Category Archives: Faylinn’s Chronicles

Yes, I’m alive although I’m censored

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After a hiatus of this whole year I’ve decided to get back on the writing track. I think some of you will be happy (ecstatic?) to know that Faylinn’s Chronicles will be released as a fully edited AND COMPLETED novel in late November 2012. Because it’s going to take a whole lotta work to meet this deadline I have decided to not release any further serial pieces.

I have plans to team up with an Awesome Professional Editor (and dear tribe friend), Karla (who doesn’t actually know it yet LOL) to bring you a super high quality story.

On another note, I got a request for my short story Krista, which has been published through Amazon’s Kindle service and found out that I have been CENSORED! My book is no longer available through no deliberate action of my own. I’m not sure if I should be proud of that or not. I believe it IS still available through Scribd but if anyone would like to read it and cannot access it, I can email out read-only copies. They won’t be as pretty as the formatted versions for your e-reader but hey, that’s the price for getting your hands on censored material. (also, any reviews would be appreciated since I have none).

 

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Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Saturday, October 22, 2318

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Saturday, October 22, 2318

Nausea wells up inside me as I write. I learned today, almost by accident, something that I cannot accept. My father was a monster.

Lordain gifted me with some of my father’s journals, these, he said, were this private notes, things I wouldn’t have found in the Library. I think he gave me them so I would find this. His work with nano-techonology didn’t end with those pages I so eagerly read. No, they continued in what I would call ethically removed ways. The work with plants failed but he never let that stop him from moving into living beings, first small animals and then, God, I can barely write it, humans. He worked on humans, women, men but then children, then…embryos.

My brain is revolting against this knowledge but it’s right there in his handwriting. I can see these are his words. I can see he is disconnected from the horrific things he has done.

Tybal came to fetch me and saw my tears. He brings a comfort to me that scares me at times but this time I needed him. I showed him the things I found and asked him if he knew.

“Sweetling,” he said gently, “why do you think I am here?” At those words so many things fell into place. Tybal, Aaron, how many other nameless faces were here because of him? How many children had he experimented on throughout the years, grown adults now? But my father wasn’t alone in his research, his experiments. Grifkin’s name popped up more than once.

“I want to speak with Lordain.” I told him. I didn’t know what I wanted to say but I needed to say something. I couldn’t sit in silence, knowing the kinds of things these people, these “scientists” were capable of.

He was sitting behind the desk in the room I had never been in before but knew of from eavesdropping. The stark furnishings, the walls lined with large metal filing cabinets were different from the picture my mind’s eye had created. It took me a moment to adjust to reality. Lordain looked up at me, a haggard expression marred his face. Papers were strewn everywhere, spilling over the edges of the desk to pool around it’s legs. The flourescent light above flickered in that way that makes you question your sanity.

“You have read them, then.” It wasn’t a question so I didn’t answer. “I won’t justify what Johnathan has done. And I won’t speak ill of the dead. But I will say that he did things that others weren’t willing to for a greater purpose. The Earth is dead, Faylinn. How much longer do you think it can support billions of lives? Lives that still take it for granted, that still do the same things they’ve always done thinking themselves invincible. That the world will just be here because they want it to be. Yes, what he did may seem horrific to you but there is a greater horror that awaits us all if we cannot find a solution.”

“I don’t see how experimenting on babies will help.”

“That is because you have only been shown one part of the research that we do here.”

“I don’t want to know what other atrocities you’ve done!”

“What do you feel for these children, these beings?” His head tilted as he looked at me, narrowed eyes assessing. The worn expression was replaced with curiosity.

“I am sad for them.”  My anger not forgotten but held in caution. I gripped Tybal’s hand.

“You have wept for those you have never met.” He said as his gaze brushed over the dried salt-water on my cheeks. He smiled. “This is good! You’ve made some progress.” He stood up knocking more papers to the floor, walking across them as he came to stand in front of me. “Why do you think you are important to us?”

“I…I don’t know.” I stammered thrown off balance, hit by the swing in his demeanor.

“Still? I think it would be obvious by now.” He looked pointedly from Tybal to myself many times. Each movement of his eyes was like a sledgehammer to the gut bringing with it new threads of enlightenment. Tybal. Bang. Me. Bang. Tybal. Bang. Me.

“I’m not his daughter.” I choked out.

