All characters, depicted, names used, and incidents portrayed are fiction. Any similarities between any actual person, living or dead, are unintentional.
This story contains some strong language, brief sexual references and a little violence. (Not a lot I promise!)
This story does involve a consensual romantic relationship between two women. If this offends you, is illegal where you live, or if you are underage, please do not read this story.
by J.A. Murray
As the sun set over the horizon, Jaylene Walker stood at the tree line and watched in silence from the comforting solitude of the forest. She brushed the dirt of her ranger uniform, and sat down, crossing her tall, solid frame Indian-style. "What a day," she commented to herself. As she sat, her mind wandered aimlessly, recalling events, memories, and people of a life that to Jay, seemed so long ago.
Wow, was it only a year ago that I almost received the Nobel? She pondered to herself. It has to be longer than that. So much has changed. For starters, I was NEVER this in shape. She let out a soft snort . I also haven't even so much as looked at an equation or formula, or have a conversation with a person, for that matter. With that thought, Jay saddened as the events that led to her isolation ran rampant through her mind. Jay quickly shook her head. Enough thinking about that! What's done is done, there's nothing I can change about the whole thing. All I can do is stay here where I'm safe.
As Jay sat, a round of gunfire rang through the forest, which caused Jay to jump straight up to a standing position. She sprinted the few yards to her Jeep and hopped in, floored the gas pedal and sped towards the gunfire. As Jay drove, she reached over to her passenger seat and grabbed her rifle. Not taking any chances with my life ever again. When she reached the clearing, she saw two men who stood at least six inches taller than her 6'3" frame, and probably weighed close to 400 pounds each. Both had dark shaggy hair and looked and smelled like they hadn't seen soap and water for a few weeks. Jay quietly got out of the vehicle and approached the clearing, keeping a ready hand on her pistol, and adjusting her rifle on her back. I really hope these mountain men rejects aren't trigger happy. The men were busy loading their guns when Jay pulled up, and they didn't even bother to look up when Jay approached.
"Evening gentlemen", Jay started slowly in her usual southern drawl, "Nice evening out ain't it?"
“Yes it is”, the darker greasier member of the pair stated absently, completely focused on his task.
“So what brings ya'll to my neck of the woods?” She asked.
At this, both men looked up at her and almost jumped out of their skins when they saw the ranger uniform. They both began to ramble at the same time. Ummm...we were...were just...uh. Jay put a hand up, silencing any more input from either man. Just as I figured, she stated. Ya'll was poaching. Now, I suggest ya'll turn tail and run by the time I count to three, otherwise the deer aren't going to be the only creature shot at tonight.
The shorter man stood at this statement. “Now you wait a minute, you no-good, worthless bi-”
“One!” Jay cocked her rifle
“Two!” The men began to scurry, gathering as much as they could.
“Three!” The men dove for cover behind a small bush that couldn't hide a small rabbit, let alone them, which caused Jay to laugh hysterically. The taller of the not-so-bright duo decided that Jay wasn't a threat and decided to make a lunge at Jay. Jay, noticing the movement out of the corner of her eye, reacted with almost lightning speed reflexes. She reached for her pistol and fired off two shots at the man, one hitting him in the foot, the other barely grazing his thigh. The man let out a yelp and dropped to the floor in a slump. Jay kept her finger on the trigger and walked up to the man with slow, precise movement. She leaned over and said with extreme control and almost growled out, “like I said get gone out of my forest. I don't want to see ya'll 'round these parts again. Am I clear?” The wounded man nodded quickly.
Jay backed away from the men, and walked towards her Jeep. Still standing outside the truck, she radioed the men's location for the ambulance to reach them. Like it matters, Walker. They'll be long gone before the paramedics arrive. Jay sighed, jumped in her truck and headed for her home.
Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. That was really dumb of me. I hope the others get here fast . Jeanette Dubois sighed, and kept running, hoping the soldiers wouldn't follow her into the forest. It's a great day to be chased, too weak to use your powers and separated from your friends, isn't it Jean? Jean kept running, grateful she was in good enough shape to run for long distances. Jean sighed once again, and continued through the forest. Suddenly, a loud, booming, but distinctly female voice rang through Jean's thoughts:
JEAN!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!!
Usually, it would bother Jean that her older sister was yelling at her in thought speak, but the situation did call for it. She quickly looked at her surroundings, seeing nothing but trees, responded as such:
Surrounded by trees! You're the genius, you freaking figure it out! Jean braced herself for the mental assault and the migraine that was going to come from her older sister.
YOU SARCASTIC LITTLE SH--
A deep booming male voice interrupted the impending eruption. Kia! Love, it really is NOT the time or place for that. Jean, can you please give us something so we can find you?
Jean chuckled. No problem, Deon. I'm in the forest somewhere; I've run about a good mile or two. Wait! I see a cabin. I'll hide in there until you guys find me, okay?
Perfect, Jean, just stay put . Kia and I are headed that way.
Okay. Maybe they'll have food ! And with that, Jean forced her sister and brother in-law out her head and sprinted towards the cabin, hoping it contained food.
Deon Kingston sighed and shook his head. His little sister in-law was probably going to get him in trouble. Again. He glanced at his wife, and noticed the look she had on her face. Kia was fuming, and if she didn't have a terrible temper, it would be hilarious. Her face was bright red and her breathing was deep and heavy. Deon, after years of experience, knew the best way to calm Kia down, was to give her something else to focus on. Unfortunately, that meant approaching her, and Deon had been the recipient of his wife's verbal eruptions too many times to count.
“Kia...?” He started slowly.
Kia glanced up at her almost 7 foot husband, who looked downright afraid. Very rarely did Deon ever chastise her, but when he did, it was never in front of Jean, who had the bad habit of teasing her older sister mercilessly. It's funny how they look almost exactly alike, but are almost polar opposites, Deon thought to himself.
Kia took a deep breath. Then another. On the 4 th breath, she finally felt calm enough to speak in a rational manner. “I'm fine, love. I'm angry at Jean, not you. How can she make jokes at a time like this? She's alone and being pursued! Worse yet, she's way too weak to use her powers! What if they catch her? What if they take her back to the facility? I don't know if I could handle losing her, as much as she gets on my nerves.” Kia stopped, her emotions getting the better of her.
“Me neither.” Deon said quietly, reaching over to hug Kia. They stayed in that embrace for about 5 minutes.
Kia quickly composed herself, cleared her throat and broke the silence. “Now let's go find her. I think we should ground her for a month.”
Deon snorted. “I'm thinking more like 4...”
