Chapter one - Marceline's POV. BOOK IN PROGRESS - NO TITLE
|Marceline was born on August 18th 2006. Her family split apart when she was three years old because her father had had an affair with another woman. When Marceline was 7, her mother and sister were burned alive in a fire. Marceline was moved to a shelter because hundreds of houses were burning. Marceline will never forget the screams of pain and terror that rang through her house that night as she escaped. |
One day, Marceline was called from her little corner of protection. The supervisor had been visited by ASTER Corp, an organization that specialized in training people they call ‘The Gifted Ones.’ They train them and teach them how to use their abilities with strength and resilience. When Marceline arrived, the first thing they did was show her her room. Then they told her the rules. It looked nothing like it was described. The walls had chipped paint, and the baseboards had black mold crusted on them.
In the middle of the headmistress' sentence, a blood-curdling scream echoed off the walls of the fragile building.. Her face went sheet white as she rushed to a nearby door. Marceline glanced through the door frame. A young male was strapped to a table, and needles on a tray were sitting nearby. Blood trickled down the boy’s arms and the paper underneath him was stained with a dark pool of red. Tears squeezed their way out of his terror filled eyes. ‘Please….Help me…’ He seemed to say.
My sister’s screams rang through my ears everyday. My mother died quickly. No noise. My sister, however, was very boisterous. I’m pretty sure her screams could be heard within miles. I had escaped with barely a few burns. How? I don’t know.
I have already completed my tasks for the day. I mastered the ability to transform the lake into shapes, as well as teleport across the school at rapid speeds without any complications. I also swept the corridors, cleaned off the lunch trays and picked up my dorm. I now wander around the halls, waiting for the inevitable to come. The screams of the other children fill the silence in the hallways.
As I approach the room, I see all the new kids clutching their sides, arms and anywhere else that hurts. One girl is crying. A tiny droplet of pity forms inside me, but instead of comforting her I decide to tell her the truth. I say, “It only gets worse.” Her blue eyes widen, fill with tears and then she starts shaking with sobs. Someone next to me glares at me and asks, “Why did you say that?” I just shrug. “Because it’s true.”
The brown door swings open, rebounding off the wall and coming to a stop at Miss Harting’s hand. “Miss Volker. Please step inside the room.” Most people would’ve started to cry or fight with Miss Harting, but I’ve been here for almost nine years. You get used to the experiments.
When I take a step into the room, I am immediately guided to a chair in the middle. I am to show that I completed my tasks, and then I submit to the experiments. If I didn’t make any progress or complete the task, I was kept in the room until I showed improvement.. There was normally a ruler, a whip, or a yardstick in the room. It's a ruler this time.
The chair is a faded gray and scrawny. I sit down and set my hands in my lap. Miss Harting starts to walk in a circle around the chair. “What have you accomplished today?” I don’t show any sense of pride, happiness or fear. “I successfully turned all the water in the lake into an archway, then I teleported around the facility without any complications. I cleaned my dorm, washed the lunch trays and swept the D corridor.” Miss Harting nods. “Nothing else?” I shake my head. You do what you’re told to do, nothing more. You seem like an overachiever and you may scare them into thinking you want to take them down. “Good girl,” When I say nothing else she smiles. “This is why you’re my favorite, you follow rules and you don’t try so hard. Good job. Now the experiment.”
A little fear creeps up my spine, but I don’t show it. I walk over to the table, and I lay onto the cold metal surface, letting the chills cover my body. Miss Harting starts to latch the straps on my arms and legs. One large strap covers my stomach. She looks me in the eyes and whispers, “I’m sorry.” I’m not sure if she truly means it.
