I was in the back of my parent's car as they chatted away, talking about how my siblings and I were doing back at home. I tried not to giggle, if only they knew. They didn't seem to know I was there, even when I called out to them several times. I decided to look out of the window, staring at the cars that flew by. We were in a city, I guessed London, mainly because Big Ben was over the horizon. I had never been here before, but definitely wanted to visit it at some point.
Mum sighed out of the window, "Honey, do you think they're going to be ok?"
"Don't worry, they'll be fine. Besides what's the worst that could happen?" You have no idea Dad.
"Listen to me, they'll be fine. You worry about them too much, they're growing up."
"That might be it. One day their all going to leave, then what?"
"They all have to leave at some point, but hopefully that isn't until after a few more years. Besides, knowing Connor I doubt he'd leave; he has everything he could ever want: food, water, anything he wants he can get from us; trust me, he isn't going to go anywhere for a long time." I felt sad for them, as well as sad for myself. I didn't want to grow up or to be away from them. I didn't know how people did it. You lived with your parents for so long and then to one day find them gone would be terrible, though I knew it'd happen to everyone eventually.
"What's that light up ahead?" I turned my head towards the front of the car after hearing that.
"I... don't know. It's getting brighter..."
"Lookout!" Mum screamed before the light hit us and all went dark.
The screams tortured me. I could hear them: Mum, Dad and other people who were standing around us. I opened my eyes and was shown a horrific site. The car I was just in, that my parents were just in, was upside down in the middle of the road. Flashes of red and blue could be seen throughout the crash site, as well as white and red vans surrounding the vehicle. People gathered around the car, trying their best to open it's doors. Some people stood there and watched, while others tried to help. I wasn't there or anywhere near it. In fact, I was half a mile down the road; I could see what was happening perfectly. It took me a few minutes to get over the shock of it all and find out that it was my parent's car, and that they were trapped inside. How did this happen? What happened? I trailed to the car at first but then picked up speed until I was sprinting to it, my heart pounding in my ears. Over and over my thoughts kept repeating: 'It's not real, it's not them! They're not in the car, their safe!'. Closer and closer I got to what remained of the once intact vehicle we were just in, again and again my worst fears were coming true. No it's not them, it can't be!
"MUM, DAD!" I cried as I shoved the strangers out of the way. Tears trickled down my face, my whole body relied on adrenaline alone to get to them. No, they couldn't be hurt! They got out, they just had to...
I was just about to push past the barriers when the car exploded right in front of me. The shock wave through me backwards until I was faced on my side, eyes blurred from the heat and smoke. My ears rang and screeched; I felt as if the whole world had come to an end. The red and blue lights repeatedly flashed, blinding my site. I struggled for breath, due to the in pact of the ground and my body. I couldn't scream no matter how much I wanted to get someone's attention. In the end, all I could muster was a throaty cough, barely audible. People ran past; gurney's and doctors finding their way to the wrecked car. I lied there, face turned to the stars that weren't blocked out by the city lights. 'It's your fault.' A voice called out to me. It was soft, yet mysteriously terrifying. 'It's your fault.' I struggled to set my eyes to the hidden voice, the man that called to me. 'You could have prevented this, all of this from happening... if only you told me where he is." He?
"Who...are...you talking about?" I whispered; my throat burned and my muscles ached. I could barely answer.
"HIM!" The voice screamed down my ears. I jumped to my feet towards the sound, though was faced with the crash site. I twirled back and forth, trying to determine where the man was. Nothing. Instantaneously, I felt someone's hand slowly slide up my back and rest on the top of my shoulder blade. My whole body stiffened, I didn't dare move. The stranger's hand felt cold, lifeless, dull. I bravely turned slightly to the left to see what was there, but immediately regretted it. There on my shoulder lay a blackened gloved- hand, spiral patterns easily traced to the tips of the glove. Crimson painted the rocky surface and spikes pointed out where the knuckles once were. Were the tips of the fingers would have been were deathly sharp knives sewn into the very tips. His claws teasingly twitched towards the lower part of my neck, gently brushing over it. The tips left ghastly burn marks that landed on my collarbone, yet I felt no pain. I gulped as a cold breath blew against my ear.
