Finished The Summer of Light

BabyBilly

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Great story.

This story idea is working well. The boys work well together.
 

Azie

Poofhoof Princess!
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Browalla must satisfy poofhoof's hunger for more of this story or you get :eek:tkspanking:!
 

Keleros9

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This is a good story. I really like how you combine true to life storytelling with supernatural elements and diapers.
 

Tripped

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yes!! a update, keep them coming.
I know its been a month or so now, but here it is. :)

This story idea is working well. The boys work well together.
Thank you, I'm surprised how well they're working out together. :)

Keep up the good work!!!!
Working on it. :)

Loving it!
More to hopefully enjoy. :)

more please!
Here ya go. :)

Browalla must satisfy poofhoof's hunger for more of this story or you get :eek:tkspanking:!
Next part is here :biggrin:

This is a good story. I really like how you combine true to life storytelling with supernatural elements and diapers.
Thank you, I'm glad you're liking it. I'll be honest, I'm really surprised how this is all coming together.



I awoke with a startled jump to the blaring repeating buzzing sound of an alarm clock sitting on a small stand next to my bed. After slapping the clock into silence, I sat on the edge of the bed letting my bare feet graze the soft carpeting. With nothing more than a grunt and a few groans I stood up and stretched while rubbing the sleep from my eyes. As I did every morning I grabbed a change of clothes and walked into the bathroom with something of a waddle where I took my morning shower and got ready for the day. Just like usual, I clamored down the steps to the first floor and shuffled into the kitchen where I poured myself a bowl of cereal then sat down and began eating it.

“How are you holding up?” Dad asked. I glanced up from my breakfast to see him walking around the table until he was able to wrap his arms around me in a comforting hold.

“I dunno.” I mumbled with the faintest of sighs. “I just don't know how to feel about all of this. I mean, you know, it hurts, I want to find the guy that owns Last Look Industries and rip his head off, I also want to just scream for no reason.”

“The grieving process is complicated, Caleb. There are times when even I can't really believe what happened. When your mother gets back from Reichplast, we might be able to have some closure and start the healing process. Just so you remember, I'm going to be putting in a lot of extra hours at work today so I probably won't be home until about dinner time. I'll leave enough money so you can order pizzas for dinner.”

“What do you really do at the plant?” I asked him while he stood up and sat down across the table from me. “You moved us out here, and you say its the best career choice you've ever made, but I can't shake the feeling you don't make car parts there.”

“Caleb...” He stared at me with his piercing glare. “...maybe some day I can tell you what I really do at the plant. For right now, though, imagine that I work on one of the production lines.”

“Why!?! What's up with all this secrecy!?!” I narrowed my focus on him. “You're giving me a big pile of cow fodder about your pretend job. I don't know anything about what you really do, or what the company you work for does, or why I had to have one of the plants security guards standing over me while I had to wait in the lobby while you met the boss and took a tour of the place 'cause the last I checked, car parts aren't really all that top secret!”

“Son, I'm going to level with you.” He finally sighed while leaning across the table and lacing his hands together. “Obviously we don't make car parts at the plant. What we do, could be considered one step away from U.S. Military contracts, so there's a lot of hush-hush stuff happening there. When I come home every day and not say anything about work, its not because I don't want to share the highlights of the day – trust me I want to tell both of you all the good things that happen - its just because I'm protecting both of you.”

“Protecting?” I shook my head. “Why would we need protecting?”

“Because there are people out there that would be willing to hurt you and your mom for information. Just imagine what they'd do with me! I don't like keeping either of you in the dark like this, but the less the two of you know, the safer you are. Caleb, I know its hard, but you're just going to have to trust me on this one.” Dad then leaned even further over the table until he put his left hand over my right arm just like mom does. “If it makes it any easier, starting tonight, when I come home from work, I'll tell you all the good things that happened at work.”

“It will still be a lie.” I cornered and looked away slightly.

“True.” He nodded. “But, car parts aren't really all that top secret either. And I do work on a production line, so, it wouldn't be lying, just bending the truth a little bit.”

“I guess.” I sighed.

--- --- ---

“It was the phrase of the day. 'No comment.' As spoken by Last Look Industries founder and CEO Russell Derj as he pushed his way past a swarm of reporters....” I listened to the early afternoon news while I stared blankly at the laptop screen in front of me. No matter what search phrases I used, the only things I could find online about the company dad worked for were snippets about being the leader in custom vehicle parts manufacturing. What really made me curious, though, was that they didn't even have a website or any contact information.

It wasn't until the doorbell chime echoed out softly that I set the laptop aside and stood up until I was shuffling my socked feet across the wood floors to the front door. After peeking through a large window next to the door, I reached over to the cold metal knob giving a firm twist until the door squeaked open. “Come on in guys.” I stood aside letting Sparks and the twins in. No sooner had I swung the door closed than I turned to find Fang holding out what looked like a notebook customized with a black covering adorned with neon a series of green pinstripes.

“Our mom wanted you to have this.” Fang smiled and nodded down towards the notebook.

“What is it?” I asked while I opened the front cover to find a picture of the four of us on the very first day we met. Dozens of other pages had countless more photos of us during the entire time we'd known each other.

“Mom has this thing she does. The day after our annual sleepover, she'd start taking pictures and save them until the next sleepover. And all those pictures she has during that span of a year, she'll take and make copies of them and make us these yearly photo albums. She thought it would be a nice gesture to make you one for this year, even though you've been here for only a few months.”

“There've been times when we've cracked open some older albums and laughed over some of the zany things we've done.” Sparks ruffled my hair while I kept glancing between them and the pages in the notebook.

Instantly Pinball grinned while giving Sparks a devious stare. “Yeah like the time brainiac there tried building a remote controlled lawn mower...”

“Oh gawd not the lawnmower again!” Sparks groaned while hanging his head low and giving it a few good shakes side to side.

“...I'm still trying to figure out how you managed to cross the wireless frequencies bad enough that you tripped every security system on a whole two block radius.” Pinball continued while laughing. “There were cops and firetrucks and ambulances everywhere. I swear, there must'a been every single emergency vehicle from the town in this one small neighborhood.”

Listening to all this even I couldn't help but chuckle, that was until I flipped to the last few pages of the notebook. Most of the photos were of us during the weekend sleepover. But the very last page was the one that caught me off guard. On the very last page was only one picture; its background was darkn, and standing in front were Simon and the twins – all three holding lit white candles in their hands – their heads were tilted downwards enough that they looked like they were standing in sorrow. Under the picture was a hand written message that read 'true friends can make each other happy, and mourn together over tragedy.'

“Caleb?” Fang asked in gentle tones as I stared at the picture and the message, my eyes starting to water up until a streak of tears rolled down my cheeks. I quickly glanced up at him then back down to the page; he reached out and planted his hands on the fronts of my shoulders making sure to softly grip 'em. “Some how, some way, Last Look is going down for good. That company is just too big and too powerful to not fail. In fact, Sparks has been flooding every blogging website he's on, we've made a few Youtube videos about the disaster in Reichplast and he's even made a special website just for the cause; the numbers are growing every day. People are getting behind this movement...they're rallying together over this cause....”

“Hey guys you gotta see this!” Pinball suddenly interrupted his twin brother and pointed to the TV. All four of us gathered around, and as we did, I picked up the remote and turned up the volume. On the screen were two men sitting behind what looked like a news desk debating something. On the bottom of the screen was a blue banner with “The call to justice” in white lettering.

