|This little turtle reflect the sort of detail I love to put in my work.|
"I only have a minute, I wanted to make sure you really ate more than those protein bars," Mrs. Asher-Leigh said. "Those things aren't worth two creds compared to a real meal mentally or physically."
"Thank you," I said. She glanced over my shoulder down at my drawing. I slowly moved my elbow over John's penciled face. She raised a brow at me with a light quiet giggle that left me hot in the face.
"Oh, don't be embarrassed he's rather cute; the type I would have liked at your age." She tapped a finger against her chin, and for a moment I imagined a teenage version of her with long flowing strawberry blonde locks and rosy cheeks. "If teenage hormones and emotions are still running wild everything must be ok."
"I was just drawing a friend. Besides whatever feelings I have don't run "wild"...they don't exist."
"So says the hearts you've woven into that-" She peered around my elbow, leaving me utterly exposed to the point I wanted to crawl under a rock. "-rather pretty border around that boy's head, but I didn't come over here to tease you." She sat down beside me, clasping her hands together and absently staring off at a locker. Her voice was barely above a whisper as she said "Winter, I'll be straight forward with you. This could go south and if it does will you use your biotics?"
I was taken aback, stunned that she would ask and confused as to her reason. "What do you mean?"
"The batarians hit the medical center, and a number of systems have been hacked, which means they may have access to your files along with the files of other potential biotic children in the colony."
"How? Wait, others?" I felt blind and dumb, nothing was sinking in but it should have been.
"You were exposed to eezo in the womb when your mother came out here for agriculture research via shuttle accident...Remember when the Bleeding Mercury crashed?" The crash happened shortly after we moved to the colony when I was small, and we had gone to have a picnic on a hill near the farm. The sky grew black and blue as debris rained down right beside the colony's heart."Same thing happened to them as to you. Others here could be potential biotics and that means the Batarians, depending on the group, will want you-"
"A-as a slave. I know a biotic slave is better than-"
"Little known fact," Mrs. Asher-Leigh looked at me pointedly then leaned in. "some groups prize biotics and specialize in training them. But with other groups if you get captured and so much as biotically wiggle something without their consent they will break you. So I am saying this, we're all in danger but if you make a very open display like earlier who knows what will happen."Oxygen left my lungs replaced by dry heaving panic. She took my hand and rubbed it soothingly. With her other hand she turned my cheek and stared into my eyes as though it were the last thing she'd ever do. "So if you do use your biotics. Make sure they can't tell anyone about it. Don't hesitate. Never hesitate."
"Why...why are you telling me this?" I asked.
"Because no one else here can." She looked around the hall, as though the school children and panicking adults illustrated her point, and it did. We watched as a woman sat sobbing over her fries and her girlfriend failed to comfort her. "You may be the only person here who can surprise those bastards and I want to have a hand in that. That's not it though." She paused and looked me dead in the eye again, as though she was dissecting my reaction for the best way to word her diagnosis of the situation. "You are sixteen years old, almost an adult, and I am telling you this for your safety. Your files probably haven't been updated since before the implant, so they probably don't know what you can do, but they very well might."
A sharp piercing scream pierced the air, and Mrs. Asher Leigh took off down the hall at break neck speed straight into danger. For her it was automatic when the call came. Two security agents were carrying in a man crying out in pain and dripping with more blood than I'd ever seen. What Mrs. Asher-Leigh said did not make full sense to me at the time, but she sounded confident and experienced in a way that no other adult there had. She was one of the few in her element, and as my panic began to waver I kept mulling over her words. Hesitation? I tried not to linger or waffle, but I never knew what I was doing.
When I would sit in the medical center as Leslia told me to move a ball across the table even when I got strong enough to I always hesitated. She used to say I was afraid of myself and what I could do because other humans put that in me. She used to joke about taking me to Illium to live among the asari where I would learn to love what I am a bit more. For a long time I thought she was simply exaggerating and being a bit specist, but somehow even Mrs. Asher-Leigh knew I would stop myself like a deer in headlights. I could act and do things, but for some reason anxiety held me back like chains until life backed me into a corner. It'd be fitting if it put me in real chains, but what could I do? What would I do to avoid those chains? What would I do when people glanced over at me like a living weapon? What would I do when Rosie looked up at me and hated what she overheard? I didn't know. With a heavy sigh I laid my head down on my arms and shut my eyes as the man's screams echoed through the school.
"Hey Winter." I shot up and swallowed, barely restraining the rising flush of my cheeks at John's voice. It happened every time he said my name. "Mr. Brower said to go to his office in about five minutes. He's got the system up...and he figured you may want to talk to your sister."
I wondered then if it was because he sensed impending doom for one of us.
"Oh...thanks," I said, pushing the thought away. As he sat down beside me I quickly snapped my sketchbook shut then slid it into my bag. We sat there together for a quiet minute before he cast a nervous smile at me.
"This is uh pretty crazy," He said.
"Understatement of the year."
"Heh well, yeah." He swung his legs over the bench, our knees touched and I thought I was going to melt. Pedantic. Rosie glanced up at me from her drawing about to say something that put a huge Cheshire smirk on her face, but I stopped her with one harsh glare. "I heard you attacked some batarians on your way in. That's pretty cool."
"I didn't do much but knock 'em down." I shrugged unable to help but smile as my cheeks reddened. "Were you here when things started or walking?"
"I was already here." He raised a brow resting his cheek in his palm. "Of all the days for you to run late."
"Right? Mega unlucky." I let out a sigh. "I just hope everyone got to safety back on the outskirts."
"I hope so too. I'm glad you're ok though, really glad." He looked at me rather shyly then away as though he feared my reaction. I just blushed like the girl I was.
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|I am a doodler. I love exploring all kinds of art and am an avid writer. My hobbies tend to be Bioware video games, Comics, anime, and music of all kinds|