I hated the place the moment I stepped through the doors. Everything was clean and bright and white, and it was way to quiet. My uniform felt too dark, too intimidating. I felt like I was part of some military operation, not a guard at a mental ward. I also thought it was weird that I was a guard. Weren't doctors supposed to be here, not physical trainers and bodyguards? It really did feel like a military operation.
My instructions, given to me in the form of a stack of papers, were pretty clear. I was supposed to guard the patients and train them three times a week. Some of them, I noticed, had extra training. There was Nico di Angelo in room 6.6.6 (the rooms were numbered thusly: floor-hall-room), who was to be trained once daily and also included in the thrice weekly sessions. There was Percy Jackson in room 6.6.4, who was to be trained double that. And there was Annabeth Chase, a girl I wasn't supposed to train more than once weekly. She wasn't allowed to attend the thrice-weekly lessons at all. Piper McLean, apparently unable to speak; I should train her in the art of self-defense four times a week, maybe more. There were instructions on how to deal with each patient and there were ages next to each name.
Percy Jackson—18 years old… my age.
Annabeth Chase—18 years old.
Piper McLean—18 years old.
Nico di Angelo—15 years old.
Those were the bolded names. Under that were a few more.
Leo Valdez—No need for more than a few fighting lessons. 17 years old.
Hazel Levesque—14 years old.
These kids were marked "Not Dangerous." The bolded names were marked as "Highly Dangerous. Must Be Supervised At All Times." That was my job, and that was Frank's job.
Frank Zhang was the other guard. He was a big Asian guy with the meanest face and the sweetest personality. Sure, he looked intimidating, but he hardly tolerated swatting flies. I wasn't sure if he would be able to handle this new job, but he had insisted on coming along.
"Well, well, well," Frank muttered. "Looks like this is a job for our fists, not our compassion."
I shrugged, trying not to let his words get to me. But he was right. We wouldn't need our intellect or stellar conversation for this job. It was pure fists and strength, nothing else.
"Don't talk like that," I commanded, reminding him without saying it that I was in charge. I had been appointed as our Guard Leader, so I was in charge. If I didn't want him talking like that, he wouldn't talk like that. Of course, I wasn't going to enforce that too much. Frank was a good guy, and I didn't want to get on his bad side.
"It's hard not to," he argued, looking at me with his compassionate brown eyes. "I mean, these are kids we're dealing with. They're our age, Jason. Doesn't that disturb you at all?"
He was right, again. It did disturb me. These kids were our age, some even younger. Nico di Angelo was fifteen, Hazel Levesque fourteen. I wondered what they'd done to get themselves locked up.
There was a big meeting in the afternoon. The doctors sat around a table, fourteen of them, and Frank and I stood in the front of the room, presenting our plans. Then the doctors explained what was really going on.
"We picked you because you are like them," said a tall, dark-haired woman with grey eyes. Dr. Athena Wyse. She stared at me coldly. "They have power; you have power. Use it."
"Power?" I asked. "What power?"
Dr. Wyse chuckled. "Jason Grace, you control electricity—lightning—do you not?"
I was taken aback. "Well, it's never been proven, but—"
"And you, Frank Zhang." She glared and Frank looked stricken. "Your strength is unmatched."
Frank blushed, shuffling his feet and looking down. "Well, yeah."
"I don't actually think this is any of your concern," I cut in. "I mean, we're here to guard and to train. We aren't your study animals. Got it?"
My voice was deep and menacing, but Dr. Wyse seemed unperturbed as she waved her steady hands dismissively. She looked like she wanted to say more, or like she was waiting for me to say more. Neither of us said a word, and that worked just fine for me. Then another doctor stepped in.
"Well, your job is to guard and train them. But we needed you for your abilities. You'll see why."
With that, we were dismissed. Frank and I meandered down the halls until we found where we were supposed to be. The room was room 6.6.5. Annabeth Chase, if I wasn't mistaken. I looked in and saw a tall, blonde girl sitting in the middle of the floor. She was surrounded by books, and her grey eyes glittered with a hunger for knowledge I'd never seen before. I glanced down at the clipboard, trying to find out more about her.
Annabeth Chase. Age 18. Abandoned at a young age, brought here. After several months, she began to show signs of vast intelligence and an odd knack for knowing just where she should hit people to knock them down.
Kill Count: 2. Miss Chase was 14 and 15 when she killed, and in both cases did not appear to know what she was doing.
So she was our first task of the day. We should train her and keep her under control. Great. She'd already had a taste of blood before, so why wouldn't she want more? Suddenly, I didn't feel so eager to go into the room. On the floor, Annabeth read her books innocently, as if she'd never killed anyone ever. The clipboard didn't say whom she had killed.
"All right," I said, turning to Frank with my hand on the door. "Let's go."
A/N: Yeah. I have other stories to be working on, I know. But I really wanted to write this. Sure, it's kind of a lot of information in one chapter, but I promise the following chapters will be better.