“And what about this online rally that's sprung up not even a week ago?” The man on the left asked while motioning with his hands. “They're calling for action to be taken against Last Look Industries.”

“Well its interesting you brought that up.” The man on the right nodded. “This was all started by three of four friends whom call themselves StilleNacht. Now, as I understand it, these three friends did this as a means of doing something for their other friend, whom moved from Reichplast and had lost family when that mine system flooded and collapsed.”

“Damn we're getting mentioned on TV!” Sparks gasped with a surprised grin.

The man on the left side of the TV screen held out his hand in a simple 'stop' gesture. “Correct me if I'm wrong, but these boys range in age between twelve and thirteen, right? So they can't really do anything more than online rallies and the like. They can't pursue legal action.”

“That's correct.” The man on the right agreed. “We've been tracking this particular case, and now we're starting to some big names starting to support this movement – all the way from musicians to leaders of countries. Who knows, maybe StilleNacht will succeed in their quest and have their day when Last Look Industries has to stand trial.” He then paused and held his right hand to his ear. “Ladies and gentlemen, our producers have asked me that tell you that we at KROT News fully support StilleNachts 'call to justice'.”

“Holy hell!” Fangs jaw dropped almost to the floor as Pinballs eyes grew large and Sparks stared blankly at the screen. Fang then turned to me with a massive grin. “This pot of water is really starting to heat up now...”

--- --- ---

I listened to the front door squeaking open then clacking shut. Footsteps clomped along the floor towards the kitchen where I sat at the table slowly eating the first slice of one of the two pizzas that had been delivered not ten minutes ago. The steps paused behind me and a familiar hand ruffled up my hair. I glanced up long enough to see dad walking along the table and taking a seat at his usual place. He then reached over and pulled the unopened pizza box over and lifted the lid. “Oohh bacon cheeseburger. Good call.” He smiled then picked up a slice taking a huge bite of it. “Ya know, we were watching channel seven during lunch break at work. By the time it was over, I think everyone that worked there was so moved by what your friends did that they all went to that website and signed the support page. I really do hope Last Look gets dismantled for good.”

“You guys make the daily quota?” I asked after taking another bite myself.

Dad nodded with a smirk. “Sure did.” He then chuckled. “One of the guys I work with on the line tripped and fell over onto an entire storage rack of lug nuts.”

“Lug...nuts?”

“Yeah they're a type of nut that keeps the wheels on a car. You wanna talk about a mess to have to clean up.” Hearing this, I began to chuckle then laugh myself. “Overall it was a good day. We finished the quota on time, nobody got seriously injured. But the best part of the day was coming home and chatting with my son. Starting Monday, I also want to hear about your day at school.”

“Man don't remind me that school starts in only two days.” I groaned and rolled my eyes.

“Yeah it sucks.” Dad smirked. “But at least you're not facing a new school by yourself; you already know Francis, Douglas and Simon. And it looks like you're all going to be in the same classes so that's a plus.”

“True.” I nodded.

“Speaking of, you got all your paperwork and school ID card yet?”

“Yeah came about 2 weeks ago; still tucked away in the new backpack.”
 

relax

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An other nice part. I like the mix between the diaper friendship and the mysterious community with super powers. I'm looking forward to read the next part. :)
 

Tripped

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An other nice part. I like the mix between the diaper friendship and the mysterious community with super powers. I'm looking forward to read the next part. :)
I'm glad you're liking it. I know there's more questions than answers right now, and this next parts gonna make it even more mysterious. But rest assured, all will make sense later.



The morning was early, and the house was deathly silent. Sitting on the edge of my bed under the warming glow of a lone lamp I rubbed my eyes until I was awake enough to stand up and look over the bed to find a moderate sized wet spot on the sheet.

Great... I thought to myself as I took note of how the front creases of my black shorts were also damp. With nothing more than a sigh, I yanked the sheet off the bed then rolled it up until it was under my right arm, after that was done I went into a small closet and found a pair of clothes to wear for the day. As I tiptoed from my room to the bathroom I couldn't help but notice just how quiet the house was in the early morning hour. I would go as far as to say that the rustling of my diaper was literally the only sound I could hear. After my usual routine of taking a steaming hot shower, changing for the day, and having two full bowls of cereal, I quietly made my way out the door with more than enough time to make it to the bus stop just up the road.

“Hey bro.” Sparks grumbled with a massive yawn as we met each other at the bus stop. Coming from the other direction, the twins shuffled along obviously not as awake as Sparks or myself. The four of us stood alone in calm stillness; as we did, the morning sun broke its confinement of the horizon. Even though we'd been standing there for only ten minutes, all four of us glanced up to see a older short yellow school bus rumbling along the the pavement with a pair of yellow lights on the front end of the roof flashing side to side. It then slowed to a stop in front of us with the yellow lights flicking off and a pair of red lights next to them flicking on in the same flashing pattern. The door on the side of the bus squawked open with an ear splitting screech.

“Morning Neil....” Fang called out while starting up a small set of steps then suddenly stopped. “...wait you're not Neil, where's Neil?”

“Family emergency.” I could only hear a gruff voice respond. Withing nothing else said, Fang started moving again, followed by Pinball, followed by Sparks then myself. As I climbed up I couldn't help but notice the tall and muscular bus driver wearing a black uniform with a green patch on his right sleeve; on the patch was an upside down triangle with two dots on each side. After a few seconds all four of us were seated at the back of the bus with our backpacks in our laps.

“Guys.” I motioned for Sparks and the twins to lean in close before I spoke again in low tones. “I sure hope I'm being paranoid, but keep your eyes open.”

“Why?” Pinball asked.

I glanced up to the driver to make sure he wasn't paying attention to us. “Ever have one of those moments when you notice something that doesn't fit? You three saw the uniform, right?”

“Yeah.” Sparks nodded. “Bus drivers don't wear official uniforms. But its the patch on the guys sleeve that caught my attention.”

“So what'cha saying?” Fang asked leaning in even closer next to Pinball while using the seat back in front of him to block the lower half of his face.

“I'm not sure, somethings just not right about this. Keep your eyes open.” I glanced around again before settling back into the seat.

Mile by mile passed silently as the four of us rode for what felt like forever. It wasn't until the bus stopped at the side of a three story brick building that the driver put the transmission in park and manhandled a leaver causing the doors to squeak open. The four of us gathered our things and made our way down the bus' steps only to be met by another tall and even more muscular man wearing the same uniform as the driver. This one though, was also wearing a weapons belt across his waist with two more lashed around his thighs; he was also more intimidating than the driver – as though he would twist us into pretzels for breathing the wrong way. As the bus shut its doors behind us and slowly pulled away, the guy towering over us held one hand out in a 'halt' position; in his other hand was what looked like something out of a strange sci-fi movie.

“Have your school Ids ready.” He spoke out in deep, almost barking tones. One by one, he held the device over our school ID cards until it beeped and flashed a green light. “Proceed to your home room.” He turned his attention from us to another small bus rumbling up the same path ours had taken.

“Has school security always been this tight?” I asked making sure to leave my card hanging freely around my neck as the four of us entered into the red brick building.

“No.” Sparks shook his head. “I mean, yeah, we've always had the ID cards, but normally school security would be Iggy roaming the halls.”

“Iggy?” I asked.

“Deputy Iggy.” Fang commented. “He's like everyone's best friend; if you had any problems, you could always talk to 'em about it.”

“Yeah.” Pinball continued. “Iggy's like a boss skateboarder. And last year, on the last day of school, we all got to watch as he had his lights and sirens going while doing donuts in the parking lot.”

