"What did you give me?" I inquired, waking.
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I was in a different room, which I'd guess was room TU001. It had much brighter lighting and silver enveloping every square millimeter of the walls.
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"A drug," the iceberg replied.
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"Well, duh! I exclaimed. "What drug?"
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"One that I wish kept you unconscious until 4am," his voice was the epitome of lifelessness. "Besides that, it weakens your powers." He was standing by an elongated white counter that stretched along the wall until it hit the other wall at the end. Just looking at the mess piled upon it gave me a headache. It was either that or another side effect of that evil drug.
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My mind stubbornly lingered on one specific detail. "Er, what exactly happens at 4am?"
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Oh. Right. Forgot about that.
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I glanced at the clock. It showed 2:34. My death was less than two hours away. I wriggled in under the metal straps that encages me onto a profoundly uncomfortable chair. A sudden spoke of curiosity provided me with enough courage to ask, "why does the fusion have to take place a precisely four am?"
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"The drug will place at your weakest point at four am."
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Oh, great. "So you guys were just going to spring my execution upon me like surprise, it's your death day?"
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"More or less so," he said expressionlessly.
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I waited for further explanation. None came.
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He looked at me as if a bird had more cells in its brain than I did. "You were to be terminated a few months from now."
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"Ah, that makes everything better," I chartered, cockily.
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"But seeing as you couldn't keep yourself out of Director's office," he continued, ignoring my sardonic comment. "Things had to happen earlier than scheduled."
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My eyes raked over the room; there was no one else in the room. No chemists, no security or even any of the many bodyguards that the Front had purposefully hired. Only Everest. This, at first, seemed quite foolish regarding they were planning on killing the Emerald Reese, with one measly person. But then I remembered Traitor Anne's remarkable description of this Everest's 'capabilities', as she called it. That meant, if her illustrations of his nature were true, then putting bodyguards in here would have been as useful as a defenseless lamb.
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The following half an hour passed with Everest fiddling with his fancy thingymajigs, that would soon result in my death, and me doing nothing – that there was much that I could have done, seeing as he caged me to a rather uncomfortable chair with iron belts.
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My mind fluttered to the events of the past 24 hours. How everything decomposed in a flash. How friends became traitors and how people with names like 'Everest' became my doom. But why, why kill me? I bet he knew why they were planning on killing me off.
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The first time I asked him he ignored me. The second time, he also ignored me. The third time... he ignored me. But, as if I were going to give up! My life was on the line, and I wanted answers! Finally, the fourth time I repeated the same question, he turned around.
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"I don't know," he simply replied.
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I've got to say, I my heart practically broke at that point; this guy was my only hope of finding out why Director, a man I'd have gladly depended my life with a few hours ago, turned into a backstabbing demon overnight. But, something about the simplicity of the Iceberg's "I don't know" begged to differ. Of course, he knew! He was just trying to avoid the question!
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"You're lying!" I accused.
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He turned away.
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"That's right, run away from confrontation!" I unwisely blurted out, before I could stop myself. And I would have crossed my arms too if these stupid locks had let me when I said, "And just so you know, you won't be able to kill me. All this termination business, it's fantasy talk.
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Still unbothered to turn around, he casually replied, "I will."
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"No you won't," I was quick to fire back. "Even if you concentrated all the energy in this building into a single electric chair, and put me in that chair, you can't tell me, and this isn't ego speaking either. You physically can't, even if you wanted to." This was true, courtesy to the super strength thing.
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Suddenly, he came over, and crouched next to me. It was a dangerous crouch. "Why do you think that of all the people who work for the Front, out of all those people with their master's degrees and PhDs, Director chose me to terminate you?"
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"Because he's a traitorous bastard who thought looks could kill, so he assigned you."
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"Humorous," he stated dryly. "Take another guess."
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I thought back to Anne's words.
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Except he's better.
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No way in the 500 discovered solar systems are they going to let him kill me! Him!
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"I don't bluff."
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"Really?" For the most ridiculous reason, I found myself amused. "Enlighten me, then."
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He stared at me for what is considered longer than normal. Then he started speaking. "The invention of our physiology was made under immense pressure, which is what gives me and you extraordinary strength. The fusion of my own blood into your own blood stream will mean there's too much power for a lone body to maintain. Too much for your anatomy to handle."
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"Does that mean the I can kill you too?" I interrupted.
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"Yes. Don't get any ideas. As a result of the fusion, your body will disintegrate, instantly."
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On a usual basis, I had a lot to say, but for some reason, all the words in my vocabulary were not really working. Instead, it went something like this:
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And then I ended up with this:
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"So is your blood, like, made of several tiny nuclear bombs instead of normal blood cells?"
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"As much as your immature sense of humor amuses me," he said in the least amused tone, "we have work to get on with. And on a side note, you are about to die, you realise?"
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"You realise, that normal people give another person blood to save their life, right?"
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"We are not normal people, 202."
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I scoffed. "Touché."
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"You'll be dead within two seconds of the fusion taking place. If you're lucky."
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The aversion of the conversation caused me to splutter on a whole load of air. "If I'm lucky? How is that lucky?"
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"You mean to tell me that you'd prefer a slow death?"
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This is ridiculous!
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"This is ridiculous!"
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He did not just ask me that.
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"'How- how–?" I spluttered over his brainless words. "Hmm, let's see. Firstly, my name is not 202, that's the name of the drug; my name is Emerald. Secondly, I just discovered the Front was run by a load of snakes—"
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He cut me off, "I believe your parents played a prominent role at the Front."
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"Oh, and number three, I almost forgot, I'm going to die! Seem to be so deprived of the concept of death that, you go on about it as if discussing weekend plans!"
