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What Memory Remains
Writer lovepenguins1984
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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What Memory Remains
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9
Chapter 3: More Than Meets The Eye (updated)
May 26, 2015
13 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!TCwQbbn24lXDKDrZYNbIposted on PENANA

“So…you just drank the rest of your ale and walked out?” William Ostrand said quizzically. He had heard about Zenapharr's actions, but hearing the details of it was all the more alarming.139Please respect copyright.PENANAc6baE9hld2
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“Well of course I drank the rest of my ale. I’d hate to waste a perfectly good pint.”139Please respect copyright.PENANAgTjbzccEDb
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 “I don’t understand. You just butchered thirteen people, all because of a comment that the bartender said. You weren’t worried, sad, or still angry afterwards?”copyright protection135PENANANg3yTuxShJ

“Not really. The bartender made me angry, so I killed him. I got it out of my system so I went back to my drink. Then the rest approached me and I defended myself.”copyright protection135PENANAA28iBpAbHV

“Yes, you….’defended’ yourself. What about the last man who pleaded for his life?”copyright protection135PENANAFkaKtg1OIl

“I just explained why I killed him in the story…weren't you listening?”copyright protection135PENANAdwBh5vLCn3

“I just can’t understand your reasoning. What was it about the bartender’s comments that made you so mad?”copyright protection135PENANAlX5ufHTQSB

“It should be obvious from what you already know about me. He brought my mother’s name into it...” A passing look of anger seemed to waver over Zenapharr, making William nervous.copyright protection135PENANALxVWiockdV

“I see, and rightfully so considering all that’s happened.copyright protection135PENANAFqrgHwMt99

At this, Zenapharr gave a slight nod and moved his eyes downward. William thought at first that the assassin was trying to break eye contact until he noticed Zenapharr’s eyes were looking down to his necklace. The half-elf adorned a simple amber stone held by a black leather strand. It only took a moment for William to piece everything together.copyright protection135PENANAwv7CZnjSdb

“That was your mother’s, wasn’t it?” He asked tenderly.copyright protection135PENANAuYJpU2O7n1

“Yes, it was. After she passed it was given to me and I’ve never taken it off since. “copyright protection135PENANA22suja05Da

“Ahh, could I guess that was what happened to that security guard’s leg, then?”copyright protection135PENANAf9FmMEJ5xW

“Yes. I was very clear when I told Sade and those other officers I would go peacefully if they would let me keep the necklace on. One of the guards must have had trouble hearing that day, and that is why he now walks with a limp.’copyright protection135PENANAh1V1rQ3fXq

  "I can understand under the circumstances of your life. She really meant a lot to you.”copyright protection135PENANAhZtJtNTuTx

“Of course, she was my Mother. To everyone else here at this facility, she  was only a number. The same went for me. When they documented tests about me, I wasn’t Zenapharr, I was Test Subject 112. Dehumanizing, to say the least. My family…they were the only ones who truly loved me. And then they were taken away.”copyright protection135PENANAE8HkutZeyw

“Why didn’t you run away?”copyright protection135PENANAaPx5QZWUeT

“This facility life was all I knew. I was afraid of the outside world. Only after I was trained completely through the Minerva military program was I allowed to freely roam outside. I would have been poked and prodded two more years in this NOSRAD facility before I could have my freedom. So strangely after it all, the Injection procedure was not only a curse, but an early way out of here. Since I was a good little monkey and showed some that my results had military applications, Minerva made an offer that NOSRAD had a hard time refusing.”copyright protection135PENANAlwTOfmC9Rv

  “What exactly was that?”copyright protection135PENANAGwDnQ8QPmp

 “Well, they had so many subjects who didn’t react to the Injection, NOSRAD was in danger of having their funding pulled. Minerva offered to remedy that solution by giving a generous donation. I was more than glad to leave, considering I was given more freedom and trained to push my skills to the limit. I even got a guaranteed job with the military. NOSRAD seemed reluctant, especially Dr. Pennington, but the Director of NOSRAD seemed convinced they had no other choice.”copyright protection135PENANAmxeUD5TzZ8

“I see. So, change of subject, you seem to have a bit of a soft spot for women.”copyright protection135PENANAtkEm9TJL3A

“Don’t say that, it makes it sound like a weakness. I have an affinity for them.”copyright protection135PENANAhK7U7X2YNp

