Ideas, commonly known as 'Visions', are no gift.
Visions are dangerous.
Visions are only to be used under careful government supervision as decreed by our Commander and saviour.


4. Kathryn's Anger

What a loada crap!

Kathryn’s scowl doesn’t fail.

Being led down another white corridor, the stench of sterility wrinkles Kathryn’s nose. The only noise is the sound of the three escorting guards stomping feet. No others are around except them. No sign of colour down the entire length of the hall.

She bites her lip in an attempt to keep her anger in.

Who the heck voted for this guy as Commander? Because I sure as Hell wouldn’t! What is it with adults and following idiots anyway?

The way that voice thing kept repeating "cleansed" made Kathryn feel as if she was dirty compared to them, whoever the “them” that ran this place was.

If this “them” were so perfect, why din’t they talk to us themselves then get a stupid recorded message? It’s a bloody robot! What gives it the right to dig little holes in our brain? They were the parasites mucking up this place, not me.

At the back of Kathryn’s mind dwells another thing the voice said; the fact that her Father was going to be re-tested. She’d sifted through her brain to try and recall a time he’d ever mentioned The College, but she couldn’t find any memory. And now it’s too late.

Finally, they reached the end of the corridor. Going through the door, they stop dead in his shadow.

The Commander, his collar folded upwards to his high cheekbones, stands straight before them. Kathryn’s head falls instantly without even taking a moment to think. A sudden weight pulls on her chest, just like when the guards came to their door this morning.

He’s decked in a pristine lab coat, a stethoscope around his neck and a smile printed onto his face. His teeth are sparkling white. His shoes are white like they’d never seen the outside. Everything about him was a dazzling, pure white. All except his eyes, which are almost a solid black colour.

His voice is sweet and sickly like honey, but those eyes glower down like we are fresh meat on a plate.

“There’s no need to worry, my dear.” His gloved hand lifts Kathryn’s chin up. A thin layer of sweat settles on her skin under where his hand lay.

The Commander pulls his arm back to his side, “I’ve my own trusted doctor’s on this procedure. You’ll be fine.”

“A procedure? Dad said this was a college, like school?”

“Your Father’s on the right track. We do do classes, but after the treatments, aiming to aid your reintroduction into society for your new life. This is a place for us to help you become better, but sometimes science has to get involved to help you get there quicker and with less hiccups. Isn’t that right, Doctor Anders?”

Kathryn’s eyes flick to her Father. He seems to have been staring in some sort of blank trance at the Commander, but he soon snaps out of it once he realises all those in the small corridor are staring at him.

"Yes… yes, Kathryn, just don’t worry.” Alastair can’t decide whether to look down or at his daughter as he speaks, switching between the two every second. His eyes are still red, but they’re not wet with tears.  Whenever they land on Kathryn, they’re wide, almost pleading.

A knot ties itself in her stomach. Kathryn looks back at the Commander. Anger makes the knot disappear. Kathryn goes to open her mouth again, but his smarmy smile silences any further questions she might have.  


The word won’t leave her mind.

How much had Dad heard of this before? I mean, this was his re-test. He don't actually believe all this... does he?

“We understand you’ve been up to your old tricks again, Alastair.” The Commander starts again, folding his arms.

“I left that life behind me… And I promise that Kathryn had nothing to do with that…” Alastair stammers. Each nervous crack of his knuckle makes Kathryn’s teeth gnash tighter.

“So we must assume she’s a natural like you then.”

“Can someone please tell me what’s actually going on ‘round here?” Kathryn snaps in her confusion

Two doctors come down the same corridor the Commander did, their pace quick. They stop behind him and whisper something to each other. They never take their eyes off of Kathryn.

“Why go to all this trouble ‘cause I might be using visions... Which I ain't by the way but apparently asking isn’t a thing ‘round here.” Kathryn starts to shout without realising.  

Still, the doctors mutter under their breaths.

“This is just a waste of time!”

Kathryn raises her arms into the air and smacks them back down in exasperation. She hurls her body against the guard behind her. The doctors lift a button from their lanyard and within milliseconds they press. The sounds of a million sirens wail all around and the white walls flash red.

Alastair’s knuckle cracking is swallowed by the slamming of the door behind us. The anger races from Kathryn in a beat of her pummelling heart. She freezes as the other two soldiers clamp down on her arms.

“There’s nothing to be worried about.” The attempt at kindness behind the Commander’s words catch on his gritted teeth.

As quick as they sounded, the sirens are subdued as the Commander presses the button around his own neck. He turns and glares at the doctors. Their muttering had stopped, but now their strict expressions waver in confusion. They nervously shift in their upright positions for the first time.

The guard Kathryn had knocked slightly backwards takes up his erect stance again, gloved hands so tight around her upper arms her hands start to tingle from lack of blood.

The Commander seizes Kathryn’s already numbing hand. He tries to force her forward, pulling her in his grasp up the corridor.

 "There ain’t anything you need to do!” The blood rushes so fast in Kathryn’s ears she can’t tell if her words even make a sound. She can’t help it and her feet stay nailed to the floor.

 “Honey...please…” Alastair utters under his breath, but doesn’t raise his head.      

 “We need to get out of here! This ain’t my fault!”

Kathryn feels the weight of a thousand arms locking down on her. Her lungs can’t keep up with how fast she’s trying to take in breath. Her head spins.

“They’ve got the wrong people. We’re normal! You’ve got to listen to me-”

“No, Kathryn, You listen. They… they speak the truth.”

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