Prose Laboratories (V. 1, Pt. 1)
"Welcome to Prose Laboratories!" A loud, boisterous voice cuts through the clacking of keyboards at computers. "The place where fiction becomes reality!"
Heads snapped to see who entered the spacious room full of people sitting at large desks with computers, papers and pencils. The clicking faded away along with the scribbled of pens and pencils. The CEO, RubyPond, the head of our labs, our amazing fiction to reality labs, entered the room, followed by a brown haired girl, dress in a black TOP shirt and sweatpants.
"Hello everybody! Today we have a new friend joining us! Would you like to introduce yourself?" RubyPond asked her. The teen nodded, and stepped forward.
"Hey guys, my name is Herman2O. Not 2.0, but 2O. I like Supernatural, country and rock music," Famewriter, a writing partner of mine, tapped my shoulder.
"Do you know her? I feel like I've seen her before, but I can't place it."
I turn to them, "Herman2O? Yes, I know her. We went to school together." RubyPond finished speaking, and we turned back to our work. I slid my chair over by Harry_Situation, to see what he was working on.
"What ya working on? Another review? A new Sins of the Father arch?" I questioned him, excited for his newest work.
He looked at me smiling and shrugged. "I don't know yet. I was thinking maybe another arch, but I'm not sure yet." I slid back and sat in front of my keyboard, thinking of what to make part of reality. Dragons? Nah, too much havoc. What about mini dragons? It could work.. Let's try! I face my computer and rest my hands on the keyboard. Fingers fly across the keys, describing dragons of small sizes to put into the Machine. Lunch came, and I went to eat.
Grabbing a random tray of food, I sat down with Famewriter, SelfTitled, and Chained in Shadow. They were all eating their food absent mindingly, until Snowshoerabbit came bounding over.
"Guys! Guys! Look what I found on one of the computers! Someone is gonna make mini dragons!" She told us with a gleam of joy in her eyes. I know, it's mine!
"I know, right? I made it. Well, I'm not done yet, but soon I will be, I might finish it today!" I say to them. They look at me in surprise, saying with their eyes You? Did not expect that. We sat in silence after that.
I finished my lunch early and headed back to my desk to continue my work. Dragons of every shade from jade green to neon pink and even chameleon dragons went through my mind as the day finished, and my project for the machine came to finish as well. Before my shift was over, I took my paper, my paper describing dragons and took it to the machine.
I walked through the rows and groupings of desks scattered unorganized across the room. I spot Mnezz, OnyxCity, Jumotki and CreativeChaos sitting at a small group of desks, hushed whispers among them. My manager, sandflea68, scratching furiously at a piece of paper, frustration covering her face. JamesMByers and PaulDChambers are near each other as well, but they don't converse as much as others. PhynneBelle walks out of the Machine room, followed by MilesNowhere, looks of disappointment shadowing their faces. lonely was with Zikeda and Bunny in a corner near the library here. I passed them all walking to the Machine.
The machine stood at the far end, in a solitary room. It was glorious. Put in a paper describing whatever you want, and it will make it. I just hope mine isn't too complicated. It shouldn't be, saying I've seen actual people come out of the machine.
Coming up to the machine, I find the slot to insert the paper and do so. I blink, ready to press start. The big red button does as I will. The machine hums and lights flicker. I hear the gears whirring inside and magic magicking. I see a tip of a tail start to come out, and smoke envelops a room. As I run towards the door, the machine explodes and throws me against the wall, and a fiery red-orange dragon with forest green eyes and large, intimidating wings crawl out of the crushed machine. Its wings touch the ceiling and it looks at me angrily, and walks towards me. I quickly open the door and the dragon smashes the wall. Sandflea68 looks at me.
"Uh, there's a dragon on the loose?"
To Be Continued
Prose Laboratories (V. 1, Pt. 2)
I have the feeling if a dragon wasn't raging through the building, I would have in big trouble. Well, I probably will be, but who knows!
After my sarcastic saying that there is a dragon on the loose, chaos broke out, Lonely and Bunny screamed and got out of the room like a roadrunner, as they were probably the closest to the dragon(besides me). Zikeda didn't even look up from her work. PhynneBelle and MilesNowhere turned and promptly ran out of the room, followed by PaulDChambers and JamesMByers with a look of pure terror on their faces. Mnezz grabbed Zikeda and Herman20 and went with CreativeChaos. Jumotki, Chained in Shadow, and SelfTitled were standing in the doorway staring in awe. RubyPond was behind them, looking like she wants to rip someone's head off.
