Trigger HappyA Chapter by Bella Catten
Jeremy?! Is that you?!
I sat there for who knows how long, simply thinking about everything and nothing. I was so lost in thought, I didn't even hear someone noisily climb the lattice and sit next to me.
"Hey." I jumped as the intruder spoke, and whipped around to find Jeremy.
"Oh." I turned back around. "It's you."
"I was just-" he began.
"Look, just leave me alone. I don't want to have to deal with you right now." I interrupted.
"That's a little harsh." he sounds hurt. "I swear, I'm just here as a friend." An tense silence followed, until he shifted uncomfortably, then broke the quiet. "I was just with Damien, you know."
"So?" I tried to mask how much that bothered me, but must've failed miserably.
"Calm down. Don't get all upset on me." he went on defensive. "Besides, you should be thanking me."
"Why?" I demanded rudely.
"I just spent an hour in there with the guy, telling him everything that's happened to him....including you." Rude retort loading....wait, what?
I turned yet again and stared at the guy who had made a complete fool of himself for the past couple months over me, then had gone and told my amnesiac boyfriend about how he was dating the girl Jeremy had an insane crush on. Jeremy ignored my incredulous look, continuing on and not meeting my eyes.
"He remembers you, faintly, but he does all the same. He said that you're the only thing keeping him here." he hugs his knees to his chest. "Look, Adri...." Jeremy takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry I've been such a jerk. I've just been so jealous of Damien; just another guy better than me who yet again gets the girl. I realize you've been through enough, and I'm just letting you know I'm here for you.....as a friend." He glances at me quickly. "And if you and Damien never work out, I was wondering if you'd, maybe, give me a try." I gape at him, and close my hanging jaw.
"Who are you?" I finally speak, and we both laugh. Scooting closer, I smile at Jeremy, realizing he'd finally matured. "I promise." I reply sincerely, and added, "Thank you."
"For finally maturing." We both laugh again.
"I know." he puts on a pompous air. "I'm just so fabulous."
"Well, almost maturing." I joke, and the rest of the night was spent in laughter and talk. By the time we went back inside, over half the tension had disappeared, and I felt relaxed and more at ease. It was past eleven, but Jeremy had put everyone to bed, so the house was completely silent. We both tip-toed to our rooms, then whispered, "Good night." to each other before shutting the doors.
I crawled under the warm covers, joining Auriela, who was already asleep. Her steady breathing echoed throughout the room, and after only seconds, my breathing joined hers and my heavy eyelids slid shut.
In the morning, I woke up later than usual, and everyone was already in the kitchen, eating, including Damien, who offered me a shy smile. Grabbing the carton of milk, I dumped a bowl of random cereal into a bowl and pouring milk over it. Starving, I shovelled the food into my mouth, crunching noisily. It was then when I noticed Alex and Jeremy glaring at each other. Groaning inwardly, I set down my spoon.
"Okay, what's it about?" I went straight to the point.
"Nothing." Alex growled, looking like he wanted to kill Jeremy, who seemed like the feeling was mutual.
"Jeremy?" I struck at the weaker of the two. Jeremy hesitated, but only for a moment.
"Alex is upset because we're going to have to kill Charlotte." Jeremy admits, and I nod.
"Alex, I sympathize with you, I really do, but Charlotte is dangerous. She can't be out and about." I agree with Jeremy.
"What?" Alex sputters. "Y-you can't just kill somebody!"
"We'll have to. There's no way she'll go down without a fight." I pointed out, and Alex frantically looks around for anybody to back him up, but all he finds are grim faces.
"I can't believe you guys!" he shouts, and stomps to the room he was sharing with Dexter and Jeremy after Damien dragged the extra bed from Sadie's and Kate's room into the room with the bunk bed.
Sighing, I gulped down the rest of my breakfast and volunteered to go after him. Trooping to the closed door, I turned the knob and opened the door. Alex sat, slumped over on his bed, absentmindedly tossing a crumpled up paper ball from hand to hand.
"What'cha doing in here all by yourself?" I try a smile on him, but he turns away.
"I don't want to talk right now." he mumbles, staring at his feet. Silence follows.
"Look, I-" we both try to break the silence.
