Thirteen

What happens when everything you love changes for the worst?

Danielle Miles wants to be normal. She wants to feel normal.
And yet she can never be normal because of her secret; the one thing she despises about herself most of all.
But what happens when she if forced to use her secret to help others who are just like her?
Who are... different.

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8. Thirteen: Chapter Seven

"So first we'll be getting basic statistics and then you'll so the first proper test..." One scientist with a strangely seep voice said. He droned on and on about everything that I found myself tuning out and staring into space.
    "Get in," Another deep voice ordered, pushing Naida and me into a room. It kind of looked like a doctor's office, with a desk in the corner and two long hospital beds. "Sit down" He shoved us over to the beds and we took a seat on one.
    "So," The office chair spun round to reveal the scientist Sebastian had chatted to. He had neatly combed brown hair and a square face and thick eyebrows that made him look as if he were frowning all of the time. Dull blue eyes stared at us and his lips were pressed into a thin smile. It looked as if he didn't want to be here. "Allergies?"
    "No" I replied shortly. Every scientist in the room quickly jotted this down on their clipboards.
    "And what about you?" The scientist pointed at Naida with his pencil.
    "I'm allergic to nuts" Naida answered. Again, all that could be heard was the scratching of pencils on paper.
    "Okay, we're going to take a few blood tests just to find out what you are... oh and by the way, my name is Doctor Mayhew. I will be your supervisor from now on," He explained, standing up and walking over to a small metal table. Picking up a needle, he examined it and tapped it gently with his knuckle. I shut my eyes and felt the prick of the needle. "That's strange..." Doctor Mayhew murmured.
    "What? What's wrong?" I asked, starting to panic. Saying something was strange was never a good sign in a doctors office.
    "Have a look," Doctor Mayhew instructed. I opened my eyes expecting the worse and saw bright blue blood inside the vial.
    "My bloods blue?!"
    "You get more and more interesting everyday..." Doctor Mayhew muttered as he stored the blood safely away.
    What was that supposed to mean?
    When he went to get Naida's blood I watched and the same surprised expression came onto my face as Doctor Mayhew when he drew silver metallic-looking blood.
    "I never knew Water Nymph's blood was silver" I murmured to Naida.
    "Yeah, it's weird" Naida shrugged.
    "Next is the endurance test. Subject Twelve, please go with Group A to the room for you and Subject Thirteen please go with Group C to the room for you. I need to make some calculations with Group B. Be back here when you're finished" Doctor Mayhew waved us away and spun round in his chair again.
    Naida was taken by three scientists out of the door and I was taken by four scientists. I tried to make no noise when walking with them but I must have made slight whimpering noises.
    I was scared for my life and I had no idea what they were going to do to me. I was shoved into a huge white room with a large tank of water in the middle of the room and at least five men in diving suits holding their helmets under their arms. I was confused at first but then realized what they were going to make me do. Glancing round, I saw one scientist locking the door.
    I was trapped.
    "Today, we'll be seeing how long you can last underneath water. It's standard for all subjects" One of the men in diving suits told me.
    I gulped.
    They grabbed me and pushed me onto a platform. My heart beat thudded in my ears as the platform slowly lifted, taking me up to the top of the tank. I stared at the clear blue liquid behind the glass and the butterflies in my stomach pounded the sides even harder as we reached the top. My heart threatened to burst out of my chest when the men equipped metal bands around my wrists. There was a buzzing from the scientists on the ground and one gave us a thumbs ups.
    "Ready?" One dived asked.
    "Wait! I'm not ready!" I gasped, my chest becoming tighter. It was getting increasingly hard to breath with every breath I tried to take and I grabbed hold of one of the divers arms for support. "I need to get off! I... I can't-" I reached for the lift button but he shook me off. I lost my footing and slipped off the edge.
    And fell into the water.
    The water pushed down on me from all sides. The more I struggled against the water the more disorientated I got. Up, down, left right. Nothing made sense anymore. I pushed with my arms and legs but I found no leverage, for all I knew I was pushing myself further down into the abyss of darkness. My lungs burned for more air and even though I knew I wouldn't get any my body still took a deep breath. Ice cold water filled my lungs and the blood pounded behind my eyes. My head throbbed and my legs ached as I tried to kick my way out of the water. The darkness engulfed me and I had nothing left in me to fight anymore. I couldn't find the energy.
    Giving in, I shut my eyes and let the water take me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Darkness. Light. Mixing together. Was I dead?
