Entry Log #4
Est. October 20, 2301
The number three has long been seen as a magic number. Much like its counterpart, the number four, it's used frequently in legends, stemming from almost every culture; biblical stories, and any popular fairy tale you could imagine. But I can honestly say that whatever world I was in, it certainly wasn't a fairy tale.
There were three of them. Men, all men. It suddenly occurred to me that I had yet to see any women. But that thought quickly passed from my mind as I stood before all three of these burly, extremely intimidating men. And when I say intimidating, I mean intimidating, daunting, awe-inspiring, in an evil, maniacal sort of way. Their hairstyles were similar to that of both Ios and Athar in that they were colorful, crazy and completely without reason. I doubted if any of them were shorter than six and a half feet, or lighter than 250 pounds, and I guarantee none of that was body fat.
But their eyes, though different in color, all held the same darkness that you saw whenever you looked into the eyes of a murderer, a psychopath, someone who had no conscience to speak of. There was an emptiness, devoid of empathy that lay just beneath the surface. And all three of them were staring straight at me, or should I say through me. To say that I was terrified would be a massive understatement.
My legs felt like Jell-O, and the rest of my body wasn't any better off. I don't think it was entirely my muscles' fault, it was a mixture of fear and stress. And I didn't think it was going to go away any time soon. Not if these men kept looking at me the way they were. As though I were
They were seated around a half-circle table without legs to hold it up. It looked like a slab of transparent glass floating in midair. Maybe it was. I was too tired to try and analyze my surroundings anymore. I just decided to go with the flow, for the first time in my life. Emma would have been proud of me. I would have been proud of me if I hadn't been so damned exhausted.
The man on the far left, I decided to call him One, and his companions Two and Three until I learned their real names. I wasn't quite sure if I could deal with these…men, but if I relegated them to numbers maybe I could convince myself that I could. I was good with numbers…men not so much. But I digress.
One began speaking in that language I was still trying desperately to understand. But he wasn't talking to me, he was talking to someone behind me. I glanced cautiously to my rear and saw the shortest man I'd seen yet. And perhaps the ugliest. Obviously evolution had not paid this man a visit, in any manner of speaking. I could name about three dozen middle schoolers that were taller than this man. I was taller than him, not by much, but compared to every other male specimen in this day and age, this guy was a dwarf. His face was abnormally scrunched as though his parents had tied a flat board to his face for the first few months of his life, trying to reform the facial bone structure.
And it got worse when he opened his mouth. He had the squeakiest, most nasal voice I've ever heard in my life. And considering that I hang around geeks and nerds all day in order to earn a living, that's saying something. The two talked for a moment before the man behind me, I decided to call him Steve. (because he reminded me so much of Steve Urkel) began speaking to me in very broken English.
"You time walker." He stated accusingly, as though he'd just called me a thief.
I didn't know for certain what a time walker was, or what it entailed here in the future, with these men, but I could logically conclude from his tone of voice that it was not something that was encouraged by society.
While I was tempted to respond, I remembered Ios's earlier admonishment to keep silent, no matter what they said…or did. I was not anticipating the discovery of what he'd meant by that. Quite the contrary, I was hoping such a discovery would never occur. I remembered hearing horror stories from government agents and soldiers about what they'd suffered at the hands of our enemies, and I was reticent at best about further exploring the subject.
Thus, I remained silent and simply stared at the three men sitting before me, glaring at me as if I were the anti-Christ. Apparently they did not appreciate strangers dropping in unexpectedly in their fair city. I can't say that I appreciated it anymore than they did. And considering that it was mostly their fault I was here in the first place, or so Ios and Athar said, I had about as much sympathy for them as I did for my fascist American Literature professor.
One again said something to Steve, this time his tone was more forceful, angrier. Steve began to visibly shake. It was never a good sign if the hired help was terrified of their boss, especially when said boss hadn't moved a muscle. "You know James Calvin." He made it a statement, meaning this was not an interview it was an interrogation, thus proving my first theory to be correct. I suppose I was now invoking my right to remain silent. I only hoped that this sudden trust I was giving to Ios hadn't been misplaced and I wasn't signing my own order of execution. Then again, it was not as if I had much of a choice.
I simply looked at the men in front of me, not bothering to spare the translator a second glance. Perhaps playing dumb would suffice. It should not be all that hard to convince them that I was simply a confused, witless young woman from the 21st century, so long as I kept my mouth shut.
