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Young Writers Society
The Pegasus Project
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:06 pm
The Pegasus Project
x Based on
Ten thousand years ago, there was a great society.
This society was nothing but extraordinary. Their medical advancements and technological achievements were astounding when compared to the modern day. They perfected the art of interstellar travel. They colonized foreign and unfamiliar worlds. They even created artificial life. Operating from their beautiful city Atlantis, they ushered the Pegasus Galaxy into an era of progress and discovery.
Then they flew too close to the sun and lost their wings.
A terrifying new race emerged as a result of their innovations; vampiric humanoid aliens, known simply as the Wraith. The Wraith saw the humans of the galaxy as their prey and quickly overtook the prosperous civilization. The people of Atlantis valiantly fought against their tyrannical control. But the Wraith were too strong. Atlantis abruptly disappeared, its occupants becoming no more than legends to the people of the galaxy as they continued to suffer under the rule of the Wraith.
Fast forward to the present.
In the neighboring Milky Way Galaxy, humanity knows nothing of the lurking threat. Having never discovered the advanced technology hidden away on their own world, they believe they are the only sentient life in the universe. They have progressed to a point that the people of the Pegasus Galaxy could only dream of. And its the people of this galaxy that our story focuses on: seven ordinary people who find themselves in a world more befitting of fiction.
These seven are transported to a strange city. When they arrive in the city's control room, they begin to notice several things. They each can understand highly specific fields they had little to no knowledge on prior to their arrival, ranging from things like medical skills to piloting aircraft. They know how to use the strange circular device in the center of the room, which they somehow know is called a stargate. And when they look outside the window, they see they are underwater.
The city abruptly begins to rise from the depths of the ocean. When it finally reaches the surface, the seven begin to explore the city. It is while doing so that they discover the history of the city they have arrived in – it is the lost city of Atlantis, and it has risen again.
As they begin to search the worlds connected to their new home through the stargate in the control room to discover how they were brought there, they learn of the impeding threat the Wraith present to the other inhabitants of the Pegasus Galaxy. And, for better or for worst, our little band of protagonists decides to defeat them.
x Cast x
“You cannot get through a
without having an
world around you
What you do makes a
you have to decide
you want to make
Sat May 12, 2018 9:42 pm
The bell rang, signaling the start of another monotonous day.
Go to class. Listen to the lecture. Ignore the looks. Work alone on partner work. Stress about the homework. Leave class. Repeat. Go to lunch. Sit alone. Leave the cafeteria. Go to class. Repeat. Repeat. Contemplate dropping out. Decide the lessons might actually mean something someday. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Maybe get into a fight with a teacher or another student. An endless cycle that she had been through countless times. She hated every moment she was in those little desks and stuffy hallways, but it was foolish to even think that leaving was a possibility.
Third period brought with it getting kicked out of class when she “talked back” to a teacher who got pissed at her for not doing her homework. It wasn't her fault that their power and internet connection had been lost when a tree had come crashing down on the line in the harsh winds the day before. Using her family's data wasn't an option, not with the need to save money to put towards a new car. But her anger had overcome all of her logic, and she found herself attending yet another detention after school.
By the time that the detention was over, only the teachers remained. She avoided them like they were enemies in a MMORPG – get too close, and they would mercilessly attack her. Or, in this case, criticize every poor decision she had ever made. She only ran into one before she reached the entrance, and he was just as eager to go home as she was. She left without a single comment on his part.
Then she was free.
She ran through the empty streets that led to her house. She checked the other houses, face splitting into a grin when she saw lights in their windows. When she arrived at her house, she cut across the line and hurried up the front steps. She was the first one home. She dug into her hoodie's pocket for her key, and quickly unlocked the door.
Slipping inside, she threw her bag down on the couch and plopped down beside it. She pulled her phone from the other pocket and checked Discord. There was a message from Sling7; from the time stamp, it looked like he had messaged her while she was in detention.
want to play cod?
Her finger hovered over the keypad.
Out of the corner of her eyes, she noticed her backpack. A heavy sigh escaped her lips. She wished she could ignore the demands of school and just do what she loved, but that would never fly with her parents. They would be angry enough about her detention when they got home from work later that night.
maybe over the weekend?
Then she pushed her phone to the side and began the laborious task of completing all of the assignments she hadn't been able to the night before. By the time that she finished, it was almost eleven o'clock. She made herself a quick sandwich for dinner and decided to call it a night. Her parents would throw a fit if they came home in an hour to find her up playing video games, and she honestly just wanted the day to end.
Another horrible day in a dreadful life.
