Artemis awoke in a lab. Not really a lab, even. Empty steel counters lined the walls. The only furnishing was the bed he lay in. He tried to move, to sit up, but the hard metal bed instantly sprang octobonds around his legs and torso, holding him in place. Sighing, Artemis looked around the room, analyzing escape routes, if the chance came that he might be able to.
Everything was white. Aside from the bed and octobonds, and the countertops, all the drawers and cupboards were white. The walls were white, and everything was completely clean. There was an antiseptic smell in the air.
He scanned the walls for a door, but saw nothing. He looked around the rest of the room, passed over a section, but his eyes flickered back after a second. There! The tiniest of cracks marked the door. There was no doorknob. It was an advantage to him, at least. Anyone who came in here would have to leave the door open.
Just then, Artemis heard footsteps. His heart beat faster as he prepped himself to possible, but not very probable escape. As the footsteps came closer, he realized it was two pairs; hooves and shoes, like a girl’s ballet flats.
Hoping that maybe it was Foaly and maybe Minerva coming to rescue him, he craned his neck towards the barely-there door. The door opened. It was Foaly.
Artemis silently rejoiced that his friend had come to help him, but then he saw the woman. She had a cold glint in her dark brown eyes. One hand was held behind her back. Artemis, who always had the answers, was dumbfounded. What was going on here? Who was this woman, and why did she look so evil? And why was Foaly with someone who looked evil?For someone who wore a tin foil hat to ward off brain probing, he sure wasn’t very careful about gauging how good someone was.
The woman took a few steps closer, but Artemis still didn’t recognize her. She reached his prison bedside, and grinned, not at all nicely.
Artemis groaned inwardly. Why him? “Foaly? What’s going on? What is she going to do to me?” he intoned to his friend. Then, he realized that Foaly had the same cold glint in his eyes. He didn’t care. He wanted this to happen to Artemis.
When Artemis looked back at the woman in the lab coat, she was holding a syringe. With an extremely long needle. Artemis’s eyes widened in panic. That was obviously not just a regular old tetanus shot. He struggled against the octobonds, trying to get away from the chemical in the syringe, but the octobonds only squeezed him tighter.
Once again, he looked to Foaly for help, but he was too engrossed in making sure the needle went directly into the vein of his wrist. Artemis could do nothing but watch. He winced as it entered his skin, and then the vein. The chemical slowly did it’s death work. Reaching the heart, it was distributed all over his body, paralyzing him.
In a state of half conciousness, Artemis heard Foaly and the woman leave the room. He fell asleep eventually, still not able to move. The sleep was patchy, and once when he awoke, he was slightly aware of glass of juice on the table beside the bed. The octobonds had released him, but he was still unable to move. He fell back asleep.
A while later, he didn’t know how long, Artemis woke up. He moved his fingers, and found that he could move them. He lifted his arms, not believing that the strange woman hadn’t seduced him again. Thoughts of the woman brought back the cold glint in Foaly’s eye, making sure that Artemis recieved his torture. This brought a rush of anger, need to kill, or at least injure.
Remembering the octobonds from whenever he was last fully awake, he sat up ever so cautiously. He found he could sit up to his hips. Three octobonds held down his lower half, one for his upper thighs, and one for each ankle.
He nodded to himself. It was a start. He looked at the small metal night-table. The glass of juice still stood on it. He reached over and picked it up. Sniffing to make sure there was nothing besides apple juice in it, he tentatively took a sip. When nothing happened, he took another. And another. And another.
In a few seconds, Artemis had drained the glass, but was still infinitely thirsty. What is wrong with me? he thought. I hardly eat or drink anything. Why am I so hungry and thirsty?
Just then, the chemical from the juice that was designed to smell like apples kicked in. He found all of his body parts moving at once, his legs struggling in the octobonds. Artemis felt a slight breeze on the back of his neck, and looked behind him, expecting a fan. What he saw blew his mind. Right on his own back, was a pair of wings. Real ones, not just mechanical ones, but actual, feathered wings.
