The threat of Discovery


A truth serum threatening to reveal a hidden truth and a haunting past of a character with unusual abilities

I can feel chaos is coming. My brain keeps telling me nothing is out of the ordinary, while at the same time it is bent on second guessing itself as my body is somehow in full alert, getting ready for some danger. I am trying to spot out the anomaly, find a plausible explanation for how even if something is eerily off, there are no patterns to back it up. This is so frustrating, there is always some justification but why am I not getting any this time. I guess that is one pitfall of heightened perceptions, there has to be a sound reasoning for everything. I want to scream, scratch away at the pain or breathe heavily up and down, but I must resist for if anyone should know that subtleties such as body language are the biggest give away, it should be me.

After all what could possibly go wrong, I am with my “friends” who can’t possibly be a threat. If anyone was to jeopardize me or be affiliated to anything I was once, I should have clocked it already.

Human hierarchy is a weird phenomenon, it is found everywhere. Even in the so called intimate circles where everyone is supposed to be celebrated, there is always someone bound to be on top. In our circle he is that person, our “sophisticated leader”. For the untrained eye, his repeated adjustment of his overly expensive watch and sleeves of his crisp white button up may easily pass as a flex. His domineering character coupled up with his outbursts is usually mistaken for having solid boundaries or not tolerating disrespect. All acts to hide his deep feelings of inadequacy. Next is our “princess”, together with the leader they make the power couple. They built their empire of admiration together. Always poised but with a secret threatening her empire. Everything about her tone, body angle and fidgeting tells me she has something for the jovial presence- “the joker”. The more time passed the more she couldn’t control her subconscious pull to him. She is cheating. The joker is using her to satisfy his bruised ego of not being as lavish as the leader, but he can have one of his most prized possessions- his woman.

“You told me you have read ‘The Madman’ before. Let me ask you a question though, if someone really did steal your identity masks and freed you, would you really be thankful for the thieves?” asked “the gentleman” giving me a good chunk of the brownie he brought. He has this aura of untouched confidence in himself without being showy. A simple man really, but once in a while he will have this deep passion in his eyes that doesn’t really match up with the way he carries himself.

“Well, I don’t need any thieve as I have already thrown away all norms this society tries to shove down my throat” retorted “the rebel”.  She was one feisty character known by her rebellious attitude, but if one took a deep look they will understand she is as much governed by society and deeply affected by the standards as anyone else.

Suddenly an uncalled for thought passed me, a gentle whisper “Tell everyone your observations”. I shuddered at the thought. It is not in my schedule to commit a social suicide right here and now. The nagging only seemed to grow stronger. All those excruciating experiments and modifications to my brain, they seem to work fine all these years what could happen now that I am unable to take a hold of my thoughts let alone my actions.

As if reading my mind the princess spoke up “I am cheating on you!” Soon everyone started wreaking havoc, all of them laying out their truths in a chaotic yet orderly manner like a loud orchestra. Everyone is throwing punches and insults turning the once calm surrounding into a playground for humans driven by their basic raw emotions, leaving me to grapple for my own sanity and silence. In an instant, they all started collapsing one by one, drifting into unconsciousness. All but one- the gentleman. The heavy silence was even louder than the chaotic scene before.

“Not bad, you hold up really well.” he said smiling coolly.

This time his tone was very different than the one I am used to. Avoiding his gaze my eyes scanned across the room, the situation triggering a memory I have buried deep- My first encounter with the Truth Serum! I cursed my overly visual and photographic memory and the fact that I can remember everything even from an age as young as three, every single detail of my stay at that evil facility, all the excruciating experiments and never ending cognitive tests.

I used to call him the white coat man, he ran all sorts of experiments on us. You can imagine my excitement at the ripe age of four residing in an isolated and dull experiment facility, as I was offered candy. I was taken to a room to get my so called “treat”, but what I saw was a convulsing man spitting out words in an uncontrollable and unnerving manner. All I wanted was for him to shut up, which he eventually did. At that time I couldn’t register it but he was dead. I was given the same thing he was, only this time it was in the form of a candy with sweeteners. It still had the pungent smell, but a naïve girl could only think so much. I took it just to collapse and hysterically shout like the man before.

 “Keep an eye on her. It is important we monitor everything closely and if anything goes wrong, get rid of her immediately”

Those words of the white coat man repeatedly ring in my ears.  I was jolted back to the present. I realized he must have done it through the brownies, how did it get it to be so odorless?