"You go first." Alex says nervously.
"It's okay. You can go." I offer, but he shakes his head.
"Really. You go." he replies firmly, and I reluctantly agree. I sit for a while, thinking up the best way to start.
"Alex, I really am sorry." I finally spoke. "I am saying, however, if Charlotte puts up a fight, we will have to stop her, no matter the cost, and that may entail.....severe measures. You know your mother, Alex. She's not just going to give up."
"Maybe I-" he hesitates. "I could convince her or something......"
"Adri, it's not the murder, okay?" Alex explodes. "I know she's dangerous and I know she will put up a fight that may result in us having to-" he falters. "Get rid of her......but that's not the point! The thing that bothers me is that you were all so willing to shoot her and be done with it, without even considering the possibility that she would go quietly. You didn't even give her the benefit of the doubt!"
"No! You can't just accept murdering her in cold blood!"
"She's ordered hundreds of deaths to get gifted kids, and then she puts them through so much pain and suffering, death becomes nothing but a dream."
"I know! But if you kill her, you'll be just as bad as her!" Alex shouts, and I am shocked into silence. "Bad as her, no way, but killing her for no reason would be starting down the road she started." I quietly think for a moment before speaking.
"You're right, Alex." I say slowly. "Killing her the second she shows her face is murder, and it wouldn't be right." Pause. "I'll make you a deal, okay? Even if she struggles, I'll do my best to keep her alive."
"Oh my God, thank you. I promise you won't regr-"
"I'm not done." I hold up a hand. "In return, you have to answer all my questions with comeplete honesty. Agreed?"
"Yes." his jubilance seemed to dim somewhat, but he squared his shoulders. "Ask away."
"All right, first question." I started right away. "Who is Oliver? We found a letter by a lady called Jezelle Siderov, and she said a guy named Oliver was her husband."
"Same guy." Alex confirmed. "Oliver was my mom's very first human subject, and she actually fell in love with him. When she found out he had married her sister, she was furious. I remember how much she had screamed, then had ordered a day of extensive testing. Over twenty kids died that day."
"But Charlotte told you to call him 'Father'. Was it just because she was pretending to have a husband?"
"Yes and no. You see...." Alex looks extremely uncomfortable. "Oliver really is my biological father."
"That's impossible." I scoffed. "Oliver married Jezelle long after you were born, and before that, he stayed in the same house as the Siderovs. You were born after Charlotte left."
"Well, remember how she did tests on him?" Alex's cheeks were flaming with embarrassment. "With her tests, when she escaped, she brought her research with her, and that included certain......fluids, from Oliver." I gaped at him.
"She.....impregnated herself?" I felt sick. Charlotte was completely insane.
"When she was twenty years old, yes. Then I was born, and when I was thirteen or so, she shows up at the door with a bruised and bloodied Oliver. Shortly after that, she holds him prisoner in her living quarters, and forces both of us to pretend we're a normal family."
"Alex, that's sick." I find it hard to even imagine what goes on in Charlotte's brain.
"I know, okay? You don't need to tell me how crazy she is; I spent my entire life dealing with her. Next question."
"If you want to." I shrugged, wanting to know more, but recognizing that it was a touchy subject. "What was that pill Charlotte made you take back at the facility?"
"Another mind game device." Alex replies with fake cheeriness.
Whoops. Another sore spot.
"The pills have some sort of chemical in them that makes you more relaxed and much, much more susceptible to suggestion. She uses it on people who work for her when they start to question her methods. She made me start taking it when I was ten, but it was another year before I realized what it was doing to me. That's when I stopped telling her I thought killing people was wrong, so I would receive smaller doses of the pills. Oliver, however, had two pills a day, but no matter how many times Mother tried to convince him, he refused to love her, or even pretend to like her. He had too much hate bottled up inside after Jezelle's murder. But even though he hated Mother, he always made an effort to be nice to me." Alex stopped. "I think he felt sorry for me, and decided I needed all the help I could get. Despite his kindness, I always pushed him away. Things were too awkward. I was only his son because my mother was an obsessed maniac. You know how it is."
"Actually no, no I don't." I admitted.