“Yes and no. Think harder, allow yourself to accept the unacceptable. Bring down those walls you’ve erected in your mind.” He focused on me but I didn’t really notice, my mind was swimming in a sea of broken pieces as they snapped together, the puzzle was quickly being completed.

“I’m his experiment.” He smiled wide as Tybal squeezed my hand. My throat, so tight, the words barely scraped through. “You need me, what he’s done to me, to save the Earth.” The smile got wider. “But I don’t know how!”

“Read his books. Look beyond what you deem horrific, you will see. It’s important for you to accept this, it’s important for you to want to do this. It’s part of the reason Grifkin kept you in the dark, he felt that you didn’t need to know to be effective, that fear would be a better motivator. I, and the others, don’t feel that way. We need you to cooperate because you feel compelled to do so. We need your compassion just as much. You need to know what the future holds for you but we cannot pressure you into the knowledge. While time is growing shorter, we do have the time you need, I think, to see how this is the only solution.” He looked at Tybal, “Take her to her room and help her find the answers she needs. I’ll be waiting when she’s ready.”

My mind was still lost in that ocean of puzzle pieces as Tybal brought me back to my room. Had Jonathan ever loved me? Was it only a game to him, an experiment? I remembered the games we played, the ones so like the tests here. The books he read me as I snuggled in his arms. Was it only a rouse? Was he merely training me? I tried to remember my mother and him together but they were separate. As though one came after the other. Had they ever been married, true husband and wife? Tybal urged me to rest but I couldn’t. I flipped to the middle of a book, the one with the least amount of wear.

 

The subject is showing increased attachment. I feel I have successfully integrated myself in her mind as her father. The subject doesn’t consider herself any different from the others around her. This may be a positive step, something we have neglected with the others. Only time will tell…

 

No, I won’t rest again until I understand it all.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Tuesday, October 18, 2318

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Tuesday, October 18, 2318

The days grow shorter but feel a thousand times longer. I lay in my room counting the hours, minutes, seconds wondering how long it will take for Tybal to return, if he would return. After he left me in my room, I haven’t seen Aaron since. I worry a little for him, also. Does his absence mean Tybal is coming back? Does it mean something different? Even Grifkin has kept away.

I am learning more, the tests are finished, but I feel like everything I do is being tested, examined, graded. Maybe that’s just me. A small dark man in a white jacket, “Professor”, he tells me to call him, has been instructing me.  He allows me to focus on science, biology. I find it completely fascinating. Much I already know, some is new. I grab onto the newness pleased to have understanding in something when there are so many places I lack information.

“Professor,” I ask, “Why are there no animals any longer? Why are there no birds?”

“In some places animals still live, but those are laboratories and the like. We are trying to clone them but it’s just not working, something in them isn’t right. But we have their codes on file, one day we will have them again.” Something bright flashed through his eyes as he looked at me.

“Do you think there will ever be wild animals again? Ones that roam freely?” 

“Only if the Earth is able to sustain them. The ground is too polluted for even weeds to grow. The animals need something to eat, either plants or each other. It’s hard to say if it will happen.” I thought about my yellow flower like a star burning in the emptiness of the universe as it sat alone in the dirt. I opened my mouth to tell him but he cut me off with a gentle whisper, “The dandelion you found was bait, Faylinn. I thought you would have figured that out by now.”

I didn’t know what to say so I said nothing. Have I been that stupid all along? Taking things for face value without looking into the depths? Yes, I’ve been naive. I wished Tybal was here to talk to. Then I realized that he had known, he had set that trap for me. Was it to give me motivation to escape? Was it to spur me in the right direction? Now I questioned my request to have him return. Aaron had been more open with me, but he had been scared.

Is there anyone for me to trust?

Yes, there was. Myself.

After lessons, I was summoned to the Library yet again. And when the door opened I lost my breath. Tybal sat in the oversized chair, pulling himself to his feet when he met my eyes. In only a few weeks he had changed so much. His face was drawn tight, darkness shadowed sky blue eyes, like a storm threatning well weather. He was thinner and when he moved toward me I noticed he limped slightly. What had they done to him? Why had they done it?

He drew me to him, enclosing me in his arms and the questions and doubt I had melted away. For a moment I was at peace. A moment that ended at a rough clearing of the throat. My attention was drawn to the desk and the tall, thin man standing behind it.