"This is your entire fault." The voice croaked. "You helped him, the traitor. If you do not give him back, I will kill everyone you care about, until you are nothing but a shell of your former self... barely able to breathe from the amount of pain you WILL endure." I gulped at the last part, paralysed by the masked phantom. "Leave him, or you will die." He chuckled in a terrifyingly intimidating way. I tried to not show my fear, though it was hard not to. I felt at that moment, that I was going to die; I had never been so sure in all my life. I turned and ran to the closest police officer that was around the crash site, but fell straight threw him. No, wait no how can I... how did I... was I dreaming? Was this another vision? No, this couldn't have been happening!
"There is nothing you can do." Someone denied.
"No! No!" I demanded as I fell to my knees. I looked up, a recognisable face staring back with no emotion. "Gaius?"
"There is nothing you can do. Your parents are gone and it is your fault."
"My fault? How? Gaius, please! They're in the car, help them! We need to save them! I... I can't move."
He grinned evilly at me, his eyes dilated so that his blue irises disappeared, black orbs encompassed and stared back; his hair darkened to end up like charcoal and the corners of his mouth leaked violet liquid. I crawled backwards until I was backed against the car door.
"G-Gaius." I stuttered. What was happening? What was wrong with him?
"You had the chance to save them; all you had to do was let me go, hah." He fell to his knees, clutching his stomach. "Your fault Elena, remember that." He spat before a fire engulfed him. I screamed out his name, as well as my parents. I shook violently as I looked down at my hands and found the words 'Your fault' carved into my flesh. This couldn't be happening, I was dreaming, they were alive, it wasn't my fault!
The words grew larger and larger on my skin, blood poured down my hand and my parents screams could be heard throughout. It wasn't my fault, their alive; it's just another dream... right? Gaius, Mum, Dad, No.
"Elena!" Someone shouted as they shook me by the shoulders.
"NO!" I cried as opened my eyes. The first thing I saw was Leila staring back. I couldn't help but wrap my arms around her. That dream; that vision scared me more than I thought possible. My parents; Gaius; gone. It was my fault, though I wasn't sure how or even why. I couldn't get the image of my parents dying right in front of me and how helpless I was. I wasn't able to save them, they were burning before my eyes and I was powerless to do anything.
"Shhh, Ellie it's ok, it was just a nightmare." Leila cooed in my ear. It wasn't just a nightmare, I knew it was more and yet I wasn't sure what. The nightmares were getting worse, especially now. They were no longer visions of the past, but either the present or distant future; that terrified me the most. What happened if they came true? What happened if the visions were a warning? What if it really was my fault that everything in my dreams was going to happen because of something I had done? I wouldn't be able to live if I knew I had any part in this.
I wasn't alone in the room; Gaius was on the left-hand side by my window, looking out over the garden while Leila tried to calm me down. I couldn't see him that well, but he looked concerned.
Before I knew it, Connor came running into my room, his face in shock. I knew at that moment that something wasn't right and it wasn't just the state I woke up in.
"It's Mum and Dad, they've been in a car accident." No, no please no. That can't be right!
Leila gave out a gasp before replying, "What!"
"I...it's true. They crashed into... something and they're at the hospital!"
"Are they alright? What happened?"
"I didn't get the details. All I know is that they crashed and that they made it safely to the hospital. We're not aloud to visit them; Cousin Janet is going to go, so we have to stay here until they come back." I stayed quiet, not even bothering to blink. What I dreamt happened just as the voice said it would. Was it my fault? Could this have been avoided? Millions of thoughts flew around my head as I tried to remember every detail of the dream; however I was surprised when I realised that most of it was blurred and unrememberable.
"Ellie?" I was bought back by Leila once again shaking my shoulders. "You, you look like you've seen a ghost!" I didn't respond, just kept quiet and stared at the wall opposite. I didn't know why, I wanted to respond, although my body betrayed my intentions.
