I heard rattling at the door. I sat up. Three guards came into the room.
“Come with us” the leader ordered firmly.
I eyed them suspiciously. I was even more hesitant to follow them, since last time I got sticked. Needless to say, it was very painful. Then, the leader forcefully grabbed my arm and dragged me off the bed.
“Alright, alright! Geez!” I snapped, yanking my arm back.
I begrudgingly followed.
We went down more hallways. They all looked the same. Except down the last hall, I could hear explosions and laser shooting from another room.
“More test subjects?” I wondered.
They led me into a large room with a black window to the left. I could only gather there were people watching me on the other side.
Suddenly, I felt a pinch. A guard had clasped a metal bacer around my wrist with a red light on it. Then they left, the big door closing behind them. I frowned.
“These look like the ones Sonic was wearing…” I thought.
“Welcome Luana,” said a voice, “We’re going to run you through some tests. If you stay alert, you will not perish.”
“Gee, thanks for the advice” I spat, “Why don’t you tell me where Sonic is first, eh? Then maybe I’ll do your stupid tests!”
“Focus on your task, Luana.”
I glared at the black window.
Just then, another door began to open. I could see the feet of large robots, like the ones that attacked Lorhen. My heart skipped a beat.
“Wait, they don’t actually expect me to fight these things, do they?”
The robots whirled to life, and began to fire. I shrieked with panic. By some miracle I was able to avoid the lasers. I wasn’t sure how, but somehow I felt faster.
“What do you expect me to do!? I’ve never been in combat before!” I cried.
“Point at the droids, Luana. It will save your life.”
I had no idea what he meant, nor did I have time to think so, as I was concentrating on trying not to get killed.
“I might be able to complete these tests if you gave me a freakin weapon!” I shouted.
“You have one! Recognize and use it!”
“QUIT SPEAKING TO ME IN RIDDLES!”
I saw a flash of glowing blue after I had said those words. I looked down. The lines in my veins warbled and glowed, like electricity traveling up a metal pole. I remembered that one night, when Sonic had a nightmare, and dashed into the yard in the middle of the night. He was charged up like a lightning storm! And the time the drones showed up! A crazy thought came to mind:
“Could…Could I have something like Sonic’s power?”
I took a deep breath. I had to think about how to charge it. I thought about Sonic, how much I needed him, how much I missed him, how worried I was of his safety and well being.
I lashed out my hand towards the robots. A streak of lightning shot out from my fingertips and struck one of the robots. The robot instantly exploded, sending debris everywhere. My eyes widened as I looked back at my hand. I was half horrified, half fascinated. How was I able to get these? Where did they come from!? A raised my hand and fired again. I didn’t instant-kill like before, but I did cause the robot to glitch out and fire everywhere. The lasers bounced off the walls effortlessly. My confidence began to build. Maybe I could do this!
After a few minutes, I made quick work of them. Soon I was the last one standing among a pile of destroyed parts. I gasped for breath and panted.
“Test complete. Good work.”
The guards returned. This time, Dr. Beaumont was standing with them. He gestured me towards him. I hesitantly followed.
I was surprised. I wasn’t led back to the cell I was in before. Instead, I was sent to another room. This time, it had bunk beds, with real mattresses. Not only that, but there were other people! Children, to be exact, all wearing the same uniforms as I was. One was a boy, with unkept brown hair and brown eyes. The other two were girls, one with short blonde hair, green eyes, the other unnatural pink hair and blue eyes.
They stood up suddenly when we walked in. Dr. Beaumont raised his hand.
“At ease, little ones,” he spoke, “This is Luana. She’ll be staying with you for a while.”
He turned to me.
“I figured you needed company,” he said more quietly, “Good luck, dear. I will do what I can to make your stay here as painlessly as I can.”
“It would be more painless if you told me where Sonic was” I hissed, grinding my teeth.
Dr. Beaumont looked away, ashamed, before exiting the room.
When I turned around, the pink haired girl was suddenly in front of me. I jumped.
“You look like a grownup” she observed with a high, sweet-sounding voice.
“Well, technically I am,” I responded.
