The Infinity Project

Waking up in a hospital, being spoon-fed lies be her mysterious captors, being stuck with a group of teenagers, with no memories of her life before, but flickering remnants of a car crash. Things aren't looking good for Kira. On top of that she has to deal with sudden powers, and a mysterious dark force that has taken hold of her.
With betrayal looming at every corner, can Kira save herself and her friends, or die trying?

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9. Chapter 9

Chapter 9

 

Everything is suddenly knocked off course. The world split open and rearranged. Everything I thought I'd known I question. 

Tiffany is back. She strides into the cafeteria, as if nothing’s wrong. As if everything is the same as it was a week ago, the same as when she was still alive.

But she is alive. She plops down at the table, her movements languid and easy, and stares into our shocked faces. 

“Hey guys!” She chirps, cheerful as usual. She is met by stunned silence. No one knows what to say. The look on Mia's face is one of hope and joy and love, one that makes my heart do this funny dancing thing as I look from her to Tiffany. 

“Hey…” David says tentatively. For the first time I've ever seen, his voice is cautious, face full of apprehension. 

“I had the strangest dream!” She pronounces, and we all lean in closer, anxious to see what she was going to say. 

But she leaves at that and starts eating, and we all follow suit. Digging into our plates of food, a mushy stew-like slop that I still could not place. It wasn't any food I'd ever eaten, at least before I arrived here. It's always been the same at every meal, greyish-beige, chunky, except for the occasional time it's come out smooth.

Same as every other day. The same meal I've eaten every— I stop the thought there, aware of the annoyance and anger that's taken control of my facial expressions. I force myself to come down, not wanting to stay so riled up, in fear someone will ask me what's wrong, and I'd have to speak with them. Explain to the. It was something small. They'd laugh, and if again be the subject of mockery.

As I gently ponder why there's no diversity in our meals, I become aware of something odd. New. Different.

The flavour is different, changed, as it actually has a flavour. A sharp taint that make my lips tingle. A chemical, almost metallic taste. I realize in an instead that it's laced with something. Some drug, chemical. 

I eat in nonetheless, because I'm starving and if I didn't it would raise suspicion. They might guess that I'm on to them, and realize I'm not the puppet Dr. Saleron thinks I am. 

So I choke down the tainted meal, trying not to think of what the consequences might be. 

“So… how are you feeling?” I ask Tiffany, trying to nonchalant, just a casual question. I fail as she raises her eyebrows at me, a strange look crossing her face. 

“I've been feeling strange lately, to be honest. Distant. My mind foggy. But I feel fine now.” She answers, voice quaking. She looks at me strange, and I can't seem to decode the message behind the expression twisting her face. “Why do you ask?”

I shrug, ignoring the hint of malice, discontent in her voice. I know what everyone's thinking. The questions they are trying to find the words to ask. But we fall silent. Say nothing. It kills me, but I go along with it, not saying the words on the tip of my tongue, begging to slip out. 

But I swallow them, hold them back. If I thought about it any longer, I'd have done something the others would have made me regret. And regret it I would've. 

Instead I finish my meal in silence, and pretend like nothing's wrong. Like a friend wasn't just back from the dead, with whatever twisted formula Dr. Saleron chose to use on her. I don't even try to bring myself to imagine, don't want to. Can't. 

In training, we do one against all. Tiffany is first to go up by herself. I immediately take a defensive stance, the others glancing at me, their looks saying we'll work with you, for now. Then they too take up the stance, and await Tiffany’s move. Only it doesn't come. We just stand, waiting. 

I grow bored and flash to behind her, ramming my shoulder into her spine and forcing her forward. She yelps, and that's all the encouragement that's needed to launch things into motion. 

I try to ignore Dr. Saleron's approving look, as well as Wind’s scathing one. 

Tiffany is soon losing, unable to hold us off any longer. She does surprisingly well for someone who's not had combat training before. 

As a last resort her skin ripples, and suddenly she looks exactly like David. The real David lets out a screech and dives at her, and they tangle together for a moment. 

Then they break apart, both panting. And I'm unable to tell them apart. I realize with a jolt that her plan was to confuse us, so we didn't know who to attack. 

My mind reels, looking for a solution. Suddenly Mia’s vanished, reappearing with her mouth pressed to David’s. The only question is, which David? 

With a muffled gasp the figure ripples, revealing Tiffany. Mia pulls away, blushing furiously. Though she gazes at her with mischief in her eyes, and I realize she knew who was who all along. That she wanted the excuse. 

To my surprise, Tiffany smiles. She gazes down at Mia, much taller than the petite girl. 

“Did you know it was me?” She whispers, her voice hoarse and faint, laced with pleasure.

“Maybe,” Mia whispers, voice equally low.

“Are you glad it was me?” Tiffany asks, eyes glazing over with an emotion I just can't place.”

“Definitely.” Mia’s eyes are filled with the same emotion. The same burning desire, want, need. Was it love? Lust? Both are foreign to me.  

“I'm glad it was you.” Tiffany murmurs. 

We all stand awkwardly, staring at the two with love in their eyes. It's Dr. Saleron clearing her throats that get them to tear their gazes away from each other and brings the rest of us back to the present.