“It’s alright.” Tybal’s hot breath gently brushed my ear, chilling me. The man gestured for us to sit. I was apprehentious and felt tension strum through me. I tried to recall the peace I felt only a minute ago but it was a lifetime away now.

“Hello, Faylinn.” He said as he sat. “I am Lordain.” His tallness intimidated me a little but his plain face held a smile that reached into his brown eyes. It reminded me of another meeting in this same room though the feel of it was markedly different.

“Where is Grifkin?”

“We no longer required his services. I think you will find many things much changed.” He had a voice like silk, cool and smooth but I didn’t detect the hidden layer beneath, the darker one I felt under Grifkin’s words. “We apologize for removing Tybal. We didn’t understand.”

“Who is “we”?” I asked suspiciously, narrowing my eyes at him.

“We are a collection of scientist, researchers, doctors. Our order was formed many centuries ago when it was realized that the Government wouldn’t heed our warnings. We are the force behind the Carbon Monoxide Inhibitor tanks, the food cakes, the waste to water centers, the list goes on and on.  Though we have worked secretly, preserving what we can along the way, all the while developing a…cure, if you will, to reestablish the life of the Earth and ensure this horrendous neglect doesn’t occur again.”

“I still don’t understand where I fit into all this.”

“You will, my child, soon. I promise.” White teeth peeked out from between his smiling lips. “There are no more guards at your door, nor will you be required to be escorted. I want to apologize for Grifkin’s stricter ways. It is not our intent to cow you into submission;, we want to work with you. Cooperation between us can’t be forced with secrecy and detainment and fear. We understand you favor Tybal. It is our desire to see you happy here. The Atrium has been opened for you to visit any time as well as the Library. If there is anything else you require you need just ask.”

“Will you test me again?”

“No. That is over and frankly, Grifkin was a little too enthusiastic. He has been reassigned. I would ask, though, that you still study with Professor Haem, he is delighted to teach  you whatever you wish to know. If it is alright with you, we have another room available for you to stay in. I think you will feel more comfortable there.”

“I…suppose.” Truth be told I was floored over these changes, so abrupt they came. A little voice in my mind whispered to me that Tybal had told the truth; I was important to these people, these scientists. A weight lifted off my shoulders with the news of Grifkin’s departure.

“What of Aaron? Where is he?” His words were so dire, they rang in my ears and my stomach filled with dread.

“If you would like him here as well, perhaps something can be arranged. But I assure you he has been taken safely home.” His voice held an air of finality. I wasn’t sure how to answer. I didn’t know what his home was or where it was. He could be happy there, though he was adamant he didn’t want to return to wherever they had him before. Was it his home? Or had he been taken from there to somewhere else and that was the place he didn’t want to return to? Could I even trust what Lordain told me? My head swam with indecision. If I asked for them to bring Aaron here would he be happier, safer? Or would I be forcing him to leave his family? I just wasn’t sure so again I said nothing.

“Grifkin said that things were moving up, that it didn’t matter if I was ready. What was he talking about?” A button started blinking, a red flash on the desktop that captured Lordain’s attention. He muttered something and quickly shooed us from the room. The hall was dark and empty. We didn’t meet anyone on our way back to my room. At some point Tybal’s hand wrapped around mine. I felt the warmth from it penetrate my hand and move up my arm until it permeated my entire being. I had missed him so much.I could feel the thump of his heart, the soft movment of his breath, the small electrifying jolt of his cells until it seemed we were two halves of one being, joined through the simple threading of fingers. I had worried every moment he was gone and even though I was concerned over his appearance, the dreadful feelings melted away with each step, released through happy tears that quietly streamed down my face. I felt my heart beat speed up to match his.

When we reached the door he tried to disentangle his fingers but I held fast pulling him into the darkness. The door closed behind us as his lips closed on mine.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Saturday, October 15, 2318

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Saturday, October 15, 2318

Tybal is gone. I’m sure of it. He left me that night and hasn’t returned. I asked Grifkin where he went, my heart pounded so hard in my chest, but he wouldn’t tell me. I’m afraid. Afraid that Grifkin has lived up to his threats. Afraid of what that might mean for me. For weeks I’ve waited each night, throat tightened, staring at the dark space along the wall where he would knock. Wait in desperation for time again with him in the Atrium. I wait until sleep drags me under her black waves and then I dream. Terrible, racing feelings, bright lights and distorted faces screaming in silence until I wake up shivering, damp with sweat.

