• Part 1
    The escape
    “Run damn it, run!” I yelled, leaping over the fence. “You damn clone! I’ll get you!” cried the guard who was chasing after us as we burst through the foliage. He would stop chasing us at the tree line. This was our land. Everybody thought that the GMARC dumped all the experiments and mutations in the woods. A bunch of stupid crap from the endless pile called the government if you ask me. We stopped to catch our breath. “You good?” I asked Zack. “Yeah, fine.” he replied. He was my best friend. Ever since we had come out of the growth tanks, we had been buddies. We had spent our time in our dorm/cell, dreaming of the outside. Beyond the fences and barbed wire. Beyond the guard towers with gauss canons poking out the windows. Dreaming of escape. I guess I should explain. We where clones. 50 others like us stood somewhere in that gleaming building we where running away from. The year was 2832. GMARC, or the genetic mutation and replication corporation, made things like us every day. The clones where used as organ donors or soldiers. The mutations where frightening weapons of awesome power. People came in every day wanting to buy us. Or part of us. It sucked. But that’s life. And now, today had been the final straw. Zack was scheduled to be cut up and shipped away today, all because some stupid rich politician needed a new arm, or kidney, or heart, or whatever. The point was he was done for. So we ran. They told him he had five minutes for goodbyes, and we had slipped out of a window. Now here we where, in the woods. Wanted. I looked around, and heard a deep keening howl in the distance. Definitely not the normal German shepherds used by the guards. No, this was something more sinister. I figured we had maybe ten minutes before they got to us, so I shook Zack and told him to get moving. We got maybe half a mile before we heard the howl again. So much closer than before. “Zack…” I started, taking our small tri barreled blaster out of its holster on my thigh. “I hate stupid mutations…” he said, pulling his 8 inch hunting knife out of its sheath on his belt. Just then, the thing charged through the brush at blinding speed. Ten feet of horrifying beast, a panther/horse mix. Half a ton, probably more. We where mince meat. It glared at us with its pulsing orange eyes, and pounced. I emptied an entire clip into the thing, and it barely even flinched. Maybe some rhino in there to. I rolled sideways just in time, and reloaded. The thing turned on Zack, and he went pale. “Hey kitty kitty!” I shouted, drawing its attention away from him. I loosed off five more shots, and it roared. “Do something!” I yelled, hoping for some help. It came. Zack jumped on the thing’s back. It bucked and kicked, trying to throw him off. “Damn it!” he yelled, after his third knife broke. “It’s got leather thick skin! I can’t cut through it!” crap. This was a problem. It reared back on its hind legs, and he flew off. I saw my chance, and my target. A patch about two inches in diameter, a gray discoloration in its camouflaged fur. It was the spot where they had grafted the armor skin on. I shot twice into it, and the mutation roared one last time. With a final snort, it fell on its back. “Are you crazy?!” I screamed at Zack. “What where you thinking, jumping onto its back?! Your crazy.” his only response was to grin, and say “yes, I am.” I glared at him. He had red eyes and blonde hair. I had brown hair and the same color eyes. Our eyes where part of an experiment that GMARC was doing. They could interpret things at slower speeds, so we saw things in slow motion. We could also see through walls or other objects that where less than three feet thick. It helped in combat situations. It was also pretty cool, I guess. I slotted a new clip into the gun, and started walking. After another mile, we set up camp for the night. “So…” I started, trying to make conversation. Suddenly, Zack sat bolt upright on his log. “Don’t move.” he said calmly, drawing a knife from his belt. He took careful aim, and whipped it at something behind me. I turned around, and saw a small girl limping out of the woods, cringing in pain and swearing at us. The knife had gone through her leg, and she had pulled it out. She was still holding it. She was wearing the clothes that all clones at GMARC wore. The standard white slacks and same color tee shirt, but she also had on a black jacket and a white scarf draped around her head, so all we could see where her eyes. She glared at us, and threw the knife at Zack. It lodged in the log, clearly missing him by at least a foot. She then fell to the ground, bleeding heavily from the wound in her leg. “Oh damn, I think I hit an artery!” said Zack, bending down to examine the damage. He took a tourniquet kit from the medical supplies, and put it on. It staunched the bleeding, but she was still pale. We put her down near the fire on a blanket we found in her pack. “Why the hell did you do that?” I asked, staring at him. He looked pale. “I… I didn’t mean to…” he whispered. “She’ll be fine man. It’s not your fault.” I said, patting him on the shoulder. “Ugh… I feel like… ouch.” said the girl, starting to sit up. “Yeah, that’s normal. You got a knife in an artery in your leg, and you hit your head when you fell. You may have a concussion.” I said, sitting down next to her bed. She