Type 0

In a future where all supernatural creatures-- Pixies, Werewolves, Witches and Vampires-- have been categorized along with humans, Kara expects her operation to go as planned.
When a child turns eighteen they are sorted into their 'Type' just like any other, given a barcode on their wrist that holds all government required information. Height, weight, species, and credits to use for payment. A permanent ID, ready for scanning.
When Kara finds out she's not who she thought she was, her whole life changes in an instant. Suddenly she's training to fight creatures she never knew existed.
But her powers are more unique than anyone expected. Powers that could come with deadly consequences if she got into the wrong hands.

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2. A New Arrival

"Wake up, we're here".

            I hadn't realised how tense I was until I jumped and hit my head on the car roof.  Bri winced along with me as we heard the loud crack.

            "What...where are we?" I asked, rubbing the back of my head.

            "Hell if I know. Deep underground if the lack of natural light means anything."

            I stepped out of the car and had a look around. We were in a large concrete room with an elevator at the end. It was not unlike the car park at the hospital, only instead of windows this place was covered in fluorescent lights. They cast a deep orange glow on everything, making the place feel really eerie.

            "Follow me." The agent, who still hadn't told us his name, marched ahead. Bri rolled her eyes at me.

            "Really? Because I thought we were going to check out the beautiful scenery."

            We picked up our pace and found ourselves in a much larger elevator than the one before, and way more high tech.

            There was a whole console in it, the numbers ranging from one to three hundred. This place must have been huge.

            The doors opened onto another large room, this time much brighter. One wall was a solid sheet of glass that looked out onto a huge cityscape. Another was covered in computers, rows and rows of touch screens. Some showing keyboards, others showing pictures or lines of code. The rest of the room was quite bare. A dining table sat in a corner near the glass wall, six chairs surrounding it. The only other object in the room was a corner sofa. It sort of felt like someone had started decorating the room and gave up pretty quickly.

            "She's here, bring in the wiper for her friend."

            The agent seemed to be talking to thin air, but then a voice replied.

            "Message received, backup is on its way."

            I heard a low hiss come from Bri. She shot out with speed that only a vampire could achieve and pushed me behind her.

            "Wipers? Backup? What the hell is this! You're just going to wipe my memory?"

            "No" A woman walked into the room, a gun raised at Bri. "We're going to tranq you first."

            Bri barely had time to react before a chip hit her in the neck. She dropped to the floor, out cold. I could only stare in shock.

            "Sorry about that, she wouldn't come without her friend." The agent moved towards Bri.

            "That's fine Dax, whatever it takes, that's what the big guys said."

            The agent—Dax—reached out to pick up Bri.

            "Get away from her!" I yelled. I did the first thing that came into my mind and kicked Dax in the head.

            He flew across the room, hit the elevator door and slid to the floor. He was knocked out cold.

            I stared at my foot in confusion. Did the barcode do something to my strength? I didn't have time to think about it as the woman agent lifted her tranq gun again, this time aiming it at me. I ran towards her, hoping whatever had affected my feet also worked with my arms and punched her in the face. A loud snap and a rush of blood told me I'd broken her nose. The strange angle of her mouth suggested I'd also done something to her jaw. Jeez, what was I?

            I paused for a second in what I guessed was a fighting stance, half expecting a load of ninjas to fall from the ceiling. Given what today had been like so far I wasn’t going to rule anything out.

            For a minute I thought my eyes had gone funny as the room flashed red.

            "All security personnel to main headquarters"

            The computerised voice bellowed as if it was right by my ear.

            Oh crap

            All I could think was that we had to get out of here. I pushed the elevator button over and over but it had been cut off. I ran my hands through my hair.

            "Come on Bri—" I started to say, but then realised she was unconscious on the floor. There was a small green chip embedded in her neck. I pulled it out and had a look. It was a thin chip with nine small spikes pointing out of one side, probably what had got the drugs into her system. I threw it aside, pulling Bri up and placing her over my shoulder in a fireman lift. It was surprisingly easy to lift her up. Whatever crazy stuff was going on with my newfound strength I wasn’t going to argue as I ran down the nearest hallway I could see, praying that whatever security was coming to get us wasn't going to come from this direction.

            There was a set of double swing doors at the end which I decided to head butt open as my arms were holding Bri up. That was a mistake. It hurt like hell.

            As I was blinking to get the stars out of my vision the doors swung back and hit my square in the jaw. This was really not my day.