“This is a battle. Not a make-out session… so fight.” She commands, and I launch at Tiffany, dropping her and winning in a matter of seconds. Everyone else just stands and stares, breathless, wordless at what I'd done. For me, in these mock battles, it's never any contest. No struggle. It's easy. Too easy.

Everyone stares. They knew I was good, but they didn't know the full extent of it. 

I didn't either. I still don't know. It's unexplored territory, one I don't dare to venture into. But I want to find our. Have to find out. It's a feeling that's driving me mad, curiosity warring with apprehension. 

But I have a feeling that I will be finding out fairly soon. No more delays. No more failures. I'm getting us all out here tonight, burning this place down in my wake. 

|||

Why do things keep going wrong? One fault in my plan filtered in. I still don't know I can teleport with someone. Do I even want to? Part of me wants to leave alone, burn this place down with me ‘friends’ still in it. I've seen the way they look at me.

I'm in bed, my thoughts wandering. The day’s over, and I couldn't be more grateful. I'm in bed, tied down. Drugged. My thoughts refuse to quite down, they are a merciless roar.

They wouldn't save me. Why should I save them? They would likely leave me here, to die in Dr. Saleron's grasp. But there's still something inside, a flicker of hope and kindness. 

Then I hear it. A whisper in my mind. A sloppy shout, they forgot to keep it harder from me. 

Come on guys! Wind’s voice. His voice, one I used to cherish. Before it carried hate to me.

Hurry! David. His voice urgent. So urgent. I begin to speculate what could be going on, and I can't bear it.

I feel bad for leaving her. Mia's hoarse call. It clicks in my mind, if I had any sliver of doubt before. They're escaping. Without me. When it was me idea to escape all along.

They're betraying me. Leaving me. Rage boils in my blood, becoming a roar in my ears. So much I almost don't hear what comes next. 

She's Dr. Saleron's personal slave. We can't trust her. 

Wind. I hear the rage in his voice, her the rage rushing through my own being, hear my heart shattering. Would they make it out? Tears wet my cheeks. Hot, fat tears of anger. It rips through me, destroying what little humanity I had left. 

That small scrap I clung to is submerged, dragged down in a sea of vile Blackness, and suddenly I'm drowning. I'm drowning, but I'm swimming just beneath the surface. I hover there, waiting to break through the Blackness’ rough surface.

But I keep going under, I keep being dragged down farther, within my own being. I feel so much at once, I can't breath. All the air is forced out of my lungs. Wrath. Loathing. Fear. Regret. 

All swirling around and fusing into something different, something nameless. Something that will bring with it horrible things, a wind blowing disaster down fro, a foreign country.

Maybe I am just Dr. Saleron's pet, as I let the Blackness roll over me fully. Completely. I give in to it. I let it. I want it. I beg for it. I hear them in my mind again, but there words don't hit me until later. I can't hear them.

Shadows pool around me, flooding my nose, my mouth, filling my ears, their oily film sliding over my eyes and blinding me. I'm pushed down, the darkness, the Blackness, fusing with my very being. 

It is not part of me. It is not another me. It is me. I'm drowning in it, and I don't care. It's fulfilling me. They hate me anyways, and the Blackness teaches me to hate them in return. 

Until my body is hollow, a shell filled with darkness, rage and hate. Until I'm nothing but a vessel for the Blackness, for the soul-crushing, soulless rage. 

But it's late, and exhaustion is an even heavier weight than the Blackness. I tumble into sleep, plagued by nightmares. Fantasies, really. Speculations. But I call them nightmares, because they are terrible, terrible dreams.

The others make it out. I'm tortured for it, Dr. Saleron thinking I had saved them. At one point, I would of, funny how fast things change. Betray me, I destroy you. Then they don't, and I'm forced to feel the weight of their hate. Every day, for the rest of my life, if you could call this living. 

I wouldn't. But in my sleepy haze, I'll believe anything. At one point, I dream of making it out, of having people there waiting for me, welcoming me into their grasp, holding me while I cry the day away. 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, and part of me is strangely glad of that.

Then I remember what the others said, during my time drowning, and I'm vaulted back to the surface, their mentally whispered words echoing in my aching ears. 

They're coming! Tiffany, in warning.

Run! Mia, fear lacing her meek voice.

It's Dr. Saleron. I'd say it was Kira. She turned us in! David, staring what he thinks are the facts.

I knew we should've been more careful! Tiffany again, loud and angry. So unlike the girl I'd known, flirtatious and unable to take anything serious. 

I thought you'd said we had safely excluded our conversation from her? Mia. Her words cause me already broken heart to fracture.

I wish. I wish I could wash her memory from my mind. Wind. His voice raw, filled with anguish and disgust. 

This causes my broken, beaten, scarred heart to flicker like a candle flame against a sigh, then gutted out, the ember it was fading into charcoal. Black and crumbling. 

I'm broken, and they've broken me. The words they didn't think, didn't know, didn't want me to hear. The words that are raw and true. A painful truth. The weapon of my demise.

As anger crawls through me, I feel the Blackness like it's a part of me. It's fuelling my rage. Fuelling me.

A menace-filled smile creeps across my face, pulling my chapped lips taught. 

I now know with blazing certainty what tomorrow will hold, and that's blood. Blood of people who used to be my friends. Blood of the people who ripped those friends from me.

 

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