When Jean reached the cabin, she could smell the aroma of cooked food. Her mouth watered, and she slipped into a hunger induced trance. The next thing she knew, she was at the front step of the cabin. Should I knock? I could be in and out before they---oh yeah. No powers. Jean knocked on the door as loudly as she could and waited for a few moments. She raised her hand to knock again, but suddenly it was flung open, putting Jean face to face with what, in her opinion, was a fairly nice female chest. Then, she heard a deep chuckle, and a voice "I'm up here Miss...." Jean snapped out of her bosom filled fantasy and glanced up. Way up. At 5'8", Jean thought she was fairly tall, but this woman put her to shame. Top that off with her well muscled ebony body and hazel eyes that you could lose yourself in, which Jean did, and as far as Jean was concerned she had hit the jackpot. Please don't be straight. Please don't be straight . “Ma'am are you all right?”
She quickly snapped out of her haze. “Huh?”
“Are you okay?”
Jean quickly formulated a story. “I'm fine. I was hiking and I got lost, so I called my older sister and her husband to come get me and this was the only landmark I could see. I'm Jeanette Dubois, but feel free to call me Jean if you'd like.”
“Nice to meet you Jean. I'm Jaylene Walker, but call me Jay.”
“Is this your parent's cabin or something?” Jean asked
Jay chuckled. “I'm an orphan, so I don't think so. I'm actually the forest ranger.” Jay cocked her head to the side. “Hey, what's your in law's name?”
“Deon Kingston, why?”
“He's in the living room. He came on the radio looking for you about an hour or two ago. . After I gave him the coordinates, he was here in less than 10 minutes. I'm surprised you didn't bump into him before hand. Come in and I'll take you to him.” Jean rolled her eyes, and stepped inside. Jay showed her to the living room of the comfy, but spacious cottage, where Deon sat waiting. Jean quickly embraced the man she regarded as her big brother, taking note of the strange similarity in features between Deon and the mysterious forest ranger. Hazel eyes, dark skin, really tall. Could be a coincidence. Oh well, as long as she's not related to me! Jean looked around. “Where's Kia?” She inquired.
“Aww did you miss me baby sis?” A mocking voice said from the doorway
“Not really. I wanted to know if I could finally find Deon a real woman.” Jean retorted
“Yes and I”---there was a knock on the door before Kia could finish her sentence. “Come in,” Jean said quickly. Jay slowly opened the door and walked in. “Hey, I thought ya'll were hungry, so I brought you some dinner. It's mashed potatoes, stewed chicken, and green beans. I brought you some water as well.”
“Thank you so much! I'm starving.” Jean exclaimed
“Your welcome, Jean.” With that, Jay left the room.
“You shouldn't eat that. It could be poisoned.” Kia warned.
“So....?” Jean asked. ”I'm immune to poison, in case you forgot.”
“Whatever Jean, just remember what we told you.”
Jean giggled. “Use protection?”
Deon slapped Jean on the back. “That was a good one baby sis.”
Kia, bright red from embarrassment, turned around to see Jay standing in the doorway, doing her best not to laugh.
“I'm glad all of you find that hilarious, Kia pouted. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to eat my dinner in peace.
Hey Jean, ease up a little, your big sis was just tryin to protect ya, is all. Jay yawned and stretched her arms.
“You okay, Jean?” Her sister's said.
“Fine Kia, Jay just startled me.”
Kia looked at the ranger in surprise. “Jay? Jaylene Walker? I thought I recognized you!”
Jay froze in place. “K...K...Kia?”
Jean became extremely puzzled. “What's going on here? How do you know a forest ranger, Kia?”
Jay sighed. May as well be honest. They probably know anyway. “I'm no ordinary forest ranger.” Jean turned towards Jay in surprise. “I'm a scientist, like your sister.”
“Better than me,” Kia commented. “She was brilliant, Jean! Her research is the foundation for Project”-Kia stopped. Uh oh. She thought to herself.
“Project X? That was YOUR idea?” Jean was fuming, her voice rose with every word.
“What's this Project X ya'll are talkin about? I ain't got the slightest clue as to what you're referring to.”
Jean paused. “You don't? Kia you said---“
Jay looked around. “Can someone please tell me what in the hell is going on?!??!
Kia looked at Jay. “No time. We have to go. She reached out to grab Jay's arm”, but Jay swiftly snatched in back. “”I want to know what's happening...now.” Jay released that last word in an almost feral growl, which sent shivers down everyone's spine.
“Jay! There's' no time! They'll get in! Kia exclaimed. We have to go!”
“Fine. But I want answers when we're safe. C'mon, I'll show you the emergency exit.” Jay opened the living room door and was bombarded by a horde of camouflage-clad soldiers. They proceeded to bring down Jay and hold her down. Before any of the others could react, they were tranquilized and brought down.
One of the soldiers shouted "clear!" At that moment, a short, stocky, man with thick glasses stepped through the room, stepping over the unhinged door. “Whose caught?” He asked in a crisp, no nonsense voice. “102, 147, and 234, sir.” A soldier stated, “But this other one must be human.”
“Why's that?” the leader asked
“Her reading keeps saying X, so it must be a mistake.”
“Let me see her.” The soldier flipped Jay on her back, and all hell proceeded to break loose.
Ugh. What the hell did I get hit with? Deon slowly came back to consciousness, and as he did the memories came flooding in. The cabin, Jean, the soldiers.... Deon sat up rigidly, looking around frantically for his family. Okay, I'm in a cave. Where's Kia and Jean? He spotted two unconscious figures close by him. Figuring them to be his wife and her sister, he stood and checked on them. After careful examination, he determined them to be perfectly fine. He noticed a figure huddled in a corner of the cave. What is that? He walked carefully towards the figure, praying it wouldn't be startled and attack him. As he got closer, the figure became more familiar. The ranger! Is she hurt? Maybe she knows what happened.
“Hey Jay.” Deon said slowly, walking up to her carefully. Jay's head quickly shot up. Deon stopped dead in his tracks. Rather than seeing the hazel eyes of the ranger he met earlier today, he was met by yellow, almost glowing ones.
Jay quickly jumped as far away from Deon as possible. “Stay back!” She said, her voice deeper and much rougher than Deon remembered.
“Is everything alright, Jay?”
“No, it's not alright. Just...just stay away! Please, I don't want to be seen like this!”
The last sentence made Deon's hair stand on end. “What's wrong, Jay?”
Jay was becoming exasperated and frustrated, and figured the best way out of this situation was the truth.
“If you must know, I'm a monster.”
Deon gave Jay a look of disbelief, and then proceeded to burst into laughter.
“What is so funny about me being a monster?” Jay asked. “I'm being serious!”
Deon struggled to stop laughing. “If you're a monster, then I must be damn Godzilla.”
Jay looked up, her eyes slowly returning to their normal color. “What do you mean?” She questioned.
“Well it's a long story that I can't tell very well. We should probably wait till Kia and Jean come back around. They tell it much better than I do.”
“Okay, that'd be good. Because none of this makes a lick of sense right now”, a much calmer Jay said.
“So tell me, how did we get out of the cabin? The last thing I remember is being tranquilized.”
“Ummm.....promise you won't freak out?”
“Can't be worse than Jean's last girlfriend.” Deon muttered. Jay cocked her head, and opened her mouth to speak, but stopped and shrugged her shoulders. She took a deep, calming breath, and looked over at the wall of the cave.
