Welcome back to another Fantasy Friday! This week you will continue your adventure with Quin and Blair. Who is PYKSEL Industries and what exactly is this new top-secret government program, “The Prism”? If you missed last week’s chapter go back and read Chapter 1 to meet Quin and Blair. This is a Sci-fi original story written by me. There is a menu option for you to just filter through “The Prism” blogs. Comment and share how your feel about the characters and the story. Let me know what you think or what you want to happen… maybe it will. If you’re not following the blog yet just put in your email at the bottom of the blog (to the right on a computer) and it’ll send you notifications to new blogs. Enjoy.
The Prism: Chapter 2
Quin walked into the room to find Blair sitting on the edge of the bed. He just got off the phone with his parents. She had told them that Quin has important work to do and that she will be joining him. She didn’t know how long they would be gone but said she will let them know as soon as she does. When she hung up she looked down at her phone. The time was 12:27 AM. The date was April 7th, 2041. They have been packing and making arrangements for their departure all day. Quin packed the rest of his supplies in his suitcase and zipped it. Quin jumped over and landed on his back beside her on the bed. He rotated his body so he could put his head in her lap.
“Are you ready for this?” Quin asked.
“I think so. My parents are worried and a little frustrated that I won’t tell them any details,” Blair said with guilty eyes.
“At least your parents care.” Quin reached up and brushed her hair behind her ear. Quin’s parents did not accept his lifestyle and disowned him when he started going through his change. His parents were well respected American history professors. Hence why they decided to name him after a dead president. Quin always found irony in the fact that he was named after a man and now is one, but despite the origin he still associated that one letter with who he used to be. “Y.” It was the question Quin asked himself over and over again. It had also become the solution. Remove the “Y” and become a new person. Simple, but decisive.
Blair cupped Quin’s face in her hands and kissed him on the forehead. “I care, and you know my parents are here for you too. I think they like you more than me anyway,” She laughed and kissed him again.
“I know, I didn’t mean anything by it.” Quin smiled and reached to grab her hand that caressed his face. He rubbed that back of her hand while she ran her fingers through his beard. “They definitely love me more though,” Blair laughed and grabbed the pillow off the bed and playfully smothered Quin’s face with it. Quin let out a muffled laugh and broke free from her grasp. Before he could retaliate they heard three loud knocks coming from the front door.
They stopped in their tracks. Three more knocks billowed across the dark house. They haven’t even slept yet, it was barely passed midnight. Surely it couldn’t be…
“PYKSEL INDUSTRIES! OPEN THE DOOR!!” A man’s voice shouted followed by more knocks.
Quin pulled Blair off the bed. “Get dressed!” Blair ran into the closet. Quin decided to stay in his silk shorts and tank top. He slipped on some socks and running shoes and hurried Blair out of the closet. Blair emerged wearing similar attire.
“Let’s go!” The voice yelled again. Quin grabbed both suitcases and followed Blair down the stairs to the door. She opens it quickly.
“We are ready! We apologize we didn’t realize we should be expecting you this –” Blair was cut off.
“The invitation said to expect us on this date. That means anytime. Regardless you are here so let’s go.” The man was accompanied by a small statured woman. The man has a dark complexion and the woman had more of an olive tone to her skin.
“Take a seat near the back. We cannot answer any questions right now. Everything you need to know will be answered on your arrival,” The woman spoke with a slight middle eastern accent, just enough to recognize it. She stops us outside of a large black bus. It’s too dark out to see any faces inside. “Please keep talking to a minimum. We will inform you that the drive will be approximately seven hours. We have a few more people to pick up. You may talk among the two of you but no mingling with anyone else until your arrival.”
Quin stepped up into the bus first. He held Blair’s hand as she follows closely behind him. They looked around the dark rows of seating and, at first, they don’t see anyone. But then they see one person sitting in the very back of the bus. His legs are pulled up with his hands wrapped tightly around them. His head is buried in his knees. They made their way to the back of the bus and stop at the back seat directly across from the man. Quin takes some sweatshirts out of their suitcases to use as pillows. He then stacked their suitcases on the racks above their seat. Quin slides into his seat first next to the window and Blair follows right after.