And all this time I worry and wonder about him. I know he is gone.

Grifkin has taken a liking to my visiting him in his Library where he talks to me about sciences, politics, humanity. Though these “talks” always devolve into one-sided lectures. It feels like he is trying to tell me something important everytime he opens his mouth. He questions me on my feelings about current issues, staging hypotheical situations to moral dilemmas. I care little for these things and I tell him so. I make him angry with my disinterest.

“Did you have any friends in the City?” He asked, nestled like a viper in his oversized chair.

“Yes, of course.” I answered, too quickly.

“Who? Who was your friend?” I answered this time with silence. And here is where the viper rears back his head to strike. I could see it in his eyes, the triumph, and understood my mistake. “You had no friends. There was no one, was there? You lived for over twenty years in the same area, worked with the same people and I bet you can’t tell me a single one of their names. Tsk, tsk. For all Jonathan taught you, in this he failed.”

I felt fear then as I had not known it before, snaking up my spine. He had spoken like this before, that I was not what they hoped for, that I had too much to learn but by the hard look he punched at me I knew things had changed.

“What does it matter that I had no friends?” I supressed a cringe at the weakness of my voice.

“A little. A lot. But it doesn’t matter now. We have wasted too much time already trying to prepare a thing that can’t be prepared. We need to move forward whether you’re ready or not.” Before I could speak the door opened and a man walked in. He was tall and thin. By the way his clothes hung loose, too thin. His head was shaved and small, dark eyes poked out from under brows so thick they were nearly joined. “This is Aaron.” He announced it as an explaination, gesturing to the young man that now prowled toward me like a cat to mouse. Instant dislike fringed on disgust singed across my skin. I wanted to move away as his eyes slowly perused my body, his thin lips turned to a greasy smile I wanted to wash off me. Triumph lurched in his eyes as they met mine.

“No.” I whispered getting up and moving behind my chair. Aaron’s face fell.

“She’s already bonded.” He hissed at Grifkin. “You told me she hadn’t made a connection yet. I’m not going back there. You said, I was chosen.”

“Shut up. She hasn’t bonded, we didn’t allow them any time together. Maybe she just doesn’t like you.” He retorted, leaving the chair and walking around to the front of the desk. “It doesn’t matter. We’re running out of time. Faylinn, Aaron is your guide now. I want you two to spend time together. He’ll collect you from your room and escort you to where you need to go.”

“No.” I said, my voice growing stronger. “What does he mean “bonded” to what? To who? Tell me now, Grifkin.”

“Or you’ll what?”

“I’ll leave.”

“Leave?” A laugh erupted from his stomach. “You think you can leave here?”

“I escaped the Domes.” I replied.

“My dear,” He said rubbing his hands together. “We are in the middle of a mountain, surrounded by other mountains. Even if you managed to get down to ground level, there’s no where to hide. The closest City is a an eight hour ride by Heli. No, little Faylinn, you’ll never leave unless I say it.”

“Why won’t you tell me what is going on?” I wouldn’t let the dispair color my face. I was trapped. Tybal was gone. And then there was Aaron.

“Because, as I’ve told you before, you’re not ready. Your stupid mother took you to the City where we couldn’t get to you so you weren’t brought up properly. You don’t know your place. I suppose Jonathan did his best but I still don’t understand why he didn’t teach you, train you.” His face contorted to a hundred degress of disgust as he spat the words at me. “Instead I get handed this mess and now they tell me to get the project up and running. There’s no time to coddle you anymore. You’re humanity’s hope, it’s future. God help us all. I don’t want to hear you refusing us anymore, I don’t care if you’re ill-informed. Take it up with your father, the way things are going you’ll be seeing him sooner than you think.” 

“I want Tybal back!” I blurted out before clasping my hand over my mouth. Both Aaron and Grifkin’s mouthes hung open, staring at me like I just asked them to bring me a purple puppy. “If you want me to cooperate, fine. You want me to follow you blindly, I’ll do it. But I do it with Tybal not with him.”

“Tybal isn’t on the board any longer.” Grifkin replied after a moment’s hesitation.