 “Okay, affinity. Have you ever had to assassinate women before? For the military”copyright protection135PENANAo9WC3zIW9I

“Yes, I have. It was the same as assassinating men…all business.”copyright protection135PENANA4C3IYdCHYG

 "But killing them for fun is different, I take it?”copyright protection135PENANAifqpaxndwa

“Who said it was fun? I don’t necessarily enjoy killing, as I’ve told you before. It’s out of need, and every situation has been slightly different. It does exhilarate me once I perform the act, and right before but nothing more. I’m not carefully planning everything out, giggling like some school girl.”copyright protection135PENANACUkzxn9gki

 “I still don’t quite understand. You said that you were excited at the sound of their heartbeat.”copyright protection135PENANAYpU18TeLAd

“It is merely a reaction, Mr. Ostrand. You think I fully understand my condition? That is the main reason I’m here.”copyright protection135PENANArTtRiEpGRW

 “I mean…you have dealt with it all these years I thought that…”copyright protection135PENANAQuRb4oydET

 “DON’T THINK, WILLIAM! YOU ARE ASSUMING!” Zenapharr stood up suddenly, glaring down at William in a contained rage. A security guard abruptly came inside. “TELL HIM TO BACK OFF BEFORE THERE’S TWO INJURED GUARDS!”copyright protection135PENANAwDjqFrkUdU

“It’s okay, it’s okay. He’s in control, right Zenapharr??”copyright protection135PENANA8EOBw7gWN7

“Don’t lead my sentences, that’s rude,” Zenapharr said neutrally, then sat back down. “But he’s right, I’m in control. You may leave.” The guards looked confused, and William hastily waved them out.copyright protection135PENANASECKPH8oVN

“I’m sorry, I just thought you understood your condition.”copyright protection135PENANAirrBS62c0g

 “Well I don’t. As you said, I’m sick, right?”copyright protection135PENANA79UVKr21nQ

“I wouldn’t guess that you think that way by talking to you. You don’t seem to have any remorse. What do you think about all of your actions, anyway? You said that it’s a need, so are you a moral person? Or are you bad? Or perhaps just misunderstood?”copyright protection135PENANA8guL0kt9Io

“It doesn't really matter in the long run, but I can see why that would be an intriguing question. It’s also one that I don’t know the answer to. Sometimes I think I’m right and justified in my actions. Other times, I do question what I’ve done and my motives, and wondered if I am a bad person. Other moments I just think there is no right or wrong and there is only compulsions and choosing to ignore or embrace them. With therapy, I’m hoping to discover that.”copyright protection135PENANAX0PoBHvETw

“So you do realize that you need help? That’s good Zenapharr, that’s really good. As Dr. Pennington has said, this is the hope of NOSRAD as well. To help you get better. This has been a good conversation, and I think I’ve gotten plenty of facts to write about you. From now on, you’ll be speaking with Dr. Monroe, and all her records and logs will be forwarded to me to use for your case file. If we can prove insanity, we’ll run with that. If not, NOSRAD and Minerva always have ways to make things work in their favor.  It was a pleasure speaking with you.”copyright protection135PENANAU0FPWqhYrF

“I’d love to say the same. Good day.” With an awkward bow, William Ostrand backed out of the room and into the hallway, where Dr. Pennington greeted him.copyright protection135PENANAPAWjmWDP6m

 “Good talk,” Dr. Pennington gave him a slap on the back. “He seems to be strangely open with you. I hope it isn’t a mistake for you to go so soon!”copyright protection135PENANAd4m2tYKYDE

“Oh, I wouldn’t think so. I found a psychiatrist that looks like his mother.”copyright protection135PENANAvyEbnBBEA3

“You dastardly…that’s brilliant! If you were a snake…”copyright protection135PENANAkpEgI0dmPj

“I’d have bit someone, I know. I have all the information I need to spin a good story. I’ll await all the records of Dr. Monroe’s conversations and work them in. We have a long time before the trial starts, so we’ll get to know Zenapharr plenty more before then.”copyright protection135PENANAI3o55R4QQH

  “Yes, as long as he cooperates.”copyright protection135PENANAulf9wDK8ik

  “Wow, so he can really break out any time then?”copyright protection135PENANAcCJQSsQ5OG

