Chapter One - I think I need therapy
I tap the mic in front of me, as if I was trying to get the attention of an invisible audience.
“I’ve been told to start with my name, and who I am – that sorta crap. But that’s stupid.” I chuckle to myself at the memory. “I told Zephyr that but he laughed at me. ‘It’s just a log. It doesn’t matter if it’s stupid. Just do it.’” As I mock Zephyr’s voice, it echoes back, the similarity scaring me. “So, this is a log. Explaining why I set the most important building on fire and why my city was almost destroyed in the process. I guess it all starts when I trip over a bucket.”
I strutted down the corridor that led to Zephyr’s office, hoping that I looked like the confident and snarky teenager that I was not. Stopping in front of the metal door, I pressed my hand against the panel. The new security system rarely accepted my hand print.
Access denied, came the female voice of the system.
I tried again, pressing my hand harder against the cold panel. Again, it was the same message.
Third time lucky then.
I’ve been told that I have a short temper which I disagree with. My temper is fine. “You stupid door!” I kicked the door, my boots barely scratching the metal. “Lemme in.” I hammered on the door instead. “Let! Me! In!” I blindly hit the door again and again with every word. The door slid to the left silently, opened from the other side, so that I fell, taking with me the glass beakers that the lab assistant was carrying. I heard a snicker as I stood up, brushing glass off my jeans.
I glared in the direction of the snicker. I could recognise Sykes’ stupid laugh from half a mile away and would run in the opposite direction (or towards, depending on how much I wanted to kill him). Zephyr’s ‘charming’ nephew, Sykes, worked in the design department but was often found skulking the labs.
I ignored Sykes and carried on walking towards Zephyr’s office. Too busy thinking of ways to torture Sykes, I didn’t notice the puddle of water. Well, I did notice it, after I slipped. I got up again, trying hard not to look embarrassed. Sykes was having aboard time not to laugh.
“Are you alright?” One of the lab assistants asked me.
“Yeah, thanks, um…” I glanced at the ID badge the assistant was wearing. “Lisa. Someone should mop that up.”
“The mop’s in Zephyr’s office. There’s been a leak, so be careful.” Lisa warned.
I nodded. “I’ll get it for you when I leave.” I watched my footing and thankfully, I managed to make my way to Zephyr’s office without falling.
“Rogue robot has been put under control.” I said, taking a seat in the swivel chair. Now I just had to resist the urge to spin around in the chair.
“Good. Now, Anya, do you remember that caretaker, back when you were at school?”
I nodded. How could I have forgotten? “That crazy guy? What about him?”
“Seems like he has new orders. Not to seek, but to kill.”
I leaned back in my chair. “That’s nothing new. He wanted to kill me before. He almost killed my family. That’s why I had to be relocated remember? Don’t make me move again, I like my apartment.”
Zephyr smiled. He and Sykes looked almost like brothers than nephews. They both had the same dark blond hair and amber eyes that had a hint of green. Anyone would have made the mistake of thinking them brothers. I mean, Zephyr had to be 26 at the most. (My bet’s on 22.)
“No, we’re not moving you. Actually, we want you to stay in the apartment that you’re in for a while.”
“What? I’m on house arrest?”
“For about a month. I’ll get Sykes to check up on you regularly. He’s moving into the apartment above.”
“WHAT? You must be joking.” After this month is over, I’ll need therapy. I breathed deeply to calm myself. “Is that all?” I stood up, not waiting for an answer. I made it halfway to the door, before turning around to face Zephyr. As I waked backwards, I asked, “Er, Lisa said she needs the mop and buck-” I tripped and fell, hitting my head on the floor. “Found it.”
I stared up at the ceiling. It had to be around 20 feet high.
How had I got from my home, where I had a family and friends to this place?
Perhaps it was that French lesson, years ago, with that brat, Selena.
I had been trying to ignore the annoying voice in front of me who had been talking about something trivial. It amazed me how fast Selena could speak her nonsense at such a high pitch.
I had to resist the urge to tell her that if she took part in a rat imitation contest, she’d take first prize. It was something I thought clever at the time but now it was immature. I must have said it to her as I remembered her screeching at about my rudeness and that I was acting like a bitch. I ignored her accusations and continued with the assigned work the supply teacher had given. To concentrate in that classroom had been a feat as the class was loud and I had a rat squeak, squeak, squeaking in my ear.
“Shut up, Selena.” I received a glare but Selena continued to talk. A pounding headache along with Selena’s voice made it harder and harder to keep my head down.
I mumbled a thanks to whoever had passed a dictionary. The dictionary was taken from hands just as I opened it.
“Thanks, Anya.” It was no surprise that it Selena.
I snatched the dictionary back from her. “What the hell is your problem?” I raised the dictionary out of her reach, my height an advantage even when seated. “If you want it so badly, you can have it back.” I had thrown it at her, with the little strength I had. It had smacked her in the face, blood pouring down her nose, droplets hitting her phone in her lap. Everyone stopped their conversations to stare.
Then the whispers started.
“Anya hit Selena with a dictionary.”
“Anya? Ohmigosh, I didn’t see that coming.”
“Why didya through a dictionary at her?”
At the time I thought I would be sent out of the class. Sometimes I wish I did.
Everything from that moment played in my head as though it was on fast forward. I can only make out snippets.
Someone shouted at me. Telling me I need to calm down.
I had cursed. Something in Punjabi.
And there was a noise. A noise that drowned everything and made my insides shake. As if fear could have a sound.
I think I had screamed to turn it off.
After that I was at Ambrose headquarters. I don’t remember anything from the classroom to the lab.
When I woke I wasn’t myself.
I was changed.
Simply put, I’m now a cyborg. That can kick some major ass.