A/N: Okay, this is a crossover between the movie 9 and the book Graceling. Both are awesome, but this story is more 9 than Graceling. It's basically humanized 9 where people have Graces (which are like special talents or powers for those who don't know). So... enjoy! =D
He slowly blinked his eyes open. He was laying on a slightly creaky bed in a dark, cold hospital room. He lay studying the crumbing ceiling for a moment before slowly looking around. The gray room only had one window and a door. The shutters on the window were still intact, unlike the door, which simply hung off of it's hinges.
He cautiously propped himself up on his elbows. Looking down, he saw that he was wearing nothing but a pair of boxers. His body was dangerously thin, and he could easily count each rib. There was a fresh scar on the center of his chest, and another identical scar a few inches lower.
Looking around, he saw a pile of clothes sitting on a table right next to the bed. Slowly sitting all the way up, he reached over and grabbed the pair of jeans sitting on top of the pile. He managed to get the pants on without standing up, and right after he found a belt in the pile, he noticed something.
There was something hanging around his neck. He took the object in his hand and looked at it. The object was small and circular, and it had strange symbols carved into it. It was hanging on a chain around his neck. He started to remove the chain to get a better look at the pendant, but as soon as he did, he immediately felt nauseous and lightheaded. He dropped the chain back around his neck, and the dizziness disappeared.
Note to self, he thought. Don't take the necklace off...
He grabbed a plain white t-shirt and slipped it on, making sure the necklace was underneath. Next came a pair of socks, and finally a brown jacket. When he picked up the jacket, the first thing he noticed was the abnormally large zipper on the front of the jacket. The second thing he noticed was the large number 9 printed on the back. He stared at it for a minute before shrugging and putting on the jacket. He would find out what the number meant later.
Looking down beside the bed he was sitting in, he saw a pair of army boots. When he reached down and grabbed them, he noticed a small hand-held mirror sitting on the bedside table. After putting on the boots, he reached over and grabbed the mirror.
Looking in the mirror, he saw that he still looked about the same. His hair was still brown, and he looked like he needed a haircut. He still had an olive skin tone. His right eye was still bright green. His left eye was still bright orange. He looked down at his hand and flicked his wrist experimentally. A small fireball appeared in the air above his hand.
Yep. He could still light fires with his mind.
He lowered his hand and the fire went out. That was when the wind outside started blowing, causing the shutters to start creaking. He looked over at the window. Why hadn't he heard anything outside. In fact, the entire building seemed quiet.
Weird... I thought hospitals were a lot louder...
Slowly, he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and planted his feet firmly on the floor. He shakily stood up, using the bed as support. He nearly collapsed a few times, shocked at how weak his legs were. He felt like this was his first time walking in months!
How did I get here anyways...? he wondered as he stood. He tried to think back, but he had no memory of ever coming to a hospital. In fact, the last thing he remembered was helping someone with something. He couldn't remember who he was helping, or what he was doing though...
After a few minutes, he finally managed to stand on his own two legs. Smiling at his small success, he looked around the room, now able to see what he hadn't seen from his sitting position.
That was when he saw the body. It shocked him so much that he cried out and stumbled backwards. He would have fallen over if not for the wall right behind him.
From his vantage point, he could see that the body was still fresh. The man had only been dead for a few days, it seemed. The body had yet to start rotting. The man had been old, which he could tell from the white hair. Judging by his white coat, he was a doctor.
Slowly, he took a step towards the body. He couldn't see the man's face because he was lying face-down, but he could see something in the man's hand. It looked like a small wooden box. Cautiously walking forward, he crouched down and took a close look at the box. There was a tag on the side the the number 9 written on it. Slowly, he slid the box from the stiff gray hand, shuddering as he did so. Once the box was in his possession, he backed up against the wall. He tried to open it, but it appeared to be locked. It had a key hole, but couldn't find the key anywhere.
Sighing, he looked around. Under the bed was a shoulder bag, so he reached under and grabbed it, putting the small box in. He slung the bag over his shoulder and shakily stood back up.
Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew the shutters wide open. He slowly walked over to the window, careful to stay as far from the body as possible. When he reached the window, he looked out, shocked to find what looked to be the ruins of an old city. Nothing was moving, and most of the buildings were totaled. It was almost as if a bomb had gone off right in the center of the city...
That was when something caught his eye. Down on the rubble-filled streets below, he saw two figures walking down the road. He opened his mouth to call out, but at the last second, he decided against it. It just felt too ominous to speak too loud when it was so quiet. Instead, he turned and hurriedly ran through the door, carefully making his way down the stairs.
