"You watch those survival shows, right, I did. You know which ones I'm talking about. The ones were you think the person cannot get any more stupid even if they tried. I would watch and laugh at those people. I would think if those people were actually put in that type of situation instead of make believe bullshit on TV they would fail, they would die. Then I thought if I was in there place I would win, I would survive. Now that I think about it that is probably the reason I ended up here in this horrid place, because of my narcissism."
Gasping, she struggled up, the room spinning. Her eyes stung and watered as they adjusted to the bright blinding light of fluorescent room. She could smell chloroform. Gagging she held her hand to her mouth trying to stop her gag reflex but it was too late, her hand was covered in last nights meal. Chloroform had such a disgusting pungent sweet smell. She hated sweets, she shook her hand standing up looking around the room. Metal walls, floor, ceiling, a couple of metal benches, and one metal door but that wasn't the worst part. What worried her the most was roughly around two hundred girls around her own age were in the tiny silver room with her.
She could feel there body heat, hear each voice as they talked and screamed. Confused and afraid, they didn't understand what was happening; neither did she but she wasn't going to sit and do nothing. The girl looked at the others, some wear still passed out and sleeping, while others were awake or beginning to wake. The ones that were conscious had one thing in common; they were fighting. Some girls fought over boxes which the girl correctly guessed as rations. They argued about how much one person could have and how to divide them up equally. Others were trying to beat the door down. Going over and over about strategies that wouldn't work. The door was made with heavy duty steel. If the door was made to hold people in, then the Jaws of Life wouldn't work on them.
Now a couple of girls stood out to her. One was a tall platinum blonde who was cliche as they came with her big breast and cheerleader uniform. She stood upon one of the benches screaming at people and the only thing the girl thought was “Bitch." She yelled at people to follow her, to listen to her and they did. To her right was another blond cheerleader in pigtails with even bigger breast, almost like a clone. She on the other hand was crying, cowering behind her “Leader" as you would put it. In front of her on the opposite bench was an even taller woman with short spiky red hair. She had piercings and tattoos all of her body but one stood out. It was on the right side of her neck traveling down to her shoulder-blade, wrapping its way around her bicep, forearm and then wrist. It was a beautiful design of a black scaled dragon with red and white crosses on it's skin with vibrant cherry blossom surrounding it. The girl felt raw power coming off from her, you knew she was strong, her presence blazed saying;
“Animal." She knew instantly that she wanted this power on her side. When the time came she would use her. She watched as she aggressively yelled at people to shut up and listen to her. This didn't help her case at all. Next to her was a girl with long black hair and glasses. She held a laptop open staring at the screen, the girl with the spiked hair turned and said something to her but in a whispered voice.
" Those two are friends," She thought. If she could get one on her side the other would follow. She didn't want to assume but the girl with glasses looked smart and if she was friends with the red head she knew she could use her too. Though she couldn't read her face, it showed no emotion.
She looked at the girls closely they were "recruiting" the other girls. Many girls came up to her asking if she was ok, if she needed anything, and if she would like to join their own group. She nodded yes that she was ok and to leave her alone. Her neck almost began to stiffen from all the movement. It started to become a hassle that she would just leave them there not saying anything. They all looked the same, pathetic and whiny and she wasn't going to join any group. The girl didn't bother to learn their names either, they were quite annoying. They were all too busy with “pressing" matters they forgot to ask the main questions.
“What the hell happened to us?” She heard no one ask, “where are we?", and “Who did this to us?" No it was “who’s more popular."
She did notice that some of the girls wore uniforms from a private school near her apartment. She figured then that all the girls in this room lived in the same community. Went to the schools around where she lived and knew one another in some way. She didn't go to school; The girl had dropped out when she was fourteen because of certain circumstances.
All of a sudden a loud noise came out of no were. It was like it was everywhere, it sounded like the static on a TV. everyone dropped to there knees covering there ears in tell it turned off. There was a buzzing and then a click followed by a man or a woman’s beginning to talk. The room started to panic but the sound came back silencing everyone again. The voice began to speak again, it voice filled with malice and anger.
“Listen carefully, do not speak a word or you will hear that lovely sound again. You are all probably wondering why you're here right. So let me tell you." People glared around, aiming for the invisible voice trying to figure out who it could be.