But it was not meant to be. My silence only seemed to agitate all three men. Three was chomping at the bit, literally, I didn't think he was going to have any nails left after this…meeting was over, not that he'd had any to begin with. Two was clenching his fists beneath the table, never a good sign, and for some reason, he scared me the most, even when One stood up, a quick movement that reminded me a lot of a muscled python, and began yelling at Steve, slamming his bulging fist on the table. There was something about Two that really unnerved me. Well, more than anything or anyone else had at this point and he hadn't even said a word.
Steve tried again, this time, with a little more, what Emma likes to call 'oomph'. "You know James Calvin."
I didn't acknowledge him, or the fact that I'd heard him. My mind found itself suddenly fascinated by the scintillating glow of the light emanating from the wall and its possible sources of energy. Unfortunately for me, that lasted all of two minutes before One stormed around to my side of the table and confronted me, face-to-face. And when I say face-to-face I mean face-to-face. We were so close that I was able to glean an extra piece of knowledge about men from the future. They obviously had no idea what mouth wash was. In fact, I would have been surprised if this man had ever used a tooth brush. Not that his teeth didn't look good, they were perfectly white in fact, but his glistening white teeth did nothing to cover up his horrible morning breath.
One wasn't yelling anymore. He was hissing, and spitting. I hoped desperately they had showers in the future, otherwise they were going to have one neurotic genius on their hands. The look on this man's face, and the spittle he was spewing in mine, told me that I was about to be thrown around like a rag-doll, again. There seemed to be a whole lot of that going on lately.
I looked over his shoulder at the other two men, who looked as though they were watching an old boring movie that they'd already seen several times. Still, I didn't say anything, at the moment there didn't seem to be any point in trying. Steve had long since stopped translating, but I didn't need a translator to understand what One was saying. "Answer me or I'll kill you" came to mind. And it looked as if he was about to do just that, or burst a capillary, either way the end result was not going to be desirable, for either of us.
Just as I felt he was about to wrap his fingers around my neck and squeeze until my lungs burst, Two stood up slowly, in a lethal manner, the move was cold, calculated. Where One had reminded me of a snake, Two was more like a shark, in both looks and mannerisms. Three was, well I wasn't quite sure what Three was, probably an owl or some such animal. I had no doubt that he had a keen insight that more than compensated for his lack of communicative ability.
All Two had to do was hold up a hand and One immediately stepped back, instantly placated, all rage vanished from the surface, although I could see it simmering there, in his eyes. So Two was the alpha-male, the dominant. I had hypothesized accordingly, however I was hesitant to jump to any sort of conclusion without a foundation of proof. But the way this man carried himself, and the way the other two men looked to him every time Steve said something and I refused to answer had led me to believe Two was the one in charge. Obviously these people valued power and fear as both tactics and tools. These men certainly had it in spades.
I hadn't thought I could be more nervous, oh how wrong I was. I found myself wishing that One would reappear in front of me and strangle me as he'd planning to do. Anything but this man. The words that came out of his mouth were deceptively silvery and soothing, yet at the same time set me on edge. I had a feeling that this man would kill me and eat me for lunch, literally, and find time to laugh about it later if he thought me worth his time. I could certainly see what Emma had meant when she said that this place was "messed up."
Poor Steve looked like he was having a seizure. Not that I could blame him, stars knew that my limbs were no better off. "You know James Calvin." Again it was phrased as a statement, but I'm sure it was meant more as a question. I remained unmoved, no pun intended. And as I stared up into Two's sadistically innocent-looking face, I came to understand the phrase, "Silent as the grave."
We stared at each other like that for a few more moments before something behind me caught his eye. I allowed myself to breathe a sigh of relief, thinking it was Ios or maybe even Athar, but when Two made a motion with his hand, as if to wave him forward, towards us, I saw that it wasn't Ios, it was another white-haired uniformed soldier. And he was carrying a razor-thin metallic, clear board, that looked suspiciously like a briefcase.
I never actually saw him open it, because he'd turned his back to me, but when he turned around, there was a band, that looked a great deal like the Siehter Emma had been wearing on her arm. The design was roughly the same, only Emma's was gold, this one was silver, and while under normal circumstances a difference in color would not have worried me, these were not normal circumstances and these men were clearly sadistic, if not psychopathic. They wouldn't have thought twice about torturing me. They wouldn't have lost a single night's sleep. They might have even had pleasant dreams about it for awhile. Morbid, but true.
