- June the 21st, 3049:
"She's awake," a cool female voice echoes through my ears like a bell. The cold metal surface of the table digs into my spine, biting at my flesh and the smooth, silky cloth surrounds my naked body like a cocoon. My eyesight is engulfed into darkness and I flash my eyelids open too quickly. They projection lights are so bright that I can't see and my eyes swim. I close and open them again, adjusting to the light.
A sharp smell of antiseptic, chemicals and metal invades my nostrils. It burns my nose, but there is nothing I can do about it. I can't move. My body is limp and I don't feel my legs, my arms, my hands, nothing. It's like I am frozen in time, with only my eyes mobile. I try to scream, to shout, to say something, but nothing escapes my closed lips that are blue by now. I can only hear myself yell inside my head, where no one can reach me.
I flick my eyes to my left and I see blinding white laboratory coats. They blend in with the silver walls and the light so much that it looks like they are meshed all into one blur. The woman's russet hair is like a flaming torch on her head, vividly standing out from the fluorescent walls. Her glassy green eyes are looking at me excitedly and somewhat nonchalantly. They are shielded by half-mooned spectacles and her face is dappled in freckles like a constellation of stars.
"Well, we should get on with it," a shaky male voice says, "Or else she might retain these memories," I hear a sigh and an elderly man hobbles up to the red-haired woman. He too wears a glowing robe, but instead of glasses he has huge plastic goggles strapped at the back of his head. His eyes are full of melancholy grey and they droop down heavily from fatigue. He has soft, white hair that is almost gone from his head, except for a few patches.
"Whatever," the woman's razor voice cuts through the silence, "She'll be a useless piece of garbage anyway. She won't be able to feel, think or see the world as we do. She's already practically dead," she flicks her hand dramatically.
"What about the boy?" the old man asks, his voice quivering a little.
"What about him?" she snaps, "He's no use. He failed to Change anyway. We can just remove him after this one,"
When I turn my gaze to see who they are talking about, I notice that I am not alone. There is a young boy lying on the opposite table with an expressionless face. His hair is a sandy blonde compared to his ashen face. He has sharp, angular cheekbones that could chisel granite. The incandescent projection lights bounce off his face and I notice his chest heaving up and down, ever so slowly.
There is a slight movement at his jaw and suddenly, his eye cracks open and reveals his piercing blue gaze. He stares at me and I look back, unable to say anything or respond. He closes his eye, just as quickly as he had opened it. His thick lashes flutter like leaves from a willow tree and I see no more signs of movement. What is going on? Why has he failed to Change, whatever that is? Will I Change? Will I forget everything I have seen now?
"Evelyn, be reasonable," the man sighs, "They'll find the body and the memories aren't too hard to extract either. We have to try again, he-" but I don't get to find out what the man wanted to say, because the woman, Evelyn, cuts him off, glowering at him.
"Raymond, shut it!" she screeches with spit oozing down her chin, "I am the one in charge here and I am the one who decides which one to kill and which one to Create! We proceed! I have waited too long for this! If this works, then I will create something the world has never seen before!" she yells and grabs a nearby test tube, flinging it at the silver wall. The liquid splatters the floor and the wall above it and the glass shatters to tiny pieces, making a deafening sound.
Raymond whimpers slightly, clutching to his heart. His hoary face is wrinkled. It reminds me of cliffs that have been battered by sea waves for thousands of years.
He exhales deeply and moves out of my sight for something. I hear him rummaging and scribbling something down. Then he comes back into my vision and hands Evelyn a syringe.
She gives out a little sigh of admiration, "Oh, what a beauty!" she brings the syringe to her eye level and looks at it intently, "I would do it to myself, but my age won't support the transformation," she mutters to herself and looks away distractedly, clearing her throat.
Seconds later, I hear the clanking of her heels make way to my experiment table. Her hair is as bright as the projection lights and her green eyes are almost snake-like. I glance at the boy with the blonde hair. Why isn't he doing anything? Why won't he help me? Then I realise that maybe he can't, because he is stuck like me. I feel a lump in my throat tighten.
Evelyn looks at me and a smile grows at the corners of her mouth, "The fear in those eyes. What a pity," she drags her polished nail across my cheek. I feel anger boiling up inside of me and I want to rake her face with my hands, but I am glued like adhesive to the table, "If only it were the boy. But I guess you will do," she winks and smiles wickedly at me.