She changed into her pajamas and slipped into bed. She was so exhausted that she forgot her phone back on the couch; besides Sling72, it wasn't like there was someone who wanted to message her. Pulling the covers over her head, she let out another sigh. Sleep and the time she spent with Sling were her only reprieves from everything she hated about her life.
Though she treasured every moment of sleep she got, she was never one to prolong it. It would have been putting off the inevitable, and she wanted to face whatever the day brought with no hesitation. This held true when she awoke. Rather than lay in bed and try to fall back asleep, her eyes opened and she shot up with a start.
It took a second for the sight that greeted her to register.
She was in a bedroom. That much, at the very least, hadn't changed. But the bedroom itself was completely different than
. It was far larger and the color scheme was far more subtle. The lighting was gentle and not blaring, and the walls that surrounded her were metallic in nature. Her head pounded as she tried to recall how she had arrived in this strange place. Hadn't her last memory been going to sleep in her own bed?
She jumped off the bed.
While doing so, she caught a glimpse of her outfit. Another oddity – she had undoubtedly been wearing her pajamas. So why was she wearing the outfit that she had worn to school that day?
She took a deep breath. Alright. Strange room, familiar clothes. That was a start, wasn't it? She didn't know what sort of conclusion that could lead to. Memory loss, maybe. It would explain her headache, and why she was in place she had supposedly never entered. A dream would have made the most sense, but the whole experience felt far too real for it to be a figment of her imagination. She could feel a cool breeze brushing past her, and the smell that floated in with it triggered childhood memories she hadn't thought of in quite some time. Standing on the beach, collecting shells as the waves crashed into the show. A storm rolling in on the horizon, her parents rushing back into their vacation house when she just wanted to get one more shell-
It was the smell of the sea.
When she gave the room another look, she saw a slightly ajar door on the other side. She adjusted her hoodie, threw her hair up in a ponytail using an unfamiliar ponytail ring she had found in her pocket and slipped out into the corridor. Something about the hallway felt comforting, but she only allowed herself a moment to enjoy the interior design. She continued down the corridor without incident.
She should have felt terrified. And she did, just a little. But the adrenaline must have been getting to her head because she was trembling with excitement as she approached the end of the corridor. This was something unexpected. God, how long she had been hoping for change! She had never thought it would be like this, but it was certainly more entertaining than what she had been living through the past few years.
She stepped into the room.
She was overwhelmed by how bright and open the room was; it was even larger than her school's cafeteria, and they had to fight countless students. Somewhat dimmed light flooded in from large windows in the wall. She was
. How had she gotten down here? It was beautiful and horrifying but the realization that she had to be somewhere incredibly abnormal made her oddly thrilled.
She turned her attention back to the actual room.
Controls lined the back wall. There were stands with odd symbols that she could somehow recognize, and she knew that they connected to something else in the room. She looked to the side. There, set back slightly in the center of the room was a gigantic ring made of stone and metal and electricity, constructed in ways she could never fully understand.
But she knew – she
– that it was way to transport to other worlds, and that it was called a stargate. If she typed in the right sequence of symbols on the keypad, a wormhole would open up and she could go right through it. She shouldn't have known it. Couldn't have known it. But there that information was, eagerly presenting itself to her the moment she started to wonder. What had she been through?
What was going to happen to her now?
“You cannot get through a
without having an
world around you
What you do makes a
you have to decide
you want to make
Sun May 20, 2018 9:19 pm
Hopping over a bench in the schoolgrounds, Peter let a smile dance across his face as the wind refreshed him. He ran up the steps to the entrance to his school and he slid in through the doors. There were some odd looks, but once he was inside he settled for walking at a normal pace. The day went as usual. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened - other than the one guy who accidentally blew up a test tube in chemistry class - and he found himself kind of bored throughout the day. Luckily, he had a few spare pages on which he did some random drawings in class. He forgot about the math test in 5th period.
Oh well, he aced it anyway.
The school day felt like it ended years later than usual. He practically burst from the confines of the halls and he ran out into the fresh air, breathing all that good oxygen in.
He pulled out his phone. He wouldn't be home for another 20 minutes, but it didn't hurt to ask early.
want to play cod?
He hit send and slid his phone into his school bag. As he ran along his usual route, jumping over the trashcans and running along the occasional stretch of wall, his mind wandered to Signia. Because of the time difference, she would have finished the school day about an hour ago. But she always had some sort of club activity going on, so she'd likely only get home around the same time as he. As far as Peter could tell, she was
busy. She had a lot of club activities. Time management must be hell for her.
Swinging into his room through the window, he was graced with the smell of food coming from the kitchen downstairs.
