Tina smirked with heinous attitude.
Clark continued, “Anyways, do you mind telling me what happened last night?”
“What? That guy? One night stand, I guess. He took my purse, so I went after the bastard.”
“You more than ‘went after him.’ I have seen that kind of fighting before, but only from professionals.”
“I’m not a prostitute.”
“Not that kind of professional,” Clark tried to hold back a laugh. He changed to a serious tone. “Where did you learn how to fight?”
Tina hesitated. “Wait… how long were you there? I heard police sirens about fifteen minutes out.”
“Well, I saw you slam that guy to the ground after he tried to jump the rooftops. Impressive, Guillotina.”
Confused, Tina stated, “How did you know…”
“A couple calls came in regarding a disturbance in that area; plus, we have been tracking you. Back to my previous question, where did you learn how to fight?”
Tina became aggravated. “Nowhere! That guy stole my shit, so I followed him. He got what he deserved.” Tina noticed Clark’s incessant glare. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Forget it. Then there’s the other thing, Guillotina,” said Clark with an overconfident sneer.
“It’s Tina, and get to it, you pig.”
“Sure, Tina. Yes. See that gaping gash on your left side? Remember? Your hot date stabbed you last night.”
Tina looked down at her stomach; she saw nothing. Nothing abnormal marked her body.
“What are you talking about? There is no gash,” she said abrasively.
“I know. There should be a gash; he tried to kill you. You should be dead. You were rushed to the hospital with a kitchen knife in your stomach. It’s a lethal wound, and now, there’s not even a scratch on you. See, you’re famous.” Clark pointed to the knife on the bedside table. “Remember this?”
He was right. Tina remembered the knife ripping into her flesh and sliding down her midsection. It was painful, but not as intense as she anticipated.
In a split second, Clark grabbed the knife and sliced Tina’s arm. She screamed in immediate pain; thick, red blood oozed down her arm onto the bed’s white sheets.
Tina jerked to fight Clark, but she quickly realized the restraints. She was trapped – bolted to the hospital bed by means of metal cuffs.
“What the hell are you doing?” she roared.
“Research,” Clark said calmly.
Both Tina and Clark stared at the gapping, open wound on her arm. It gushed blood. Tina struggled to break free.
“Help! This psycho is trying to kill me!”
Two doctors and a nurse entered the room. Clark motioned for them to leave. They nodded to Clark and left. Tina felt infuriated and helpless.
“Shhh… just wait. Watch…” stated Clark.
Tina noticed her knife wound stopped bleeding. Then, the edges of it healed slowly, and the pain ceased. Within a minute, the stab wound disappeared.
Tina’s eyes widened. “Oh my god,” she said under her breath. In a moment of wonderment and wrath, she titled her head towards Clark. Tina spit violently in his face; she hated him. “That hurt, you little prick!”
Clark smirked, wiped the saliva from his face, and said arrogantly, “Guillotina, you are under arrest.”
“What?” asked Tina. Her blood boiled. Clark inched towards her.
“Yeah, that little boy toy of yours? He nearly died. You’re under arrest for aggravated assault and attempted murder.” Clark and Tina were face to face. His nose almost touched hers. Clark knew she was useless, pinned to the hospital bed.
Tina fired back, “Firstly, that idiot should be arrested! He stole from me, and he almost murdered me! Secondly, don’t call me Guillotina!”
Tina growled. Clark held the knife tightly after cutting Tina’s arm. Tina swiftly turned her shoulder, colliding powerfully into Clark’s right arm. The knife fell from his hand and landed on the bed next to her restrained hand. Managing to free one of her feet from the bed’s metal cuffs, Tina kicked Clark in the stomach with brute force. He hit the wall and fell to the cold floor in an upright, seated position. He was shaken and breathless; she was powerful and clever.
Tina pinched the knife’s tip with the little movement she had with her hand, flipped it, gripped and seized its hilt, and flicked her firm wrist. The knife flew toward Clark; it scraped his left ear. Within seconds, the knife rested motionless in the hospital wall. A few drops of fresh blood dripped onto the Seven Point Star on Clark’s dress shirt.
“That will be enough! Tina, that is not necessary.” Dr. Hassam entered the room.
She instantly recognized the dark features of Dr. Hassam. Oddly enough, she felt as if she knew him personally. How could she know him? “It was just a dream, right?” Tina thought to herself as she toiled with her metal restraints.
Next, she gazed at Clark for a moment, and then it hit her. She did know him. Tina identified him as the police captain arguing with Dr. Hassam in the same dream. She became dizzy and confused; the thought of insanity overwhelmed her. She shook her head, struggling to clear her mind. Mentally exhausted, Tina looked at the doctor.
“What the hell is this?” Tina paused. “I know you! You’re Dr. Hassam, right?”
“More on that later, dear,” Dr. Hassam said politely.