  “Mr. Ostrand, I don’t think you quite grasp what Zenapharr is capable of. You’ve never seen him in action before. All that’s been said about him is no exaggeration. The only reason we caught him was because he let us. I didn’t know the reason he wanted capture was to get help, but that’s all the better. We must keep him satisfied in the meantime. That straight jacket…it’s just to keep the guards at ease. You recall The Injection, which caused his excess powers, correct?”copyright protection135PENANApxJNDPEIFv

 “Of course.”copyright protection135PENANAp9QFinj2wB

 “What people outside of NOSRAD don’t know is that…the reason we gave him the Injection was because of an anomaly in his blood.”copyright protection135PENANAnIe6y7ypcn

“What do you mean?” Dr. Pennington looked around then led him over to a more private area of the hallway.copyright protection135PENANA5CVPqzE5hj

“When Zenapharr, his mother, and brother first came here we did blood tests. Unknown to them, we found a rare blood type that we’ve never seen before. Other tests confirmed it…it’s a rare bloodline dating back to the Seraphim. We have strong belief they could do even more with it, but that potential had not been unlocked due to their lack of magical training.”copyright protection135PENANAAHtqmLOFOl

"The Seraphim? As in the line where elves came from? I thought all the purest bloodlines had become extinct.”copyright protection135PENANAhb3viCCR1P

“Apparently not completely, because a bloodline still exists in their family. More prevalent in the males, apparently. His brother was older and we thought he could take the Injection but…as you know…he didn’t survive.”copyright protection135PENANAe7saWSJAX0

“Wait…I thought they’d gotten sick?’copyright protection135PENANAUyInZ59NLY

 “They did after the Injection.”copyright protection135PENANA82acysObjQ

“So you gave them the Injection process as well and it made them sick?’copyright protection135PENANA0yYtJUlsvj

“We were unsure of the results, but yes.”copyright protection135PENANAtqRbOQgXE1

“Did you know they would get sick?”copyright protection135PENANAWN46ZCzONT

 “We didn’t know anything for sure, but all other subjects before Zenapharr had become sick and died. We told Zenapharr his family was sick because it was the truth. Knowing about the Seraphim bloodline gave us hope that they’d be a success, but we weren’t completely surprised by their deaths. There was no sense in him knowing the truth, it would only complicate matters. Zenapharr is not just the only person who has ever had extraordinary results from the Injection, he’s the only one who has ever survived it at all!”copyright protection135PENANAFOsEhbzDD4

“So you killed his family and lied to him about it?”copyright protection135PENANAW7vOjjFAgk

“I’m not liking your tone, but no we didn’t kill them! We did everything we could to save them, but it didn’t work! Try explaining to a twelve year boy that we did an experiment that killed his family, and then get him to agree to the same experiment! Who in their right mind would cooperate after that!”copyright protection135PENANABd7Gk7jTW6

“So you lied just so he’d go along. You know at first when I get on board with representing NOSRAD I thought there was something off. Yet, in the name of science, I can understand there being some gray areas, and so I rationalized it.  Had I known this was going on...I just don’t know. What if he finds out?? I can’t believe…do you know how many Human Rights laws you’ve broken?”copyright protection135PENANANCVfgcqPQ4

 “Mr. Ostrand, you represent our organization, which means that we tell you how we do things and you convey it to the public to make us look good. Nothing more and nothing less. If you want to make the ‘moral’ decisions around here, I suggest you apply for a position at the board. Otherwise, you follow orders. Are we in agreeance?”copyright protection135PENANAUNcpBvIh5Z

 “Yeah, we’re in agreeance. I agree that you’re a soulless scumbag. No wonder he is the way he is! He’s not a monster, you made him one. I’m going to report this…consider this my resignation.” He took off his ID and threw it on the ground.copyright protection135PENANABHcJnwRHqN

    “Have it your way. Guard, see to it that Mr. Ostrand leaves the building.”copyright protection135PENANANdpJtGVUvM

  A nearby guard came and began to escort William towards the elevator. Halfway there, the guard answered a call on his walkie talkie, furrowed his brow in some sort of understanding, and made their way to the elevator.copyright protection135PENANAZqzbPbHysM

  “Can’t wait to get out of here,” William muttered to himself. “Bunch of immoral sadists! No offense…Bagan is it?”copyright protection135PENANAy4uLNShEzI

  “Yes,” the guard answered. “None taken. Is there anything you would like your family to know?”copyright protection135PENANAsnWS6py2j4

“I’m sorry…what?” A feeling of eerie suspicion came over him.copyright protection135PENANAOiunukybS1

