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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!zKdJBuoMOlOeqcjcBWkLposted 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.95Please respect copyright.PENANAgazc2x3whB
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“Well of course I drank the rest of my ale. I’d hate to waste a perfectly good pint.”95Please respect copyright.PENANAN4XyGZu95f
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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 protection91PENANAnYwNaPZMMk

“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 protection91PENANAxuXPDqDQdX

“Yes, you….’defended’ yourself. What about the last man who pleaded for his life?”copyright protection91PENANARXRDWu0pwa

“I just explained why I killed him in the story…weren't you listening?”copyright protection91PENANAGU9cHk2H7O

“I just can’t understand your reasoning. What was it about the bartender’s comments that made you so mad?”copyright protection91PENANA1EjZuWp7NC

“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 protection91PENANA5EAWiwriWX

“I see, and rightfully so considering all that’s happened.copyright protection91PENANAtCSDPAYRh5

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 protection91PENANAGjK0ifXInK

“That was your mother’s, wasn’t it?” He asked tenderly.copyright protection91PENANAlsoWoHtQ0p

“Yes, it was. After she passed it was given to me and I’ve never taken it off since. “copyright protection91PENANAOt2G7Rg6Jy

“Ahh, could I guess that was what happened to that security guard’s leg, then?”copyright protection91PENANAbqSWqbbnTy

“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 protection91PENANA7f1wcqdFgd

  "I can understand under the circumstances of your life. She really meant a lot to you.”copyright protection91PENANA44H7LPY1VI

“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 protection91PENANAA78s3zDeWx

“Why didn’t you run away?”copyright protection91PENANAN4NOBZePEv

“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 protection91PENANA3JzLQkAPmw

  “What exactly was that?”copyright protection91PENANAxXDGqGf4Vc

 “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 protection91PENANABJhpxSpMI3

“I see. So, change of subject, you seem to have a bit of a soft spot for women.”copyright protection91PENANAhLNRwEc7uz

“Don’t say that, it makes it sound like a weakness. I have an affinity for them.”copyright protection91PENANAD1whHWYX0T

 “Okay, affinity. Have you ever had to assassinate women before? For the military”copyright protection91PENANA9CDq2bjrX1

“Yes, I have. It was the same as assassinating men…all business.”copyright protection91PENANAvfMi7jXkqr

 "But killing them for fun is different, I take it?”copyright protection91PENANAT4tqlbnj8n

“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 protection91PENANAci0QI212uY

 “I still don’t quite understand. You said that you were excited at the sound of their heartbeat.”copyright protection91PENANA3ZeQim9fGA

“It is merely a reaction, Mr. Ostrand. You think I fully understand my condition? That is the main reason I’m here.”copyright protection91PENANAHzEa0Zlniu

 “I mean…you have dealt with it all these years I thought that…”copyright protection91PENANALvMLlvOmxj

 “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 protection91PENANAlBiArAWBQC

“It’s okay, it’s okay. He’s in control, right Zenapharr??”copyright protection91PENANAbxcPIcP3z7

“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 protection91PENANAxkDk6YPVln

“I’m sorry, I just thought you understood your condition.”copyright protection91PENANAeGYwgq7d1Y

 “Well I don’t. As you said, I’m sick, right?”copyright protection91PENANAPdv13deShN

“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 protection91PENANA0P8D9eBZaX

“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 protection91PENANAmoDkVUL27N

“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 protection91PENANA1W0wY3KcW2

“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 protection91PENANA0WR8A1nc0x

 “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 protection91PENANA9mWMHSHtVO

“Oh, I wouldn’t think so. I found a psychiatrist that looks like his mother.”copyright protection91PENANAgWLgsKkdXh

“You dastardly…that’s brilliant! If you were a snake…”copyright protection91PENANAfXe76O8t09

“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 protection91PENANA19vYWdQDGL

  “Yes, as long as he cooperates.”copyright protection91PENANAsXHedaYyoV

  “Wow, so he can really break out any time then?”copyright protection91PENANAPES3LZRUsS

  “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 protection91PENANA3u1ztYNjCu

 “Of course.”copyright protection91PENANA54rNiEYgdm

 “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 protection91PENANAc2156M4YHx

