Third part of Dead End! Enjoy! You might want to re-read the first part, I added stuff.
“Wait, what?” I exclaim. “No, I’ve only done one mission.”
The Red shrugs, and walks out. I’m in the office I share with my friends, Luke, Celeste, and Iris. Apparently the Grim wants to see me. It’s way too early. I’ve only been here a week.
This place is kind of like a school, which is pretty annoying. We have one class each day, but since most of them depend on which color you’re in, they’ve had me follow Luke around all day. I haven’t met many other Reapers, but Celeste says that’s normal. Unless I’m in the same color or team as them, I won’t see them much, so people are probably waiting for me to find out which color I’m in.
I turn to my friends.
“I thought you said I had to do five missions before I’d have to see him!”
Luke shrugs, pushing his brown hair out of his silver eyes. “He does what he wants. You’d better go see what he wants.”
“Fine.” I sigh, going to the door. “I hope I don’t get fired. Wait, can I get fired?”
“You can’t get fired, but you can get sent to the Glean. Or you can quit.” Iris says.
I freeze. “Wait, they can do that? I thought we weren’t supposed to go near them.”
“Well, we aren’t, but the Grim can. But don’t worry, that rarely happens.” She assures me.
I walk out, and I make it down the hallway before realizing I’ve got no clue where I’m going. All of the hallways here look the exact same. They need a map or something.
“Hey, are you lost?” Someone behind me asks.
I turn around and nod. “Yeah, can you help me find the Grim’s office?”
“Sure!” He says. “I’m going there too. I’m Chase.”
“Ari.” I say.
His eyes light up. “The new Yellow, right?”
“Well, I don’t know yet. I think that might be why the Grim called me.”
He raises an eyebrow. “The Grim called you? He doesn’t usually do that.” He mutters something else I can’t hear.
“Nothing. C’mon, the office is this way.”
I follow him down the hall, and get a better look at him. He has black hair that hangs in his eyes, tan skin, and a spray of freckles across his nose. He’s lean and tall, and wearing a plain white t-shirt under a brown jacket, and jeans. The white must mean he’s not in a color yet, but he seems to know his way around.
We stop in front of a big door. There are guards in black cloaks and hoods standing there, swords crossed over the door.
“Here it is.” He says. “We’ll probably have to wait-”
The door opens, swinging in. Nobodies there, but suddenly a man, not the Grim, appears in the doorway. He has curly brown hair and light skin. Did he teleport?
“Let them in, please.” He says to the guards. They move aside, and he beckons us inside. We’re in a long, dark, curving hallway.
“The Grim will be here soon, he’s in a meeting now. I’m his assistant, Micheal. Would you like some hot chocolate?” He says.
Chase and I both nod, and follow him down the narrow hall. It’s lit with torches, which seem way too close to us. Micheal stops suddenly, and presses his hand against a brick on the wall. It glows green, and the wall bursts into flames. My eyes widen.
“Come on, it’s perfectly safe.” He says, stepping through. Chase doesn’t hesitate, and follows him. It looks and sounds real. But...they’re fine, so I guess it’s safe. After a second, I go too.
“How..?” I wonder, squinting at the wall, which solidifies.
“It’s an illusion.” Chase says. “A Yellow made it for him.”
I tap the wall to see if it’s fake, but it’s completely solid. “Cool.”
I turn to get a good look at the office. It’s dark, but huge, with a big window on one side, looking out at one side of the castle. A messy big desk is in front of it, on a platform. There are steps leading up to it, with random things laying around. There are several doors with heavy locks. There are two chairs in front of the platform, which have cloaks lying on them. An empty coffee table sits between them. Most of the room is messy, actually.
Micheal sighs. “I’m sorry, he’s been a bit busy lately.”
He claps, and most of the mess disappears.
I frown. “Which color are you?”
“Orange.” He replies. He snaps, and a tray appears in his hand with two steaming mugs. “Hot chocolate?”