I tried to struggle against the two men holding me up, which was completely imbecilic on my part because there was only one direction I could go once they let me loose. Down. But I suppose it was the principle that made me fight against their rock-hard grips. Not that it was much of a fight, I don't even think that the two soldiers noticed. Two hadn't moved an inch. He was still glaring down at me, as though he were trying to gauge my reaction, which at the moment was not stoic in nature. In fact it probably appeared as though I were on the verge of having a panic attack. Which, I was. If the blood had been pumping through my veins any faster or harder, I'm sure the capillaries in my veins would have exploded.
The man with the band came forward slowly and warily as though he were approaching an alligator. Well, he was certainly right about one thing, I do bite. While I may not be adept at the physical aspects in life, and have considerable issues with the military and their use of unnecessary force, being raised by a Navy SEAL certainly had its advantages. More than one unsuspecting soldier I'd worked with in the past had attempted his hand at a bit of frottage where I was concerned, and had nearly lost said hand when I retaliated.
I do not consider myself a violent person, in fact I make it a point to avoid it as much as possible however, Jackson my adopted father, had assured that I was more than amply educated in the realms of self-defense. Now, while I am certainly not qualified for a career in the military or civil defense, I know how to protect myself.
And contrary to what you might see on television and read in action novels, self-defense is not all about high-kicks and rabbit punches, most of the time it can be something as simple as a knee-jerk or a properly placed bite. Something that the man cautiously approaching me, band in hand, soon found out.
I saw his hand, the one carrying the band, reach out towards me as the soldier on my right stretched my arm out until it was completely straight. The moment his hand was in reach of my mouth I craned my neck and bit down on his hand as hard as I could, before quickly ripping away as much flesh as I could. Disgusting yes, but also extremely effective in establishing a warning.
I was well aware of the fact that I was disregarding Ios's instructions, at least partially, I hadn't after all, said anything. However logic dictated that under no circumstances was I to allow a person with unknown intentions to attach an equally unknown device to my body. Ios be damned.
I spat out the coppery taste of blood and skin, repressing the distinct and overwhelming urge to regurgitate the remains of my dinner all over the men holding me. The man I'd bitten let out a cry that was more animalistic than human. I had no sympathy. Especially when the two men holding me rearranged their holds so that one arm held my neck, waist and both my arms. Each man had a leg hooked around both of my own, effectively cutting off any means of retaliation or resistance. I glared hatefully at the wounded man who was now clutching his hand and making pitiful mewling sounds. Perhaps I'd spoken too soon when I previously stated that these men were evolved specimens.
Two snatched the band from the whimpering man, a spiteful sneer evident on his face. Whether it was meant for the man or for me, was unclear. With a sense of confidence and precision he snapped the circlet around my upper arm where it promptly attached itself with a soft hiss and began making whirring high-pitched noises that resembled an arcade game, before going completely silent. There was only a moment of pain when I felt something penetrate the skin in my arm. The room was silent for a few seconds and I waited for the object that had punctured my skin to retract. It never did.
Two, obviously satisfied, returned to his seat behind the desk and motioned with a wave of his hand to the two men holding me. This clearly meant something to them because the loosened their hold on me and retook their former one, lifting me up by the arms and turned, preparing to leave the room.
That was the moment Ios chose to make his entrance. I say 'chose' for reasons that will make themselves apparent later on, but would only serve to confuse you now.
If there was one thing I noticed about Ios, it was that he walked with the gait of someone who knew who and what he was, a predator, someone who both demanded and commanded respect. And from the looks that he was receiving from the room, these men had it for him in spades. An alpha-male among alpha-males. Perhaps my earlier judgment of this man had been premature. That was one of the many good things about being a scientist, it was easy to reevaluate and make new hypotheses. And for some reason, I found this man to be a fascinating subject.
My newfound savior began speaking rapidly and forcefully to the three men seated behind the desk and they were listening. He continued for at least ten minutes, turning a lecture into a speech, until finally stopping and staring directly at Two, seemingly daring him to contradict what he'd just said. Two raised an eyebrow, gestured towards me and spoke softly, but each sharp, venomous word shook me to the bone. There was definitely something about that man that screamed sadistic psychopath.
Ios sighed once Two finished speaking, then began again, occasionally throwing me an accusatory glance, which I made a point to avoid by averting my gaze each time he looked my way. I had no doubt that Two had told him of my minor indiscretion, as if the injured man cowering in the corner wasn't proof enough. The men continued to exchange words for what seemed like an eternity, before Two finally growled so low in his throat that it made even my head turn. But apparently this was a sign of acquiescence, because when Ios came forward to grab me, the soldiers holding my arms made no move to stop him. Quite the contrary, they seemed to be more than happy to hand me over, metaphorically speaking of course. I was beginning to have my doubts that these strange white-haired men had any feelings at all. They were almost robotic in thought and action.