bolted up in surprise, apparently just noticing me. “You guys threw a knife at me!” she cried, leaping on top of me. She pinned my arms with her knees, and pulled my knife out of my belt. She held the blade to my throat. “Throw a knife at me, will you?” she asked. “Let’s be a bit more civilized, shall we?” said Zack, cocking all three hammers on the blaster as he held it to the back of her head. “Yes, lets” said the girl, standing up. She held out her hand to me. “I’m Meghan. And your names are?” “I’m Joe. This is Zack” I answer, shaking it. “No way! You’re the two clones that broke out of GMARC!” she shouts, and I can tell by her eyes that she‘s grinning. “You guys are heroes. Everybody’s talking about it! You’re the two clones that escaped!” she continues. Then she stops, and her eyes went wide. “So it’s true… you do have the surgically enhanced eyes!” Zack looks down, cleaning his knives. I suddenly become very interested in my shoes. Hey, I was used to scrutiny. They made us go through inspection everyday back at GMARC to make sure none of the “merchandise” was damaged. But another clone, not to mention a girl, that was a different story. So I continued to like my shoes, and she changed the subject. “So, what’s the supply situation?” she asked, rummaging through her pack. “Well, for weapons, we have at least six more knives, this blaster, and two makeshift bombs. We have no food. They don’t keep it in the dorms. We have clothes and blankets, And a good amount of water.” I say, making a checklist in the dirt with a stick. “I have some blankets and clothes, enough food for a week if we ration it and this.” says Meghan, pulling a long black box out of her pack. She turns her backs to us, and when she turns back around, she is holding one of the most amazing weapons I have ever seen. It’s a gauss rifle, a farshoot2830. It has a starlight scope clipped to it, with 60x4 zoom. And it’s one of the best sniper rifles available to anybody. “Where in the name of omicron did you get that?” I ask, reaching out towards it. “Five finger discount at the guards’ barracks.” she says, laughing. We sleep in the woods that night, eating a light dinner. We take turns keeping watch on the GMARC building through the gauss rifles scope, filling each other in when we trade watches. We begin to understand each other. We begin to become friends. Then, at sunrise, we pack up.
    “Let’s go.” I say, putting on my pack. She follows. Zack scouts ahead, to watch out for patrols. “So you’re a clone?” I ask Meghan, keeping pace with her. “None of your business.” she says, cocking the bolt on her rifle. “Ok, ok, no need to freak out. Sorry I asked.” I say, stepping ahead of her. She looks at me. “I’m sorry. That was so rude. Look, I’m not a clone. As of now, I can’t tell you what I Am.” she apologizes. “So you’re human?” I ask. “sure.” she responds. “Hey guys! I found something up ahead!” shouts Zack, running towards us. “What is it?” I ask. “I ran all the way back. It’s a camp. Lots of people. At least a hundred campfires. And they’re armed.” he says, gasping for air. “Are they government, or GMARC?” I continue. “That’s the thing man; they don’t look official at all. Like, the look like some kind of guerrilla faction.” he finishes. “We have to check this out.” we all say in unison, and laugh. “Let’s go.” I say, and start walking. Five minutes later, we are at the edge of a large clearing, spying on the large group of what appear to be soldiers. They are standing around campfires, holding large rifles. “What have we got here, some clone spies and their girly friend?” says a voice from behind us, and we feel knives at the back of our necks. “damn.” is all Zack has to say. We are led through the camp, to the back of the clearing. A table sits with six people around it, all leaning over an old age paper map. “We must strike now, or the camp will surely be overrun!” shouts one. “Nonsense, we need to pack up and flee.” calls another. “Sir, we have to strike or they will hunt us with…” “Silence!” screams the man at the head of the table, cutting off the woman who was just speaking. “We have guests.” we are hit on the back and driven to our knees. “Speak scum. Are you GMARC spies, or leviathans?” he asks. “Umm…” Zack seems at a loss for words. Megan is sitting silently, with her head down. “Neither sir. We aren’t spies because we ran away from GMARC, and we don’t even know what leviathans are.” I answer, mumbling. “Nonsense.” Says the commander. “The girl is clearly hiding something. Come on, off with that scarf.” and then boom, two soldiers are there, unwrapping the scarf. As the last strip of cloth comes free, I can see her snapping at them with her deadly razor fangs. Wait. Fangs? Where did those come from? The more I looked at her, the worse it got. Claws that had been hidden under gloves. The fact that her face was very slightly elongated, like a snout. And her mouth was bigger than a normal human’s, and it was curved. She looked like a grinning shark. I didn’t think this creature I thought I knew was human at all. “What the…” Zack never finished, as we where all simultaneously knocked out. My last conscious thought was still spiraling around in my head, playing back to me over and over again. Because only one thing registered in my brain as the rifle butt collided with my skull. Meghan is a monster.