"Aunt May, I'm home!" he called out, dropping his backpack next to his desk. He switched on his pc and dropped his phone on his bed as his Aunt replied.
"Nice to see you using the front door for a change!" Peter laughed. She said that every day, but every time he couldn't help but laugh at it. It was so old and worn out that it was just stupid at this point.
As he got into his PC, a notification popped up. It took him to Discord - specifically, Signia.
maybe over the weekend?
He sighed. He was looking forward to at least thirty minutes of game time with her. He pulled out his books. He might as well finish up his own homework too. He typed up a quick reply before he got started.
Remember our dnd session on Sunday
A few minutes later, while he was basically knee-deep in Algebra, his Aunt walked into the room and left him a plate of food for lunch. He thanked her and ate, while she told him about her cabbages that were growing better than her flowers.
It was...unnaturally interesting.
He took the plate back to the kitchen and left it in the sink, before returning to his fractals.
A bit later, he was on his pc again, asking some of his other online friends if they wanted to jam something with him. Sky, one of his friends and the dm of a DnD Peter was in, messaged him and said he was down to play something.
As he lay prone, his SMG primed, ready and waiting, a man ran past him. The guy didn't even notice him in his hiding spot: out in plain sight, pretending to be dead. He heard gunshots go off. He stood as he heard some sort of explosion detonate behind the orange house. He checked his ammo. 5/35. He grit his teeth - if he reloaded his gun now, the man who took their flag (as indicated by his HUD) would be on him before he could say "walla walla bing bang". He took out his axe, and took a spot behind a bush, off to the left of the door. The man would see him from the right, as he emerged.
And see him he did. But as soon as he did, the axe met his face, and the run back to cover was cut short as he died.
"We...won! We actually won!" Peter said, letting go of a breath he didn't know he was holding.
"Yeah, I think we did. Why'd you use the axe though?" Sky's voice came through the headphones on Peter's head.
"Welp, I'm off. It's like, 2am here or something."
"Alright, I'll hop off my pc. My bed calls me," Peter said, exiting CoD on his computer. He said goodbye to Sky and got off the discord call, before switching his pc off entirely. He flopped omto his bed and picked up his phone.
"Weird...Sig hasn't replied yet,"
Peter thought, scrolling through his servers.
"Usually she'd have said something..."
His fingers flew across the virtual keyboard.
Yo, Sig. You still busy with homework or something? lmao don't tell me it's more club activities
He closed discord down to watch YouTube. A video or two later, he checked discord again. Still no reply.
Hey, you good?
Another video. A funny one to take his mind off Signia's lack of response. When he checked again, their was a significant lack of messages in Signia's chat.
Okay so like
I'm gonna assume you went to sleep immediately after you finished your homework
He hit send and then paused to think about his next words.
so uh, if you don't message me tomorrow, don't expect me to not be worried. G'night, Sig
And with that, he placed his phone on the table next to his bed, snuggled up under his blankets and went to sleep.
He woke up with a start. First of all, his room did not smell like this. Second off, he wasn't wearing this when he went to bed.
He got out of the bed faster than his brain could process moving.
By the time his mind caught up with what he was doing, he had already left the room, though the vague image of it was burned into his retinas, his mind devoting it to memory. The walls, metallic; colour scheme, subdued and subtle. The smell was that of the sea, and Peter did
live near the sea.
As he walked through the corridor, his shoes making little sound along the metal floor, his mind calmed and he took a moment to properly examine the hallway. It was unfamiliar, but futuristic.
Sweat ran down his brow as he left the corridor. He stuffed his hands into his pockets as he looked upon the wide open room. Behind, there was some sort of control panel he vaguely understood, though he shouldn't have been able to. He remembered what a stargate was, but he didn't remember learning it.
was it there? And why did it insist that it was familiar, and that he should remember it, and know it?
It was then that he saw a girl off to the side, standing outside another opening which likely lead to another corridor, or a different room.
"..." He averted his gaze, looking towards the windows. From the looks of it, they were underwater.
Just where the hell were they?
I'm cool as a cucumber
Even if I'm in a pickle
Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:39 pm
The bell rang, and a sigh escaped Clarice’s lips. She’d been late in getting on the road and had gotten to school with less than thirty seconds to get to her first class. Normally she would have just run to class, but today there’d been teachers watching the halls.
Pushing the door open, she walked into class. The teacher grumbled something she couldn’t quite make out, then resumed lecturing. Clarice found a seat towards the back of the class and sat down, before subtly pulling out her phone and opening Discord.
hey signia i got an idea for the campaign
but idk if its any good
do you mind if i run it past you?
