Seen 16 Hours Ago
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
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9.2 Years
Caelan Garry

Just as Caelan swam endlessly in her dark tank, so too did the memories circle in her mind. She'd come to the Sevii Islands to extend her limited time, and now that she had no sense of it, the girl could only conclude that she'd passed on. Her hair had turned gold, her body glowed like a spirit, and everything else had gone black. With her condition, Caelan wouldn't have lived this long. Part of her wished she'd spent her last days with her family. But another side of her thought it was for the best, leaving her parents, finally dropping the façade of strength that she maintained around them, crying through each of the horrific experiments and letting the emotions she'd bottled up over the years escape her, before her soul finally escaped her body. She died with no regrets.

As if by her realization, a door opened. Light spilled into the room and water, from the aquarium. The glass walls of the structure parted, and two men in black picked a sodden Caelan off the floor.

"Get up," one of them ordered. His voice was far too gruff and unwelcoming for an introduction to the afterlife. Besides, he didn't need to tell her. With little else to do in her enclosure, she had swum patiently, keeping her muscles strong and more than capable of getting the girl to her feet. But her expression was blank, as if she really were a phantom following the guards into the hallway. Perhaps the man named Temero found ghosts attractive.

"What lovely blonde hair..." he complimented, running his fingers through Caelan's locks before slipping them down to hers. "And what delicate hands..."

Those hands had been made delicate by chains, disease, and experiments. Temero gingerly held her left and pressed a machine onto it, revealing the number zero inside a triangle tattoo. As she stared at it, Caelan understood that hers was not the hand of a free woman. She was prone to these escapist fantasies, once pretending that she was healthy, now believing that she was dead. But no, she hadn't yet experienced that release.

What was going on, then? Others like her congregated in a gym, while the fanciful explanations dispersed in her mind and yielded to confusion. Since death was all that she'd looked forward to, Caelan wasn't very optimistic. But she still needed answers.

It was at that moment that Temero delivered a speech, and though most of it fell on waterlogged, sense-deprived ears, a single phrase rang clear.

"Curing you, of your inferior normality."

No, a single word. Curing. Time and time again her limbs had been bound, shackled, and forcefully pulled apart, but this pleasant sound, however booming the voice that produced it, pulled the corners of her mouth apart gently. A crescent-shaped crack formed in the thick feeling of despair that hung over this room, and Caelan genuinely smiled. There was a small break in her circling memories, too, and suddenly all the pain she'd endured was a distant recollection. The light had entered her dark chamber just a second ago, and here was the light at the end of her tunnel.

"Fifteen El."

"What's wrong?"

Her fellow subjects might've chastised her for asking such an obvious question. But this was the happiest moment of Caelan's life, finding out that she'd live one.

"You'll be sparring with Sixteen Dk," Temero answered, pointing her in the direction of a boy with red eyes, golden rings, and flowing dark hair. Maybe it was her escapist mind playing tricks on her again, but he looked oddly familiar. The type of person she might've seen once or twice, back home in Saffron City, who remained a complete stranger but still stuck vaguely in her head. She approached him shyly. When had she last interacted with another person, with words rather than screams? Regardless, Caelan had always been a timid and soft-spoken girl, though she was much stronger physically and mentally than she appeared.

"Hey, Sixteen... it's nice to meet you. And this might sound weird, but I feel like I've seen you before," she addressed him awkwardly, not knowing what else to say. "We're supposed to fight, so... come at me."