I take one, but frown. “Do you have all three powers?”
“Yes, the Grim likes to keep the most powerful near him.” He says. “Please, have a seat.”
Chase mutters something, and Micheal gives him a look before walking up the steps to the desk. He digs through a drawer, and pulls out a small clear sphere. He puts it down on the desk, and a hologram of the Grim appears. Chase scowls.
“Yes, Micheal?” The hologram says.
“The new Reaper is here. And Chase.”
The Grim’s scowl matches Chase’s. “I’ll be there soon.”
The hologram disappears. Chase sighs. I look at him curiously.
“You don’t like the Grim?” I ask him.
“Hate is a better word.” He mutters.
Hate? “What did he do to you?”
“It’s nothing, really.” He says. It’s not convincing at all, but he clearly wants to drop it. He takes a long drink of hot chocolate, then puts it on the table before asking, “What color do you think he’ll put you in?”
“I don’t know. How does it work?” I ask.
He tugs on the ends of his jacket. “It’s a test. You can’t prepare for it, if that’s what you’re wondering. It’s different for everyone.”
“What was it for you?” I ask.
He doesn’t say anything for a moment. But he’s about to, when one of the doors open, and the Grim walks through.
He’s a lot less impressive up close. He looks tired, and ready to collapse. For some reason he’s soaked, and his long gray cloak sticks to his side. He pulls it off, and drops it on the desk, but slides to the ground. He leaves it.
He sinks into the chair, then turns to Micheal, who is setting down a steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of him.
“The Glean is getting more annoying.” He says, rubbing his temples. “He doesn’t believe that there aren’t anymore, and I told her I would speed up the tests, but-”
Micheal coughs, and nods towards me. The Grim’s eyes flick up, and he sighs.
“Come up here, Ani.” He says. I decide not to correct him. He turns to Micheal again. “Go get Damien.”
Micheal walks out of the room. I stand, and walk up the steps to his desk, glancing at Chase as I go. He’s sitting in the chair, scribbling on his arm with a pen.
“Yes?” I say, stopping in front of his desk.
“You’ll be taking the test to see which color you’re in today.” He tells me.
I nod. “Okay, but I thought I had to do five missions?”
“You did, but I need to speed up the tests. You’re one of the only ones that haven’t been tested yet. Ah, good, you’re here.”
I turn to see a very big man in yellow behind me. He’s got scary strong muscles, and an intimidating look on his face. But then he smiles.
“Hi, I’m Damien.” He says. He glances at the Grim. “He’s taking the test, right?”
He nods. “Yes.”
Damien looks back at me. “Ready?”
“Uh, I don’t know what to do.” I say nervously.
“Don’t worry, it’s easy. I’m going to send a hallucination into your head, and see how you react. When it’s finished, this,” He taps a small metal cube in his hand. “Will tell us which color you should be in, and which powers you have.”
I nod. “Okay.”
“You can’t get out of the chair. And make sure you keep calm.”
Chair? Calm? “Okay…”
I try not to notice that there are three people watching me as he rests a finger on my forehead, closing his eyes. Everything spins, then goes black.
I open my eyes. I’m in an uncomfortable folding chair, in front of a table. The table is covered with different pieces of different things. It looks like it all builds something.
I look around the room. The walls are plain white, and there aren’t any doors, or anything. I guess I’m supposed to make something?
I reach over, looking through the pieces. I start putting stuff together. I’m not really sure what I’m making, I just seem to know what to do.
I stop for a second when I realize I’m making an arm length dagger. It looks pretty weird, since there are pieces pushed together randomly, but it’s definitely a dagger. I guess this is the test.
I keep putting it together, until there’s nothing left on the table. The tip of the dagger is sharp, probably sharp enough to cut skin.
I look back at the table, and I’m surprised to see a big glowing red button that says DO NOT PUSH.