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"Don't be absurd. I don't discuss weekend plans. And on the contrary, I'm not deprived of the concept of death. It's quite elementary. First, one will experience a respiratory arrest, followed by a cardiac arrest, and finally, neuronal activity will shut down."
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I had thought he was just saying it like this to piss me off. But a proper look at his face proved that he was being serious! So nauseatingly serious that not even a pore in his face implied neither humour, nor humanity.
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"You're mad. You're bloody mad."
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"It's science, it happens to all of us."
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"You just spoke about it as if shutting down a computer!"
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His face didn't give away the slightest hint of remorse. Or anything else, for that matter. "If you are done complaining, we have get back to the termination."
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My feet unwillingly grew colder than they already were. "I was just wondering if you were aware of the fact that using the word 'termination' doesn't make 'murder' sound better."
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"And you're okay with that?"
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"It is what it is," he replied vaguely.
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I thought hard for a moment, and then, smiling like a madwoman, I shouted, "I got it! You're a psychopath!"
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"I'm not a psychopath."
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"Of course you are! It makes perfect sense! A psychopath feels no guilt. You're a psycho!" Deep down, I knew I was only saying this to infuriate him.
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It didn't work because he ignored me.
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"So I'm going to die," I continued speaking to my to-be assassinator as if reading a recipe. "And then what? What will the public think of this remarkable scandal?"
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I dared a smirk. "And you're carrying out the accident. Are you an accident, Everest?"
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Okay, I wished I hadn't done that. Because the next glower he sent me, scared me a little. Not to mention the stupidity of my cockiness, judging my life was quite literally in his hands. "So, erm, how do you know so much about me?" I asked, hoping that the aversion of this conversation will soften his facial features. It did not.
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"The question should be, how do you not know? Even about yourself."
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"Director always dismissed my questions in a casual manner. I guess I am almost as dumb as you think I am for not noticing that anything was off..." I leaned as forward as the locks would let me, speaking as though my to-be killer was my personal therapist. My face hardened. "But, you know what? Something is going to go wrong, and you'll see. I'm going to get out of this," although I don't know how exactly. "And when I do, everyone at the here will—"
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"They're listening," He interrupted my hate ridden planes, eyes gesturing to a top corner of the room.
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My eyes followed, fixating on a miniature white object.
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Before I could say anymore, that deceiving man himself walked into the room and my face contorted immediately.
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The man who's as-bad-as-Gemma-blimming-Reynolds went to dismissed my existence and went right to my assassinator.
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"...Anne couldn't make anymore, so remember, Ever... 4am...weakest...th fusion must...wears... ff."
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Grabbing two narrow tube and a high tech machine that stood about a metre in height, Everest fiddled with a couple of other objects before suddenly inserting the tube with a needle at its end; so sharp, the tip would seem invisible if you looked at it point on, into his wrist. To say it looked painful would have been a massive understatement.
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To my surprise, he inserted the needle – how do I put it? – not maniacally as I thought he would have. Then, he sat himself down on a stool beside me, elbows resting on his lap.
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"The machine will deliver your blood through the tube at 4am?" Director asked him, to which he nodded once.
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Then then Director's hooded eyes focused on me. He stood where he was for a few more seconds, before saying, "Goodbye, Emerald."
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"Go to hell."
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He pat Everest on the back, which, from where I was strapped, looked like he just patted concrete. "Take care of her."
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I closed my eyes. Maybe it was supposed to go right. For the Front. But I didn't know how my death would make anything right. What was so wrong in the first place?
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When I opened my eyes to look at the time again, it showed 3:57. The closer it got to 4 O'clock, the more energy seemed to streak out of my body like vapour from a kettle. I felt a sudden urge to shove that drug down the throats of everyone in the building.
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"Fusion process begins in one minute," the female voice of a robot spoke from the machine. There was a timer on the screen of the machine, counting down the seconds to my doom, almost mockingly. A substantial amount of drowsiness conquered me, and the subconscious part of my mind adviced me to give into it. As if!
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57, 56, 55...
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Most times, when bad things happen, it's because of the schemes and ideas behind it, rather than the actual event itself. To exemplify, I didn't know exactly who planted bombs under this building, which inevitably led to the deaths of my parents. But what I did know was this; Robert Reynolds schemed it. If Agency Theory of obedience explained why whoever placed those bombs there did what they did, greed explained Robert Reynolds part in the atrocity.
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The scheme here was the Front. Everest was just their biological weapon. And once I thought about it, I realised I'd rather be dead than a weapon for the Front. The scheme was the stimulant. I realised then, that being angry at Everest was as stupid as being angry at the gun that shot you. Only the Front was to blame.
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Sitting there facing the ground, expressionless, I noticed how much he resembled the Everest.
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...32, 31, 30...
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His build; tall and empowering like the Everest.
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...28, 27, 26...
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His features; hard and stony like the Everest.
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...26, 25, 24..,
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His jaw; sharp like the jagged tops of the Everest.
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...20, 19, 18...
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His... everything; hard to explore like the Everest.
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...15, 14, 13...
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But most of all...
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...11, 10, 9...
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A killer like the Everest.
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...6, 5, 4..
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In that short moment, everything about this stranger mirrored his namesake. All but his eyes. I never would have thought that those icy eyes would have had the ability to thaw, but to my marvelled surprise, even through the blur of my eyesight, I was able to make out the lack of chill in them-
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I processed a rapid movement.
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He removed the needle from my arm.
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Ah, he speaks! What are your opinions on Everest?
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Please like, comment, and share. Thank you for reading, you great people.
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