            I ended up pushing one of the doors open with my shoulder and running through. The next room was another long hallway, this time with doors either side, reminding me of a hotel. I continued my sprint to the end, hoping the final door was open like the others.

            It wasn't.

            Just as I shook off the impact I heard footsteps behind me.

            So this is it. I'm screwed. I thought, bracing myself for the impact of a tranquilizer needle. I spun round, accidentally hitting Bri's head on a door handle, and counted three agents, all female. All of them were aiming their guns at me.

            "Put her down and we won't shoot."  The one at the front said.

            Really? They weren't just going to shoot now, think later? Well that was going to be their mistake. I placed Bri gently on the floor and put up my hands in a mock surrender. As soon as they began to lower their guns I rushed forwards, grabbing the front agents throat. I tackled her to the floor and went for the second one, my new body barely even tired. I didn't even have to think as my elbow shot out and got her in the side of the head. She went down hard, hitting her head on the wall with a crack before falling to the floor.

            I turned to go for the third one when a sharp pain spread from my left arm. I glanced down at a long silver needle, barely having time to think 'Oh crap' before the world faded to black.

            ***

            "No, seriously. She took down four agents by herself. No training."

            "Yeah, but that doesn't mean she didn't learn somewhere else. It doesn't necessarily mean she's one of us. We still have to test her."

            "Well, of course. But it's still impressive."

            Two voices floated into my barely conscious mind. I was just awake enough to hear them, but not quite enough so that I could tell if they were real or not.

            "I would have liked to punch Caz in the face too. Did you hear she had to have her jaw wired shut till it heals?"

            A third voice, this one definitely female, joined the conversation. For some reason I pictured her in my mind with red hair. The other two were male, the first one younger than the other. I wasn't sure how I knew this, I just did.

            "Be nice, she looked like she was in a lot of pain."

            Another female voice, this one quieter.

            "Why do you care so much? It's not like they care about us, we're just slaves to them." The first male said.

            "Oh really?" The quiet female spoke again, "I didn't see you complaining when they set you up with that new computer system with unlimited WiFi download."

            "Yeah, but I needed that for—"

            "Shut up you lot, she's awake. I saw her hand move." The other male said.

            I forced my eyes open, blinking in the harsh light. Wherever I was it sure looked like a hospital; all white walls and clean sheets. The first thing I thought was: I was right about the red hair.

            It was quite overwhelming to see four complete strangers lean over and stare at me.

            "How do you feel?" The quiet girl asked. She had dark brown hair and matching eyes. A concerned smile lit up her face, making me wary. The last person that had looked at me that way was the doctor who gave me that stupid barcode.

            "Confused." I replied, trying to take in everything around me. The red haired girl had a nose stud and looked like she was about ready to shake my hand. One of the guys had dark skin and wore glasses that kept flashing. I'd have bet money on them being Tech-specs; the newest portable computer. The other guy was taller, even when sitting down, with dark brown-black hair and a stern look on his face.

            "Oh god, sorry. We haven't introduced ourselves. I'm Rose—Rosalie—and this is Katherine—"

            "Kat." The red-haired girl corrected.

            "The guy with the glasses is Thomas, and the other guy is Blaine." As she went through the names the guy called Thomas started making hand gestures in front of his glasses. He pressed his right hand thumb and forefinger together and raised his left hand, palm facing out.

            I pushed myself up, leaning on the headboard. A spark of pain exploded in my head and I winced. I raised my fingers to my temple but, before I even touched my head, the pain was gone.

            "Yeah, that was a pretty strong drug. But, the good news is, your super healing will get rid of any pain in the next few minutes." Rose said.

            "My...what?" I asked.

            "Super healing. It comes with the whole 'Type 0' thing. You know, like the extra strength you had earlier."

            "What the hell?" This girl was either very bad at explaining stuff or thought I knew more than I actually did. The guy she'd called Blaine earlier was pacing in the corner now, obviously annoyed at something.

            "Ease up Rose, they haven't told her anything." Thomas said, half concentrating on the conversation, half on whatever was on his spec screens.

            "Tom, stop hacking into their files. They'll never trust us with anything if you keep doing that."

            "Mmhmm. Yep." He replied. Though it looked like he was ignoring her as he made a few more hand gestures. Rosalie rolled her eyes at him, then she looked back to me.

            "They really haven't told you anything? Who brought you here?"

            I shrugged.

            "No idea, he wouldn't tell us his name." Wait...the woman who drugged Bri said it. What was it again?

            "I think someone called him Dax." Yep, that sounded about right.