 A dread filled me as I realized, everyone could be dead too. I asked as composed as I could possibly be. “Are they gone?”

 “Don’t worry they are all fine; I don’t do a lousy job. I studied everyone well and I administered just enough. After all, it’s all thanks to you, you are the first survivor of the serum.” spoke the gentleman with a mischievous smirk. He wanted a response so he just kept provoking further.

“You will be surprised at how small the dosage required for them was. But you darling, you are a different one aren’t you? I might have even overdosed you.”

How did he get it? What does he know and most importantly who is he? As much as I wanted to entertain this thought, I had to beat the effects of the chemical running through my body. If I remembered it correctly, it works through selective memory suppression, targeting the specific brain regions involved in memory retrieval and inhibition suppressing the ability to filter and withhold memories. As ineffective as it sounds the only thing I can do now is try to reduce the mental clutter and block memories consciously. So I held back his gaze, stronger and fiercer.

“Why are you giving me this look? Successfully blending with the basic human society doesn’t put you, on a higher moral pedestal.” He spat out the words, clearly irritated.  Great, I am getting to him.

A nosebleed, I stared at the thick red blood on my fingers. I can feel myself physically get weak, if I kept resisting it won’t be long before I collapse like the rest. Something he doesn’t clearly want to happen.

“Let me get this straight, you are no better than me, the same way I took their choices” he signaled to the collapsed bodies of our “friends”.

 “You took your false parent’s choices too.”

My mouth opened as if to say something, memories resurfacing. I had to tame them and stay silent. But I couldn’t shake off the guilt the words “False parents” made me feel.

“But they adopted me. I was truly their daughter. They loved me. “, he mocked. “ That would have been what you would have said under different circumstances. You are not just trying to fool me or others; you want to believe it too don’t you? You want to believe that your parents truly had the choice of loving you and someone had the capability and care to love monsters like us?”

 His voice trailed off as I struggled to stay put. I felt my body dissociating as I fought against myself, trying to hold it back from remembering. My efforts proved futile as a specific memory resurfaced.

I saw my reflection on the glasses, my white clothes tarnished and torn, I was lucky to have survived. Even luckier as I saw what was once my prison, burnt to the ground through the screens of the TV inside the store.

“In a startling turn of events, a suspected illegal chemical facility has become a rubble completely destroyed, sending shockwaves through the community and authorities. The nature of chemicals as well as the extensive inventory of weapons remains a mystery as emergency responders at the scene have clarified”.

I smiled as the words of the new anchor and realization of freedom, but tears rolled out my eyes as we are “weapons” and nobody will ever know our truth. I survived but what about all the others the fire took away. There was no room sentimentalism, what difference would I have made by sulking anyways. I had to focus on survival. I couldn’t keep on living in a street; I had to do something with the chemical I managed to take with me. I had only one chance and I wasn’t going to waste, after coming so far.

After a week of extensive observation and scouting out people in the area, I found the perfect family or should I say the perfect victim. It took everything in my being to knock at the door, I did it nonetheless. The door was opened, a kind face poking out. I kept reassuring myself, this is my chance.

“Oh my dear, are you alright? Are you lost? Where are your parents?” At that moment I cried, I knew it was wrong. It was everything those vicious people did to me, and am doing it back to a kind individual who had nothing to do with my tragedy. My cries were effective as I was invited into the house. How are people this trusting? At that point, I did it. I altered their memories and mind structure permanently. Well nothing is that permanent, but no one will question it enough for that to really happen. I was now their long lost child who was miraculously found. I gave them a fake joy, but even the most deterring drugs do that. I gave them a loving and dutiful daughter, but I violated them. I took away their choice!

By now, I have already told the man in front of me everything. His satisfied look is an indication enough that I have already lost to the effects of the serum. I was on my knees hurled up; my face heavy with the tear and blood soaking my face.

“But I am a good kid” I said in a trembling voice. He sat on his toes, facing me.

“It doesn’t matter. We are weapons. We possess the capabilities, the so called smartest people of the generation could only dream of. We are weapons. We are supposed to be the means for their justified end, but we will be their end” He said sternly, sitting down completely as if tired from all the events he orchestrated.

I am now completely hurled up on the floor shaking profusely. He did really overdose me.

“If you survive this, you and I we are taking our revenge!” These were the last words I heard before succumbing to unconsciousness like those before me.

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