Clarice hit send, closed Discord, and slid her phone into the depths of her bag. There was no point checking for a response every few seconds; Signia was probably in school right now, so she probably wouldn’t reply for at least the next few hours. Making a mental note to check her phone later, Clarice turned her attention back to her classwork.
School felt like an eternity. Each class was as monotonous as the next and seemed to warp time through sheer force of boredom. Not for the first time, Clarice began to contemplate dropping out.
No. She was a senior, she’d be out of here soon. It would be pointless to drop out so near to the end—she’d just have to endure.
After what felt like an eternity, the final bell rang. Clarice gathered her things and left the classroom, only to push her way through the crowded hallways whilst “gently“ elbowing a few people who wouldn’t get out of her way.
Once she was out of the building, Clarice felt as if a weight had been lifted. She made a beeline for the bike rack. unlocked her bike, then hopped on and made her way out of the school parking lot. Just as she was about to turn out onto the main road, it began to rain.
Of all the days not to read the weather forecast…
The gym was only a mile or so away, but it took her nearly half an hour to bike there. It didn’t help that it was raining, or that most of her route was covered in deep puddles that threatened to make her bike swerve out of control.
By the time she made it to the gym, Clarice was completely soaked. She hopped off her bike, locked it to the rack, and darted inside. Then she went to the locker room and changed into her workout clothes. Just as Clarice was beginning to wrap her hands, her phone buzzed.
“Ah,” She muttered under her breath. “Maybe that’s Signia..”
After a frantic scramble to dig her phone out from the depths of her bag, Clarice turned on her phone and checked her notifications. She frowned. The only notification was for a school-wide email from the principal, which Clarice deleted on sight. School was over for the day, and she didn’t care enough to read it. Besides, it was time for her to train.
The bike ride home was short, but it felt like an eternity. By the time she was home, Clarice's legs felt like jelly, to the point where she had to trail her hand along the wall to keep from falling over. She made her way into the kitchen, grabbed a Tupperware container of leftover spaghetti, and trudged up the stairs to her bedroom. She shut the door behind herself.
Leaning against the wall, Clarice closed her eyes and let herself slide to the floor. Her entire body ached, but she couldn’t let herself rest just yet. She still had a massive pile of homework that she needed to get done.
Sighing loudly, Clarice forced herself to stand. The sooner she started, the sooner she’d get it done. She might as well get it over with,
Clarice grabbed her textbooks, her notebooks, her laptop, and put them all on her desk. She put on her headphones, queued up her ‘study’ playlist, and opened her digital list of assignments. Another sigh escaped her lips at the sight. This was going to be a long night.
By the time she’d finished her homework, Clarice could barely keep her eyes open. She changed into her pajamas, brushed her teeth, and crawled into bed. Pulling the blankets around her, she closed her eyes. It wasn’t long before she fell asleep.
Clarice awoke without the aid of an alarm. Thinking she’d sleep through it, she blearily sat up and leaned towards her bedside table to grab her phone…only to find that it wasn’t there. She fell face-first out of bed and laid there for a few seconds as she silently decided if it was worth sleeping on the floor and missing her first class. It probably wasn’t. Her first class was history today, and the teacher wasn’t particularly forgiving when it came to latenesses.
With a sigh, Clarice shrugged off the blankets surrounding her and pushed herself off the ground. She stood up, took a deep breath, and opened her eyes.
Clarice shifted into her fighting stance, and it took her a second to realize why — this wasn’t her bedroom.
She whipped her head around, checking for anyone who might be nearby. When she saw that she was alone, Clarice let herself relax, if only a little bit. She dropped her fighting stance and began to take in her surroundings.
It was a nice room, but she couldn't stay here. She had to figure out where she was and how she'd gotten here. Clarice spotted a door and went through it without hesitation, into the hallway outside. She could see a doorway at the end of it and started towards it. When Clarice reached it, she walked through with hesitation.
She couldn't help the gasp that escaped her.
The room was beautiful. It was larger than any room she ever remembered being in and had an enormous ring made of stone and metal, practically humming with electricity. Somehow, Clarice knew it was a stargate, and that it would take her to other worlds if someone were to activate it. The room was illuminated by several large windows, which overlooked a vast seascape, more beautiful than any ocean Clarice had ever seen...Wait, was she underwater?
Clarice was so confused by her surroundings that she didn't even notice the other people in the room.
- albert einstein
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:49 am
“Hey kiddo,” Clove attempted to curl protectively around the receiver, trying to minimize the possibility that someone else would catch them with a phone.
“Clove! You called!” Lauren’s voice sounded distorted but the familiarity of it left a lump lodged halfway up Clove’s throat.