Evelyn raises the long syringe and I can see the clear serum sluggishly sloshing at the sides and it forms a meniscus with the glass. If I focus, I can almost see it glimmering like sliver.
She gathers my hair to one side, purposefully dragging the time out. I feel her long, cold fingers brush my neck and I would shiver if I wasn't frozen. My heart hammers so loudly that I expect her to hear it.
She swipes the side of my neck with an antiseptic, where the vein is and without warning, I feel the thin needle glide in gracefully. It prickles my skin, but there is no pain.
It only comes when the liquid is forced into my body by Evelyn's thumb pushing the end of the syringe. For a moment, nothing happens, but then agony hits me.
The pain shoots up my veins and I can feel it flowing to each cell inside my body, like a metal tube prodding through each vessel, crystalizing my bones. The strange part is that I can feel the liquid spreading everywhere. It is glacial and attacks every bit of area it could find, environing every vessel, artery, tissue, bone and organ.
This time I scream at the top of my lungs and now I am sure it came out of my mouth. My body thrashes spastically on the metal table, but the shackles bind me to it. I move my limbs so much that the metal of them sinks into my flesh, burning me and blood oozes out.
I can't breathe properly; my throat is airtight and my lungs are on fire. I can feel them being cremated to ash by the lack of oxygen. What are they doing to me? Is this the Change? Is this how I die?
The pain is too much. My bones feel heavy and like they are being snapped, my limbs torn apart and my insides twisted. My stomach lurches and I can feel bile up my throat.
Hot tears spill down my cheeks, burning my skin. I arch my back and my nails dig in the metal table, leaving scratch marks on it. My nails are broken from the force and I feel warm blood at the fingertips.
"She won't make it! Shut it down!" I hear Raymond shouting somewhere distant. Everything is a blur and my ears ring.
The pain stops as suddenly as it came and I seem to freeze for a moment in time, my mouth half open in mid air.
"Watch," Evelyn says darkly and her eyes twinkle in greed. Raymond stands beside her and adjusts his goggles. His bony hands shake violently and his face contorts into fear.
Suddenly, I let out an animalistic scream. My heart...it feels like it's being attached to a thread and tugged at. Then, I feel it. It's like it is being ripped out of my body and in its stead, a cold and dripping metal shape morphs to resemble it. I still feel the thumping of it, but this time is abnormally stronger, hitting off my ribcage so hard that it might leap out from my chest.
My hands and legs stop thrashing and my muscles feel heavy and numb. My breathing calms and slows to a silent hum of my chest. My thoughts are sluggish, falling like honey and making no sense. I can hear muffled voices from the corner of my ear and I want to see who it is, but my mind commands my eyelids to shut down like curtains at the end of a show. I blink ever so slowly and my mouth opens, drooling. Another blink.
"I can't believe it," Evelyn sucks in a breath and gives out a triumphant laugh, clapping her hands together, "I did it! She's Changed!"
Suddenly, I see I blur of a figure and hear some shouts. I try to focus my eyes back. I see the boy, no longer on his table, but standing behind Evelyn with a knife to her throat. She splutters and gaps for air. A trickle of blood escapes the point where the knife and the flesh are touching. Her feet clumsily sprawl across the floor, trying to keep balance.
"Let's all be calm down," I hear Raymond's voice tremble. He pushes the goggles up his forehead and his feet wobble, "Put the knife down. You won't be able to get past the guards. We can help you. No one wants to hurt you," Raymond seems sincere, but I doubt Evelyn would agree to this. I wonder if he really means it.
"Just like her?" the boy hisses and points to me, "You'll pay for everything you've done," his voice is acid-like and his face grows stone hard.
I see the flash of metal across Evelyn's neck and I close my eyes gently so I won't have to see it, because I am sure that the blood will resemble the colour of her hair. Involuntarily, I peel open my eyelids one by one. Evelyn's body is limp on the floor, drowned in her own pool of blood. Her glasses are askew on her face and the shock is preserved in her violent green eyes.
The last thing I see is the boy running through the double doors and something he shouts to me almost makes me wake up again.
"I'll come back for you, Tor!" he yells and I roll my eyes backwards, letting the claws of darkness consume me. The image of Evelyn's blood smeared on the floor engraves into my mind.
What a strange colour.