I sat on my recently sterilized bed, waiting for the security warden to make his last rounds, finally the slot opens on my cell door and he spoke quietly, "Eat your dinner, starving yourself will not do anyone any favors, especially not for me." I saw in my mind how it was that he smiled in a odd way and gave me a calculating once over, but I wasn’t in a giving or polite mood. To anyone else he might be a handsome man, but to me he was a personification of my imprisonment. “Of course,” I thought, “Can’t have me keeling over can you? That would be such a loss.” The warden averted his eyes to the floor, hearing in his mind the words I projected into his conscious. He closed the slot, and went on to the next room, to check on the other “patient” beside of me.
Martha and I had become friends through a reinforced steel wall, I had never laid eyes on her, but we and a few others in this cell block could speak to each other through mind link telepathy; we had easier conversations when the facility was locked down for the night. I picked gingerly at the food on my tray, I hated the bland, tasteless meals they fed us, it was essentially prison grub, but it was food. Despite my reluctance to eat what was assuredly drugged food, I ate it anyways. The warden was right, me starving myself wouldn’t do me any good, especially if I wanted to escape this loony bin of a research facility.
How did I come to be in here you ask? Well you see, I am literally a endangered type of human being, one of the few Mind Benders left on this desolate and ravaged world we now call Earth. What are Mind Benders you ask? Mind Benders are what the Old Earth used to call Mediums, Psychics, Empaths, and similarly gifted people, and when medical science finally figured out that those types of gifts actually were real and we really did exist in certain sections of human populations, they were quick to start rounding us up like cattle for “scientific testing and research.”
During the year of 2045, I was 10 when the Great Plague was unleashed on the world; humanity has since became nearly extinct, thanks to a military biological warfare experiment gone horribly wrong. It was now January 2055, and only pockets of humans still survived now, and many of us Mind Benders have died out during the plague. Seeing as the families of Mind Benders known to have such gifts were already far and few between, and whole families were decimated by the Great Plague, the precious few of us Mind Benders that were found to still exist, were routinely captured and placed in a maximum security holding facility, for supposed observation and research tests.
These “tests” include drug induced sleep studies, heavily sedated physical exams, intense rounds of brainwave testing, and a few other horridly graphic things I refuse to mention, because quite honestly it is just not something I want to remember or think about. Thinking about some of those things made me physically sick and I wasn’t too keen on losing my only meal for the night.
Martha and I were the same age, and we had been in this madhouse for 10 years now, but after tonight we would be free. Down the hall, my hypersensitive ears picked up a faint maniacal giggling sound, that poor man down the opposite hall had been giggling like a lunatic for hours now, whatever Dr. Frankenstein had recently done to him, it had nearly broken him, and sent him into a abyss of which he maybe would not heal from, and now all he done for two days was giggle in a very disturbing way, and then start shrieking in terror. He didn’t know this yet, but the last dose of “medicine” he was about to receive at dawn would be his last. From what I had picked from the minds of gossiping researchers, if we proved to be unfit for research purposes, we were euthanized like stray animals, and our bodies incinerated.
I was so far one of the luckier ones, because I had what the researchers called “exceptional abilities” seeing as thus far I had not cracked in my mind, nor broke down physically from the rounds of sick torture that they called “research and observation. ” Martha was also like me, which was why we, and the others similar to us, were housed in the same cell block. The researchers knew some of us could telepathically communicate, and they were madly busy observing that phenomena, trying to unravel the complex brain structure required to use said ability.
We were being primed and honed to use as a weapon against our own species, the rest of humanity were told that we were being studied as a potential miracle cure for the plague that still ravaged our world. The lie that was told to the masses, was that they were working to develop a medication to combat the plague that was still rampant in certain populations, using the few test subjects that had thus far been proven to be immune to the virus. In fact, what they were really doing was planning to use us for was specially enhanced mercenaries, in exchange for our freedom, we were to be sent back out into the world, as biologically engineered disposal units.
Our supposed mission was to completely eradicate and destroy the sick and dying masses, in a twisted and warped version of the Bible’s Revelations. Me and my friend next door had a plan made for when lock down time came, as we, and the rest of this block, were getting the hell out of Dodge. I spat the tiny pill out that I found hidden in the hamburger flavored tofu patty, these scientist were idiots, we weren’t children anymore—you couldn't hide things in food, we would find it.
No sedative for me tonight, but I could definitely fake being doped up, shutting down my nervous system to mimic a sedated state wasn’t hard. “Hey check your tofu patties, and eat carefully tonight, I just found a sedative pill in mine.” I sent a telepathic broadcast over to my cell block mates, I heard a chorus of “OK’s” from the ones that had the same abilities as myself.