“Get him back on it.” Tybal said I should ask for something Grifkin would be hard pressed to deliver. I doubted he thought it would be himself I’d ask for. “Take her to her room, Aaron. I have a call to make.” By the flushed look he gave the telephone I could tell it wasn’t going to be a pleasant chat.

We walked in silence down the hallway and as soon as we turned the corner away from Grifkin and the Library Aaron grabbed my arm, yanking me to a stop.

“How did you bond with him? He wasn’t given access to you, they promised me.” His whispers were sharp in my ear and cut into me as hard as his fingers. “I won’t go back, I won’t let them take me.”

“Where were you? Where did they take Tybal?”  My own whispers sliced the air.

“I don’t know about him. Give me a chance. Please. You can make him change his mind, make him let me stay. Please, Faylinn.” He pleaded.

“Why do you all think I have power over Grifkin? I’m as powerless as you are. I don’t even know what I’m doing here.” I yanked my arm but he wouldn’t be refused.

“You’re the only girl. The only one. Ever. The males, they breed them like rats in cages and treated worse than that. You’re special don’t you see? When they bring Tybal back, you’ll know. I can feel it now, the bond, it’s not that strong but it’s there. When he comes back they’ll take me away. Listen to me now, I need you to understand this, promise me, don’t worry about me but the others, they need you. You have to see that they’re set free. This is important, I want you to swear to me you’ll free them.” Tears welled in his dark eyes, the desperation threatned to drown me. I agreed, I swore, I said whatever he wanted me to say. The others would be free.

The darkness of my room crept inside my skin. I felt hollow as I lay fetally in bed wondering, worrying. Sleep washed over me in wicked waves that ebbed into blackness until I couldn’t tell if I was awake of asleep, lost in a rolling torment. Until I couldn’t tell if the knock on my door was real or imagined. Until he lay down behind me, molding his body to mine, cradling me in the warmth of his arms and I shook with tears of relief and confusion.

When I awoke this morning I was alone.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Saturday, October 1, 2318

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Saturday, October 1, 2318

I have been conducting my own tests.

There seems to be a theme going with the words I overheard and the ones Tybal whispered in the Atrium; they need me. For what exactly is still unclear but there is power in that and I have latched onto it with both hands. I have not written down the things that have happened lately because I can feel now that I am being watched. I don’t want to give them anything to hold over me but today I felt the journal calling and so I sit and write.

“Tell me about my mother.” I had asked Grifkin as more of my blood snaked through a clear tube. I saw the flash of anger contort his face before he regained that cool composure. His words were dull and meaningless, nothing in them was truth but the shift in his eyes and the sacchrine tones that dripped like venom from his mouth told me enough. Later that night Tybal collected me from my room and we took the elevator up. The Atrium has become our sanctuary, our time to spend together speaking frankly. Though how he manages sneaking us there so often I don’t know, but I don’t care. I trust him. I can’t explain that either, something inside just does.

I can see in those blue, blue eyes as we sit together on the stone benches under the shading canopy of green leaves that he wants to say it all, that he wants to tell me everything but he cannot. So, I carefully pick at him like teasing a string from a tight knot until I gain just a little more information. A little more fuel for my tests.

I don’t feel guilty for this, he knows what I am doing and the information is bubbling up so overwhelmingly inside him, I think he feels relief that it is said by my urging and not his own will.

Grifkin and my mother were not friends. My mother didn’t like what they were doing here. When she found out she was pregnant, and that the child was a girl, she left. My father followed her to the City.

How or what or why he never said, just those terse sentences. That was how he always told me things. But I had to be careful, even through all these games we played, Tybal and I, was the constant reminder shouting in the back of my head that, to these people, he was expendable. I think that is why I don’t push too hard.

“What is a Seeker?” I asked Grifkin as I pushed myself on the treadmill during one of his tests. This time I wasn’t able to look at his face but his long pause told me.

“Where did you hear that?” He asked.

“My father told me once that I was a Seeker. I wondered if you knew what it meant.” I replied innocently. I glanced at the controls, I was nearing my thirty-fifth mile. By the eightith, we had to break for lunch.

I am still unsure if I should be doing poorly on these tests, but in all honesty I don’t know what that would mean, less than what I am able but by how much? I have no gauge except my own ability. There is no one being tested with me for which I could determine if I was better or worse. I just do what comes naturally even when it results in eyes silently flickering between scientists. I asked Tybal but he said for me to do my best, that nothing I did would ever been lacking or wrong. I rolled my eyes and shoved his shoulder in play and told him to be serious. Later that night, alone in the darkness of my room I realized he had been serious.

