Chapter 3: Burning

"I'll make them pay for what they did," Stella whispered, her fists trembling. "I'm working here because they used Chimeras as tools for warfare. I'm going to-" She stopped, the look in her eyes softening.

"I won't bore you," She stated, "You're here to take these." Stella opened her hand and revealed 3 different tubes.

"They're my biological samples," She said, forcing my hand open and placing them on my palm, "The red one's my blood sample. The green one's a strand of hair, and the blue one's a DNA sample."

I couldn't help but wonder why this is what I had to steal. I sounded like Hannon wanted to clone her.

My question was answered. "They want to clone me because of my performance in war." She said, her arms shaking. "I'm going to rise to the top of high command. I'm going to become President of Zephyrus and when I do, I'm going to stop this idiocy."

I felt rage burn inside me once more. "Then why don't you just break these?" I said. Her eyes widened.
"James, I'm not a rebel. It would be much less conspicuous if I seemed to be doing this normally. Follow orders, win points with the higher-ups."

I nodded in understanding.

"So you found them?" Hannon asked, staring me straight in the eye as I placed the three tubes in his palm. "Yeah," I said, watching him closely. Hannon gave no regard for it and continued his speech. "Then you may go, James."

I took this opportunity to do so, walking out of the room and wanting nothing more to with this sick situation. But the next words Dr. Hannon sneered stopped me in my tracks.

"You'll miss your friend's operation, though," He taunted, twirling the tubes between his fingers. I furrowed my brows in confusion until my mind put the pieces together.

"Don't you dare touch her!" I thundered, turning around and stomping back to Hannon, my index finger pointed high and towards the man. "Don't use Takura for your stupid experiment!"

Hannon laughed and pushed my finger down. "Don't worry. Great things will come from this." I couldn't contain my rage any longer, and my fist came down upon Hannon's chest, knocking him backwards. The doctor chuckled and raised one hand. I realized a second too late - it was a signal. In that moment, a man was behind my back, outstretching my arms so that I couldn't control them. Hannon gave a laugh.

"What's wrong, boy? I thought you were the legendary James Hawkeye the Immune. The James no man could overcome in a battle of wills," he sneered, inching closer until our foreheads almost touched.

I took advantage of the short distance and spat on the bastard's cheek. "Idiot," I muttered, "I've never given myself that title. You're trying to bait me into losing it."

Hannon wiped the saliva from his cheek with a quick flick of his thumb and smiled. The next words he said chilled me to the bone.

"It doesn't matter. You won't remember anyway." He chuckled, waving his hands again. My captor dragged me off to some foreign room, and I realized what was going on; Hannon wasn't approved for this - He used me. I've got no idea about the chimera I met, but I have to assume she was part of this too.

Now, though, waiting is the only I can do.

I was forced into a chair and blindfolded, my hands tied behind my back. I waited for what seemed like hours until I heard a high pitched, steady sound. This started to hurt my ears after a while, and soon I was itching to get away from it. But it just got louder and louder and louder.

Until I lost consciousness, or at the very least, thought I had. My head was throbbing and I heard a strange clicking noise inside my ear. And then, I heard voices.

"Will this hurt?"

"No, dear, it won't."

"Will I remember?"

"Miss, you won't need to worry about any of this, because tomorrow, it won't matter."

I could only guess that it was Takura and Dr. Hannon, but alas, there was no time to ponder about this, because my ears detected different voices, and this time I was the subject of conversation.

"What do we do? That idiot fox betrayed us. He knows too much about this now."

"His memory won't be enough; I think we have to change him." My body stiffened.

"No, no. Don't change him. Just give him something that would make him skeptical if he ever gets hints of his memory. I know! The Fire Circle!"

My eyes widened in protest through the blindfold as I recalled what a Fire Circle was.

It uses Aether to amplify the power of astronomical symbols. Anyone who can permanently mark this on their body will gain control over the element the symbols correspond to.

Which means, if I get my memory wiped, any trace of it will be smudged by common sense. I would be able to solve problems using my 'element' instead of how things were done originally.

This is bad...