    I felt dead. My whole body was numb.
    Then maybe I wasn't dead.
    Why would I be able to feel my body or even think if I were dead?
    Or this just happened when you were dying. You felt everything all at once then you felt nothing at all.
    I had died in Nova.
    I had died in the most awful place on Earth and I hadn't even been given a proper chance at trying to save the others.
    I had died.
    Just like that.
    Dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Huh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I gasped. Water rushed up out of my lungs and gushed out of my mouth. I was forced onto my side and the water splattered underneath me.
    My lungs burned and kept trying to take in air but the excess liquid was still spewing out of my mouth. I tried to keep myself propped up on my elbows but my muscles ached and shook from the strain. Warm arms encased around me and held me up as the contents of my stomach soon followed the water.
    I coughed up the last of the fluid and probably one of my lungs with it and took in deep breaths of stale air. My chest was still tight and the blood in my head throbbed.
    Shutting my eyes and trying to take in as much air as possible the hands pulled up into an upright position and held me against their chest. My heart wouldn't let up on the constant hammering against my ribs and my lungs demanded more and more air to cater for the massive amounts of water that had got into them.
    My hearing was muffled but I was able to hear someone ask, "Is she alright?"
    It took a while for another person to answer but after a while I heard someone say, "She should be okay now"
    I tried to breath slower and calm my beating heart. Clutching my stomach, I gripped a soft fabric in the other hand and forced my heavy eyelids to open.
    Everyone crowded around me breathed a sigh of relief and I shook from the cold. The person holding me was passed a towel and they wrapped it around me. I still held onto their shirt for dear life as if it were the only thing keeping me alive now.
    My sight was blurred and I gulped down a huge breath of air. It would hopefully be the last one and I blinked, trying to focus my eyes. Moving my numb lips, I tried to speak but only broken gasps came out.
    "Calm down. Just breath" A hand held the side of my head and I lent against it. I rested my head on their chest and I felt them chuckle, their body vibrating rather comfortably.
    "Dani?" A hand waved in front of my eyes and I blinked again, concentrating on one particular stop to bring my sight back to normal. I must have looked weak from the look on everyone's face.
    "Dani, can you see me?" Doctor Mayhew waved a light across my eyes and I nodded feebly, gulping down another stale mouthful of air. "Can you speak?"
    I coughed and pulled in a deep breath. "I was trying... to say... that I can't... swim"
    "What do you mean you can't swim?" One scientist snapped.
    "It means exactly what it means," Naida hissed. "She can't swim"
    "That's preposterous. Everyone knows how to swim" The scientist scoffed.
    "Would... you like me to... come over there and... show you what it's like... to drown?" I tried to sound threatening but it was ruined by the shock of almost dying. Although he did look slightly scared and stepped away.
    "We should take her to the infirmary" Doctor Mayhew finished taking notes and stretched to his original height. I had no choice but to agree when the person I was leaning against picked me up and started carrying me away from the testing room. Looking upwards, I wasn't as surprised as I thought I would have been when I saw Sebastian smiling down at me.
    "How do you feel?" He asked, his voice soaked with worry.
    "Fine... I guess" I continued to take slow but deep breaths to fill my aching lungs. I lent my head against Sebastian's chest.
    "You gave everyone a fright back there" He stated.
    "Why?"
    "Well, you tried to transform when in the water but you weren't able to. That's why you passed out quicker then it would normally take. Had to dive in there myself to save you," The expression on Sebastian looked to be a mix between relief and anger but I couldn't decide between the two. "I also had to give you mouth-to-mouth because none of the doctors knew it"
    "Wait," I pushed myself away from him. "You gave me... mouth-to-mouth?"
    "I had to!" You were going to die!" He exclaimed.
    "Calm down, that's not what I was getting at," I sighed, settling against his warm chest again and tugging at the towel. "I'm just saying that now I kind of owe you"
    "What?"
    "Well yeah. You saved my life," I shrugged, as if it weren't a big deal but inside my head I was freaking out. "I wouldn't be alive now if it weren't for you"
    "Well, I wouldn't say that" He grinned and looked down at me smiling up at him, his deep green eyes dilating.
    "You might not say that but I do," I shut my eyes. "Weather you like it or not you have an IOU from Danielle Miles," I held out my hand. "Shake my hand, Sebastian..."
    He chuckled, shuffling me around to take hold of my hand. "Bark"
    And at that moment we shook hands and I owed him my life.
    Now all I had to figure out was which Sebastian I had made the deal with.

