A/N: Ok, I edited this chapter a little because someone told me there were a lot of grammar issues. Forgive me but grammar isn't my forte! Anyway I tried my best. I also added a little bit of stuff to it. I'll be doing it to the rest. Oh, and those of you that haven't read this, this starts out kind of slow, but please bare with me! Thanks! :)
Experiment 01024: Chapter I: Artificial
The artificial light seeped in through the blinds. They began to rotate slowly like I had timed them to. The light made artificial shadows of the furniture, which was made of hard gray plastic. Fake was all this place was. The light marked the beginning of another tedious day much like the rest. I groaned aloud at the thought. I laid idle in my bed feeling my eyelashes stick together as I tried to open my eyes. I groaned once more while I stretched out across my bed. Sighing as I rubbed my eyes, they opened and adjusted to the light. They slowly drifted towards the bedside table.
It was gray with two drawers. In one, I kept my white socks; in the other, my white underwear. A lamp and a glass screen sat on top. 5:02 a.m. was displayed in big green digital numbers that made you squint when you looked at them. I sat up, throwing my legs over the edge of the bed. Propping my elbows on my knees, I sat there with my chin cradled in my hands.
I took a glance at my blurry apartment. I sighed, took my glasses from the bedside table, and stared ahead at my untouched kitchen. The only thing there that looked used was a white bowl and a hard plastic spoon in which I ate my cereal every morning and night. Everything was gray, white, or black. The room opposite from the kitchen was the bathroom. There was a white couch in front of my bed, then a thin glass screen on the wall. A lamp was right next to it. It looked like a thin wire attached to a flower-like glass bulb. It lit up at night when it sensed motion. It annoyed me most of the time because I did not like the light, period. That would explain the paleness of my skin. My life seemed so insipid, I really hated it sometimes.
I got up and dragged my feet toward the lavatory. I tripped over my shoes and my face made contact with the gray carpet. I sighed and just laid there for a while. My eyes closed and my palm patted the floor. I just wanted to lay there and go back to sleep. Sighing, I dragged myself to the bathroom, my gray sweats created static with the carpet. When I reached the white tile floor in the bathroom, I bristled.
In the mirror I only saw what I saw everyday: the dingy russet hair on my head, my pitch black eyes, unlined face, my lips, the top slightly larger than the bottom, and my lank body leaning over the granite sink. I reached for my toothbrush and turned it on. Smiling into the mirror, I ran it across a line of silver braces. I would have gotten my braces taken off when I turned 17, but since I started medical school and work in the experiment lab, I had either worked or went to school during appointments with the orthodontists, or I was so tired from work and school that I just decided to miss. That's why two years later I still have them.
I got into my jeans that had somewhat lost their color, my loose fitting white long sleeve T-shirt, and socks. Applying deodorant, I walked toward the stupid shoes I had tripped on which were also plain white. I grabbed my phone and my backpack, which only contained my personal tablet and my debit card and stuff. Breakfast, I would have at the 7:00 a.m. break.
I walked out the door into the busy hallway. Many people simultaneously exited their rooms. Out of the crowd, I distinguished a bobbing red head. I sighed as I saw Hope Halifax running towards me. I pretended not to notice her as I walked rapidly towards the elevator.
"Chance! Wait for me!" I saw her bouncy red hair through the corner of my eye. Hope was an ample girl with a round face. Her eyes were a luminous dark green, she had a pair of red sandy eyebrows, a small turned up nose surrounded by clusters of freckles. Her red ringlets bounced on her shoulders as she rushed towards me. I had known her since freshman year in high school. We received the same advanced classes, we lived in the same part of town, and we both were chosen by the G.E.O. to contribute to the Great Cylinder Experiments. A decision I regretted the first week I arrived.
Top students from around the world, under 16, and in perfect health, were randomly selected every four years and offered the choice to go. The lives of the family of the students who accepted would be changed economically. They also paid for the career of your choosing as long as it was beneficial to the Cylinder Experiments. That was one of the only reasons why I had agreed.
I stood in line for the elevator pushing my glasses up from the tip of my nose.
Before, I had attended one of the best high schools in the country. Since my father left, we had struggled economically and my mother had been working too hard to pay the tuition for my two brothers and I. Sometimes we barely had enough to eat. I had always felt guilty because of it. She had always told me I needn't feel that way because she wanted me to be educated and live a better life than she did; always having to depend on another person.