“I think those skid marks are still there!” Sparks chuckled. “School without Iggy is like, ya know, the third circle of hell.” He and the twins fell into a common silence as we shuffled along until we collectively stopped at room thirty eight. When Pinball opened the door, we found that we were in for yet another surprise.

“What is going on here!?!” Fang muttered almost too quiet to be heard. Standing behind the teachers desk on our left was a blond haired woman wearing the exact same uniform as the bus driver and the guy waiting for us outside the building. When she saw us, she gave a firm nod then started shuffling through a stack of paperwork on the desk. She stayed quiet while picking up a pencil and writing something down on a gridded sheet of paper. Not sure what to expect next, the four of us shuffled to the right side of the room to an empty set of desks furthest away from her as possible. We weren't the only ones that had the same idea, as there were already three other kids sitting and quietly talking amongst themselves, and a fourth one sitting by himself in a corner desk. He caught my attention right away because there was just something out of place about him. He wore black jeans and a black shirt, black boots and a black jacket that looked about two sizes too big for him; its hood was pulled over his head letting only bits of his face show in the light.

By the time the first bell of the day rang, another four students shuffled into the classroom bringing the total number up to twelve. Once everything settled down, the teacher called us up one by one to her desk where she assigned lockers to us.

--- --- ---

“Home sweet home.” Sparks grumbled while waiting for his garage door to lift upwards. When there was enough room to pass under it, Fang dropped his backpack onto the old couch. Following this, Pinball flopped down on the couch with a grunt while Sparks took his usual place at the workbenches.

“I sure hope the rest of the school year isn't going to be like this!” Fang groaned as he sat on the couch's armrest. “I don't know whats worse; how they expect you to remember everything after being told only once, or, how every adult there is a total jerkwater, or, how bad the food is now.”

“All right.” Sparks sighed. “We need to figure out whats going on around here.” He paused while picking up Charlotte and letting the fake spider crawl over his arm. “I mean, their excuse for the beefed up security seems plausible, and I could even buy into the idea that they're taking a no nonsense approach to education. But what I can't accept, is how all of them wore the same uniforms with the same patches on the sleeves.”

Listening to all of this, I reached for a blank sheet of paper and a spare pen then drew the same upside down triangle with two dots on both sides. When I was done with the basic image, I held it up for them to see. “Where have you see this before?” I asked making sure all three of them got a good look at the picture. Following a long moment of silence and shrugs, I put the paper down on the workbench next to Sparks then turned it upside down until the triangle was right side up. They gathered around as I drew two wavy lines from the dots, then put an “L” above them on each side. Then I finished it off with an “I” in the middle of the triangle. “Now does it look familiar?”

“I can see how you'd make that connection, but that's still a long shot.” Pinball shook his head. “Why would Last Look be here in this quiet town with no mines around?”

“I don't know. Maybe they're trying to find StilleNacht. Maybe they've changed their approach a bit and found a new way to do business. Maybe I am being paranoid. But the coincidences are just a little too convenient.” I moved Fangs backpack over until I was able to sit on the couch.

“The old power plant.” Sparks suddenly spoke up while glancing to the rest of us. “They started that project over the summer. Those black SUVs that were leading the big trucks that day when we heard about Reichplast...I saw those same SUVs with the same license plates at school.”

“Stop stop stop...” Fang rubbed the side of his head. “I think we're getting ahead of ourselves here. What are they gonna do with an old coal burning power plant? Ya know, that things so old that a bird landing the wrong way on it could bring it down into a pile of rubble. I'm surprised it actually hasn't come down already.”

“From now on we've got to be on guard all the time.” I leaned forwards. “I don't know whats going on, how all this is connected, or even who's involved. Don't trust anyone except us, or our parents 'cause this is getting pretty deep pretty fast.”

“Ya know, if I had to bet on who's in on all of this, I'd bet that goth kid.” Pinball crossed his arms. “He never said anything all day; he might be some adult posing as a kid to fool us into thinking he's just a quiet kid trying to hide from the world. And since he's in all of our classes, he could keep a tab on us the entire time and report back to his boss.”

“That's screwed up!” Sparks barked then paused in thought. “But strangely that makes sense.”

“Maybe but I doubt it.” Fang shook his head. “He's got Krinnel powers too.”

“He could still be working for who ever is involved in all of this.” Pinball raised an eyebrow.

--- --- ---

Run! My mind screamed while I darted along long empty halls as fast as my legs could go. In the maze of corridors behind me, several men and women in white lab coats gave chase doing everything the could to catch me. When I rounded another corner I made another ten feet then came to a sudden halt – my socked feet skidding along the polished tile floor until I stood face to face with the goth kid from school. But instead of his black clothes and hooded jacket, he wore a neon green shirt and shorts and the jacket. In the dimmed lighting, the hood over his head created nothing but shadows where his face should have been; he stood silently and slowly raised his left hand revealing arcs of bright bluish white electricity dancing along his fingers and around his hand.

“Get down...” A raspy voice echoed out of nowhere. Hearing the shouting and commotion coming from around the corner further behind me, I turned around to see the swarm of lab coats turning the corner. “Get...down...!” The voice again called out; I turned again and watched as the crackling electricity dancing around the goth kids hand became brighter, louder and more alive. The kid pointed his first two fingers towards the adults; that was all it took for me to drop to the ground. One second there was the commotion of everyone chasing me, the very next moment, there was absolute silence following a deafening thunderous electrical explosion. Even though every inch of my body was screaming for me to get up and run for my life, I found I stayed on the cold floor looking up to the inside of the boys left knee and a splotch of red skin in the shape of a deformed butterfly.

“Some of us will be there to help you, Caleb.” The voice whispered in softer tones. I couldn't help but make it to my knees while looking the goth kid over hoping to see his face clearly; to my dismay I still saw nothing but shadows. “Its coming; be ready.”

“W-who are you?” I asked staring at the shadowy nothingness under the hood.

“You will have the answers when the times right.”
 

babyoni

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Very interesting. Usually dont like reading sci-fi stories but this one, I think I can get into. Cant wait for the next chapter.
 

Tripped

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The days passed by without much variety. I'd wake up, shower and change clothes, have my usual two bowls of cereal for breakfast, make it to the bus stop with a little time to spare, climb aboard the aging bus and ride it to school. School, however, turned into more of a military operation with every minute of the play preplanned down to the second; they even had a time table of how fast we should make it through the lunch line. After school, all four of us would go over to Sparks house and hang out there until about four in the afternoon where we'd all head to our own houses. For me, this meant watching a little tv while dad made dinner because mom was still in Reichplast. Then we'd sit down, have dinner and talk about our days. And, when the day was almost over, I'd make my way up to my room where I'd put on a diaper and my usual sleepwear then climb into bed and fall asleep.

Eventually the first few days turned into a week. On the first day of the second week everything changed. Fang, Pinball, Sparks and myself sat and talked amongst ourselves about a group project for science class. As we did, I occasionally checked the clock at the front of the class room to find that the minute hand barely seemed to budge past eleven fifteen in the morning. The last fifteen minutes before lunch always seemed to drag on the slowest because our class room was just up the hall from the cafeteria, and every day around this time we could smell the food being prepared. Today, though, instead of the normal lunch bell, a deep and gruff voice rattled through the schools intercom system.

“Attention staff; attention. Initiate lock-down procedure Omega. I repeat, initiate lock-down procedure Omega and await further instruction.” Every single one of us looked around in confusion and worry. Yet the teacher simply walked to the door and locked it from the inside then directed us back to our usual seats. While we went back to our seats, the teacher walked over to a row of windows and slowly closed sets of blinds hanging over them. All twelve of us sat in a worried silence; the only sound that could be heard was a gentle hum of the air conditioning system.

