Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 23 Pt 1


Official Report
Unknown Medical Facility,
New Hebron, California

He groaned and cracked his eyelids open. Blinding bright light filled his vision, and he brought a hand up to shield his eyes from the illumination. Once his sight had adjusted to his surroundings, he sat bolt upright and sucked in his breath.

His initial impression was of a hospital room, but as he glanced around, he detected several irregularities. The equipment looked a little too sleek to belong in any hospital, for another, the walls were the same shade of green as the ‘Athletic Center’ within the AEGIS facility and perhaps most noteworthy was the door. Though the same color as the walls it stood out like a sore thumb. It looked much like Sapphira imagined a steel door out of an underground bunker or a submarine would appear, complete with rivets and window, but with no clear mechanism to open the aperture.

Sapphira slipped his feet over the edge of his bed and grunted when something pulled on the skin of his arm and chest. He glanced down and found the source, an IV in his left hand and electrodes attached to his chest. He gritted his teeth, ripped the medical tape holding the IV in place on his skin and paused when he realized it hadn’t hurt as much as he’d expected. His arms weren’t what you’d call hairy anymore. Not that he didn’t have body hair, but it was so fine, that he didn’t notice it most of the time.

He pulled the needle free and marveled. For the first time, he looked at his ebony skin and didn’t find himself repulsed by what he saw. After removing the electrodes on his chest he rose to his feet and moved toward the door.

There was no handle or means to open the door. He reached out with his mind, gratified to find his abilities once again opened to his use, but a little confused. Every item in the room was open to his senses in perfect detail, but he could not get a read on anything that laid beyond the walls, ceiling or floor. He swallowed hard, getting an inkling of his predicament. It would be difficult to escape the room, if not impossible, even with all his powers. It wasn’t just a place of healing, but also the perfect location to hold an exemplar prisoner.

Sapphira needed to get free before it was too late.

He narrowed his eyes, gritted his teeth and reach out for the hospital bed. In response it lifted from the floor and hovered in the open air. He stepped away from the door, bit his lip and was about to throw out his hand and send the bed hurtling toward the door, but stopped when he detected movement through the little window in the door. He let the bed drop and watched as it receded sideways into the wall. Amelia stood within the door frame. She pursed her lips, and she held both hands above her waist fidgeting with them as she peered into the room.

Amelia sucked in her breath and stepped inside. “Well, it seems you’re doing better. That increased healing factor would be nice to have.”

Sapphira blinked and met her gaze. “Uh, yes, it would seem so. How long has it been?”

Amelia frowned. “Six hours.”

He closed, his eyes and ran a hand through his thick mop of hair. He wanted to tell her how sorry he was, but he bit his lip and shook his head. As much as it pained him, it would have to wait. There was a slight quiver to his voice as he spoke. “Maybe, there’s still time.”

“Oh, we’ll have plenty of time while we’re waiting for the doctor to show up. You can start by explaining what the hell you were thinking,” she said gritting her teeth and folding both arms across her chest.

He let out a long sigh and walked over to her placing both hands on her shoulders. “Amelia, you need to listen. I would love to his conversation almost any other time, but Chemosh, needs to be stopped. It might already be too late, we need to get out there and—”

Amelia gritted her teeth, she stood there fists clenched at her side and face all red. He thought for certain she would issue an angry retort, but then she glanced over her shoulder, and turned back to him letting out a long sigh. “You’re not going anywhere until the doctor has cleared you. So talk.”

Sapphira sighed, retreated from the door and plopped onto the hospital bed. He pursed his lips and looked up at the agent. “Something tells me you already know what’s happened.”

This wasn’t intuition, more an education guess, Sapphira sensed the agent through their bond. He did not sense anticipation from Amelia, anger and resentment. “You’ve read me, haven’t you?”

Amelia scowled and stepped inside the room letting the door slide shut behind her. She moved toward him and position herself opposite the bed arms folded across her chest. “I got a read on your possessions, I know pretty much what you’ve been up to since you went storming off, but it doesn’t give me insight into that thick skull of yours.”

“It was a mistake to leave. I didn’t realize that—” he stopped glancing up at her and let out a long sigh.

“Realize, what, that I was a freak? That I mutilated myself? Is that it?” Amelia asked her voice taking almost a frantic edge. She wasn’t yelling, but it was clear the agent was furious and Sapphira’s earlier comments hurt more than she was willing to let on.

It surprised him how much her words stung. Sapphira froze staring up at her, trying his best to find the words, but try as he might he wasn’t able to articulate what he wanted to say. Something warm rolled down his cheek, and he reached a hand up to touch it. He was crying, he realized. When he found the words, he bit his lip and turned to Amy.

“Amelia, I was wrong. Those things I said were out of line. There’s almost no chance you’ll forgive me, but I want you to know I think the world of you. I’ve had time to process what I saw in your mind and I don’t believe you’re a freak.”

Amelia dropped her hands and stood there frozen in place. She stood there, eyes wide and her mouth agape. He sensed, uncertainty and surprise through the bond, but it was nothing compared to the sea of emotions that washed over him when next he spoke.