“Well, those crazy bastards busted into the cabin, tied me down, tranq'ed ya'll, and tore apart my home. Then this strange, really short guy walks in and one the guys calls out these numbers...umm, I can't remember what they were...”
“102, 147, and 234?” Deon asks. Jay nodded. “That would be Kia, Me, and Jean, respectively.”
“Well I know ya'll can't be escapees from the jail, Kia was way too smart for that.” Jay said. “So what are the numbers for?”
“Like I said when Kia and Jean come around, they'll tell you. I remember all of that, how we got here is what I can't seem to recall. “
“Oh, that's easy. I carried ya'll here.”
Deon looked at Jay in sheer disbelief. “Okay, I know you're strong and everything, but that's impossible. I weigh about 340, give or take.”
“And Kia weighs at least 600”, a groggy voice said from the cave entrance.
“You goddamned bitch! We almost get caught and you're cracking jokes about my weight!” Kia went off on a tangent of swear words and insults, which Jean gladly joined.
Deon shook his head and glanced at Jay, who had an amused look on her face. “Do they always act like this?” She asked.
“Yes, unfortunately.” Deon said. “25 and 21 and they still act like they did when they were kids. Except they swear a lot more.” Deon pointed a finger at Jay. “But stop changing the subject! You have a story to finish.”
“Okay, okay. So, soldier guy flipped me over, and I just...I just lost it. I went bat-shit crazy and tore the whole place apart, then I carried ya'll to this here cave.”
This last sentence ceased Jean and Kia's bickering. “Carried? How the hell did you carry all of us? She asked. If I recall Jay, you weren't much of an athlete in college.”
“I was 16, I wasn't much of anything.” Jay commented, “Other than a geek of course.”
“An accomplished geek if I remember.” Kia's commented.
Jean spoke up. “I have a question for Jay.”
“Ask away.” She replied.
“Did you or did you not create Project X?”
“What's this Project X you keep talking about?”
“Jean, wait, let me do some explaining to Jay first.” Kia turned to Jay. “Remember the genetic research you did? Well someone decided to apply it people. By force.”
Jay saddened. “So they didn't stop with me?”
Three pairs of eyes looked at Jay with shock. “You?” Jean said.
“Yes. The original plan for my research was to eliminate genetic disorders, like muscular dystrophy, lupus, down syndrome, things like that. Of course, I knew someone would attempt to use it as a weapon, so I kept it extremely secret. I only entrusted the complete formula to one person, and she betrayed me. And to ensure I wouldn't get in the way, they used me as the first experiment. They modified the formula, and used it on me in an attempt to create a super human. It was awful. When they weren't runnin tests or doing operations, I was locked in a cage.” Jay shook her head. “After a month or so, I started feeling....things. Just this uncontrollable rage....It felt like, like-“
“If you didn't let it out you would explode?” Deon interjected.
“Exactly! Wait how did you know that?”
“You're not the only one.” Deon said. “So how did you escape?”
“I faked my own death. They dumped me in this forest, and I took off as soon as they were gone. That was a year ago, and I haven't had contact with the outside world since then.”
“How'd you get a job as forest ranger if you've been declared dead?” Jean questioned.
Jay smiled. “Easy. All I ask is for groceries and a place to stay. People tend not to ask questions after that.”
I see. Jean said. “Wait, how old are you? If you were 16 when Kia was in college, then that'd make you-“
“22.” Jay stated simply. “So tell me something, you said Project X was something people were forced into?”
“Yeah.” Kia said. “They gathered people based on their genetic qualities, physical attributes, and mental capabilities and pretty much attempted to recreate this Experiment X, which, I'm assuming, is you.”
“And you would be correct..” Jay stood. “According to them, I met and exceeded virtually all expectations and standards that they set, well up until I "died" anyway.”
“So what are your powers?” Jean questioned. “Are they the same as mine?”
“What are yours?”
“Speed, agility, enhanced senses and reflexes...”
“Bad breath, the inability to stop talking...” Kia muttered.
Jean opened her mouth to say something, but was stopped when Jay put her hand on Jean's arms.
“Hey, ain't no need for bickering.” Jean looked up at Jay, locking eyes with her, and suddenly she felt a stirring deep inside of her, trying to bring its way out. Jean and Jay were frozen in place as if time for them had stopped.
Kia and Deon exchanged knowing looks, and Kia rolled her eyes. Kia cleared her throat loudly, causing both women to snap out of their daze. “So, Jay, what were your powers again?
“To be honest, I don't rightly know. I know have super strength, speed, agility, senses, and stuff like that. But, I also have telepathic and telekinetic abilities. I haven't exactly tried all of them out as of yet.”
Yeah right., Kia thoughtspoke to Deon.
No I'm serious. A very southern sounding voice said in Kia's head, which made her jump, slip, and land flat on her rear. The others had to try very hard to hold in their laughter.
Kia blushed very red at that point in time, which led to even more snickering.
Deon composed herself after seeing the death glare that came off of Kia.
“Okay, okay. We've had our fun. Time for serious issues.” Like for one, how in the hell do we get out of here without those morons seeing us?”
“Leave that one to me.” Jay said, smiling in a conspiratorial way.
“Why do I get the feeling this is going to suck?” Jean muttered.
Like I said, this sucks . Jean gasped for another breath of air, wishing for the second time this night she hadn't relied so much on her powers, and had done some form of cardio prior to this evening. Well at least the view is awesome . Jean thought. Yeah, the hills are beautiful , Kia agreed. I wasn't talking about the hills . Jean motioned towards the tall woman leading the way through the rocky trail. Kia scoffed and shook her head. That'll teach you to stay out of my thoughts.
Deon shook his head at his wife and sister-in-law behind him. He then looked at the woman standing next to him, who, according to his wife, was going to be part of the family fairly soon. Well, she's never been wrong before, so I may as well get to know her now . Deon reasoned. He coughed a little, causing Jay to look at him curiously.
“Everything alright?” She questioned.
“Yeah, yeah, everything is fine.” He quickly answered. “But one thing. Jean told us you're orphan; you wouldn't happen to know who your family is, would you?”
“No, I don't, Jay replied. I grew up in the foster homes, and when I was between foster families, I was in the group home, which is not a pleasant experience, let me tell you. “
“Where are you from,” Deon asked.
“New Orleans.” Jay replied, although to Deon it sounded as though she said "Narlins." When she saw Deon cock his head to the side in confusion, she laughed and resaid it. “New Orleans. I'm sorry; I know my accent tends to confuse people about some of the things I say.”
No worries, Deon said. “When I first met Kia and Jean, they barely spoke English”.
“Really?” Jay said.
“Yup. They're from France, but they moved to the US when Kia was.....eight I think?”
“So ya'll grew up together?”