Snowshoerabbit was standing, no, jumping in place next to me. OnyxCity seems to have disappeared. Harry_Situation was quickly talking with Sandflea68 as they were slowly backing away from the lumbering figure that was rapidly growing in size.
The dragon had crawled out of the broken Machine room and totaled the library, and quite a few desks and computers. I could see its bright green eyes stare into my blue-gray ones.
Sandflea68 and Harry_Situation turned to me. "How in the world did this happen?" Sandflea68 whispered to me, so the creature wouldn't hear.
"Um, well, I tried to make mini dragons, but apparently the Machine didn't read it right?" I ended in my usual shrug. Sandflea68 and Harry_Situation looked utterly confused.
"Didn't read it right? How is that even possible? It always reads the paper right!" Harry_Situation somewhat screeched. I was about to reply, but was interrupted by a raven haired woman rushing through the door.
"Don't worry. They are on the way," OnyxCity panted, obviously tired from sprinting a great distance.
"Who are they?" Sandflea68 and I asked her in unison.
"They as in the heroes of our city. I know one. I won't tell you which though, but I called them, and they are on the way." I looked her up and over, never expecting her to know one of the famous superheroes of our city. We stood in silence for a few moments, while backing up from the fiery beast. The desks and books were aflame, and heat was radiating strongly from the source.
Quickly, a few flames went out, and a small grunt came from behind us. We whipped our heads and bodies around to see what it was.
Four figures had descended from a broken window of the large room. The one who was crouched was dressed in a deep red, nearly black cloak, and I couldn't see their face. There was a teen with shoulder length, wavy black hair dressed in a blue sweater with black leggings and a blue beanie. Standing next to her, the teen, was a child. He had a goofy grin with missing teeth and messy brown hair. Dressed in a bright, sunny yellow shirt and cape, he was a polar opposite of the cloaked one. Behind them, a man with gray hair was floating. His face creased and hardened from seeing too much war and bloodshed. A black suit with a green tie that matched his emerald green eyes encased his body.
"I am A," the cloaked person grunted, standing up.
"17," the teen spoke.
The young child's smile grew, "I'm YoungWriter."
"And I," the oldest one said clearly. "I, people, am SalingerTwain."
Prose Laboratories (V.1, Pt. 3)
"Salinger Twain? A? 17? YoungWriter?" Snowshoerabbit cries in joy, nearly running up to the quartet. "First dragons come to life and now I'm meeting the four superheroes of our city? It's too much to handle!" The doorway is vacant, so to stop people from coming in, I rush to close them. The rest of us, including myself, move to the side of the room.
The quartet walks deliberately towards the green eyed beast.
"Though you may look brilliant, you are troublesome," YoungWriter starts calmly.
"You are like the beasts of our school, the bully within," 17 continues, while moving closer to the dragon. It is shrinking is size and fear.
"The flames to your mouth shall cease, never to set aflame a single hair," said A.
Now it was Salinger Twains's turn. "Stop and rest from this war. Head to the heavens where you will soar," he says, stepping in with the rest.
In unison they speak, "Leave this body, you must by sore. This is the end, for evermore." The dragon went limp and it's body dissolved into burnt paper.
Smoke wafted up from the destroyed Machine. A limmer of the shiny iron of the machine is visible through the ash and charred, bubbled metal.
"That is all. A, YoungWriter, go home. 17, stay," Salinger Twain commanded his fellows, moving towards me.
"Thank you so much for saving us. It was my fault, wasn't it? Of course it was I always mess up. Oh no! I'm rambling now, god I'm such a mess. Sorry I'm rambling-" I rant, but Salinger Twain cuts me off.
"No it's not your fault, your paper described small dragons, so that what it should have made. The Machine did malfunction," he adjusts his tie, running a hand through his hair. "but for reasons unknown to you, you will remember all of this, and none of them will. The Machine will be gone. This building will be an online newspaper and magazine company. 17 will stay her under a pseudonym in case someone remembers something. Now, Ms. Person, go home. Leave and go. Be here tomorrow." Salinger Twain turns to 17 and uses grand gestures and tells her what to do. She nods and looks at me, then back at him. I walk out of the yellow double doors down the stairs and to the tube to go to my flat.
The ride home is uninteresting. Nobody talks about what happened at Prose Laboratories. Listening to an album from a recent musical, I get off at my stop and climb the stairs to street level. I walk a small distance to the 4 level building that I call home. Once inside, I climb the four sets of stairs to the top floor. My flat at the end of the hall is silent. I unlock the door and kick my shoes off by the door. I shut the door. Grabbing a bottle of water, I plop down on the couch and turn on the news.