I felt bad for the ones that maybe did not get the message, but I couldn’t help them all. I heard more giggling down the hall, that peaked into a guttural screeching sound from Mr. Broken Mind, I hoped that his end would come soon, in a morbid way it would end up being a blessing. He did not deserve the suffering he was currently dealing with. I knew it wasn't my place to think of such things, but I willed that God and Goddess would have mercy on him, and ease his misery, even if permanently.
I chewed slowly and carefully through the rest of my disgusting food, being totally blind sometimes had it’s disadvantages, so I had to use the other normal human senses, plus the extra abilities I had, to sense and navigate the world around me. The scientists and researchers, noticed that most of us had some sort of disability, and they noted that the disability seemed to correlate to whatever strongest extrasensory ability we had.
My other functioning normal senses were exceptionally acute, and my extrasensory abilities included being telepathic and telekinetic. I was also very empathetic, and clairvoyant, meaning that whatever I saw in my mind, heard, touched, smelt, or tasted was amplified tenfold. This worked both ways as I could both project and receive thoughts, emotions, and brainwave patterns. I also had very prophetic dreams and preemptive abilities. Since my eyes were blind, that did not mean I could not “see” in other ways.
I was always prepared daily for the things I went through in this research facility, I usually saw them coming, and could pick up on what the “specialists” were thinking and planning long before they made it to our cell block. I warned as many as I could about what was going to happen for that day’s rounds of sensory and physical battery, so we were at least marginally prepared. Soon that would come to an end, we would no longer be their tortured lab rats, we would have our vengeance and their end times had finally come.
They wanted us to be mercenaries, but that didn’t mean that they were not included in the human genocide they had planned. I laid down on my crisply starched bed, feigning a drugged stupor, and waited for the warden to come back through, to take our food trays, and call for lights out, silently I called out to the others, ”We begin at moon rise, they are just leaving the security staff, and a couple of doctors here because it is the weekend.”
What bolstered my determination to escape was knowing that there would be a full moon tonight, and our powers are at their strongest during this time. We could combine our strengths as one unit, and finally ensure a successful break out and escape. There was also the fact that I had been recently been impregnated. I am around 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
This was the mortifying result of yet more “tests” designed to see if the gifts we possess are able to be recreated in a controlled environment, and our bodies and minds manipulated to see what would result. From what I understood from others in our cell block, some of the other girls were also expecting, and the co creator of these mad experiments was forced at gunpoint to become a stud service.
Perhaps it may have been detached or cruel, but I did not yet feel any bond or attachment to this child I am carrying. I was not a willing participant in its conception, it is not a child conceived of love, or out of any normal human interaction, but of a disturbing procedure that I was never willingly or even consciously a participant in.
I remember that day, weeks ago, waking up after being in a medically induced coma, being held in a observatory cell for a week, while extensive blood work and tests were done, and I was then suddenly prescribed a diet change and a range of specifically timed doses of medications and supplements that were similar in formulation to what a body builder would need. I had a keen idea of whose seed was used to help create my child in a test tube, and I strongly felt it had been the very same man that is the warden that patrols my cell block.
The idea that the other girls were also in my predicament, from the same people responsible, was nauseating. What if I held at the baby after it arrived, and I sensed something in the child that reminded me too strongly of all of the tests and procedures performed on me? Could I raise this child that was such a cruel reminder of the here and now? Perhaps as time went by, I might be able to form the motherly attachment that so many mothers get the joy of experiencing, and I was all but begging The Powers That Be to make this child look exactly like me, even if I never got to lay clear seeing eyes on it.
I heard the Warden’s boots echoing back down towards my doorway; he was taking up our food trays, and doing one last check to ensure we are in fact in our beds with all lights turned off. I hear my door slot open, the tray being picked up, and then what sounded like something crinkle and hit the floor. His boots went clunking further down the hall, I waited until he was gone, and began padding silently towards the doorway, I felt about until I found it, as I suspected it was a piece of paper, what shocked me was that it had Braille characters printed on it; who would deliver a message especially to me?
