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{June 28, 2012}   Alternates: Part 3 & 4

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!

Part 3

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.

“Kill me.”

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.

“Shit!”

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.

Part 4

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.

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{May 8, 2012}   Alternates: Part 2

This is the next part of the story Alternates. To understand what is going on, please read Part One. Please feel free to leave comments, but please be constructive in criticism.

Before Mam and the other Saviors were taken from us, I had only fought an Alt once. We mainly stayed underground, we were content there. But like most 13 year old girls, I had wanted to disobey and explore the world above. It turned out to be an almost fatal mistake right away. I was untrained. I didn’t know what I was seeing. The only times I was above ground, I was escorted by Mam, and it was just for errands. Humans and Alts both lived above ground, so Mam had a home where she had built us our underground home. I had the blue diamond contacts in, I thought I would be safe.

Can I tell you something? At 13, no matter what species you are, you’re wrong. Listen to your elders, because they are right, you’re wrong. I was not safe. By my wandering, I had not only put myself in danger, but I put Mam in danger of being found out for hording Mutts, which is punishable by death. I put the other Mutts in danger. Because I was 13, and I didn’t want to be locked up anymore.

I decided to go on the rooftops. I put 3 knives on me, one in my boot, and one in each back pocket. Because we never cut our hair, I had it pulled up into a ponytail. I thought it was silly to even bring the knives, but who knew what adventures I would find out there? Just before sunrise, Mam was asleep. I crept to the opening we used to go on our errands I opened the latch and pulled myself out of the underground. Even just entering the house without Mam was exhilarating.  Checking the windows, I looked to see if anyone was around. Seeing that the coast was clear, I dashed out the front door, across the street to the alleyway between the grocery store and an abandoned building. I saw a ladder on the side of the abandoned building, so I quickly scrambled up to the roof, ducking down, waiting for Mam to come out guns blazing.

She didn’t.

I waited what felt like hours before moving. I hopped from rooftop to rooftop, amazed at the things I could see. Everything looked so small! Everyone was so tiny! Then I ran into him.

There was an Alt on guard at the roof of a store. I didn’t understand why he was there, but since I had the contact in, I smiled politely. Gruffly, he asked “What are you doing up here?”  “Just wandering around!” I replied, with my best smile and big eyes. At that moment, I knew something was wrong. Not only was he looking at me…he was looking through me. Alarmed, I started to back away, but before I could move quickly enough he jumped, landing on top of me.

“Mutt!” He screamed, “Your fake eyes do nothing for me! Do you think we are stupid? Do you think we are powerless to you? Do you think you are better than me?”

“No! No! No!” I sobbed, trying to reach for my blade. He felt me struggling, because he pulled out his gun, holding it to my head. Before I knew it, his head exploded and I was being pulled to my feet. Mam’s white hair hit me in the face. She looked me in the eyes.

“Rissa! Rissa can you hear me? Rissa! I need you to run! Run, Rissa!” She shoved me in the opposite direction, but I couldn’t leave her behind. 2 more Alts came and the sound of the gunfire. Before I knew it, my knives were flying, landing directly in their chests. I ran and grabbed them, realizing their blood is not red like ours. Their blood runs black. I stood there for a second, staring at the chaos that I created, when Mam grabbed my arm. We ran, faster than we ever ran before, back to the grocery store, where we stayed until way past dark. Mam didn’t speak to me the entire time we were there. I spent my time counting calorie labels on cans.  She didn’t say anything when it was time to leave, she just grabbed my arm and dragged me back to the underground. The first thing she did was slap me square across the face. That hurt more than the Alt that tackled me.

“Do you know why you’re escorted everywhere? Do you? I know where it is safe for you. Alts can see past your contacts, your fake skin. Think, Rissa. Think really hard. Do you ever see Alt’s whose name I don’t know? Do you ever go to someplace where it is not full of humans? I’m trying to protect you! There are Alts everywhere. Alts can see under you. They can read your mind Rissa! Alts can control us. We got lucky today. This is why the Alts have taken over the Humans. They can read and manipulate who they are. I’ve been lucky. Your mother, was lucky. You are lucky to have this place Rissa, and you almost threw it all away. What if someone had seen us? You would have given not only our pack away, but the Opa and Pinky’s pack too!” She was so angry she didn’t look at me the entire time she spoke. I sobbed quietly to myself, giving her a minute before speaking.