"Ellie?" Connor repeated, trying to get me to look at him. I didn't. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't move. It was as if I was in a trance, fixed in place and just waited for the inevitable. After several minutes both started to freak out by my mute replies. I was fully aware of what was going on around me, but never acknowledged it. It was only when Gaius made an appearance did I finally start to take notice. He looked at me. I tried to turn my gaze but he kept it fixed on his face.
"What did you see?" Was all he asked. I didn't say anything, just closed my eyes, finding comfort in the darkest corners of my mind. "Elena."
"It's my fault." I muttered under my breath, now horrified at myself rather than what I observed. I didn't even know that I was going to reply, I didn't know what I was doing.
"Your fault?" All three questioned. I didn't look up, just kept repeating the phrase over and over. I looked down at my hands were the words once were. They were there, clearly marked deep in my hand for the world to see.
"Elena who did this to you?" Gaius ordered before he grabbed my hand and analysed it with his finger tips. I didn't say anything, I couldn't say anything. My throat was dry, my eyes tired and my body ached. I snatched my hand out of his grasp and pointed directly towards him accusingly, though I wasn't aware of moving my arm.
Connor took one look from my hand to Gaius before asking: "Gaius? Gaius did this to you?" I shook my head and kept my finger pointed in place. This confused me as well as them, why was I pointing at him? "If it wasn't him, then why are you pointing at him?" I didn't even know.
"I... don't know." I was just as confused as them. "G-Gaius, I saw them. Mum... Dad... I saw the crash... and you. It's my fault; I... could have saved them." I choked. It wasn't a dream, it actually happened. What I saw was real. If that vision was real, then were the others real to?
"You saw what happened, as in another vision?" That took him by surprise. He got up from his spot and began to pace back and forth from opposite ends of the room. Leila and Connor tried to comfort me, though it was barely any help.
It must have been a good few minutes before Gaius was brought back into reality. He gave out a frustrated sigh before he spoke, "This makes no sense! How is it possible for you to be able to see what other people experience?"
"You think that this is actually happening? She's just having hallucinations!" Connor remarked.
"It is not just a coincidence! It can't be..." Just then his eyes found my form once more. "Perhaps she has made connections with other humans, probably because of her attachments to you all. From what my race has gathered over the centuries, humans seem to have a strong connection with each other, even if they do not know it. Family connections seem to be the strongest. Perhaps because she has been having these visions that have been linked to my sub-consciousness, some part of her parents' has... connected to her as well? Maybe the link between you all is only a fraction compared to us, since my, err experiment faulted, which left us with a much deeper connection." I didn't like the way they were talking about me in third person, as if I wasn't there. I could hear everything they were saying, just preferred to keep quiet until I calmed down. "Or another possibility is that someone wanted you to see what you saw." That caught my attention, just enough to get me to look up.
"What are you talking about?" Connor must have started to get fed up of the constant theoretical ideas. He preferred that people just told him something straight, though that wasn't possible in the current situation.
"Huh. I am not the only one with a vision extraculator. Mine was one of many aboard my vessel. There were others, plenty of others since it is common technology, however only the most esteemed or... important individuals own one."
"So? What does this have to do with Elena?"
"Don't rush me, human. The device I used on Elena was not as specially designed as most. I altered it to be less harmful and more of a communicator, rather than a weapon." The way Gaius called Connor by his race instead of his name made me believe that he was still upset about the fight a couple of nights ago. I could understand why, especially when Connor was the one who started it, still it wasn't worth having another fight over.
"Weapon? You use these things as weapons?"
"My people only used them when it was absolutely necessary I can assure you! Besides, their only purpose was to extract information from prisoners, or in some cases implant new one's as a way of getting the enemy to reveal any secrets they hindered from us."
"That's torture and you used it on my sister!"
"Mine was different! It was supposed to be a harmless telepathic communicator, a way of communicating to other life forms! I had no intention in harming her. It was purely by chance that the extraculator failed."
"You say that but how do we know-"
Leila interrupted. "We're going off topic here. What your saying is that someone purposely wanted to harm Elena, so they used this device on her. Why would they do that, and how would they be able to from such a far distance?"