I kind of want to push it. Instead, I tap the side, and I’m surprised when it twists a little. I twist it all the way around. The table jerks up, so the bottom of it is in front of me. It looks like a door.
I can reach the doorknob without getting up, so I pull the door open. It’s dark. The room is suddenly filled with screams of terror. I can’t see in the room, I’d have to get up for that.
“Ari! Help!” Celeste?
I jump up, and sprint into the room, not caring about the warning. As soon as soon as I step through the door, it swings shut, and lights flash on. I slap a hand over my mouth. Celeste, Luke, and Iris are tied up on the ground on the other side of the room, and someone in a long white cloak stands there, aiming a gun at them. The dagger is still in my hand, but I don’t want to throw it, since it’s the only weapon I have. I clutch it to my chest, staggering away.
“Pick one.” The person with the gun hisses.
I blink. “What?”
“What? No, I can’t-don’t-can’t you shoot me instead? Leave them alone!”
They turn the gun to me. “Shoot you instead? Okay.”
My eyes widen as they shoot. But they crumble to the ground instead of me. I realize the gun hit the dagger, and shot back at them.
I run to my friends, but they seem to be getting farther and farther away, until I can’t see them anymore.
Suddenly, the room tilts, and I’m falling. I try to hold on to something, but there isn’t anything. My arm scrapes against the wall, making a long cut. I need to stop falling.
I stab the dagger into the wall, and it stays. I’m on the side of a castle, and there’s a big window above me. If I can get onto the ledge, I might be able to get inside.
I hold onto the dagger with one hand, trying to pull myself up. My fingers are slipping, but I reach up with my other hand to grab it. I grit my teeth as I pull myself onto the ledge. It’s not very wide, but I’m able to sit on it for a second to catch my breath. My arm is bleeding from the cut. I look inside the window. It’s the Grim’s office.
He’s sitting in his chair. I’m standing in front of the desk, with Damien’s finger on my forehead. Chase is leaning forward in his chair, watching. Micheal is sitting on the arm of the other chair. Everyone is frozen.
I bang on the window, but nothing happens. I reach to pull the dagger out of the wall, and after a couple of tugs, it comes free. I smash it into the glass, wincing as I tumble inside, ending up behind the Grim’s chair.
I tap his shoulder, but nothing happens. I walk over to Damien, and Micheal, and Chase, but nothing happens. When I tap my own shoulder, my eyes fly open, and I gasp.
Damien moves his finger away from me, and looks at the metal cube, frowning.
I stumble back. The window is perfectly fine. The dagger is gone. The cut is gone. None of that was real.
Hands are suddenly on my shoulders. Chase. “You okay?”
“Yeah, I think so.” I mumble.
“What does it say?” The Grim asks Damien.
“Well, he could be in Red. He made a lot of smart choices, and that would explain why he has telepathy and cyberkinesis. But he could also be Yellow, for sacrificing himself. Which would explain the empathy, hallucikinesis, and healing. However, he could also be in Black, since he made rebellious choices. Which explains the invisibility, telekinesis, force fields and super strength. But he could be in Orange, too. He kept calm the whole time, even when he was facing death. And that would explain the teleportation, conjuration, and shapeshifting.”
The Grim purses his lips. “Thank you, Damien. You’re dismissed.”
I’m glad Chase is still holding onto my shoulders, because I feel like I’m going to fall over. “W-what does that mean?”
“That means you’re a...special case.”
They’re saying something, but I’m not listening. What’s a “special case?” Is that a bad thing? Why do I have twelve powers? What’s wrong with me?
“You guys are freaking him out.” I hear Chase say.
I open my eyes. When did I close them? Micheal is still sitting on the arm of the chair, and the Grim is smiling at me. He has a creepy smile.
“Thank you.” He tells me.
I lean back into Chase, still trying to figure out what’s happening. “For what?”
“I’ve been trying to find another special case for years. The Glean will be pleased to have another student.”