"Humans are greedy, selfish, vindictive, ugly, unholy, and unfair creatures. Humans are monsters who don't care about anyone else but themselves and their own survival. Humans think that they're better than others, animals, plants, rocks, the god or gods that you worship and even the sky. Well at least you all do." Everyone held there breaths, sweat dripping from there brows as the air around turned deadly anxious.
“You think you're faster, stronger, and smarter than others. You laugh at those shows saying “we could do better." So here's your chance to prove it, to show that you are better." The voice cracked with rage.
“Your first goal is to figure out the lock combination. If you do that you will be set free. In an hour if you haven't gotten the door opened by then you will face consequences." with that the voice was gone and everyone began panicking. The room grew terrified, people began to run to the door beating , banging, pushing, and hitting people to get out. Girls were getting trampled. The Girl felt a few elbows in her rib cage.
The voice was right, people only cared about themselves. She saw a girl lying on the ground, get up , her hand an unrecognizable crumbled mess. The girl ran away screaming. She moved out of the way when a herd came running. Everyone was getting out of control, They were getting nowhere. Everyone need to calm down.She was about to say something when a girl with short choppy brown hair in a green jumpsuit that matched her green eyes blew a whistle, getting everyone's attention.
“You'all need to calm down. We have to stay Strong ok. We have to work together." As she talked people began to calm down and listen.
“We as a group need to establish some type of plan. So if you could nicely come over here and have a seat we will tell you about the plan we thought of." The girl in the jumpsuit turn and smiled at the girl then went and sat down next to laptop girl.
“So -" the cliche blonde coughed interrupting whistle girl. Walking in front of her she spoke,
“Now Michelle you’re not a leader unlike me whose head cheerleader, If anyone has a plan its me.”
The girl stifled a laugh. "Wow" She criticized, "did she get that line out of a movie."
“I am though the student body president Alicia!" I am in charge of all the students in the school." Michelle snapped at the bitch Alicia.
"Yes but were not in school so you have no real authority." with a flick of the hair Alicia snickered.
“Neither do you. So you have no reason to say anything” Michelle retorted. Alicia face scrunched up in embarrassment as she turned swiftly and walked back to her bench.
Most of the girls nodded with Michelle but still followed Alicia. Michelle might have been right but she didn't have the popular vote.
"This was pointless, they needed to find a way to open the door not play who's the best, “hero." was." The girl thought.
Done watching the two girls argue. She turned letting her eyes wander over the locked door. It was a simple number lock, like the ones you find on old suitcases. Get the right combo and you were free. Tricky but not impossible. She thought about all the combination for about twenty five minutes. She grew tired and hungry. All the thinking made her stomach growl. As she went to get grab a health bar and bottle of water, which was the only ration they had, a manly hand grabbed her wrist stopping her.
“Alicia doesn't want anyone touching the food." The women who had stopped her was very masculine with humongous arms. She tightened her grip on her wrist when she didn't saying thing. A slight sting came from it and she knew she would have a bruise.
“Move" she said mono toned. hoping that the death glare she gave would scare the giant women away. She knew She wasn't strong enough to take her but she was smart enough to outsmart her, she had to think of a plan. Her mind raced with thousands of possibilities to take down the brute. As she thought about how to get out of the troublesome situation she felt a hand land on her shoulder.
“Abby Alicia wants you." Turning she saw it was Michelle. The bruit known as Abby left with a grunt, stomping away.
“Here" Michelle offered a bar and water. She had nicked them while Abby wasn't paying attention.
“I didn't know student body presidents had a habit of stilling supplies." she smirked,
“Well like Alicia said this isn't school, we have to survive anyway we know how." She nodded then turned to leave but Michelle stopped her.
“I saw you thinking. When every one was panicking you were about to saying something before I stopped it; right?" She nodded letting her speak.
“I think you would be a good member of my team, we can benefit from your help and vice verse." The girl shook her head, she wasn't going to join any group. Even if the girl in front of her was right. She didn't trust anyone, she didn't trust her.
“I can't I'm sorry but I can't, you wouldn't want me on a team, I don't play well with others." She turned but she stepped in front blocking her path to leave.