“Yeah we did. Kia and I were high school sweethearts, but we went to different colleges. I got a football scholarship to Florida State, and Kia got an academic scholarship to—”
“LSU.” Jay interrupted. “Remember, that's where I met her? We never shared classes or anything, but if I was working on stuff in the lab, she was usually there with her friends.”
“But she knew you. I thought you two hung out or something?”
“No, I started college at 14, by the time Kia got there, I was 16, and even though I was almost the same age as her I kept to myself so much, people ignored me a lot.”
“Must have been rough.” Deon said sadly.
“Yeah, it was, and I have my regrets, but you can't really change the past, right?”
Deon nodded in agreement. He leaned over and murmured conspiratorially. “So tell me, what was Kia like in college?”
“I won't tell on Kia, it goes against everything I stand for!”
“I'll tell you all of Jean's likes and dislikes...”
Jay paused for a second, then quickly answered. “You have yourself a deal, Mr. Kingston”
“Ladies first.” Deon joked.
“Okay, so Kia was a total—”
“Are you guys talking about me?” Kia interrupted.
“Of course not love! What would make you think that?” Deon quickly replied.
“Uh huh. Just making sure. Hey Jay, how much further do we have?”
“'Nother mile and a half, at most. Depends on how fast you slowpokes go.”
“Well I would be going faster, if I knew where we were going!” An exhausted Jean exclaimed.
What's wrong Jean? Finally met a woman who can tire you out? Kia joked.
“Shut the hell up, Kia!!” Jean shouted, not realizing it was out loud before it was too late and two pairs of curious hazel eyes glanced back at her.
“You feeling alright, Jean?” Jay inquired.
“Fine, just fine. Is it much farther from here, Jay?”
“Another 100 yards or so. You up for racing?”
“No, I'll pass.”
“Chickenshit.” Jay mumbled the word under her breath, but clear enough for Kia and Deon to hear, which made them snicker.
Jean, in an attempt to maintain her pride, shouted, “you're on ranger! Where to?”
“See that cottage over there? That's where we're going. On the count of three, ready?” Jean nodded.
Before Jay could even finish shouting one, Jean took off running. In a spilt second, she was at the cottage. She glanced around to see where the others were, but couldn't see anyone. Suddenly, the door to the cottage opened, and a smug looking Jay walked out.
“What took ya?” Jay said
Jean was at a loss for words. “How did you..?”
“Don't worry none about it, just come inside and get warm.” Jean, still standing at the door dumbfounded, shook her head, pouted, and crossed her arms. “I'm not coming inside until you tell me how you beat me!”
“Easy,” Jay said, “I took a shortcut, now come inside, before Deon and Kia find the can soup and eat all the good ones.”
“Well why didn't you say you had food? Let's go!” Jean gentlly shoved Jay out the way and went inside, leaving Jay standing at the doorway, smiling and wondering what she had gotten herself into.
The soldier slowly made his way forward, being careful not to put any weight on his injured leg. When he reached the nondescript office building, he pressed the buzzer and just stood there, waiting. After a brief moment, the door swung open. The soldier continued to limp through until he reached the door that said "Director". He feebly knocked once, and was answered with a sharp Enter. He took a deep breath and stepped inside the office. A young woman sat waiting, hands crossed over her very clutter free desk. She was about 5'9" or so, and extremely thin. Her skin was extremely pale, almost to the point of transperency, and her eyes were so dark, they could almost pass for black. Her lips had that thin, cruel look about them and her nose was bone straight. She glanced up at the soldier and was more concerned with him leaking bodily fluids on her carpet than his well being. “Did you capture them?” She asked, standing at the same time.
“No ma'am we didn't”
“Why not? What happened? That team was specifically trained to handle those three!” She grew impatient with the cowering soldier? “Where is Johnson? I want to speak with him now!”
“He's....he's....dead ma'am.” So are all the others “There was another experiment...”
A look of surprise came on her face. “Another, how is that possible? All other experiments are presented and accounted for.”
“It was---” the soldier let out a small cry and fainted, the blood loss sending him into shock. The director quickly ran over and grabbed him. “Who was it!?!? Answer me!” she cried out.
“X,” the man managed to mutter out before he drew one last breath and passed away.
“X, that's impossible! She's dead! She couldn't have been there!” She shook the lifeless body of the soldier once more, stood, adjusted her clothing, and casually walked back to her desk. She reached over to the intercom, and using that same sharp tone, ordered for a cleanup crew to dispose of her mess. She rubbed her hands over face and sighed, feeling a headache coming her way. She muttered, to herself, “for your sake Jaylene, I hope that you're dead, because if you're not, you're going to wish you were when I'm through.”
Her secretary buzzed in. “Miss Vargas, it's General O'Brien on the phone.”
“Put him through.” She answered quickly.
“Anita here, what's going on general?”
“Put it this way, why the hell did I lose a whole unit, including my best Corporal?!” O'Brien shouted.
“An underestimate on my part, sir. It will not happen again. That I promise you.”
“Well for your sake it better not.” He growled out. The line went dead.
Anita composed herself, and opened a secret compartment in her desk, which contained a picture of two teenage girls with their arms around each other, in a science lab, one girl dark, a little taller with light hazel eyes, the other pale, with dark eyes. Anita sat and sighed, so long ago...It still hurts, but nonetheless you made your choice Jay, and you paid for it. She put the picture back in the drawer, and looked straight ahead, formulating a new plan to capture the escapees.
Deon put his hands on his chest, but rather than the familiar feeling of Kia's head, he felt a pillow. Confused, Deon looked around. Not seeing anything, he slowly stood up and looked around the well furnished bedroom. Still seeing nothing, he quietly crept towards the stairs, where he saw Kia leaning over the banister, staring into the kitchen rather intently.
Kia, if you're hungry you know you can just go eat.
Haha, if you MUST know, I'm checking on baby sis and her mystery stud
Deon walked over to the rail and leaned over, looking to where Kia pointed. He smiled, seeing Jay and Jean enjoying breakfast and conversation, for the 5th time this week.
They're spending a lot of time together Kia.
Yeah I know. I think this is the longest Jean's spent talking to someone she's attracted to without sleeping with them.
Think that means something? Deon inquired
Yeah, for one, Jay has standards, Kia joked, but in all honesty, Jean might actually care for Jay.
Did your parents ever tell you about any siblings you might have had?
No....why do you ask?
I mean the coincidences between you and Jay are far too many, you were born in the same city, you have similar, almost identical features, not to mention you both like almost all the same things, the only difference is you were adopted and she grew up in a group home. She could be your long lost sister.
Well, to me, it really doesn't matter, because it looks like she'll be my sister in-law soon anyway.
Kia let out a snicker, which caused the women sitting at the table to look up. Jean rolled her eyes and shook her head. They're so nosy . She messaged to Jay. T hey love you and they want to make sure I'm not out here takin advantage of ya, Jay replied. Jean giggled. You? take advantage of lil ole me? Oh, the indecency! Jay laughed, then looked up and said, “there's plenty more breakfast in the kitchen if ya'll want some. Besides,” Jay deadpanned, “it'll be much easier to hear me and Jean pick out U-Haul trailers from down here.” Jean's jaw hit the floor, Deon doubled over in laughing fits, and Kia went into hysterics.