I hurriedly got back into my bed, unfolding and smoothing out the curious paper as best as I could, and start running my fingers across it. It read “ At eleven P.M. go down the South Wing of the complex, go through the side gate, it will be unlocked, I am the only warden there tonight. Take yourselves and my children to Eden Garden, you will be safe from them there. The son you carry, name him Adam, after me, he will be the first child born unto a New Earth. ”
Tears welled of a thousand emotions flowed from me, Eden Garden was originally where my family had came from. It was once a beautiful and thriving place. What and who was still there I did not know, but this man knew something about the place now, that he would have told me to take myself and my fellow cellmates there, and he had done so for the sake of what was admittedly his children. Perhaps in this hellish pit, there was one person that had few shreds of redeeming qualities and a ounce of morals.
I whispered a mind link message to my cell mates, “By grace and power of God and Goddess, we have been given the way to be free, at eleven we are to go to the south gate, where a unlikely savior awaits us.” Gasps were heard ricocheting in my mind, and a few fervent prayers to the Powers for many thanks. This bolstered our determination and spirits a thousand fold, at the very least, a handful of us would taste freedom at last. I heard the wailing from Mr. Broken Mind start up again, and a pang of sorrow hit me, I wondered if just maybe he was lucid enough to take with us, maybe in Eden Village there was a healer that could try to help him?
I laid there, counting the minutes, at precisely ten thirty, I heard the metallic click of the door to my cell unlocking. The doors were remote controlled from the outside, and I felt a presence slip inside the door and Martha whispered, “Hurry, let's go!” I jumped from the bed, and slid out of my door, Martha, quietly said, “Shh, take my hand, and keep up.” I did as she asked, and soon the other eleven of us that I knew were the ones with the same abilities as me and Martha, were creeping silently down the hall.
The door to Mr. Broken Mind’s cell was also opened, and he lay curled in a corner whimpering. I heard someone grunt, as he was hoisted off the floor, and he was gently told to be quiet and that he was safe now. I heard more sniffling, and felt a sense of fear and hope mixed with a familiar feeling of fuzziness, for the moment he was sedated, and getting him out of here would not be such a challenge. I hoped that us saving him was going to really help him, and we could find someone to heal him.
Creeping down the hallway of the South Wing was surely the longest trip of my young life, I held Martha’s hand, and listened acutely to everything that the others were telepathically telling me, the entire observatory was closed down for the night, and so weren’t the testing facilities. There was only the South wing and guard tower that was being guarded and had the most lights on.
The other three sections of the observatory seemed to be almost too quiet, and then I heard a gasp come from Martha’s mouth, “What is it?” I asked. horror and nausea were coming at me in waves from the others, as I heard, "The beds and rooms are empty, all of them…” This could only mean one thing that we few that were in the southern cell block, just might be the only ones left alive, it was a heavy thought to process, and suddenly the reasoning behind our warden’s traitorous bid to release us all was a lot more clearer.
I heard a beeping sound, a door slid open and and I felt a warm rush of air, we were finally outside, and the smell and feel of real air and a normal temperature was a momentary shock. Nearby, we heard a huge popping sound, alarms were shrilling wildly, and then a rumbling explosion rattled the floor, that came from the Northern wing of the facility. That was where the testing facility was located. Our torture rooms would be no more, they were now surely on fire, and being blown to shrapnel.
I heard the sound of Warden’s voice suddenly behind me, he spoke low and hurriedly, “Martha, ensure that Eve reaches Eden Garden unharmed and that the others receive sanctuary and the help they need. I sent word ahead of your arrival.” I had questions buzzing in my head, who did he know there that would help us? I felt a warm hand cup my face, as he said “Soon I will see you all again, and I hope it is under much different circumstances.” I could only nod, not trusting my voice to betray my emotions.
We walked for what seemed like hours, the Warden had given one of our group a pack laden with basic supplies, and a phone with the directions mapped out to get us safely to Eden Garden. Mr. Broken Mind, whose name we discovered was Joseph, had perked up considerably, as his sedative had worn off. He was more interactive and able to communicate better after he realized that he was no longer in his cell, and he was able to understand that we were really free and we were not going back.
We learned that Joseph was deaf, but he could use sign language and project conversation with telepathy. What had caused his shrieking and giggling was a extreme session of “therapy” in a attempt to cure his deafness, and it had drove him to a near psychotic meltdown. Aside from that he was actually ok, and with time he would heal inside and out. That was a huge relief to me, for I had thought he was permanently damaged and would never be normal again.
We hid in an abandoned small hotel complex for a bit, and dug out some food rations. It was not the greatest fare, but we managed, when you were hungry, even bland grub was better than nothing. Also inside the pack were meticulously folded sets of clean clothes, and amazingly the Warden had found some for all of thirteen of us and in our sizes.
