I awoke to the dawn of a new day. My name was gone and in its place was only a number. I couldn’t recall what I had been called before. All I knew now was displayed on my skinny, lifeless forearm. The black lines of the number curved down and in, and out and down. 003. I wasn’t strong enough to lift my other arm to touch it so I just sat there staring out of half closed eyes blankly at it.
From the day I got sick and went to the hospital everything became a blur. On a cold winter day we checked into supposedly the best children’s hospital in New York. The all too cheery and nice nurses took me to an MRI, or brought me medicine. I fell asleep constantly for what seemed to be days at a time. I think I may have been awake, or at least listening, more than the doctors or nurses or even my family thought.
Now sitting here trying to remember everything from the past week, I started to examine my surroundings. The walls are a dirty white and there is a single lamp with the bulb as bright as if it were new. There are no windows or glass to see outside. I officially feel trapped. My body itself as no visible wounds, but I have a pounding headache and a bandage from where my IV’s were. And the bed I’m lying on is most likely the worst mattress ever.
I just can’t seem to get enough of that number on my arm. I keep repeating it in my head zero zero three, zero zero three, zero zero three. I get this weird sense that if I were to say it outloud it make all this much more real.
“Zero zero three.” I decided to speak. An animated voice then comes out and echos off the small walls,
“Yes experiment number zero zero three what is your first question for today?”
“Where the hell am I!” I ask. The voice then calls out asking another question,
“Is that the final decision for your question?”
“Yes,” I reply but to my surprise with more annoyance as if I were talking to a sibling, which for the record I have no clue if I have one or not. The voice startles me when it comes to give me an answer.
“This is a United States Government experiment with a set of teenagers and young adults that have special potential. Given your number you are the third experiment so far.”
The hell? I thought to myself. I’m not going to be somebody’s labrat. I have to find a way out. I go to get up but to my surprise my right ankle is tied down, and well...I fall.
I go to look at what’s keeping my ankle down and it’s a simple handcuff linked to me and the leg of the bed. Whoever put me here is not very smart. I laugh to myself and lift up the bottom part of the bed, and quickly pull my leg and the cuff follows. I guess I can handle the cuff still there, it’s not really my top priority right now. I laugh again, not because I’m funny but because I am so out of sorts I’m kind of losing it.
I get up, brush myself off and head for the door. It’s heavy but to my surprise it’s unlocked. I start to look out and figure which way to turn. Left or right keeps replaying in my head. Then before I could even take a step in the direction I choose it, hits me,
“This is all much too easy.” And before I scramble back to my room someone’s hands are covering my face with a towel and everything is once again dark.
Once again I woke up back in the same room. I quickly jolt up and check my surroundings. Then look down at my ankle to see if the cuff was still there, now there was only a small tracking bracelet. I try the door again, eager to escape. It’s open.
In the hallway there are small lights about a foot away from each other lining the bottom of the steel walls. The speaker comes on again,
“Please follow the lighted pathway, please follow the lighted pathway”, It keeps repeating itself.
I continue to, well, follow the lighted pathway. I walk in one direction for quite a long time before I reach a blinding white room. Two automatic doors then shut behind me. For all I can see I’m alone in the room. Then I turn and see a small line of people around my age waiting at a desk, kind of like hospital scene. I decide to not immediately run up to them but to take my time to see if they come at me first. No one has made any sudden movements.
I approach the line and follow suit like the two other people in it. I read the title of the desk quietly to myself,
“Information desk”, thank god no one turned to me, I would have no idea to respond. I wondered if this was where the speaker announcements were made. I saw a lady behind the desk hand papers to the first in line. As the boy reached for them I thought I saw a hint of a tattoo. The same type that I have! But then as quickly as it had crossed my vision it was gone, but my thoughts didn’t subside as fast. I weighed whether or not I should call out to him and ask him about the tattoo, what was happening, and mostly everything since I got here. But I didn’t ask a single question, nor say a word.
When finally it was my turn to reach the desk I was ready to demand answers, but instead was already interrupted by the lady.
“What’s your number?” She asked quite coldly. I mean I guess I wasn’t surprised but I could use someone talking in a nice, non-animated voice.
“Three”, I replied
“Ah”, she said almost as though a lightbulb had turned on above her head, “Miss Anna LeBlanc. This is the first time coming out of your room is that correct?”
“Wait”, I abruptly say not really paying attention to the second part of her response, “Is my name really Anna LeBlanc or is it some kind of sick, fake name you’re trying to give me?”
“No, Miss Leblanc that is the name we received you with. Your birth certificate says so”, She then gestures toward a classic manilla file. I snatch it swiftly and before I run out of the line she stops me and tells me that this is the only information I will receive for this week. But, she continues to explain, because I had been off the normal schedule that I qualify to get two files this week and to return here in three days for another. I give kind of a lazy laugh, only for the fact that I find it ironic that that’s also the number tattooed on me.