Once Jean regained composure, Jay was swiftly rewarded with a slap to the stomach. “That is so rude! I thought we were going to going to hire professional movers!”
Deon and Kia came into the kitchen, rubbing tears out of their eyes. They went straight towards the food, making sure to pile their plates high, especially Deon. Both sat down at the two available chairs at the table, and dug in to their warm, hearty southern breakfast of eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, and toast.
Before I slip into my usual food coma after I eat this Jay, Deon said, “Where did you learn to cook like this? And don't say women's intuition because neither Kia nor Jean can—“
“Zip it, muscleman, before I make you sleep outside.” Kia said. “My role model was Madame Curie, not Aunt Jemimah”
Jay chuckled. Actually, learning to cook is what got me into the sciences. As I learned, it fascinated me that totally unrelated items, like flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, could be combined to make something so delicious as cake. I wanted to understand more about the why, which led me to chemistry, which led me to physics, and so on and so forth.
Still didn't answer my question. Deon pointed out
“Oh, in the group home I stayed in, everyone was assigned chores. Nobody ever wanted to be in the kitchen, mostly because it was the most time consuming chore, so that was reserved as punishment. Because I'm so shy and I don't speak up for myself, I often ended up being blamed for things I didn't do and ended up with kitchen duty. Fortunately, the cook, Ms. Remy, was really nice and kinda took me under her wing. I did my homework and reading in the office area of the kitchen, and helped Ms. Remy with the meals. She was a true jack of all trades. We would have discussions on everything, from philosophy to hunting. She was the closest thing I had to a mom, and she and her partner always wanted to adopt me, but the state of Louisiana doesn't allow same-sex adoption.” Suddenly, Jay took on this saddened state. “She and her wife were hit by a drunk diver one night when I was 13, they died instantly. But no one really mourned them other than me. All because-“
“They were gay.” Jean sighed and shook her head.
“Yeah, so I left as soon as I could, I tested my way into a high school diploma, and earned scholarships and grants to go to LSU at 14, and I threw myself into my schoolwork. Pretty much the story of my life. Well minus the genetic experimentation, of course.”
“That's sad. Jean said. What about that one person you trusted your formula to?
“Oh.” Jay paused. “Anita and I met our freshman year. We were roomed together and we had pretty much the same classes and interests. We became friends, and by our sophomore year, we were almost inseparable. While working on my graduate research, I started to have…feelings for Anita. I told her how I felt and she flew off the handle about me being an abomination and stuff like that. The next day when I go to the lab, my safe was open and my stuff was gone. Bout a week later, I was taken in for experimentation. When I came to on the operating table, I saw...,” Jay choked up, fighting back tears. Jean moved closer and hugged her friend. “What did you see Jay?”
“I saw...Anita....with a surgical knife...she was saying she was gonna make me normal. Then, everything went black. I didn't see her after that. But I know I saw her, I know she's involved in this.”
“She is.” Kia murmed quietly. “She's the director. That would explain why most of the people she selects for experimentation are either gay or the family of gay individuals.”
Jay eyes opened up. “That self-righteous bitch. I could kick her ass for hurting all these people. For hurting ya'll. Where the hell is she?” She rose, her nostrils flaring, as she began to pace. Jay's eyes began to turn that scary shade of yellow that Deon saw before. Jean quickly grabbed Jay and held her in place. “Now slow down there, no need to go on a killing spree, Jay. If you want to go and bust that bitch's narrow ass, I'm with you.”
“Us too!” Deon piped up
Like I was saying, we're with you. But that's a secured facility. “Hell, it was by a fluke miracle the three of us escaped. We've been on the run for 3 months.
We need to sit down and think this out.”
Jay, who's anger was quickly diminshing, held Jean's arms and said, “I'd like that very much. So let's formulate us a plan ya'll!”
Kia giggled, which earned her a hard stare from Jay. “Is you making fun of my accent, Kia?”
“No.” Kia laghed even harder.
“I knows yah ain't makin fun of mah accent!” Jay was having a hard time keeping a straight face.
Deon and Jean looked at the pair and then each other, and both roared out in laughter.
“Okay, okay, guys.” Jay said trying to regain her composure. “We had our fun. Now let's get down to business. First off, we're a week post-incident and neither Kia nor I have picked up any signs of anthing bigger or smarter than a deer.”
“Okay, so either A, they can't find us, or B, they're not looking for us.” Deon said.
“Or C,” Jay input, “they know exactly where we are and are waiting for us to make the first move.”
“So what should our first move be?” Jean asked.
“Jean, you know when I play you chess, how I sacrifice my knight to take your queen?” Kia said.
“Well we're not doing that. This is more of a full frontal assault. We need to infiltrate the facility, gather backup, and start a coup de grace.”
Jean raised her hand. “Not to be rude Kia, but that's a shitty idea.”
“You got something better, sis, be my guest.”
“Okay, here's what I think we should do. We have the stealthiest of the four of us, which is you Kia, analyze the facility and find the best point of entry. Once that's accomplished, we need to figure out how to cut off the facility from its main cash and resource cow, the government.”
“Go on.” Jay said quietly.
“Once we do that, and the facility is weakened from the inside out, then we secretly go in, rally the others and get the hell out of there. Let the facility crumble on its own.”
Deon spoke. “I'm on the fence for this one. Jay, what's your say?”
“I say, both your ideas are bad...separately. But combined, we may have something. Look at this way, we take Jean's idea of divide, and Kia's idea of conquer, and you have the classic military war strategy. Rather than take on the facility at it's most powerful, we break it down into bite sized, easily handled problems.”
Kia looked at Jay in wonder. “Jay, you're—“
“A genius, I know.”
“I was gonna go for complete idiot for being attracted to my sister, but let's go with that. “
Jay snorted. “C'mon, let's get to work. Facilities don't conquer themselves.”
Deon yawned. “How about a nap first? Breakfast made me tired.”
“Actually a nap sounds good Deon.” Jay said. “Regroup at 2 or so everyone.” A round of agreements and everyone went to their respective rooms in the cabin.
Jay was laying on her bed, not sleeping, but deep in thought when she heard a knock at her door.
“Come in Jean.” she said.
Jean walked through the door and plopped herself down on Jay's bed.
“What's wrong?” Jay asked after about two minutes of silence.
“Why would something be wrong?” Jean said in a sarcastic tone.
“Did I do something to offend you? You can just....,” Jay paused and cocked her head to the side, what in the hell is that sound?
Jean sat up. “What sound? Oh, you mean THAT sound. That's just Deon and Kia.”
“Killing each other?”
“Umm...no. They're umm...., you know,...c'mon don't make me say it!” Jean turned scarlet red. Jay slapped her hand over her face to prevent laughter, which probably would make Jean even more upset. “It's okay, I have an idea of what you meant. They are never going to live this one down.”