One of our group chanced flicking a light switch and we were all amazed and very relieved to find the motel had at least basic functioning electricity. We also discovered that there was hot water in the taps, and Martha led me excitedly into a bathroom, and quickly stripped us both and hauled me and herself into a steaming shower. Some would have found this uncomfortable, but when you have known someone as long as we have each other, things like a shared shower were not so unusual, and considering where we came from, group showers were the norm.
After hurriedly washing , Martha dressed herself, and then came to help me into leggings and a long tunic. Real clothes were like a long awaited blessing, and the feel of the soft fabric on my skin was heavenly after 10 years of wearing a stiffly starched scrub suit and scuff shoes.
I could dress myself, but I allowed Martha to do what she felt was her place to do, and I didn't argue or protest. I didn’t yet have a baby bump, but soon I would be showing. If the calendar was right and I had kept track of the gestation weeks, I was approaching the second trimester. Adam would be born sometime in the summer months. I laid a hand on my still flat belly, and felt a tiny flutter of hope, just maybe we would really be ok, and I could embrace and welcome this new life.
Myself and the twelve other refugees, decided that the abandoned restaurant would be suitable for the night, we were exhausted, and the expecting mothers, like myself, needed rest. Hard traveling under stressful conditions was not safe for any of us right then. Someone had managed to find linens in a storage closet, they were old, and had a musty scent from being stored so long, but they would suffice for one night.
I learned that this “abandoned” motel was more like a traveler's pit stop area, and somehow the place had managed to still have basic power, despite being in a plague ravaged slum. In the wake of death and destruction, the place had been left be, and the few wayward souls that came this way, had at least maintained the basics, so others could have respite as well. I felt like there was more likely someone, that came here periodically, to check that everything was still running.
Martha and I, along with the others, laid down our makeshift pallets, not trusting the old and dusty beds that were strewn about, who knew what vermin maybe crawling in them, and called it a night. We were fed, clean, and clothed, for now that was more than enough to be glad for. We all silently gave thanks to God and Goddess, and each laid down, dawn would come too soon, and we had many miles of walking ahead of us.
As I slept, visions of fields of flowers, fruit orchards, and laughing children filled my sleeping conscious. Scenery changed, and I saw myself, clad in robes of lavender and silver, I was older, and there was a girl beside me that was my mirror image, and a young man, that rivaled the Gods themselves in vigor and fine features. This scene melted into a candlelit room, with a marble and gilded fountain, there were beautiful koi swimming gracefully inside the pool, the room was full of robed students, reciting prayers and inscribing arcane words and symbols of power onto fine paper. I felt at peace, content, and whole inside.
It was approaching daylight, and we had walked for miles, along back roads, woodland trails, and abandoned streets, when suddenly I heard a shout go up in the distance, and a vehicle came roaring toward us. Martha’s hand tightened on mine, and she said “I think we are here, I see a huge wall surrounded by security towers and there are heavily armed guards approaching us.” The leader of our small band, said “We come from the Gene Tech Research Compound, a man named Adam sent us, he said word was already on it’s way of our arrival, and we have a woman with us named Eve and her companion Martha, that need help immediately.”
Suddenly Martha led me by my elbow to the front of the group, where a man reached and took my jaw and tilted my face up, he said in surprise, "You are the girl that the Priestess has mentioned, please come with us.”
I was now extremely uncertain, who was this Priestess, and where was I going? Martha was still holding my hand, and she firmly walked beside me, and projected words of comfort to me, this eased my discomfort somewhat, as I was led by the guard through several walkways where I heard much hustle and bustle of people, this place teemed with a lively energy, and the air was alive with a pulsing energy of many people, people just like us.
We were escorted behind a heavy set of doors, down a flight of stone steps, to a room where I heard what sounded like a waterfall bubbling and I could smell luxurious incense burning in the censer above my head. There was a deep sense of serenity, and I heard many hushed tones of conversations all around me, I recognized the sounds of the murmured words, they were chanted prayers in a language I had not heard for many years.
An overwhelming sense of familiarity hit me like a tidal wave. A distant memory clicked, this was the Oracle Temple, I knew this room, this was the room that my mother was once a healer and a diviner of fates. I had spent part of my childhood learning what she knew, before the Plague had hit and I was ripped away from her, and placed in the facility.
A gleeful shout reached my ears, and I heard the women’s voices bursting into sobs of relief, “Praise Goddess, Praise God, she is spared and returned to us!” I was suddenly pulled away from Martha by a woman whose voice sounded older but familiar, who said, "My child, I have prayed and dreamed for this day to pass, to see your face again.” I burst into tears and sobbed into her arms, my mother was alive, and I was finally home again.