“Of course I did Apple, I promised didn’t I?” Clove works the words around the lump, trying not to let Lauren know just how much this long separation has worried them.
“Is your home good right now?” Clove asks, throwing a furtive glance over their shoulder as they tried to curl around the phone even further.
“Ehhh, not really, the mom is a little too everywhere and she’s always wanting to know how I’m doing and stuff,” Lauren sounds surly and Clove’s heart twists at the thought that she’s already sounding so jaded.
“That’s a good thing Apple,”
“And the boy keeps telling me that he’s the coolest and best sibling ever but that’s ridiculous because YOU’RE the coolest Clove!”
“Maybe we can be generous and make him second coolest then,”
“How about the kids at school? Have they been okay?” This is the part Clove is worried about. Parents are cruel, but kids often parrot what their parents say behind locked doors right to the subject’s face. And no matter what people said, words hurt like nothing else when you were that young.
“They’re okay I guess,” And Clove is giving the phone one hundred percent of their attention now because her Apple never sounds that flat, she’s expressive and bright and everything that’s good in Clove’s world. But right now, she sounds like all her light has been sucked right out and she’s nothing but grey now.
“Lauren,” Clove’s voice is as soft as they knew how to make it, “what happened sweetheart?”
“Nothing, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Please tell me what’s wrong?”
“They said I was unlovable!” Clove can hear the tears as the little girl on the other end of the line starts to cry and their heart shatters into a thousand, tiny fractures.
“That’s why I’m an orphan, my mom didn’t love me and she gave me away and no one wants to keep me!”
“Hey hey hey Apple, that’s not true. You know that’s not true,” Lauren is still sobbing quietly and all Clove can do is keep talking. It makes them feel useless, that they cannot pull their Apple close to their side and hold her close while she cries.
“I want you, I can’t be the coolest older sibling without my amazing little sister.”
“But you left me! You’re not here and you left me!”
A thousand arguments against this line of thinking whirl in Clove’s mind. They could say that it was the agency that had forced them away, they could talk about how they reached out whenever they could, they could even say that they would do anything for Lauren. But they cannot. They cannot say any of the things they want to say in their own defense, because no matter what they say, they are not actually there for Lauren.
“I’m sorry Apple, I’m so sorry,” it’s a whispered, heart-broken sentiment, the only one they can share over the phone. Clove continues to whisper their apologies as Lauren’s crying slows but does not stop.
“I miss you Clove.”
“I’m sorry Apple, I’m gonna come get you, I promise,” Clove’s brain is running on autopilot and they do not completely register what they are saying until it has been said and Lauren has gone deathly silent.
“Really?” The question is so quiet that Clove almost misses it, but they can hear so much hope contained in that one word, and they know with everything they are that they cannot take it back.
“Yeah Apple, I’m gonna come get you and we’re gonna be a family, just us.”
“When?” Lauren sounds so much happier now and Clove feels a warm smile stretch across her face.
“What do you think you’re doing?” The voice is low and dangerous and demanding behind Clove. They freeze as their whole focus instantly switches to the man behind them.
“I SAID. What. Are. You. Doing?” He sounds as furious as Clove has ever heard him and part of her wants to fight, to take a payment in blood for all the times he has made them scared, but the louder part of them flashes through all the times they have tried to stand up to them and the pain they have suffered and all their instincts scream at them to RUN.
Clove lurches to their feet as fast as they can, desperately trying to find the fastest way away from where they are now.
They only make it a few steps though before their arm is snatched up and they are yanked violently into the air.
“You insolent brat!” He’s screams in her face as he yanks the phone from their hands, waving it violently in their face. Clove can hear Lauren desperately calling out, begging to know what is going on.
“Give that back!” All Clove can focus on is reassuring Lauren, who sounds like she’s dissolved back into tears.
“This is my home! You follow MY rules!” He flings the phone into the wall.
“NO!” Clove tries to throw themselves at where the phone breaks against the unforgiving wall, their one connection to Lauren going out like a light.
“You have been a problem since day one,” his voice has gone chillingly cold and Clove knows that they cannot stay here a moment longer. They have to get out. Now.
He throws them down on the floor and Clove scrambles backwards, already planning on the bare essentials for what they will need for the next few days.
“You’re out of here missy! Next chance I get I’m unloading you on the next idiot!” His voice follows Clove as they run for their stuff.
They shove as much as they can into their bag, making sure to pack what little of their food they have stashed up in their bed as well as at least three days of clothes.
Then, when the house had stilled again, Clove slips out the front door and into the night. They alternate walking and running for as long as they can, trying to put as much distance between themself and the house as possible. The more distance they can cover now, the more difficult it will be for social services to pick them up.