 

 

It took a while for us to get to the infirmary but after what felt like forever we finally came to the doors. Sebastian pushed them open with his back and, when he placed me on the bed, I was instantly surrounded by doctors straightening my arms and legs out and tapping right on the bone to see if I had broken them.
    I was sort of worried as well so I just let them get on with it.
    If I had tried to transform unconscious then I was at risk of my bones and muscles being damaged. Mum had explained it to me once. If I had tried to mold my bones to the thing of my thoughts then they could have been permanently changed to the thing in-between my bones and the bones of the being I was trying to become.
    But after a lot of poking and prodding they said my bones still felt like the bones of a healthy seventeen year old but I should take some x-rays just to be certain.
    "No! No, I don't want an x-ray. Thank you" I crossed my arms, as if trying to protect my bones from them.
    "Why not?" One doctor asked.
    "I'm sorry but if they feel alright then I'm fine with that. I don't want to see my skeleton and if I don't want to see then you don't get to either," When they tried to protest I cut in by saying, "You have no say in this. They're my bones"
    They looked at me as if I were crazy but, after much grumbling, they left without another word, leaving me alone in the eerie silence.
    But it gave me time to think.
    If I had tried to transform than my mind had still be active enough to try and get my body to change. The question was what had I been trying to transform into.
    I swung my legs off the bed and tested them out. I was still able to walk on them but I had to grip objects to stay upright or my legs would shaking. Pulling myself along, I spotted a mirror and went over to it. I lent against the wall as I stared at my reflection.
    I looked like me.
    My curly black hair had been replaced by the bright blonde I was used to and my chocolate brown eyes that I loved so much stared back at me, tearing up slightly.
    My brain had decided that I was going to die so it transformed me back into myself.
    I had wanted to die as myself.
    "Dani! What are you doing?!" B12 gasped. He grabbed me and forced me back over to the bed.
    "I'm me!" I exclaimed, my body filling with happiness.
    "I'm glad to see you're okay," He grinned. Holding up a paper bag he then said, "I was told to bring you some dry clothes"
    "Thank you," I gasped and took the bag, looking in and getting slightly disappointed that it was only another uniform. "But you have to get out or I won't be able to get dressed, B12"
    "Oh right," A blush exploded onto his face and he jumped up. "Well, hurry up with that. The others want to see you"
    "Okay" I smiled at him as he opened the door and stepped out into the hall. Standing up, I pulled each article of clothing out of the bag and laid them on the bed. I got dressed the fastest I had ever gotten dressed in and was just drying my hair with a clean towel when there came a knock at the door.
    "Dani, can we come in yet?" Merlin asked through the door.
    "Yeah, come on in" I called. They burst into the room and I was tackled into a bear hug by Candace.
    "Oh my goodness, I was so worried about you!" She yelled and I hugged her back just as hard.
    "I was equally worried!" Scarlett shouted, crushing Candace as well as me in a hug too. Soon everyone was joining in on the hug and telling me how worried they had been.
    "Guys, can't breath" I managed to get out through the layer of bodies around me. They all gasped and backed away quickly, scared that I might almost die again if they hugged me too hard.
    Naida climbed onto the bed and hugged me one armed carefully.
    "I'm so glad you're okay" She sounded so sincere, as if she would have done something crazy if I had died because of the scientists.
    And then something clicked in my brain.
    It had been their fault.
    They should have heard how panicked I was and asked me what was going on instead of just pushing me into the thing that I was so obviously scared of.
    I was going to hurt them.
    I didn't care what happened to me. They were going to pay because they had almost killed me.
    "Danielle!" I heard Doctor Mayhew yell. He burst through the door and looked slightly taken aback by all of us crammed into one room. "There you are," He regained his cool and adjusted his tie. "Get ready; you're doing the fitness test next"
    "What?!" Both Sebastian and me gasped. I stared at Doctor Mayhew as if he were crazy. Why would he make me do the fitness test? Did he not just see me being revived from almost drowning?!
    "You heard me. If you're fit enough to refuse an x-ray then you fit enough to do the test in my opinion" He told us calmly.
    "Well your opinion is stupid!" Scarlett yelled, her eyes turning a deep red. "Obviously she's not fit enough to do a fitness test if she just almost drowned"
    "Listen guys, I haven't got a say in this at all; this is Doctor Cerulean's doing. He decided that Dani should at least try the test because we didn't get sufficient data from the endurance test"
    "I'm gonna kill Cerulean" I murmured.
    "Be ready in five minutes and go down to the gym," Doctor Mayhew ordered and then turned to Sebastian. "You'll have to come with me, Sebastian; we need you to get ready to fight against Dani for the test"
    "No" Sebastian refused promptly, flopping back down into the plastic chair and crossing his arms.
    "Don’t you start with me; I've had a hell of a day!" Doctor Mayhew sighed, rubbing his eyes with his thumb and index finger. "Doctor Cerulean has been at my throat ever since Dani came into the infirmary. He wants her to do something for her first official test to get some actual data to calculate on. I've been trying to postpone it until tomorrow but he won't budge on his demands. You have to do it, unless..."
    "Unless what?" Derek asked, slowly standing up.
    "Unless we get Three to do it"
    "I'm certainly not fighting Dani!" Scarlett screamed at him.
    "Not you; the other Three. Three-point-oh," Doctor Mayhew suddenly looked very drawn. Whoever this 3.0 was Doctor Mayhew didn't like them. And, by the expressions of the others, they didn't like whoever this person was either. "I'll have to go talk to Doctor Cerulean" He rushed out of the room, leaving us with the tense atmosphere.
    I wanted to ask who this 3.0 was but judging by the expressions on their faces he was not a pleasant person.
    And I had to fight him.