Months after my escape, and I returned to Eden Village, I learned that in the time that I was gone, my mother had been made High Priestess of the Oracle Temple. She was now head healer and prophetess to what was now a thriving community of Mind Benders that were rescued and saved from other facilities.
Eden Garden had been renamed into New Eden, and had become a place of sanctuary and healing for those who lost their families from the Great Plague, and were seeking further training for their abilities. Many here were survivors of the Great Plague, or were recent escapees like us, sent in by Adam the Warden. He had been sneaking them out for years, saving them from the death that awaited them at the hands of Dr. Frankenstein and his scientists.
Adam and I had formed a slowly blossoming relationship, over the son that science had created. Love sometimes sprang up as a beautiful flower in a field of thorns. Martha was still my best friend, and we did everything and went everywhere together. She was heartily welcomed into the Oracle Temple as a student, as her family was also long gone. I also learned that the birth of my son, Adam, was a herald to a prophesy foretold by my mother, who spoke, “As dawn lights the world, Adam and Eve will return to Eden, and a New Earth will rise from the ash of Darkness.”
For indeed a New Earth had risen from the ash, all across the world, we learned that research facilities like Gene Tech were being closed down and destroyed, and the surviving inhabitants were being released, and were given aide to readjust to returning to society. This started to happen right when Adam was born.
While I never got to see his face with my own eyes, I was told he was remarkably beautiful, with ink black hair and sparkling green eyes, in my mind, I envisioned a genetically perfected image of myself and his biological donor. He was not blind, in fact he was very developmentally advanced, which I attributed partially to the fact that he was scientifically created in a lab.
Adam had the same gifts as me, which were astonishingly displayed at the tender age of six months old, he would pat my face and gurgle, and I was flooded with his projection filled with purest love that only a innocent child could give. The other children that were born consecutively after him, with Martha and myself having given birth on the same day, also displayed remarkably enhanced gifts at early ages. My mother said it was destined to be, despite how the beginning had come about. In all, ten children had been born from seven mothers, with three of the births being twins.
Adam the Warden, as he was now affectionately known, had struggled with the knowledge that he was the sire to ten artificially sired children, and how it was that he had been forced into becoming responsible for their being created. He poured herculean effort, into trying to form some sense of a bond with all of them, while working towards a path of redemption and atonement. He did not force himself on the women, or his children, he chose to allow them to come to him as they chose. He had taken up the duty of being the chief guard of New Eden. His sharp eyes scanning the horizons, ensuring that no harm came to any of us. He had avowed to spend his life protecting us, as atonement for his past.
The thirteen of us that had escaped Gene Tech had formed a unbreakable bond, forged out of the need to survive, and now it endured, built even more upon, as children were born, lives were reconstructed, and a sense of duty and purpose arose from what had once been a prison of pain and torture. Joseph and Martha had struck a deep bond, and even though she also bore one of Adam's children, a daughter, Joseph graciously overlooked this, and doted on the charming and exceptionally talented child as his own. I felt that by him doing so, was his means of finding a way to heal from his past.
Despite our past and his method of being created, I had learned to embrace and love Adam in the right way, as a mother, and that love healed a lot of my pain. I had learned to put my past behind me, and accept that the most beautiful of blessings, often came from the worst of tragedies.
Forgiveness and acceptance of the wrongs done to me were still sometimes a hard issue for me to process and learn. I had Martha, Adam, the Warden and my mother, I would be ok and I would heal in time. The others that had come with me, had done well so far, and each now had a place and a purpose in New Eden, The New Earth Project had begun, and with it, a new Era would rise from the ashes of death, a glorious phoenix of rebirth and change.
I turned my face towards the warm rays of a new day, a new dawn was cresting over the horizon, I heard the sounds of the villagers starting their day's chores, livestock and chickens were tended, children were called to morning meal, freshly washed linens snapped in the breeze, scenting the air with herbs and flowers, and the bell that hung in the Oracle Tower, pealed the hour, indicating that classes for the students of the Oracle Temple would begin in a hour's time.
I settled Adam onto my hip, and walked inside the Temple, I sat with him on my appointed chaise, and allowed him to nurse. Today, my new life would begin, for I was chosen as successor to my mother, as Priestess of the Oracle Temple. I touched the rounding mound of my stomach, and smiled, a sense of serenity flowed through me, as a vision of two beautiful identical daughters, manifested into my mind. In coming years, New Eden would be blessed with many children from Adam and Eve.