Coming Back

Test ChapterZero+

"He's not coming back, is he?" she stared at the guard who shrugged impassively.
"It's not my place…" he muttered as he stared ahead, scanning the halls for any danger to the test group. She nodded, used to the fact she would never get answers. It was something she'd grown up with. And, luckily, due to her gift she was given certain privileges that the others were not given. Such as roaming freely throughout the facilities, at least, to an extent; her name badge had no name – only numbers and a color coded circle, it was green. That was her favorite color – because it was the color of freedom. Despite the fact she had no name given to her by the Watchers, she had given herself a name, one the others accepted as the one she was born with, Rei.

Rei was older than the other children at the facility, she was currently the only one with green access; the rest had orange. Orange access children were kept in a small part of the facility – the part that included the classrooms, quarters and game room. They'd never seen outside, not that Rei had. She was barely six! It was simply impossible for anyone under ten to go outside, ever. But, Tyler had wanted so bad to go outside, and he only had orange access – Rei tried to help him without endangering herself too much. But they caught him, and they took him. And by this guard's impassive expression she could somehow tell, deep inside her head, not heart, that he wasn't coming back. They wouldn't bring him back, he was gone. She didn't cry for him as she walked back to the living quarters. She didn't even feel bad for whatever fate lay beyond those double doors the guard watched. She helped him get what he wanted, and she hoped it was what he expected.

When she got back to the children's rooms the others were gathered around an ancient computer, one of the few playthings that was allowed in the rooms which consisted of a singular large room for boys, and another for girls. They turned to her when she came in and unclipped her badge, hanging it on the appropriate slot.

"Where's Tye?" one of the younger ones asked. She was three, maybe. Rei shrugged.

"I don't know." All of their small faces darkened, understanding, Tye wouldn't be coming back. They never did.

Rei couldn't sleep. It wasn't that she didn't know why, because she did, it was that she was annoyed by the fact Tyler's disappearance was bothering her. She wasn't close to Tyler; he was quiet and usually kept to himself, which was wrong. The Watchers were not pleased with him because he was so quiet, so calculated and logical. They wanted soldiers, Zeros. Worth nothing – cannon fodder. Fighting wars for The Watchers and their country which they knew nothing about. That was their purpose, it was obvious and righteous of them – it was right how they acted. All except Tyler. He questioned too much, he was too curious. She might have hated him for his differences, but that would be cruel and The Watchers would surely know. Then why was she disturbed by his absence? Why was she lying awake thinking blasphemous thoughts about what may have happened to him…finally she cleared her mind of all thoughts. Nearly erasing Tyler from her mind. He was gone – he was nothing. Not even a Zero anymore. Gone from her life and the lives of the others in their family.