“Maybe so but we need to work together to survive, you know that, I know you know that." Again she was right. She thought for a second, she wouldn't like this. Like the voice said people were greedy and they were very complicated. She had no doubts that some of the girls would stab her in the back if they had to. To kill her for a little comfort. She knew this because she would do the same thing. She would also stab anyone in the back in they got in her way of surviving. She also knew that Michelle was right.
”Fine," grabbing her hand Michelle dragged her to her small group.
“Everyone this is...?"
“Dean." She replayed dryly.
Everyone sat on the small metal bench except Dean who stood as Michelle went around and introduced everyone. The red head was Scarlet, she sat on top of the table next to Samantha, the laptop girl. Than finally Jesse and Lauren, they were sisters but looked like twins. Same angler nose, and long golden brown hair. Dean looked at the younger sister Lauren, she didn't look so good, she avoided every ones eyes, and her skin looked clammy,
" Maybe a bad reaction to chloroform." Dean figured. She than turned her attention to Sam, That's what she was going to call her from now on. Samantha was such a long name to say, and the girl with glasses didn't look like a Samantha, she looked like a Sam. Every one got quit as Sam took the stage.
“There are a hundred possibilities but we can narrow it down. He wants to know exactly what date and hour it..."
“How can you tell " Dean interrupted her, Samantha was peeved by this act. Sam adjusted her weight to the side. Her left eye twitched slightly and her fingers tapped on her computer. Dean took a mental note that she hated to be interrupted. With a short glare, Sam continued.
“Well you see" Sam paused to push her glasses back onto the bridge of her sharp nose. " He said we have an hour, right. And I took a class on time management." It was time for Dean to move to the side. She felt like resting her head on her hand. She was already bored with every one but she told her self to stick it out for a couple of minutes. To hear them out before going her own way.
"That didn't answer my question," Dean thought raising an eyebrow. " Is there such a class as time management?" She had the erg not to blurt out. Sam continued,
"If you look at the slots you can see that the first couple of slots are two, two, and four. This could mean the date, the month, and the year. So since we couldn't have been asleep for a year we can assume its still two thousand and eighteen." Everyone nodded their heads agreeing as she continued.
“We can also assume that it's still the same month of June. That means we need to just figure out the date and time." With that she went back to typing on her computer.
Michelle jumped up. Her green track suit noticeable baggy on her. Dean watched as she sprinted over to a couple of girls and gave them some food bars.
"She must of stolen more." Dean liked taking notes of others. Trying to memorize there likes and dislikes. There peeves and baggage. There dreams and nightmares. Michelle came back saying that the two girls were kidnapped on Tuesday.
" What a clever way to use food as a way to get information." Dean was impressed. Michelle than wen ton to say that she also was kidnapped on Tuesday, the twentieth.
"Interesting!" Dean's mind was screaming. She was also taken on Tuesdays. A random girl walked by and said she was abducted Wednesday. Her name was close to Carol or Stella, no one really cared to learn her name. Than another said the same thing, her name was Carry. Every one was shocked when a big chunk of the girls said they had been kidnapped on Thursday. Majority of the girls were taking on a Thursday. Dean was furious, and so were the others.
" So in the span of three days roughly two hundred girls got kidnapped." Scarlet slammed her fist on the bench. Lauren and Jessie jumped with a squeal but Sam stayed perfectly still. This scared Dean who was wondering if Samantha was a robot.
"We were not dealing with one person. We are dealing with a whole group of people," but Dean didn't want to say that to the others. She needed them to focus not be scared.
So everyone agreed skeptically that it was Friday the twenty third because no one had been abducted that day.
“And how do you plan to figure out the time?" Michelle asked. Samantha smiled at Scarlet; it was her turn to talk.
“Well we were confused at first. So you have three numbers for time, the hour and the minutes on a clock. So there should have been three slots after the eight slots but there are four. ” Dean was starting to get were Red was going. She listened to Scarlet who had a slight country accent.
“So I figured were not dealing with regular time but military time!"
"That's right, if they were in some type of military facility than everything ran on Military time." Though Dean hated to think that. She didn't want to sound like a conspiracy nut. Dean was always quit never talking but listening. She needed to focus. The puzzle was coming together, as she thought more she listened. This time Jesse, who had been silent the hole time, spoke up.
