The Prodigy Project (Completed)

*I wrote this when I was, like, 12. I swear I probably didn't even understand what a full stop was for. This is here now only to show progression in my writing* 5TH PLACE RUNNER UP IN WATTPAD 2012 WATTY AWARDS.

Ever believed in super heroes? Nadia didn’t. That is until she became reality’s equivalent to one along with 239 unfortunate others. Put together a division between good and bad form, a battle for freedom and potential war develops. This is T.P.P – The Prodigy Project.
“You are all the best in your category; you specialize in it in every way possible, with a little unfair advantage of mutation and modern development. You are all the prodigies.”


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19. Chapter 18

Two days after leaving the barn early in the morning, we’d ended up in the inner city area sleeping rough when needed. It wasn’t the best situation to be in, but it was one that had to be done.

In places where we were hidden from the public eye we’d often practise. So we would be prepared and because in general we needed too.

I hadn’t managed to get the hang of anything new, but I’d managed to improve on what I could already do. I could control Fire and only fire, I was strong like the athletics, I was able to transform my entire hand into any desired object – which was creepy on my part, and the genius thing was coming on well as days past. For once I was pleased with what I could do and I wasn’t at all disappointed.

Walking down the main street of this unknown town, many of the locals turned and stared at the large group of people who looked like hobos. We were, considering the situation. We’d ran out of the food we’d brought with us days ago, and now we were relying on the money we’d brought – which was quickly running out also. Not many of us brought a lot of money because of the fact that we were going to a school, not on holiday. We didn’t think there’d be any need for money – which there wouldn’t be if T.P.P was in fact a normal school.

Only half of the group was with us. The other half were off somewhere else just wandering about and seeing what they would find. I doubt they’d find anything worth our short time left. Any day now, I was sure of it, T.P.P would come looking for us.

Each group had one mobile phone between them. Some people with common sense thought to bring them and they proved useful when the two groups decided to call each other. We wouldn’t use them unless the situation was vital, seeing as the phones ran on a pay-as-you-go contract so we had to be careful about how much was left on the phone. Call time was running low on both; we needed to save it for as long as we could.

“There’s a store that sells cheap food in bulks. I’m sure that can last us for another day at least.” Looking for cheap food was a problem. The town had only low key businesses, no house-hold name stores, which sucked due to the fact everything was pretty expensive in terms of how much money we had remaining.

“We’ll head there first then...”

About to ask where about the store was, the phone Ray had in his possession began to ring. Alarm bells went off in my head. They swore they wouldn’t call unless it was important. What had happened?

Ray fished the blackberry from his pocket and pressed the answer button and put it on loud speaker.

“Ray? Tell everyone on your side to be careful!” It was Layton who was on the other line.

Ray looked confused, as did I most probably. “Why? What’s happened?”

“You’ll never guess who we’ve bumped into...”

“Who?” Ray was curious, his eyes bright.

“Blake. He says some of the people who were taken away from T.P.P are somewhere in the town as well. They’re looking for us, it’s not only them, there are about 10 officials wandering about. Wait a second; I’ll put Blake on for you.” On the other line you could hear shuffling and worried whispers until it sounded like someone handing the phone over.

“Hello?”

“Blake, what’s happening?” Ray was panicking now too. His hands couldn’t hold the phone steady.

There was silence on the other end of the line for a while. “They’ve decided they couldn’t just let you go. They’re looking for you. They won’t tell us what they want with you, but they want us to search with them... I’m probably sacrificing my head for you guys, but that’s about all I know. They are searching for you, and I wouldn’t think they are please.”

“What do you suggest we do?”

“Run. Get as far away from the town as possible. The place is crawling with them, you may not notice it, but everyone is watching you. Everyone.” Deafening silence enveloped us. “Look around, you’ll see.”

I did just that, and it seemed everyone else too. Sure enough, not everyone, but a lot of people were staring, but ones that really caught my eye were those who were being discreet while hiding their heads. Those were the ones to look out for.

“Hey, Ray -,”

He nodded, interrupting. “Yeah, I see them.” With narrowed suspicious eyes, he went back to the phone. “We can’t just run, Blake.”

The voice that replied wasn’t Blake, it was Layton. “Blake’s gone. He didn’t want to seem suspicious, he went back to join the search. Run before its too late Ray. We got to go, see you later.” And with that the phone line had gone dead and we were left to decide.

Emily stepped in between me and Ray and decided to tell Ray exactly what she thought. “We aren’t leaving. We came here in the first place to lure them here to our advantage. Want all of that to go to waste?”