Clark painfully stirred on the hospital floor, trying to regain his strength and posture. “No!” he shouted. “You are not taking this one, too! Don’t you remember what happened last time?”
“Do the words ‘executive order’ mean anything to you?” asked Hassam.
Tina instantly recognized the term ‘executive order’ as well. Her eyes narrowed. She slowly stopped struggling with the cuffs.
Clark gruffly sighed as two nurses rushed in and unlocked Tina’s bed restraints. She was free. Tina approached Clark in her bloody hospital gown, bent down slightly, and lifted her hand toward his head. Dr. Hassam grew nervous.
Tina plucked the knife out of the wall and stepped back a few inches. She pulled her weapon parallel to her face as Clark remained seated on the cold floor. “Here’s your next executive order, compliments of the famous Guillotina!” she declared.
As Tina finished her sentence, she forcefully plunged the knife downwards toward at her target. It flipped in the air twice, and the sharp blade purposely landed between Clark’s legs. It lay perfectly still within the room’s hardwood floor. The knife barely missed his genitals. Clark gasped, slowly gazed at Tina, and grunted in anger.
Tina yelled in Clark’s face, “Now leave me the hell alone!” She turned and walked out of the room with Dr. Hassam.
Dr. Hassam sighed and shook his head. “You’re a handful.”
Tina surveyed the vast views of Layer Seven. Dr. Hassam’s lab was on the two hundredth floor of the Research Building in City-State. Peering through a window, she noticed several buildings that poked through the endless clouds and mist. The scenery was breathtaking, but Tina did not know how to embrace its beauty. Her latest trials weighed on her mind.
The doctors gave Tina a simple white gown to wear in the lab. Her hair was neatly combed into a low ponytail, and she felt a little at ease. Her room consisted of a bed, a small dresser, and a mirror. Large, intricate lab machines were located within different parts of the floor.
Dr. Hassam quietly entered Tina’s room. City-State’s Seven Point Star glowed on the upper left hand side of his lab coat.
“How are you doing?”
“I’m okay… a bit confused,” Tina concluded.
“You slept for several days; you must be well-rested. Did you have any more dreams?”
“Yes,” Tina said curiously. “They all focus on a woman named Delilah. They are not nightmares… just…”
“Memories?” Dr. Hassam interjected.
Tina stared at him, intrigued. “Yes… memories. How did you know?” She took the conversation further while still watching the skyline of Layer Seven. “And how am I able to heal so quickly from those deadly knife wounds?”
Dr. Hassam smiled. “You’re ability to heal rapidly is remarkable, but it is not your best attribute.”
Tina inspected her arms and hands, and then she placed them on her stomach. “What do you mean? How do you know this?”
“Your dreams… well, those are your mother’s memories. Actually, your dreams represent your mother’s DNA.”
“Delilah? The woman in my dreams is my mother?” Tina asked. “She was treated like an animal… a criminal!” She faintly sobbed and turned to Dr. Hassam.
“Yes, Tina. Your mother’s key memories are embedded inside you. In scientific terms, they are noted as ‘inherited memories.’ Most humans possess inherited memories. Usually, the memories only manifest themselves as feelings – like déjà vu, but you are different – you can access and control memories from Delilah’s past. And, it may be possible that you can see memories from centuries long-ago. Remember what Clark said? You are famous.”
“How did this happen?”
“I knew your mother. I was there when you were born.”
Tina rubbed her eyes and sighed. She choked back a few tears. “What is wrong with me? Am I some kind of freak?”
“No,” Dr. Hassam said peacefully. He placed his hand on Tina’s shoulder. “You are a miracle; you are one of a kind.”
“How did you know my mother?”
“Well, she was admitted to my rehab unit – extremely addicted to S-Juice. The drug viciously attacked her DNA, and Dr. Haley and I attempted to repair it. Delilah was scheduled for euthanasia by law, but we wanted to save her. Plus, she was pregnant.” Dr. Hassam removed his hand from Tina’s shoulder and gently touched her face. “We wanted to save you, too. You were almost aborted at thirty-three weeks.”
“But… what you did… that’s illegal…” Tina said, disliking the instant feeling of vulnerability.
“Yes, Haley and I knew this, but saving lives is not illegal. This is our law.” Dr. Hassam continued, “Dr. Haley developed special machines called assemblers to salvage Delilah’s damaged DNA.”
Tina interrupted, “Illegal too, right?”
“Oh, yes,” said Dr. Hassam, “but very effective. You experienced the machines as well. We treated Delilah when she was pregnant, and after you were born, the process continued. Haley and I did not know if your DNA was completely normal due to your mother’s excessive and destructive drug use, so the assemblers reconfigured your DNA while you were an infant. The machines were highly successful; like I said before, the process granted you unnatural strength and inherited memories. Plus, you both are still alive.”
“Wait,” Tina was dumbfounded. “My mother is still alive? Why didn’t someone tell me?” Tina’s shock turned to rage and resentment. Why was she deprived of a normal life with her own family?
