Chapter 4 Pods

Chapter 4

There was a beep as the door opened. I blinked as I tried to focus on the scenery in front of me. It was like we were in a water park. There was a pathway in front of us and the curved walls were made out of glass with steel reinforcements. Dotted lights ran along the frame of the steel and also the ground - giving us enough luminance to see.

We followed Jessica along the metal like floor. Our footsteps echoing in the vast and endless space around us. Nervous glances showed on each and every one of my companions whenever a sea creature drove past us. Jessica must have seen our curious looks because she looked back at us and smirked.

"These creatures are not known to Earth dwellers. For they have not invented a machine that could withstand the massive amount of pressure here. Consider yourselves lucky to be here."

If being lucky meant that we have to see how they murdered people back in the plane then they have a weird logic.

I suddenly felt a strange presence drawing close. I stopped and turned my head upward to the glass ceiling just as we were enshrouded in a temporary darkness. A massive reptilian like creature with octopus arms swam past us making everyone stop. I heard screams and shuffling of feet the whole time before it was gone. 

The man with the yellow cat eyes appeared beside me. "Why are you all surprised about that one?" He asked in a serious tone. "Earth dwellers have written stories about it. The Kraken. It used to swim on the ocean surface before they hunted it down and forced it to live here. Just like us."

"I thought the Kraken was a giant octopus?" I said.

"No one lived to tell the tale from the ones who saw the actual body. I guess they just assumed that it is a giant octopus."

I turned my gaze away from him as I looked at the retreating figure of the Kraken getting smaller and smaller. 

"Let's keep moving." Jessica ordered.

We followed her towards the end of the hallway. A steel door awaited us at the end. As soon as Jessica scanned her hand, it opened. We followed her inside and found ourselves in a metallic room that was barely lit by two wall lamps. Another metallic door was in front of us with two people guarding it. Their gray jumpsuit was making them blend in with the darkness.

"New recruits?" One of the guards spoke when Jessica approached them.

"More of them this time. One of them has a strong ounce of Atlantean blood." Jessica said proudly.

"Will they assist?"

"Hopefully." Jessica said and stepped forward as she entered a code on the keypad beside the steel doors. There was a beep and a clang.

Once it opened, Jessica motioned for us to come inside. We followed and soon found ourselves in a science fiction like setting. We were in a huge dome like city. The upper half of the dome was made of glass and reinforce with steels - just like the ones we saw before arriving here. The lower half was made of white material that I do not know of.

All around us, tons of circular pods emerged from the ground held by white-like stems of a flower. Each of them were of different heights from the ground. Some were two meters above ground and the tallest I saw was around ten meters. I saw a few people coming in an out of them. They were dressed in white body fitting jumpsuits with blue lineare patterns. They don't use any ladder or equipment, they simply jump down and land on their feet like it was nothing. I saw a man doing the same from the tallest pod. My heart lurched as I saw him jump and landed on the ground safely. The man just grinned and started running towards his friends.

I shook my head and continued to follow Jessica along the white stoned pathway. I couldn't help but look around and eye all the water plants all around us. I saw a tree that resembles like a coconut tree but the body is like a blue rubber and the leaves were made up of small transparent bubbles. Below each pod was a small circle about the same diameter of the pod. All around it were a bunch of weed like water plants.

It was beautiful in a weird alien-like scenery.

In front of us was a huge white dome. Jessica stopped just a few meters in front of it before facing us. "We are currently in S-21 short for Sector 21. For those of you with a stronger blood will stay in the pods. The rest of you will follow me for a better and more grounded home."

We all looked at each other as the pominent question pops in. "How will we know where we'll stay?" One of them asked.

"We already have you all tested and have already separated you into group. Two of you will remain here. Nathalia Trayce and Rachel Howard."

I blinked and looked at the pods again. "You want me to live there?" I asked and gave her a look.

"Yes." Came her reply.

"It doesn't seem safe. Can't I just go with the more grounded rooms like the majority of us?"

"The pods will be safe, miss Nathalia. You're Atlantean blood gives you...inhuman abilities to withstand high jumps, strong impacts, and even increase your strength." Then she looked at the yellow eyes man, who was now standing under one of the pods. It was one of the tallest ones out there. They exchanged a look and the man gave her a curt nod before turning around and jumping. Well, it was more like he flew as the height of the pod was over ten meters. As if sensing the man, a hole opened from the pod as the man landed inside. The man turned around to look at us.

"I-I..." I stuttered as my brain tried to process what I just saw. "I can't do that!" I looked at Jessica, why eyes widened with disbelief. "Never have I done that before!"

