So, anybody who follows me closely, if they exist, may be wondering why this is soooo late. I won’t lie… I was abducted by aliens?
Seriously though, I lost track of the days and yesterday I finally got my hands on Batman: Arkham Knight which I pre-ordered a year ago. I didn’t even realize I missed updating til this morning, and then I had to go to work. First chance I’ve had at my computer is right now. Anyways, here’s more of Watchers, where things begin taking some shape.
He was drifting in a haze, and wondering why everything was white. Luke’s eyes snap the rest of the way open. His gaze flew around his surroundings; he didn’t recognize this place. It looked like a hospital room, if hospital rooms had no windows and reinforced steel doors. He scoured his memories trying to find some explanation for where he was. His last memories were the fight on the hill and that mysterious song, but the room he was in was completely silent. It had to be soundproofed he reasoned; unfortunately, the only place he could think of like this was a psychiatric ward. Luke didn’t think he was crazy, but then again he had no idea how long he had been out and what had happened to him. He started checking himself in the mirror across from him, looks more like a window to me Luke thought fleetingly. He was still dressed as he remembered, no straitjacket or prison uniform. His faded bruises and scabbed cuts told him he had been unconscious for at least a few days. Stiffly he limped over to the large steel door. There was a control panel it the door instead of a normal handle. The steady red light seemed to mean it was locked. Obviously, whoever had put him here wanted him to stay here. Luke couldn’t open it so he moved on to look at the rest of the room. He found a bathroom, furnished with a toilet and shower, and a closet full of sheets and towels. Hard to believe he was in a psych ward, they didn’t trust those people not to commit suicide with stuff like this. So if this wasn’t prison or the nut house, where was he? Luke sighed Oh well, no way to find out what happened until someone comes in to see me. I wonder if anyone else is here, like-
“Oh crap, Amelia!” Luke cried fighting off a panic attack. He was sure she was alive; no way would whoever had locked him up leave only one of them alive. She could be being interrogated, tortured, or worse though he thought darkly; images of his sister being abused, molested, or cut open filling his head. To keep the horrific images from his mind he began to work out. Pushing his weakened body to its limits. Sweat poured off him as he considered his possible courses of action. He had to stay calm, it was all over if he panicked or made a rash decision. As he practiced fighting forms learned years before, he calmed and his attention turned inward. Luke let himself slip into an unfocused, trance-like state; leaving his body to its own devices. He went back over his memories, trying to remember everything he could. He fought Jack; saw the light and the winged woman. Then darkness and that mysterious song. He let that singing envelope him, allowed it to guide him to its source. However, it was no use, he couldn’t remember anything else. As Luke rose up from his trance, he was surprised. His body felt great, better than it ever had; he hadn’t even broken a sweat yet and he had to have been out for days. Something else felt different as well, like there was another presence hiding behind his thoughts. Before he could explore the matter farther the door hissed, depressurizing as the locks disengaged. Human forms covered in hazmat suits entered the room, aiming tasers at the contemplative boy and jumping at his slightest movement. Another person entered behind them, and from his bearing, Luke guessed he was the guy in charge.
“Hello,” Luke said facing the newcomers, “I’m sure there is a very good reason for all of this. If someone would mind filling me in-” he cut off as they armed their weapons. “Okay. No need to rush things.”
“There was an incident a few days ago,” the man in front said in clipped military tones. The suit muffled his voice, but Luke would swear he sounded nervous… or scared. Whatever had happened it was more than a simple “incident”. “You and the other children were moved to this quarantine facility and the city was evacuated while the government investigates the cause of all this. Until it is determined whether it is safe for you to interact with others, you shall be kept in isolation. Now we need a blood sample…” he raised his hand and two of his men ran up and slammed Luke against the wall “… with or without your cooperation. Trust me this is for your own good.”
“Oh yeah, sure it is” Luke spat as he struggled to get free. He didn’t need to struggle long; the quarantine officers backed away almost immediately. They’re terrified of me Luke thought incredulously What happened to us? Before he could put much thought into it, the officers fired their tasers. Multiple needles trailing thin wires struck Luke’s body like stinging insects. He heard the buzzing of tiny generators, and he saw a strange light shoot up the wires. He felt the electricity enter his body and then… nothing. No pain, not even a tingle, he felt fine. He could feel the current entering his body and shooting through every system, but he was drinking it up like a sponge. The officers seemed just as confused as he did; some even started shaking their guns like they were broken.