 

 

I stood glued to the spot on the gym floor, sweating buckets and almost wishing I had died in the water because I was definitely going to die now.
    I had clearly underestimated this 3.0 character.
    He was huge, and I mean flipping huge. The cage he was in could barely contain him and his arms were covered in throbbing muscles with the veins sticking out like purple lightening bolts across his tan skin. He had no hair, which made him all the more threatening, and weird tattoo's all over his body, some even spelling out the words 'die' and 'kill'. Someone had passed him bandages through the bars and he was now tying them around his gigantic hands that could crush my head in a second.
    It was a good job he wasn't looking at me otherwise he would have seen me trying to swallow the lump in my throat and almost passing out from fear.
    "You'll be fine" Lexi assured me, wiping my forehead with a damp flannel.
    "He could rip my head off"
    "Yeah but you could turn into something really scary and make him wish he was never born! Then you could eat him" She explained.
    "Ew! I would not want that in my mouth!" I gagged.
    "Okay, maybe not eat him, but seriously hurt him. And make him cry" She laughed. I knew what she was trying to do; she was trying to make me feel better about having to fight a humongous mammoth of a man when she knew very well that I was going to die. She did make me feel slightly better by reminding me that I was a shapeshifter; I could turn into something bigger than him and crush him with my foot.
    But when Doctor Mayhew called me towards him I found myself taking smaller steps so it would take longer for me to get there. I seriously did not want to fight him.
    "Are you ready?" He asked, passing me the same bandages as 3.0. I pulled in a deep breath and clenched my fists.
    How could I be ready against a thing like that?
    3.0 looked up and smiled, it dripping with amusement and a hint of evil pleasure.
    I finished wrapping the scratchy white bandages around my palms and tied them securely. Not that they would stop my blood from covering the entire gym once they let that thing out of its cage.
    "I'm ready" I blurted out, still not one hundred percent ready. 3.0's smile grew wider and Doctor Mayhew took a step away from him. I tugged my jumpsuit up my legs and tied the arms tighter.
    It was going to be harder to fight in my stupid uniform but I was slightly amused by what 3.0 looked like in his jumpsuit. He kind of looked like a bulk orange on steroids.
    I heard something snap and looked over to see Sebastian holding a rather large piece of wood in his hands, crushing it as if it were play dough.
    "Okay... start!" Doctor Mayhew yelled and quickly dived out the way. Two scientist's had to crank a lever of their own to lift up the bars of 3.0's cage. I gulped and my chest started getting tight with the panic I was feeling now.
    Stepping forward, I was forced into a paralyzed state by strong vibrations shooting up my feet and through my body. I must have let out some sort of strangled scream because I heard everyone gasp through my blocked ears.
    I opened my mouth to speak but 3.0 killed the words in my throat. He rushed at me, grabbing my neck and smashing me against the gym wall, making an indentation in the concrete. My head hit the back of the solid mass and blood filled my mouth. I spat it out and it ran down my chin.
    He gripped my neck tighter, crushing it in one huge hand and cutting off the air to my lungs. Black speckles blurred my vision but I forced myself to look down at him; to look down at the man who was going to kill me.
    He brought his face closer to mine and his hot breath blew on my face. I clawed at his hand when he whispered, "I'm going to make you suffer, D-Danielle"