            “Dr. Pennington on the radio was asking. Is there anything you want your family to know before you die.” Bagan pulled out his sidearm and aimed directly at Wiliam’s head. “You don’t have long.”copyright protection135PENANAYq5sbTktxU

 “I, uh…why are you.. you lied to me!”copyright protection135PENANAcZh8RnyqpS

“Dr. Pennington said to escort you out and I’m doing that. He never specified whether you’d be alive or not. For a smart man you’re not very bright. But you DO get to send a message to your family at least, it’s not like we’re complete animals. Now, say what you’re going to say before that test subject from the facility shoots you…which is what we’re going to say happened anyway.”copyright protection135PENANAuebZCFjbRc

“You’re bastards, the whole lot of you.”copyright protection135PENANAcPDihPbCjJ

“Five seconds, better make it good.”copyright protection135PENANAxvIOEAcc0C

 “Oh my God…uhmm…Salena …I love you so much. I didn’t mean…”copyright protection135PENANA4vQfusVNEM

“Haha! Just kidding! I don’t have a pen, you think I’m going to send your family a message!”copyright protection135PENANA0QBD9TskwM

The report of the gun resounded loudly through the elevator, making the guard momentarily deaf. In the split second that he felt the bullet tear through his skull, William wondered what it would be like in the After, and how long before he saw his family again. Blood began pouring out of his wound as he slumped to the floor, and in mere seconds, William knew no more.copyright protection135PENANA33hMRWm38n

“It’s done, boss.” Sagan spoke into the radio.copyright protection135PENANAFdSwsnZnbD

“Good. Take him to the Morgue. The doctor there will fix everything.”copyright protection135PENANAabuLPDFiXb

“Copy.”copyright protection135PENANA41elN6ha9q

On the other end of the radio, Dr. Pennington set down his radio and sank into his office chair. Cradling his chin, he watched Zenapharr being led back to his cell. Thinking on the conversation Ostrand had with Zenapharr, he took a bottle from his desk drawer and kicked it back.copyright protection135PENANAyPDrm6OluZ

“Starting a bit early, are we?” A voice spoke from the shadows, and Pennington nearly wasted the rest of his liquor.139Please respect copyright.PENANAArM9mNQeBA
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“Jumpy?” The voice chuckled, and a well-dressed older man stepped into view.139Please respect copyright.PENANAROG2ZlcgHq
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“Director Krane, wh-what are you doing here?"139Please respect copyright.PENANAjXjC8TPlxt
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“Just checking in. Especially since Ostrand was a family man, and I know how that…affects you.”139Please respect copyright.PENANAw8Uihg58vH
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“Nothing a bottle won’t fix. Anyway, I knew something had to be done once he started getting too nosy.”copyright protection135PENANAX6H3BpXcq0

“That was clever, turning the radio on so I could hear exactly what he was saying.”copyright protection135PENANAYRCzVFw6wP

“I figured if you heard him firsthand, you’d know better what I should do.”copyright protection135PENANAMn86pUQrOG

“You did well. Well now it’s done. As far for as Mr. Meridian is concerned…” Krane turned to the video feed. “Keep a close eye on him. Vera has vouched for their potency, but there’s always the possibility that the runes to suppress his magical powers may not fare as well as we’d hoped. Can you inform us if he manifests any magic?copyright protection135PENANAMLMuPoUMBk

“Yes, yes of course.”copyright protection135PENANANzbq875EeC

 “Very good. Have a good night, and hopefully you’ll have enough left to enjoy that bottle haha.”copyright protection135PENANAu0ZD6oxWQl

The Director quietly slipped out, leaving the doctor alone with his thoughts. Hesitantly, he lifted the bottle back to his mouth and he emptied its remaining contents. He fought back the urge to tell Krane about Zenapharr using magic in his cell, but he thought better of it. Instead, he watched the assassin on the video feed and wondered aloud.139Please respect copyright.PENANAJmvppuLCKs
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“If Zenapharr finds out the truth, that bastard Krane’s getting what comes to him. William has a family…just like I had one.”copyright protection135PENANAmyYyY6G4LU

 Pennington drunkenly picked up a photo of a young boy and his eyes welled with sadness. He fought against the tirade of emotion that came with the memories.copyright protection135PENANAGgVFT14rYV

“I may get what’s coming to me too, Nathan. Let’s just hope I get enough time to see you again first…”copyright protection135PENANANBzV0HSOJD

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