“Increase the voltage.” ordered the commander guy. They turned a knob on their taser guns, maxing out the tiny generators. The buzzing increased to a vicious crackle as more needles struck him, adding to the voltage coursing through his body. Luke felt stronger than ever and his mind raced, contemplating thousands of facts and ideas. It felt as though a fog had been lifted from him and he was finally awake. It was intoxicatingly good to feel the lethal voltage coursing through his veins. The quarantine officers started backing away; one even dropped his gun and ran out the door. Electricity arced along his body, the air crackled with energy and the smell of ozone permeated the cell. Luke stared at his hands as they sparked; his mind darted to never explored areas of his brain. He started checking his body, every fiber of his being laid out before his minds eyes. He knew every detail of every cut and bruise. As he finished the diagnostic he foreign devices in his system, otherwise he seemed fine. With a single thought, he blasted the devices with enough voltage to incinerate them. He wondered how all of this was possible. His mind was like a super-computer, processing information at insane speeds. As he strained to find any explanation of all that was, happening the song welled up inside of him once again. This time, however, a face appeared as well. He tried to bring it into focus, pouring his new brainpower into unlocking his unconscious. Long, silvery hair; a pale delicate face… Luke’s concentration was broken by a fit of coughing. While he had been lost in thought the quarantine officials had started filling the room with gas. Luke’s eyes watered and his throat burned as he gasped for clean air. His brain was fogging up once more and all he could see was a pale mist. Hands grabbed him once more, but he was too weak to struggle against them. Luke barely registered the needle entering his vein. The world was starting to get distant. He dropped to the floor, shadows sneaking into the corners of his vision. I really need to think of a better way to go to sleep Luke thought wryly before he slipped into unconsciousness once more.
Professor Cornelius Rotwood was beside himself. These kids, they were like the Holy Grail of Biogenetics. He checked the screen in the latest child’s room. Luckily, the cameras were still working. As the gas cleared from the cell his unconscious form was revealed lying face down on the floor. The nanobots that had been reading his vitals were offline. He was still alive though, the knock-out gas couldn’t kill anyone without much longer exposure. Checking the data displays the doctor saw a huge current had fried the circuitry of his nanobots. Checking the tapes once more Rotwood almost laughed with glee. This kid had absorbed the electricity from the tasers. Those poor quarantine guards had spent twelve of their high-tech guns and the boy hadn’t even flinched. He should be a charred husk, but he had relished in that power. If he full harnessed his abilities he would be quite dangerous.
“What am I saying?!” Rotwood exclaimed his thin frame shaking with maniacal laughter. “If any of these pups could master their new abilities they would be dangerous.”
“Exactly why we hired you to figure out what happened to them.” a gruff voice said as the lab door slid open.
“Greetings General Green, how does this fine evening find you?” asked the scientist as he turned to face the newcomer. Green wasn’t an official general, but he was second-in-command and felt the title suited him. Rotwood did not know if that was accurate, but Green was a built like a tree trunk so the scientist did not mind humoring him. Besides his buzzed salt-and-pepper hair and tendency to shout made him military enough. He also is in control of my budget Rotwood thought rubbing his bald head jealously.
“We won’t be able to control these mutated freaks for much longer.” Green said staring at the monitors “That last one could have killed my men if he had acted sooner. How close are you to determining the catalyst that caused this?”
“One change to one of millions of genes. Even cross-referencing with the Human Genome project such a search could take days to come up with possible candidates. Then you want me to figure out how to cause and reverse these sets of effects safely in human subjects. If our visitor doesn’t start explaining…” he cast a glare at the monitor for room #114. It had the tightest security and most sophisticated equipment in the entire complex, and still things were going wrong. “… it could take years to complete it all.” he finished.
“Well you might want to work faster.” Green replied, “It would be a simple matter to replace you with one of your colleagues, if leading this team is too difficult for you to handle.”
“THIS IS My PROJECT!” Doctor Rotwood screamed, veins bulging across his bald head, “I don’t need any sniveling brat fresh out of college stealing MY GLORY!” Rotwood paused gathering his composure. “Besides, if your people were gentler with the subjects and more forceful with the girl I might have the answers I need.”
“Do not question my methods doctor.” Green said stabbing his finger in the doctor’s chest “You are not in charge here. If you don’t want to share this discovery I suggest you get to work. Do we have an understanding?”
“Yes, sir” Rotwood said through gritted teeth as the general left. “I’ll get results no matter what I have to do to get them.”
In the oppressive darkness of room #114 a figure silently wept as she hung, bound to a cold steel table. She wished for the freedom of her home as she sent her song through the complex to comfort her fellow captives. She told them they were not alone, there was still hope. Escape was possible.