“No, but-,”

“No! We are staying. We will face them. Send a text message to Layton and tell him we are staying with or without them!” Emily didn’t seem to care if anyone agreed or disagreed. She wanted it her way, and she would get it.

Ray thought about it. “Fine then. Get into groups of about three people and go off on your own ways. The town is small enough that we’ll hear you if you are in trouble.” People began pairing off and leaving. “Nadia, Emily, with me.”

It didn’t bother me in the slightest who I went with, I just wanted to get today over with and hope I’d get to see the next.

“We’ll go this way,” Emily demanded as she began without our opinions. Following behind her, we turned into a narrow alleyway in between two nice looking houses.

“I don’t think we should go this way. No one’s around.” Ray was right. No one would be around if we did so happen to encounter someone we didn’t want to see.

“Nonsense!”

Wandering further into the labyrinth of disorganised backstreets, we found ourselves lost.

The dark black walls glistened with damp and the mud beneath our feet stuck like super-glue to our boots. It was cold, Very cold.

“Told you we shouldn’t have went this way,” Ray felt the need to push how he was right and Emily was not.

Emily let out a frustrated growl. “Don’t push it!” I didn’t want to push her over the edge so I said nothing more than an occasional ‘be nice’ to the two of them.

Reaching a dead end again we faced someone’s backdoor.

“Hey kids!” Someone yelled from behind us. We turned suddenly, our backs to a dead end. Wasn’t a good situation at all.

At the end of the alley stood a man dressed finely in a black suit. His hair was dishevelled which suggests he’d been running, or was perhaps frustrated.

“I’ve been looking for you.” Smiling, he lifted his hand and faster than any of us, he’d swept us off our feet and sent us back pinned against a wall, the air pressing against our bodies forcing us still.

“Wrong move, running away from T.P.P.” More force was added. How was a single guy so powerful? He must be a pro at the elemental trait if he could gather that much air. “Too bad Blake warned you we were coming for you. He’ll be dealt with.”

Before anything else could happen, Ray had sent two tiny shot of fire balls in his direction. He was probably too weak to send anything bigger.

The first hit him in the knee cap, which sent him falling to the ground in pain, and the second, hit his shoulder blade as he fell. The air around us went back to normal and we could feel ourselves slowly being released from the invisible prisons of wind.

“Great,” Emily mumbled as she approached the man. She had guts as she kicked him hard in the stomach. “Stay away from us!”

“We should go; we need to get back into the town’s main park.” It was an obvious choice. Most people would be there, so it would be risky to give a direct attack on us.

We didn’t need to be told twice.

***

“You’re here!”

As we approached the entrance of the park, a good few people from our group had gathered in that area. “Had a bad encounter with some freak. He was like us.”

“So they aren’t just here to keep tabs?”

Emily shook her head. “Doesn’t look like it.”

“Damn.”                                                                              

The park entrance had a grand looking design. The town was pretty, small, but pretty. If any of the people here looking for us decided to start something, it’d be terrible to see something bad happen to the town. Fires breaking out, people scared out of their wits, people potentially could die.

The park was on a slope, and looking straight down from the park main entrance was the main road through the town. This was the perfect place for us to be or at least to our advantage anyway.

“Who are those people down there?”  The question itself scared me. Looking up scared me more. We’d only just got away from one of these goons, now there were more?

Down the hill on the main cobbled road there were about 3 people dressed similar to the man we’d come across in the alley, and a few other in casual clothing. These were only a few of the people out for us.

Half of our group was missing, only god knew where they’d go. I suppose it was even then. About 15 of us were left and about 15 of them were approaching, it was even. But they were more powerful.

Breathe Nadia, breathe. I had to keep myself calm.

“Sooner the better.” Emily didn’t sound the least bit bothered. If I could borrow some of her calm, I would.

My powers were weak. I’d serve better use just standing on the sideline, that way I’d be out of everyone’s way. Emily elbowed me as she tensed herself up, ready for what was going to come. Despite not having powers of use in combat, she’d do well in other ways.

“You have your force field! Use it!” Emily continued to argue as the enemies neared. My forehead was sweating in the bright midday sun, and I was tired and sore from no decent place to sleep.

“But I would only be able to protect myself. Even then, I can’t fight when I use it!”

Emily shook her head harshly, her eyes burrowing deep into mine. “You haven’t tried yet. I want you to try!” Things had gotten noisier on our end, but in the streets below, no one was around. “Promise?”

I didn’t have to think it through. Letting her down wasn’t an option. “Promise.”

I recognised Blake. He looked the same, but at the same time he looked different. How was that possible? The other people in casual wear looked familiar but no names were placed. As for the other in suits, they were strangers.