As he ran through the old building, he saw that it had been a hospital, but it was now only rubble. The room that he had woken in was the only one still intact. When he reached the door that lead to the outside world, however, he stopped and something fell out of his pocket. It looked like a folded piece of paper. He bent down and picked it up before the wind did, but when he unfolded it and looked at it, he nearly dropped it again.
It was a picture of him, his parents, and his little sister. The picture must have been taken before his eyes had set, because they were bright blue in the picture. His sister had the same color eyes as he did before they set; now only her left eye was blue. Her right eye had been purple.
Suddenly, the memory hit him out of nowhere. The force of the memory was so strong that he stumbled backwards a bit and had to sit down. Now he remembered where his family was, and what he had been doing before he got here. He had been helping his sister pack her bags. And his family...
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. Get a grip, Andrew!
Slowly, he stood back up and put the picture in his bag, right next to the locked box. He ran out onto the street, nearly tripping over the rubble. Looking towards the center of the city, he saw only destruction. Beyond that, however, he could see smoke rising in the far distance. Turning towards the outskirts of the city, he caught a glimpse of the two figures before they disappeared. They were heading towards what looked like a forest near the edge of the blast zone. Without hesitation, he took off after them.
The first few minutes of running were difficult. He didn't know how long he had been asleep, but it must have been long enough to deteriorate the muscles in his legs. However, after a few more minutes, he began to pick up speed as the forgotten practice of running came back to him. He made it to the forest withing minutes.
The forest was a lot darker than it should have been. He slowed to a walk once he was under the tree canopy; the only sounds were the rustling of the trees and the occasional snapping twig. He had no idea where those other two people had gone, and he was now hopelessly lost. Still, he walked on.
After walking for what seemed like hours, he finally decided to stop. He felt stupid for trying to follow people that he didn't even know, and he felt even more stupid when he realized how lost he was. Sighing, he turned around...
...and came face to face with someone. He let out a sharp cry and stumbled backwards. The man standing over him was at least six feet tall. He was wearing a full body black leather jumpsuit and had a piece of white headgear covering the majority of his face, except his eyes and mouth. The man's right eye was white. His left eye was bright red. An evil smile crept onto his face.
"Well who are you?" the man hissed menacingly.
He gulped and started to scramble backwards, unable to speak. He noticed a large array of knives hanging from the man's belt.
"Not talking, huh?" laughed the man. "Well... I can fix that..." He reached for one of his knives.
Suddenly, something flew through the air, right at the man. Instead of ducking, he jumped at least ten feet in the air to avoid the projectile. He landed on his feet without a sound.
"WHO SHOT THAT!" he shouted into the darkening forest. The only answer was the rustle of the trees. Suddenly, another projectile came from the same direction. Instead of jumping, he simply turned his shoulder so that the arrow flew right past him. As he turned, he flung one of his knives into the forest. A sharp cry of pain came from the general direction of the shooter.
The man started to move towards the sound of the scream, but someone tackled him to the ground. He didn't stay down for long. He quickly grabbed his attacker by the throat and shoved him up against a tree. The figure who had ambushed the man pulled a spear out of nowhere and hit the man in the head with it. The head gear was enough to protect the man from having his head sliced open, but it was still enough to disorient him for a moment. He shook his head and flung the figure across the clearing. He landed right near Andrew, who was still on the ground.
"Enough of this..." growled the tall man. He had another knife in his hand, and it was pointed right at Andrew. "My Boss told me I'm not supposed to kill any Gracelings I find, but for you and your little friends, I think I can make an exception..."
"No!" came a voice from the trees. Whoever they were, they were too far away to help.
The man brought down the knife, and Andrew did the only thing he could think of. He raised his own hands and unleashed his Grace.
Two enormous fireballs shot out of his hands and hit the man square in the face. He screamed and staggered backwards, covering his face with his hands. Moments later, he disappeared into the forest, his screams fading into the distance.
Andrew tried to pull the fire back to avoid setting the forest on fire, but in his panicked state of mind, he didn't pull it back quite right. A loud snap cut through the air, and the fire rebounded right back at him! He quickly jerked his upper body to the right, and the returning fireball missed his face. However, it didn't miss his shoulder. He let out a blood-curling scream as the fire smashed into his shoulder. It went out immediately, but the damage had already been done.
Looking to his left, he saw that the shoulder of his jacket had been completely burnt away. Beneath the jacket and his shirt, he saw that the fire had burnt his flesh all the way down to the bone, and the wound, surrounded all around by third degree burns, was bleeding profusely.
He looked up to see two figures standing over him. Then he blacked out.
A/N: Yeah, I know it's short, but the first chapter is usually always short! Hope this chapter wasn't too confusing. This is going to be slightly cannon to the 9 movie, but with a bunch of differences. So... yeah. The next chapter will have more characters in it. So... see ya later!