Chapter 3

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

Acute fear blossomed in Emily’s stomach. She should have protected the spheres! And she just gave them away. She sat down hugging her knees to her chest and saw the man from her vision contemplating the rippling water on the other bank. This was her project; the man looking for a sign. Waves of fear flooded from her in a telepathic torrent that raced through the air and washed over the man so hard that he had to take a step back.

He jerked his green eyes upwards and saw the girl huddled across the river. He felt her fear take over as they locked gazes. In one graceful motion the girl jumped up and into the river. He still felt her fear as he watched in horror while she was pulled under by the current. A light as bright as the sun filled his mind; he could feel what she felt.

***

Emily walked into the compound and found Layla waiting for her. In wordless agreement they headed to the kitchen area. The walk back dried her clothes after she got out of the river a mile downstream from the bridge. Her memories had flooded back all jumbled together. She remembered the intense training of stage one, the missions of stage two. It was going to take her some time to arrange them in chronological order. But not a single memory before training started.

Layla put her slim hand on Emily’s as they sat at one of the long tables. “You have reached stage three.” Layla spoke first. “You excelled at every stage and I can tell you that it rarely takes only one mission to reach stage three. Even Rob is impressed.”

Understanding cleared the subliminal vision as Emily shoved her hand in her pocket and took out five spheres. She clearly remembered tossing one at the man as she jumped into the water.

“I have one of these in my neck, right?” she asked, putting her hand on the spot that tingled, tightened or throbbed every now and then. Layla’s only reply was a confirming look. Emily still didn’t know what they were. Her unease disappeared with the rhythmic pulsing that started underneath her fingers.

Layla briefed her about what stage three training entailed. Her telepathic projection was only the first step. Subliminal mind control was top on the required list. Other beneficial talents were on a secondary list. All future missions would explore her talents and efficiency for each. Failing stage three meant termination. Even the thought of death didn’t bother Emily as the pulsing intensified and calm spread through her.

***

She remembered everything that happened up until her chat with Layla. The jagged wind tugged at her hair harsh enough that she grabbed hold of the pole next to her. She stood at the top of the tallest building in a city with no idea of how or why. The only thought she had was the next mission started now.

Comments

This chapter has a great twist at the end. Sci fi is definitely your thing Sumanda. You have a terrific imagination and ability to draw the pictures that make your character real. I can see the relationship with Layla being that of mentor and the man from her vision is significant. Be interesting to see how these relationships develop.
I have found that Sci Fi allows the writer's imagination to run riot, explore and push the outer bounds of a life none of us have lived or experienced yet - BUT in an ordered and understandable way which makes the reader think - "Yes, that is possible or at least feasible" Sumanda has written a wonderful chapter that twists the imagination and gives us more insight into the minds of the players. They are special people doing special things - why? What are the silver spheres and what is their function - collective mind control or individual teaching aids? In Sci Fi anything is possible as long as the writer/creator takes us on the trip as participants and not just spectators. Sci Fi is for those who want to be involved in the wild imaginings of the creator of the story. Sumanda has achieved just that together with an ending that encourages strange images and thoughts in a dark recess somewhere at the back of our brain. Well written and thought out, Sumanda. This one is top of my list.