Chapter 19, Part 1
Mariah jerked awake from her light doze at the sound of footsteps and Kyle’s door sliding open. She was exhausted. The tension of the day before was still present and she’d only been able to doze after returning from Kyle’s room. She hadn’t even undressed.
She slid off the bed and tiptoed to the cell window, peering over into Kyle’s cell. He was standing up in the corner facing off with two guards. His eyes had returned to their normal color with only the occasional flicker of orange from the stray current that still lingered in his body. He darted a glance at her. She hoped she was wrong, but he almost looked scared.
More footsteps echoed in the corridor and she twisted to see Amelli stepping into the opposite room. She strained to hear, but the thick plastic muffled too much. The narrow holes that peppered the surface only allowed occasional words in, especially as voices rose.
“Her powers….you didn’t tell….knew…”
So far, it didn’t appear that Kyle was saying anything, just letting his eyes flare brighter if the guards stepped closer. Their wary posture stiffened every time he moved. If they’re scared of him, maybe they won’t hurt him again, she grimly thought.
“…happened….radio?” Amelli stepped close to Kyle. She heard something about consequences and Kyle met his father’s gaze.
“I don’t know!” She heard every shouted word. “You want to know? Then cut me up! Isn’t that all we’re good for is experimenting on?”
Even though five years younger, Mariah felt oddly protective of the young man. She knew the pain of losing both parents, but she’d rather them dead than have them treat her like a science freak. No matter what happened, she’d help Kyle get away. She’d make the others see that he wasn’t dangerous. They all had accepted each other and their powers. He needed that same acceptance.
She whirled around as her cell door slid open with a warning beep and Amelli entered.
“Sit,” he ordered. Two guards hovered behind him, taser guns ready and waiting. She perched on her bed as Amelli took the chair. He was even more intimidating in her cell than he was in his office. He took out a screen and held it up. It displayed a video caught in a loop of her punching through Kyle’s hand, his wide eyed expression and quick reaction.
“You can phase through solid objects.” It wasn’t a question. There didn’t seem to be much point in denying it anymore, so she dumbly nodded. “How long have you been able to do that?”
He doesn’t know? Or maybe he’s trying to trick me and he knows everything. I can at least try…
“It just kind of happened that day. He thought I missed a punch.” She shrugged, tucking her hands into her lap so no one would notice them shaking. Amelli didn’t seem like the type to be completely fooled by her innocent act like Dr. Sanderson.
“What’s your range?”
So not completely fooled.
“I can only go through little things.”
She swallowed hard and looked for the smallest thing in the room. She settled for the railing on the bed. She reached out, slowly dragging her hand through it. She knew her face showed concentration but she hoped they wouldn’t figure out it was because she was trying to make it look harder than it was.
She glanced back at Amelli who had leaned forward in interest.
“What else can you do?” he asked.
“What do you mean?”
“There are some secondary abilities that have manifested themselves over time. Have you noticed anything else?”
Yeah, I know the entire floorplan and architectural design of this place and I’ve pretty much just been stuck in your crappy basement. Not like I’m telling you that!
She shook her head.
“Interesting,” Amelli tapped the screen, no doubt entering some scientific thought about her.
I don’t know anything. Please go away?
“What happened yesterday with the radio?”
“We were just listening to music during training. Dr. Sanderson said we could have it.”
“I mean this.” He held up the screen again, and she was treated to a repeat of their shocked faces as an upbeat song blasted. She didn’t dare try and listen to Cassie’s voice that overlaid the notes.
“I don’t know,” she truthfully replied.
“What did you hear?”
“Nothing.” She shrank back as Amelli stood. A guard stabbed a taser at her and she didn’t have to pretend a short shriek of fear. “I swear, I don’t know!” She actually was telling the truth, whether they chose to believe it or not.
Amelli waved the guard off.
“Take a new blood sample for analysis,” he ordered. “I’m giving you until tomorrow to consider cooperating. I have to treat any new development as a threat, you understand? I will not allow them to use you against us.”
“Them?” Mariah was confused.
“You weren’t on Novum, so you don’t understand. Whatever they did helped to create you. You are all threats that have to be contained. Tomorrow morning you will tell us everything or you won’t like what happens next,” he warned.
Mariah remained frozen long after Amelli and all his guards were gone.
“Hey!” a muffled call drew her to the window. Kyle was waiting opposite. “You ok?” he asked. She nodded, still shaken by Amelli’s threat.
“He…he said we had until tomorrow to cooperate or we wouldn’t like what happened next. Would he really…?”
Kyle nodded. “He thinks we’re some sort of alien freaks.”
“He’s insane,” Mariah said. Kyle clearly wasn’t about to argue with her. “What do you want to do then?” she asked.
“I think you had the right idea before,” he said.
She smiled in relief. She wanted to be anywhere but there come the next morning. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow then.”
Sorry I keep teasing the escape. 😛 Next week, I promise. In the meantime, I’ve finally created a Character Files page where you can find an entire list of characters and their powers. It also includes some information about birthdays and such. You might even find some cool info that hasn’t been shared yet. 😉