Intro to Human Evolution Studies: Chip 1
Point 1: There used to be only one kind of human, they thought that evolution ended in their species.
Point 2: The mistake was enormous. Humans were slowly branching into different forms of human; these mutations started out small and were ignored.
Point 3: The year was 2024. The first major, abrupt mutations take place. James Hunter, a businessman, sprouts wings in the middle of a crowded square. Mary Yung, a Chinese immigrant's child, controls a computer with her mind. Both of them are arrested and the incidents are covered up.
Point 4: By 2030, six years later, people are mutating by the thousands. There seem to be different patterns in the different mutations. People are now having mutant children and the panic is spreading. These mutants are categorized by the type of mutation they have. These categories are still used today, and are being expanded.
Point 5: The groups are now in separate communities. The Y group has avian related adaptations. The G group has reptile related adaptations. The H group has animal related adaptations; this group has the most subdivisions. The R group has underwater adaptations: this group is the slowest evolving and they have divided themselves not according to regulations. The V group has "super human" abilities in the physical realm. (Ex. Flight without wings, super strength/flexibility/speed, being made of a different material such as metal or plastic). The group considered most dangerous is X. This group has classified adaptations but the first people to go into this group were a person who could control minds, and a person who could turn into anyone. People can be taken from any group to X if they are deemed "uncontrollable" by the government.
Point 6: You will be taken.
I sighed, most people already knew all of this; it was not exactly scarce knowledge. I looked from my pad to the set of twenty other chips we had to go through before we could skip Intro to Life, as it was called. This was a filler class for the sixteen-year olds until we "adapted" as the government termed it. We called it "discovering our level of hell". I inserted the next chip. This one was all about the Ys, I knew I would never be one of them; my DNA did not in any universe match anything avian. Next to me, Brian cracked his neck. He seemed to do that allot lately and I wanted to know why.
I had known Brian since he was six, for you non-math-whizzes yes, that is ten years. I knew which groups his parents and older sister had been sent to, he could go anywhere. His mom was in G, his dad was in R and his sister had been dragged to X. He had started checking corners before he went around them and he had been talking to Xenon and her sister Recon. Both of them were hiding from group X officials, and that kind of made me wonder about him. Right now he was fidgeting, his thumb stroking the tips of his fingers over and over again. The teacher had left the room for now; I was safe.
"Brian, why are you twitching? People coming to get you?"
I swear he jumped a foot off of his chair and he seemed to become a little clearer. I could almost see through him. He took a deep, steadying breath before he answered me.
"I'm nervous about getting through all these chips, I really want to skip Into to Life. The teacher makes me nervous."
I looked away from him, back at my pad, now smirking slightly. "Brian, when you lie, you shake even more. You have an X, don't you?"
His hands were now shaking so badly, he looked as if he had Parkinson's. "Yes."
I took a deep breath then asked the question that we both knew I would ask. "What is it Brian? Is it like Lillian's?" The reference to his sister made him look as if he would cry.
"No, it just affects me, unless I hold your hand and concentrate really hard. I can turn invisible, physically, thermally, and sonically. I am totally undetectable."
I struggled to keep my face straight; this was not good for Brian. "Alright. This is why you have been going to Xenon and Recon. You want to hide. Hell, just ask m-"
Shut up, Caleb, you cannot tell him that. I needed to chide myself, to treat myself as if I was a little kid and I had done something very, very wrong. I knew he had noticed because his gray eyes narrowed from their already almond shape and his eyebrows nearly disappeared into his chocolate brown hair. I had maintained firmly for years that I did not know what my "adaptation" was. I had been maintaining a lie.
"How would you know? Caleb, for years you have told me that you do not know? How good at lying have you become? I have noticed you almost slip several times, but this is the first time I ever seen you totally slip."
I took a deep breath, preparing to let my lie collapse for him. "I have know," I paused and swallowed, "for four years."
Brian's eyes widened and he looked just like he had when I had jumped out at him from the dark alley next to the school when we were in kindergarten. "Four years!? How did you maintain it for that long? What do you have? Mind-"
The teacher peaked into the room, frowning slightly. Everyone in the class was suddenly deeply absorbed in changing chips in their pads. She looked mildly suspicious but closed the door again. The whispers resumed and Brian continued as if we had not been interrupted.
"-control? You and I need to get out before we end up like- like Lillian, or your mom."
I sighed and concentrated on the now vibrating pad. Vibrating? Why was it vibrating if there were no new files, or agents? I clicked on the screen and new set of files showed up, ones other than files on group G.
"Brian. Xenon, Recon?"
I looked up to see Brian's pasty white face, and over my shoulder I could see the faces of the African American sisters, both masking their horror. The points were about group X; these files that, if seen could give you up to fifty years in prison if you did not work there or were not one of them. I met Brian's terrified eyes and saw my ordinarily pale face reflected back filled with the panic I had seen in my mother's face three years ago. The peacock blue eyes we both possessed beneath our black hair gazed into my best friend's stormy gray ones. His sister's face came to mind as I studied his. One of the only Chinese descendants left in our grid, I knew that Brian was afraid of loosing more than his freedom, but his source of hope too boot.
I heard the familiar clomp of rubber boots on the tile of the hallway. Everyone knew that however much you resisted, you were just slowly weakening yourself so that the SWAT team could get you with a dart. That had happened with two girls in our class two years ago.
They had been hiding together for six months, but they had gotten the vibration in the middle of science. The men had come in and they had hit an invisible wall. One of the girls had been a shield caster; she had held them in the door while the other girl created a blizzard around the men. They had called for backup and the helipad had blasted through the windows. The two girls had been taken away unconscious, knocked out by the pulse blast from the shattering window.
We walked to the front of the room, the four of us, the ones who had veiled ourselves for so long. I looked at Brian once we were at the front. "I can create hallucinations, so good people think they are real and they think they can touch them. I can do that for huge numbers of people, I did it on a mob once. I can also draw energy from other things, even fuel long term illusions on things other than me."
His shocked expression was quenched by resignation as the door was thrown open. The men entered in their standard crouch. I put my hands on the back of my head in a gesture of surrender and the other three copied me. To my astonishment they did not just point the dart guns at us, but a mousey haired girl in the second row of desks. She raised her hands and joined us at the front. Her small pointed face was streaked with tears flowing freely from her violet eyes. The mechanical megaphone voice echoed throughout the room and I mumbled along with it.
"Keep your hands where we can see what you are doing. Your eyes will be bound and your foot will be attached to the person in front of you. Do not resist and you will be treated civilly. We mean you no harm. I repeat, resistance is futile."