“They probably wouldn't care, anyway. They have no shame.”
Jay let a soft snort, then sat up. “You still haven't answered my question. What's bothering you, Jean?”
“Okay, you want to know what's bothering me, Jay? You are.” Jay raised an eyebrow, and started to say something, but Jean held up a hand. You're just so great, it's scary sometimes. You're intelligent, beautiful, charming, sweet, and not to mention a hell of a cook. I know no one is this perfect, so I'm just waiting on the other shoe to drop.”
Jay stared at Jean in dead silence for a few moments, took a breath, and just started talking, “I'm afraid of clowns, I'm terrible with remembering names, I don't like to swim, I'm terrified of being alone in the dark, I've never kissed anyone before, I-”
Jean silenced Jay by pushing her lips against Jay's, and wrapping her arm around Jay's neck. As the kiss got deeper, Jean sat down on Jay's lap, wrapping her legs around Jay's waist.
About twenty minutes later, Deon walks through the door without knocking. “Hey Jay have you seen-oh my gosh! I'm so sorry, guys! I'll just leave now.” Deon's outburst caused Kia to run to the room, when she got there, she was surprised to find her sister sitting on Jay's lap, her face bright red and buried in Jay's neck, who looked like she was ready to bolt out the door.
“Deon, next time, save that reaction for when they're naked. C'mon love birds, we've got real work to do.” Kia casually walked out the room, saying nothing else, with Deon in tow, leaving Jay and Jean sitting there.
Kia sat down on the smaller of the two couches in the living room. Deon attempted to sit net to her but she shooed him. “This spot is reserved,” she said.
“For who?” Deon inquired.
“You'll see,” Kia said conspiratorially
Jay, and a much less red Jean, walked into the living room. Kia sat up quickly, and motioned Jay towards her seat. Jay gave Jean a quick glance, and with a shrug of her shoulders she sat next to Kia, and Jean took the available seat next to Deon on the other couch.
“So,” Jay started, “we need someone to evaluate the facility from a security standpoint. Who's interested?”
“I'll go” Kia answered. “I was at the facility the longest, so I know my way around, plus I'm the better of the three at being undetectable, because Jean can't stand still, and Deon is, well, he's 6'11" and 340 pounds. Enough said.” Deon and Jean quickly agreed.
Jay nodded, then continued. “Okay so here's what we need Kia,-”
“Hold your horses Walker, there will be plenty of time for you and Jean to get busy, I need a pen and paper first.” Kia glanced at Jay to see her reaction. Jay smiled and slowly nodded her head, “I see. So would you like for me to write the instructions on how we human beings have sex? 'Cause whatever you and Deon were doing is comparable to animal mating habits.” Kia's jaw hit the floor, then she smiled and looked at her sister. She's a keeper, you better not screw this up Jean, which prompted Jean to stick her tongue out. Ya'll know I can hear ya, right? , a distinctly southern voice said, which prompted Deon to snicker.
Jay cleared her throat. “So we need blueprints of security features and the building layout, personnel records, "patient" records, and whatever else you can get your hands on that might help. How soon do you want to do this? “
Kia pondered the question, then answered, “we should probably start heading down the hills now. There's no way we can climb down at night and make it before dawn.”
“Sure we can,” Jay said, “there's a road cut into this hill, and I've got a jeep sitting in the garage.”
“Why didn't we do that when we walked UP that damn trail?” Jean wondered aloud.
“Because, genius, we were trying not to get caught.” Deon answered. “Any more questions?”
Jean punched Deon in the shoulder, and then returned her attention to Jay and Kia.
“Alright everyone, so here's what we do next.....”
The glass shattered against the wall, becoming a thousand smaller, jagged pieces. "YOU CAN'T FIND THEM? WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T FIND THEM?!" The soldier shivered at the pale woman, who reminded him of a vampire. “Ma'am we've searched almost every part of that forest. They're not there, we've looked.”
Anita Vargas was livid. Not only was she still looking for escapees, but now she had lost about 25% of her funding, and was short staffed. I still don't understand how the hell I could have hired 34 illegal immigrants! These past three weeks have been so strange and damn frustrating, and I'm surrounded by idiots who can't even breathe without thoroughly detailed instructions.
Anita took a deep breath, and counted to 10 in her head. Where haven't you looked?
Well, the hills, but that's because-
There's no way in hell they'd be up there she finished. Right. Which is exactly why I want you to have troops assembled and ready to storm those hills to find them.
The soldier looked at her in shock, recovered, then stood up straighter. “Okay, but I have to check with General O'Brien first.”
“Don't bother, she said. I'm calling him now.” She held her finger over the speakerphone button, but thought the better of it and put the phone to her ear. After about 3 rings, a gruff voice saying “O'Brien” was heard.
“Good morning, General,” Anita said sweetly, “I trust you're well.”
“Vargas, what the hell do you want?”
“Okay here's my plan,” Anita started, “those experiments are hiding in the hills and I-“
“No, you're not sending my men to the hills. As a matter of fact, in a week or so, you won't be sending them anywhere. The government is pulling support from your project due to your, how shall we say, recent turn of events.”
“A few escapees, doesn-“
“3 High Priority Experiments escaped your facility, Vargas! They are forces to be reckoned with! On top of that, you've had Homeland Security, Immigration, and the IRS knocking at your door within these last few weeks. So needless to say, the government can give itself a bad reputation, it doesn't need the likes of you to help. My men will not be performing any more searches. Their duty is merely to defend the facility from outside threat. They will be gone at the end of the week. Do I make myself clear, Vargas?”
“Crystal,” Anita muttered through clenched teeth, and slammed the phone into the receiver. She heard a sharp "CRACK" come from beneath her. Looking down, she had somehow managed to slam the phone and receiver into the desk. She looked up at the soldier, and then dismissed him. Anita looked blankly at the wall she threw her glass at, and then stared at the shards on the floor. I seem to be reaching the same threshold as the prior experiments, my anger is becoming increasingly difficult to control, my thoughts have become increasingly violent, but my physical appearance isn't changing. She shrugged her shoulders, and then gave a half smile to her reflection in the glass shards. Which means the new formula is working. Soon, I'll be stronger and better than any of the previous experiments. Well, we won't find out until I do some testing, say on a few rogue experiments? Anita threw on her jacket over her business suit, paused, then turned around and went into the small closet, and pulled out jeans and a t-shirt. No sense in trying to climb hills in a suit. She let out a small chuckle, walked out the office, and closed the door behind her. As soon as the door closed, four figures emerged from various places in the office.
“Okay guys, we have very limited time on our hands, let's move.” Kia said.
“Ain't it just a stroke of luck that she went to the hills to find us.” Jay chuckled. “Maybe she'll find some funding while she's looking for us.” She joked.
“Deon, that was just pure genius sending Immigration over here.” Jean said, which prompted Deon to take a bow.