“Whats lock-down mean?” I heard a girl from further ahead of me asking while glancing at the teacher. “Is someone shooting up the school? Is there a bomb or something? What's going on!?!” As she asked all this, I could hear her voice changing from curious to concerned then panicked – perhaps even terrified.

That's when the teacher did something I least expected him to do; he made soft steps towards the girl then knelt down beside her desk. “Please try to stay calm. I know how scary this can be, but if we all stay calm and quiet, I'm sure we'll all get through this.” What struck me was just how soothing and sincere his tone of voice was – so much so that for a few brief seconds, I didn't see him as authority, but a caring fatherly guy.

Time passed by silently as we all sat in the same room; eventually lunch time passed, then our usual dismissal time. And, at the time where we'd normally be hanging out at Sparks place, the door to the classroom opened revealing several armed guards standing in the hallway just outside of the classroom – all of them were dressed in the same uniform with the upside down triangle patch. With all of us glancing towards them, the leader of the small group stood within the doorway while holding a touch screen computer in his hands.

“Smith; Adam.” The guy called out glancing between the screen and us while motioning for one of the guys towards the front of the class to get up and go over towards him. As the kid named Adam did, the guy holding the tablet continued. “Quinton – Douglas and Francis. Renolds; Heather. Opalof; Simon. Tristan; Jeremy.” One by one, everyone that he called by name stood and joined him at the doorway. “Henderson; Caleb.” Hearing this I stood, gathered my things then joined the small group of kids at the door. Strangely enough my name was the last name called out before the guy ushered us out of the room making sure to close the door behind him.

“What's going on?” Sparks asked as he glanced to the team of armed guards.

“Stay quiet and move along.” The guy holding the tablet grunted in short bursts as he directed us down the hall and around a few corners until all of us emerged at the bus ramp where a small school bus sat with its engine rumbling and body shaking rhythmically.

“Where are you taking us!?!” Fang barked while turning around and using his arms to block anyone from getting on the bus.

“On the bus!” The tablet guy pointed, a certain way his eye twitched told me his patience was wearing thin.

“Not until you tell us whats going on and where you're planning to take us!” Pinball joined his brothers side. I could only watch as the guards around tablet guy put their hands on yellow plastic handgun shaped devices in their hip holsters. My attention was broken though by Fang yelping out while being pulled into the bus from behind causing Pinball to jump into the bus.

“On the bus now!” Tablet guy shouted and started charging until the rest of us scampered into the bus and up its steps. One by one we all found a seat and decided not to try our luck.

--- --- ---

“This ain't good...” Sparks whispered into my right ear, I glanced over just enough to see him pointing to a ten story building towards the end of a long and wide road. “...not to mention confusing. Why would they be taking us to the hospital?”

“Any luck on the text?” I whispered back in even lower tones making sure neither the guards nor the driver could hear.

“There should be a swarm of cops around the bus by now, but the only cop car I saw just passed right on by. I know for sure Iggy wouldn't ignore a text message from me – especially in a situation like this...” Before Sparks could finish his thought, the bus slowed and turned into the massive parking lot of the hospital, then made a few twisting turns until it was headed towards the back of the building where a three story wing jutted out from the main structure.

“Mental Health.” I read a black sign with white lettering standing in a median between two lanes of traffic direction.

Slowly the bus made a small u-turn and stopped at the main doors of the wing. As it did, the guard at the front of the bus stood up and turned to face all of us. “When the doors open, leave the bus and go inside the building. Leave your personal belongings; they will be tagged and secured on hospital premises.

Squeeeeeeeeaak! The doors swung open and the standing guard waved his arm motioning for us to get off the bus. In under a minute, all seven of us made our way from the bus to a wide desk with “admitting” written in bold letters on it. There, we were met with a younger and somewhat shorter guy wearing a white lab coat and several nurses – both male and female – wearing flat gray scrubs standing as though they were waiting for us. “Form a single file line; you will need to sign your name on this sheet then you'll be handed a basket to place your personal items in, which will be locked in lockers that only you'll have keys for.” The doctor spoke aloud while motioning with his hands.

“We understand how confused you all must be.” One of the woman nurses spoke out sounding almost too calmly. “But with your full cooperation we'll get y'all sorted and settled in no time at all.

Slowly I stepped forwards. “You tell us what the hells going on, and we'll cooperate.” I stared the doctor eye to eye. “Because something smells fishy around here and its not the tuna they're serving in the cafeteria!”

The doctor held his hand out towards me in a 'halt' position. “Please, Caleb...”

“No!” I crossed my arms as everyone else gathered behind me. “School went on lock down, all seven of us were selected, and, in essence abducted and dropped off here. I've seen enough movies to know we're going to be stuck here for who knows how long!”

“You go bro!” Fang crossed his arms while standing on my right while Pinball did the same and took his place at my left, the whole time this went on, the doctor and nurses simply stood there as though they had anticipated all this.

“This whole thing reeks of illegal!” I snapped. “We never agreed to be here, and I'm sure our parents wouldn't sign anything forcing us to be here. So what gives!?!”

“This is why you're here.” The doctor sighed. “In the wake of such a tragedy your mind is spinning completely unconnected events to fit something explainable.”

“What!?!” I shouted while giving him my most confused face possible.

“Look around, Caleb.” The doctor continued. “You may see yourself and six of your classmates; but you're the only one here. And the bus, that could be your minds way of making sense of the ambulance ride here.”

“The hell they're not here!” I shouted yet again while whipping my head around to find Sparks, the twins, plus three more students from my class. I then reached out and tugged on the twins shirts. “If they were not here, then how can I feel the sleeves of their shirts!?!”

“Forced tactile response; common in adolescent emotional trauma. I'm sure you can also smell their deodorant, hear their shoes scuffling across the floor. They may be as real to you now as they were two months ago, but they're not here.”

“But she said words like 'you all' and 'everyone' and she referred to a group being here.” I thrust a demanding finger at the nurse.

“Again, this is your minds way of trying to make sense of everything. What I suspect happened there was that you were having a moment of surrealism where you imagined Nurse Kayla saying what she did. Perhaps it was a repressed memory of your teacher saying those things and your mind superimposed an image of Nurse Kayla in her place.”

“Oh you have an answer for just about everything don't you!” I grinned. “Whats stopping me from just charging out the door? Hunh? What if I start tearing this place apart? Huh? What are you gonna do when I reach into my pocket and get my phone to call the cops and get this whole operation shutdown!?!”

“Electromagnetic locks that can only be unlocked with the right key cards. This whole wing has built in wireless communications dampening technology so your cellphones pretty much useless. As for you acting out...lets just say there's a quiet room combined with Halmeprizon - its a nice little medicine that takes the fight out of you.”

“You can't go injecting me with all kinds of crazy psych drugs without knowing anything about my medical history.” I grinned even more. “The wrong medicine could potentially kill me; can you say 'you had better have some dang good lawyers on hand'?”

“Henderson; Caleb; born October seventh, two thousand three in Reichplast Germany. You have a very mild tomato allergy usually resulting in itching that lasts for about an hour; easily remedied with over the counter antihistamines. Surgery at the age of seven for appendicitis. Also diagnosed with nocturnal en....”

“Okay I get it; somehow you got my records!” I grunted and shook my head in disbelief.