"Sarcasm, Adri, sarcasm." he sighs. "More questions?"
"How did you get in the cage room the day we escaped?" this question had been a nagging thought in the back of my mind for a long time.
"Mother puts me in there regularly." he tells me, and I almost choke.
"Why?" I demand.
"She says it's to have an undercover agent, to make sure no rebellions rise up. Although, coincidentally, these little occasions always seemed to happen after I had do something to piss her off. Anyway, it was a total luck that I was there when you started popping cages. Sadly, I had been put in a cage only minutes before you arrived, and had been given a pill just before that. Whenever I go in there, I have to wear a bud in my ear. That way, Mother can contact me, and she coached through all the computer stuff, planning to have me spring the staff later on."
"But you didn't."
"That's right. Like I said, I tricked her into giving me lower doses, and it wore off before she could make me release the personnel. I set up the rest of the systems, like opening the car garage, with just the knowledge I earned in all my years living in the bases. I've never had a real gift. I just pretended to so you would believe me. After that, when you assigned me to a group, I thought it was all over, but I was sadly mistaken. Mother had implanted a very strong TD in my head, and she hunted down my first group easily. When she caught me, my punishment was to be forced to lure other groups out into where Charlotte could come and retrieve them."
"Why didn't you resist?" I asked.
"Pills, remember?" he reminded me, but I shook my head.
"What about when you showed up at our place? You seemed perfectly normal."
"I don't know...it was the weirdest thing. As soon as I got here, I felt back to my old self. Mother had been very frustrated with you guys. She needed Auriela, but for some reason, you stayed out of sight. Every once and a while, parts of your group would show up on the radar, then disappear again. I was sent to try and see if you were hiding near the town where you would occasionally show up. But soon after I arrived, Auriela, Damien, Kate, and Ella, all appeared at once in that nearby town. Mother had been waiting, and they swooped in at once, taking the four."
"Why were you shot, then, if your own mother was the one who left you here?" I asked, glancing at his arm. It had been completely useless before Charlotte had captured us while we slept, but after that, it had magically healed."
"Before she dropped me off, she loaded me up with pills. I was so incoherent, I just agreed with anything she said. She told me the only way this would work is if I was wounded, and then asked my permission to shoot me. Of course, I said yes, and I was stumbling into your house with a shot up arm before I knew it."
"That's awful." I shuddered. "It's like she doesn't even love you."
"Not true." Alex searched for a way to explain it. "No matter what she does, she has good intentions. All of this is happening because Mother is searching to understand tanecine so she can eliminate the base, or at least terminate the caprice element."
"What's that? Caprice, I mean. I heard Charlotte mention it." I vaguely remembered the word from when Charlotte was giving me the Perfection Project Presentation (in case you were wondering, I gave her an F; her opening statement was weak and failed to grab my attention).
"It's French for freak, but Mother uses it to name the chemical components that initiate the powers. She hopes to make it so all people are equal, and no humans have an unfair advantage from the start. So like I said, she means well; she's just not doing it right."
"That's a bit of an understatement." I said grimly.
"Next question." Alex sighed heavily.
"I don't know if I have any more." I admitted. "But if I think of any, you'll still have to answer them."
"Agreed." he consented, and I stood up.
"You coming?" I extended a hand to help him up, but he declined.
"I think I'll stay here; I need to do some thinking." Alex mutters, and I start to leave. "Wait." he stops me, and I turn to face him. "Look, I-I'm really, really sorry about everything, and I truly feel awful. I was wondering.....maybe you could find it in yourself to forgive me. Whatever I have to do to make it up to you, I'll do."
"I can't forgive you yet, Alex. I'm sorry.....but I just can't." I reply sadly, and he struggles to hide his anguished expression. "As for making it up, all I can say is that if we do have to kill Charlotte, you'll stay out of my way. And when I say my way, I mean that if I do get the chance, I will be pulling the trigger." With that, I yanked open the door and left.
© 2012 Bella Catten
Added on March 26, 2012
Last Updated on May 16, 2012
AboutMy name is Bella Catten. I am fifteen years old, and love writing books, although I am terrible at finishing them. My goal is to finish at least ONE book, and maybe get it published. I live.. more..