“So what are we looking for?” He asked.
“I don't know, we're mostly here to trash her office.” Jay said, rummaging through Anita's desk. She came upon a secret compartment. Well what do we have here? Jay said. She opened the drawer and pulled out the contents, a picture and what, to Jay, appeared to be a a diary. I remember this old thing. I never saw her write in it, but she kept it under lock and key.
Hey Jay, what's that?
I think it's Anita's diary. Would you like to hear a few excerpts?
Of course we would, Kia answered, motioning for the others to come closer.
Jay flipped to a page near the end, and scanned a few lines. “This is the day of....well you know, the ‘incident.'" The others nodded and encouraged Jay to read aloud.
I sit here in my room, crying my eyes out. Why did she have to be that way? Why can't she be normal, like me? Like my Dad? Why does she have to be queer, she's my best friend, my best friend can't be queer. Daddy always said those queers were born that way, but they can be fixed, like he did Momma. What if I fixed her? Then she'll be normal like me and I can have my best friend back. I can use the formula to fix the genetic code that causes queerness! I can fix everybody in the entire world. That's what I'll do, I'll just borrow Jay's formula. She won't be mad if I make her normal again. I have to call Dad and tell him.
Jay stopped reading. “That's the last thing she wrote in here, ya'll. She let out a deep sigh. She just wanted me to be ‘normal.'” I wish I had never told her-
Jean cut Jay off. I'm glad you did Jay. I never would have met you, and that would have been disappointing.
Jay let out a small smile. “I'm glad I found ya'll. I haven't had a...family in a long time. Actually, never.”
“And according to these notes on Deon,” Kia said, you always will. Jay cocked her head to the side in confusion. “What are you talking about Kia?”
“Congratulations! You have a sibling! Apparently, you and Deon were both placed in foster care after your biological parents were incarcerated. Deon was adopted by the Kingston family at the age of 6 and had his named changed, but Jay was placed in a foster home.”
Deon walked over and gave Jay a hug. “Always wanted a sister.” he said.
Jean started to protest, but was elbowed in the ribs by Kia, which prompted a fight between the two sisters.
Jay looked at Deon. “Promise me something Deon.”
“Let's never act like those two.”
Deon chuckled. “It's a deal, Walker.”
“Glad to hear it, Kingston.” Now let's go separate those two and get the real party started.
Anita walked up to her rental jeep at the base of the hill. They weren't there. Where could they have gone so quickly and undetected? I'll find them soon enough. Her cellphone began to ring, she reached for and looked at the screen, shocked that it was her office number. she answered.
“Hey Anita, its Kia! Listen I was wondering what's the address for this dump? I'm about to order pizza, and I need it.”
Anita recognized the voice as one of the escapees. “What the hell are you doing in my office!? How the hell did you get in my office?! There's a combination lock on the door!”
A distinctly southern female voice came on the line. “No offense, but you really need to change your passwords from time to time, Nita.”
“Jay! but...but how? You're supposed to be dead!”
“Plenty of time for Q and A later! . If you'll just turn your attention to the nearest tv screen, you'll get to see the latest game show craze! It's called Screw with Anita Until She Submits to Our Demands!”
Anita quickly took out the portable television that came with the rental car. She adjusted the dial until she saw Jaylene sitting in her office chair, legs propped on the desk, nonchalantly speaking on the phone, with the other three escapees standing near her.
“Let's begin! Round 1 will be hosted by the one and only Kia Dubois-Kingston, former chemist, part telekinetic, part telepathic, full bitch.”
Kia cleared her throat and put on her best cheesy game show host voice. “Thank you Jay. Now for my demand I ask for the release of all "patients" of the Project X program. If they need medical attention, they should be transported to the nearest hospital. What say you, Anita?”
A very loud string of swear words, that involved female dogs, donkeys, and several 4 letter words ensued from Anita's mouth.
“Ooo, I'm so sorry Anita, that was not the correct answer. You're prize is....a brand new totalled car! Courtesy of me!” Suddenly the tv screen switched to the parking lot in the facility, where Anita's car was. Kia was using her mind to lift several large rocks off the ground, aiming them towards the vintage Aston Martin.
“Countdown, please, Jay!”
“Don't you dare!” Anita shouted.
Anita let off another string of swear words
“Alright! I'll do it. Let me get back to the facility first.” Anita's voice suddenly deepened to a growl. “You don't know how unfortunate you all are.” The line went dead.
“You don't know how unfortunate you all are.” Kia said in a mocking tone. “Hey, do you think we should tell her we already let everyone go? I mean, it is her facility after all.”
The other three pondered the question for a bit, then almost simultaneously shook their heads. They continued to open the boxes that contained various files of experiments, including their own.
Jay shook her head as she went through the files. “This is some sick stuff, guys. I can't believe my research caused all of this. I feel like it's my fault.”
Deon spoke up. “It's not your fault Jay. You did that research with good intentions. Just because she took it and changed into some evil, crazy scheme doesn't mean it's your fault.”
“Thanks Deon.” Jay said quietly.
“No problem.” He continued to rummage through the files in the box. “Hold on guys! I found something that might change a few things! Anita's been performing the experiments on herself! Deon showed them the files he had been looking at. Listen to this, she's been giving herself a modified version of the formula that they used on Jay, it's almost like the one they used on me, but it's different. I don't quite understand all the technical stuff in here, I'm an accountant, not a geneticist.”
“But I am.” Jay reminded him. “Let me see that.” She flipped throught the pages, scanning throught the notes, taking note of key information. “It seems like she replaced a few of the key components of the formula they used on me with the orginal formula. The main one replaced though, is the one that doesn't change your physical appearance, but that change in appearance is the key to the stability factor. “
“Stability factor? What does that do?” Deon asked.
“It keeps you from losing complete control of your rage and going on killing sprees.”
“What? Why the hell would she do that?” Jean said.
“So I could be stronger than you.” A cold, rough voice said. “So these feelings I had would go away.” Anita stood in the doorway, her breathing ragged, her eyes pitch black. It looked to the others as if she was losing control of herself.
Jay, sensing that things were going to go very bad if they didn't do something, started to clap very slowly. “You know, I'm impressed Anita, I think this is the furthest extent I've seen someone go to prove they're not gay. Which, you obviously are.”
Jay what the hell are you doing! She's going to kill you! Jean sounded panicky, and Jay knew she needed to reassure her friend.
Nah, probably just maim me. Relax! I got this. “So Anita, which one of those Playboy magazines that we found in here did you enjoy the most?”
“You arrogant little dyke, you think I'm anything like you? Running around flaunting my problem?” Anita was now about 5 feet from the desk and was practically foaming at the mouth at this point.