“Yes,” stated Dr. Hassam. “She’s in…”
The lab’s alarm system blared, and flashing red lights filled the room. Dr. Hassam pulled his MediPalm out of his Lab coat pocket and scanned it for pertinent information.
“Let’s get you to a safe place, Tina,” Dr. Hassam directed. He motioned her to the side door of the room.
“Wait! Where’s Delilah?” Tina demanded.
“Later… later… the cops are here! My executive order was a fake. Looks like they figured that out.” Dr. Hassam continued to rely on his MediPalm to track the intruders. He could not contact anyone.
“Damn!” Dr. Hassam yelled. His security apps were hacked, and all exits were sealed.
The side door was locked from the outside for Tina’s safety. But in this case, the safety measure was detrimental. Dr. Hassam attempted to open the side door with a code cracking app on his MediPalm, but it was too late. The main door opened, and Dr. Hassam screamed.
“No! Don’t touch her! She’s the secret to…”
Three police officers enter Tina’s room. Two officers stood in front of Clark; in seconds, they moved quickly to apprehend Tina. Standing alone, Clark raised his gun, fired, and shot Dr. Hassam. He dropped to the ground, wailing in pain. A pool of blood streamed from his left leg. Dr. Hassam dropped his MediPalm on the floor and clinched his wound.
Tina screamed, “No! Dr. Hassam! You bastards!”
The two officers dashed toward her. Tina punched the first in the face and groin; she followed with a severe blow to the officer’s right side. He plummeted to the floor, unconscious. When Tina pulled back to fight the second officer, she noticed small drops of blood at the end of her finger tips. She ignored it, wiped it on the side of her white gown, and stepped to the second cop. Clark watched in enjoyment.
The second officer pulled his gun. Without hesitation, Tina attacked him. She ducked under the cop’s gun, grabbed his arm, and ripped it off effortlessly. The officer howled in agony. Blood sprayed the room. Tina noticed her face and chin dripped with the officer’s blood. She quickly cleaned it off, and she scowled at Clark.
Dr. Hassam looked up from his wound; astonished, he gathered enough strength to alert the lab’s back up security. His MediPalm blinked green; he waited.
Emotionless and unaware of her superhuman strength, Tina tossed the officer’s severed arm to the floor and snagged his gun. She pointed it at Clark. Her fingertips continued to bleed.
“Drop it!” she dictated.
Two more officers appeared behind Clark; their weapons trained on Tina.
“No, Guillotina. You’re done, you freak!” Clark shouted as he pointed his gun at her.
“Clark! Stop this madness! We all work for City-State! Please try to help us!” Dr. Hassam pointed to The Seven Point Star on Clark’s uniform, and then his pointed to the Star on his lab coat.
Clark concentrated on Tina, but yelled across the room, “Shut up, Hassam! This is your fault! And where is Haley? He’s next! And by the way, you are under arrest for defying article 117 of the City-State code. You were supposed to put that thing to death!”
Tina knew “that thing” Clark referenced – it was her mother. Tina refused to let Clark find Delilah.
He paused and said to his team, “Now, kill her!”
Tina tackled Clark. The guns fired, knocking the newest officers and Clark fiercely to the ground. They were all weaponless. As they struggled to get up, Tina seized Clark, pulled him to the center of the room, pointed her gun at his head, and raised her weaponless arm.
“Tell them to stand down, or I will kill you right now!” Tina controlled the entire room.
“Stand down!” Clark shouted.
“Good.” Tina’s elevated arm morphed into a sharp, jagged, keen-edged sword. Taken aback by her new, destructive embellishment, but without hesitation, she stabbed Clark in the heart and promptly slashed his throat. “Wow. This is my best attribute.”
The remaining two officers did not stand a chance. Tina exterminated them within the same moment with her newly acquired weapon. Her white lab gown glistened red; her black hair mangled with the officers’ sweat and flesh.
Tina raced to Dr. Hassam. “Go! Get out of here! Disappear so no one can find you!” Her arm readjusted itself into its normal form.
“Yes, yes, I will. Here, take my MediPalm. It can locate your mother… and your father.”
One of Dr. Hassam’s lab assistants entered the room. Tina sneered. She instructed the assistant to escort Dr. Hassam to the emergency ward.
“I will be all right, dear. Caleb will take care of me. You can trust him.”
“Promise me that you will leave Layer Seven,” Tina demanded.
“Yes, I promise. Tell Delilah I said hello, promise?”
Tina softly touched Dr. Hassam’s hand. “I will see you later, okay?”
Dr. Hassam nodded. Caleb escorted him down the stairs to the emergency ward. Lab security entered the room and surveyed the bloody carnage and dead bodies that littered the floor.
Tina approached the lead security officer, showed him Dr. Hassam’s MediPalm, and nonchalantly said, “How do you work one of these things?”
To be continued…
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