            "Seriously? He's only been working here a month. They sent a newbie out to collect a newbie? Idiots." Kat said, twirling a piece of bright red hair between her fingers.

            For some reason I felt like I was forgetting to ask something. Something important.

            My eyes widened. Bri.

            "What did they do to Bri?" I glanced around at a set of confused faces, "My friend. She came here with me."

            Thomas nodded and made a swooping gesture with his hand.

            "I've got her records up here. She had a bad reaction to the drug and was put in the Medi-bay under high security." He said. "It's fine. They've written here that she should make a full recovery in the next couple of days. It was just septicaemia, from an infection. Her blood reacted badly to the drug. Which is strange, considering it was made for Vampires. But, then again, this was a prototype for non-Rogues. I told them they should have tested it on control groups first."

            Okay, half of those words must have been made up. I looked to Rosalie for help.

            "Septicaemia means 'blood poisoning'."

            I shook my head.

            "No, I got that part. I just didn't understand the 'non-Rogues' bit. What's a Rogue?"

            Blaine scoffed from the corner.

            "Jesus, we're seriously going to tell her everything before the tests, aren’t we?"       Rosalie shot him a look.

            "Really, Blaine?" Kat said, "I thought you were going to work on not alienating everyone we meet." She mocked the tone of his voice.

            Blaine lifted a finger at Kat. I was just plain confused, but I had to see Bri and check how she was. I swung my legs out the edge of the bed and started to get up. Rosalie put her hand on my shoulder and stopped me.

            "Whoa, where are you going?"

            "To see Bri. I have to make sure she's ok." I said. Thomas looked at me, confused.

            "But I thought I told you all the—"

            "Thomas..." Rosalie stared at him until he got the idea and went back to staring at his spec screens. She looked back at me, "You're going to be a bit weak for a few minutes—"

            "But—" I started to argue, but Rosalie interrupted.

            "So I'll take you there, put your arm around my shoulders."

            I paused, not quite sure whether I could trust these people yet. However, when I tried to put some weight on my feet, my legs collapsed under me.

            "Yeah, I think that would be best." I said, putting one hand into hers and the other onto her left shoulder. We took a few tentative steps before we found a pace that suited us both.

            When we left the room I realised it was one of many. A row of hospital-like private rooms spanned the hallway, the sharp chemical smell making me shiver. This place seemed so clinical. We walked for a few more minutes, each turn bringing another white hallway. When we came to a set of double doors Rosalie stopped suddenly, making me trip. She looked at me, holding my gaze.

            "Now, I want you to prepare yourself. We're not the bad guys, and everything you will see is just trying to save her life. I'm just saying this to prepare you. It's never nice seeing a friend in hospital."

            I stared right back at her, noting the genuine concern for me in her eyes. I softened slightly.

            "Thank you." I said. She nodded, giving me a small smile.

            As soon as the doors opened I was assaulted by the noise and bustle of what looked like a generous hospital ward. I counted twelve beds, each with its own set of medical equipment. I didn't know what half of the machines did, but one look at Bri told me they were pretty important. She was covered in plastic tubes, each with a different coloured liquid running through. A drip hung from a metal stand, filled with a thick red blood.

            I nearly fell flat on my face as I tried to run towards her, tripping over my own feet. Rosalie managed to catch me before I fell.

            "Careful, you're not fully healed yet." She said.

            "What are they doing to her, what is all this stuff?" I asked, lifting up a purple tube that was connected to Bri's right hand.

            "Most of the tubes are vitamins and nutrients that she needs to keep her strength up. The blood is obvious, she's a Vampire." I nodded. "Because of that she got severe sepsis pretty quickly. Given that her body can't create its own oxygenated blood; we needed to set her up with a constant drip."

            "This all looks pretty complicated, how long was I out?" I asked.

            "Only a couple of hours. We're pretty efficient here." Rose answered, "The antibiotics we have her on are very strong. She's responded well so far and the doctor says she should be back to normal in a few days."

            "Ok. That sounds good. But, just one thing?" I looked up at Rosalie, "Why didn't they take her out of here; back to the other hospital? When I got here they seemed like they were going to knock her out and wipe her memory. I assumed they didn't want her here." Wherever here was.

            "They didn't. We forced them to keep her here." Rosalie said.

            That shocked me.

            "Why would you do that? You don't even know me."

            Rosalie smiled, "Maybe not, but if you were prepared to take on our entire security team, with no idea where you were or who you were going to have to fight, she must be pretty important to you."

            I looked down at Bri, half expecting to see her chest rise and fall. But she didn't breathe. She never had.

