In a dystopian America, Trinity Shire, and three other teenagers are taken captive by the government to be used as scientific experiments. The scientist plan on making the "perfect human". They strive to create someone that is able to conquer anything. They spent years perfecting a chemical that could wash out the mind of a human so they can't think for themselves. They plan to build an army of mindless power machines, but will they succeed? Copyright © 2013 by Cassidy McClurkan,
All rights reserved


15. Chapter Fourteen

            I let the tears streak down his face without interrupting. Soon they dried to his face, leaving his cheeks glazed with tears. I decided not to press the conversation forward, but stop talking all together. His chest began to fall at a steady pace, and I slowly slipped from his arms. My weak hands gripped the tree, and I let my fingers dig into the rough bark. 

           I swing my limbs over branches above, attempting to relieve myself from the men below me. The wind tickles my skin and combs though my course hair. I rest alone between the V shape branches, and stare at the hazy light of the city miles away. It seems like a beacon of hope from out here in the wilderness, when in reality, it's a trap. 

          I always thought imagining the future was fun, but I never thought it would end up like this. 

          My thoughts fade as my mind goes blank. I stare at nothing but the empty sky until my heavy eyelids seal shut. 

          I wake with a hand clutching my shoulder, which jolts my body forward. At first I panic, knowing that over night, something must have happened. Maybe we are surrounded, or they are about to snipe us. Who knows. But the savory smell of bacon sizzling on a pan calms my nerves, and I have to remember where I am. I mimic the foreign movements of throwing a quilt off my body and sliding out of my bed, but a hand stops me. "Whoa, what are you doing? You are still in a tree." Lance reminds me. 

        I look down, then to his face chuckling. How stupid of me. "Thanks," I say while weaving my way down the tree. My sore legs moan as they grip against the uncomfortable bark. I embrace the fact that my legs will be raw, and glazed over with blood by the time I get down. "What's that smell?" I ask eagerly, attempting to divert my thoughts from the bark lacerating my skin.

        "Bacon," Griffin says with the voice that says he's smiling. 

         "How did you get it?" I press. 

         "That old food market over there."

         "Did you break in?"

          "Do you see that broken window? Yeah, I broke in." he teases. I have nothing to say, because I'm not upset he broke in, in fact, I'm thrilled. I jump down the remaining feet of the tree, eager to taste the meat. I never was a big fan of bacon, but things have changed, and maybe so have my taste buds. 

           Griffin flips a piece onto the ground allowing it to cool down. I delicately lift if from the dirt, and sink my teeth into the greasy meat. The flavor washes over my tongue, leaving me wanting more. "How much do you have?" I question. I don't remember bacon tasting like this. I guess limited food resources changes what you love. 

          Griffin lifts the pack of meat. Only three pieces left. Still eating, I slide down the trunk of the tree I had just descended from. Griffins eyes flicker toward Lance who sits next to me, then back to the meal. His face is hard, and his muscles are tense. 

         Just past him, a black shadow vanishes behind a tree. "Griffin, are you sure no one followed you?" I ask while staring after the black shadow.

          "Yes, I'm sure." He snaps. I raise my eyebrow at him. He glares in return. 

            I rise from the ground and brush the dirt off my pants. "I'll be right back." I say while heading off into the woods.

           "Where are you going?" Lance asks.

            "Um, the bathroom."

             "Oh," he replies awkwardly. I smile to myself, knowing that I had fooled them. As soon as I leave there presents, I slide my gun out of its halter, and cradle it in front of me. My heels sink into the ground first, silencing my every move. I look over my shoulder to see the boys eating before I completely vanish into the trees. My breaths are even and still, and I feel as if I am invisible.    

             I shield myself against thick trees, and crouch down to my knees. There is no fear in my body, which surprises me. I give a sharp glare to a nearby bird who keeps chirping into space. Once it catches my eye, it flies away. I turn my head, and swing my gun around, but before I can slide the bullets into place, the click of the barrel rings in my ears. 

             I keep my eyes on the spotless leather shoes in front of me. My muscles stiffen and my breathing patterns immediately shift from even, to uneven. "What would a pretty young girl like you be doing out here all alone in the woods?" hisses the man in front of me. His voice is rough, yet flows effortlessly from his mouth. I draw my eyes towards his face. Slicked back curls frame his face, and a rough patch of facial hair traces the outline of his jaw. There is not one blemish on his face, and I immediately look to his eyes to see if he is a Drone, but his eyes are a striking blue. There is not a hint of red in them. "What's your name?" he asks with a sickening amusement in his voice. 

         I cut him off before he asks more, "Ann. Ann is my name." 

         "Really? Are you sure, because you look a lot like this girl," he taunts while waving a wanted picture of me in my face. "I wouldn't call that an 'unlucky coincidence,' Trinity Shire." 

        My name lingers on his tongue as he leans down next to me. "You, Trinity Shire, cost quite a pretty penny," he examines me, then tilts my chin up to his face. My lips curl, and my nostrils flare wildly as I spit in his face. Sadly, he keeps his cool composure, and gently whips my saliva off his cheek. "Lucky for you, I'm in no need for money," a disturbing smile tugs at his thin lips as he stands up. "On your feet." he snaps while placing the barrel against my forehead. I obey.

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