“Problem?” Jean walked up to Anita. “The only one with problems is you, you narrow minded, Neo-Nazi wannabe, anorexic looking,--“
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Anita slapped Jean into the other side of the room, but before she could even bring her hand back to its original position, Jay had tackled her to the ground and was raining blows to her face and upper body. Anita returned the favor by punching Jay square in the jaw. The punch barely fazed Jaylene, and she continued to pummel Anita into next week, her fist bringing blow after blow to Anita, never seeming to tire or slow down.
After about a minute or so. Jean spoke up. “Deon, I think you should go break that up. “
“Why? I thought the plan was to have Jay beat some sense into Anita.”
“That's not beating the sense into someone, that's beating the life out of the person who took you through hell and back.”
Kia cut in. “You think she should walk away scot-free for what she did to those people? For what she did to us?”
“No, but killing her won't solve anything.” Jean pointed to the scuffle. Deon and Kia turend their attention and saw Jay with her hands wrapped around Anita's neck, choking her. Anita's face was swollen and unrecognizable.
Deon headed for Jay. Deon quickly managed to pull Jay off Anita, and struggled to calm her, fearing that Jay in this state would probably kill Anita, which probably wouldn't sit well with Jay after she calmed.
“C'mon sis. Look, Jean's fine. See?”
Jay looked over at Jean, who had her hands crossed over her chest. Deon felt Jay relax in his hands. “I'm fine, Deon. You can let go now.” She raced over to Kia and Jean, and stood next to Kia. “Jean are you all right?”
“I'm fine, but let me tell you something Jaylene Walker. Don't you ever pull that defend my honor crap again. I'm capable of doing that myself. You understand?”
Jay smiled and gave a mock salute. "Yes ma'am!" She then turned her attention to the others. "C'mon guys let's get out of here before she...spoke too soon. She's awake. Everybody out the window!" By the time Anita was fully conscious, the only one left in the room was Jay, and she was halfway out the window.
Anita struggled to a sitting position and made eye contact with Jay. She raised her hand and pointed her finger at Jay. "This isn't over Jaylene, not by a long shot!"
Jay shrugged. "I never said it was, Anita." And she disappeared out the window, leaving Anita in the middle of the destroyed office, injured and angry.
Three months later
Jean sat at the table in the kitchen, reading the morning news from her new laptop. Being on the run makes you appreciate the little things, like regular meals, showers, and of course, high speed internent . She chuckled to herself, not seeing or hearing the tall figure behind her creeping up on her.
“MORNIN HUN!” Jay shouted in Jean's ear, which prompted her to jump out of her seat and into Jay's arms.
“Jay, one of these days, you're not gonna catch me, and then I'll have grounds to be angry.”
“Well, at least you didn't fall on her butt that time.” Jay remarked.
“Hey lovebirds, didn't we say the kitchen is off limits for your little rendezvous!”
Jay rolled her eyes. “Kia, don't be jealous that I'm the more romantic of the siblings.”
“Hey! I resent that!” Deon said, as he walked in.
“Sorry, Deon, how can I make it up to you?” Jay said
“Did you cook?” He asked. Jay nodded. “Then all is forgiven.” He promptly went to the stove to see what had been made.
Jay felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned towards Jean. “You can put me down now, Jay.”
“Oh. Sorry.” Jay mumbled placing Jean gently on the ground.
“Almost forgot, have you guys seen the news?” Jean didn't bother to wait for a response, but sat back down in front of her laptop, clicking on the link to the main headline.
The quartet stood behind and to the side of Jean, as they watched a fully healed Anita and the President of the United States, shaking hands on an agreement that made her the head director of a new research facility, RenewU, which would specialize in "finding new, safe, and better ways to eliminate physical disadvantages in the human race." At the end of that video, another came on, with just Anita, sitting on a desk. "The events that led to the closing and shutdown of Project X are still under investigation and will not be disclosed, but I can assure you that this new project is completely different. Once our research is complete, our processes will be as accepted and mainstream as plastic surgery. Who knows? There could come a day when our process becomes a vital part of the medical community. If you wish to be a part of a major scientific breakthrough, then feel free to click on the link and enter your information after this video has ended."
The video turned off, and nobody spoke for a few moments. Jay shook her head and spoke. “Well, looks like we'll be busy trying to figure out what she's up to, doesn't it guys?”
“Can we actually total her car this time?” Jean asked.
“If she hits you again, I'll personally push her through the windshield, darling.”
“I'll help, Deon added.”
Kia laughed. “Okay, but according to this article, the facility hasn't even been built yet. She scrolled down the page, and it won't be for another 8 months or so. So we've got some time.”
Jay stretched. “Who's up for some hiking? I know this great lake we can go swimming in.”
“I'm in.” Deon piped up immediately. I'll go get changed.” He ran up the stairs.
“Umm...I'm up for the hike, but I'll pass on the swimming, the idea of swimming in fish-infested, non-chlorinated water is not appealing.” Kia said.
“Okay, well you can just sit and watch us have fun.”
Kia snorted. That's not fun, that's playing with your lives. She went up the stairs after Deon.
Jean's voice popped in Jay's head. Jay?
Are we gonna push Kia in the water?
Of course we are, silly. Where's the fun in letting her sit on the side?
Thought so. I'm gonna go change, care to join me?
Ummm....if I join you, we'll never leave, darling. Plus, it'll add to Kia's teasing, which increases fights between you two, which....
Okay, Jay, I get it. I'll be back in 15 minutes. Jean walked out the kitchen, leaving Jay by herself.
Jay chuckled, sat down on the nearest seat and let her thoughts drift.
Ms. Remy stood at the front of the kitchen, doing an overall check. Okay Jay, it's clean, you can go play now.
11 year old Jay came out from behind the door, with the most scared look on her face. "I wanna stay here Ms. Remy, you know those kids are scary!"
Now you hush with all that complaining! You ain't no tiny mouse! You taller than almost all them kids! Go out there and make some friends child!
Jay shook her head sadly. "You the only friend I have Ms. Remy. Nobody likes me all that much"
Ms. Remy sighed, and knelt down in front of Jay. "Now you listen here, Jaylene Walker, you gonna have friends. It may not be today, may not be tomorrow, but you will have them. And you know what else, Jay?" Jay looked up. "They're gonna love you for you and turn your whole world upside down. Now come on! Since you don't wanna go play, come help me make this jambalaya!" Jay smiled, and raced past Ms. Remy to the cupboard.
“Jay...Jay? Earth to Jay!” A loud voice interrupted Jay's thoughts. She sat up, turned around, and was eye to eye with Jean.
“You okay, Jay? If you're not feeling well, I can tell Deon and Kia, never mind bout the hiking.”
“No, no, I'm fine. I was just thinking about something. You go get Deon and Kia, and I'll pack something for lunch. “Jean gave Jay another glance, then went up the stairs, to get the others. Jay stood up, and stretched her long limbs. She smiled to herself. Ms. Remy, yet again you've managed to prove yourself right. Just keep watch over me and make sure I don't mess this up like I did that jambalaya. She chuckled to herself, and went into the kitchen. It was a new life for Jay, and she planned to hold on to this one for as long as she could.