Over the past 6 months, I have been trying to make contact with 5 but in vain. I woke up almost 15 hrs after I entered the program to hear sounds of the sounds of people talking. Though it has been almost 8 years, since I last heard those voices, I get goosebumps as soon as I hear them. They were discussing something about the diagnostic report of how things were with 5 over the time she was in the deep dive. I hear Hugo giving his input and fortunately, there was no mention of me.
After a few hours, I hear the pod opening and them both talking to 5 telling her what’s happening and slowly move her body. Considering how I felt when I woke up, I was surprised to hear them ask her to take her first steps slowly and to hold their hands and move to the other room. As soon as they move to the other room and I wait for some time and clear out with Hugo if anyone was in the room. When he confirms their absence, I jump out of the pod and stretching my sore muscles I observe the video feed on the screen to find they were in the training room and 5 was already running on the treadmill.
When I question Hugo about this, h told me the pods had muscle stimulant planned to be given in increasing doses after we hit 13 in the pod to start making the body come to normal standards. Angry I wasn’t given those when I woke up, he tells me they were only supposed to be given after a certain age and that if I was given those at 8 they might damage my muscles. With nothing to complain about, I watched the feeds on the giant screen till they returned when I would make my way back into the pod.
This became a kind of routine, where I found that just like in her deep dive, 5 was very proficient with weapons and her physical stats were growing very quickly. She was explained a few things but I never saw her reading anything which reflected on her mental stats which barely were growing. As this went on for the past 6 months I tried making several attempts at trying to meet 5 but never had any chance. A good thing though was while I tried doing this I did gain 2 new skills called spying and sneak. In all this time only once did I get a chance to see 5 physically. It was when one of the 2 women was nowhere in the facility and the other one was making a meal for 5 where I sneaked and opened 5’s room. When our eyes met, there was a weird feeling for a few seconds before I heard footsteps approaching and had to withdraw. Though Hugo told me 5 tried to find me after I left, she couldn’t as I was in the pod and Hugo’s master who was present didn’t pay much attention to it after she checked the pods of both 6 and mine. There was no scope for even nights since most of the time they were awake and if not they took shifts to sleep which Hugo told me was because, at high stats, people don’t really need to sleep and their stats, he assured me were very high and if not for classes and conditions I would’ve been caught a long time ago.
Today, exactly 3 months since that day, I noticed that the one Hugo calls general was not in the facility and I have been tracking the movements of his master and 5 for the past 3 hrs to find a chance. I had been planning a way to distract her for the last 2 weeks after remembering the giant wall clock in the library, I sneaked in and arranged a few books such that as the clock hand moves it will pull a string that might topple the books to create a sound as a distraction where I could sneak in and talk to 5.
With everything set up, I prepared myself to rush in. I stood near the door out of the lab and was keenly listening for the noise to make my move. As I focusing on the door, I failed to notice, a bunch of men dressed all in black moving in one of the screens. Before I heard the sound from the library, I started panicking as Hugo started to shout in the speakers “Alert, we have intruders in the facility, my controls are being overridden. Alert!” Red lights started to go off in the entire facility and I felt doomed as the door in front of me open. As our eyes met, she gave me a questioning look as I notice 5 is right behind her, she moves her gaze above me and a look of horror fills her face. Before I understand what happened, a huge explosion takes place and the door on the other side of the lab is blown open. I close my ears as my head starts ringing and when I look up, the woman Hugo called Annie was already near the entrance and had her hands held up high and a blue barrier of sorts was filled in the entrance.
By the time I register what was happening, with another loud bang I find Annie flying back and hit the wall before collapsing unconscious on the floor. When I look at the entrance, the blue barrier was gone and a few men dressed in complete black and holding what looked like guns looking like soldiers were standing in the entrance. I then notice a man who must be at least 2 feet taller than me enter the room as some soldiers move in and stand on Annie pointing their gun at her. As my eyes meet those of the tall man, a feeling of dread washes over me like my death was right next to me and I instinctively reach to hold 5’s hand. Though she is as shocked as me at what was happening, she lets me pull her close to me. The soldiers then cuff Annie in something that completely covers her entire palm on both hands till the wrists and bring her close to the tall man.
One of the soldiers slaps Annie awake when the tall man says, “Ah, you must be that computer geek, shame you turned out this way when your brother was a hero,” as Annie started to suddenly struggle, the tall man bends and with his face right in front of her asks, “Where is the general?”
“You will never find her!” she shouts.
He laughs out loud at this and with a grin still on his face and with a finger pointing at me and 5 he goes, “Sure I will. In fact, it is she who will come running to us to find her daughters, won't she?”
He then gestures something to the solder and starts walking towards me saying, ”They look so much like her, those eyes, they definitely have her eyes, don’t you think?”
As Annie started to struggle, one of the soldiers put something on her mouth which expands to clamp and cover the lower half of her face. Just as I was noticing this, the tall man sits down on his bent knees and ankles and turns my head with his hand to look at him. As soon as his hand touches mine, I freak out and try to jump back, but his hold is strong, I couldn’t budge an inch. He smiles and says, “don’t worry, I’m not here to hurt you, I just need to talk to your mother, do you know where she is?”
Not understanding what was happening, though the man looking at me was smiling, I still feel as dreadful as I felt initially looking at him. With my mind returning a blank on what to do as I try to think what to say, I was shocked when I notice his other hand which was supposed to be behind him was beside me and was holding 5’s hand which had a dagger pointed at him.