Chapter 1 - Up For Review*
Chapter 2 - The One Purity*
Chapter 3 - Twins#
# = Chapter in Progress
* = Chapter Finished
1. a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing.
2. a daydream.
A young woman sat slumped, head down, on a metal chair, in a metal room sealed with a metal door. There were no windows, and the walls were utterly bare. Her thoughts flitted around, a water bug on a pond, ever skirting the surface but never plumbing the depths. Her eyes, obscured by long coppery hair that nearly touched the floor, moved constantly, as if seeking Solace.
She could see him in her mind: that caring smile, those gentle eyes, that subtle strength in his stance and character. Standing a good foot above her, as she had been only a child at the time, he seemed like a pillar of protection and safety from all that had been wrong then.
Things are wrong now, she reminded herself dully. She scratched at one bare foot with the toes of the other, tugging at the dirty leg of the scrubs she’d been ‘assigned’ with a hand engulfed in the overlong sleeves of a straight jacket, rattling the loose buckles. It was thankfully unbuckled today, allowing her fairly free movement of her arms.
“Focus, 042, focus,” a metallic-sounding voice announced from a box mounted high in one corner, the only decoration breaking the clean, emotionless monotony of the room.
The young woman raised her head, hair falling back to reveal a gaunt, pale face, startlingly green eyes staring up at the mirrored surface of the wall in front of her, where she knew the speaker to be concealed. Those eyes sat deeper in her skull than they used to, more pronounced like every other feature on her face due to malnutrition.
She cleared her throat before attempting to speak, and upon failing, motioned that she needed a drink of water. A small buzz emitted from the wall to her left, an opening appeared in the wall, and a small pouch of liquid fell through before the opening disappeared. Bending laboriously over, the girl picked up the pouch, tore off a corner with her teeth, and greedily slurped down the contents. Clearing her throat once more, she spoke, a beautiful, melodious voice, but off somehow, like a perfectly made piano that is regrettably out of tune.
“I have nothing new to tell you,” she stated dejectedly, voice nearly devoid of any feeling or emotion.
“We know that isn’t true, 042. Think deeper. There are things you aren’t telling us.”
She closed her eyes, attempting to remember anything she hadn’t already told them. She had long since given up resisting their attempts to harvest her mind of memories; doing so only brought unnecessary pain. As she wandered the myriad pathways of her psyche, a sudden scene floated to the surface: an Alakazam, its wise eyes gazing unblinking into hers, and a voice, presumably the Pokémon’s, spoke inside her head. Don’t give them your spirit. Whatever happens to you in there, keep that. Keep hope. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she quickly wiped them away with the sleeve of her straight jacket, clearing her throat yet again before speaking.
“There… there was a courtyard. It was in ruins…”
“You’ve already told us this. Something new!” the metallic voice scolded.
“I… there isn’t… nothing left…” she argued pathetically.
“Yes, YES THERE—Sir, what…” came through the box, followed by a brief rustling.
“Fern, dear.” A new, gentler voice spoke, making the girl flinch at her own name.
“What…?” Fern replied quietly, a ghost of a whisper.
“He asked to see you. If we let you in, will you promise to try harder to remember more for us?”
Fern started trembling violently at hearing this, shaking her head and muttering under her breath: No, no don’t show me what you’ve done to him, no no, not there, nothing left please not there not to him pleasedontmakemelook. She drew her feet up onto the chair, hugging them to her chest, eyes squeezed shut, long red hair obscuring her face once again.
“Very well, another day then. Time to go back to your room, then,” the voice said soothingly.
A clicking across the room made Fern open her eyes in time to see the door swing open to admit a gray-clad man of about six feet, face obscured in a helmet with a perfectly mirrored visor.
“Come with me,” his voice echoed from the helmet’s microphone as he grabbed her shoulder, hoisting Fern to her feet. She complied, and walking along with him back to her cell, bare toes curling uncomfortably against the cold steel floors. As she reached her cell and settled onto the thin, lumpy mattress of her bed, that voice echoed in her head once more. Don’t give them your spirit. Whatever happens to you in there, keep that. Keep hope.