The doctor then grinned himself and leaned in close enough for us to be face to face. “So which will it be? Are you going to play nice and cooperate? Or, are you going to act out and make us put you down for a nap where everyone will find out about what happens when you sleep – especially your fellow residents that you'll have to see every day for the rest of your stay.”

I can't clearly explain what happened next or why it happened. Maybe it was my frustration from being lead around in circles, perhaps I just wanted to test him. Whatever it was, caused me to suddenly growl and pounce at the doctor. In a flash he laid on the ground with me kneeling over him – his lab coat crumpled in my tightfisted hands. “Lets see just how crazy I really am...”

Before I could do anything else I found myself being pulled off the doctor by two of the male nurses and held in their grips long enough for the doctor to make it to his feet and reach over to the counter to retrieve a moderately sized syringe. Just seeing the metal enemy at the end of the plastic tube made me struggle even more to try and break free only to find their grips were unrelenting. “Take 'em to the quiet room.” The doc pointed down the hall, and less than a second later I was being ushered still in their holds by the two male nurses in the direction the doc pointed. We went past a series of doors until they stopped at one labeled “quiet room” where one of the nurses opened the door then the other carefully but forcefully shoved me in far enough for the first to slam the door closed behind me. I lunged at where the door was only to find that it was the same material as the rest of the walls, ceiling and floor – a thick foam padding material. In the very top corners across from me and far far out of my reach were two things; the first was an air vent, the second was a dome shaped camera cover.
 

giantguy99

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Nice cliffhanger there. I have a thing for sci-fi as well though I usually don't read about it. This however is really good I hope to see another chapter. :smile1:
 

Tripped

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Nice cliffhanger there. I have a thing for sci-fi as well though I usually don't read about it. This however is really good I hope to see another chapter. :smile1:
Glad you're liking it. Next parts here. :)

very Orwellian
more please
I actually had to look that one up. Still not sure if that's a good or bad thing to be Orwellian. Next parts up. :)



I must have dozed off in the padded room because I awoke with a startled jump at the presence looming over me. Even though I tried to scuttle backwards just to get some space between us, I found my right arm was held in a firm but gentle grip. After blinking a few times to clear the haze from my vision, I found the female nurse the doctor addressed as Kayla kneeling over me, keeping my right wrist in her hand.

“Easy easy, I'm not going to hurt you.” She spoke in soft, caring, gentle tones. “You've got a nice strong pulse.” She let go of my wrist, and free to move about once again, I crept backwards another couple of feet until I was able to look around at the foam padded room with an air vent and dome shaped camera.

“Just level with me; what's going on?” I asked as she sat down on the well padded floor between me and the door. “I mean, I'm not the only one here, right? I'm not crazy, right? We did get taken by a school bus and dropped off here, right?”

“Doctor Bart really got into your head and messed you up something bad.” She sighed, her face softening, her eyes shifting downwards ever so subtly. “Everything happened as you know it; the school lock down, the bus, even six of your classmates being brought here too. It all happened.”

“He...he didn't get me with that needle, did he?”

“No, he picked up the syringe and when you saw it, you started freaking out so he gave the order to put you in here. In a way, he also managed to stop any of your classmates from rebelling too – by using you as an example.”

“How long was I out?”

“About an hour. The other nurses and I have been coming in and checking on you every fifteen minutes; standard protocol – breathing, pulse, making sure you were okay.”

“Where is everyone else?”

“Getting settled in. We've already checked your pockets and put your personal belongings in one of the patient lockers...”

“I want to see it.” I stood up. In response, Nurse Kayla did too and held her hand towards the door. I followed her out of the foam padded room, down the long corridor and to the admissions desk where she took a small blue key sitting on the desk and reached up to a locker with my school ID card hanging from it. After a quiet clack of the lock, she opened the small locker door and brought out a basket containing my phone, an ink pen from school and my wallet. She placed the basket on the desk for me to see and I reached over to pick up my wallet and open it to find a few scraps of paper, a five-dollar bill and three one-dollar bills. “Its all there.” I nodded. She picked up the basket, placed it back in the locker then banged the door shut after which she handed me the key to it.

“Now you'll know it'll all stay there.” She smiled politely.

“Wait...” I raised my pointing finger in thought. “This is a psych unit, right?”

“Yeah.” He answered right away.

“And psych units house crazy people, right?”

“We don't call people crazy; we help those with mental health issues...but yeah.”

“So, doesn't it seem strange to give out locker keys to people that probably shouldn't have things like them in the first place?”

“Its a calculated risk. Third floor patients don't get to have anything like keys or pens or even shoe laces. Second floor patients can have items like this if they can prove they're responsible enough to have them. First floor patients have a lot of leeway when it comes to what they can or can't have. Come on, we need to get you settled into your room and give you a quick rundown of what to expect here.”

I followed as she lead me back down the same hall, but when we came to a four way junction, she flanked left causing me to do the same. “The day room is straight ahead.” She pointed as we came to a large space that looked longer and wider than the gym we have at school. “This is where meals are served, its also where everyone can gather and socialize, and group time is held here. Every so often you'll have private time with Doctor Bart in his office which we just passed. On the right, that small hallway...” Again she pointed out. “...leads to another quiet room.”

“The padded cell.” I sighed with a smirk.

“No, it's a quiet room. Sound proof; nobody can hear anything from the outside, and nobody can hear anything from the inside.” She chuckled just as quickly. “That one you were put in is an involuntary quiet room. This one here you can either walk into it and stay there as long as you want, or get thrown into it for as long as you need.”

“Or as long as the doc wants you in there.” I gave her a deadpan glare.

“You'll be staying in the special attention hall.”

“The what?” I had to do a double take when I heard her say that.

“You, and four of your classmates have been assigned rooms in the special attention hall.”

“So you're saying either we're slow like we can't even bathe without drowning or we need to be constantly watched.”

“I'm not saying that.” Kayla sighed and looked me eye to eye. “Okay I know it sounds like that's what I'm saying, but its not. Truth is, when someone comes in, and they need special accommodations, we'll assign 'em to the corridor. In your case, issues with bed wetting.”

Hearing this I felt an instant flash of heat flooding my face. “Announce it to the world why don't ya!”

“Its nothing to be ashamed of. Heck, my brother is a life long bed wetter. And he's like three years younger than I am. Anyway; you have eight changes of clothes; one for every day of the week plus an extra pair, laundry day on Sundays. Breakfast is at seven am, lunch is at one, dinner is at seven pm; medicines to be taken after breakfast and dinner. Group time is from nine to eleven am.”

Just as she finished running down the entire list of items, we stopped at door five where she opened it revealing a cozy little room complete with a single person bed, a window with blinds along the far wall, a few wood cabinets to the right and an in room bathroom complete with a shower. “Clothes are in the left hand cabinet. Diapers, wipes and baby powders are in the right hand cabinets.”

“Jeeze will you keep it down!?!” I hissed while drawing my shoulders and arms up towards my neck. In that very instant I could feel the biggest blush ever cresting my cheeks.

“Well I'll leave you with this final word.” She smiled and gently placed her hand on my shoulder then leaned in close after making sure nobody was around. “You've got some pretty good friends; do what you can to keep each other safe. I recognized them from Youtube, and hearing that you were born in Reichplast, I just wanna let you know I signed my name for your call to justice.” With that, she stood up and turned towards the door, pausing long enough to look back and give a quick thumbs up and a wink.

Just like that she went back into the hall and walked away.

--- --- ---

“This just doesn't make any sense!” Fang groaned and leaned back over the circular table big enough to seat five people. I watched as his neon green scrubs top wrinkled with every movement he made.