Why did it come to this? 15 against 15 wasn’t a lot, but with our powers we could kill each other and those around us.

They weren’t far from us at all. Stopping all together, they need not come any closer. They could wipe us out from a distance easily.

I didn’t know where to look. My eyes wandered and flashed back and forth. We were doomed from day one. This was the last chapter of my story.

“What are you waiting on?” Teasing us. Agonisingly slowly, one of them raised a single finger and created a bullet made from water. Parting through the air exactly like a bullet, it smashed against a tree behind the group, causing the bark to splinter.

Fear settled into my bones. I wasn’t on very good terms with anyone here really. Emily and I had a strange relationship that varied between only briefly acknowledging each other and being as close as sisters. As for Ray, what was he to me? We were there for each other when we needed each other, and we had deep talks together, but... it was strange. I cared for everyone, Ray and Emily more so, and it confused me so much. Even pin-pointing what confused me made me upset so I never ended up with an answer.

I wanted to concentrate, but I couldn’t. As the first ball of fire danced through the air and past my head, I still stood blankly. My eyes were dead and my face was emotionless. How was this world so broken?

Around me thing began to ignite in flame and the wind erupted in fury. Only slightly I could make out blurred figures knocking people off their feet and still I stood. What was I doing?

People from the team screamed in my face, but their words met deaf ears. My vision cleared but I refused to fight. I had waited for days for this moment. To be able to protect my team, but when it came to that point, I froze.

Like a TV on pause.

Walking through the chaos, I saw a small house catch fire. I saw people being controlled by the mind control student, only for the mind control students to be killed themselves by a member of the opposing team. I saw death. All around me.

Standing above the charred body of an unknown man, I didn’t know what to think. From the suit they wore, I knew they weren’t someone I should care about, but breathing in and smelling that smell of burning flesh made tears spring to my eyes.

The moment when the burnt corpses hand moved and began to form fire, I realised this wasn’t a dead man. A carefully constructed plan, the enemies had shape shifted into a duplicate of a burnt corpse already dead from his team. I saw the other body, only mere meters from this one.

Looking up into the sky, smoke billowed up and up. I wanted to fly with the smoke, up into the sky where I could watch and not be a part of it. I’d go to heaven, if I was killed right here, right now? I’d be in a safe place?

The fire ball grew, and in a split second, I decided not to move. At such close proximity, the fire would kill me for sure. I’d miss life, I think... I’d miss everyone who I love. I wonder if they’d think of me. Would they know I was gone?

“Nadia, no! Move!” I didn’t need to turn to see Emily dive in front of me just as the ball of fire was released from the corpse’s hand. I was so deep into the idea of dying, that I had no time to react as Emily swapped our roles. Everything was no longer in slow motion and sound began to reach my ears.

The force sent Emily back into me throwing us both to the ground. Her chest took the impact.

Breathe.

I looked over my shoulder at the corpse who slowly transformed back into him natural form. “Bastard.” After that I had no control. I didn’t even have to think about it as I came at him as fast as I could, punching him hard. He had to suffer. His nose – still yet to transform back to normal gushed blood. I placed my hand around his neck and tightened my grasp. “People like you don’t deserve to live!” Fire engulfed the hand I had around his neck burning his flesh for real. His cries of pain didn’t affect me. His movement stopped completely and my sensitive hearing which was activated in the middle of my anger heard no heart beat.

I just killed a man. He deserved it.

Emily lay not far from the half transformed dead man. Dropped to my knees by her side I grabbed a hole of her shirt.

“You idiot! Why’d you do that?” I yelled to her dying face. Her strawberry blonde hair was matted with mud caked in it.

I didn’t need to put in any effort in activating my protective bubble around me and Emily. It seemed almost natural and the sense of electricity around us told me it worked. I did it.

Taking in Emily’s face, I swiped my hand across her forehead to get the mud and hair away from her eyes. Her eyes brimmed with tears, bottom lip quivering.

“Is it bad, Nadia?” she whispered, trying to lift her slightly burnt hands.

I shook my head hard. “Not at all. You’ll be fine!” I tried to convince myself of what I just told her. She wouldn’t be fine. She was no ultimatum or athletic. She wouldn’t heal like us.

“Don’t lie,” a tear fell down her cheek slowly, her breaths becoming shallow.

Sub consciously, I reached and wiped my own eye and realised I was crying. “You won’t die, if that’s what you mean.”

“I know it’s bad, Nadia. I can feel it.”

“Are you in pain?” I realised how much I’d grown attached, how much I’d miss her.

Emily tried to shake her head. “Not for long.”

“Don’t talk like that! You aren’t going to die!” if she was going to die, she was going to die peacefully.

