Chapter One: Classified
Pandora Paige Alexander is the name I have been living under since I was born. That was nearly 93 years ago. I am currently attending Middleton High School as an eleventh grader pretending to be 17 yeas old. How can I pull this off, you ask? It is simple. I was born with a disease that makes me age 5.4 times slower than any other human being.
The government and guardians are the only people that know about my condition. I have graduated from high school 12 times over the years and lived in nearly ever city in the country. Every Friday evening I travel to whatever hospital is designated for my tests and I am studied. This study is officially known as the P. P. A. Project. Highly classified.
Some of the doctors have told me I held the cure to eternal life. Others would call me a freak. It didn't matter. I didn't know any of them long enough to care. I didn't get the chance to know anyone long enough, that included my original parents. They died not long after I was born in a plane crash as every guardian after that has usually taken the fortune they were able to accumulate during a two year period and vanish.
I can choose to give up their help at any time and stop the testing but that would leave me all alone to try and explain to people why I am dawning on a century of life and have the face of a child. I figured their help was inevitable for me to get by day to day and not worry about being burned or shunned because of my incredibly rare genetic disorder.
Although, this doesn't mean I don't give them hell from time to time.
"Pandora? Come on, this isn't funny. I have to run my tests. I am gunna be in big trouble if the captain comes in and I am holding a big pile of nothing."
Liam Wilcox is the only scientist who wasn't brushed off of the project after the two year mark because of how insanely smart he is. He is only 29 years old and already has accomplished as much as many do in their lives, scientifically. Due to the work he has done just on me he has made huge medical advancements in the fields of Cancer and Hepatitis.
He was also really funny. I requested that he be able to stay on as long as he like with the project because he was the only white coat who didn't seem to have a stick shoved up his ass. After all, this was a government run project. So far he has been here for four years.
"Come on, Pan-Pan. You know you want to."
I poked my head out from the vent above, my long, dark hair like a curtain falling before him as I gave an obnoxious smile.
"I told you not to call me that. I am your elder, after all."
He smiled, shaking his head and then helped me flip down onto the ground. Stereotypically, as you see in movies and hear about, this place was all white and silver. Instruments were silver, floors, beds, cabinets, walls and even what we wore were all white. The rooms were always this lifeless.
By now I had become so bored of those hospital gowns that I had my own custom suit made with flaps that opened on the areas which needed to be tested most like the spine and lower abdomen. The only part that really sucked was having to walk around barefoot. It wasn't grandmother's toasty living room in this ice box.
I jumped onto the long, cold exam table and laid back, holding my hands over my stomach. I watched the doctor as he sat in the little exam chair and rolled over to me from the computer.
Liam was only 29 but he had aged a lot since the first time he had arrived at the P. P. A. Every day the dark circles under his eyes seemed to get deeper and deeper as his smiles were sincere but so dull these days. He was overworked and stressed but he also did it to himself. He could have left the project at any time but he was also a workaholic.