"-test reports are saying that the creature is flying around Kensingten Gardens, famous for their Esther Flowers. It has not attacked yet, and the military is coming up with a plan to destroy it as we speak." The newswoman speaks with an video of a large blood red dragon over the garden in the background.
All I say is, "Aw shit."
Prose Laboratories (V.1, Pt. 4)
After seeing the dragon flying over Kensingten Gardens, I turn on my Xbox and waste time playing Overwatch and Slime Rancher. At about 10, I shut it off, and shuffle to bed.
Without thinking of the dragons that are on the loose, I shut of the lights and fall into bed.
pause for a 9 hour break
I break from my unconsciousness to "Kill Your Heroes" by AWOLNATION blaring out of my phone. Stupid alarm I think as I snooze it and clamber out of bed. Walking out of the doorway to the fridge, I grab a premade smoothie and fall into my pre-work routine. Drink smoothie, check phone, throw on jeans and flannel, check phone, drink smoothie, put on mismatched socks, check phone, put on shoes, and walk out the front door with wallet, phone, and keys. The hallway is empty like normal, so I walk to the elevator and enter it.
Press the lobby key, and the elevator starts moving. When I get to the bottom, a lovely surprise awaits me. A flaming lobby, scared people, and the face of a dark blue dragon with bright yellow eyes stare right at me. Somehow, I can hear the thoughts of the dragon, but only the dragon.
Puny humans. Must eat them.
"No." A single word is all I say, and it's thoughts change.
No? How can you understand me human?
"I created you, so in turn, that must be why."
Perhaps human. What is thy name?
"They call me Writer, Creator of Worlds, Builder, Destroyer, but to you, I am just a person."
I am Destroyer, but you are Person.
"You are no longer Destroyer, but Peace-Maker. Go to the mountains, and live there. Do not interfere with us humans."
Alright human. It is because I am Peace-Maker. Do not expect my brethren to be this easily deal with.
The dragon's head recedes and the sound of giant wings flapping is heard from outside. I walk outside and I see a giant black body in sky flying towards the direction of the mountains. The rest of the people from inside come rushing out and surround me.
"How did you stop it? Are you okay?"
"That was amazing! Can you do it again?"
"What's your name?"
"Just! Are you okay?"
The last one caused me to turn my head and see who called me. I saw 17 standing there with a orange sweater and hat on instead of her regular blue one. I run to her, and she pulls me, walking away from the building.
"We need to get you out of here, and if anyone asks, I am your cousin Rider, here to be an intern at Prose," 17 says to me.
"Okay, where are we going?" I ask her.
"Us? We're going to the HQ of the quartet. What you just did is not natural, and Salinger Twain needs to know."
Prose Laboratories (V.1, Pt.5)
We walk away from the crowd and towards an nearly empty parking garage. Inside it, on the second floor is a blue Honda Accord, waiting for us. As I suspect, we hop into the car and speed out of the parking garage.
Once on the road, 17 heads the into the city, rather than out of it.
"Wouldn't your headquarters be better suited to be out of the city?" I ask 17, and I look out of the the window.
I think she shakes her head. "No. Most people would think that, but it would take forever to get to the city. We are much better off situated near the center of the city."
"But then wouldn't attacks- OH!" I say, realizing my stupid mistake. "It's near the center of the city so it's quicker to get when there's an attack."
"Yes! I was trying to say that, but you were confused I guess," 17 replies. Why couldn't she just have teleported us to the headquarters?
"Hey, why didn't you just teleport us to your headquarters?" I ask her, really wanting to know why.
She sighs. "Well, to start off, it might be suspicious if anyone saw us do it. We also don't know what teleportation on non powered folks would do to them. For all we know it might kill them!" 17 jokes. "And plus this way if you need us, you know right where to go." By then we are pulling into another parking garage, but we are going all the way to the top.
About 20 minutes later, the Honda stops in a parking spot near a set of glass double doors leading into the tall corporation building. 17 starts walking over to the doors, and I follow suit. Once inside, there was three elevators, and a door to the stairwell. The room was moderately decorated. Two love seat sofas and a couple of armchairs sat on the opposite side of the glass doors with a coffee and end tables in the appropriate places. One chandelier lit the room with bamboo flooring on the ground.
An elevator's doors opened and 17 and I stepped inside. She pressed four buttons in a pattern of sorts, and the elevator went up. It was moving for maybe 5 minutes or more. Finally, it stopped.
