The Prodigy Project: Consequence

It’s been two years. Two long years and Nadia’s yet to move on. The world slowly changed from the very day she walked away from the fight, slowly but surely. Governments were overthrown, people were killed, people made homeless.

The soldiers who terrorised towns one by one weren’t just looking to inset fear; they were looking for the few who escaped T.P.P.

Suddenly in the world of mutants and terrorization, a painful escape has found its way into the bodies of mutants and is killing them all one by one. The longer you’ve had your powers and the more you use them, the more likely you are to die.
Somehow, sometime they’d find Nadia. But of course, she won’t go down without a fight.

“They’ve ruined our lives. Now it’s time to ruin their!”

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1. Chapter 1

What’d happened to my life? The dull torn yellowing walls of my kitchen were peeling, and the tiles beneath my feet were cracked. I could barely feed myself with the small amount of money I brought home each day, never mind pay the land lord on time.

Each day I'd wake up and look at my alarm clock and think 'just another day'. Just another day in my small little unseen life, Insignificant Nadia. I'd clutch the small engraved heart charm around my neck and remember that this was a better life than once before. I was in a place where I'd be safe.

Was I safe now? Peering out of my stained and torn curtains, I tried looked down the entire 4 floors to the dirty pavement below. Where they still searching for me?

Of course they were. The soldiers wouldn't stop until we were all dead. All of us who ran away and tried to cause trouble. The exact trouble that got me living in fear.

Slumping down onto the broken tiled floor, I put my head into my hands. I was going to have to move house again, I'd have to find a new job. The soldiers had begun searching the towns close by. They knew I was here. They knew I was close.

Grabbing a hold of my hair, I pulled at it until my scalp ached. My head rolled back when I released it, and I then found myself staring up at the dull bulb hanging from the ceiling. On the worktops out of the corner of my eye, I saw the unopened late birthday card I'd received two days ago. I knew who it was from. No one else knew my address.

Raising my hand with ease, a gust of wind formed and the card fell onto my lap. I wasn't going to open it. But I couldn't torture myself with it any longer. It was November 13th - 8 days after my birthday. I lifted the card hastily and without a second thought, the card was incinerated, the ashes in my lap instead of the once pink envelope.

It'd been two years since I'd seen my family – which meant two years since T.P.P - they were the only people who I dared tell about my where-about and T.P.P. In fact, I was due to give them a phone call soon... They made me promise that if I wasn’t going to come home, then I'd at least have to stay in contact. Well, at least they tried to stay in contact. Other than a single birthday card each year and the rare phone call, we were pretty much strangers nowadays.

What had happened in those two years that led me up to where I am today? Who am I now? I hated how these questions were so simple for regular people, I hated how even my alcoholic next door neighbour could answer them off the bat and not myself. What had happened to me in those two years? I couldn’t answer straight in fear of being discovered, and I couldn’t answer because I didn’t want to remember.

Briefly I remember arriving home for the first time since T.P.P. I can’t remember much of where I got the cash from, I can’t remember anything, but I do remember that my family were oblivious.

"Did you have fun?"

"Did you make friends?"

"Why didn’t you call?"

I couldn’t tell them. Or could I? I remember confronting mom and dad and getting so angry I scarred the cream walls with a burn mark.

"You knew! You knew that what you did when I was born was linked to the academy, so why the hell didn’t you stop it?" They stared at me like I'd grown a new head. "Because of T.P.P nothing will be the same. For me and for everyone’s future!" 

My parents had paused to stare at each other. "Nadia, what are you talking about?"

"You'll soon learn. You'll soon see..." And with that, I left the house.

My brother had tracked me down days later and made me confess the truth. I had shown him what I could do. I beat myself up every day for what I told him, because now he'd be in danger because of what he knew. Stupid.

Picking myself up off the floor, my t-shirt sleeve got caught on a drawer handle revealing a slit scar on my upper arm.

The tracker.

Remembering the pain was first. Remembering the look on my brother’s face when he found me days later with the scar was second. I remember stealing a woman’s handbag and managing to get money for a hotel. After that it was a blur until the moment I’d found the razor blade and sliced through my arm. The pain wasn’t at all real for me – I didn’t feel a thing. I remember it kept healing over around the blade so I had to keep cutting. I remember the sudden shoots of pain up my arms. I remembered that the small black object I was searching for – covered in blood and stuff that made me want to puke – finally risen to the surface. I picked it up and threw it out the window. After that I moved to a completely different state.

Life had been a blur. Get up, clothes on, wash in cold water, find work, go to work, pay landlord, eat, and repeat.

I let my short sleeve roll back down my arm. The pain was long gone but the silver scar would take ages to fade. About to go to my bedroom and sleep, tiredness settling over me, the door buzzer rang through the small damp flat.

Sighing, I knew I couldn’t ignore it. It was probably my landlord demanding his money. After all, it was a good few days late.

Opening the door, preparing for the worst, I was ultimately surprised when I saw who it really was. Seeing the dirty blonde mop of hair again made me confused inside. Two whole years, I thought to myself. It’s been two years.

“Nadia.” His face lit up with a bright smile – the same one I always remembered him wearing.

My eyes were wide. “Layton,” I breathed out. My voice was quiet and I was sure I’d grown pale. Suddenly everything I’d took so much time to push to the back of my mind – forgotten but not rid off – was back in centre. The things that seemed only as distant blurs now appeared in HD.

