"Eat your peas, Hazel."
Hazel glanced up at the sound of the young voice. A young teen girl had sat beside her at the white folding table. The cafeteria they sat in was not crowded by any means. Everything was white, giving the mood of a mental institution to those inside of it. There was only a good 6 tables in the small room. Nothing like the school cafeteria anyone might remember. Usually only up to four people were given lunch at a time. Today it was just her and this girl. Hazel was in a white top and pants and had her hair tied in a tight, clean braid. She felt like she had been enlisted into a cult. The young girl in front of her looked quite similar except her black hair was in a bun. Hazel didn't know her well and had yet to even know her name. She had been pushing her peas around with her fork when the girl spoke.
"What... Who are you?"Hazel inquired with confusion. There were a lot of people in the Immune Center. Things were different at district 4 than others. They had been collecting immunes and cutting off communication from other districts for years. People were pulled off the streets into vans and nothing of it would ever reach media outlets. It didn't need to. Everyone knew. It was an unspoken rule that you shouldn't walk around outside on your own too much. District 4 was probably the poorest of them all, lacking in food and medicine due to their isolation.
"My name's Sarah."The girl sat beside her. "You were infamous if you recall. Wanted signs on every corner."
"Ah, so that's how you recognize me. Why give nutrition advice to a criminal, huh? Stupid girl."She muttered and glanced at her fully this time. She was awfully young with a sweet face. Hurt registered in the girl's voice and she felt a pang of guilt.
"You were my hero. "She said and smiled despite her hurt feelings. "You gave my family canned food years ago and saved us from starvation. Just because the police and news made you to look like a villain doesn't mean the rest of us saw you as one."
"I mean I stole it for myself originally but I guess the sentiment's there."Hazel admitted with a sigh. She forced a smile for the girl, "I'm glad I was able to help you. I'm kinda cranky so don't expect much for me. What do you want? An autograph?"
The girl shrugged, "Everyone is when they get experimented on like rats. This is our life now though."
"This isn't forever."Hazel told her. "You have a family to get back to, Sarah, don't you?"
"No."She said a bit too nonchalantly for a girl her age, "Not anymore."
Hazel was still a moment before replying, "They killed them?" The faint sound of screams from the hallways could be heard throughout the conversation.
"Yeah. They were here with me too but I'm the only survivor now." The girl's eyes were wide and locked on the wall as she spoke. Poor thing was traumatized. "But at least I found you. You're my hero, Hazel. "
"Oh geez."Hazel said and tensed. She felt pairs of eyes on them. She knew they were watched at lunch but this was different. She glanced over her shoulder slowly and carefully to find a red laser pointed right in her eye. She inhaled sharply and backed up in shock. "What the fuck?!"
A series of loud gunshots boomed and echoed through the small room and Hazel expected to feel pain crash through her body but it didn't. She had shut her eyes on instinct, stumbling back into the table loudly and none-too-gracefully. When she opened her eyes, the young girl lay still on the floor, blood pooling rapidly under her body.
Hazel stared with wide eyes, slowly getting to her feet. "You... You people are barbaric."She managed as she looked from Sarah's body to the shooter. He was decked out in a helmet and body armor.
"This wasn't her lunch period. You know you get isolated lunch. You know consequences for sneaking out of the room. " A deep voice reached her ears but didn't even budge her rising emotions. The girl had snuck out to meet her. She had nothing. Possibly she had known she'd die but it hadn't even dawned on Hazel that she hadn't been accompanied in any of the days she had been here. "God I'm an idiot."She whispered and then glared at the guard. If it wasn't for the bracelets on her arms, she could tear him apart.
That was it. She glanced down at the bracelets. Something inside them had to be metal. She focused as the man came over to pick up the body, his words to a higher up into his embedded microphone becoming fuzzy background noise. A small piece of silver finally floated above the bracelet. She had to make the best use of this. She waved her arm suddenly and it went flying right into his eye. He screamed in agony and started to flail, holding his eye with one hand. She quickly tackled him and began to rummage through his pockets. "Come on, come on."she urged herself as the sound of rapid footsteps filled the room.
"Up on your feet with your hands in the air!"
When Hazel finally rose with her arms up, her wrists were bare. The expressions of horror on their face were priceless. She grinned maliciously as they all began to shoot at her. All the bullets stopped in midair and went flying back at them. She went into the hallways as alarms sounded, skidding past a blonde boy being led by guards the other way and a black-haired girl along the way as well. Unfortunately for him, she wasn't the hero Sarah claimed her to be. She had promised herself she was only looking out for number one.