“All right. Let's go over this once again; from the top.” Sparks sighed and scratched his left arm under the same neon green fabric that we all had to wear. “Last Look Industries starts their mine conversion project in Reichplast. Caleb and his family move here to the states most likely because of his dad taking a job at the plant.”

“I'm with ya so far.” Pinball nodded.

“Good.” Sparks continued. “We notice trucks headed to the old coal power plant at the outskirts of town. Which, I saw the same SUV's with the same license plates at school.”

“Don't forget how the schools being run like a military base.” Fang scoffed.

Sparks tapped the tabletop. “Exactly. Then, today, the school goes on lock down and they hand pick a few students from every class and bring them here to the psych unit.”

Fang held up a lone finger. “Not to mention everyone they brought here has Krinnel powers.”

“So we're in agreement on the chain of events?” I asked, letting my gaze wander around the cavernous day room and other kids sitting in small groups around identical tables.

“But why!?!” Pinball shook his head. “How is all of this connected. Or is it all connected!?!”

“I don't know.” Sparks muttered sounding almost defeated. “And that's what scares the crap out of me.”

“We're forgetting something.” I whispered and nodded towards a group of kids towards the center of the space. “That black hooded jacket look familiar? How does goth kid play into all of this?”

“All I know for sure is that he's also assigned to the special attention hall.” Pinball whispered back.

“I still say he's two-facing. He could be a part of this whole thing and we'd never know.” Fang grumbled.

I rested my chin on my hand and glanced around the table. “I think we might have someone in our corner, though. Nurse Kayla. She knows about us and the call to justice. We'd have to keep an eye on her, but I think we can trust her.”

“I know we have to be careful with the good doctor, though. Dude is bad news.” Pinball folded his arms over the table and laid his head on them while staring me eye to eye with his unrelenting glare. “He had you all kinds of messed up in the head. Its like he found your berserk button and hammered it.”

“I don't think I've ever seen you get that riled up before...” Sparks chuckled. “....stuff got real when you pounced him like that.”

I sighed and looked around once again. “All right, we need a plan. We have to find out who we really can trust, we have to find a way out, and most importantly, how...why we all ended up here.”

“If I can get to one of those door locks, I can do my thing and see if there's a way we can bypass them.” Sparks nodded with a renewed sense of hope.

“If we can get out of this place and make a run for it, I can give us some aerial cover and surveillance.” Pinball leaned over the table ever so slightly while lacing his fingers together.

“I can easily create a distraction if need be.” Fang cracked his knuckles.
 

giantguy99

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Wow I like the mystery about this. I think I know what's going on but I don't want to ruin it for everyone else so I will not talk about that anymore. This is exactly how they try to break you down in a psych ward actually depending on the location. I can see plot twists in unexpected ways happening. I hope there's more! :smile1:
 

ANewSpirit

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Great story and very well written I will say, you're an amazing writer. My only "critique" so to speak would be the addition of a brief synopsis as to give an idea of at least the genre of the piece. Because it is certainly enjoyable, but I am not really a fan of the sci-fi/fantasy type novels or stories and so it came as a great disappointment to me when I felt the need to stop a-reading when the trash can got a-lifting.
 

Tripped

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Wow I like the mystery about this. I think I know what's going on but I don't want to ruin it for everyone else so I will not talk about that anymore. This is exactly how they try to break you down in a psych ward actually depending on the location. I can see plot twists in unexpected ways happening. I hope there's more! :smile1:
Don't worry, there's plenty more to come. :) I'm glad to see I'm getting some things right, because even though I try to do research on stuff like the psych unit, I'm still not sure if what I put out is plausible.

Great story and very well written I will say, you're an amazing writer. My only "critique" so to speak would be the addition of a brief synopsis as to give an idea of at least the genre of the piece. Because it is certainly enjoyable, but I am not really a fan of the sci-fi/fantasy type novels or stories and so it came as a great disappointment to me when I felt the need to stop a-reading when the trash can got a-lifting.
Yes, I will admit, that I usually try to include a brief summary at the start of any story. Unfortunately this is one of those stories that's writing itself so the end product is guaranteed to not be what I originally planned to be. If that makes any sense. And, yes, I completely understand and respect your position in regards to finding what looks to be a promising story, only to feel put off by something that was completely unexpected. I've had that happen plenty of times when I've found some new reading material. From this day forwards, any new story I work on *will* have a summary or short snippit about what the story might contain. :)

more please!
You got it. :)



Absolute silence.

Those were the best words I could think of to describe the early hours in my small room of the psych unit. As I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling of the darkened space illuminated only by a faint orange glow of the lights in the parking lot, I checked my watch to find that it was only three in the morning. For most of the night, I had been doing nothing more than tossing and turning trying to find some possible way to get comfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings and catching probably an hour of sleep here and there. Everything was completely wrong; the bed wasn't stiff enough, the pillows were too firm, the blanket was irritatingly itchy, even the diaper I had to wear to bed felt like it wasn't sized right. But the worst of it was that I didn't have Claw – my stuffed koala – with me.

Instantly something caught my attention, and as I glanced to the door and a small window inside of it, I noticed a shadow passing by. Wondering what was going on, I rolled out of bed and gasped at how the cold tile floor felt against the bottoms of my socked feet but the feeling quickly wore off as I shuffled over to the door and every so carefully opened it until I was peeking out into the hallway. “What the...” I whispered as I saw a pair of neon green scrub pants and a black hooded jacket walking slowly up the hall away from me towards the nurses station separating our hall from the day room. If seeing the goth kid doing this wasn't strange enough, watching two of the unfamiliar night shift nurses following him around was. It was as if they were trailing him to make sure he wasn't going to try anything funny, while trying to make sense of what he was doing.

“It's a privilege to be here to accept this cheese award.” Goth kid suddenly spoke out taking all three of us by surprise. Following his words, he motioned with his hands as though he were receiving a trophy or award that nobody could see. “I'll be signing autographs in the dairy cow barn at purple in the afternoon.”

“I think he's sleepwalking.” I heard the older female nurse in gray scrubs whispering to the younger male nurse also wearing the same colors.

“Okay mister cheese.” The other nurse tried to keep himself from chuckling as he approached goth kid. “You're looking pretty tired, I think its time you laid down for a nice little nap. You've had a big day of awards and ceremonies and meet an' greets.” Ever so carefully, the male nurse stepped towards the kid and very gently placed his hands on the kids shoulders to guide him back down the hall towards my direction and slowly pulled the jackets hood from the kids head.

“I am kinda tired.” Goth kid murmured with a yawn as they drew closer. “Mister chicken beak you've always been my best and most favorite mentor.”

No...it can't be... My mind suddenly became very much alive as goth kid and guy nurse shuffled past me. I swear he looks just like...like...

“Go on back to bed young one.” The older of the two nurses paused in front of me, giving me a soft and sweet smile. “You can see your friends in a few hours.”

“All right.” I sighed and stepped back into the room then quietly shut the door. Even though I was once again alone, in the near silent space, I was anything but calm. My mind was in overdrive, my thoughts raced with everything that I had just seen, my body paced back and forth in the small area – my diaper crackling with every step I took. Even though I wanted to barge out of the room and wake up Sparks and the twins to tell them what I saw, I knew they'd still be sleeping and would be grouchy because I woke them up.