    I coughed more blood and some splattered on his face. He wiped it off and grinned and then threw me clean across the room. I hit the other wall, breaking huge chunks of concrete off that rained down on me. I laid on the floor, unable to move my body.
    "Get up!" He ordered. When I couldn't move he yelled, "Get up and-d fight, you worthless piece of vermin!"
    Taking a deep breath, I forced myself onto one elbow. I spat bright blue blood onto the gym floor and turned my head to look at him, my body filling with anger.
    "Get. Up" He hissed through clenched teeth. Shaking and breathing heavily, I pushed myself onto my feet.
    I started laughing then. I don't know what I found funny but I just began chuckled to myself as I looked at him. As I looked at that monster.
    I ran at him.
    I flew across the gym as I felt power surge through me. I didn't transform; I kicked him in the stomach. Picking him up, it was his turn to be throw across the room. And in the next second, I was running underneath him with unhuman speed as something coursed through my veins. My vision blurred as I felt nothing but anger and hate. The ropes attached to the ceiling snaked around my arms. They broke off the ceiling, raining down plaster pieces. I thrust my arms towards 3.0 and the ropes found their way around his arms and legs. Swinging my arms upwards, 3.0 followed the direction towards the ceiling. As soon as he made contact with the ceiling the ropes smashed through the plaster and tied him there, still struggling against them.
    I slowly clenched my fists. The ropes became tighter and tighter around his body and around his neck. He began to cough and gasp from lack of air. My whole body shaking with power and anger, I laughed again.
    Then suddenly, a huge wave of pain shot throughout my body and I swayed on my feet. My hands unclenched and I fell to my knees, exhaustion taking over. My arms and legs were shaking and I couldn't hold myself up. I dropped onto my side and tried to keep my eyes wide open, but they refused to comprehend the light and darkness mixing together. My head throbbed as the blood pounded behind my eyes.
    I wasn't freaking out anymore. Something was stopping me from using my ability because right at that moment I wanted to rip him apart, piece by piece.
    He’d wanted me to die.
    "Dani!" Candace cried. In a second I was surrounded by the subjects asking me if I was alright and trying to pull my arms to get me to stand up.
    But I couldn't move. I couldn't think. All I could do was stare and slowly let my eyelids close and then open again. The vibrations coursed through my body, making my muscles shake and spasm.
    After a minute I was able to blink normally and breath slowly. I rolled onto my back and stared up at him. He was glaring down at me and a weak smile crept onto my face, laughing internally that he was up there and I was down here.
    "Dani...?" Saffron asked, worry leaking into her words. "Are you okay?"
    "Yes" I answered, my voice barely even a whisper. Sebastian and Lexi grabbed my arms and pulled me to my feet. Once stood, the strange vibrations pulsed through the gym floorboards again and this time Merlin looked around as well, an annoyed vein pulsing from his forehead.
    So he feels whatever that is too.
    "Maybe you should lay down" Lexi suggested. All I could do was nod.
    "Come on" Rufus nudged me and grabbed my arm when I almost fell over again. As they towed me away from the gym I couldn't help but look back at 3.0. He never took his light brown eyes off me; his burning into my skull as if wishing the ropes would give out and he could kill me there and then.
    And I couldn't help but feel the tiniest bit guilty for leaving him up there. But hopefully the scientists would leave him up there and get him down when he promised not to murder me in my sleep.

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