Finally, they pick a spot to curl up, using their backpack as a pillow. They are asleep almost instantly.
Clove jerked awake, lurching forward in an attempt to escape the last tendrils of their nightmare. They stare at their lap for a second just gasping for air.
And then it registers that Clove is in a bed and they throw themselves sideways. Everything must have gone terribly wrong for them to have already been picked up. They can feel panic creeping up their throat in hot, uncomfortable strands.
They stumble to the door of the room, taking in almost nothing of their surroundings. They stumble out the door and come to a complete stop, their brain going completely blank at the sight before them.
An underwater seascape stretches out before them and the room almost seems to have been built to show off that fact. It is bigger than any other room Clove has ever been in.
A slight electric hum draws their attention from the stunning view to a giant ring in the center of the room. It looks foreign and nothing like any of the technology Clove has ever seen. The other people standing around the room register in the back of their mind as they take in the complexity of the circle.
“Toto, I don’t think we're in Kansas anymore.”
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:16 pm
Henry was late to his first job of the day, but he didn’t feel the need to explain why. Even though he had dropped out of school, his sister Annalise still had to go, and it wasn’t as if their father was going to walk her to the bus stop. Limited money had left them stranded in a less-than-good part of town, and even though Anna’s legs had healed from the car accident, Henry wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he let anything happen to her again.
The bus had been late in coming, but Henry never let on to Anna that he had somewhere to be. He’d rather be with her than working in any case, but quitting his jobs—any of them—wasn’t an option. Henry was the only one left to take care of their small family, and he couldn’t afford to give himself much spare time.
His first job of the day was at a coffee shop, taking orders and making coffees and getting doughnuts. It was his favorite one too, if any of his jobs could really be considered his favorite; at least here, he just had to do his job properly.
At his second job, working at a grocery store for most of the afternoon, the manager frequently required “team meetings”. As if the employees were all buddies who just wanted to work together to make things perfect. Henry hated the meetings, hated the idea that he would have to discuss with other people. It was a job a single person could do alone—what was the point of a “team meeting”? He went every time, however, and pressed a small smile onto his lips as he talked blandly of what they could do to improve. Lack of participation could get him fired in favor of someone more enthusiastic, and his list of backup jobs was next to none.
In between jobs, Henry took breaks to walk his sister home from the bus stop, to make dinner and make sure that his father ate something. His sister hadn’t quite reached the stage when it might be considered embarrassing for her brother to wait for her at the bus stop, and he hoped she never would. After dinner, Anna had about twenty minutes to ask any homework questions she had, and Henry did his best to answer them.
That night, she had asked a particularly difficult question about math, and his brain hurt trying to remember what he had learned. Dang. It had been so long since he’d been in class. Henry took the question with him to his last job of the day, promising to have an answer for her when he returned home. Promising that he would wake her early enough in the morning to explain it to her.
He worked at a small restaurant for most of the night. It was a job that kept him busy, which was good, because whenever he stopped doing things, he began to think of the life he was missing. He couldn’t do that. There could be no other life than this, at least until his father was better, until Anna was off in college. If his mind ever wandered down that road, there would always be another customer, another hot plate coming out of the kitchen. Something to demand immediate attention.
After work, he quietly asked his coworker, Jasper, about the math problem. Jasper was quiet, and he didn’t try to be friends with Henry, which was what made them work well together. Outside the restaurant, in the dull light of the streetlamp, Jasper explained the problem until Henry’s memory was jogged and he felt like he could explain it to Anna. He thanked the other boy and went home, practically sneaking in. It was nearly one in the morning.
He took his shirt off and lay in bed, letting the heat and traffic noises roll over him, fingering the necklace he always wore. He wasn’t the type of guy to wear a necklace, but Anna had given it to him, so he would never take it off. It was a tiny shell he had picked up for her one day at the beach, and she—creative as she was—had figured out how to punch a hole in it, loop a string through it. It served as a reminder of why he had to keep up the monotony of work. He fell asleep still holding it in his hand.
Henry woke up feeling as if he had just fallen asleep a few minutes ago. He was dead tired, but certain that he had heard a small cry. Maybe it was just a dream, but maybe it was Annalise. Sitting up straight, he checked his watch and frowned. Where glowing numbers would ordinarily appear, there was nothing. Dead battery.
He noticed, then, that it was quiet—no traffic noises. There was no time of day at which it was silent, so he began to take more notice of his surroundings. A metal room, one without windows. His shirt was back on, and so were his shoes, though he could have sworn he kicked them off at the door.
