2. Brainwashed




A weak, exasperated groan escapes my lips as my chest heaves and I come to consciousness. I let my eyes blink open slowly, my vision incredibly blurry before everything around me starts to come into focus. As anyone would, I wonder why I'm here, lying on the cold, hard concrete of an alley.

I reach for something to pull myself up with and the first thing my hand comes in contact with is a trash bin. I struggle to wobbling feet, leaning heavily on the trash bin to keep myself as stable as possible. I let my head spin for a moment before I feel that I have enough strength to start walking. My feet begin to take simple, slow steps as I ease into a limp. I'm walking like a zombie, dragging one foot in front of the other as I nervously make my way out of the dark alley and toward whatever waits ahead. 

My jaw drops and I feel my legs give out from underneath me. I collapse to wobbly knees. I must have amnesia, because I have can't remember anything that now surrounds me. I fear that if I try to stand again the fog will swallow me up. The scene before my eyes is breathtakingly terrifying. 

I can't see much through this mist, but what I do see sends shudders down my spine. It's as if an atomic bomb was dropped on this town, or at least I think it used to be a town. Tree limbs and bricks are dispersed across the ground while there is barely anything left of the trees and buildings they came from. 

I open my mouth once more and take a breath, but the oxygen feels like glass against my lungs. Cringing, I clamber back to my tottering legs and decide to try to explore. I have a weird voice in the back of my pounding head that tells me to try to find others. As I'm walking past a piece of shattered glass my reflection stares back at me. 

My appearance startles me at first. I have a huge bloody bruise on the side of my head that I can see by gently brushing back some of my amber hair. I wince as I touch it, just feeling the wound makes me feel nauseous. "This must be why I can't remember anything." I tell myself, though I jump back at my own voice. It sounds foreign and shaky. 

That's when another voice replies, "Maybe you should get that checked." It's a feminine voice, yet it gives me slight chills at how smooth yet cold it sounds. I jerk around unsteadily to see a tall, blonde girl standing behind me. She's wearing torn shorts and a ripped shirt, though her hair is surprisingly smooth and she appears to be well groomed. 

"Is there a hospital nearby?" I realize how stupid the question is too late and she takes advantage, immediately giggling and gesturing around her as she slyly replies, "Does it look like there would be any kind of hospital in this wreckage." She puts a hand on my shoulder and I gasp at how cold her skin is against mine. "I'm Kamikaze, and you are?" I just freeze and stare at her dumbly. There's no way I can fish a name out of my scattered mind.


Giving me a blank stare isn't going to help the situation, but I decide to forget about it. "Nevermind, let's fix you up." The boy gives me a strange look as I grab his hand and start leading him through the flotsam. After letting him lean on my shoulder through the dust, as he is in bad condition, I help him through the door of a crumbling shack, not much bigger than a one room apartment. "Welcome to the Safety Shack." I greet him, as do the other two in the room.



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