Ios grabbed my waist and arm, before effortlessly lifting me up, placing my arm behind his neck and his other arm under my knees and turned to walk out of the room. He waited until the doors behind us hissed shut before he began his next lecture. "You might have informed me that you were suicidal, woman." He gritted out, not bothering to conceal the anger in his voice.
"I was defending myself." I stated simply. I didn't see the need to justify my actions. Self-preservation was a primal, base instinct that had been hardwired into my DNA at conception, just as it had every other human prior to the 22nd century. And while I wasn't an expert on human behavior and psychology, but I could only surmise from the information that Emma had given to me that this instinct hadn't faded since then, if anything it had only grown.
Ios snorted as if that was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard. "I saw what you call defense. That was a blatant attack."
"I was taught that the best defense is a good offense."
Ios looked down at me and raised an eyebrow before scoffing. "You would not be saying that if you knew what they were planning to do to you after your…offense."
I wasn't quite sure that I wanted to know, but I asked anyway. "What were they planning to do?"
He merely shook his head. "Do not trouble yourself with such things, kira, you have enough to worry about. I have settled matters with The Governors, for now. I will require your aid to ensure that it remains that way."
I ignored the fact that he'd called me a name I wasn't familiar with, one that probably was in no way flattering. I was too focused on the 'for now' part of his statement. "I don't know what you mean. But I assume that you'll fill me in."
He stopped walking for an instant, looking down at me with confusion etched in his masculine features, then resumed his brisk, steady movements. "You twenty-first century women have the oddest forms of speech. 'Fill me in.'" He shook his head. "Please explain."
I sighed and made a mental note to be careful of what I said around these men. "I meant that I'm expecting you to educate me about your ways, your language and most especially your technology."
"I have every intention of doing that, and more." He declared as if I were a child asking a teacher if I was going to learn anything in their class. His underlying tone, however held a different promise, one that I didn't quite understand at the time. But I was going to find out soon enough.
"Where's Emma?" Emma wasn't only my friend, she was my sole source of support and my only ally in this strange new world. If I lost her, I don't think I would've been able to make it.
"As I said before, she is safe. Athar is with her, assuring that she will not cause any trouble." The way he said that led me to conclude that Emma had already caused her fair share of trouble and brought disorder to this sterile, almost colorless world I had yet to understand. And knowing Emma, there was no doubt in my mind that she'd driven these brothers crazy during the three months she'd been here.
We continued on in silence. I'd been watching the corridors and doors, trying to keep track of our progress, and looking for anything that could possibly prove to be an exit, but everything looked exactly the same. A door appeared on each side every nine feet and they were all the same luminescent white that almost every inanimate object I'd come across so far was made of.
Almost everything and everyone in this place was so devoid of color and life. I may have been a scientist with little interest in aesthetics and art, but even I was affected by the cold, sterile feeling this place held. I didn't want to think about what the rest of this world looked like, not if this domed building was anything like it. But I knew that I would eventually have to face it. Because there was one thing that was absolutely certain, and it'd been haunting every thought, both conscious and subconscious, I'd been having since my conversation with Emma.
There was no way home.
A/n: Phew, ok this was a bit on the long side, I know, but this part is a bit boring and I wanted to do it in one fail swoop. I don't know when the next chapter will be up, I really don't, I'm working on my two other stories at the moment and I haven't updated either of them in awhile and people are starting to get impatient, so am I quite frankly.
So it may be a month, or two, or it might be next week, I don't know. It all depends on my schedule at school. I don't know what I was thinking when I signed up for 5 APs, it definitely wasn't the brightest decision I've ever made. And with AP testing coming up in May, my teachers have been acting like total fascists and doling out work and papers like candy. It's like slow-suicide. I can't wait until May 13th when it'll all be over.
I had planned on getting a lot of this done over the summer, however I will be attending Julliard (YES!!!) so sorry, but Julliard tops my stories any day.
Oh, and BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! I've been accepted into all the colleges I applied to, with the exception of one (I didn't really want to go there anyway), and I'm planning on accepting the music scholarship I won and attending William and Mary. I just got the acceptance letter today. THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!!! I was really starting to wonder…
Ok, back to what I was going to say before I got sidetracked. REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!! I need some feedback people. I really, really want to know what you think, even if you think it's awful or terrible, I need to know. REVIEW!!!!!!!