Chapter 1 (Acadia) Catatonic

I am wrapped in an impenetrable cast of dread.

My ears deny me the sounds they have heard and my skin is tingling; a sensation of being pricked and scratched all over my body with needles of trepidation. My limbs do not respond to my instructions and my eyes cannot register what I have told them to read; a comfort really.

I am cold. A deep freeze seems to be setting into my bones accentuating the rapid beating in my chest, as if my heart is banging against an ice cage; each throb building more and more pressure until I feel as if I am at the bottom of an ocean without any way back to the surface.

I no longer know nor care who I am, or what is going on. I don't really know where I am or why I am here. I gaze around and I am lost in a flurry of movement, an excess of motion. Paper crinkles in my fist and my head pounds with the onslaught of pain which is piercing my temples. I am still and immovable, placid yet enraged. I am confused.

My hands start to do something. Unconsciously, they begin to flatten out the crushed mess I have made in my clenched knuckles and I start to see the table I am seated at more clearly. My fingertips start to smooth down the edges as I stare intently at the patterns on the page. Someone shakes my shoulder roughly, my head jars and the impression of whiplash stings down my neck.

"Acadia?!" A growl says in my ear. I refocus my attention on the piece of paper before me. It reads a list of names, a set of instructions. I don't understand why I have this piece of paper. "Acadia?!" Another aggressive shake. Why is this person shaking me?! The vice-like grip from my shoulder is released and replaced by a soothing circular motion on my back. Another person joins me now. A hand reaches for my chin and tenderly starts to pull me toward them.

"Acadia? You need to focus." A woman says, on her knees beside me. She looks familiar. She has long dark hair, and big hazel eyes. Her lips are full, and frowned, but her face looks worn and hollow with lines around her eyes which were not caused by laughter; something has aged this woman quicker than time should have. She gently eases the creased paper from under my hands where I have planted them on the table.

"She's bloody catatonic! No fucking use!" The voice from before snarls, stamping off into the mad circus of people around me; the woman turns her attention back to me.
"Acadia, you won't be doing anybody any good by just sitting here, this won't help Erik." She says. Erik? I know Erik.

My frozen state begins to thaw out. The woman in front of me is my sister, Melinda. The aggressive voice from before was our commander, Brianna; and the paper? A list of people who have been lost or presumed dead; Erik is on this list. Erik is my best friend, almost a brother, my only friend. Erik is everything, and now he is gone. Gone? This sounds so false, so empty. Why is he gone? My lips begin to tremble; my eyes begin to smart with the onset of tears.

The daunting realisation hits me with the force of tsunami, every moment I wasted with him tears through my mind. I gasp out, a little squeak of recognition. Why him?! He is as good as dead, and if he isn't already he'll be wishing he was. I stare at my sister. She knows this as well as I do, we have run out of options. The only two we had were negotiations or rescue and neither is a possibility now. He's not important enough to the Campaign. The Campaign is all that matters now.

I preferred being catatonic.