“Military time?" She was shaking, not as hard has her sister who looked like she had the flu but sweat was dripping form her forehead and she looked petrified.
“Ya, my dad was in the military and he taught me everything he knew." Dean was happy to hear those words. She sat on the metal floor and tried to not look so giddy. Why she tried not to look giddy, well, She had guessed from the beginning that Scarlet might have been some how related to someone in the military. Though she was happy because she had Red's strength, a unsettling idea crept inside her mind. Making her place her palms on the cold metal floor to calm her fast and burning mind. She wondered, if they were dealing with the military. Was Scarlet involved in all of this.
"No... Why would the military capture a bunch of girls, if it wasn't the military it was someone or some group that was connected to the military or had military backing them up?" Deans tried to calm her mind.
“So how do we figure out the time?" Lauren coughed, “So its military time but there is no way of knowing what time it is right know?"
“Ya there are no windows. We can’t tell if its night or day." Jesse spoke after her sister; she placed a reassuring hand on her back rubbing with circle like movement. Scarlet smiled big,
“Sam has her computer," They all looked at Samantha, laptop on lap, typing away on her keyboard. The computer was black and dusty. It looked out dated, old, and sometimes it made a loud buzzing noise. The only thing worth noticing was that her screen was black with green words on it. Dean was curious to know what her computer could do , if anything at all.
“Though there is no internet or wifi, she has these apps on her computer that she can use without wifi or internet." Scarlet replied with a smug look on her face. Dean noted that Scarlet liked to win, a lot.
Dean had to take a closer at Sam laptop. Looking closer and past the dust it was pretty high tech. It was banged and looked like it was taken apart and put back together again and again; by hand.
“Scarlet’s father gave it to me for Christmas last year, when I stayed at their place for a bit. I revamped it and added a couple of new features. Makes it easier to use," Samantha said in a nonchalant way, pushing a stand of her hair behind her ear.
“Oh I remember." Michelle began, "That’s when my parents left me with Aunt Judy and we stuck out and drank hot chocolate, and Scar broke her arm jumping of the monkey bars at the play ground because she was dared by your brot...I mean she broke her arm right?” Everyone was silent again. Scarlet and Samantha looked at each other and nodded.
"So Scarlet, Samantha, and Michelle are best friends, for how long I wonder, child hood or high school? Also Samantha had a brother, younger by the way Michelle talked about him. I was learning so many different things about their past. I just hoped that they didn't ask me about mine." Dean thought to herself manically.
Jesse began tapping her foot “That still doesn't tell us how a simple or "revamped" computer is going to help us."
“Like Scarlet said, my computer has certain function on it. I could tell you the name of my computer and list of all of its function but you still wont get it. You don't know anything about computers, but I do. Not only did I fixed it to hold ten times as much data and giga bites than normal. I added my own touch to it and completely reworked its hard drive. That means it’s a fucking good computer. So while we have been talking a program has been running to determine what the hour is. I mean you could have done it by pen a paper but that would have been a waste of time. So you’re welcome and the time is two fifty four pm, Scarlet?"
“We know he wants us to put the hour because of the slots and I don't think it matters which hour but only that its correct and right. So it’s fifteen hundred. Well it will be once we wait five minutes. All we have to do it put the month, date, and year plus the time and were free. "She explained. Everyone sighed, feeling a rush of relief just three more minutes and they were out of there;
“Your time is up." The voice bellowed,
“That wasn't an hour!" So many were screaming. Every one sitting on the bench stood up. As all the girls around them began to go crazy.
"Please don't kill us!" most begged.
“I told you, there were repercussion." The voice yelled, smoke started to fill the room. People started choking and coughing as Michelle ran to the steel door with Scarlet and Samantha. Typing in the lock combo she froze. She had to wait three more minutes before typing in the last part. No one knew what would happen if anyone got the combo wrong.
Dean watched as chaos erupted. Chaos was all there was, everyone ran forgetting each other, and only their own survival was their priority. She held her grey hoodies sleeve over her mouth. She needed to get to the door but there were so many girls in the way. Dean knew that the others needed her. They would be crazy not to, they wouldn't survive without her, if she died they didn't stand a chance.