“Mam..I didn’t…”

“No, Rissa, you didn’t. You didn’t think. You thought you knew it all, thought you could be safe with your little knives. You’re lucky Dylan saw you leave. I’m lucky Dylan saw you leave.” She slammed her hand against the wall. “Do you know how much I wish I could just let you go up there? How I wish the Mutts could be one of them? I want you to know who your mother is. I want you to live with a family. I want you to be able to have a family. But Rissa, you can’t right now. You can’t leave. I need you to help me take care of our ever growing family here. Can you do that?” Tears streamed down my eyes as she put her hand on my cheek.

“Of course I can Mam. I promise I will always take care of this family.”

I kept that promise. The seven years I remained in the underground with the Pack I trained and studied harder than anyone else. Dylan, one of the other Mutts who was rescued around the same time I was, tried to keep up. He was good, but he was always a step behind. He was an Alt Mutt like me, although his skin was a deep forest green and hair that was bright yellow. His eyes were two different colors, one a deep chocolate brown, the other a light blue. I told him one time that he could hypnotize the Alts with his strange eyes. He laughed, his deep, rumbling laugh that shook the cavern. For someone who was a few months younger than me, he always seemed older. He never took well to sparring or shooting, but excelled in education. He was great with Pinky, always able to keep her talking about religion.

If we weren’t fearing for our lives, we probably could have fallen in love.

When the Saviors were taken, Dylan had to pull me away from the door to the common area. I wanted so badly to save them. I resented him for taking me away, even if it was logical to care for the other Mutts. We couldn’t teach them, like Mam, Pinky and Opa, but we could keep them safe. The Human Mutts were easy to pass off to other families, who were willing and able. That still had left us with about 40 Mutts that the three Saviors had left us to take care of. With no income, no food, no water and no place to stay. We feared staying in our underground cavern. The few nights we had no choice to stay down there, we set up a watch system so that at least one person was awake at each hour. During the darkest hours I would venture outside, creeping from building to building, trying to find a safe camp. I found one abandoned building, which I stayed in overnight to see if Alts or Humans came by. It seemed safe, so we moved there.

It took about 3 days, but we were raided. It turns out our house was being watched, which meant someone saw me find the old building. Smoke bombs and gunfire poured in from all directions. Dylan moved the younger Mutts out as I stayed behind to fight. When we moved, I packed in a way that kept me heavily armed at all times. I used the two guns I had strapped to my back first. I fired into the smoke, just hoping that something will show. Their eyes are reflective, I was just waiting for a clue. Unfortunately, I was given far more than a clue. 10 Alts appeared, all armed. I should have turned and ran, but wanting to protect my family I charged them, firing wildly. They took me down easily, easily manipulating the guns out of my hands, bringing me to my knees. All the sparring in the world couldn’t have trained me for what happened next…

Part 3 will be up in a few days, I’ve already started work on it. Please feel free to leave constructive crit!



{May 4, 2012}   Alternates

Everything written here is part of a crazy vivid dream that I had while undergoing surgery. Where this all came from I have no clue. This might just start off as a draft, we’ll see. I’m still not sure if I’m going to keep the title as Alternates. If you have an idea for a title let me know. Constructive criticism is welcome (seriously, constructive. Don’t be a dick.)

His hazel eyes.

I’m fighting for my life. There are bullets whizzing past my head. I am ducked down behind a now crumbling piece of concrete, and I’m thinking of his fucking eyes?!

My skin is turning pink where the concrete shards hit me. It’s better than the bullets I suppose. I take a deep breath, push my fuchsia hair out of my eyes, and start running. Keeping low to the ground, I weave through an impossible maze of concrete walls, too scared to look up. Bullets keep flying, while I remain unarmed. Another bullet whizzes past my head. I dive behind the closest wall, scratching through the dirt, trying to find some sort of weapon.

“Get it together Rissa” muttering to no one but myself. “Get it together. This is nothing. You can do this.” I dig through the dirt, my now polka dotted blue skin turning grey under the piles of dirt. Something has to be here. Something needs to save my life. My hand hits something. Slowly, using both of my hands, I pull out the stone like object. It old. There is a chance it won’t work. But its better than running.

I pull the pin on the grenade. I stand to throw, but as it leaves my hand, the world goes black as the bullet hits my chest, throwing me backwards into the concrete wall behind me.

My life wasn’t always like this.

When The Alternates came is when life changed.

The Alternates look like humans. Their appearance differs in color. Normal skin colors for them are various shades of blues, purples and greens. Hair colors are various shades of pink, a very bright yellow and a glittery aquamarine. The aquamarine is very rare, and is usually only among the oldest of The Alternates. The only hair color that moves with both cultures is red. We refer to them as Alts. They have a name that isn’t The Alternates, but enough time has passed that no one possibly remembers it, or cares.