Piece by piece things fall into line, snatches of memories between my father and I resurface and I begin to understand, even a tiny bit, what was happening, though my knowledge is lacking so painfully much. Last night Tybal told me to ask Grifkin for something. Something that is a bit ridiculous but that I tell him I need. That will make me happy. He said to think of it as another test for them. Which is how we talk now; Us and Them. Somewhere we have formed an alliance.

Before he left me in my room he grabbed my hand, turning me toward him. At first I thought there was something he forgot to say but his eyes were shining in a funny way that made my stomach flip on it’s side. I cannot describe the feeling of his lips touching mine. I cannot remember what I was thinking, if I was thinking at all. The only thing I can say is that something happened, something more than a kiss. When the doors shut me into a black void I swear I could feel his heart beating a quick rhythm to the pace of his steps as he walked down the hall. I felt him still, as it softened, slowed as he drifted into sleep, as it lulled me into my own.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Sunday, September 25, 2318

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Sunday, September 25, 2318

I do not like the new tests. My shoulder burns where they extracted a dermal sample. “All for the best.” Grifkin answers me, “To be sure.” He replies. But for what they will not answer no matter how I try and threaten or how ever angry I become. And I am angry.

I slump back to my cell each day, has it really only been three days? Exhaustion weighs heavy on me, the long days filled with physical tests; running, lifting. There is a room somewhere where tiny vials filled with all parts of me lay, megabites of data float inside computers each with my name. It is unsettling.

The guards have returned, my modicum of freedom has ended. They escort me where I need to go, the door no longer opens for me. My eyes are already closed when my body crashed to the bed at the end of each day. I don’t have time to miss the Library, or his books. I don’t have time to even realize that I still feel safe in this room and to question the sanity in that.

But tonight, as I lay already deep in sleep I was awoken.

“Come, Faylinn.” He whispered. And I went.

We took a door I had never noticed before, to the far left of my own hallway. The guards were gone, everything dark and silent though I felt that it must be nearing morning. We entered an elevator and Tybal pressed a series of buttons, inserted a card and the backlit numbers changed from red to green, the door closed with a ding. It was as if I were flying, we zoomed so high so quickly my ears popped. I had no idea the place was this large.

The room was bright and it took my eyes a long moment to adjust and when they did it took me more minutes to catch my breath. My body tingled. It was a huge room, washed in white lights that hung from the tall ceiling. The air here was thick, hot, scented with a million thousand flowers that were blooming all around us. Every color I had ever imagined spotted brilliantly over lush fields of green, hung from enormous pots, trailed up support beams and threatened the lights, overtaking the room. I had never seen anything so… alive. 

Do you like it?” At those words I remembered Tybal. I rushed back over to him, throwing my arms around his neck.

“I love it.” He hugged me back and for a moment I forgot about the room.

“Let me show you something else.” He took my hand and led me through a semi-clear path towards the far wall. I saw it instantly. It sat, alone, inside a little clay pot on a ledge. “It’s yours.” The flower had already gone to seed, a white puff delicately held together on the stem head. I mourned the loss of the yellow, remembering how desperately I had wanted it. How much it had meant to me then.

“Did you put it there? That night? So I would leave?” I cradled the little pot in my hands.

“No, Faylinn. This is yours, you found this one.”

“Then how did you know?” He looked pained as though there was a fight going on inside of him. I waited as he started, stopped and started again.

“We were monitoring the entire perimiter, as soon as you left I felt it, I knew where you were going.”

“And the note? What was the reason for that?” He pulled something white from his pocket. Why did he still have that scrap of paper? He turned, brushing away a thick leaf on the wall to reveal a display. Music sounded, filling the room, an orchestral piece not frequently heard in the City. So different from their penchant for eletronic mixes.

“Dance with me. Please.” He took the pot from my hands, placing it back on it’s home on the ledge and wrapped my arms around his neck. We swayed to the music before I felt the hush of his breath on my ear. “We must be careful. They listen everywhere, follow our movements. Faylinn, please listen to me.  Right now they are pushing you around, telling you where to go and what to do. They keep you like a prisoner, like a pet. But you have to realize that dosen’t have to be the way.”