"We're here," 17 said as the doors parted. We both stepped out.
"Welcome to the headquarters of the Quartet."
Prose Laboratories (V. 1, Pt. 6)
The room is beautiful. Floor to ceiling windows stretches on two sides of the room with a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Hard black wooden flooring stretch across the room with a large white rug in the middle of three couches. A black coffee table sits on top of the rug with white lilies in a vase and the walls are a light blue color.
On the opposite wall without windows, there was an opening leading to a spacious kitchen. 17 walks over there, motioning me to follow her. There were white counters with black cabinets. The floor to ceiling windows stretches across one wall with a door leading to a balcony.
YoungWriter sits at the breakfast bar of the kitchen island and was eating cereal while reading over a book. He looks up at 17 and smiles.
"Hi 17! How was work?" YoungWriter grins. "And who are you?" 17 glances at him.
"Young, this is Just A. Person, or Just for short. She's probably going to be around here a lot. With the dragons and all. Just is the one who created them," she explains.
I ask 17, "17, what happened with the dragon in Kensington Gardens?"
Her face pales. "Oh shit... I knew I forgot something," 17 pauses. "YoungWriter come on, and Just you're coming too." 17 walks into a room, rummages around, and tosses a bundle of clothing at me.
"Put these on so you blend in with us." I walk into the bathroom and quickly change. I put on a brown leather jacket with black jeans and brown combat boots. Throwing my hair up into a quick braid, I step out of the bathroom and meet 17 and YoungWriter at the elevator.
"So," I start. "What are we going to do about the dragon?" 17 scratches her head in thought. We walk towards the elevator I just came up in. While in the elevator, she speaks.
"I want to see if you can talk to him. We'll be there for backup if you can't." The elevator dings and the door slides open. We walk to the lonely blue car once more. I sit next to 17, while YoungWriter sits in the back. Speeding down the exit ramp, and along the road, I feel like my life is falling into place. It's like that feeling you get when everything feels just so right. Like this is how your life is supposed to be like. That's what I feel like.
Then that facade comes crashing down.
By now, all around us is chaos. Pure, destructive chaos. The large crimson dragon, full of hunger and energy, is circling the park. The car stops, and we get out. The guards look at us for a moment with hesitation, but let us go through.
17 and I walk with determination, while YoungWriter looks around us in awe.
He tugs in 17's sweater. "Why do we have to destroy the creature? All it wants is love." That is some deep shit right there kid. Actually, not really, all of us just want love eventually.
17 leans and whispers to me, "Try to talk to it. It's now or never." The dragon has seen us, and flies over in curiosity.
"Hello there, what is your name?" I ask, walking so I can angle my head to look at it.
Ah, another puny human, coming to be eaten.
"No. I am here to talk, that is all."
To talk? A human has never talked to me.
"Perhaps than this can be a first."
A first, and a last. I am the Fire-Breather, the Burner, the Causer of holocausts.
"And I am the Maker, the Creator, the Writer, the Breaker, but to you, like you said, I am another puny human."
I have heard of you. My brother, Destroyer, told me of you as he left. He said he was Peace-Maker, not Destroyer. How is that so?
"I convinced him to change his mindset on life. Won't you do the same?"
"Live with your brother in the mountains, be a peaceful one."
Why? There is no fun there.
"But the thing is, there is fun. You can chase each other, and eat all the animals you want there."
Humans are animals.
You want me to uproot myself from my spot of birth?
"Yes, I know it is not the thing you want to do, but it is what you should do."
But why Creator?
"Because you are hurting these people."
They deserve to be hurt. They are killing this world.
"I know. We are all killing this world. It's a part of the ecosystem." I say, wasting time. "We want, I want, to preserve this world along as we can. Then we can live in peace."
Perhaps, perhaps. But why should I trust you?
"I created you. I am your creator. I can be seen as your mother in ways, why wouldn't you trust your mother?"
I would. But I do not know my mother.
"You do. She is right in front of you."
You. Are. Not. My. Mother.
"I created you. I am. And as your mother, go to the mountains." I attempt to think of a name. "Go Harmony, go and be with Peace-Maker."
Because you are my mother. That is the only reason why. Have a good life mother. With that, the crimson dragon looks at me with his large yellow eyes and flies away from the garden. YoungWriter cheers as the dragon rise into the blue sky.
The tanks fire up and two rockets fly at the dragon. Yelling I put out my hand, even though I know it won't help. Surprisingly, the rockets halt in midair and YoungWriter and 17 threw their arms out too. They lower their arms as the rockets stay in place.
