"Hey Granddad," I said, "I see your still as evil and maniacal as usual. I can't believe you would hire an assassin to kill your own daughter, my mother."
"Don't call me Granddad," Jeb said, a hint of annoyance in his voice, "you are an experiment, I am not related to you."
"Suit yourself," I replied in a mildly bored manner, "I don't want anything to do with you either. You were the one who killed my mother."
"It was necessary," Jeb explained, "we were seeing if they could survive in the real world. If they ever found out about you, some would most likely try to kill you. We had to see if you could cope."
"So, since Max failed, you decided to make a second generation by mixing the DNA of two of the first generation?" I said, "How smart."
"It was necessary," Jeb said again.
"Is that all your going to say?" I asked, "because then, if that is the case, I'm done talking to you. You treat us like we are animals, less than human. We are people, probably better than humans will ever be."
Anger clouded Jeb's face, and then was replaced by the normal mask of indifference,
"Shoot him," Jeb ordered; walking back into the shadows, "he's just another failed experiment."
The Erasers began to transform; their wolf mouths dripping with saliva, expectant of the kill. I didn't even need to read their thoughts to figure that out. The bird kids lifted their guns and pointed them at us. I heard the clicking as they prepared to fire the guns.
"You would really shoot one of your own," I said, speaking to the bird kids and the other experiments, "I am like you, I'm different, unique, why should you kill me? I've seen the outside world. It's not as bad as Jeb makes it out to be. Not everyone is going to try and kill you."
"How would you know?" One of the bird kids shouted, "How do you know that they won't try and kill you when you least expect it?"
"Because the person who helped me find this place, was a human. A Human FBI Agent," I said, "He saw me for who I am, not a human but as an Angelan."
"Angelan?" One of the other bird kids asked, "What's that?"
"That's what our flock call them selves," Skye explained, "We don't degrade ourselves by keeping the name of experiment, or continue calling ourselves the bird kids."
"You heard Jeb's orders," one of the Erasers said, "Shoot them."
The bird kids raised their guns, but more hesitantly this time. They were unsure of what to do.
"Look, you can choose what you want to do," I said, "Jeb doesn't control your life, he doesn't control mine and I'm related to him, for crying out loud!"
An Eraser leapt from the balcony, aiming to bite me in the throat. A chorus of bullet shots rang out and the Eraser fell to the floor lifeless. Then everything turned Chaotic. Erasers and Bird kids began to fight, shots from guns ricocheted around the room. I raced to the stairs and reached them as a hand grabbed my arm.
"We have to get out if here," Skye shouted over the noise, "the virus is eating away at the computer systems, it'll blow this place up. We have to go."
"Take Flame and the others and go," I shouted back, "I need to warn the other bird kids."
Skye hesitated, then let go of my arm. I raced up the stairs and found the kid that I thought was the leader of the bird kids at this place. He was in the middle of a wrestle with an Eraser and was slowly losing. I rushed over and kicked the Eraser under the chin, snapping the head back and leaving him on the ground twitching in its last moments of life.
"Get all the people you can out of here," I said, "This place won't exist for much longer."
The kid nodded and began to round up everyone he could. The noise of the fight was slowly dying out as the last of the Erasers were slowly defeated. I continued on through the door that Jeb had disappeared through. It lead into a small, well lit corridor with white toiled walls. What is it with places like this and white tiles? I'll never understand.
I continued down the corridor and reached offices packed into a huge hall like space. All the offices were packed into their own small soundproof glass cubicles. I saw an open door at the end of the room, walked over to it and peered in. It lead into another corridor.
How many corridors does this place have? I thought, it's already a maze in here.
I heard Jeb at the end of the corridor and followed the sound of his voice swiftly to a door. It had a sign in the middle that recognized the room beyond as the private hanger.
This place had its own private hanger? I thought, I wonder how rich you have to be to own one of those?
I walked into the hanger and saw Jeb loading piles of data disks and paper records into a private plane sitting in the middle of the hanger. How he managed to carry that many disks and records, I will never know. Jeb looked up and saw me standing there looking at him. He dumped the rest of the records into the plane and pulled a gun out and pointed it at me, fear showing on his face, not something that happened very often from what I've heard.
"Is something the matter, Jeb?" I asked. "Wait, don't tell me. You found a computer virus in the system and figured out that it will destroy this base. So now, you're trying to save your life's work and escape before it blows up and stuff everyone else? How typical, I should have guessed."
"Well, it seems you're in no hurry," Jeb answered back. "Why did you follow me? You could have escaped with the rest but you came after me. If I didn't know any better, I would say you were curious."
