My fourteenth year in the School starts today. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get out. There was some hope, years ago; a scientist, or Whitecoat, named Jeb Batchelder had tried to kidnap me and five others like me. He had tried to help us escape, hoping to give us a somewhat normal life outside the School.
Needless to say, his plan failed. I will spare you the details; I don't exactly like to talk that night anyway, but basically the it ended with Jeb dead and the 'experiments' he had been trying to liberate separated, taken away to different areas of the school where we would never see each other.
I haven't seen Angel, Gazzy, Nudge, Iggy or Fang since that day, but I thought about them every now and then. Wondering if they were still alive, if Nudge still liked to talk, if Fang still liked to not talk, wondering how much they had changed.
I was snapped from my thoughts by the sound of a Whitecoat entering the room where I was caged.
"Hello Maximum," He greeted me, polite as ever, bending down to unlock the padlock on my dog crate.
"What, no present?" I asked, feigning surprise. "Martin, I expected better of you. How could you forget my birthday?" I looked at his pasty features with disgust.
Martin ignored me, as he had been doing for a long time. He grabbed me by the collar of my plain grey shirt and dragged me forwards.
"That's no way to treat a lady," I scolded him. "It's no wonder you're still single."
That seemed to strike a nerve and I smirked as he turned to face me.
"I happen to be very happily married thank you."
My smirk widened. "Oh, yeah? Then where's the ring, buddy?" I asked, gesturing to his ring-less left hand.
Martin's face reddened and he narrowed his eyes threateningly. "Looks like another day on the treadmill for you, Maximum."
I mentally groaned, yet another day of being forced to run as fast as I can whilst carrying weights and being watched by creepy men wearing white coats.
"Well, carry on." I told Martin, waving my hand dismissively. "I'll be right behind you."
His face reddened even further and he hauled me to my feet and dragged me towards the door.
"You know what?" I asked him. "I've heard that a red face is often a sure sign of high blood pressure, you should go get it checked out."
He went back to usual plan and ignored me.
I sighed and lapsed into silence myself, watching as we walked past countless white doors set in the blank, white walls.
I don't know why they kept me in a cell so far away from the treadmill room, I mean, I went there nearly every second day, it must annoy Martin to have to walk halfway across the building, not that he didn't need the exercise.
I sniggered quietly, watching Martin waddle beside me. His back stiffened, a sure sign that he had heard, but he did not turn around.
"You know, your weight might also be contributing to high blood pressure. Maybe you ought to take my turn on the treadmill today."
He continued to ignore me.
"Marty," I whined, knowing he hated the abbreviation. "I'm not trying to offend you," Well I was, but I didn't really care. "But you can only hide from the truth for so long, and I'm astounded you can hide from your weight problem at all."
That did it; he turned around and slapped me, moving surprisingly quickly for a man of his bulk.
My cheek stung and I quickly slapped him back, harder.
"How dare you?" He hissed, pushing me to the ground.
I jumped up and punched him in the face, smiling as I felt something break underneath my fist.
Another Whitecoat further down the hall gave an exclamation and began to run towards us, talking into a walkie talkie of some sort. Probably calling Erasers. I thought to myself.
My suspicions were confirmed when they began to spill from one of the doorways, long tongues lolling from half-morphed faces.
I ignored them and punched Martin in the stomach, he had been smirking in triumph at the arrival of the Erasers but his expression quickly turned to one of pain. He doubled over and I kicked him in the head.
I didn't feel sorry at all; Martin was an absolute dick. I was about to kick him again when an Eraser grabbed me from behind.
I struggled, and elbowed it in the gut. I was released, but only to be grabbed by two more who pulled my arms behind me, jerking them into an awkward and slightly painful position.
"Take it back to it's cell." The other Whitecoat told the Erasers, sounding more resigned than anything else. He turned and helped Martin off the ground, which would be no easy feat, believe me.
Martin, once he was standing, turned to glare at me, blood dripping from his nose.
"I'm sorry Martin!" I cried sarcastically as the Erasers began to lead me away. "Please forgive me!"
"Shut up." One of the Erasers snarled.
"Would it kill you to be more polite?" I asked but was ignored for, what, the fourth time this morning?
My arms began to ache and I silently contemplated spending the whole day in the dog crate, I didn't know if it was better or worse than the treadmill. Eh, I guess it didn't really matter.
I smirked as I remembered Martin's glaring face, round and doughy, topped with thin, dark hair, blood spewing from his freshly mutilated nose.
As we turned a corner the Eraser on my right jerked my arm painfully for what seemed to be no reason and I turned to glare at him.
Movement further down the hall caught my eye and I watched as a Whitecoat led a tall, dark youth towards us.
He seemed familiar, I had seen the messy dark hair and sharp, olive-skinned face somewhere before, but this person was taller than I remembered, and had more scars.
As they passed us, he looked up from the floor to stare at my face with dark, almost black eyes.
Fang, I realised.