The story changes every time I hear it. So much time has passed since the Alternates came. It was before I was born. Some say they just showed up. Some say they came through the television, sending calls of help, threatening to destroy us if we don’t comply. The Alts want Earth. Every story ends the same though. Someone fell in love with the Alternates, those beings that were trying to kill us. Stockholm Syndrome, some claim. But they fell in love, which is where the Mutations, or Mutts come from. Where I come from. Mutts are supposed to be killed at birth. Most of us aren’t. The easiest way to tell a Mutt is the eyes. Alts have a very unreal color blue for eyes. Its is as if you mashed deep ocean blue with the lightest blue you can find, and covered in glitter.  All of their eyes look as if a symphony of blue diamonds erupted. They are beautiful. And deadly. Mutts never inherit the eyes. If we are born with normal skin, we can be passed off as human. Those born like I was, with Alt skin and hair, there are contacts that are passable for Alt eyes, or we can cover ourselves in a fake skin.

We have to hide who we are, or we die.

Mutts aren’t even given to their parents. As soon as we are born, we are dumped outside of the hospital, figuring we’ll just die off. Some hospitals are guarded, so that humans with soft hearts don’t try to save us. Luckily for me, whoever my mother was, she was poor. I was born in a non guarded hospital. Someone saved me. I called her Mam. Mam protected me until she was found out. She had saved almost 30 of us. She was kind, gentle…and a cold hearted killer. She taught us how to protect ourselves. She taught us the basics of guns, how to take it apart, put it together, clean it, hide it, shoot it. The 30 of us are particularly good marksmen. She taught us to fight, sparring with us constantly. She would challenge us to other Mutt Packs, or the other families of Mutts that are hidden underground. Mam was human, she was remorseful in some of the ways she had to teach us. But if she didn’t, most of us left from the pack wouldn’t be alive today. We owe Mam our lives.

In the area we lived, there were 3 other Mutt Packs. One from an Alt, whom we called Pinky for her hair color. We never learned her real name. She had rescued about 45 Mutts. It was easier for her, being an Alt. She was one of the few Alts who were not out to kill off the humans. She just wanted everyone to live in peace. To her, we are all the same. She said those of us who were considered Mutts should be considered Evolution. Pinky taught us to be calm. I know if Pinky wasn’t there, a lot more rage would have seeded from the Mutts. She taught us yoga and meditation. Pinky was really religious, as are most of her people, but she never pushed it on us. Mam was Christian. Some of the Mutts took to religion. I personally didn’t. I think that if we’re going to die because we were born of two species, a deity isn’t going to save my soul. Pinky and I had long talks about it, she would have liked me to see things her way.

The last of the Saviors was an old man who we referred to as Opa. He was our educator. He only had about 10 Mutts at a time, given his advanced age. After Mam would train us, Pinky would calm us, then Opa would educate us. He was a man who had traveled the world when he was young. He taught us the ways of the world, how to survive without electricity or running water. He gave us the intelligence we needed to survive without them, should anything ever happen to them. When what happened to them happened. Our basic math skills, our advanced reading and problem solving skills, we gave the credit to Opa. He taught us how to debate, how to see both sides of the argument. He would tell us stories of old, he was alive before the Alt’s came. He doesn’t remember much, he was just a boy. I don’t even know how old Opa was when they took our Saviors away. When they found our Mutt Packs. When we all started to run.

It was like a movie sequence. We all met in the basement of an abandoned store, through an entrance no one knew existed. There were tunnels underground that we used to go in and out of this store. We don’t know how we were found out, we didn’t know people knew about us. Mam, Pinky and Opa had been running this operation before I arrived, 20 years earlier. We had just gathered for our meditation with Pinky as Mam loaded guns behind us and Opa prepared lesson plans beside us. Smoke poured through the floorboards above us. Thanks to the training we had received, us older Mutts knew what to do. But the younger Mutts cried, they were untrained. We grabbed them, diving into the tunnels. I stayed behind, grabbing one of the guns that Mam had just loaded. I turned to face the armies above us, but Mam shoved me in the tunnel before any shots were fired. It was the last time I saw any of them. That was 9 years ago.

So this is where I’m starting with the story of the Alternates. Like I said, I’m not sure if this is the title I’m going to keep, but this was seriously a dream that I had. A crazy vivid dream that I have much more to share. I really want to know, is there interest to keep going with this, or should I leave it alone?



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