“That’s unusual,” said the blonde haired girl, “All the test subjects who come in here are kids. How old are you?”
“Twenty-four; and I’m sure I’m here for other reasons…”
The pink-haired girl’s mouth dropped open.
“Woah…” she breathed.
The blonde haired girl stood up and raised her hand to me.
“I’m Amia,” she introduced.
She gestured to the pink-haired girl.
“This little ball of energy is Chelsea-“ -then she pointed at the boy, who was sitting on the bottom bunk, keeping to himself- “-And that’s Tanner.”
“Nice to meet you” said the boy.
“I’m Luana” I declared.
“Woah, cool, sounds like the Spanish word for moon! ‘Luna’!” Chelsea exclaimed.
“So, what’s going on here?” Luana asked, “What is S.E.W.D.’s purpose? Everyone’s keeping their lips zipped on what they do-“ I looked down at my arms, “-and what they’ve done to us?”
“We’ve been in the dark about it too,” Amia replied, “They don’t tell us much either. All we’ve been able to gather, is that S.E.W.D. has some kind of serum that gives people superpowers. Some have different powers than others. Sometimes even test subjects get more than one.”
“We’re not sure how many test subjects are here, or if they have subjects at any other facility-“ Tanner added, “But we’ve overheard that they’re still looking for more ‘candidates’ to test it on.”
I crossed my arms.
“Hmm…I wonder why…” I thought out loud. Then I thought of something else.
“You said it was weird to have an adult here. Does that mean all the test subjects are children?”
“We don’t get to see other test subjects that often,” said Tanner, “But the ones we do see all appear to be so…”
“That’s horrible…!” I thought.
“What kind of superpowers do you have, Luana?” Chelsea asked, eagerly, “I have-!”
Suddenly, the door flew open. Everyone stood up.
“Follow us” ordered a guard.
Everyone followed. Chelsea was the only one bizarrely excited of what was to come.
The test wasn’t much different from the last one. The primary difference was I wasn’t alone. In addition to foot robots, there were now flying drones and dark purple tankers, which I had seen back in Lorhen. After the doors tightly shut behind us, the test began, and the bots opened fire. I threw up my hands. Lightning flew from my fingertips and struck a flying drone down. Amia crouched, then jumped. She bounded nearly forty feet into the air and latched onto one of the drones. She pulled it around to shoot other drones, then gave it a good kick. Chelsea popped in and out of existence, whether it was teleportation or speed I do not know, but she was able to make quick work of the foot bots. Tanner was able to form some kind of shield around himself, and dash through the room like a hamster in a ball, and barrel over foot bots. Chelsea bounded towards Amia. Amia knelt down and put her hands out. Chelsea lept, pressed a foot into Amia’s hands, and Amia flung her up. Chelsea was able to cleanly finish off the drones with a few more blips.
I shot down multiple foot bots before I whirled around to see a tank a few feet from me. I jumped back before it could blast me to pieces. I lost balance for a split second then recovered. My arms glowed blue once again. My instincts suddenly took over as I charged towards the tank. I pulled my fist back, electricity crackling. Then, I punched the tank. My hand went straight through it. It twitched and glitched violently, before it went offline. Chelsea noticed and was in awe.
“Woah! She has super-strength, guys!” She cried.
“Focus, Chell!” Amia warned.
I punched my way through another tank. There was one more left. But this one was more alert. He opened fire towards me. Tanner jumped beside me and threw up a forcefield around me.
“Thanks!” I exclaimed.
“I’ll provide you cover. Go!” Tanner cried.
I nodded. He followed me as I ran towards the tank. Amia lept onto it and smashed in its top, but it kept going. The tank briefly turned his attention to Amia and tried to shoot her. Chelsea quickly pulled her away before she could be injured. With the bot distracted, I lept up, and gave two swift kicks into the chassis. Direct hit. The robot disassembled.
We stood there for a few moments, breathless. Chelsea was giddy.
“Wow! That was awesome!” She exclaimed, “We make a good team!”
I couldn’t help but smile a little.
“Yeah…I guess we do…”