“What do you mean?” Dr. Pennington looked around then led him over to a more private area of the hallway.copyright protection91PENANAQK1SjvR7Pt

“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 protection91PENANABUx2IQHG7U

"The Seraphim? As in the line where elves came from? I thought all the purest bloodlines had become extinct.”copyright protection91PENANA3jX5o4Rs2y

“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 protection91PENANA0Tj1MDxDKm

“Wait…I thought they’d gotten sick?’copyright protection91PENANA7lgEnZv5GC

 “They did after the Injection.”copyright protection91PENANAZKVWPk1HN3

“So you gave them the Injection process as well and it made them sick?’copyright protection91PENANAgNXzPKcmoX

“We were unsure of the results, but yes.”copyright protection91PENANAIvjZ9GYFME

“Did you know they would get sick?”copyright protection91PENANAhLodIexJVl

 “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 protection91PENANANb9LKYvXlT

“So you killed his family and lied to him about it?”copyright protection91PENANAU3oe3yU1dH

“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 protection91PENANAGus5IbjgUe

“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 protection91PENANABIpLtaJY85

 “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 protection91PENANAS39ghcPce2

 “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 protection91PENANATVxl0fwkwr

    “Have it your way. Guard, see to it that Mr. Ostrand leaves the building.”copyright protection91PENANAz8aZTD9DCh

  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 protection91PENANAIulRLC4AOi

  “Can’t wait to get out of here,” William muttered to himself. “Bunch of immoral sadists! No offense…Bagan is it?”copyright protection91PENANACHea3eqAzW

  “Yes,” the guard answered. “None taken. Is there anything you would like your family to know?”copyright protection91PENANA284c7XPgBr

“I’m sorry…what?” A feeling of eerie suspicion came over him.copyright protection91PENANAyjWTbHvfhk

            “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 protection91PENANAyU1M451uFA

 “I, uh…why are you.. you lied to me!”copyright protection91PENANAqHIvTPtJ64

“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 protection91PENANAbEn7yzP4P6

“You’re bastards, the whole lot of you.”copyright protection91PENANAon0qa5vbza

“Five seconds, better make it good.”copyright protection91PENANAM0SuvLkZuq

 “Oh my God…uhmm…Salena …I love you so much. I didn’t mean…”copyright protection91PENANA3G5rNE0CIP

“Haha! Just kidding! I don’t have a pen, you think I’m going to send your family a message!”copyright protection91PENANAJ7dKxnP2zp

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 protection91PENANAdlp5QVRaUm

“It’s done, boss.” Sagan spoke into the radio.copyright protection91PENANABX2GpPlqs3

“Good. Take him to the Morgue. The doctor there will fix everything.”copyright protection91PENANAfbatVIRLKq

“Copy.”copyright protection91PENANAaYMz4CvVNp

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 protection91PENANAhonk5M9qdC

“Starting a bit early, are we?” A voice spoke from the shadows, and Pennington nearly wasted the rest of his liquor.95Please respect copyright.PENANAynby0GW840
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“Jumpy?” The voice chuckled, and a well-dressed older man stepped into view.95Please respect copyright.PENANA8lbIxdfBKx
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“Director Krane, wh-what are you doing here?"95Please respect copyright.PENANAcyB96i9Bre
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“Just checking in. Especially since Ostrand was a family man, and I know how that…affects you.”95Please respect copyright.PENANAR0C2yDJvLN
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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 protection91PENANAWYc2ZrdDaj

“That was clever, turning the radio on so I could hear exactly what he was saying.”copyright protection91PENANA3kGSQoMag6

“I figured if you heard him firsthand, you’d know better what I should do.”copyright protection91PENANAHKTH3lD5an

“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 protection91PENANAC7mPalgnZr

“Yes, yes of course.”copyright protection91PENANAG2LnVCMHM3

 “Very good. Have a good night, and hopefully you’ll have enough left to enjoy that bottle haha.”copyright protection91PENANANuOHbR2OWd

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.95Please respect copyright.PENANAwU8HDGVThF
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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 protection91PENANA6zVSXQuKyh

 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 protection91PENANANlLB2Ws5Kp

“I may get what’s coming to me too, Nathan. Let’s just hope I get enough time to see you again first…”copyright protection91PENANAiWZDuo7o30

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