I tried going for scholarships, but nowadays they were very limited. As for me, I had always been introverted so I almost had no friends, only Jonathan Blumstein, but it wasn't really because I couldn't make friends, I just didn't like people. Only once in a while came a person I could cope with like Jonathan.
Jonathan Blumstein had been my best friend since sixth grade. He was smart and liked books and old 2-D anime like me. I hadn't seen him in four years. Since I moved to the Cylinder Experiment, I had no idea what became of him.
Principal Grey came in one morning with two men in modish black suits. Mrs. Grey had been looking rather pleased with herself while she barged into AP Calculus, were Hope and I were working on limits with several of the seniors.
"Good Morning, Mrs. Schiferl. I will need to borrow Mr. Davenport and Ms. Halifax."
Mrs. Schiferl nodded and motioned us to go. With inquisitive looks on our faces, Hope and I took our things and walked out of the classroom behind Mrs. Grey. The seniors stared at us until we were out of their sight.
Sandra Birne, a haughty looking sophomore, was standing outside. Her pale blue eyes underlined with inky looking eyeliner. She smiled widely revealing shiny argent braces.
Sandra Birne had been the biggest bully in the preparatory in spite of her straight A's since primary school.
"So, I just wanted to ask you to tell your mom that she isn't cleaning my house properly." Sandra whispered in the most wicked voice she had.
My mom cleaned the "rich" people houses, that included the Birnes'.
I ignored her and looked away. Mrs. Grey was walking rapidly up ahead with the strange people in shades.
Hope just cleared her throat. I turned to her and saw her bite her lip and clutch her skirt. Hope never spoke up, but then again, neither did I.
In Mrs. Grey's office, the people in black suits were waiting for us. They explained the Cylinder experiments. What was going on with in was confidential and only exposed to those in the G.E.O. and those who worked in it. We all knew that the Cylinders had given us all our technological innovations; that it was only a select few who got the opportunity to ever see what went on inside. There were 4 Cylinders. Ballymena, Aeston, Kirukeu, and Aquarine. No one knew their location, but there were rumors that Aquarine was near Antarctica.
Sandra Birne had agreed instantly. Her being 16 allowed her to sign without permission of a parent.
Hope and I were given three days to discuss with our parents, or in my case, parent.
I really didn't want to leave my mom. Cash and Darien never did anything to help her.
Deep inside in wanted my mom to tell me she hated the idea of me leaving her. Instead she insisted I go, I guess at least I was one mouth less to feed, one house less to clean, hope it was Sandra Birne's.
On the way there, people from the G.E.O. explained that they had been conducting a secret type of experiment for the government having to do with genetics, that we were chosen from the best school on the state to be offered a chance to be involved and contribute to it. The formulation of some type of army. Sandra was sent to Kirukeu, or well, that's what they told us. Hope and I were sent on a jet to a big stone building with a curved top of glass. We flew for what seemed like hours. The Cylinder Experiments looked like what they sounded like. Great and Cylinder. It looked like only the top stuck out from the water. Ballymena is what this one was called.
So I've been here four years now. I finished high school and majored in Biotechnology by the end of the second year. I was a second year medical student and a scientist. They paid me almost 2,000 dollars an hour, I worked 6 hours, 6 days a week. The same amount of money went to my mom. It was good pay for researching and staring at screens most of the time.
Hope was carrying a tablet in her hands. She ran her hand through her curly red bush of hair, I was surprised it didn't get stuck. It was much longer than when we left home. She finally grew out of her 'Annie' haircut. She was also wearing a white long-sleeve which was our dress code. We all had to wear white shirts, it did not matter what bottom you wore as long as you wore white shirts.
"How was your morning, Chance?" She asked me as we arrived in front of the elevator. Hope wore glasses like me. She was a bit tubby, and a great deal shorter than I, but almost everyone was. I was like a mutant.
I sighed and pressed my thumb on the elevator's scan pad. After a beep, the glass elevator doors slid open. We stepped inside.
"Crappy as always." I responded as I pressed the button with white number reading '3'.
Hope frowned as she reached in front of me and pressed '5'.
"Yeah," Hope sighed too. I guess maybe she was also as stressed as I was. We did have the same jobs. Monitoring the Experiments' brain activity. Okay, this is were it gets a bit confusing. The human experiments are all kept track and with a bracelet that neutralizes any abnormality. It shocks them when the brain activity gets to a certain point, immobilizing them until the brain activity goes back to normal. I know them very well because I helped design the new models.
