Due to my lack of posting updates (but I’ve been writing it!) I’m giving you a double dose of Alternates today. If you need to catch up, Part One and Part Two are both available. The same rules still apply, I welcome criticism as long as you are constructive in it. Wheaton’s law folks. Thanks for your patience!
Beaten and bloody, I faced a new sort of torture. They had captured our Pack. Their hands on their heads, each of the Mutts were trotted out in front of me. Their tearful eyes begged me to help them, as each of their lives were taken from them while I watched. The younger ones were killed quickly, with a blow to the head. The older they got, the more they were tortured. Knives, burns, being shot in places that wouldn’t fatally kill you at first. Fight as I might, the Alts had me pinned. But nothing could have prepared me for the end.
The last person they brought out was Dylan. He was barely conscious, probably struggling to save the rest of the Pack. I thought back through the Alt and Human history that Opa had taught us. I couldn’t remember what had made the Alts so hostile towards the Humans. I didn’t know what made them hate the Mutts so much. But these moments were frozen in time in my head. These were the moments that turned me against the Alts.
Dylan was placed in a chair in front of me. He was slapped awake, his eyes barely alive. His multicolored eyes that I couldn’t feel anymore. Dylan, my brother, my best friend. Dylan, who didn’t make a sound as a knife was dragged from his scalp to his chin. A single tear didn’t fall from my brothers face as deep cuts were made around his body. I couldn’t say the same for myself, as I screamed, cried and tried to fight my way to him. But there were too many Alts, no matter how many I broke through, they just overpowered me. I couldn’t even tell if he was alive anymore, there was so much blood. It was everywhere. There was blood dripping everywhere. All of us who had suffered, all of the Mutts in my Pack that died, all of the Alts I had managed to kill or harm, all of our blood mixing together on the floor. There was a large whack to the back of my skull, bringing me to the floor. I remember thinking how strange it was that all of our blood was right there, but there was so much hatred still around me.
I woke up in a sterile white room. Across from me, I could see Dylan. He was still in the chair, bleeding everywhere. Realizing I was no longer bound, I ran towards him with what little strength I had, but halfway across the room I was flung back into the wall. Screaming in frustration, I walked slowly towards the center, this time dragging my hand along the wall until I felt the slight vibration. There was a current, probably electric in between Dylan and myself. This proved they were going to make Dylan into a show for me. He shuffled slightly in his chair, and I sighed in relief, glad to know he was still alive. I could still rescue him somehow. Before I could say anything to him, two Alts came in the room. One sneered at me, with teeth that resembled shark teeth. The other roughly shoved Dylan’s chair forward, closer to the current. Horrified she was going to shove him in, I stupidly ran to stop them, flinging myself back into the wall. Laughing, the two Alts watched as I crawled back to the center, this time much more weary of the divide. Paying closer attention, I could actually see the currents keeping me from helping my brother.
They said something to each other in their own language, the female Alt laughed, drawing a serrated knife from her belt. The male looked at me, his eyes piercing through to my very soul. He bared his teeth in a wicked grin. “You’re going to love this.” He says, “This Mutt dies by your hands. You’ll be so happy to put him out of his misery.” Laughing again, the female took the knife and sliced down Dylans arm. Screaming, I fling myself into the current again, trying to wake him up from this misery. Just praying that he’ll wake up. I know he has feeling, I know he can feel what they are doing.
“Fight back!” I scream at him “Fight them! Dylan, I need you to fight!” he stirs slightly at the sound of my voice. I continue to yell, “Dylan please! We need to fight for our brothers and sisters! Dylan please wake up!” The Alts continue to grin as the female continues to cut into my brother. The male stared me down with those alien eyes. “You’re a fighter. If you’re lucky she’ll save you.” The female hissed at him “Do not mention her. Do not talk to the Mutt. She will be lucky to give death to this one before we kill her ourselves.”
I wondered who they are talking about. Before I have time to react, the currents are gone and the Alts swiftly leave the room. Dylan is sliced all down his arms and legs. There is a slice across his throat, but it doesn’t look deep. I run to him, I try to hold his hand but screams out in pain. It is the first sound he has made since I’ve woken up. “Dylan” I try to touch his face “Dylan, please wake up. Please wake up. We can fight them together. Dylan.” I plead with him. “Please. I’ll do anything. Don’t you dare die on me. Don’t you dare.” His eyes open. His double colored eyes stare up at me, blinking rapidly.
I looked in his eyes with horror. Tears sprang to my eyes. This is what he truly wanted. He really wanted me to kill him.
“Don’t make them right. They are just cuts. We can cure you. Please..” my voice trailed off. We both knew that he couldn’t heal from those gashes. I couldn’t even see his skin anymore. There was just blood. So much pooled beneath him. I kissed his forehead.
“Some escaped. Save them” he whispered. I nodded, grasping his head.
“I love you brother” The snap was fast. His body sagged in the chair. I collapsed in his pool of blood, sobbing.
Time passed. I have no idea how much. I just knew I had to get ready. The guards will return. They will see him dead, and I would be next. I did a quick assessment of my injuries. Nothing I couldn’t handle. Not exactly one hundred percent, but close enough. I knew the guards carried at least blades. Hopefully some sort of projectile. I have no idea where I am. An Alt holding area, but where? Am I far from the hideout? I looked down, realizing how horrifying I must look, covered in my brothers blood.