“They need me, they need me.... they need me." She kept repeating in her mind. "That’s right they need me." Almost like a chant.
She watched as Michelle got hit in the back with an elbow by Alicia's sidekick, her name was Susan or something. She fell unconscious, as the girl began to cry. No one cared that she was there. They stepped on her, trying to move her away with their feet. Samantha quickly took charge and put in the last combination as Scarlet picked Michelle bridal style up and carried her threw the door as it swung open. Fresh air filed the room.
As the number dwindle Dean got closer and closer to the door. She saw some girls grab the rations, The big one Abby picked up a couple of girls that were passed out and carried them to safety. Than Dean did something she didn't expect. She turned around to see if any one was still in the room. This was so unlike her, she never really cared about things like that before. Things as in people's safety. Yes she helped if need but only if it benefited her. She never did anything that had no payment.
When she did turn around she saw only one thing, two things actually; Jesse and Lauren. Jesse sat next to her sister who lay on the ground near the bench.
“Please Lauren please don't die," Jessie said while holding, clinging to her sister. The sister had been trampled by the crowd but there was something off. She looked even sicker than before and not because of the gas. Dean hated to think this but this wasnt for the weak, its survival of the fittest. The weak would die and the strong would live. She looked at the two and yet again out of character she ran towards them.
“Jessie give me your hand let's go, She's already gone." Threw her sleeve Dean reuqested. The smoke began wrapping its way around them. Dean felt her throat start to close up, she wanted to cough but she didn't or risk inhaling more of the poison.
“Jesse! Let’s go" She looked up, shaking her head with tears streaming down her face.
“I can’t, she can’t move her illness won’t allow it." She new it. She knew she looked sick but there was something more.
“What illness? " Jesse looked at dean with tears and fear in her eyes. She was too scared to say something but wanted to. Looking back and forth to the door and the two girls Dean pleaded to Jessie to take her hand. Still crying with a raspy voice from not covering her mouth she spoke.
“The illness they gave her." Jesse trembled as Dean grew more confused,
"They, the people who put us here?" Dean felt like she had to sit down, she didn't know if the pain in her temple was because of the unanswered question or because of the gas getting into her nervous system.
“It wasn't supposed to be like this, no one was supposed to get hurt, let alone kidnapped. They lied to us. It was just a job. They said that if Lauren and I helped out with the experiment they would fix what they did to her!" She sobbed, trying to make Dean understand what she was saying.
“What did they do to her Jesse, what did they do?" She stroked her sister hair, Lauren's eyes rolled back, her chest movement slowing.
“They said that they could fix her, cure her of her sickness but they lied. They just made her worse. It’s only her and me. No one else, our parents died in a fire because of a car crash but I think they might have had something to do it. Hell they might have given her, her illness too. I mean our parents worked for them since before we were born. I thought I could trust them, trust him. So when she didn't get better after the surgery but worse they told me that all I needed to do was pretend. To follow their orders and they would fix their mistake. To really cure her but it was all lies. I am so so sorry Dean."
"They had tricked her. Who the hell were these people? Who is this “he” she was talking about? Cure illnesses, experiments, and cover ups." Dean still couldn’t wrap her mind around it all and her body felt heavy. She had stayed to long in the smoke. Her stomach launched and she felt her arm covering her mouth start to fall to her side. She looked at Jesse their eyes meeting. She needed her alive to ask her more question,
“Jesse?" She looked at the poor girl. Hers cloths tear stained, her sister dead, smoke enveloping her;
Dean ran, leaving them there. Jessie didn't want to leave her sister. It was useless Deans only option was to leave them. She wasn't going to die for one girls stupidity. As the smoke pulled them away her eyes watered. As she bursted throw the doors choking on her own spit. She grabbed air with her lungs, trying to catch her breath like a fish out of water.
Quickly she closed the door, inhaling and blinking, inhaling and blinking again trying to see around. She felt the cold metal floor and knew they were not free. Dean guessed as much would happen but what awaited them she didn't expect. As her vision cleared she saw what everyone else saw. No one spoke, the people in front of her backed up to the door pushing her further to the front allowing Dean to get a better few. There in front of them was not there captor or there freedom but Dean herself.
“Who the fuck are you?" The boy yelled.
(Survivors 198... Survivors 398)