Have you ever been paralysed but conscious? It happens to 0.5% of the population when they undergo surgery; the drug that is given does not affect the brain in the way it was designed to. This happened to me when the man unleashed his powerful gas over us; I fell to the ground – blinded but not deaf. Especially not deaf to the thoughts of the others, I could hear Toby’s thoughts race as he conjured a plan. He played dead, swallowing a rock and transforming it into a gasmask. I was then carried towards the back of a truck and thrown carelessly in like a bag of flour. My head hit the metal floor and pain shot along my spine, I couldn’t move or recoil though as I was paralysed. I couldn’t cry out in pain either, I was a vegetable – a feeling vegetable.
I had had no idea that this man, our saviour, would turn out to be one of the bad guys. If I had known I wouldn’t have called the rest of the gang over, but this man knew more than we thought he did. He must have been looking for us – he knew each of our individual powers, he knew mine was mindreading and therefore kept his thoughts light and happy. What did they want with us? I couldn’t figure it out, how many other people had powers? Or was it really just this small collection of naïve youths? Why? Why did we have these powers? Was there a greater being in charge of everything, playing with us like toys? My mind raced but soon slowed as I heard Toby’s thoughts – he was arguing with himself, he wanted to run but there was a part of him telling him to stay.
‘Shut up and stop whining. They are not your responsibility. They should take case of themselves; you can take care of yourself.’
‘Selfish idiot’ I thought to myself
‘Now is your chance; just leave…No. That was not okay. I can’t just leave them…But they had gotten themselves into this and dragged me along…But I couldn’t just abandon them. Not like this.’
Toby’s ego and superego were having a full blown debate, but the superego won and Toby began to start helping us out. He was afraid, but he knew, deep down, that he had a duty to look after us. The only way he had survived the gas explosion was through the hidden inner-throat gasmask and so he had decided to give us all a gas mask too. To my dismay he started with me. I could feel him place a rock in my mouth but I couldn’t spit it out or swallow it, which is what he wanted me to do. He then began to force the rock down my throat, my natural bodily instincts kicked in without my conscious consent – like a knee reflex. But I couldn’t control anything that was happening to me, I was half-dead in this unmovable yet conscious state. I couldn’t scream out at him to stop, or fight against the fingers and sharp object being rammed down my oesophagus. Finally the torture ended and Toby moved onto the next person, my ability to move slowly began to come back. I could wiggle my finger and blink my eyelid – by now Toby had finished and lay down to rest against my leg. A few minutes later I had full bodily function, I sat up and shoved Toby off me.
“Hey!” he hissed in a hushed whisper,
“You were giving me a dead leg!” I hissed back in a hoarse voice,
“I just saved your life!”
“And gauged out the insides of my throat, I’m never going to be able to swallow again!”
“Good!” he narrowed his eyes, “I didn’t mean that,” he added,
“I know, mind-reader remember?” I told him. We looked at each other for a moment, sharing some unexplainable emotion. And then suddenly Elise sat up and grasped her throat, the next stage of our adventure was about to begin.