I call out to Harmony, "Fly while you can! Go, be free!" Harmony nods and flies away. My body shakes as the rockets fall. 17 catches them and lower the rockets to the ground. A man in military clad comes walking over, fuming, his face a bright red, blood vessels sticking out of his head.
"HOW DARE YOU DO THAT. THAT DRAGON IS DANGEROUS AND A DANGER TO SOCIETY. WE NEEDED TO KILL IT." he yells, smoke practically coming out of his ears.
Before I can speak, as I am panting, nearly passing out, 17 steps forward. "We are sorry sir, but we had orders from Salinger Twain himself to get rid of the dragon without killing. If you have an issue, please bring it up with him." She walks away and YoungWriter and I follow. Well, I sluggishly walk back to the Accord.
I collapse in the back seat as YoungWriter sits in the passenger seat. The Accord speeds away, leaving what just happened behind. I don't know if anything happens while we're driving to the HQ, but I am shaken awake by YoungWriter in the parking garage.
"C'mon Just, we're here," he says, pulling his head out of the doorway. I yawn and rub my eyes, adjusting to the light. I roll/tumble out of the car, and follow 17 and YongWriter. Shuffling to the elevator once more, I sleepily ride it in silence.
"That was a great thing you did there, though we might of just have angered the government somewhat." 17 runs her hand through he black hair. She sighs and adjusts the royal blue beanie askew on her head. The elevator stops with a jolt and we sauntered out. SalingerTwain was sitting in the foyer, waiting for us.
"Now Just, we need to talk."
To Be Continued (eventually!!)
Prose Laboratories (V. 1 Pt. 7)
"Please, follow me," SalingerTwain says. He leads me past the couches and opens a door into an office with windows showing the city's skyline. He adjusts the collar os his grey sweater and sits down.
"You have an incredible connection with these dragons of yours. I wonder how they may have turned out if The Machine had worked? But enough of that, I have an offer to propose to you," SalingerTwain speaks to me. "I would like you to join us for the time being. You have a connection to your creations unlike any of the other writers who created animals or people with The Machine. I also can recreate The Machine, and hopefully, experiment with my hypothesis about your connection to your creations." He wants me, an ordinary person, to join the Quartet? Would the Quartet become the Quintet? Or would I be an anonymous helper?
"I would love to? But what about my job? I enjoy quite a great deal."
"We can convince them to accept it as a temporary leave of illness - reason mental illness or psychosis." SalingerTwain shrugs. "It wouldn't be the first time we would have to do it. And if you decide to stay with us and if we find you promising as a hero, we could remove from the society entirely, as that is what happened to each of us."
"That sounds," I pause. "Nice. Many don't notice me, but what about the newspapers? They know me as 'The Dragon Whisperer'. Will you erase me from that too? Or just announce me as a hero with a different name?" SalingerTwain runs his fingers through his silver hair, thinking.
"That does sound like a fine idea. Because the city knows you as an anonymous hero, we could reveal you as a new part of us, that is if you want to join. We certainly have plenty of rooms you could choose from." I slip off my, no 17's, jacket and lay it in my lap as I nod.
"I would like that. Is there any chance I could choose my name? There is two that I like." I ask hopefully.
"Of course, Just, hit me with them."
"What do you think of Tarakona?" I say, unsure of his reaction. "Or maybe Arach? Tarakona is Maori and Arach is Gaelic. They both mean dragon. I thought it would be suiting, as people see me as 'The Dragon Whisperer'."
"I think they are both excellent, but I think Tarakona is the one that fits. I'll call my engineers, Allyson, TheLoneWriter, and Soulhearts, to come here and plan to recreate The Machine." SalingerTwain stands up abruptly and claps his hands. "Now Tarakona or Just, let's find you a place to stay." I stand up and we walk out of the room.
SalingerTwain calls to 17, "17 come here." She walks over, adjusting her beanie. "Show Just to the rooms she can choose from."
"Alright! I think I know the perfect room for you, but you'll have to see it for yourself to see. Follow me," she says, walking away. We walk up a staircase in the corner of the main room I hadn't seen before. We turn right and right again. She opens a black door, revealing the room within. She is right, I do like it. The walls are a navy blue or black with purple, pink, and blue painted to look like a galaxy on the same colored ceiling. The bed's headboard sits against the wall of the door that we walked through.
I look out the windows to the skyline. The sun was setting and was covered in shades of pinks, purples, oranges, and blues reminding me of my childhood home.
Turning to 17 I say, "I think I'll stay here. Where is everything else?"