It can't be. I have to be losing it. I thought to myself as I glanced out the blinds covering the window. But I saw it with my own two eyes; I can't have imagined it. The goth kid looks just like Sparks would if he put on a hooded black jacket. They both have the same eye color, they're both blond, both of them also have the same natural hair pattern. All right; I have to stop and think this through. I sat on the edge of the bed and drew a deep sighing breath. I tried thinking of all the different possibilities from Sparks and goth kid actually being brothers, to them not being brothers but just looking like each other. Yet no matter how hard I tried to think of anything else, my mind kept coming back to the possibility that they were indeed related.


Hours passed. We had a warm breakfast of blueberry waffles with peach slices on the side, then we formed into a line at the nurses station for our morning meds, then before I knew it, it was nine in the morning and our first group time. With all of us gathered on the floor in a large circle, Doctor Bart sat down completing the formation and looked around. “I hope everyone had a good nights sleep.” He smiled while still glancing around. “Now, during group time, we all take turns speaking, and I will not have any rudeness, disrespect or backtalk. What I will allow is, openness and honesty, trust and respect. Now, does anyone want to start today's group time?”

“Yeah.” Fang raised his hand, almost grinning. Just seeing that look on his face I knew he was up to something. “When do we get to see our parents?”

Doctor Bart frowned. “After traumatic events like this have happened, it's best for you guys to stay isolated for just a little while, and when we're sure you're getting better, we'll allow you to see your parents.”

“Okay then, I want to see the paperwork our folks signed to have us thrown in here.”

“Yeah me too!” Pinball glared at Doctor Bart.

“Makes three of us.” Sparks joined in.

“Four of us.” I crossed my arms giving the doctor an evil glare.

“Five.” Goth kid belted out taking the rest of us by surprise. Everyone suddenly turned their heads and stared at him. What really surprised me with him, was that he was still wearing his hooded jacket, with the hood over his head blocking most of his face.

Doctor Bart sighed. “Why do you guys wanna see that stuff? It's just a bunch of boring old paperwork.”

“Why not?” Fang grinned even more. “Got something you're trying to hide? Maybe this supposed paperwork doesn't exist?”

“Oh it exists.” Bart stood and turned towards his office. We all watched as he walked away then came back a few minutes later with a huge stack of files in his hands. One by one he passed around the files making sure to get everyone correctly. “It'll be on the inside cover.” He knelt down. All of us opened our files and pulled out a sheet from the inside pocket. And as I examined the sheet of paper in my own folder, I knew something wasn't right.

“The hell!?!” Fang growled before I could even glance up from the paperwork. Following this was a wave of general disbelief from all of the other kids from school that wound up here too.

“Wait a minute here...” Goth kids voice trailed off as he stood up. “...this ain't Ryan's signature!”

“Sure it is. I watched him sign that sheet with my own two eyes.” Doctor Bart smirked.

“Its his name, but its not his style. If I didn't know any better I'd say this is a forged signature.” The kid suddenly whipped the hood off his head until he was staring Doctor Bart eye to eye. “Stop the bull crap already. This ain't right, none of us should be here, you're constantly lying to us, and for what? Hunh? What could be so goddamn important that someone would forge our parents signatures just to put us in here!?!” Hearing all this, several of the nurses began to gather around ready to take action if necessary.

“Now Jeremy, I'm not happy with your tone of voice or your choice of words. Now, you can either sit down and cool off, or you can spend some time in the quiet room. Which one is it gonna be?”

“You can either come clean or we can raid your office to find what you're hiding!” The jacketed kid named Jeremy almost shouted back at the doctor.

“You need a time out.” Doctor Bart was nearly shouting himself. “Two hours in the quiet room!”

“Screw you!” Jeremy shouted out a split second before charging the doctor. Yet, before he could clear even three feet, the nurses were on top of him until they were able to control him and drag him kicking and screaming towards the quiet room.

Everything was silent. All of us glanced around to each other not entirely sure what to make of the situation. I looked between Sparks and the twins, and the way the looked back told me that Jeremy was right about everything. Even if I didn't have them, I had the sheet of paper in my file with the signatures of both mom and dad. And that alone gave Jeremy's accusations of forgery some merit because there was no way they could have gotten mom to sign the paperwork if she was still halfway across the world.

--- --- ---

I released a long held breath as I prepared myself for anything. With Sparks and the twins behind me, I made my way over to an empty table where the goth kid Jeremy sat alone with a sandwich and a side of chips on a plate before him. Not sure what to expect, I carefully approached and placed my own lunch on the table then sat down, Sparks and the twins doing the same thing gave me the courage to keep going.

“Jeremy, right?” I asked shyly while studying the blond haired boys face.

“That's right.” Jeremy grunted back in mid bite of his sandwich.

“Caleb.” I introduced myself. “Sparks, and the twins Fang and Pinball.”

“Not to be cold; but what'cha want?”

“Us to be a team.” Pinball spoke gently. “Obviously you know somethings going on, we know it too. Something big. Something very illegal. But we need information.”

“What kind of information.” Jeremy stared at Pinball.

Suddenly I jumped in. “Whatever kind of information you can find in the doctors office. I saw you sleepwalking so you've got a chance we don't have. If we can find you something to shimmy the door lock with, could you get us the information we're after?”

Hearing this, Jeremy paused chewing and thought about it. “Possible. Question is, whats in it for me?”

“Freedom.” Sparks spoke in low tones. “I guess by now you're missing your family. We all are. So if we can get any information, we can find a way to bust out of here and get back home.”

“You're sure you can get us out of here?” Jeremy asked.

“I just need a few minutes alone with the electronic door locks and I can get us out.” Sparks nodded. “If I can borrow your jacket for like fifteen minutes, I can pull this off.”

“You're on!” Jeremy chuckled with a grin. “Oh, and don't worry about finding me something to use to bust the lock on the doctors office door. I've got that covered.”
 

Tripped

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Keep your imagination in this way! :)
Plannin' on it. :)


Days passed by uneventfully. Sparks, the twins, myself and even Jeremy were itching to have the ultimate plan for escaping the psych unit, we all came to a mutual agreement that our best option was to wait just a little bit even though we all wanted out immediately. Over the course of the next five days, we all pretended that we had accepted our fates, yet, nobody knew what he were really doing. In those five days, we studied the staffs habits, how they handled certain situations, who we could ally with and whom to avoid at all costs. We also learned a lot about Jeremy the goth kid, and he learned a lot about us and everything that we knew about the events leading up to us getting forced into the psych unit. The more we hung around each other, the more he trusted us and soon enough he became part of the team...part of Stille Nacht.

On the sixth day, we found ourselves sitting around the same table, munching on grilled cheese sandwiches with sides of fries where things got a little more interesting. The conversation stated off innocently enough about families; that was until I couldn't help but stare between Sparks and Jeremy. Jeremy must have noticed it because he whistled quietly enough to break me from my track of thought.

“Sparks.” I spoke gently, trying to find the right words. “Fang and Pinball told me about your past.”

“Yeah?” Sparks suddenly sat upright while shifting his glare between me and the twins. His tone was a little off, as though he asked but in a confronting manner.

“Yeah.” I nodded. “Most likely to test me to see if I was gonna be okay with everything or not. Anyhow, I was wondering if you might by chance have a brother – even if you don't know about him.”

“Possible.” Sparks shrugged. “I mean, Mark and Greg told me about how they found me on their doorstep and the whole series of events leading them to adopting me. But they've never said anything about whether I was the only one or not.”

“The only reason why I'm bringing this up, is because you and Jeremy look a lot alike. Almost like you could be brothers, twin brothers but not identical twin brothers.” I responded hoping to make some sense of everything.