Emily’s heart was slowing by the second; I could hear it, slowly, slow, slower. “I’ll miss you Nadia.”

I shook my head hard “Don’t talk.” Gently I leaned forward and wiped away her tears and kissed her forehead. Examining her wound, blood was pouring from it. Any second now.

“Thank you, Emily. I love you.” And then her heart stopped. Just like that. Something so precious to the world, destroyed.

Swiping my palm over her eye lids, I closed her eyes. “I’ll see you up there when the time is right, Emily. Rest in peace.” Grapping onto her shoulder, I sobbed so loud. My tears soaking her shirt.

I was supposed to die, not Emily! It all could have been over by now; it all could have come to an end. One moment of stupidity, ended in Emily on the receiving end.

Life was unfair. I learnt that fact of life as a kid, but never had it been so real.

Grasping a hold of the necklace around Emily’s neck, I unattached it and placed it in my pocket once more. Standing up, I backed away taking the shield of protection with me. I couldn’t take to be here any longer.

I just couldn’t.

Looking around, all I could see was death and destruction. People were dying and I couldn’t stop it. I’d run away from all of this and hope for the best, I’d run away try to forget.

How do you forget something like this?

I ran from the scene of destruction into the park which held minimum damage. I ventured deep into the semi-charred plants, until I came across a safe place. A small bandstand. Peering up, as I walked up the small steps, I saw colours that reminded me of happiness. I was anything but.

Emily was dead. I couldn’t quite comprehend the fact. I was half expecting her to jump out at me and shout at me for not practising with her. I expected her to tell me some random fact any time now and then tell me more, explaining deep into the subject. She was gone though. She was with her father.

I closed my eyes lightly. Reaching into my pocket, I taken out the necklace and reattached it around my neck holding it tight within my palm. Emily didn’t deserve to die.

Bringing the simple charm to my lips, I then let it fall against my neck.

Opening my mouth, I screamed as loud as I could.

I didn’t care what would happen next, as far as I was concerned there shouldn’t be a ‘next’. Almost everyone was dead, lots of the town was destroyed.

My scream echoed around the bandstand, vibrating my ear-drums.

The world was a broken place. So broken it couldn’t be repaired. Humans were ignorant creatures. Humans don’t care about anyone but themselves.

Running out of air in my lungs, I collapsed to the floor in a heap.

“Kill me now.” I wanted so badly for it to end. I didn’t want to go home and live my life the way I would have to live it. I didn’t want to stay and be treated like a freak.

If I died, I’d be one less human putting the world as we know it, into an early grave.

If I died, I’d be free from what I have to live with floating in the back of my head.

I was so deep in my head I hadn’t felt the arms wrap around me until lips were pressed to my cheek. “You’ll be fine, Nadia. Everything will be fine.”

Ray had survived.

As fast as I heard those words, I clung onto him like life support and let my onslaught of tears roll on. “They killed Emily, Ray. They killed her!” I cried harder. “She died trying to save me. I was trying to get myself killed!”

He didn’t respond. He held me close and whispered soothing words into my ears.

“Everything has been taken care of. Layton arrived with a few people. We’re safe now.”

“No we’re not, Ray. We’re not safe.”

“How so?” His strong English accent soothed me. It was like a lullaby.

“You can’t save us from ourselves. We’re monsters. No one will ever accept us!” It was true, right to the last word. No one would accept our kind for as long as we exist.

“We’ll accept each other, I’ll accept you...”

I shook my head in defiance. I disagreed. Accept someone of our kind, yes, accept me, no. “I’m a monster, Ray.” I cried. “I might as well be a cold blooded murderer. I enjoyed killing a man and Emily might as well just be my fault.”

“I love you, Nadia. I always will no matter what you do.” He whispered into my ear, grabbing a hold of my chin and making me looks him in the eye.

“Of course you’d say that, you’re my friend! You can’t see past my exterior, Ray. I’m rotten on the inside.” I was repelling. Why couldn’t anyone see that? I’d end up killing them, just like Emily.

Ray denied my accusation quickly. “No, you don’t understand. I love you, Nadia, more than just a friend. No matter what you do would make me forget you or what I feel.”

I was so lost that I didn’t understand him completely. I was dizzy on fear and anger towards myself. I pushed him away and stood to my feet. “I’m dangerous. Why can’t anyone understand that?”

He didn’t reply. I walked backwards down the steps and backwards down the muddy path, all the while keeping my eyes on him.

I wanted to tell him that I loved him back, but only as a friend. If I said that though, he might be more inclined to stay with me. I couldn’t have that.

I was going to run. Far, far away and hope to never come back.

 

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