A new life
The boy curled into a ball, clutching his chest as a burning ripping sensation spread across his stomach, “what is this pain…what did they do to me?” thought the young boy as tears, dripped down his cheeks.
The mana core was absorbing a larger amount of mana from the surroundings than normal causing his muscles to rapidly increase in mass greedily accepting the nutrients supplied by the mana. While simultaneously his skin began to stretch around the healing wound, tearing it open as the muscles expand, and deflate at a rapid rate. He screamed out in agony, as the surroundings faded into darkness. The scenery of a large cherry blossom tree encompassed by grass and pink flowing petals, a blurry building off in the distance, surrounded in the orange sympathetic glow of the sunset came into view as he opened his eyes.
“Ah… Am I back at the orphanage”, thought the confused boy clutching his head as he slowly sat up, from the pile of petals he has laying in. He looked to the left and saw two young girls around the age of six, and seven playing tag with the cherry blossom tree as a medium, “ha-ha you can’t get me” yelled out the older girl, as she giggles swaying from side to side around the tree, while the younger child pouts, and angrily cries out “you are cheating!”
“Cheating, I am only using my surroundings to my advantage, maybe if you weren’t so tiny, your stubby little legs would move fast enough to catch me hehe.”
Seeing the two children he never thought he would be allowed to see again tears began forming in the corner of his eyes. Liza, and Kathryn, two of the few orphan children he looked after like his own younger siblings. The parents of the girls died along with his, during an expedition to a newly formed mana pool five years ago. The beginning of the conflict that sparked a bloody war between, Ailiven, and Ayria.
“Oh, Niko is awake,” exclaimed the younger girl who ceased her crying, as she ran full force before diving straight into the embrace of the sitting boy.
Niko began to look at the face of the girl in his embrace but was jolted awake. Opening his eyes Niko bent forward tracing his face left to right scanning his unfamiliar surroundings. He Spotted a frightened young boy, sitting across from him, staring at his face. Niko began to open his mouth to speak,
“Where…,” but before he could finish he heard the trembling voice of the boy
“What…what are you? Your body was going swoosh and whoosh shaking everywhere and bulging like a monster was going to pop out!”
Niko was confused, he could not understand what the boy was talking about, “D-d-d do you have a monster in your body? Are you gonna eat us?” cries another child from the top of one of the bunk beds, in the right corner of the room. Hearing sobs, and small whispers coming from around him as the grogginess finally faded, it hit him. Niko was in a cold dimly lit cell closed off by metal bars, locked shut by a huge chain and lock, with pipes running across the rusted metallic wall, it was a rather small room, with only three bunk beds, a toilet, and sink.
“What…no, I am not a monster. Those soldiers did something weird to my body, anyway wha..where are we?” The boy sitting across from me seemed, accepting that the soldiers could have done something, but still had a bit of childish innocence looking to be relieved at me not having some monster in my body. Seeing how frightened the children were, and the understanding that the soldiers appear cruel gives me a feeling these soldiers aren’t gonna be friendly. It is also leaving a terrifying chill just thinking about what will happen to us.
“I do not know where we are exactly, but the soldiers brought me down here, like a few days ago. Then the rest of you guys have been dragged down here and thrown onto the beds, last night they brought you in here, where you just curled up into a ball like a pill bug crying and holding your chest, it looked like your skin was crawling around.”
The last thing I remember is being dragged away from the orphanage with, Liza, and Kathryn, they separated us into different rooms, all white, with men and women wearing white coats, after being told to lay on a table they covered my mouth with some mask and I lost consciousness waking up here. They must have done something to Liza, Kathryn, and I. That is the only thing that would make sense based off of the course of events, as well as, what these children saw, especially why they are so scared of the soldiers. What place have they brought us to? what do they plan on doing with us? where have Liza, and Kathryn been taken too?. Anxiety slowly began to once again take over Niko, but he tried to keep calm, as to not frighten the other children. It will be better if I stay calm and try to understand the situation and work together with the children, keeping them calm, thought Niko as he struggled to keep his anxiety in check and hold back the tears forming in the corner of his eyes.
“Since it seems like we are gonna be seeing each other a lot from now on, it would be good to familiarize ourselves with one another, My name is Niko.”
After I introduced myself the boy on the bunk across from me took initiative to introduce himself first, “ah, Niko huh? Well Niko, I am Tyler, and since I was the first inhabitant of this room I am the leader, an..and since you are not a monster I won’t have to beat you up or anything, so consider yourself lucky you hear! Cause I ain’t scared of anything, not even any monsters!”.
The boy on the top bunk towards the right of where Tyler was, quietly introduced himself next “my name is Daniel I was brought about a day ago”.
“Speak up Daniel or no one can hear you gosh!” exclaimed Tyler. Tyler seems like a loud individual, who acts confident in an attempt to mask how scared he is, while Daniel is a shy quiet individual.
“Who is that asleep on your top bunk Tyler?”
“Hmm… oh, that’s Eric he was brought in the same day as Daniel.”
“The three of you seem pretty familiar, did you guys come from the same civilian ship?”.
“Yeah the three of us are from the bottom sect, also known as the slums of the fleet”, “the slums? What is that?”.
“It’s the civ ship at the bottom of the fleet. I am not surprised you have not heard about it, the only people that go down there are poor people and those abandoning their children in the rundown overcrowded orphanage down there. What about you? What orphanage are you from? You must be from one if you were dragged here, huh?.”
“I’m from the middle sect orphanage.” Right after I finished my sentence. Three soldiers walked to the front of the metal bars, the soldier in the middle had a smirk on his face as he opened his mouth to begin speaking.
“Well good evening you little bastards, I hope the four of you are ready for some fun aha-haha”.
“Why have you brought us here? What do you plan on doing with us?. Where have you taken Liza and Kathryn? What have you done to them?”
“Shut up!” yelled the man, “You are out of your fucking mind if you think you have a voice here.”
The soldier walked up to Niko striking him in the face with a closed fist. “Aah,” Niko cries out in pain falling off the bunk with a large “THUMP” the children around him gasp, and whimpered, in fear of being next.
“You filthy bastards are only here to become weapons, tools of the military, nothing more, nothing less”.
“Now get your tails out from between your legs, like scared little pups and line up in front of the door!, you got 10 seconds, GO!”.
Tyler held out is hand helping me up before running to get in-line along with the other children, after lining up the soldiers began leading us out of the room down a long hallway, consisting of other cells containing trembling, confused children lining up under the beck and call of soldiers. After a few minutes of walking, we came across a large wide door, the soldier opened it walking through, while the others stood to the side, verifying that all the children were accounted for. Upon walking past the door, we are brought into a large open part of the ship, that functions as an inside ecosystem mimicking a forest. After verifying that all the children have come, the soldier that lead us here moved off to the side, and another more important looking man stood in front of us, with a wide smirk on his face but a seriously scary look in his eyes.
“Welcome maggots, to your first official day in hell!”.