I tried to speak, but it came out as stutters. “W-why are you here?” I was tempted to close the door on his face and spend another few month trying to forget all over again, but that wasn’t the right thing to do. But then again, I never did the right thing anyway.

I hadn’t seen him or anyone from T.P.P in years; I didn’t want to see them for years to come either.

Layton put his foot forward, about to enter my home. Letting him in would be like letting him into my life, and I didn’t think I wanted that just yet. I blocked his entry.

“Nadia, what are you doing? Let me in!” His face wore a playful smile. I wanted to smile back but it was as if I didn’t remember how. The most social interaction I’d had in a while was complying with demands at whatever job I’d found and trying to negotiate with the landlord.

I shook my head. “Why are you here?” I repeated stronger this time. Shutting the door further by the second.

He launched his foot in front of the door to stop me from shutting it completely in his face. “I’m here for you. You can’t just forget us, Nadia.”

I refused to see his point of view. I would never go back. I couldn’t go back. “No. Leave! I’ve spent the past two years trying to forget you and everyone at T.P.P so what makes you think I’ll just go back to it all again?” My voice had grown shaky.

I couldn’t force the door shut for much longer. I’d grown weak and all I wanted to do was fall to the ground and sleep. Layton battered against the door sending me into the wall behind me as he entered the apartment. “Because you need us, Nadia.”

Maybe not them, but I needed someone. I couldn’t take hiding any more. I was fed up with the fear that made home in my head. “Where’s everyone else?” I tried to relax.

Layton took two long strides towards me and scooped me into a bone crushing hug. “I’ve managed to track down a few people. I found Ray in London, Aisha in France, and there’s you and me. Everyone else...” He couldn’t finish what he was saying before his voice cracked and refused to continue what he was saying.

He sighed deeply as he sunk into me. I awkwardly patted his back; a strange feeling came over me. It’s been months since proper human contact.

“What happened to everyone else, Layton?” I had to know.

He tried to take a deep breath, but he couldn’t without choking up. “They’re dead.”

I froze on the spot. They couldn’t be dead. Not everyone. “How? What happened?” My fingers shook on Layton’s back and my voice quivered. It wasn’t true.

“Nearly all of the 30 of us were killed in France that day. Those of us that escaped were tracked down and taken out.” He unattached himself from me. “Once I’d gotten away from the fight with Ray and Aisha we all removed the trackers and ran for it. Where’d you go that day?”

I stole money and slowly got enough to get back to America.

“Not important right now.” If I told him the truth he’d freak for sure. I walked past him up the short hallway towards my living room. I heard his loud footsteps follow behind me. “What happened to everyone behind at T.P.P and the others at the north border?” Surely Russell and Blake were fine, weren’t they?

“I tried, trust me, Nadia. Everyone who was at the academy before we left are either now at north border or dead. They killed the people who were causing trouble.” Did that include Blake? Blake after all, was the one who helped us out.

I cast my eyes down. “Are Blake and Russell alright?”

He nodded.

Relief washed over me as I collapsed onto the two seated couch. Its worn and falling apart feel hit me and hurt my back almost immediately.

An awkward silence descended on us. “You wanna leave here, Nadia?” He sat himself down on the couch beside me. “Come to London with me and live with the rest of us. Everything would be fine.” The suggestion was tempting, leaving here and living with others like me, others that understood me. In the past few years I’d never found a place where I’d found myself to fit in.

“It wouldn’t work.” It would cause all my hard work to go to waste. I’d spent too long building the careful walls around me, the careful filters on my mouth just to let them go to waste. Joining them wouldn’t work for so many reasons. I wasn’t the Nadia they all once known, they wouldn’t want the new Nadia around them

Laytons face darkened. “It isn’t much of an option Nadia.” I grew confused. “Personally I’d rather not of given myself all this depression of running all around the world in search of people from the academy only to find out they’re all dead.”

My index finger twitched – something common that happened lately when I was angry. I could feel the fire ignite itself. “Then why are you here?” My voice was so quiet, it was threatening.

I stood myself up to distance myself. “There’s something going around, killing of mutants. It isn’t a person, its something internal.”

“Internal?”

“A disease, Nadia, or so we think. Only Mutants can catch it. It begins with reddening around the area where you got the injection and it’ll spread... Then a constant buzz in your head that no pain killer can treat. You’ll be sick constantly up until the very last day you have left and if you don’t die from dehydration or for some other cause, you’ll die of a heart attack, plain and simple. There’s no way to avoid it, Nadia.” He was out of breath by the time he finished, and his eyes were narrowed. It was as if he didn’t want to tell me, as if he was going to keep it hidden from me for as long as he could.

“It doesn’t explain why you’re here, Layton.” Disease or not.

Layton’s nose screwed up in a defensive way. “You think we’d leave you in the dark, Nadia? You come with us and we can try to fix it together. Working alone will get us nowhere.” He stood to his feet and approached me slowly.

His palm began to soak in water as he reached for my flame engulfed hands and killed the flame in one. “Go pack a bag. You’re coming with us.”

I couldn’t say no. The ability lacked all my life and it wasn’t any different now. I nodded dejectedly and walked away to my room.

 

 

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