“Amelia, I wanted you to know, that I’m in love with you.”

In so many ways the words surprised even him. He knew they were true. The empathic bond they shared had provided him with an insight into her mind that could have only otherwise have developed over years of time spent together. Was it any wonder he’d developed such strong feelings for her in so short of a time?

The agent’s eyes grew even wider, and she spun around, only pausing long enough to wait for the door to open before fleeing from the room.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 23 Pt 2


Official Report
Unknown Medical Facility,
New Hebron, California

He rushed toward the doorway after Amelia, but the door did not respond to him as it had for her. When he pounded a fist on the window, he let out a long sigh when she didn’t come back. He turned away, his heart hammering in his chest and a sob escaped his lips.

How could he have been such a fool? He couldn’t help how he felt for the agent, but he should have kept his mouth shut. This was neither the time nor the place to tell her. He returned to the bed, falling faced first atop it and buried his head in the pillow.

He wished that he could sense Amelia beyond the walls of the room, but whatever the green substance was, it also blocked their empathic connection. So, he wept, convinced that he had ruined everything.

So swept up in his own misery, was he, that he did not hear the door open, or sense that anyone had come through. It was only when a cough reverberate through the air that his head jerked up and he scrambled back to his feet rounding on the newcomer.

It was Dr. Hassebroek, the AEGIS doctor who had examined him after his transformation. He looked much the same as he had the last time they’d met and even sported an almost identical outfit from the last time.

“What ist this now? Are we weeping? This would not have something to do with Agent Van Den Broeke, would it? He seemed very distraught when I passed him in the corridor.”

Sapphira blinked and looked up at the doctor with wide eyes. Had he used male pronouns refer to Amy? He sat upright and scowled up at the man. “I don’t think Amy would much like it, if she heard you using male pronouns.”

Hassebroeke chuckled and leaned forward. “No, not, but there ist no escaping biology. ‘Amelia’, as you call him suffers from a delusion, nothing more, he ist no more a woman than you are a man.”

Sapphira’s cheeks flushed and glared up at the man between gritted teeth. Surprised at, just how much the doctor’s statement had offended him. He didn’t say a word, however. His anger faded replaced by shame with the realization that not so long ago he had shared the same attitude.

“Now,” Hassebroeke smiled. “Why don’t we stand up, so ich can have a look at du, hmmm?”

Sapphira rose to his feet and eyed the doctor, but chose to not to speak fearing he might anger the man if he opened his mouth. As offensive as his attitude was, Sapphira held no doubt that Hassebroeke’s diagnosis would be the deciding factor in whether he could leave. It would be best not to provoke him.

Without another word Hassebroeke, slipped a penlight out of his breast pocket and shined it into Sapphira’s eyes. He clenched his eyes shut, and the doctor chuckled. When he opened his eyes again, Hassebroeke had slipped the little light back into his pocket and stood staring at the exemplar with an odd gleam in his eyes.

“Sehr gut, your eyes are dilating. Sehr remarkable, who would have guessed that such superior healing abilities would occur in someone of one of the lesser races.”

Sapphira bit his lip surprised by the doctor’s casual racism. Again, he kept quiet, unsure how or if he should react. Hassebroeke retrieved a rod from inside his lab coat and turn it over in his hands. “This ist a scanner, remarkable technik, it ist not unlike a portable MRI, but much, much more powerful. It ist very expensive, which is why you won’t see it in general use. It ist fortunate for us this device is especially useful when treating exemplars as they sometimes have unique physical traits. Otherwise I doubt AEGIS would justify the exorbitant expenditure.”

He raised his hand passing the rod first over his head, then down his chest, across each arms, and down the waist and legs. When he finished, the side of the device lit up and peering into a tiny little screen that appeared. “Yes, Yes, interesting, enlarged prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus, high ratio of white blood cells to red, unusual cellular density. One might spend a lifetime studying these readings. I can say, that despite your unfortunate pigmentation, you appear to be a superior specimen. Verwunderlich!”

Sapphira’d had enough, he gritted his teeth and rounded on the doctor. “Unfortunate pigmentation?”

Hassebroeke grinned at the exemplar and held the rod in front of Sapphira’s face. “You are an aberration nothing more, you were given that form. Were you a true example of exemplar superiority you would have the pigmentation of the one true superior race. Still ich believe your unique physiology ist worth further study.”

“Or…” Sapphira bit his lip and clenched both fists at his side. “You’re wrong and skin color doesn’t matter at all.”

Just a few days ago, Sapphira would have been started to hear such a statement escape his lips, but he was beginning to understand that so many of the things he had believed were wrong.

Hassebroeke chuckled and turned away a coy smile touching the corner of his lips. “Perhaps.”

All at once, Sapphira understood that the doctor had manipulated him. His supposed display of racism was an act. The reason was also clear, it had been a test.

Hassebroeke slipped the rod back into his pocket then turned away. He moved toward the door and turned back once it had slid open. “Matthews will be in to see you.”

Sapphira swallowed and watched the door closed again. He looked down at his hands and bit his lip. He was certain he’d passed the test. So why then did he feel so uneasy?