This chapter was supposed to be longer, but since I've kinda been busy and not had the willpower/time to write as much, I'll post what I've got now before Christmas.
She was so beautiful, the way her dirty blonde hair drifted over her shoulder. He could see her so clearly, he could hear the soft, angelic melody of her laugh. But then she was gone. In her place was Mr. Kepson, handing down another one of his pop quizzes. Ridiculously hard questions covered the paper, their answers as elusive as a slippery thief or a wily kidnapper. Next thing he knew, there was a large “F” written in red ink upon the quiz, along with a note beckoning him to stay after class. As he sat in the room awaiting his punishment, the room faded. In its place was his messy bedroom, a comforting place. Below him he could hear the sound of his parents’ argument. He didn’t know what it was about, nor did he care. Probably just one of their normal topics: money, each other, him. Their relationship was strained at best, and they tended to blame whatever problems they faced on each other. Not enough money to pay the bills? Obviously it was his father’s fault, because he didn’t make enough money. Connor’s grades dropped again? His mother was to blame, that had to come from her end of the gene pool. Whatever it was today, he didn’t want to hear it. He made for his bedroom window, his usual escape route from his chaotic home. He needed air. He jumped.
He woke up.
The sleepy haze of early morning began to fade from his eyes. As he looked around, he vaguely wondered if he was still dreaming. Surrounding him was not the familiar clutter of his bedroom, but what appeared to be a room in a doctor’s office. There was a scale, a couple chairs, a sink. Yep, it was a doctor’s office alright. But why was he here? Fear and uncertainty began to set in. Connor wasn’t normally a person who got worried a lot, but this was really weird – not the weirdest that’s ever happened to him, but this would easily make top ten. He began to struggle up out of the bed, and notice the lack of restraints. Was he sick? Was he kidnapped? He wasn’t sure, but answers arrived just as he got out of bed. The door swung open, and a strange man walked in. The first thing Connor noticed was that the man was remarkably short. He couldn’t have been over five and a half feet, and that was a stretch. The second thing was that the man had a fairly long beard. He assumed that the man was very old, but was quickly proven wrong.
“Finally up? Good, good. We’ve been waiting all morning for you! I’m pretty sure you’ve missed breakfast, but Izzy might be able to scrap up some leftovers, but we don’t have time for that right now. So much to tell you, so much . . . . where do I begin? Here, you tell me what you’d like to know first.”
The man spoke with a remarkable energy, and the tone of voice could not belong to an elderly person. Connor guessed he was around thirty-five, judging by his general demeanor. “Ummm . . . what the heck is going on?!?!?!?!?!? Where am I, and why am I here?”
“The first question is simple: you’re in an abandoned doctor’s office turned into our HQ about a year ago. We’re currently on the west side of Wheyton, so you’re not far from your home. Your second question, however, is far more difficult to explain. However, it’s easily the most important. This will be quite a shock if I let it out all at once, so I’ll try to ease you into it. Answer me this: have you ever felt extremely connected to something, like you had power over it? Ever excelled at a particular activity? Ever feel like you have a natural talent that no one else has?”
The unexpected question took him aback. “Um, er, yes, actually. I’ve always been really good at computers. Running programs, fixing problems, etc.” He took care to leave off that he was a fairly good hacker – he had no idea if this was a government group or what not. Of course, the man already knew this, and was merely asking to seem polite. After all, he had sent Jason to gather all of this information about him.
“Good, good! Our suspicions are probably correct then! You could very easily have The Gift!”
Connor paused in surprise, and then asked “What is going on? What’s the Gift? And you still haven’t told me how I got here!”
“How you got here is another story for another time, but right now I think we need to make some introductions. Afterwards, I’ll explain The Gift to you. Sound good?”
The man gave off a feeling that no matter what sounded good, things would go his way. “Uh, sure I guess.”
“Perfect! My name is Gabe. I’m the oldest member of our group, and also the only adult. Real numbers don’t matter, so let’s move on to the others. Follow me.” As much as Connor wanted to scream, demand answers, panic, and figure out what exactly was going on, for some reason he felt safe with Gabe. He followed his new guide through the door of the office, which led to a hallway. “Yep, this is definitely a doctor’s office,” he thought to himself. Gabe led the way through some double doors into what seemed like a storage room. There was nothing in the room save for a few old cardboard boxes. It was very dirty, as if it hadn’t been used in several years.
“Here, Connor, would you mind doing me a small favor? In order to show you around, could you please put your finger in here?” Gabe pointed to a small indentation in the wall.
“Umm, why do you need me to do that?,” asked Connor in a skeptical voice.
“You’ll see, trust me.” Hesitantly, Connor inserted his finger into the hole. Immediately, a corner of the wall began to glow, as if the wall were coursing with energy. The light grew brighter and brighter, until suddenly all was dark – and the wall was no longer there.
“Perfect! Now follow me through this opening, and we’ll get you introduced to everyone!” Gabe crawled through the hole in the wall and disappeared out of sight.