She smiles. "Glad you asked! I'll show you the locations of our rooms, just in case if you need us. Ya know, if the place is on fire or what not. Just kidding, there is no way this place could be set on fire!" Laughing with 17, we walk out of the room.
"Down the hall is YoungWriter's room and my room. His is on the right and mine the left. You have a bathroom connected to your room, and upstairs are the rooms of SalingerTwain and A. As you saw earlier, the kitchen is downstairs along with the main common area." 17 looks at me and laughs. "You look like you're about to pass out. C'mon, you should go to sleep." Now that I think about it, I am pretty tired.
She opens the door for me, "Let me get you something to sleep in. We can send someone to get clothes from your apartment tomorrow, or at least hide your identity." 17 walks out of the room as I take in my surroundings better. Sliding off my boots and leaving them by the dresser, I sit on the bed, facing the windows. They stretch from the hardwood floor to the ceiling. I hear a knock on the door and it opens. 17 walks in and hands me a stack of clothes.
"These should work until we get clothes from your apartment."
"Thanks 17," I reply monotonously.
"Anytime Just." I slip out of my jacket and jeans, sliding on a shirt and sweatpants. After putting the other clothes on top of the dresser, I climb under the black duvet cover and lay on the bed. I slowly close my eyes, and soon enough, I fall asleep.
Prose Laboratories (V. 1, Pt. 8)
The bright sun shines through the window, waking me up. I ait up in the bed, yawning and stretching. Looking around, expecting to see my cramped room, I was taken aback for a moment, seeing how large the room I am in is.
Then it hits me.
There's a good chance I will never have a normal life again. I will never be able to walk out on the streets unnoticed, people know who I am, just not my name. I would be bombarded by questions if I dare to step on the sidewalk. I now know the Quartet personally, and they know me. I've turned to be like OnyxCity, but more. I'm one of them now.
I slide out of the bed and open one of the doors on a wall. It opens to an empty closet. I open the door next to it, and it goes into a bathroom. I walk in and take off my clothes. I take a quick shower, dry off and put on the black jeans from yesterday and a green shirt 17 left with me. I walk into the hallway, and take two rights and down the stairs. Going into the kitchen, I see two people. One has long brown hair, is sorta tall (at least taller than me!), and the other is about my height. The one about my height runs their fingers through the front of their black hair, moving it out of their eyes.
"Uh, Mel? Firdaus? Is that you? What are you doing here? I haven't seen you guys in years!" I say to them, recognizing my old college roommates.
"Just?" Mel says, turning around to face me. "Uh crap, how are we going to explain this, Firdaus?"
"Well Just, let's just say after college, since Mel and I had the similar majors, we both became interns at this science laboratory, and we interned A for a while. We became good friends with A, and once they trusted us enough, they told us their secret. We've been helping the Quartet ever since," Firdus explains, making rapid hand motions.
"SalingerTwain filled us in on what's going on. He called us to help build this "Machine" he was going on and on about. Have you seen Allyson, TheLoneWriter, or Soulhearts?" Mel asks. "And Just, how in the world can you talk to these dragons flying around?"
"Probably because I created them." I walk towards the fridge to see if they have yogurt. They do, and I grab it, find a spoon, and eat. I look up at Mel and Firdaus staring at me with their mouths agape.
"You, you, you made these dragons?" Mel sputters. I guess SalingerTwain left out that part.
I shrug, "Well, not by myself, The Machine helped me. I just described them." They must not remember the famous Prose Laboratories, known for making fiction reality. I guess I really am the only one who remembers. I hear the pattering of feet on the wooden floor behind me and I turn around. YoungWriter comes bounding in.
"Just! Just! 17 asked me to find you. She mentioned something about clothes and your apartment. She's up in her room, rummaging through her closet," he tells me. "Oh, and Mel and Firdaus? SalingerTwain and the engineers are upstairs in the lab. They want you up there." I wave bye to those two and head up the stairs to 17. I open the black door, and her room was an explosion of blue. She is standing halfway in her closet, halfway out. Clothes are spread all over her floor, some folded, some strewn about haphazardly.
I call out, "Uh 17? YoungWriter said you want to see me?" She comes out of the closet and stares at me, and then at the floor.
"So I've started to go through my closet, see what might fit you, and what I don't wear. That way we can have you blend in. Is there any chance Firdaus and Mel go to your apartment and get your stuff?"
"I don't think that's going to happen, as they are helping SalingerTwain, and my apartment building was damaged by the dragon."