The G.E.O or Genetic Experiment Organization, injected a couple of humans four hundred years ago with altered DNA. Some died, other's had no noticeable change.
The next ten seconds were an awkward silence as the elevator made its way from level 78 to 5. Hope waved and got out. I nodded just as the doors slid closed and in half a second they slid open again and I stepped out. I yawned and walked down the hallway my footsteps echoing. The hall was too bright and too white. I reached a door that read Lab 57 and stood In front of the scanner.
"Chance Miles Davenport." I said into the microphone and after a beep the door slid open. I stepped in and saw a dark skinned man sitting on a chair with wheels named Rhett. He turned to me and smiled a bright white smile.
"Good morning Davenport," he said returning to the screen in front of him.
"Good morning Holloway." I responded monotone as I reached for my lab coat which was hung next to the door and hung my backpack next to Rhett's.
Most labs were round. Like this one. Three doors, one on the far end, and the others opposite from each other. There were three stations, Rhett's which was next to the entrance door to the lab, mine which was across. The other was empty next to the third door. In the center was a giant screen used for displaying information.
The third station was empty because the person who worked there had passed away. James Bass. He was an old man about in his 50's. All his work had been passed off to me.
I heard squeaking of Rhett's chair turning. "Davenport, Adelaide told me to tell you that you are assigned to experiment 01024. Direct monitoring." Rhett told me without looking away from the screen. He handed me a thin glass card. "I'll be taking care of 00987, 00988, and 00989, 00990, those were yours, am I correct?"
I froze a little. "But, I've never worked directly with the experiments before." I said nervously as I reached for the card. It had engraved 'A.G.E. 01024'.
He typed something on the tablet next to him. Then turned his chair to me. "I guess she thinks your ready, anyway, experiment 01024 is just a few weeks from being released."
He shrugged. "A very easy Job, that also means you're moving up." He half smiled and returned to his screen.
I moved to my station at the end of the room. I sat down, pushed up my glasses, and ran my thumb over the engraved letters. I sighed then put it into the slot at the edge of the tablet. A scanner screen popped up. I placed my thumb in the middle and the file opened up.
Altered Gene Experiment 01024
Subject: Tremaine, Jessica J.
Birthdate: November 8, 2116
Origin: Chicago, IL.
Psychokinetic TK TP LV TelP
High Hazard Level
Listed: December 23, 2121
To be released: November 9, 2133
"High Hazard level?" I read out loud. Sort of panicked.
Rhett turned in my direction. "Yes, without the Electric Neutralizer bracelets." He turned back to his screen. "Why do you think it requires special monitoring?"
I leaned back in my chair and sighed. I looked at the ceiling. Most of the observation notes said the experiment was very uncooperative. I read the observation notes from different people until my phone vibrated.
I looked at the screen as I swiped across. It was 7:00. Time to eat breakfast. I got up and so did Rhett. We hung up our lab coats and headed out. All the lab doors opened and people in lab coats poured out. Sometimes I imagined we were just a bunch of sheep.
Rhett was about in his mid twenties. I can't remember. One of the only people I socialized with. He was as tall as I. Except he was sort of buff, I was a stick. Which I did not understand because I ate a lot.
"Davenport you look really tired. Man, I think you should go out. You know. Like on a date." He laughed. His bald head reflected the lights above.
I forced a laugh. See I wasn't a guy girls wanted to date. "Um, I think I'll pass." We kept walking.
When I was in 8th grade I liked this girl named Louise. She was petite, blonde and pretty. I was surprised to know she had a crush on me too. When I tried to talk to her, I got all sweaty and ran to the bathroom and threw up with how nervous I was, well on my way to the bathroom... She was obviously grossed out and told everyone I was a freak. We all know that didn't happen... Never has anything else.
"Dude! You have spent your whole life with your head between books and computers... Get out! Do something!" He used his hands to exclaim. "What are you, 25?"
I cleared my throat and pushed my glasses up the tip of my nose. "I'm 19."
Rhett's eyebrows raised. "With those bags under your eyes, you look 30, I was being nice."
I shrugged and took out my tablet. Looks weren't important to me.
I read the observations a little more on the elevator. All I managed to get out was that this Experiment was a hard one. Adelaide ordered me to move down to my new station after breakfast. Which, by the way, was artificial eggs and artificial meat. Let us not forget artificial orange juice made of you know what.