She threw herself into run, making sure every light and metal fixture collapsed. The sound of things falling to the floor behind her was deafening to the point she could barely hear her heart racing. This was insane. She knew trying to escape was suicide. What was she doing?
She slid on the floor towards what looked like the exit only to be tackled down. "Kill her! Quickly!"
Great. She really had committed suicide. Heavy arms were shoving her down. Multiple. She tried to focus on removing the iron from their body but they were already working on putting her bracelets back on.
She squinted, trying to fight for dear life anyway only to find her body immersed in grass. Was there actually a heaven? She scrambled to her feet, feeling the heavy load lifted off her. She looked around, blood spilling from her nose to find herself facing the same blonde.
She started stumbling back in panic but he grabbed her shoulders firmly.
"It's okay. We're out." He said soothingly. "You're alright now."
"What?"She looked around wildly and then stared. The district four walls were right behind him. "How?"
"You broke our bracelets. They're made to be impossible to break but somehow you did it. I see why they had you isolated now."
"Okay but how did we get here?!"Hazel cried, breaking away from his grasp. She was losing it. What had they drugged her with?
He sighed, "I'm a teleporter. I needed a way out and you gave me it so in turn I figured I'd save you. Okay? We teleported outside the walls."
"I had to get a key to open my bracelets, okay?"Hazel said to him, still looking around in panic. "They obviously wouldn't give me metal brace-Oh but everyone else... got them." Everything clicked in. It must had been expensive to afford bracelets that were made of a strong enough material that could conduct electricity yet not be broken. Everyone else had gotten the standard and in her panic of destroying and throwing anything metal she must had taken his off.
"Yeah."He stated with a smirk, "I'm Alex. I don't know where you plan on going from here but I'm going to district 11 with my girl here."
Her eyes traveled to the black haired girl.
"Oh. Why?"Hazel asked after a deep breath. She wiped her nose on her sleeve and put her hands in her pockets, trying to chill out. She hated bugging and looking like an idiot. She was really out. After all this time, it took that Sarah girl to push her to do that. She swallowed, knowing her feeling of responsibility and guilt had aided that.
"District 11 is pulling immunes right now. My sisters included. "He said, his eyes watering, "I don't know how I'm gonna get there but I have to."
"Yikes. "Hazel said. She had never really known what having family felt like but it seemed to be some hell of a bond. "District 11 is very far. All the way in Virginia. District 4's in New Jersey."
"By car it shouldn't be as bad."Alex said, "I'm going to try to fix an abandoned one out here if it's salvageable."
Hazel gazed over her shoulder. There was a city nearby, clearly abandoned and a shit-hole, but sure to have vehicles inside. "But you teleport. "
"To places I've been."Alex replied.
"You've been outside the walls?"Hazel asked in surprise.
"That's what got me in that hellhole in the first place."Alex sighed. He glanced at the dark-haired girl and put his arm around her before looking sternly at Hazel. "You're coming with us."
"Is that force?"Hazel narrowed her eyes. "Why would I wanna go back to another facility after I just got out? You're on your own, lovebirds." She turned and began to jog before to the town, slowing a bit when he spoke again.
"Because I saved your life and you're going to be in shit on your own. We need to stay together." Truth be told, she was very powerful and Alex knew she'd be good to keep around.
Hazel turned to face him and raised her arm threateningly, energy engulfing the hand she raised, "I can pull out all the iron of your body right now. It'll be like getting shot by tiny little bullets, hundreds of them from the inside out." She grinned at him as she spoke.
"Alright but I can tell you're not a total piece of shit so I know you'll come with me. Consider us even. I'll make sure you are fed and kept safe. You won't end up in a place like that, okay? You're safe with us."
Hazel silently put her arm down but didn't budge, glaring at him. Trust issues were written on her face clear as day.
"That girl in there thought you were her hero. She risked her life to meet you." Hazel looked up in surprise as he spoke, "There are other kids just like her that need help. District 11 is being told the people they take are sick, not immune. They just started doing this so it probably is less guarded than District 4. If we go there and get my sister and maybe even more out, we might be able to come get the rest out here and everywhere. We could build something of a mutant army and we can stop this."
"Like that would ever work. I'm not interested in playing hero but I guess I'm grateful you got me out of there so I'll help you but don't you dare try to boss me around."She turned back toward the town and continued her stubborn march toward it, putting in a stubborn effort to not to give in too much.
"She's a character."Alex said with amusement to Shay.