At first, the pain is manageable. I let out no noise, but I feel my teeth gnawing on my bottom lip. I feel needles pricking my arms and veins. I see my blood in filled tubes on a tray. What happens next, however, is unbearable. It always is . She grabs a long needle and preps my right arm. I tell myself not to worry, it will be fine. But it hurts. She runs the neele into my arm, injecting a glowing blue liquid. I let out an ear-splitting scream that rattles off the walls. The chattering outside stops abruptly. This needle affects me the most, I’d heard Miss Harting talking about it with the Headmistress. They didn’t know why. I heard them say that it was supposed to be painless, that it was supposed to be a quick and easy injection to reverse any damage to our cells. I heard them say that I was unusual. I’ve heard people call me that before, but it was different coming from them. The word rolled off the Headmistress’ tongue with disgust.
I see the blue liquid coarse through my veins, as it is glowing through my skin. I stare as this unknown substance makes its way throughout my body and sinks into my blood vessels.
Finally the pain stops. I lay on the table, breathing heavily and sweating. Miss Harting walks over to me and clicks her tongue. Concern flashes through her eyes. She picks up a paper towel and then she wipes the sweat off my forehead. She can’t show any form of affection for me, but I know she cares a little. I don’t know why. Sometimes I don’t believe she truly gives a damn, but moments like this confuse me. Even though I don’t fully understand her, and she does cause me great agony, she is the closest thing I have to a friend right now.
Everyone here hates me. I’ve been here the longest, so I’ve succumbed to the methods and I am perfect. I break no rules. I let them power over me. I want them to think I will never object. So far, it's working.
As I leave the room, the other kids watch me walk away. Blood still drips down my right arm. It falls slowly onto the floor as I walk back into my dorm. I know that I am getting glares from the people who just cleaned the floors, but at this moment I do not care.
The little girl from earlier is cradling herself in a corner. That pity is back, and now it is overpowering me. I sit down next to her and she looks at me. I stare at the wall. “I know that earlier I said it only gets worse,” I say, barely above a whisper. The girl nods, encaptured by the fact I am not showing any signs of pain despite the marks left.
“I want to apologize. It wasn’t true, and I am not a liar. Sure, it was partly true, but… it is also false. Things get better. You get used to it. You follow their rules and you keep your head down. Sticking out here isn’t a good thing. They will use everything they can against you. They’re toxic and they alter your way of thinking.” The girl is now trembling. “H-how long have you been here?” She asks me. I finally look at her. I manage a small smile. “I am sixteen. I have been here since I was seven.”
The girl looks at me and stands up. I look up at her and she grabs my hand, pulling me up with her. She wraps her arms around my body and whispers to me that she’s sorry. I am frozen. I haven’t been hugged since the night my mother died. The small sign of kindness from someone I just met chips away at the rock exterior I have displayed. I hug her back and tell her thank you. “If you ever need me, my dorm number is 167. Don’t tell anyone about it, please.” She nods. “What’s your name?” I ask the girl. “I am Camilia, but you can call me Camy. How about you?” “I am Marceline. Pleasure to meet you, Cami.” I say with a smile. She smiles back at me, before realization dawns on her. "Wait... You're Marceline Volker?" I nod, "Why?" I ask after. "Everyone talks about you, they say you're mean. You don't seem mean, though." I look down. "Thanks, for saying that." She smiles at me again.
Suddenly, one of the staff members walks around the corner. He sees my smile and grabs Camy by her shirt collar. “What is going on here?!” He yells. “Nothing, sir. I was informing her of the mess she would have to clean up. She started to cry, so I smiled.” The man grins. “Marceline Volker. I knew you’d amount to great things. Please escort Miss Brookes to her chore.” With that, he drops Camy and walks off. Camy massages her neck while I rest my hand on her shoulder and guide her to my blood on the floor. “I’m sorry for making you clean this, Camy. They will know if you don’t, though.” She smiles and says, “It’s okay.” I grab a bucket and shoot water out of my palm into it. I hand her the mop and tell her I will see her later.
After that encounter, I realize that I truly hate this place. I doubt I will ever be able to not hate these people. They’ve poked and prodded me for years, left scars, and drained my blood. I have been left pale and drained on that table, passed out after they told me I'd be okay. All they are, and all they ever will be, are liars.