"I'm not curious," I replied back, "I just wanted to see you suffer at the moment of your death. You see, that virus is my creation, just as I'm yours. Unlike most of the others, I won't kill you, but I won't let you leave."
"Don't be stupid, Blaze," Jeb said, "You'll die as well."
"Maybe," I said, "You destroyed my life and the hopes of ever having a family. Because of you, I never got to meet my mother or father. Because of you, hundreds of people have died, all in the name of your experiments."
I began to change again, back into the black form I had transformed into days ago. I had thought over it and had figured out that it was most likely the darker side of my personality. Jeb's face began to show emotion, the first of which was disbelief, then he began to look worried.
"You have killed so many people, but for what?" I asked, "All in the name of science? I hate you, Jeb, but that isn't going to make me kill you."
"Blaze," Jeb said, "All these experiments have helped humanity. We have found ways of prolonging life. Your DNA recombination allows you to live twice as long as humans, we have found cures for genetic diseases we thought had no cure. We have even found ways to improve the genetic structures and give people paranormal abilities. All of these wouldn't be possible without you and your kind, or any of the others. Would you really allow your Grandfather to die?"
"So now you are related to me," I said smartly. "I though I was only an experiment to you. But now that I have the ability to save you and deactivate the virus, you want to become my family? Your judgement day is here Jeb, and to tell you the truth, your verdict isn't looking too good. I hope you rot in the furthest, deepest reaches of the fiery planes below for what you did. You are no relative of mine. You only care for your own self-centred desires and goals. You found cures for incurable diseases? How many people can say that? I guess only you and God, but that's what you wanted to hear wasn't it?"
"You don't understand," Jeb pleaded, "my work could save millions of lives, don't let all those that have died, die in vain."
"Pleading, Jeb?" I said, "I can't say any one of your experiments has seen this pathetic side of you." I looked at my watch, "tick, tick, tick Jeb. Times up."
Skye ran down the corridor after the others. Experiments from all over the base were running to the exit, alarms were sounding and computers were catching fire in the offices and at the reception desks. People were shoving, running and cursing when people got in their way. In short it was total chaos. Skye ran down the corridor, following close behind was Drake and the apparent leader of the Bird kids at the base. They rushed up the stairs, hurrying to get to the surface. Skye reached the ground level and ran to the exit, followed by the others. She stepped outside to yet more chaos. People were running around everywhere and it wasn't because of our earlier diversion. These people were wearing uniforms and were rounding up the scientists, and other experiments into groups. Skye saw trucks, vans, jeeps and cars all with different labels. There were the CIA, FBI, even the Army and Air force.
As she rushed outside, nearby soldiers came rushing up to her and began to escort her toward the other experiments being held for questioning and to be placed. The other experiments were being seated down with shrinks, FBI interrogators and other people trying to make sense of what was going on.
"She's with me," A voice rang out to the soldiers over the noise of the confusion and the helicopters passing over the place. Skye didn't recognize the face at first, and then realized it was Thompson.
"Danielle wasn't it?" Thompson asked using her alias, "You never did speak much. I got the feeling you didn't like me. Where's Nathan?"
Skye was too confused to give an answer and just pointed back at the main building of the base. Thompson shouted out to soldiers around and told them that there were more people still inside.
"NO!" Shouted Skye, "Don't go inside!" She turned to Thompson, "what time is it?" Thompson looked at his watch as a sudden rumbling emanated from the ground. The earth began to break apart and the buildings around the base grounds began to crumble. All of a sudden the night was illuminated by a huge column of fire exploding from the ground beneath the Main building. The shockwave from the explosion raced across the grounds, filling the vacuum that the explosion had produced. The column of fire died down after a few minutes, leaving a burnt out husk of a building leading down into the ground. Ahs and Debris rained down on the ground and littered the sand. Terra, Drake, Falcon and Skye watched on in complete disbelief as the building was completely destroyed, only the framework was left standing for miles around them. It took a moment until the shock of what happened sunk in then Skye let loose a cry of anguish and started to run towards the ruins. Hands grabbed her and the others and held them back, but they fought, trying to get back to the ruins. Skye couldn't believe Blaze was dead. She just wouldn't. She felt a prick in her arm and the world began to swim then went dark as she succumbed to the sedative.
After the incident at The Installation, the world found out about the existence of the Angelan kind and the others that were different. The kids that were old enough to live on their own were provided with their own houses, the younger ones were given to foster homes, but that didn't work out. The parents couldn't cope with the special requirements that the changed needed. Eventually, they sorted it out and the older kids that were allowed to live on their own adopted the younger ones to live with them.
