Chapter 11, Part 1
The click and soft whir of the cell door opening startled Kyle from sleep. He knew it was before 7 am. The overhead lights hadn’t clicked on yet. He lay still, allowing only a snap of electricity to jump between fingers under the blankets. Whoever it was would make their intention known soon enough.
“Hey, Freak,” a voice hissed and the blunt end of a police baton jabbed his back.
“What?” he growled, forming a spark that released with an audible crack. Boots retreated a half-step.
“Amelli wants you.”
“Didn’t say. Want this to be easier or harder than last time?” The threat hung in the air as the pit began to grow in Kyle’s stomach. A flashlight flicked on and pointed at his head. The light cast strange shadows on the wall in front of his face. He could snuff them all out. It wouldn’t take much. He knew exactly how much electricity would stop a human heart. His fingers twitched spasmodically as he visualized payback for the miserable years trapped there. Poke me again. I dare you.
But the guard appeared to have learned some caution. Kyle clenched his hands into fists, relaxing and clenching in a rhythm until his heart beat slowed. He slowly sat up, momentarily blinded as the flashlight followed the movement of his head.
“Two minutes, Freak,” the guard said and stepped out. Kyle had long since given up reminding people he had a name. He grabbed his jeans and shirt and pulled them on, splashing some water on his face to finish waking up. He hesitated a moment before grabbing the battered ball cap from the table, a gift from his grandfather the last time he’d seen them. Sometimes he felt like it was the only thing holding him together. He jammed it over his vibrantly red hair and stalked out.
The hall clock read just a few minutes after 6 am as he obediently trailed after the guard. The elevator ride and the walk to the hated office doors was silent. Only a few security guards patrolled the halls and they never had anything to say either. Not to him.
Kyle pushed past the guard, shoved open the door, and sauntered in.
“Kyle,” his father greeted him in the familiar tight-lipped tone.
“Sir,” Kyle drawled back, forcing a yawn as he flopped into a deceivingly uncomfortable arm chair in front of the desk.
“I’m sure you’re aware of the girl.”
“Oh, yeah. They put her right across from me in case you thought I was blind or forgot who we picked up on that stupid trip.”
Amelli’s jaw tightened visibly. “Right now she seems unaware of what her powers are.”
Kyle knew “unaware” wasn’t the right word, but decided to hold his tongue.
“The doctors are working on it, but until then I have something I want you to do.”
“You want me to zap it out of her?” Kyle hoped with every fiber of his being his father would say no.
“No! What I need is her to open up to someone. Who better than her own kind?”
We’re both human! Kyle fought to keep from screaming. He leaned forward, elbows on knees. “Why?”
“I believe we are at war with an enemy who has yet to reveal themselves. Novum infected us and passed the disease to our descendants. When the aliens come, you will become their weapons against us. It’s important the danger is stopped before it can become real. With her on our side, we have another weapon to use against the arsenal. Get her to trust you, show her we are not the enemy so we can direct her as needed. Train her to fight. Maybe that will help spark her powers. You developed some abilities under duress, perhaps it will do the same for her.”
Kyle said nothing, wondering how much choice he’d be given in the matter. Is he ever going to stop with the alien crap? Mariah is barely sixteen. There were kids with her. I’m the oldest “descendent” and I’m not even twenty-one. They’re all just kids.
“And what happens after you win your big war? What happens to us?” he asked in a dull voice.
“She will be dealt with appropriately. I’d let you go,” Amelli’s voice softened momentarily. Kyle’s head snapped up.
“You are my son. I can make arrangements. You’d be free to live elsewhere, with proper provision of course.”
An image of a cabin by a Montana lake popped into Kyle’s head. Grandparents who’d been better parents than his dad even though he only saw them once every few years. He could go. He’d be free. All he had to do was follow orders for a little while longer. “Dealt with appropriately”, the words echoed. Killed. “You are my son.” They have parents too. Was this his chance? Frantic dreams to destroy his father’s work had always been so far out of reach, but with another freak on his side, maybe, just maybe…
Amelli’s eye brows shot up. Clearly he had anticipated a harder battle.
“If I get to leave when this is over, then I’ll do it.”
“If that’s what you want.” Like he really had a choice.
But there was only a small part of Kyle’s heart that clung to the belief that he wouldn’t meet the same fate as Mariah and the rest. He pushed himself up from the chair and left without a word.
Aww! I wanted to hug Kyle. What do you think about the deal? As always, share this with friends!