Slightly shorter chapter! Not by much, though. Also! Name change.
Fair disclaimer: I've seen the entirety of ST season 2, but I've still only seen the first 2 episodes of the first season. I know the general synopsis, but I don't know the details of how it plays out. I'm trying to get around to finishing it ASAP so I have an even better understanding of the ST universe, but I already have so much on my plate.
Unbeta'd. If I forgot to add a word or fix a typo, kindly let me know.
Content warnings: Again, nothing much. This chapter might even be more tame than the previous chapter.
Hope you enjoy!
Laura didn't know right away. She didn't know when she first saw her friends stop dead in their tracks, becoming completely still all but for breathing and blinking. She didn't know when the doors slid shut with what seemed like all on their own. No, Laura knew when she turned around to see the woman with her arm stretched forward, an open palm reaching for the gateway, but her body remaining planted where she stood.
Laura wanted to believe it, she did believe it, but again the issue of getting her hopes up in such a cruel, abusive world reared it's head. Laura didn't want to simply trust that this woman was a mutant, she wanted to know that she was.
The ultimate fate of Homo Superior was more important to Laura than she often let show. She didn't just care about her friends because they were, well, her friends, but she did have great concern for her species as a whole. How couldn't she? Her creation, her upbringing, her training, her entire existence was proof that mankind hated mutantkind. The comics that Laura read only proved that furthermore, if they really were accurate to the events of the real world in a time before she was born.
And now here she was; face-to-face with (what was likely) a mutant in which she had never met before. She thought that Charles and her father were the only two mutants left that hadn't been created as lab experiments. Laura should be thrilled. She was trying to be, but just because the woman appeared to possess telekinesis, it didn't necessarily mean she was a mutant.
"Laura," The woman finally began, after a half-minute stare down between herself and the feral child, "Please sit down." Her arm lowered, slowly.
The feral child contemplated. She took another look at the doors and then remembered her claws. Certainly no one had enough adamantium on them to create doors out of it. Even Tranisgen hardly had the sufficient amount to create Laura's bindings for when she misbehaved.
Laura, scornfully, returned to her seat. As she did so, the woman reached and felt the area between her nostril and upper lip. This confused Laura, as there was nothing there. Then, the stranger joined her in sitting.
"I didn't think I would have to do that so soon." She told Laura, smiling, making an effort to lighten the mood. "You don't want to tell me what happened to you, Laura. Is that right?"
"Fine, then you don't have to. I just need you to tell how you were separated from you friends." The woman explained, "And how you found them. You don't have to give me the details."
Another stare down occurred. This time Laura counted to sixty before she finally gave the woman what she wanted.
"Una enfermera, Gabriella, ayu-"
"English please, Laura."
Laura reached for her sunglasses and removed them, keeping them in her lap rather than the table. Finally, their eyes truly met. Laura had already discovered the secret behind this newcomer, so she wasn't so afraid of her anymore. She was comfortable taking off what she now considered some kind of armor.
"A nurse named Gabriella helped me escape. She said that she couldn't help me on her own, so she tracked down my father." Laura recounted, not daring to break eye contact with the woman she now dubbed 'Eleven' inside her head. If only she knew.
"What is your relation to Gabriella, and what is her relation to Transigen?"
"You said that I only have to tell you how I was separated from my friends, and how I found them." Laura countered, leaning forward for emphasis.
"I did. I apologize." She said. "Continue."
"With my father and the professor's help, I found my friends again."
Eleven opened her mouth, and only a quick breath escaped before she stopped herself. She was about to ask another question that would refute her earlier statement, and managed to play it off as nothing before Laura could notice. Eleven wasn't quite sure how much patience the girl had left.
"I have to ask you one last question, Laura." She then claimed. "I don't mean to threaten you, but if you truly care about the safety of your friends and yourself, then you will answer me." She paused, before adding, "Truthfully."
" . . . Okay." Laura agreed. She took her sunglasses and set them on the table, parallel to Eleven's own pair.
"All of the bad men. The bad men who made you, hurt you, chased you . . . they're all gone now, correct?"
"Dead. Dead and gone."
Laura didn't want to, but she looked down at her hands. She peeled the dried blood on her knuckles off like chipping paint. The deep red flakes fell onto the pure white floor. One for each life she had taken in the dozen or so days passed. Or, at least the ones she had the focus to keep track of.
" . . . Sí. Yes."
But that wasn't good enough for Eleven. She felt the uncertainty.
"You don't know." She concluded.
" . . . I'm not sure. No . . . " Laura tried to remember. Rice and Pierce were dead, of that she was certain, and plenty of their forces had been mowed down as well, but it was highly possible that there were some survivors. "The doctor is dead." Laura told Eleven, hoping that would be enough.
"What about Donald Pierce?"
"Okay, then." She spoke, softly. She took her sunglasses and hooked them onto the collar of her dress. "You will not be staying here."
Laura was affronted by the statement. Before letting Eleven continue, the girl growled, slammed her fists on the table, and began to protest.
"¡¿Por qué?! ¡Mis amigos y yo-"
"Because," Eleven interrupted, speaking over Laura, "This is not Eden."
And that only crushed Laura. It made her go silent, like Eleven was hoping it would, but it also caused her to slump back in her seat. Saltwater glazed over her despairing eyes and her mouth was stuck in an open frown. Her fingers twitched against the white-painted wood.
Eleven felt her own heart drop at the sight. She knew that lonesome, frustrated feeling all too well.
