Chapter 11-CameronA Chapter by Lina Grey
Cameron anxiously sat in the hard, wooden chair and anticipated the return of Dr. Patrone. She dreaded his return, his disappointment, his sending her back to Miss Claire saying that she failed her judgment, everything Miss Claire would say or do. What would they do? The only life Cameron knew was training for this fateful day. She was supposed to excel and be given some incredible ...what? She didn't even know. How ignorant of her, to not even know what was in store for herself. Miss Claire would be so displeased in her; how could she be such a failure? Cameron looked at the clock on the wall. Was this her fate? To wait out the sands of time because she wasn't good for anything else? It was nothing short of what she deserved, after whatever she just failed.
Her eyes were locked on the clock, watching the seconds tick away. She was so engrossed in blocking out the world that se almost didn't notice the slight change in the gleam of the doorknob, almost didn't hear the click of a lock. Immediately her eyes found the door, and watched it open to reveal Miss Claire. There was sadness in the woman's eyes. Cameron couldn't help herself. She jumped up and wrapped her arms around her lifelong companion. Miss Claire allowed the embrace, but only for a moment before shrugging Cameron off.
"Sit down, Courtney. I have your results. They've accepted you into their Esoteric Society. This is the darkest and most ruthless experiment yet. I thought they demanded legal age members for Esoteric, but I suppose Dr. Patrone is always willing to make exceptions." Miss Claire kept her head down, refusing to look at even Cameron's shoes. Cameron thought she heard a sniffle.
"I never believed you'd be accepted for this, and I never prepared you for the challenges you'll face. Don't be upset up if you don't survive; only a handful ever does. If you fail this, you'll be dead to the world. Your soul and mind will be preserved in a machine called the Think Tank, along with the other Esoteric Failures. From what I know, there is nothing in the Think Tank. You just wait there, haunted by your companions and haunting them the same, waiting for your light to blink out. Then you die. No one knows how long that takes, but my guess is it isn't quick. The Think Tank is the energy source for this entire building. Dr. Patrone decided that all the people who sacrificed their lives for this facility should never have to leave. He thought he could use the Think Tank to bring them back, make them immortal. He failed at that, but found that all those dead souls held a potent amount of energy. Energy which could greatly reduce his dependency on the outside world. Having a self-sustaining, renewable power source has greatly increased the abilities of this facility. If the Think Tank is your fate, you will be most appreciated for your sacrifice."
Cameron was horrified. This building and all its high-tech services were fueled by the leftover energy of the deceased, straining their lifeless souls and extending their spirits through servitude. Failure here really did condemn one to waiting out the sands of time. A surge of fire burst through her veins. There was no way she would let herself be left to that. Cameron was determined to succeed in the Esoteric Society, and overcome any challenges she faced there. "I won't become an Esoteric Failure, Miss Claire. You'll find me among the handful of survivors."
"That's the thing, my child. Everyone becomes an Esoteric Failure, eventually. Esoteric is an ongoing experiment, constantly renewing itself with new members. It's designed to entice failure, and it is foolproof. You dance with the devil and live to die. While you survive, Esoteric combs through you. It evaluates every fiber of your being, and presents you with challenges which pinpoint your weaknesses and your fears. If, by some stroke of luck and mercy, you survive every hurdle thrown at you, it adds a curveball. Some insane stunt you couldn't possibly defy or a series of easy tasks, to mess you up. But in the end, Esoteric always wins, and your remaining vitality is stored in the Think Tank."
"What is Esoteric?" Cameron could only ask.
"A digital paracosm. You're drugged into your subconscious and hooked up to a large computer system, which forces you into a lifelong coma. The computer dissects your brain, figuratively speaking. It documents everything you are and have ever been. It will know you better than you know yourself. Then, it will drop you into a dream. It will seem as if you are awake, but instead of controlling your actual body your soul will be put into an avatar identical to your real body. The world around you will be as realistic as this one. You'll understand better when you actually get there. You will hear a voice in your head, and it will give you commands which you will have to complete in order to survive. Sometimes it will give you hints or advice on how to succeed, and sometimes it will try to fool you into failing. Esoteric is meant to test you, strain you, understand you. The challenges are all to help it understand your reactions and your reasoning, and everything will be documented."
Cameron felt numb. This was beyond her wildest imaginations. This was violating and twisted, immoral and wrong. And yet, here it was, ready to control her, destroy her, crumble her to bit and use the remaining dust to rekindle its desires. Esoteric was a phoenix, Dr. Patrone's ongoing attempt at immortality. His ashes were souls and his bird was mechanic, but the dream was all the same.
© 2012 Lina Grey
Added on July 9, 2012
Last Updated on July 9, 2012
Virginia Beach, VA
AboutI am a 15 year old girl and writing is my passion. I am unsure of where my life is headed, but, no matter what, I will never stop writing. It has been the only constant thing in my life and has gotten.. more..