First Page: Hybrids (YA Science Fiction)
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Thirty-two kilograms of metal hurtles towards me. My hands itch to react and catch it but I can’t. That would go against the purpose of the training. Chained to the wall by my hands and ankles, Father watches from behind a glass partition as I bend the light in the room to create a barrier against the cannonball. It hovers in the air for a moment, cushioned by the effects of my signature and then it drops to the floor. It rolls a few inches, joining the other metal spheres of varying weight.
Father makes a notation on his tablet screen and then leans into a microphone. “Good work, Two; you’ve surpassed last month’s record.” The praise makes me smile. “But you need to control your reflexes. Your extrasensory reactions need to be just as intuitive as the physical. For every corporal movement made, we will continue to extend the training. Do you understand?”
I nod and clench my hands once, trying to relax afterwards. My telekinetic abilities of light need to be on par with my body. Maybe more. Using light as an intangible force, both on the offensive and defensive, is a more complicated task than using, say, fire and ice, like my brethren.
The cannon across the room spits another bearing. Thirty-five kilograms flies at me and I relax my body. This time, my mind conditions the barrier without hesitation.
Number Four’s voice nearly shatters my mind.
The metal sphere crashes through the barrier, hindering its speed but the velocity is too great. I lean my head as far right as I am allowed with the shackles, narrowly missing the cannon as it strikes the wall. If I had remained where I was six inches ago, I’d be a stain of smattered brain debris on Aria’s wall. While I am genetically enhanced, I’m not invincible.
He’s dead and gone and there’s nothing that anyone can do to save him please please just bring my brother back—why Aria why did you kill him!
Pain punches my gut. I look down to expect another bearing but there’s nothing. My head aches with Number Four’s rushed words screaming through the panels of my mind. There are times when our kindred telepathy is a blessing, but now, as she screams in horror and agony, it’s only a curse.
“Aria personnel are to escort all Hybrids back to Basement Ten. Emergency cryogenic suspension is required immediately. Failure to proceed with suspension will be met with repressive measures. I repeat: Aria personnel are to escort…” The authoritative voice over the public address system relays the warning. It’s not the same robotic tone with a female lilt to it. It’s deeper with a rough inflection against the vowels. Something nags in my mind that I’ve heard it before.
Father and his subordinates are already in the room. Two guards in black armor unshackle my hands and feet while a young assistant stands next to the overseer in white. My head and my chest still ache but I don’t dare relay it to Father. His eyebrows furrow as he waits for me to get my bearings. I did not complete the final rounds of my training. I allowed myself to be distracted and a soldier needs complete focus in any circumstance.
Two more Aria military soldiers join us as we leave the training arena. Basement Nine is in a panic, though it appears to be any given day. Wails, sobs and screams of anger and sorrow penetrate the corners of my mind as we walk to the staircase, but I do not show it to Father. I feel the same pain in my chest but I do not understand it. Intuition tells me to howl with my Hybrid kin for a reason that eludes me.