Pretty Ugly

Imagine a world without imperfection, no flaws, no errors or anything classified as a mistake. A society where beauty is more important than the individual. The law states that if you look at a Pretty while you're still transforming into one and you'll be imprisoned. Disobey a Pretty and you die. --- After a project called 'Deus Ex' spirals out of control, raises the question whether humanity's reach has exceeded its grasp.


6. Let It Bleed

“I feel like a real dead one: having neither bloods to bleed

nor any flesh or bone to feel the scars;

yet I want to hold on to my spirit.” 
― Munia Khan

I'd been crouched so long that me legs fell asleep beneath me, but I dared not move. I've been promised freedom but instead I was confined in a room surrounded by giant glass walls. I wasn't alone, I wasn't the only one trapped behind glass walls. I can see Jensen across the hallway. He's trapped in a similar room, except the color of the floor appears different. His ugly features make him seem like a monster trapped in a cage.

I traced my fingers along my arms and face, feeling the newly synthetic skin so smooth as silk. My wavy dark blond hair felt healthier and soft, my lips fuller, but my nostrils felt intoxicated by the smell of bleach. Then I touched the tag attached to my white back snap undershirt.

Subject D-34 is now my name. I heard one of the nurses say that my records had been burnt and that I, Trinity Reed, had been claimed as deceased. I suppose I wasn't as surprised since I'm being held captive as a lab rat. I wonder what my father must have thought of me when he saw the fake dead body. He always saw me as a disappointment and my death couldn't have changed his heart.

Next to the door is a black box that controls who enters the room. It beeps and its light turns yellow warning me that someone is coming, warning me not to do anything stupid. The nurses come and go to extract blood from my arms. Out of rage, I pushed and pinned one nurse against the wall - in order to let her know that I wasn't a lab rat - and she accidentally released the syringe which shattered as it hit the floor. My blood splattered on her white pants. Two men arrived and she was immediately taken prisoner and was put under surveillance next to Jensen's room. Eventually, a sign was written on her door identifying her as subject D-36.

After a day in this cell, I adapted to the hourly visits from them. It took me an hour to move my numb legs and finally decided to stand up. I walked to and fro looking in every nook and cranny for anything that would help me escape.

My attempt was in vain. The only thing that could hurt someone would be the white plastic chair in front of me, but it's stuck to the floor with magnets. I walked towards the huge mirror glass, staring at my reflection for the third time, meeting light-blue eyes and pulling at the dark blond strands that fell on my shoulders. Feeling like a total stranger and seeing nothing that resembled to my last body.

I ignored the food brought by a men in a white suit, choosing instead to inspect everything that happened in the hallway. It was occupied by nurses and scientists who were too busy to notice me. Jensen suddenly touched the window tentatively as if scared that I might get in trouble.

A robot passed by and brought its feet to a sharp halt. Without a warning, it entered the room like an encroaching plague. It pulled me away from the window - warning me that if I ever acknowledged the people near me, the windows would be replaced by actual marble walls. The very idea goggled my mind. I rather have a view of a busy and disturbing world than none at all.

I didn't know if I was going to die, only that they wanted something from me. Something from us. I often tried to talk to the nurses but I was always ignored or directly told to stop talking. They prepared concoctions they were going to inject in my body as if it was a natural thing to do. It became an hourly ritual, but then something unusual occurred.

Just five minutes after they started their work, the door beeped and a woman in a white lab coat walked in. One of them tried to inform her about my results, but she waved him off and went straight toward me. I stepped back under the scrutiny as she stopped in front of me, staring at me with a serious face like my father's. I immediately recognized her as the woman that gave the orders to the others. The nurses answered whatever she asked. I watched her apprehensively as the nurses slowly filtered away from my view.

The woman sat on the white plastic chair, facing me with her legs crossed. In comparison to her skin, I looked like a doll in a box. Wrinkles crisscrossed her face and her old age was noticeable - around fifty years old approximately.

               "I'm Dr. Seraph," she said as she extended her arm to me.

               She lowered her hand. Her eyes furrowed, her lips frowned and she seemed a little worried. "D-34, are you aware of why you're here?" said the doctor while writing on her tablet.

                I looked at the nurses behind the glass windows. "Yes, to experiment with me and then kill me." I replied.

                The doctor grimaced. "Not exactly, otherwise you would be dead by now."

                "What have you done to us?" I said pointing to Jensen. "What am I?"

                "You are what we would call the perfect pretty. Your genes were altered. You can transform into the person of your choice, including the president himself." She held up the tablet and a hologram popped out of the screen. The hologram showed me how my body transformed into one person, then another and so on. Each metamorphosis required pain as it transformed into the perfect human. It was like watching one of those science fiction movies that people used to watch fifteen years ago - which are now prohibited by the law. The video stopped playing and then silence occupied the room. Desperation started taking hold of me and I leaned my entire body against the glass.

                I turned my head to the right, looking straight ahead at the nurse who's being held prisoner because of me. "What's going to happen to that nurse." I said.

               "She didn't follow procedures and therefore she was infected with your blood," the doctor answered as if the nurse was meaningless to her. "Now, in order to activate your full potential, first you must drink from these blue vials." She placed a small wooden box on the floor and beckoned me to take it.

               "I must go. Remember the choice is yours." She concluded as she passed her keycard through the device next to the door and it opened. Suddenly, I recognized the last sentence from the voice that spoke through microphones in the house Aria was killed. She stepped outside the threshold and that's when I panicked.

               I instinctively snatched her wrist, stopping her. "You killed my sister!" I said, squeezing too hard, careless with my own strength. Without a moment's hesitation she pushed the red button next to the door. A loud overwhelming noise came out of it. I covered my ears but the noise pounded inside my head. Two nurses came in gray lab coats. The first nurse grabbed my right arm and tossed me to the floor. The second nurse threw herself over me, pressing me against the cold white tiles. I wanted to free myself and I did. I pushed her off and the back of my hand snapped her nose, resulting in blood gushing from her face, smearing my hand. I felt a pinch on my arm, feeling dizzy all of a sudden. I laid there on the floor, feeling how my body weakened by the second as the poison spread through my veins. I closed my eyes and slowly submerged into a deep sleep.

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