

“Count your blessings.” Atticus responds.

“They’ll find us and soon.” Dad confirms to warn us.

I’m not surprised as this is the closest thing to refuge that we could find on short notice. I hear a painful shout and I see that it’s coming from Atticus as he falls down on his knees holding onto his sides in immense pain.

“Atticus!” I shout bending down towards him.

“Get back!” Dad says pulling me back towards him.

I try to fight against Dad wanting to help my brother but Dad is still strong enough to pull me back.

“What’s happening to him?” I scream tears starting to form in my eyes.

“He’s transitioning. It’s earlier than I predicted.” Dad declares.

“We have to help him!”

Dad pulls me and makes me look straight into his eyes so I know that he isn’t lying or trying to keep me safe but just tell me the truth.

“Listen, he’s going to turn any second and he will be violent when he does! There’s nothing we can do for him! He can’t control it and we can’t stop it!” Dad shouts at me.

I feel tears run down my eyes feeling helpless and Atticus screaming in that much pain tortures me all the more. Black wings violently appear on Atticus’s back and his eyes turn this phoenix red colour and vampire fangs show in his mouth. Atticus has one massive painful scream and then the whole hall becomes silent as I feel my breath become slow.

“I...” I whisper lost for words.

Dad holds onto me trying to comfort me but I just feel the most guilt for not even trying to help my brother through that whole torment. Atticus just stands back up slowly not saying anything which scares me even more and his face suddenly turns towards us almost too fast. I feel myself step back as a reflex. Atticus then throws Dad to the cold floor and before I can even react properly, Atticus then throws me into the wall.

I was absolutely scared for my life. Is that what I had to look forward to? Becoming that for the rest of my life? I was also shocked that even though I could see Atticus standing right in front of me, I couldn’t recognise him as my brother. He was cold and emotionless which was the beginning of my troubles.

 

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