“I don’t understand.” I whispered, finding his ear.

“And they don’t want you to. Not until they have what they want, not until their tests confirm what they already know. You are Chosen. It will be you they all turn to but they are too blind to see it that way right now. All they want is to control you, they don’t understand that they need to be accepted by you.”

“You’re not making any sense.”

“We don’t have a lot of time. There is so much more I want to tell you but I just can’t right now. I’m not important, Faylinn, I’m no one. Not yet, anyway. If they know I’m telling you these things you’ll wake up one day with a different Consort. One that is on their side, one that won’t look at you and see the things I see. You have to accept me. I know I’ve made mistakes, like with the note but it was the only thing I could think of. The only way to get you to make the choice to go to the Domes. We couldn’t extract you from the Private Sector. The City is too heavily guarded, it’s why your father never left.”

“Did you have to use his words? Did you have to use them against me like that?” I wasn’t nearly as angry as I should have been. To use the dying words of my father to manipulate me had been wrong. And he knew it. But I still couldn’t be mad, not now, not as I swayed in his arms listening to his desperate words. I didn’t even need the apology he gave over and over again.

“What do I need to do?” Before he could answer the music was drowned out by a harsh whir of machinery. I broke away from Tybal, turning to the large outer walls. Slowly, the whitewashed walls rose exposing thick black glass. Higher and higher, until enormous panes reflected the room back to us. We stood silently as I watched my first sunrise. Pinks and orange shot up from behind the black masses of nearby mountains. We were up so high I couldn’t see the ground below. The colors shifted into red, yellow as the sun ascended, aided it seemed by the lure of the music still playing. My entire body vibrated with the sun, the plants, the thick air, the colors. I felt connected to them all. As if I could reach out and tell the plants to grow bigger, force the sun to rise higher, make the air hold more moisture.  I felt Tybal next to me, I could feel his warmth, his solidity but where I felt power over these other things I felt none of that with him. Though looking back there was something there, some connection not made, a break in circuit, something I couldn’t quite place my finger on but it was dim and overpowered by the sensation of everything else.

The spell was broken as the door to my room closed behind me. When I realized he had never answered my question, I rushed back to the door only to find it locked once again. I took off my night clothes to get ready for the day. My reflection caught in the mirror. I turned, fingertips feeling their way to the place on the back of my shoulder where they had removed the square inch of skin.

It had already healed.

Faylinn’s Chronicles ~ Thursday, September 22, 2318

Standard

Thursday, September 22, 2318

Grifkin is the kind of man that people initially overlook. The round, quiet older man that sits in the corner, unobtrusive. His graying hair and soft appearance, endearing. While you think he is idle and unconcerned, he is in fact biding his time. I could cut myself on the sharpness of his mind which I found out nearly by accident.

I had become a habit, a routine, something predictable. Each day was the same, how easy it was for me to fall into a dance, especially when I felt safe. That is no longer true. In the course of a single day my entire world collapsed yet again.

I am beginning to wonder just how many times I can have this happen before I break.

The freedom they had given me, the ability to roam the halls was a farce. Every corridor, every door, every entrance was blocked or locked besides a select few they chose to leave access to. The library was one, my room, the cafeteria and the testing rooms. Other than that I was trapped like a rat in a cage. Which is exactly how I felt meandering through the dark, solid walls. Until yesterday.

I think my mind worked like it had in the Dome, detecting and devising while I focused on other things like reading the books my father had wrote. Oh! And what vividly stimulating books they were, filled with all the things he told me of and so much more. There was an entire series dedicated to the study of his research with molecules and nanotechnology, injecting small machines into the living tissue of plants and animals. So far his experiements were failures. But I imagine my father, in a long white coat, hunched over these very books, the ink flowing freely under his intense gaze. I run my finger over the indented markings, the overstuffed chair molding around me and the scent of dust and paper filling my nose and feel close to him. But I digress, this isn’t the time for nostalgia.

On that morning I had a stomach ache and stayed in my room longer than usual. How easy, it seems, for others to fall into the same steps I dance. They didn’t think to look for me or monitor me, so predictable I had been, so on this day I rose later than usual and headed toward the kitchen. Fifteen steps before I reached that door another lay. My eyes caught the sight before I realized what I saw. A fissure in the door, a line of light seeping through, for whatever reason it hadn’t fully shut. I stopped, listened for sound and heard nothing, felt no one. My fingertips gingerly eased it open.