She nods her head vigorously, remembering when this started yesterday. "Okay then. I think a shopping trip needs to happen." She stands up, "Let me go check with SalingerTwain. Do whatever you want in the meantime."
"Okay, I'll be in my room," I say, walking out of her room. To the right, near the end of my hall, is my room. I walk over to the large window, and sit with my back against the wall, staring at the skyline. After a few minutes, I walk to look at the rest of the room.
In my closet, there's nothing, which is not a big surprise, but I put 17's jacket in there, so something is in there. A desk to the right of the closet has a laptop on it, and I start it up. The emblem of the Quartet pops up as the background, along with an empty account photo. Underneath the photo, it says create an account. I sit down and click on it.
Choosing one of the 8 or so standard icons, I continue to put in my information and my preferences. Once it is loaded, I navigate my way to find Google. I open up google drive with my account and create a new document.
I let my fingers flow to tell all that has happened so far.
Journal Entry 1 (V. 1, Pt 8.5)
I'm keeping up with what I started at work, though that is now lost. So much has happened in the last 72 hours I can barely comprehend it. To start, at work I created dragons from the machine, and the Quartet and I are the only ones who remembered what happened. The Machine malfunctioned and a life-size dragon came out. The Quartet came and stopped it. My coworker, Harry_Situation, screeched at the fact that the Machine didn't read my paper right. The Quartet made everyone forget Prose Laboratories and it is now Prose News. My friends went from creating things to help our world to just stating what is wrong with it.
Now two dragons have come to life somehow, and I've sent them to the mountains. More probably will come. I don't know what will happen. I'm now staying with the quartet and life is somewhat crazy. Engineers have come to try to recreate The Machine to see what happened.
Gotta go, going shopping with 17 for my wardrobe.
Prose Laboratories (V. 1, Pt. 9)
“Come on Just, we’re taking you shopping!” 17 sticks her head through the door and interrupts me writing at the computer. Glaring at her, I stand up and sigh. I’ve always hated shopping, but I know I need new clothes. It’s not like I can wear the same thing every day.
17 giggles, “Hehehe, did I interrupt something?” I turn back, write one more sentence, sign off, save, and exit the document. Shutting down the computer, I stand up and turn to her.
“Yes,” I say grumpily, hating to be interrupted. “I was writing a journal entry to chronicle what has been going on so far.” I slide on the brown boots and walk towards 17. She walks happily down the hallway and stairs.
“We get to go shopping in the best shopping district in the whole state! I am so excited!” she says happily, bounding out to door to the elevator.
“Yay. Shopping. Just what I wanted to do.” I walk to the elevator, following 17. She drones, okay maybe not drones, but 17 talks about all of the stores she wants to go to while there.
”..and then we can also stop by that one really nice shoe store ‘cause I need a new pair of stompin’ boots. Oh, do you like boots? You probably do ’cause you’re like me, I think at least, and I like to wear comfy combat boots or some high tops, and I like to wear some jeans with those.” 17 pauses momentarily, then continuing on. “Or leggings. Both are good and comfy. I guess I like comfy things.” I partially listen to her talk, and soon enough we reach the parking garage.
This time we go to a gray Jeep, and 17 takes the driving seat.
“Please tell me that you have your driver’s license,” I say, as I slide into the passenger seat.
“Of course, do you really think I’ve been 17 for five years?” 17 casually responds.
That takes me by surprise. “So you are actually like 20 something?”
“Yep. 22. My power allows me to change the way I look, so I just keep it so I look roughly 17. The city and citizens don’t question it so I just keep it going. YoungWriter will age, but he ages very slowly. His power goes along with being able to rewrite anything, including other people. A, I don’t know. He just is creepy. His has something to do with darkness and horror. SalingerTwain is the one who can write original things, and control other people, though he only does that with villains.”
“Wait-seriously? So you have metamorphagus abilities like Tonks from Harry Potter? And YoungWriter has powers sorta like Levi in Fairy Tail? And A is just straight up manipulating shadows and creating horror like things?” I pause, taking a breath. “And, and, SalingerTwain can control minds? Like control everything you do and say a type of control?”
“Yep, yes, yea-sorta, and no. SalingerTwain can only strongly suggest to people what to do, at least that what he told us. No one that we have found can completely control someone. I have the feeling we will find that person one day, evil or not, but I just don’t know when.” 17 trails off, seeming like she doesn’t want to talk about it, as we pull into another parking lot. “C’mon Just! We’re here! Let’s go shopping!”