            "She's basically my sister." I explained.  "We met when we were kids. She's more like my family than anyone I'm actually related to."

            "It's nice that you're so close to her. Our kind aren't normally very family oriented. My parents both died when I was very young."

            I looked up.

            "Oh god, I'm so sorry."

            Rose looked down at the floor.

            "It's fine. I mean, it isn't fine, but I've had a long time to deal with it. The lives our kind lead are very dangerous. Most of us struggle to live long enough to even have kids."

            She said it like it was no big deal, like it was a normal part of life.

            "That sounds horrible." I said, not even trying to hide the disgust in my voice, "If you're trying to come up with a recruitment slogan, I would not use that one."

            Rose laughed, "True, it does sound quite bad. But we do very good work. The sacrifice is worth it." She looked at my wide eyes and smiled, "I suppose that sounds a bit strange when you don't know what we do. What we are."

            "Then why don't you tell me. Why doesn't everyone just tell me why I'm here?"

            I showed her my barcode, having only just remembered that myself.

            "Like, what does this even mean?"

            The double doors we had just come through swung open and the dark haired guy—Blaine—walked through.

            "It's been five minutes. She's ready." He sounded agitated, annoyed even. He shot a warning gaze at Rosalie that I would have to have been blind to miss.

            "Fine." Rose said, obviously just as annoyed, "Everyone just go ahead and ignore my advice of easing her in. But don't blame me when the first thing she does after training is punch you in the face."

            "Oh, so you think it'll be exactly the same as last time. Do you have no faith in me at all? We haven't even tried out Thomas's new equipment."

            I stood up, noticing how the weakness in my legs had all but disappeared.

            "Could everyone stop talking in code and just tell me what is going on!" I started counting off my fingers all the strange stuff that had happened to me so far today, "I've been brought to some strange place in a blacked out car, my best friend has been drugged to the point where she has blood poisoning, no-one here will even tell me the smallest piece of information. Like, oh, I don't know. What. The hell. I Am."

            Blaine and Rose both stared at me.

            "Fine." Blaine said, "You want to know everything?"

            I nodded.

            "You're not human." He started.

            "Well I already knew that bit—" I interrupted. He shot me a glare.

            "You're something called a Type 0. An unidentified species that happens to have the perfect attributes for dealing with Rogues. Rogues are a mutated form of each of the types, Pixies, Werewolves, everything. They are deadly and the GSA want them kept quiet and dealt with. That's what we're here for. We kill them and get rid of them. That's the day job. You want to know why we haven't just told you everything straight away?"

            I nodded, speechless.

            "Because one, you were unconscious for the first few hours we met you and two, most people tend to freak out when they're told everything for the first time and we didn't want you revealing our secret to a packed hospital ward. There's only so much memory wiping we can do without causing permanent brain damage. Now follow me, shut up, and do what I say. Or do we need to take some time out for you to have a little mental breakdown?" He put on a stupid baby voice for that part. What was that supposed to be? My voice?

            He had slowly been walking towards me all the way through his little speech, now he was less than a metre in front of me. Just close enough to slap.

            So that was exactly what I did.

            It surprised me how loud the impact was.

            "Is he always this nice, or is he just putting it on for me?" I asked Rose, rubbing my hand. Jeez, his face was hard.

            Rose blinked a few times, brought her hand to her mouth, and laughed. A proper throaty laugh that was nearly about to set me off as well.

            Between laughs she managed to choke out, "Oh my god...you have...no idea how many people...want to do that to him."

            "To be honest I'm surprised you lot haven't done it already."

            Rosalie nodded.

            "True. Maybe he needed a slap." She calmed down a bit and looked back to me, "Are you ok? That was a lot of information to take in all at once."

            True. My head was spinning. I had no idea what any of this meant. Was I supposed to kill these things called Rogues? Is that what everyone had meant by my training?

            "To be honest...I don't feel like I'm going to have a mental breakdown," I pointedly looked at Blaine, "But it all does feel a bit like I'm a character in a movie and...none of this is real."

            "You're dealing with this a lot better than I did when I found out."

            "Really? What did you do?"

            "I cried. A lot. For about a week. Then I stopped crying, got out of bed, and lived. I decided that life never ends up where you think it will and nothing I ever did would change that. Besides, learning how to fire a gun was pretty badass."

            I smiled.

            "I have always wanted to learn how to do that." I said.

            "Okay then, do you want to go with me?" Rose asked.

            "Where?"

            "To the first part of your training."

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