Instead of immediately returning to my so-called room I find a secluded space from the desk where I can read through the file, my file. As I open the file a key card in a plastic bag falls out. I pick it up and the bag has black marker scribed on it reading, “Key to new room.” I sigh in relief, and hope it’s better than the one I woke up in.
I shift through some important looking legal documents that I figure I’ll look at later in my new room. Then i come across a paper that says “Research on Anna LeBlanc”. I rapidly inhale the words, questions flooding through my head of what my life was before waking up. I supposedly have parents that are still married, a brother named Alex, a year younger than me, and a dog whose name was not discovered. We lived in South Dakota then moved to Michigan, and came to New York shortly before I got “sick”. I was born in 2004 and am now thirteen, to be fourteen in August. And then follow ups of medical history, allergies, and family heritage.
I get up to head for the doors out into the hallway when a girl from earlier comes up to me. She has dark red/orange hair and is petite, and looks overly friendly.
“Hey! My name’s Haylee Vonmaur. I noticed you earlier and you seem new, want to walk together to our rooms?” Woa, I was right, her excitement is overwhelming. I stare blankly at her for about ten seconds before she tries again.
“Oh shoot, I’m sorry, you probably speak a different language or something”, she starts mumbling to herself, “I guess I could try a little french, or maybe russian.” I finally reply to her to make her stop rambling,
“Hi, I’m Anna Leblanc. I’m also not a big conversationalist but I’ll take you up on that offer for a walk.”
“Oh goody!” She practically yells at me. She grabs my arm, looks at my number and decides on where we should go.
“We’re most likely in the same hallway because our numbers are so close, I’m a two. And the new rooming system works with your set as the hallway number and your assigned number as the room.”
“Great”, I say, “can’t wait.”
When we reach our rooms, I open mine with the key card and by the looks of the door it seems the same as my old “room” which makes me feel like I’m going to throw-up. Then when the door opens it reveals a somewhat familiar room to me. Every item has somewhat of a blue them that seems to all fit together. A breeze sweeps through as if you were standing on a beach, which makes me notice all the beach themed things. I let out a sigh and flop onto the bed. As Haylee leaves I thank her and go back to complete relaxation. I feel drowsy enough to pass out right then and there but a thought intrudes into my mind
“Why should you be so happy when you know this isn’t your real home? Why shouldn’t you be demanding more answers? You shouldn’t be this happy when you know there are still crazy people out there trying to keep you here?” I decide I can’t be mad or sad about anything until I know more about my life before this, and just fall asleep then and there in the middle of the thoughts.
I awake to pounding on the door, I hastily shoot up and grab anything that I could use as a weapon. My hand reaches at something sharp, I look at what I’m holding and of course, just a seashell. I go for the door and decide to open it like when you rip off a bandaid. It’s only Haylee.
“Oh god you scared the crap out of me!” She apologizes and tells me to put on some comfortable clothes from the dresser and follow her when I’m done. I go quickly change and follow her as she told me to do so. I ask her what it’s about and she only tells me it has something to do with some-sort of check-up and orientation. I give an unsatisfied sound as I continue to follow. It’s like when I had to go to the eighth grade orientation back when we lived in Michigan. It seemed so unnecessary to go if we were moving. And oh my god, I just remembered something. I guess something good came out of that nap, and even though my mood got better I told myself to keep it under wraps.
As the automatic doors of a new room comes in sight we walk faster to make sure we aren’t late. When we get in I see what seems to be some doctors and government officials, or at least dressed with authority. I see the other boy I have t come to know (from Haylee babbling) as Cameron Jade. Apparently all he does is sulk in the corner and look depressed, and well that couldn’t be more accurate at this moment. He then gets up and starts walking in my direction. He whispers to me,
“You know, I’m not as depressed as I look.” My head fills with questions when he cuts in,
“I read minds, and you’re not very smart.” He goes to sulk in another corner. I look over to Haylee and see her hands playing with something dark and somewhat magic like, I tell myself to not go over there and disrupt that mess.
A lady in a white lab coat asks me to sit on a bed/table type thing and she holds me quite still as she injects me. I begin to fall over when a type of black dust consumes my body. I’m then laid down on the bed and am completely paralyzed for the moment being.
“All we did was activate the powers already hiding in your bloodstream. Soon you will receive control over objects and peoples motions. We will be training you to fight against the countries secret enemies and recruit more like you. Right now you don’t have a choice, as we are housing your fist enemy in this very building. I blacked out.
I wake up to the same lab I was in before. I move my arm and everything is fine. I get up and search a desk to find a laptop. I begin to search my name and anything that might correspond with me in the files.
“Anna Leblanc”, I keep repeating aloud. I find a file with my name and nervously but quickly press on it. It shows my parents names with a number and email. I furiously look for the email application and compose one. Something short but informative. Before I can type the last part the doors burst open with the same kind of black dust. Haylee enters. I get a strange vibe and quickly add to the email “send Alex”. I send the letter and face her. She has a wicked grin and asks me,
“Ready for our first fight LeBlanc?”