"I... do not know. It is likely that someone has found out about me, or at least Elena. The extraculators on the ship can be adapted to be used at a variety of ranges. Due to the wave length and distance it has to travel; I have to assume that my people are trying almost everything in their power to find me." I felt even more nerved by his response. Someone did this to me? They wanted me to see what happened to my parents!
"That would link into why she kept saying it was her fault. Whoever this person is wants to get her to see these things."
"I agree. The only problem is how they knew what would happen to your parents and what to show her."
"Maybe it was their fault? The car crash I mean." Leila and Gaius seemed to figure out the problem. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Whoever did this wanted me to see the crash so that I was more likely to oppose Gaius. After all, the visions always pointed back to him and intended that it was my fault for helping him.
"Your not seriously believing this? This isn't possible. Right, first of all I still don't one hundred percent believe that your an alien. Secondly, no one was responsible for the car crash! It was a terrible accident and our parents are fine so there isn't any reason to worry! You have to understand that what Ellie saw was either her imagination or some sort of coincidental hallucination. No one is plotting to take her and no one is going to harm anyone!" Connor announced.
"Connor, look at her hand! Look what is written there!" Leila replied, rather annoyed that he didn't believe them.
"She wrote it herself!"
"Why would she do that?"
"I don't know? Stress? Besides if this idea of yours did happen, what's your explanation for it?"
" I don't know! All I know is that it's there on her hand!" I didn't know either and that scared me even more.
Gaius placed his hand across his forehead. "The device does not just plant visions into people. There have been cases were individuals needed to be reminded about certain things, just in case they didn't remember the visions or dreams imbedded in their mind. This can lead to controlling the patient's mind just enough to unconsciously commit abuse towards themselves. This only happens if it is intended or if a particular phrase or encounter has been repeated several times."
"Wait, so your saying that this device caused her to do this?"
"I am afraid so."
"If they can do it once, surely they can do it again and worse!"
"I doubt they would try it a second time and that the effects would be as serious. Besides, the mind can't be controlled significantly, so any further injuries that could prove fatal won't occur. The human survival instincts are too high, and therefore won't allow such an act to happen."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive. The only issue we have is that whoever is doing this can choose to implant the visions whenever they like. Since it has only happened during her dreams, I suspect that the visions will only show once she's asleep."
"So she won't be able to sleep, at all?" Connor pointed out. No sleep? I didn't like the sound of that.
"I'm afraid not." How was I supposed to stay up night after night? At some point I was bound to need some rest, no matter what.
"She's already tired as it is and she hasn't had any sleep the past few nights anyways. How is she going to stay up for so long?"
"I am not sure."
"We may have to keep an eye on her to make sure she will stay awake."
Gaius tilted his head to the side, "An eye? Wouldn't it be better to use both?"
"Hah. No, it's a saying, a phrase. It means we will have to watch over her continuously."
"Why not just say that then instead of the phrase?"
"Never mind." Leila answered, shaking her head slightly.
By this time, I had already calmed down and had listened to the conversation intently. I didn't like the idea of not sleeping or that someone purposely wanted to torture me. It's not something that you take away lightly and if knowing that someone controlled my mind didn't discourage me from sleeping, I didn't know what would. As a recollected the vision, something sprung to mind, something that didn't make any sense.
"W-wait a minute." I managed to say; after that all heads turned towards me. I sat up and crossed my legs on the bed. "Other things happened in the vision. There was... a gloved hand that was on my shoulder, one I hadn't seen before."
"A hand?" Connor repeated in a bit of a humours tone, obviously confused and interested by my answer.
"No a hammer, yes a hand! It was weird, something I hadn't seen before."
"What do you mean?" Gaius asked in a curious nature.
"It was a black gloved hand with spikes coming out where the knuckles would be and knives at the end. It was creepy and I don't know why it was there. It didn't really make sense." He raised an eyebrow to that.
"This gloved hand... it sounds familiar."
"According to your description, it reminds me of a melee weapon my kind have. It's like... armour; we use it for battles mostly, though I don't know why it would be in your dream." That really confused me; was there a hidden meaning behind the gloved hand, or was it there to scare me even more? It was very strange, perhaps it hinted something for the future; I knew I would have to keep an eye out for something like it just in case. "When in a battle or fight, we are allowed to choose what weapons we can use, this is one of them."