Standing up cautiously, he made his way out the door. The salty tang of the sea greeted his nose, and he tried to work out where he was. He lived in California, but not on the coast. Was this some sort of dream? A moment later, he realized it could not be. Dreams were never this sharp. The only thing he could do was follow the hallway, see where it went.
Henry didn’t see other doors, other people, but his heart seized when he thought of Annalise. He still had the shell necklace on. Still had the math question in his pocket. His fingers tightened, but he kept his face neutral. Something had to be going on.
At the end of the hall was a large room. He thought the walls were painted some strange shade of blue, but he realized that they were windows—the ocean was outside. This place was underwater.
Aside from the windows, technology dominated the room. Things Henry had never seen before, but somehow recognized. If this wasn’t a dream… then what
this? He didn’t want to stick around long enough to find out.
All I want is to write and be happy. c:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:27 am
Sadie spent her first day back to school in the ER. It was for a fairly stupid reason, but one that she should have guessed would happen eventually.
Sadie had been walking to school, her plaid skirt freshly pressed and her button-up shirt ironed. If it wasn't for her private school's dress code, she thought, the time she spent at night to launder her uniform could be spent relaxing. Unfortunately, she could only afford to own one set.
The weather had been pleasant that morning, for once, and Sadie had been able to take the time to enjoy the sun on her face. That morning, she wasn't feeling rushed or like she was just going through the motions. She felt a lightness that was almost unfamiliar to her.
"Hey there, Shrink." said a leering voice behind her. The sunshine suddenly felt blistering.
Sadie kept walking, waiting for the inevitable. A tall, lanky boy with horrid red hair stepped around to stand in front of her, forcing her to stop her determined trot. She could hear his two cronies snickering behind her, pretending to be immensely amused. Wait- she could hear another chuckle that harmonized differently- were there three today?
She'd have to take the time to get acquainted with the third thug later, she thought sarcastically. He was really doing a superb job of making her feel threatened without upstaging the main act.
"What, retard, not happy to see me?" the boy smirked, his pointed features curling in a very unpleasant manner.
Rick Stevens. Sadie had been targeted by him for about a year now. It was her fault, in a way, that he took an interest in her. Rick's favorite prey used to be a freshman boy named Lenny- the strong, silent type- different than all the thin, mousy underclassman that Rick enjoyed tormenting.
He bullied Lenny because Lenny refused to fight back. He certainly had the strength and experience to put Rick in the hospital, but he also possessed an uncommonly powerful moral compass and an indifferent attitude toward being bullied. So, Rick always resorted to mind-games with him.
Lenny never let anyone know, but days and days and months and months of Rick making his life a living hell was wearing on his resolve. He sometimes struggled with depression when he was alone and could be human enough to be himself. Rick, unaware, was starting to win their encounters without inflicting a single bruise.
Sadie saw all of this happen, and she was starting to catch on. Lenny was the only person that she had come close to calling a friend. Every conversation that they had had was merely small talk for him, but for her they were her first tastes of friendship in a long time.
One afternoon, during Sadie's sophomore year of high school, Rick had taken all two hundred pages of Lenny's screenplay and had scattered them in the school fountain. Sadie was there when Lenny had found them, face pale and pants soaked to the knees. No one knew how much that screenplay had meant to him, not even her. Sadie was there to see his face. Rick had finally broken him.
Running through the school, Sadie couldn't keep a steady stream of thought. She wasn't sure exactly what she was looking for until she saw Rick and connected her small fist with his pointy face. She had to aim high.
This was the sight that Solomon Prep's principle found: Rick Stevens, confusion in his eyes, holding a hand to his bloody nose, and Sadie Finnigan, who had slipped under the radar for most of the year, still screaming incoherently up at him.
After Sadie's two-week suspension, (the school had a zero tolerance for bullying. Ha.) she approached Lenny to assess his situation. Lenny politely asked her to stop talking to him. He wanted to cut ties completely with Rick, who had ignored him during Sadie’s suspension. And, after all, their conversations had always meant more to her than they did to him.
In one fell swoop, Sadie had lost her only friend and attracted the attention of Rick's malice. He just couldn't figure her out- she had quite the reputation for being mute. Suddenly, he found that through bullying another countless victim, he had earned her fury. He spent the rest of her sophomore year seeking her out, trying to find what made her tick, trying to make her snap again. Sadie, being a 15-year-old senior- and tiny- only gave him endless material to work with.
Whoever's advice it had been to astain from reacting to being bullied (“just ignore them”)… well, it wasn’t working for her. All she did was ignore Rick, and he only became more and more intrigued.
"Come on, don’t you know you're being rude?" his eyes glimmered. "come here." There were only a few feet between them. She didn't move.
