I wasn’t sure how long I’d been here. I was losing track of time. Whether it was because we were underground, or I was simply not given the freedom to see the sun rise and fall. I was slowly growing weary. I longed for the fresh breeze against my face, I longed for the miles of green hills, fields, and farmlands; the smell of the sea, the scent of plants and trees. I was a hedgehog. I was my happiest in nature. But all that was here was metal, rock, whiffs of burning, and the sting of cleaning chemicals flaring my nose. I fought my entire life to prevent this, yet I was now trapped in it. But I had to remind myself: I still had a purpose.
I panted, bending down, resting my hands on my knees. My legs, normally light and immune to gravity’s pull, was becoming ball-and-chain on the rest of my body. Old bruises throbbed from pressure, and reopened wounds stung.
There was a whirring and clanging gears as the test chamber reset. I finally straightened, and glanced at the black window.
“That was fun!” I declared, “Are we done?”
There was silence for a moment. The doors began to raise, both the exit, and the home of all the robots. This time, there were no guards at the exit. The robots loaded inside sat dormant for a solid minute. I raised my eye.
“Continue the test” said the voice.
I was puzzled. I saw that gaping doorway behind me. I was tempted. I wanted to rush out that door again. Robots whirred to life. They searched for their target and pointed their guns at me. My heart sank a little, but I got down on one knee, ready for combat once again.
Then, I felt something touch my shoulder.
“Come with me, Blue Blur.”
There was a glitching sound. I was startled, and whirled around. There was a flash. The robots were struck into a million pieces. The rest of the robots shut down. Alarms began to blare and red lights flashed.
“Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Intruder alert!”
Suddenly, a silver haired, blue eyed boy appeared before me. He was wearing white pants and shirt, barefoot, with the S.E.W.D. symbol.
“Who’re you!?” I cried.
“No time to explain! Run!” said the boy.
I didn’t argue. I followed him.
We raced out the exit. I could hear the clattering of soldiers coming towards us. The boy zipped by me. He grabbed two soldiers and collided their heads. He zapped to another soldier and elbowed him in the gut. To another he punched in the face. I was shocked. He had super speed like me! I noticed the glowing lines running up his arms. Luana had those…!
One grabbed him, wrapping his arm around the boy’s neck in an attempt to strangle him. However, I sped forward and kicked the soldier in the face, sending him sprawling to the ground. The boy gasped for breath and gave me a look of gratitude.
“Come on! This way!” He exclaimed.
We continued, flying through the hallways and down the stairs. More soldiers came to take us down but I was ready. I sonic-rolled into them like a pin-ball machine.
We made it to what appeared to be the bottom floor. Then, the boy grabbed my wrist and pulled me into a dark place and covered my mouth. We stood in silence for a minute. Footsteps of soldiers came rushing closer, and closer. Then farther, and farther away. Finally, the boy pulled his hand from my muzzle and whispered:
“Keep walking forward.”
I was a little concerned about roaming aimlessly in the dark, but this guy seemed to know what he was doing. We moved in silence, until finally, we reached a dimly lit room. It was empty except for the piles of clipped electric wires and decrypted boxes. The boy walked ahead of me to a computer terminal. He turned it on.
“‘Kay, are you gonna tell me who you are now?” I asked.
The boy didn’t answer for a moment.
“Jaden” He finally said, “Or Subject 7, as S.E.W.D. calls me.”
“You’re a test subject?”
Jaden nodded. My heart sank, then my fists tightened with rising anger.
“So that’s what they’ve done to Luana…”
“Is that why you run so fast?”
Jaden nodded again.
“Sometimes test subjects can gain more than two powers. Your friend seems to be one of those.”
My eyes widened.
“You’ve seen Luana!?” I gasped.
“Yes. So far she has demonstrated electrokinesis and super strength, but that’s all I could see.”
“She’s still alone?”
“No, one of the scientists persuaded Commander Stone to relocate her with a group…My group…”
It wasn’t real good news, but it was still good. At least Luana wasn’t locked up by herself anymore…
“You were in a group?” I continued to ask.
“Yes. Until I managed to run away.”
Jaden lifted his head.
“I’m a lot more clever than most kids, even before the serum,” He explained, “I was able to sneak past their security and learn how to navigate this place-” -He gestured to the room around us- “-I found this room. It’s an abandoned section of the facility. No one comes in here anymore. This is where I’ve been able to hide.”
“Why haven’t you tried to escape?”
“I’m not going to run while other kids like me are suffering.”
I bit my lip.
“So, where did this serum come from?”
“That has been heavily classified. I’m still trying to bypass their security to find out. All that I’ve been able to gather is that they’ve been sticking dozens, maybe even hundreds of test subjects to try and get a kid that can possess ‘all’ abilities.”
“‘All’? How many are there?”
Jaden raised his head to glance at me again.
“I also know this all started from you, Blue Blur.”
“South Islanders have abilities beyond human comprehension. Their whole purpose is replicating what you possess as a superweapon. I thought they’ve discovered everything: I’ve seen your skills in other children. But they’re looking for something else…”
There was silence. I felt guilty, but also angry, angry that the power and freedom they’ve taken from me was used to oppress others, especially children.
“I’m surprised they used your friend as a test subject,” Jaden continued, “She’s much older than any other subject. Then again, she is connected to a scientist who used to work here, is she not?”
I bowed my head in shame.
“Yes. It’s how we met.”
Hesitantly, I explained how I had been captured by S.E.W.D. a long time ago, and how Dr. Dockinson sealed me away in his basement for years until Luana woke me up. I then told him all we had been through up until this point.
“It’s my fault she’s here,” I said sadly, “I wasn’t strong enough to keep her safe.”
“A lot of us have lost our friends because we weren’t strong enough,” Jaden responded, calmly, “You’re not alone.”
I opened my eyes. It was still dark. Amia, Tanner, and Chelsea were still sleeping. I sat up. The door to our room opened. I stood up, but no one came inside. It was quiet.
Slowly, I approached the door. The hallway’s layout was different. Instead it was even darker. That is, except for a glow coming from a giant archway to the left of me. I stepped through the hallway, and rounded the corner. Beyond the archway was a giant room. The back of it had miles of black cords, all connected to a large platform with a rectangular metal doorway. The glow brightened. I looked to the left to see a large, circular container with a thick dome of glass atop of it. Inside was where the glow was coming from. I walked towards it. I began to hear whispering.
I was drawn to it. The glow became a shining light, bursting into many colors. I stopped in front of the dome and looked inside. Seven colossal gems, all different colors radiating blindly. The whisper grew louder.
“The servers are the seven chaos. Chaos is power, power is enriched by the heart. The controller is the one that unifies the chaos.
Join us, Luana. Bind with us, so you may serve as the Guardian.”
“The ‘Guardian’? The Guardian of what?”
“The Blue Blur…!”
Suddenly a blast of illumination shined in my eyes from the gate. I heard a rumble from behind me. I whirled sound and saw a hurling void of darkness come towards me. I covered my face and squeezed my eyes shut. Then, eerily, I heard my own voice, screaming distressingly from the black:
I threw myself up. It was dark. The children remained asleep, and the door was shut tight.
“What was that?” I wondered.
I pulled out my locket, and gripped it tightly. I hadn’t forgotten my purpose.