Throughout the world more and more Angelan and changed appeared, and the facilities that gave birth to them were destroyed. There was an uproar over the findings of both the Angelan and the changed. There were people who accepted the new species with welcoming arms and then there were the people who were ordering for their containment and lock up for study. There were even some fanatics that wanted the kids killed.
I stood outside the small quiet suburban house, looking up at the windows and the pulled curtains. It was winter; four months had passes since the destruction of The Installation. I was surprised that I had survived the explosion. I had awoken to the desert sun shining in though a window. I had been found by some local people in the Nevada desert and had been kindly nursed back to health by them. I was fine physically, apart from exhaustion, but mentally and emotionally I was wiped out from all that had happened. After I had gained enough strength, I had left and headed for Washington DC in hopes of finding where my family had been located to.
I had arrived at the FBI headquarters to total confusion. It took weeks for me to get an interview with anyone to find out where Skye and the others had been located to. It took another few days to try and locate them before Thompson came to my aid, shocked that I had survived. He told me where they lived and said that they all thought I was dead. Skye had not left her room since their arrival at the place, most likely still grieving for my death.
I walked up the path to the front door and knocked on the wood, ignoring the brass knocker. I held a cap over my head so they couldn't recognize my face a first. Mean, I know, but the shock would be lessened. The door opened and Terra's face poked out at me.
"You could have gotten a bigger house," I said, "I would have preferred a mansion, but this will do."
"Do I know you?" Terra asked.
"Who is it Terra?" Drake's voice shouted from the kitchen.
"I don't know," She replied, "But he say we could have gotten a bigger house,"
Drake was suddenly at the door, peering under the cap at my face. His face went white in shock, and then he suddenly grabbed me and hugged me. Not something he would normally do. When he let me go I took my cap off and showed Terra it was me. She hugged me as well. Drake shouted for Falcon to come to the door and he appeared with Flame in tow. Both hugged me as if I had been gone for years.
"Do you mind if I come in?" I asked, "It's freezing out here."
They all moved aside to let me in and I placed my coat and hat on the stand next to the door.
"Nice to see you're still alive," Flame said, "at least you can fill me in on the bits of the story of my rescue the others are a bit hazy on. But what happened to you after The Installation blew up?"
I recapped my story of what happened and how I ended up here on the doorstep to my new home. Then I had to ask.
"Thompson said Skye hasn't left her room since you moved here. Is that true?"
The others looked at each other nervously.
"Yeah. Skye hasn't left her room since our arrival here; she refuses to speak to anyone and will not leave her room." Drake explained, "We're worried about her, Blaze."
"My names Nathan now," I said, "that's the name I will go by. I just want to be normal."
I rose up off the couch and headed for the stairs.
"Wait here for me ok?" I said, "If I don't come down, it's most likely that Skye killed me, thinking I'm an impostor or something."
I walked up the stairs and approached the door at the end of the hall. I tried turning the handle, but the door was locked so I listened closely. I could hear Skye's breathing, her heartbeat. I could feel her heartache from the door and I knew how deeply she missed me. I grabbed the piece of paper that had the address on and placed it under the door, and then I poked the key out of the lock on the other side and pulled it back with the paper. I placed the key in the lock and turned it to unlock the door. The room was large, most likely the master bedroom. It had the curtains drawn and was very warm. I approached the bed and sat down next to Skye.
She lay sleeping in the bed, her hair plastered to her face by sweat from the heat. Then I saw the small bundle by her arms and realized it was a baby. A baby? Oh man, it must have been the time in Carson City. I was not ready for kids, not one bit, but I'd stick by Skye no matter what. I brushed her cheek with my hand and tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear. She woke up immediately and but a protective wing around the baby. She looked into my face, disbelief written across it.
"It can't be you," She said, "can it?"
I grabbed her hand and placed it against my heart, letting her feel my heartbeat and tell her that I was real and alive. She grabbed me and hugged me tightly, not wanting to let me go. I kissed her on the cheek and gently lay her back down on the bed, keeping the baby warm.
"I knew you couldn't be dead," Skye said, "I just knew you were still alive."
"So what did you name her?" I asked, talking about the baby.
"You aren't fazed by the fact that we have a daughter and we're only sixteen?" Skye asked
"Actually I'm seventeen now," I said, "my birthday was two weeks ago. As for our daughter, I just came back from near death; I think I can handle a child."
God help me, I thought, but never said it aloud, I'm just thankful to have my family by my side to help me out.
I couldn't help it and I ended up smiling. I finally had a family of my own to be part of. I could finally relax for the first time in my life and live with a family. Even if we had an unexpected arrival. Skye saw my smile and smiled back.
"The others don't know about her yet," Skye said, "I named her after your mother, Blaze… I named her Max."