Have I ever told you the story of how our evil grandparents used us as science experiments and somehow ended up making us better. No? Well, have a seat. We’ve got a lot to tell you. It started off as a normal day of school at Levels Academy…and it was awful. I stared at the F I had gotten on a test that I should have easily passed. Everyone else did except for my friends which had been my only consolation. Mrs. Rosethorne’s writing echoed in my thoughts “You have to be smarter, more organized, and more prepared.”
Failure. A new friend of mine. My adopted sister, Susan, kept telling me to keep my head up, but how could I? It’s tough being the new kid. I say that not exactly because we were new to Levels but because of the embarrassing fact that we didn’t even know what we were until about a year ago, even though it had been so obvious and everyone and their mothers knew it. I had no idea I myself was a cloud. Yeah, you heard that right, a part of the atmosphere. And I didn’t even notice it. In my defense, us BioticAbiotics (The technical term for us living natural substances) do look like humans but we’ve should’ve known somehow down the line somewhere. It was like a not noticing the big red pimple sitting on your nose. We couldn’t have gone far enough just to check our names: Fleana Mammatus, Prince BorealisAustralis, Katrina Tropical, Marion Solar. How stupid could we be? Our new school was showing us. We were once B students. Now we had to hide our report cards. I’m telling you I’d much rather be human. At least I was descent at that. I digress. The story really begins with the actual new students. The ones that looked like lifeless robots sitting behind us in class staring intently at us with what looked to be glowing red eyes.
Yeah, reading from what my friend was writing I guess you‘ve discovered our dirty little secret. Well, here’s another thing she had forgotten to mention. We were also the first asexual test tube babies that our grandparents, with our parents’ approval of course, made (Too long and gross a story to tell). The problem was that our grandparents saw us as nothing more than a science marvel and would be more willing to probe us than give us hard candy and talk about what life was like in the old country. They also turned out to be pretty twisted. They had once turned a bunch of people into monsters for reasons I don’t quite understand. We had to clean it up of course, but that was for another reason that involved blowing up a chemistry lab. As you can see, all of that really hurts your reputation. People are really suspicious of us since then. Oh, if you were wondering, we have bellybuttons. Don’t ask me how it got there. The best I can assume is that it’s a genetic copy of my father’s.
Anyway, it turned out the new students really were robots and when they had cornered us on the way to the bus, they had beaten the snot out of us before we had the chance to defend ourselves, gagged and blindfolded us, and then dragged us silently away.
The robots planted us in chairs. We had spent a short while so I guessed that we were somewhere in Juxtapose City, a large city just a couple of miles from the town we lived.
When someone removed my blindfold, the first thing I noticed was the lab. It was perfectly suitable for people our kind. Everything seemed to be either solar powered or air powered. Some scientists were watering huge Venus fly traps before being snapped up by the beasts. On the wall there was a recycling symbol with a little Earth in the middle and the words below it read “Eco-corp. Making the world a better place, one less human atrocity at a time”, and there sitting in front of me was my grandfather; Fleana’s grandmother, Clarissa; Prince’s grandfather, Boreas; and Marion’s grandfather, Thomas. Truth be told, my mom told me that they didn’t used to be so bad, not pleasant or attentive, but not bad, but ever since their spouses deaths, they became even more recluse. I hadn’t met even met them since I was born, but that was because grandpa made mom nervous. She said he had this hungry look on his face when he looked at me, and she didn’t want me near him. Now I understood why in a not so pleasant way…
Grandpa smiled at me. I returned a frown.
Clarissa chuckled as the Venus fly trap spat out a shoe from the scientist it had eaten.
Normally, regular teenagers in this moment would be like “What do you want?” “Why do you have us tied up?”, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to be let go before something bad happens.
“What the Styx do you want now?” I said a little annoyed.
“Oh, just to help.” Clarissa answered.
“With what?” Prince said cautiously. No doubt he was remembering what they did to us last time (Another long story).
“Life.” Boreas told him. “It’s tough enough as it is, isn’t it? What is this your fourth F this semester? I know how much you hate to fail.”
“You’ve been watching us?” Fleana asked, she tried sliding out of her chair.
“Always.” Grandpa George said. “We have to keep an eye on our darling young grandchildren.”
I shifted in my seat. “Darling? Yeah, right. Okay I’ll bite, how, other than being stalkers, are you going to help us?”
“Simple.” Clarissa said.
She motioned for someone to hit a switch, and four helmets with blinking lights landed on our heads from the ceiling. From the corner of my eye, I faintly saw a machine with an Eco-corp symbol on it start up. In the middle of it was something glowing. I knew instantly it had to be powered with solar radiation, the only thing that could affect our kind.We had been hit with the stuff before, and it altered our molecules for about a week or so. I began to panic. I summoned a clump of electricity in my hand, but grandpa gripped my wrist and caused me to lose. I felt the energy drain from my body as if he were stealing it from me.
“Now, dear, we’ll have none of that today.” He reprimanded.
“Don’t call me ‘dear’.” I spat back.
“This is what we call the Cerebral Enhancer. It should help you with your…problems. Think of it as a studying technique.” Clarissa explained.
Prince nervously poked at one of the lights. “And…you think this will help?”
“I guess we’ll see.” Thomas said. He walked over to the machine and reached for the switch.
“Wait!” We shouted. But we were too late.
He flipped the switch, and searing pain began erupting in my skull. The four of us shouted in pain for about a minute and then all was well because we passed out.
I woke up in my bed that morning, and grabbed my head still thinking that the Cerebral Enhancer was still on me. My shoulders slumped when I found out it wasn’t. I didn’t know how I got back home, and I thought maybe it was all a dream.
I strolled down to the kitchen and met up with the gang for breakfast. My dad and my brother, Matthew, had left a note telling me they went to work so I had the apartment room to myself. They had to wonder where I went when I didn’t come back home after school. But they didn’t. Was it all a dream?
While we were eating, we noticed something that convinced me that wasn’t just a dream. Something had changed about us. I couldn’t quite explain it, but something did change.
Prince showed us the card he found laying in his hand when he woke up this morning. It read “If there is ever a problem, contact us at Eco-corp.”
He tucked the card back in his pocket and we looked at each other. Two thoughts passed between us. One was that our grandparents were going to pay for what they did to us. The second was a silent thank you to them.