The flexible foam shoes were soundless, I am sure I stopped breathing. The sound of my pounding heart would surely give me away. I could hear voices, loud, arguing, coming from further down the hallway. I pressed my back against the cold wall just outside the open doorway. I couldn’t see in and didn’t dare peek but I knew who was in there without needing to look.

“You have to tell her!” I heard feet pounding against the floor and imagined Tybal pacing as he yelled, his blue eyes flashing.

“She isn’t ready. You see how she is, burying herself in Monroe’s books. We need to wait.” Came Grifkin’s easy reply.

“I waited long enough for her. She needs to know. If you won’t tell her I will.”

“No. You won’t.” A razor edge entered Grifkin’s voice. I pictured him sitting, relaxing in an overlarge chair as he did talking to me that night. But where there was comfort in his voice then, it was stripped away now. “She didn’t grow up knowing, like you. She didn’t have the years of acceptance or training. Monroe did what he could trapped in the city but it wasn’t nearly enough. You saw the test results.”

“She’s fine. She’s perfect. Let me tell her. Let me have her now.” Tybal sounded almost petulent. My heart squeezed in my chest. My mind grasped for something, something it felt it knew but couldn’t access or remember. I ignored it, focusing on their words and listening for footsteps in the hall.

“I won’t let you distrupt this project with your pettiness. It has taken us centuries to get to this far and as far as I’m concerned it can wait a few more decades until she is ready. You know it won’t matter in the end but for this to succeed you will follow my directions. Do you understand me, Tybal? She is the important piece, you, my son, are expendable. Don’t forget you’re not the only one in line, just the first.” Tybal growled, his footsteps grew closer, my eyes darted around for a place to hide but there was no where. I took a deep breath, relaxed and as he turned the corner smiled at him as if I stood here every day.

His eyes widened nearly imperceptably but he didn’t say anything just grabbed my elbow, pulling me along beside him, never even missing the beat of a step. As the hallway door shut behind us -Tybal giving it an extra push just to make certain- and the smell of dinner bloomed in the air, he finally spoke.

“How much did you hear?”

“I heard nothing.” He smiled at that.

“Oh, now, don’t be like that. I know you heard us…bickering.”

“Well, maybe I heard a little but I don’t understand. Tybal, please tell me, explain. It was me you were talking about wasn’t it?” I placed my hands on his chest beseechingly. I felt the warmth through his dark shirt. I felt awkward and unsure and slightly nauseous though from his nearness or the information I overheard I still am uncertain. His hands came up to my shoulders as he looked down at me.

“I can’t.” I could see the pain shooting through the clear sky of his eyes. And then I saw it, as vividly as if I was witnessing it before me. I saw a star, a silver speck in the blackness, flame and move, streaking across the night sky. I knew the names of these things as I watched them, the burning white trail; the coma, the white-hot head; the nucleus though I had never seen them in anything more than pictures. Now they moved in slow motion across the empty canvas of the Universe.

And then I felt it, a tingling that had nothing to do with Tybal. I felt a pull like nothing I had ever felt before, so different that words escape me how to describe it but I know it was a calling. When my vision cleared and the tingling subsided Tybal was smiling down on me. I opened my mouth to explain but closed it again. There was nothing I could tell him. He already knew.

“I will come get you in a few days. I have to make some arrangements first, but there is something I want you to see.” I nodded dumbly, still recoving from my vision and he left.

“Faylinn,” Grifkin’s voice sounded behind me. I froze, half opening the cafeteria door. I pasted on a smile and tried to look innocently. I didn’t want him to know I over heard. I wasn’t ready to piece together what I had learned. I know I didn’t want him to know of the vision. Instinct told me that would be bad. He wasn’t who I thought he was. This place wasn’t safe anymore than the Domes or the City. And I was trapped. He smilied in return, the viper I heard only moments before was now hidden behind a teddy bear. “Make sure you’re up early tomorrow. There are a few more tests we need to do.” I swallowed hard, afraid this time, of these new tests. Tybal was expendable.  What did that mean? I wondered if he could read my guilt and fear on my face but I schooled myself as much as I could and nodded.

When he left he took my appetite with him.