It had to have been at least 50 years since it happened. 50 years since I sold my soul to the devil (metaphorically of course). When the bounty was announced I did what I thought would keep me safe. Even if it meant leaving everything I knew behind. But then again, life as I knew it was uprooted the moment I was born so it makes no difference.
So now I was in stasis, frozen in time until the water cleared over. But my chances of waking up and seeing the world were slim to zero. Even though I was technically unconscious, I could still faintly hear the things that were going around me. It was like being in a coma. I could hear the scientists entering and leaving the facility. I could hear them going over the local news.
I could even hear the door being broken down as the facility was raided. The shouts of the police officers. The cries of the scientists. The clicks of the handcuffs. The frantic typing to keep the system running. I heard the officers as they spoke, deciding to close the underground facility and let us rot. As if there were no way for us to wake up again. I heard it all.
I knew why the bounty was passed. Why so many lives were uprooted. They were scared. They wanted to exterminate the problem. Like that thing, we read about in school some time ago. What was it? Ah, the Holocaust. They wanted to get rid of us, but I knew deep down something would stop that from happening…
Hi. My name’s Jaylin, I’m 12 years old, and I live at my school. I’d also like to say I make pretty good decisions. Besides that one time a few weeks ago when I decided to eat lunch outside and ended up getting my food stolen by some kids and a bunch of bug bites. But besides that, I make pretty good decisions. But sometimes I’m not exactly sure how far my decision-making skills go. The best example I can think of is a few days ago when I decided to do a bit of...exploring.
It all started while in 5th-period History class. Ms. Caplin was giving her lesson. Something like “A Brief History of Disaster Children”. Truth be told I don’t really know why she teaches about this stuff. Just because we so happen to be Disaster Children means we care about our history. I mean I know most kids don’t. But that is beside the point. She was going on and on about how 15 years ago kids were born and causing chaos with some abilities or whatever. Scientists were worried, research research, thought of a pattern that may be the kids were born between 8 and 9 am. The theory worked for a bit and was proved wrong. A whole bunch of mess.
I yawned. Staying up all night studying had been helpful for the test, but I’d been tired all day. I rested my head on my desk but still tuned in to the lesson. That’s when I heard Luke talking with Luna next to me.
“You wanna know some actual interesting history I heard?” Luke whispered to her.
“Uh-huh? Watcha got?” she whispered back.
“So I heard that this school is built on some kind of underground lab. I heard they used it for human experiments” he said.
Luna gasped, “Really?! That’s funny cuz I heard the same thing. Something about dangerous criminals being kept there? I heard some people are still living there!”
“Hey. How do you know those aren’t just stories?” I interjected, getting a bit fed up with their loud whispering.
“Because there’s proof. Several students here have said things about strange noises coming from downstairs. No one’s brave enough to check it out though so we can’t really prove it’s real” Luke explained.
“I’m positive it’s probably just some rats or something. And I can probably prove it” I said sternly, not regarding what I was saying.
“Fine then, if you’re so sure maybe you should prove it” Luna challenged.
“Gladly” I replied. And this was bad decision number one.
School was over, my homework was finished, and I’d watched my daily 2 episodes of anime. I was just procrastinating on going down to the school basement. I mean, there was nothing down there right? So why was I so scared? I sighed and got up from my seat as I pushed my doubts aside. Before I went to the basement entrance though, I decided to go to the Janitor’s closet and grab a flashlight.
Finally, I was standing in front of a rusty metal door. The top of it read “Entrance”. I inhaled, why was I going into a dark basement to prove two ignorant kids wrong again? Today was definitely not a good day for me and my decision-making skills. But I talked myself out of it and opened the door. That was bad decision number two.
I gripped my flashlight and made my way cautiously down the stairs. They were jagged and creaky as if they could break at any moment or pierce right through your shoes. Almost like something out of a horror movie.
There as a click. Like a door being opened. And footsteps. Footsteps were making a descending sound. Someone was coming down here!? After all this time?!
I kept walking down the steps, shining my flashlight around the walls. Runny pipes were going along the walls along with some graffiti. If you could even call it graffiti it was more like random words in red. I could faintly make out something written in a corner that said something like “Aerin was here <3”. People who might’ve been here before?
The footsteps were getting cl0ser and closer. I wished I could open my eyes, or feel, or move around, or talk, or do something. But all I could do was listen. Whoever it was was coming closer, I could even hear them mumbling to themselves faintly.
Finally, I reached the bottom of the stairs. I gulped because I knew stuff was probably going to get real very soon. But I silently reminded myself that there was nothing to be scared of. I stepped into the room at the bottom of the stairs and looked around. To be honest it looked like something out of a sci-fi movie. Computers and big screens and these giant test tubes. Luke was sort of right. This place was certainly some kind of lab. I turned and gasped as I came face-to-face with this large tube/chamber thing.
I heard a gasp. Whoever this person is, they were close. Then I heard them speak. The voice was small, shaky, and feminine. Actually, the person didn’t sound any younger than me. Maybe around 11 or so. What were they doing here?
There was a person inside of the tube. Maybe Luna was right. Maybe this place was experimenting on humans. My breathing got faster and my heart was racing. Luna and Luke were right! But then that begs the question, how did they learn about this? Who told them? And most importantly...who was this girl in the test tube?!
There was a panel next to the tube. I decided to take a closer look. Lots of buttons and numbers and charts and stuff, but the thing that caught my attention was a red button at the top-right. The button only said one thing “Awaken”. I was curious. I really was. And while every inch of my brain was telling me to leave and admit defeat, something inside of me said to screw it and press the button.
“Should I do it?” I heard the person ask. “Screw it I’m gonna do it?” Do what? I asked panicked even though I knew she couldn’t hear me. Whatever she was going to do I wasn’t ready. Ready to die, or wake up, or be experimented on or anything. I suddenly didn’t care about the fact that I couldn’t talk, or see, or feel, or move. Ugh, why did my cowardice have to show up now of all times?
I took a deep breath, walked over to the panel, and pushed the button. And you know what? I’m still not sure what kind of decision that was.