"Have you ever used one before?"
"Not personally. I preferred to stay away from the arenas." I was once again curious about his culture; he never mentioned armed combat and what his people used. I once saw one of his weapons, but didn't keep hold of it for too long. I had to ask about it sometime, there was still a lot I didn't know and wished to learn more about. "Although, someone I know trains with this weapon..." He trailed off, but his eyes widened in surprise.
"What? Gaius, what is it?"
"Nothing... nothing..." That was odd. I wanted to know more, I wanted to know what he was thinking, though I figured he wouldn't tell me even if I asked him.
"Right, Ellie are you ok?" Leila asked worriedly.
"I'm alright now. I'm just not looking forward to not sleeping for days on end." I added with a small smile.
Connor took this opportunity to joke about the situation, as he usually did: "Why? Can you not handle staying up? I mean, I'm sure staying awake for a few more days couldn't hurt; though you do need your beauty sleep and judging by the way you look now, you definitely need it."
I was tempted to say something but realised that it was just what he wanted. Instead, I decided to not play along with his game, "I'm sure I can handle it." I smiled innocently; his smirk never faded.
It was quite clever how they pieced the puzzle back together; they worked well together and all wanted to keep me safe; I never felt closer to them all. This whole situation began to scare me more and more. The visions were getting worse; someone wanted to threaten me so that I would give Gaius up. I wondered how long I could go without sleep; I supposed it wouldn't last long. In the mean-time Connor, Leila and Gaius would do their best to try and come up with a way to block the visions; I just hoped they'd find it fast. It was only a matter of time before something bad happened and all I could do was wait until the inevitable came.
Connor and Leila made sure I was alright before leaving the room. Gaius kept his eyes out of the window, as if searching for something. I didn't really know what to say to him, but was thankful that he was the first one to speak. "How are you?"
"I'm alright, I mean I'm better then I was, it's just... it was a lot to take in." I sighed.
He looked at me before taking a few steps closer. "Elena. What you saw... you shouldn't have seen that. If it means anything, I am sorry for putting you in this position."
"I shouldn't have put you in this predicament, if I knew that you would have side effects from the experiment, I wouldn't have done it. I just want you to know that it wasn't my intention for this to happen. If anything else happens, I will leave."
"Leave? Gaius, you don't have to leave!" Why all of a sudden did he want to leave? It was too late to leave and besides, I couldn't let him go, he was my friend after all and the only one who knew about the visions I was having. There was a part of me that wanted to tell him that he couldn't leave me, that I didn't want him to leave.
"Elena, I've been nothing but a stranger to you. I've done nothing but cause trouble for you and your family. Because of me, your parents have been injured and may or may not survive. It is my fault. I can't undo the past, but at least I can change the future while there is still time."
"You can't leave. It's too late and besides, I don't want you to go." His right eyebrow rose slightly at that before I continued. "I mean your my friend and your not going to get out of the situation that easily." I smirked.
He returned the gesture: "Your truly something else."
I wasn't sure what he meant by that but I took it as a compliment. "Thanks."
A few minutes past in silence before I uttered the next question: "You replied in a mid-sentence about the man with the hand; you never actually explained what you meant."
He sighed before looking back at me, "It's nothing."
"You say that but your reply earlier told me otherwise."
"Elena, I can't tell you; it's not something you need to know. It's just an idea, I have no evidence that it is him causing your visions."
"I've said too much."
"You haven't said anything!" I was getting frustrated at this point, what was with all the secrets?
"I know, your just going to have to trust me." I sighed in defeat; all I could do was trust him; though I wasn't sure if I could anymore. These visions kept happening because someone wanted him, alive or dead; either way I was in danger because of him, and yet I knew I couldn't force myself to not trust him. For some reason, it was easier to trust his judgement on the situation, mainly because I knew that if I was on my own, the people after him would have already got me.
He turned his head towards the door, nodded and walked out, leaving me to my thoughts.