Wearily standing, I pushed on the area where the Alts had come from. Something was a door there right? They didn’t just materialize. Or did they? I didn’t know much about them. I was really beat up when they came in. Pushing on the white walls, I could smell the copper blood on me. It made me want to vomit everywhere, but I knew I had to get out.
I must have pushed the right panel, because a keypad dropped open. The pad didn’t look like any language we were taught, so I just started randomly pushing the buttons, my thought process “Some sort of combination should work, right?”. I wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t the reaction I was expecting. After mashing a certain set of numbers, the pad started sparking. The lights went out, and the pad stopped working.
I started banging on where I thought the door would be. The emotional turmoil of the days past caught up with me, and I started screaming. The loss of my mother, my packs, my brother all balled up inside me were let out as I beat against those white walls. Sobbing, I sank to my knees, ready to admit defeat. The smell of blood mixed with my tears..it was too much to bear. Sobbing and vomiting, I just let loose on the pristine white floor. I must have blacked out, because the next thing I remember was being tied to a chair. I wasn’t in my clothes anymore, just a white robe. Surrounding me was my hair, covering the floor. If I didn’t look like a human before, I certainly didn’t then. I laughed softly to myself, wondering what could possibly happen next.
There is a common misconception that events like this make a person stronger. I feel this is untrue, as at this very moment I feel at my weakest. I don’t feel that I am strong, I don’t feel as if I am vulnerable. I feel as though all I can do now is give up. My brothers and sister that survived, I can only hope continue to do so. We were all trained the same way, just they were younger than I. They have the same fight that I do, unfortunately, I just got caught. To this day, I have the demons inside that make me wonder if surviving this was worth it. To tell the story of the Alternates, the Mutts and the Humans. I can’t say if I am a stronger person than what I was when this started, when I began the War Against The Alternates. I can tell you my skin is riddled with scars, I can tell you I’m still as physically trained as I was when I lost my mother. I’m not strong. I just survive.
I was sitting there, giggling to myself when two Alts came in the room. I honestly can’t tell you if they were the same ones or not, but they seemed to be baffled by my laughing. Their bright blue eyes stared at me with curiosity.
“You won’t be laughing long” One grinned with their shark like smile. Interestingly enough, I never noticed the red tips on their teeth. I wondered slightly if I had that, or maybe he had just eaten a steak. I don’t think my mind was entirely there at this point.
“Why did you cut my hair?” I asked, simply. I continued laughing.
“For the tests” The other whispered. She stared at me, feeling like she touched my soul. Her glass eyes were stone cold. Apparently, she didn’t find my predicament very funny. I just kept laughing. I hear this was moments of hysteria. I didn’t particularly care, I just wanted them to kill me and get it done with. The male ran his head over my freshly shaven head.
“You’re different” he said. “We want to know why.”
“I’m a Mutt” I told him proudly. “A very well-trained Mutt.”
“No…not that.” The female whispered. I wondered if she ever spoke higher than that. “Your brain. It is different.”
“Yes, well I’m still a Mutt. A cross between a Human and Alternate? The things you keep executing for being alive? Any of this ringing any bells?”
The male hit me across the back of the head, hard. I spit blood out. The floor was clean…well, it was until I spit the blood on it. “Where is my brother?” I asked.
“Wherever your version of hell resides” The male grinned maniacally. Before I could respond, the female injected something into my neck. Searing pain spread through my body, burning, itching in my blood. I screamed, no longer able to laugh about the torture that was coming onto me. I almost blacked out, but before I could the pain abruptly stopped. I looked at my captors, tears streaming down my face.
“You will stay quiet until we talk to you” the female hissed in my ear. “You’ll keep facing that pain otherwise.”
I nodded, not wanting to feel the burning sensation again. Which I suppose was stupid, knowing who I was dealing with the pain returned within minutes.
“Sorry” the female hissed again “But we need to know.”
“Know what?!” I cried out “I don’t know what you are talking about? How do you even know I am different?!”
“We know” the male grumbled, seemingly unhappy that I was continued to be tortured. “You’re different.”
“Thank you for the clarification” I glared at him. The feeling was gone in my feet. A blessing maybe. “But if you could stop with the burning pain..”
“We need to know if you’re one of us.” he crossed his arm, and walked over. “You have the specks. You’re not a Mutt, or Human, or Alternate. What are you?”
Another injection. “I’m a Mutt!” I screamed, “I will always be a Mutt!”
I wish I could tell you what happened next, but apparently the female did not like my answer since she hit me hard enough to black out.
When I came to, I have no idea when. It could have been an hour, it could have been days. I still had no hair, the blood I had spit out was gone and no one was in the room with me. My arms and legs were still bound to the chair, and I could hear my stomach rumbling loudly.
“Don’t suppose you plan on feeding your prisoner…” I mumbled to myself. I tugged on the restraints, seeing if there was anyway to break free. No such luck. I tried rocking the chair, maybe if I could crush my hand I could get it out, but the chair was bolted down. There was no winning in this fight. So I sat and thought about my predicament.
I thought about what the Alts who had injected me had said. I have the specks. What are the specks? Can I get rid of them? Have I always had them? How long will I be here? How long had I been here already? Is the members of the Pack that escaped, are they still alive?
Before I could really think about it, my eyes exploded.