The woman that spoke to them took a seat behind the steering wheel and started the engine. She accelerated and it pushed them into the back of their seats. Quin and Blair looked at each other. They didn’t know how to feel anymore. The reality started to sink in and they weren’t sure this is what they signed up for.
“It’ll be okay,” Quin whispered in her ear. “Things will be better when we get there. We are just tired and I’m sure they are too.”
“I know,” Blair whispered back, uncertain. “Let’s try to get some sleep. We have seven hours to get rested for what’s to come.” Quin nodded and folded his sweatshirt up to rest his head on against the cold window. Blair curled her legs up on the seat and rested her head on Quin’s chest, her sweatshirt secured tightly in her arms against her chest.
“I love you,” Quin whispered one more time.
“I love you too,” Blair replied. The couple dozed off immediately.
They must’ve been more tired than usual because the next thing they knew they were being woken up in a hurry.
“Wake up everyone. We’re here.” The bus comes to a halt. Quin and Blair jumped awake and peeked over the edge of the seat in front of them. A few people are grabbing their suitcases off the racks. Many more were just waking up as well.
Blair waited until most people shuffled off the bus before she got up. Quin stood up and stretched his legs. He grabbed their suitcases and handed Blair’s to her. “Carry your own, just in case.”
“In case of what?” Blair asked as she hesitantly took her suitcase. Not that she minded carrying her own stuff, but his reasoning took her by surprised.
“Just in case,” Quin said with no more detail. Blair never questioned Quin’s intuition. She trusted him with her life. She may ask for a reason but she never requires an answer. She trusted him fully. And Quin trusted her. Quin gave her one more kiss before they started to walk down the aisle. Before Quin went, however, he noticed the man in the seat across form them. He hasn’t moved from the position they first saw him in.
Quin tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey, man. We’re here.” There was no response.
“Everyone off please,” The woman yelled from outside the bus door. Quin, Blair and this man were the last one’s on.
“Come on man, we have to go.”
“Just leave him, it’s not our problem Quin. There’s no point in getting in trouble before we even start.” Blair said with a concerned look towards the man.
Quin gave him one more nudge and his head fell back. His eyes were wide open and his skin was an ashy gray. He was dead. Blair screamed as Quin put his hand over her mouth. He also noticed a piece of paper sticking out of his hand.
“What is going on up there,” The woman yelled. He heard her climbing the stairs. Quin quickly tried to pry the paper out of the corpse’s cold hands. It was like trying to separate stone as rigor mortis prevented any muscle from moving. Quin was able to retrieve the paper but ripped part of it in the process. He quickly put the piece he got in his pocket as the woman came up the stairs. Blair started to cry.
“He’s dead,” She said through her sobs. Tears streamed down her face.
“Come on, both of you. We will take care of this. Did he say anything to you?”
Quin looked at her not knowing what to say. He was at a loss for words. The woman grew impatient waiting for an answer.
“DID HE SAY ANYTHING TO YOU?” She yelled. Her hands flew up in exasperation.
“NO!” He yelled back, accidently matching her tone. Quin took a breath and said again, “No, sorry. He – He didn’t say anything.”
She pursed her lips and gave them a sympathetic nod. “Very well, but you must go. Don’t get behind.” She hurried them out of the bus and closed the door behind them. Quin ran his fingers over the pocket with the paper and felt the outline of the crumpled edges in his pocket. He was curious as to what it said. He had a feeling that it would be a while before he had the chance to find out.
They looked up to see themselves surrounded by tall fences topped with barbed wire and sniper towers ever one hundred yards. All he could do was take Blair’s hand. He gave it a reassuring squeeze as they started walking to catch up to the group. This was not going to be some kind of vacation or friendly competition. This was voluntary imprisonment. Their goal to win money for a wedding was quickly replaced with the hope to just get out alive and together.