"It really isn't real?" Laura croaked. She couldn't look at Eleven; she felt too hopeless. If this was not Eden, then it likely meant that this was all just a trap to bring them back to Transigen. Perhaps Eden was tangible at some point in time, but—as they always did to everything they touch—Transigen had already destroyed it and was now using it as a ploy. And now with those possibilities racing through Laura's head, the rage came forth.
Eleven was about to tell Laura, but before she could, claws unsheathed in the blink of an eye. She glared at the older woman and bared her teeth.
"Laura!" Eleven scolded, "There is an Eden! But it's not here!"
'Why didn't you just say that first?' Laura questioned, but kept it internal. She put her claws away.
"We'll take you there." Eleven promised, "All of you will stay here tonight. Whatever wounds you have will be tended to, you will be fed, and you will rest soundly. In actual beds. How does that sound?"
"Good." Laura answered.
"Good." Eleven echoed. "And Laura?"
"You can call me Jane."
The floor beneath them housed many beds, each with their own individual room. There were more resting places than there were children, even. They weren't exactly homely, they felt like refurbished cages (again, much like the rooms the children were given down in Mexico). But most of the kids could tell there was an attempt to make them somewhat comfortable.
There were actual beds rather than cots and mattresses without posts and the rooms were kept warm. Before this, the children often went to bed shivering from the cold. They were small differences to everyone else, but to the mutant youths, it meant the whole world.
Before bedtime, most of them were taken care of in the infirmary on the floor above the interrogation room. Julio had his arm put in a cast and a proper sling, rather than one crafted from bandages by a bunch of twelve-year-olds. Wounds were disinfected and stitched up. Antibiotics and painkillers were given out to whoever needed them. Luckily none of the children had illnesses that would have required they stay there for any longer than the night. They were bathed—most of them could do it themselves, some even showered, rather. The only thing this mysterious place lacked was fresh, clean clothes, but it hardly mattered compared to everything else the children had been given.
There were doctors and nurses working at this place, under Eleven's bidding. Medicine and countless other medical supplies. A plumbing system. A cafeteria that could feed every single starving child. As Laura was scarfing down her meal, she couldn't help but ponder how Eleven—Jane—had all of this in what she first thought was a barren structure, untouched for years. She wondered how powerful this woman was beyond her telekinesis.
Laura hadn't seen Jane for the rest of the night after their initial meeting. She had called Julio back into the room once more for whatever reason, and then the guards took the children to be tended to. Jane didn't give time to any of the other children.
"What did she ask you?" Laura asked Julio as the two were being escorted to their rooms. They requested to be next to each other.
"I can't say. She told me not to." Julio explained.
"Do you trust her?"
"Do you?" Julio countered.
"Shhh . . . " Laura hushed him, in case the guard in front of them could hear and recall their conversation back to Jane.
"You're turning into the more responsible one?"
"Because I don't trust her . . . " Laura murmured. She tilted her head in the direction of the guard so Julio would take a hint. Julio nodded.
Their conversation ended at that. Laura didn't bother asking Julio why he did trust Jane. The reason was likely something he couldn't reveal.
Early morning. 5:00 A.M., on the dot. Eight hours of sleep for all of the young mutants. Each of the children were individually awoken by nurses. A part of Laura never wanted to open her eyes. Maybe because she hadn't slept in three days. Maybe not.
The children were all called into a lobby area of the floor where the resting areas were also located. Finally, Jane revealed herself to all of them. She explained that they would be leaving for the true Eden within the hour.
"What about breakfast?" Bobby had the gall to ask before Jane stepped out once again.
"You want breakfast?" Responded Jane. Bobby nodded. And then other children began to join him until all of them were nodding; even Laura.
"We all do." Bobby answered.
She called them Eggos. Technically, they were something called waffles, but they were manufactured waffles. They weren't homemade, they were a brand, but she insisted that these were better.
They were fluffy, golden, circles, indented with checkerboard patterns and were cooked in toasters. Each child was given a two of them stacked atop each other. The cafeteria workers cut them into four slices and drizzled some ember-colored sauce called 'syrup' on top of them, and a chunk of something dubbed 'butter'. It wasn't healthy at all, but it tasted good. It was the best thing any of the children had tasted in their lives; including Laura, though she didn't want to admit it. The food that they gave them at Transigen was nutritious, but horribly bland.
Every child devoured their breakfast as if their life depended on it, partially because of how good it tasted, and because they were on a schedule.
Once all of their plates were empty and their bellies were full, the kids were rounded up and guided by the guards from the previous day to the ground floor of the building. Rather than returning to the front of the building where they had first arrived, they were taken to the back.
In the parking lot waiting for them was a truck that reminded Laura of the one the Munson's had when she, Logan, and Charles had first met them. The children were loaded onto the empty trailer of the truck. To their surprise, Jane joined them, rather than sitting up front in the tractor with the driver. It could have been because she was (likely) a mutant herself, or maybe it was to provide some kind of protection of the children from that angle. One of the two guards, now dressed in civilian wear, served as the driver. Only Laura knew that amongst her friends, though, because she knew his scent.
Jane sat next to Laura. Laura wasn't pleased with such a motion, but she dealt with it. Once the vehicle finally began moving, Laura found it in her to speak up to Jane.
"If Eden isn't here . . . then where is it?" She asked, lowly.
Jane glanced at Laura, then went back to staring at the opposite wall of the trailer.
"Indiana." Jane answered.
Feedback is appreciated, but I'm not really looking for concrit. Thank you for reading!
Word count: 2,234.