"Of course you can't do that. Not right now at least." She says. "But with time you will. Your body is still recovering from being exposed to the pollution on land. It will take a long time before you can jump as high as Mr. Skyr." She said and jerked her thumb to the man with yellow eyes, who suddenly jumped and was now standing behind her. "Show off." She grumbled.

The man, Skyr, crossed his arms over his chest and looked at me.

"Skyr, I'll leave miss Nathalia to you." Jessica told him.

"What about Rachel?" I asked. The last time that I saw her, she was being carried away in a futuristic stretcher.

"She'll also be transferred to a pod once she recovers. Luckily she's got our blood that gives her a better chance at survival. It won't be for long until she joins you. For now, you stay here as Mr. Skyr will guide you to your pod." Was all she said better she and the rest of the group left. But not before they gave me an apologetic look.

It wasn't until they were out of sight that Skyr approached me. He brushed his short white hair off of his face as he walked towards me. "I'm Skyr Finley. I'm currently in charge of the upper division in S-21. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me along the way." He said and then motioned for me to follow. "Come." He said.

He started walking that I had no choice but to follow. I was afraid of being left alone in this weird and foreign place. We headed for another pathway in the opposite direction from the dome. 

"Can you tell me more about this place?" I asked as I kept looking around in hopes that I might see the face the I am looking for. My father.

"There are a lot of things. You might need to be more specific."

"Are there similar area like this one? I mean we are in S-21, right?"

I was now walking beside Skyr that he was able to give me a side glance. "Yes." He confirmed. "So far, this pod is the newest addition so all in all there are 21 pods to accommodate everyone."

"You mean the one who survived?" I asked bitterly and earned a glare from him.

"Sometimes we can't avoid casualties. More people will die if we stop what we're doing."

"What do you mean?"

"I think it is best for you to stop asking more questions than you can handle. Right now, you may think that we are your enemy, but all will soon be explained by our leader."

I bit the inside of my cheek as I think of how I can word out my question. "Can we visit other sectors?"

"No. Not until you are proven worthy."

"How do I that?"

Skyr finally turned his head towards me and have me a suspicious look. "Why do you wish to know?"

In that moment, something in me was screaming for me to stop. He must not know of my motive. "I want to see the other sectors. Are there people like me who were able to adapt and jump as high as you?" It wasn't a complete lie. I was actually curious if that Jessica actually said is true.

Skyr seemed satisfied with my reason as his look changed from suspicion to curiosity. "I've seen improvements in a span on weeks. Some took years before they were able to jump more than two feet. But with the concentrated Atlean blood in you, I would guess about  a week or so."

I looked at the ground and started to fiddle with my hands. I do not know what is it in my blood and where that concentrated Atlantean blood comes from. I was just was lost as I was mentally and physically. "How about you?" I asked in hoped to change the subject. Then I realize my question and immediately corrected myself. "Nevermind. Sorry I asked."

"Why are you sorry?"

"You're probably born and raised raised here."

He suddenly stopped walking and looked at the ground. I stopped too after taking a few steps in ahead of him. "I wasn't born here." he said.

I blinked as I realized what he meant. But before I could ask more, he suddenly pointed behind me. "That's your pod."

I turned and saw a pod about one meter off of the ground. I just realize that the pod was actually bigger than it looks. I could only assume that it is about five to seven meters in diameter.

Skyr came right beside me and guided me closer to it. He raised his hand and touched his white metallic wristband on the pod. It let out a beeping noise as if it was coming alive. "Give me your hand." He said. Obediently, I complied. He took my hand and made sure that my palm touched the pod. It glowed a bit and hummed as if it was alive. "Jump in." He said.

"Is there a ladder here?" I asked looking at the hole in the pod once my hand got close. I grabbed the bottom as I hauled myself up. Grunting in frustration as I tried to enter my suppose to be new home.

"Oh for crying out loud." I heard Skyr grumble as he pulled me down and started carrying me like a luggage.

"Um..." I said awkwardly.

Skyr jumped and carried me into my suppose to be new home. Once we were inside, he dropped me on the ground where I lay flat. I immediately fixed my robe when it came lose.

And I thought we were precious cargo.

I grunted as I pulled myself in a sitting position. I looked around only to find myself in a white room with a simple bed, closet, kitchen, table, and another door that I assume and hope is a bathroom. Even though the pod is suppose to be circular, the room actually has corners.

"Bathroom is behind that door. This place is customizable with that control panel right on your bedside table. You can change the layout and even the furnitures to your liking." He instructed.

"I-um..." I started to ask, but Skyr was already at my door - I mean the hole- on the pod.

"Tomorrow I will come and pick you up. Be sure to be ready before 6am. There's a big clock right here." He pointed above the hole of the pod for me to see a digital clock that read 23:47pm. 

And then he was gone, and the pod closed up after him.

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