“Fraternal twins.” Pinball added in.

Jeremy placed the last of his sandwich on the plate and leaned over the table, then, much to my surprise, he slid the hood off his head. “I was also left on a doorstep; my uncle Ryan. He told me how everything happened. That one night, he awoke to crying outside, he opened the door and found me in a basket wrapped in blue blankets with a little note. He also said the cops took my footprints and compared them to local hospital records....”

“Mark and Greg told me the same thing. There were no files of me being born locally.”

“Me too!” Jeremy began talking a little faster as though their stories were coming together. ”According to what uncle Ryan told me, I was a healthy baby that was just left on a doorstep.”

“Same here.” Sparks nodded.

“But how do we know if you're actually related somehow?” Pinball questioned while shaking his head side to side. “I mean, ya know, your personal histories could just be coincidence.”

“The birthmark!” Suddenly I sat upright with a flash of inspiration. “Sparks, you've got that mark on the side of your knee in the shape of a deformed butterfly, right?”

“Yeah?” Sparks nodded unsure of where this was headed.

“That's what it is?” Jeremy asked while standing up and lifting his scrubs leg far enough to reveal his left knee. Seeing this, Sparks also stood then moved next to Jeremy to do the same thing. We all stared in disbelief; both Jeremy and Sparks had the exact same mark in the shape of a deformed butterfly on the same spot on their left knee.

“I'd say that's more than coincidence.” Fang stammered.

We all watched as Sparks lifted the bottom hem of his scrubs top just far enough to reveal the upper band of his diaper. Following this, Jeremy repeated the motions revealing that he too wore. “Incon?” Sparks asked dropping the bottom of his shirt back into place.

“Yup.” Jeremy nodded and dropped the bottom of his own shirt.

“Life long?”

“Yup.”

“Front, back or both?”

“Front.”

“Ditto.”

“Okay...” Fang sighed while leaning back into his seat. “...I need a minute or fifteen to process all this.”

--- --- ---

The hour grew late. Everything was silently still as I stood at the closed door separating me in the dark room from the lighted hall. I stayed silent and watched through the window as Sparks – wearing Jeremy's hooded jacket, walked by and gave me a subtle thumbs up indicating the plan was in motion. With nothing else to do but stand around and wait, I glanced down at my watch to note the time. Minutes trudged along as slowly as hours. After ten minutes I began to worry, Fifteen minutes passed by and still no sign of Sparks making his way back up the hall; I started thinking of all the things that could have gone wrong.

Maybe they found out whats going on and threw him in the quiet room. My mind raced as worst case scenarios danced through my mind. What if they know all about our plans to escape and are gonna put us in like thirty point bed restraints to keep us from getting out. What if they're interrogating him for anything he knows... Suddenly my mind went into overdrive. That was until I saw a hooded figure walking back up the hallway towards our rooms. I opened the door and poked my head out as Sparks slowly made his way over to me.

“You said ten minutes tops!” I hissed in nearly silent tones making sure to stare Sparks eye to eye. “It took twenty minutes!”

“Sorry bro.” Sparks whispered just as quietly. “I had to act like Jeremy to throw off some unwanted attention. I had to wait until the coast was clear before I could get to the door locks.”

“How do we look.” I nodded understanding why it took him so long to do a simple task.

“Its complicated.” He sighed. “Whomever designed those locks were some sneaky people...I can't even use my powers to bypass the protocols. We need a key card to unlock the doors like normal but I can't improvise one. Popping the safety system would unlock the doors but its like a huge crime to pull a fire alarm without an actual emergency...especially in a place like this.”

“All right.” I muttered. “Get some sleep; we'll group later and go over our options.”

As Sparks went back to his room, I closed the door to mine and shuffled over to the bed where I flopped down onto the mattress with a huge yawn. The very second I closed my eyes, I was fast asleep.


“Go. Away.” I grunted in low tones as I rolled over in bed and pulled the blanket over my head to block out the bright light.

“Wake up Caleb!” Sparks continued shaking my shoulders until I finally sat up and threw the blanket off with an evil growl. As I blinked several times to clear the haze from my eyes, Sparks climbed on the bed until we sat eye to eye. For the first time in a while, I saw exuberance and joy, I saw the spark in Sparks eyes that I had only seen one time before, and that was when he was talking about his fake tarantula. “They have a joke of a security system. I can work those no problem I really don't even have to worry about setting off extra alarms....”

“Wait slow down you lost me.” I grumbled. “Start over, from the top, nice and slow.”

“I'll tell you, the knuckleheads and Jeremy at breakfast.” Sparks grinned and climbed off the bed. “Come on, get your squishy butt in gear, today's biscuits-n-gravy day!” He grabbed my arms and pulled me out of bed until I was standing up.

“Listen here perma-crinkle...” I scoffed and went to the cabinet for a change of clothes then glanced at my watch. “...breakfast is like two hours away, and you're the only one I know of that would get excited over biscuits and gravy.”


Just as we'd done for the past week, all five of us sat around the same table while eating breakfast. Over the past seven days, we'd become quite good at discussing important things while making it look like we were merely talking about the weather. After taking a few bits, Sparks glanced around to all of us and grinned.

“Okay crinkles. Spill it.” I glanced at Sparks with a deep stare while stabbing a plastic fork at the gravy covered biscuits. “What were you rambling on about earlier?”

“So get this.” Sparks chuckled. “This morning I had a pretty wild dream. And in this dream I saw large metal doors that lead to me getting from one place to another. And before the dream was over, I woke up and had a stroke of genius. We're overly complicating this whole thing.”

“No, you're overly complicating your explanation.” Pinball shook his head.

“Jeeze you guys aren't morning people are ya.” Sparks sighed with a smirk. “We've got the right attack, just the wrong angle. Forget trying to mess with the key card locks; there's no way I can do it. But, there is a way out – there's a service door that joins the psych unit to the rest of the hospital. That's how they get things like laundry and food and medical supplies from one area to another. That's our way out. The lock on the door is just a standard electronic lock with a number pad. I can crack that in my sleep.”

“All right.” I looked everyone eye to eye. “We have our way out. Now we still need to find out what's going on. Jeremy, not to pressure you, but we need anything you can find. Tonight.” I gently tapped the tabletop twice to emphasize 'tonight'.

“Consider it done.” Jeremy smiled slyly.

--- --- ---

Early the next morning I shuffled out of the in room bathroom cloaked in nothing but a pale orange towel wrapped between my chest and knees. Water dripped softly from the shower head as I went for the cabinet to get a change of clothes. Once I was properly dressed, I looked around and spotted something ever so barely out of place. I tilted my head slightly as I walked over to a file folder laying on the floor just inside of the closed door; I lowered my eyebrows in curiosity as I knelt down and picked up the file to look at it.

“This will blow your mind. Jer.” I read a hand scribbled note on the folders cover. When I opened the folder I instantly went from curiosity to horror. At the very top left of the first page was a logo of an upside down triangle with two dots on each side. On the top right hand side of the page was another logo, this one was that of a right side up triangle with 'I' in it and two wavy lines with 'L' above them on each side.

Pratt Corporation – United States division of Last Look Industries.
FAO: Kyle Bart; Doctor of psychology, Light Valley Mental Health Facility.
RE: Operations guide and event timing.


I had to re-read the header of the paper several times to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Even before I could finish half of the first page I had to sit on the bed and shake my head in utter disbelief. My hands shook; my arms, legs and feet tingled, it felt like my head was floating thirty thousand feet in the air.
 
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