I watch as you sit still in my lab, your hands and legs bound by your personalized cuffs.
One you can’t run away from.
“Astra! You can’t keep doing this. You know you can’t,” You say, choking on your own sobs. One of my androids reaches to give you water, and you accept begrudgingly. Because at this point, food and water is a favor from my end. At least, I made you think that. But you, and everyone else in this world know that teleporters are dangerous. After Trix, the world famous teleporter… Well, let’s just say that she caused more damage than prevented. And let's just say that no one ever wants another teleporter in this world again.
“And what makes you say that?” I smile creepily, the one I spent hours perfecting these last few days. People say I take after my mother, I apparently have her sweet and charming smile. But Mother never loved me. And now, she never will.
I focus on you, pushing the other mere distractions away.
You swallow a sob again. “You promised Astra. You promised,” Your voice softens as you say this.
“Kia, oh my poor dear sister. You were such a fool back then.”
“You promised!” You shout at me, spitting for emphasis. Another android immediately cleans it up. “You told me you would protect me.”
“And I did,” I retort immediately, forgetting you don’t know what I’ve been through.
“What did you do other than come to our ‘home’ every single night and examine me? Sorry, I meant experiment on me!” You yell. One of my workers glances at me, and I glare at him until he runs out quickly.
“Kia, calm down. I just wanted to fix you,” I say, not believing the wetness in my eyes. “This is not the past. I’m rich now. Tell me, Kia, why won’t you let me help you?”
“Help me with what? Money? Oh, wait I was living a perfectly good and stable life before you kidnapped me.” You annoy me. You actually think that I wouldn’t die for you. Or well… kill for you. Same difference.
“You know what I'm talking about. And you either do this willingly, or you suffer. The choice is yours.” I say and I signal my most trustworthy android to inject you with the latest formula as I walk out of the lab. “Take Kia to the grandest guest room. Reply as soon as she asks. Give her anything she wants. Do you understand?” I tell my robot servants.
They all reply, “Yes, mistress.”
I let go of my posture as soon as the doors to my office close. Why can’t you see? I am not the villain here. Your powers are.
That was the reason Mother never loved us. That was the reason Mother left us when I was only sixteen, and you were thirteen. Mother wouldn’t even acknowledge our presence. She used to, you know. She used to take me camping in upstate New York, where we would stay there for days, and return before Father ever noticed, not that he would mind. Father would go away on business trips, and leave for weeks at a time.
But then, you came along. You were the reason Mother left. I knew she was depressed. I would tell her stay, I would tell her that things would get worse with you before they got better. But then they didn’t get better. So Mother left.
You were the reason the farmers’ market wouldn’t let me buy anything. They’d be too scared that they’d get the ‘plague’ from you. I would go hungry for days to make sure you got fed.
I just don’t want you to suffer again. That’s why I made the promise. That’s why I told you I would never ever hurt you, even if the whole world hated me for it. “Why won’t you understand?” I whisper to myself.
Someone knocks on my door, and I immediately sit up straight. “Come in!” I call out.
“Mistress, our subject is getting restless. It wanted to see you.” I flinch, something my android detects. “What’s wrong, Mistress?”
“Don’t call her that. Her name is Kia. She is a human being,” I take a short, quick breath through my teeth. You’re going to ruin all test subjects for me. I remember Father's advice, Don't acknowledge your test subjects. They are “it’s”, not a he or she. The second you change that, you’ll start caring. You’ll start sympathizing. You’re not allowed to do that. Understand?
He told me when I was eleven. I was in charge of picking out the perfect subjects by thirteen. Never once did I think that I wanted a life like your’s. You were the perfect child. You were the one who was popular. You were the one who ignored what Father and I did to make money. Well, until you didn’t. Until they found out.
“Mistress?” I jolt back into the present with my assistant’s voice.
“Yes, PA?” I face the little robot.
“She broke out of her room. She’s coming here right-” A crash interrupts it, followed by very loud footsteps.
“Shrink. PA, shrink!” I shout. The robot shrinks seconds before you come bursting into my room.
“Get me out.” You hold up your handcuffed hands. “Why?” It sounds like you’re asking why I handcuffed you, but it’s not that.
I act innocent anyway, “Why what?”
“Whatever, get me out of these.” You stare at the office walls, which are adorned with paintings and a beautiful diamond chandelier.
I stay still for a second, and then remember that I designed this building for you. So, you can’t get out. “Of course. Release,” I demand from the cuffs.
“No password.” I allow myself a small smile for that. The cuffs clink as they fall to the floor with a thud.
You frown at the weird password for a second, like the old times. In seconds you regain your posture and close your eyes.
Finally. I tap my glasses twice, and it starts recording. You stand there, and you… glitch. There’s no other way of describing it.
The particles in your body shift once, and correct themselves. I whisper to my glasses, “Replay.”
It replays in the tiny screens, and my mouth drops a tiny bit. I close it and meet your eyes.
“Why can’t I get out?” You act like you have power. You act like you're not the fragile sister that I remember from years ago anymore. Moreover, you act like you’re not embarrassed of having these powers.
“Listan, Kia. This is a cold harsh world. A world where teleporters… Well, they’re not allowed here, hon.” I plaster a sympathetic smile on my face, and stop myself for wondering if it’s fake. Or it’s real.
“Astra. Please…” You trail off and suddenly start laughing. I stop myself from frowning, and whisper to one of my androids.
“Escort her into her room please. PA, expand please.” A robot takes you away, but I can hear you shouting while dragged down the hall.
“You were a Capricorn! Mother always said, Capricorns are dangerous. Most likely to betray you, most likely to kill you in your sle-” You voice fades. I massage my temples. You know nothing about Mother. You never will. After all, you're the one who ruined her.
“PA, inject test #349 into our latest subject.” I walk away, keeping the anger out of the order.
“She would resist, Mistress. Kia has a short temper,” PA informs me, following me into the lab.
“Not she. Not Kia. It.”