We both get out of the car and walk towards the large shopping mall. Once inside, I truly see why 17 was saying that this is the best place to shop. At least four stories tall, large stores line the walls. I see a few of my favorites pop out, Urban Outfitters, Athleta, Converse, and Barnes and Noble. Don’t diss me for liking books. Hell, I’m in a world where (some) people can use words as magic.
17 turns to me and asks, “Where do you want to start?”
“How about Athleta or Urban Outfitters?”
“OH ATHLETA! Their leggings are super soft,” 17 whisper screams as she walks in the direction of Athleta.
A few stores and hours later, 17 and I are carrying about fifteen bags between the two of us and a drink in hand.
“Hey Just, anywhere else you want to go?” 17 asks.
I think and then respond, “Yea, I want to go to Barnes and Noble, but just a quick stop. Can you manage to take the bags to the car and then I’ll meet you there?”
“Yep, I can manage. Meet you at the car in fifteen?” 17 says as she starts to take the bags out of my hands.
“See you then!” I walk to Barnes and Noble and make a beeline to the fantasy section. I pick up Carve the Mark, The Fates Divide, Warcross, and the Harry Potter collection. I check out at the register with the card SalingerTwain gave me. He told me “Buy anything you want to make you feel at home here with us.” And that I did.
Like planned I’m in the car in less than fifteen, and I put my books among my clothes. We pull away as an explosion comes from the mall. We both whip our heads towards the sound. What I see makes my stomach feel empty.
A large yellow dragon is above the mall.
17 stops the car and we both get out. Waves of people stream out of the mall. We run against the current of the people, shoving our way inside. People are looking at us like we are crazy, but they aren’t making any move to stop us. Once inside the doors, the damage is astounding.
The most obvious thing is the large hole in the glass ceiling, and the collapsed walkways are pretty noticeable too. 17 throws her hands out right away, to try to save any people who were on the walkways. Once the few people are out of harm’s way, 17 and I got closer to the dragon.
“Just,” 17 turns to me, “I’ll get people out of the way. The dragon is yours.”
Behind me, I can hear her shout, “Get out of the building! Get out and get as far away from it as you can!” but my focus remains on the monster, my monster, in front of me.
“Why must you be here? Why must you come destroy this world?” I ask it, walking closer and closer to it in the middle of the mall.
Because I can. You humans are killing this planet. It must return to its natural state. Its state before you humans plagued this planet with sickness.
“Yes, we know the planet is dying. We are aware it needs to change. We are trying to fix it before it is too late.”
You are not doing it fast enough. The world is dying. There is no hope.
“What if we worked together? The dragons and the humans, to help fix the world. We could work together to heal this world.”
You humans are stupid. You know not what you do wrong.
“I created you. Why are you doubting me?” I shout at the green-eyed dragon.
You did not create me.
“Yes, I did. I am the Creator, the World-Maker, the Builder, the Destroyer. But to you, dragons, I am only just a person.” The dragon does not respond but instead roars into the sky, lightning crackling with its cry. Yellow bolts flash in the sky, before striking down around me, the hair on the back of my neck standing up. I throw my hands above, as a useless attempt to stop the lightning. I wait for the bolt to strike, but it never does. I timidly look up, seeing the lightning above me, frozen in place. 17’s arms are up, aimed at the lightning, her face scrunching in focus. I make a break for it and walk forwards towards the dragon even more, to the point I was an ant and the dragon was a human, trying to smash the ant.
“Listen to me. What is your name dragon?” I yell over the storm the dragon created from the lightning.
I am Bolt. The thunderstorm, the lightning, the executioner, the electric.
“Listen, Bolt, you cannot hurt these humans, they do not know what they do wrong. Let them learn from their mistakes, and grow. Let them become better without intervention. Leave us here and join your brethren in the mountains. Disappear from here and live in peace. If you stay here you will be hunted until you are no more. Leave while you can!” I scream at the top of my lungs, dropping to the ground from exhaustion.
Alright human. I will leave as I fear my own death though I am an executioner. Farewell and learn from mistakes. The dragon’s large golden wings flap in the air, and it rises in the sky. I watch the dragon, Bolt, rise and disappear into the sky. I hear a thud from an area behind me, and I see 17, passed out, on the floor. Crawling towards her, I try to wake her up.
She smiles and whispers, “You did it, you saved the people and had the dragon leave. Great job Just.” We both struggle to stand up and hold onto each other as we walk to the jeep. Miraculously, the outside is unharmed.
17 turns her head towards me as we reach the jeep, “Let’s go back Just. Let’s go home.”
To Be Continued