Tanner Academy Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

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There was a jab in my arm and pain seeped into my bones as the syringe compressed its contents into my veins. My eyes fluttered open and I struggled against the bonds that held me against the cold metal slate. My thoughts were muddled and confused amidst the fog of the anaesthetic. A serrated scalpel glinted wickedly in the hands of the masked face that was hovering above my twisted body.

The scalpel started to lower and anger boiled within me. Static hissed in the air and the blindingly bright lights started to flicker.

Shouts and yells reached my ears but I was beyond listening. The masked face disappeared and I heard the clutter of equipment on the clean white floors.

Thick white gas hissed through the vents in the walls and crept into my lungs. I coughed and thrashed against the suffocating fog as I felt the numbness spread around my body.

Eventually my struggling ceased and my eyes slid shut once more.

A man with greying hair and a brown, weathered face walked calmly along the shiny tiles accompanied by an annoyed looking receptionist dressed in a snappy suit. The older man glanced at his own snazzy new suit in a tinted window, thinking that he looked pretty damn professional.

He turned back to the quickly stalking receptionist ahead of him. "So, I don't believe we've introduced ourselves accordingly." He stated in a very professional manner, "Your name is...?"

"None of your concern." A smooth voice answered, belonging to a well manicured woman with stark brown hair.

The woman waved away the receptionist and continued through the labyrinth of hallways with the man. "Dr Walton, this is certainly a... surprise." She said.

Despite her calm exterior, Dr Walton easily saw the discomfort in her thoughts. "Well, you know me, always dropping in for a visit now and then. Isn't that right Amelia?"

She tensed suddenly. "It's Ms Brine." She snapped.

Dr Walton translated absently. "Brine: water which is saturated or nearly saturated with a salt-"

"I know what you're here for Dr Walton." She interrupted, barely able to conceal her frustration.

"And what would that be Ms Brine?"

They entered an iron cage elevator and Ms Brine pulled a lever down with a loud boom.

"Experiment 101." She answered as the doors jammed shut.

The elevated finally halted and the doors slid open. Dr Walton and Ms Brine were now walking past several open rooms where the scientist studied and analysed. On one computer screen they passed was a diagram of a thin figure glowing dully but it was gone before Dr Walton could take a better look.

"Experiment 101 will not be released into anybody's custody except ours." Ms Brine continued, "The thing is dangerous and has killed many, many people. We keep it here for-"

"-the good of the nation." Dr Walton interrupted bitterly when they stopped at a small, oval shaped window.

Through the tightly bolted window was a teenage girl. Tubes and wires pieced her skin while strong metal straps held her against an iron table. Amidst the needles and restraints her body was tall but painfully thin. Her cheeks were hollow and her face gaunt with sunken eyes. Her hair was dark and lanky and her skin glowed an unnatural pale colour under the blinding lights above her.

For the first time during the whole trip, Dr Walton let a quarter of his anger show. "Have you even been feeding her at all?!" He demanded.

"We have tried to give it nutrients to sustain its life but it has only rejected it." She said matter-of-factly. "We haven't tried to feed it for a long time now and it still lives."

"Funny how you say 'it' instead of 'her'." He growled quietly.

"It's simply not human anymore."

A violet substance made its way down the tubing and into the girl's body. She shuddered and her eyes flickered beneath the lids. "What are you doing to her?" Dr Walton demanded.

"Waking her up." She answered simply.

True to her word, the girl's mind started to come out of unconsciousness. Her head was a messy patchwork of distorted thoughts and memories. Chunks of her past were missing and the ones that remained morphed together to form confused and terrible hallucinations. Dr Walton had seen minds like this before, except they had all belonged within the walls of an asylum.

He started to push past the note taking scientists and waited angrily at the prison door. Ms Brine followed. "Open the doors Ms Brine, I must speak with her." He said in a cold tone.

Ms Brine started to object but he gave her a steely glare. Finally the tightly sealed doors hissed open and Dr Walton strolled inside while Ms Brine was more hesitant.

Amidst her broken thoughts he found her nearly forgotten name. "Cade?" he asked gently.

Her eyes snapped open, revealing a pair of electric blue irises. Everyone took a sudden step back, all but Dr Walton who stood his ground.

".... Haven't been called that in awhile...." She slurred, eyelids drooping heavily.

He nodded and put his hands in his pockets. "Yes I imagine you haven't." He said conversationally, "My name is Dr Walton and it is a pleasure to finally meet you."

Cade stared at him blankly. "Your not here to cut me open again, are you?" she asked hoarsely.

"Err, no Cade."

She sighed weakly with relief. "Good..."

Dr Walton cocked his head to the side. "Do they cut you open a lot here, Cade?"

"...I think so... sometimes I wake up while they're doing it... what fun..."She mumbled and started to cough.

Dr Walton shuddered internally. "I see." He murmured, and then said "Cade, I have come here with a proposition for you."

"Have you now?"

"Yes. I wish to enrol you into my school, Tanner Academy."

She watched him for a few moments, trying to tell if he was serious.

Then, all of a sudden, she started to laugh.

It wasn't a pleasing or happy sound, and Dr Walton's skin crawled as he listened. It was a slow, deep rasp that racked her whole body and twisted her face. The noise echoed off the walls and held more torment then a scream.

"You think that they're gonna let me out!?" She yelled with a wild edge to her voice, "After everything, you think that they're gonna just let me go!?" The lights above her started to flicker and they felt the hair on their arms rise with sudden static. "You're mistaken Doctor! Your" -cough- "mistaken..."

She started to cough as thick, white gas coming from the vents in the walls drifted into her airways. Ms Brine pulled Dr Walton out of the chamber as the prison doors hissed shut. For one small moment, Dr Walton looked back at the girl and heard her weakly mutter "Fool..."

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