A cronie pushed her toward Rick, which would usually have been harmless enough. She would have only stumbled a little. Today, however, it was Rick's new companion that had pushed her. He wasn't aware of just how light she was. Caught in a violent fall, Sadie found herself sprawled on the sidewalk.
Why didn't she catch herself? Again, normally her reflexes would have been fast enough. Today, however, she was gripping the strap of her messenger bag tightly with both hands- the only visible proof that Rick's taunting was bothering her. She didn't have time to stretch out her arms when she was pushed unexpectedly.
Sadie blinked from the sidewalk, dazed, and then blinked a second time. Something was dripping in her right eye, and she couldn't seem to clear it away. She reached up a hand to wipe at her eye, and it came away slick and red. Oh, blood. That made sense to her.
Rick seemed to register around the same time she did.
"Crap- she's bleeding." He sounded panicked. “Uh, let’s get to school.”
Like a cheesy movie, Rick and his companions turned tail and ran at the first sight of blood. This either had something to do with the possibility of them being held accountable for their actions or the possibility of Sadie fighting back.
, she thought,
that’s one way to get him to leave me alone.
She pushed herself into a sitting position and looked down at the pavement, which she was splattering with drops of red. A rock, about the side of a walnut, was sitting innocently by the curb, painted with her blood. It wasn’t difficult to put two and two together- she must have cut her forehead on it when she landed.
It took several more blinks before Sadie started to come to her senses. She wiped at her eye with the white sleeve of her shirt and assessed the damage. She would probably need stitches. The blood just wouldn't stop, so she held her shirt sleeve to the cut as she calmly called for a cab.
She was sitting in the waiting room of the ER, holding paper towels to her head, when her parents rushed in.
"Sadie!" Her mom gasped at the blood on her shirt, "I was so worried! What happened?"
"I tripped." She shrugged and smiled, trying to reassure her. It really wasn’t too far from the truth.
Her dad just stared at her, the doubt written on his face, and patted her shoulder.
It was about three in the afternoon when Sadie finally stumbled into her room, aching all over. She changed into a nightgown and brought her shirt to the kitchen sink, working at it with cold water and baking soda until the stains were barely visible. She hung it up on the back of her door to dry, popped a painkiller, and started on her homework.
Of course, Sadie deserved to get a break from her schoolwork. No one forced her to do it, she just simply didn’t consider the fact that her normal routine would be altered by her getting nine stitches in the forehead. She used the rest of her afternoon to study for a few tests and college entrance exams, and then the time got away from her and it was six.
She made herself a simple dinner, watched an episode of Doctor Who, and then turned out the lights and curled under her blankets.
As tired as she was, it took Sadie an hour to fall asleep. Beyond everything, her fall and injury had completely shaken her- she didn’t know exactly how to process it. If that hadn’t been enough, she let herself think about Lenny for the first time since sophomore year.
Sadie woke up to her ears popping. She rubbed her eyes and untwisted herself from the sheets. There was something strange about how she woke up- right, her alarm hadn't gone off. She glanced at her bedside, looking for her alarm clock, but couldn’t find it. Huh.
Then she was finally able to look around at the room she was in- chrome, soft lighting, subtle colors. The only place she could think to match this up with us a hospital room, except it looked more like an 'institution'.
She reached up and felt her forehead. The bandage was still there, covering her stitches. A quick look down at herself- she was wearing her school uniform again, blazer, tie, and all. She let out a groan when she saw how wrinkled it was. Well, no time to worry about that.
Sadie stood up and climbed out of bed, her heart beating fast in fear. She had no possible explanation to why she would have ended up in this room. Not to mention the smell- salty. Humid, heavy air filled her lungs when she took a breath.
She walked out of her room and down a hallway into a much bigger one. It was breathtaking, but she wasn't looking at the room itself. The walls were actually windows, but she couldn't see anything out of them at first until she shifted her perspective.
Underwater. She was underwater. Her chest gave a little squeeze around the impossibility of it all. She looked back at the room around her and her eyes jumped to a large ring with symbols. Stargate. The name popped onto her tongue. She knew what it was, and somewhere in the back of her head, she knew what it could do.
Her eyes moved over to a wall filled with controls. She had the urge to press something.
A sound caught her ears. She turned her head and nearly jumped out of her skin. There were several unfamiliar people in the room with her. She tried to catch someone's eye, but they were just as captured by the room as she was.
For the first time in a long time, all thoughts related to Sadie’s education politely exused themselves from her head.
"what dose the raccoon look like?"
Your hesitation suggests you are trying to protect my feelings. However, since I have none, I would prefer you to be honest. An artist's growth depends upon accurate feedback.
— LCDR Data
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