2: Enter Amia
When I saw our files back when I was six or seven, I remember there being another file after Lani's. One with a name I've never seen before: Amia. The name stood for:
Four-letter acronyms are what make our names, but this name strangely reminded me of Lani's. We were all very young, but we were well developed with what we were made for. All of us except Lani, who had a long way to go till she made it to her full potential.
Just four days after Lani disappeared, and after a day of traveling, hoping to find her still, we came upon a body. We all thought it was Lani's body. Even me, at first. There was a younger girl in the middle of what looked like an explosion or something because there were a few burnt cacti that fell over, and she was unconscious. Dare picked up a charred stick and poked her body, and said, "Lani? Is that you? It's me, Dare, and the rest of us. Lani? Wake up!"
The girl's hair was too long to be Lani's, unless she suddenly developed an ability to grow hair fast, but the girl was still too young. She was maybe, twelve. Not as tall as Lani. But, just lying there, she reminded me of Lani when she was twelve. The girl opened her eyes slowly. I noticed what she was wearing. Her ripped jeans were filthy and her t-shirt was too small. She had a pair of muddy sneaker. Mud and some bruises also covered her face. As she started to sit up, she asked, "Where am I?" At least she could talk.
"You're in the Nevada desert," Shaz said happily.
"A desert? Hmm....who are you guys?" Her face was full of confusion.
"I'm Rian, he's Dare, and that was Shaz. Tess is the girl next to me. Lani is...," I was about to say, "the other girl," but then I stopped. Lani is gone, I told myself.
"Lani? Who's Lani, again?" she asked me.
"Lani is dead. I'm sorry sweetie. We were looking for a girl named Lani, but you're obviously not her," I explained.
"Oh, no, of course not. I'm Amia. And I.....I'm twelve?" she said in an unsure way. Amia. That sounds familiar, I thought. "Sorry....I just....can't remember anything. I remember only my name and age and that I'm a girl. The rest is blank" I heard of this before, it's called amnesia. Memory loss.
"That's sad. I'm sorry to hear that. Do you feel hungry? Or thirsty?" I asked her in sympathy. She reminded me so much of Lani. I could help myself with wanting to help her.
"Now that you mention it, yeah. My mouth feels as dry as this desert," she said.
"Then let's go cut open some cactus. And find some aloe. You got this nasty sunburn on your neck." Nurse Tess, to the rescue. She an expert with injuries and such. I think some day she'll develop x-ray vision, like Superman (The 2030 version of Superman, anyway. That was like ten year ago, of course.) in the old comic books.
And so, Amia became part of our group. We learned more about her, and she started acting and looking so much more like Lani everyday. A more shy Lani. The major difference, Amia claimed she could read minds. She never clarified what that meant, but she said that she could hear thoughts. Does she know what Tess thinks of her? What we all do? Sooner than later, I started to like her, and Tess started to dislike her. And maybe that was because Tess missed Lani so much, and felt that no one could fill that place. Now back to the present.
* * *
These days, you just can't get out in daylight anymore. Where we are now is a place loaded with predators. They come out in the daylight because they have crappy eyesight. It's like they only see in red.
They're vicious, hairy, and smell bad. I hope I'm not describing Shaz here because he's somewhat nice. But these guys are not. No. They're more blood-thirsty than a starved vampire at midnight. (I read Dracula a few years ago. What an outdated book!) We were told it was like a disease. One day there was this meteorite that came down and hit the earth, and BAM! That was three years of crazy climate change. And we were in those underground labs still for about a year.
I know I'm talking about the past still, but I have to mention something about that meteorite. It had a type of bacteria or virus on it. One that infects certain animal. Mostly humans or pig or dogs or cats. But it spread like wildfire. Through blood and contact. And if you took a breath of meteor dust, you could be infected too. I killed most people, and made some go crazy. The scientist at the military labs I'm from took a sample of that bacteria/virus/whatever and inserted human genes into it (Maybe it was a bacteria then.) and then they went and did the opposites and inserted the bacteria genes into humans. They grew a few embryos, and those test tube babies matured fast and wha-la! You have your really strong and blood thirsty Predators.
And then, guess what? You know how they keep them in glass cages? Well, those didn't hold up very long. (I suggest bullet proof glass plus titanium bars.) They broke out of the lab faster than you could say "GEE! OMG!!!! THEY'RE GETTING AWAY!" The twenty "successful" science experiments went on a rampage across California, Nevada, Arizona and who-knows-else-where, killing more people and changing them into predators too.
Want to know a strange thing about these predators? Well, they're really into cannibalism. They eat their dead rather than bury them. And let me tell you, many, many, died. Sooner or later we escaped because the labs couldn't hold up much longer, and the scientist were starting to become truly crazy. We broke out of there in one-two-three, with the help of a telekinetic four year old. Leaving the labs meant freedom for us, right? Wrong. We had no protection but our abilities. At a young age we were easy, easy prey. Now, older, we're a greater challenge.
Now, back to the present! "So, can we get some grub then?" Amia asked hungrily.
"Shhh," went Tess. "Do you want to wake them up?"
"Of course not. I'm just really, super hungry." Amia's stomach grumbled.
"Well then, shut up," Tess told her.
"Will you both just be silent, please?" I asked them.
"Yeah sure, Amia just won't, hey! You stepped on my foot!" Tess yelped.
"Whisper," Dare demanded. Tess covered her mouth. Amia the same.
"Sorry, Tess," Shaz said. We tip toed over the sleeping predator's body. It looked injured. The big gash in the back of the knee stood out.
"It looks hurt," I said quietly.
"Good. Let it be hurt." Dare says the only reason why you don't want to kill an injured predator is because it's full of diseases and stuff you don't want, so don't touch the infected blood. If you want to kill them, do it cleanly.
"Oh, holy....," started Shaz. Was that deer feces? Shaz steeped by it's face. He stopped. I heard it too. A sniffing sound. The predator shot open its eyes. It moaned, making a sound like a wolf's howl.
"Crap!" I said. There was a whole pack, maybe about twenty, meat eating, psycho predator all growling at us. We were completely surrounded.