In the following moments, Artemis went through shock, understanding, pain of mind that he would probably have to have these for the rest of his life, and joy that he might be able to truly fly. Not neccessarily in that order.
As he was marveling at this…unexpected surprise, Foaly came in.
“Happy now, mud boy?”
Artemis looked up. He hadn’t heard any hooves. Then, registering what Foaly had said, he answered, confused, “Happy about what?” Then, getting angry, he went on. “I’m in a dang lab, strapped to a table like a lab rat, with wings on my back! You think I’m happy about anything?! This is ridiculous! What have you done? Making me a loner, now! I’m going to have to live the rest of my life, different! No one will look at me the same way, not if they know about these things!” He stopped ranting, and glared at Foaly. After a few moments of stunned silence from Foaly, Artemis started again, calmer.
“What have you done, Foaly?” he asked, tone softening. “We were friends, and now you’ve taken control of me and put wings on me. What happened to you?” His tones were so hushed, that Foaly barely heard.
Artemis felt a prickling at the backs of his eyeballs. Oh, no. Please, no. Don’t let me cry, he thought, blinking.
“You traitor,” he said, whispering, voice partly choked,but perfectly calm. “Because of you, I will never be able to trust anyone again. Not Butler, not my parents or siblings, not even Holly. Because of you, I probably will be an outcast, wandering, looking for someone who can accept a boy with wings. Because of you, the fairies are going to have a hard time if I get out of this.”
As Artemis spoke, his voice hardened, and he felt the words locking in stone. He still couldn’t believe that Foaly, his friend, had betrayed him. Just like Artemis was a dead skin cell waiting to be shaken off by a clap. A book losing its binding being thrown away. A gulp of mouthwash. It was that easy. He had turned into a monster, a troll. A backstabbing troll with brains. Not a good combination, Artemis thought, bitterly.
As he let his anger filled, yet calm message sink into Foaly’s huge head, he thought he saw a slight twinge of hurt behind the scowl the centaur wore. Like he hadn’t chosen this. Like he was forced, but couldn’t tell. It was gone just as quickly as it came, though.
Moments of angry silence waged war in the empty lab, neither side willing to give up the fight. Finally, Foaly snapped around and clunked his hooves over to the door. Before he exited, he turned.
“Just once, mud boy, did you ever think that you were a threat? Not just to the people, but to everything. Because of you I have been reduced to this backstabbing jerk. You have brought this all on yourself. And on everyone else.” He turned, and snorted a very horse-like snort, then slammed the door.
Artemis lay down after he had gone thought of what Foaly had said, about him being a threat. Him bringing this, abnormality onto himself. As he was contemplating the high probability that he actually did cause this, a voice popped into his head.
Lies, Artemis. He lies.
Startled, Artemis jerked his eyes open. He looked around the room. No one was there. He had a strange feeling of foreboding, but it came from his head.
*sorry to interrupt, but this would be after the Complex*
Was it Orion? Could he talk in Artemis’s head now?
Even as he thought this, he knew it wasn’t correct. He realized the voice sounded neither male nor female, young or old. It was just….there.
Still trying to find the scientific answer, he decided to see if he could ask it question.
What do you mean? he asked in his head. The newfound Voice was silent. Okay, then.
Artemis was so busy listening to his thoughts, that he hardly heard the tap at the door. He snapped out of his trance, and said, “Come in.”
The door opened, and a shortish man in scrubs walked in, pushing a cart with food on it. Artemis sat up, and when the man pushed the cart close to the bed, he sat up, and practically inhaled six whole strawberries. And a bowl of cereal. And another glass of juice. And two eggs.
Once he had consumed roughly 3700 calories, he felt much better. If having wings made him this hungry, he would need at least five of those carts of food a day.
Feeling somewhat refreshed, Artemis fell asleep, even though the clock on the wall said it was 10:30am. He didn’t wake for several hours…..
Sorry, I lied. I said I would put a Maximum Ride description in here. Let me make it clearer:It will be in the next one involving the Flock.(Maximum Ride) Kk, well, please R&R!