Terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: Ten Little Titles

This weeks challenge Ten Little Chapters. This was hard, and I struggled (failed) to keep within the limit, but I’m posting anyway.


Hope for Humanity


Chapter I

‘We didn’t stand a chance General’
Masters looked down on the Lieutenant ‘You’re still alive Lieutenant’
Peterson nodded ‘by the good grace of God sir’
‘Then you didn’t try hard enough’
the words hit Peterson like a knife in the chest ‘Sir?’
‘They wouldn’t let anything stand in their way Lieutenant; your presence suggests, you didn’t try hard enough’
‘But…sir’ Peterson stammered
General Masters addressed the man beside him
‘Colonel, see that Lieutenant Peterson is aptly punished for his cowardice’
‘Certainly General’
‘And Colonel’
‘Yes sir?’
‘Get me Agent X’
‘Certainly General’


Chapter II

‘You wanted to see me sir?’
Xavier walked into the room and sat opposite the General
‘We have a problem Xavier’
‘The Government’
‘I’m listening’
The General slid a folder across the desk. Xavier opened it up and studied its contents. ‘Those five are one of our greatest threats’
‘How so?’
‘Their freedom could be mankind’s biggest catastrophe’
‘Go on’
‘Agent X, need I remind you of your role’
Xavier closed the folder, sat back in his chair, and said ‘No, sir’
‘Good, then your mission begins with immediate effect’


Chapter III

‘I’m in pursuit’ Xavier calls into his wrist watch
‘Do not let her escape’ the reply comes in a crackle
‘I’m losing signal; it’s this warehouse’
‘Do not let her……’
‘Shit!’ the communication goes dead; he’s on his own.
Xavier chasses her into a dead end. Her back is to him, as he points his gun at her
‘End of the line’
Her grey cloak slivers as she turns. Xavier frowns slightly, she looks human, but something about her seems purer; he puts it down to her large brown eyes; solemn and understanding
‘Hello Xavier’ her voice seems to ride on a wave on tranquillity.
Xavier frowns; he stiffens his grip
‘Do not feel confused’ she says ‘I exist in you like I exist everyone else’
‘Listen lady, all I know is you need to go back’
She smiles; an understanding smile. She withdraws a dagger from the sheath at her side; placing the blade on her pale forearm
‘Look into my eyes Xavier’
He doesn’t want to, but her voice speaks to his subconscious and he’s responding without thought; her brown eyes draw him in
‘I understand you’ she says ‘and now you, will understand me’
She cuts the tender white flesh; Xavier feels it, the searing heat runs across his forearm, he drops the gun and clutches his arm
‘I need to be free Xavier, we all need to be free’
She cuts deeper, and the pain becomes overwhelming; he falls into darkness.


Chapter IV

‘General, I need you to be straight with me’
‘Your mission is clear’
‘I need to know what’s going on, who are these people?’
‘They’re dangerous beings Agent, and they must be stopped’
‘I can’t catch what I don’t understand’
‘Then kill’ barks Masters ‘that is your forte’
‘We would rather they ceased to exist than be allowed to run free’
‘I don’t know what I’m dealing with, if you could just – ’
‘Yes, sir’
‘Agent X, your role is to hunt down those prisoners not to understand them; now if you find it too difficult to apprehend them; then terminate them – do I make myself clear?’ Through gritted teeth Xavier replies ‘Crystal, sir’


Chapter V

‘I don’t want to kill you Agent, but you’re not leaving me an option’
Xavier hides behind a large rock; blood trickles down his head, he’s hurt, but the adrenaline is sustaining him, he calls out
‘If you give yourself up now, you can keep your life’
‘I think you’ll find it is me hunting you Agent’
the voice is closer now, and Xavier hears the crunching of leaves. He rolls forward; hearing the clatter of metal upon stone. The man is crouched on top of the rock, his machete dug deep into it; where Xavier’s head was. He had wildness about him, and his eyes were hungry.
‘Which aspect of me are you agent?’ he asks ‘Fight, freeze, or flight?’
Xavier frowns, and raises his gun ‘Fight’ he says, and squeezes the trigger.


Chapter VI

Xavier stands at a payphone:
‘Xavier, it’s been a while’
‘Knowledge I need you to do something for me; off the record’
‘Isn’t it always’ he says ‘what do you need?’
‘Anything you can get me on Grey Area detainees’
‘That’s a tough one’
‘Well if you can’t do it – ’
‘Whoa, whoa’ comes the voice through the phone ‘I said it was tough not impossible’ ‘Alright, give it a shot’
‘What am I looking for?’
‘Prisoners one-to-five; seven levels below’
Xavier waits, listening to a keyboard being attacked.
‘Xavier’ says Knowledge
‘I don’t have a lot to go on, but I came across something called: Taming Humanity’
‘Okay, keep looking; I’ll call you’


Chapter VII

Xavier enters the room; its walls are thick with ash and soot, and it has long been abandoned. A woman is sat on a bed; springs protruding from the mattress. She is looking around the room, and has an air of sadness.
The woman looks up, her eyes are a dank green; pools of melancholy.
‘It’s so sad isn’t it?’
Xavier looks round the room, hoping to find her sadness.
‘People cared for this place, it was their home, and now, it’s a shell’ she sighed
Xavier knelt in front of her; he did not feel remotely threatened by her.
‘I need to talk to you’ he said
She looked at him, caring for his need
‘Who are you?’ said Xavier
‘I’m Compassion’
‘What are you?’ he tried
She touched his chest and repeated herself ‘I’m Compassion’
‘And the others?’
‘We were five, but now I sense we are four’
Xavier felt a twinge of guilt, remembering the man and his machete
‘It’s okay’ she said ‘as long as Hope survives’


Chapter VIII

‘Xavier, where have you been?’
‘General, what the fuck is going on, you need to level with me’
‘Agent, I suggest you change your tone’
‘I suggest you go fuck yourself’ he spits ‘tell me the truth’
Masters sighs; it comes through the phone like a harsh breeze
‘These prisoners are not human Xavier’
‘I’ve figured that out’
‘This is why you have to apprehend or’ he paused ‘terminate them’
‘They may not be people General, but they’re everything it means to be Human’
‘Did you talk to one of them Xavier?’
‘I think you know that already General’
Another sigh; this one carried disappointment with it
‘Then I’m afraid I have to call you in, Agent’
‘Oh I’m coming General, I’m coming’


Chapter IX

Xavier burst through the doors of the General’s office. Masters sat at his desk, eyeing the Agent without surprise. Xavier, gun in hand, gestured to the blood that covered him in large patches
‘Not mine I’m afraid’
‘Good men you’ve killed’ replied the General
‘Their blood is on your hands too General’
Xavier sat down in the chair opposite him
‘Don’t worry I’ll ease your conscience shortly, but first I have a question’
The General remained stoic; Xavier continued
The General took a deep breath ‘Humanity is a difficult thing to govern, but when you have a hold on certain characteristic, certain traits, then they are much easier to direct’
‘You mean control’
The General shrugged ‘semantics’
Xavier shook his head
‘Mankind does not know what is good for it, we were creating a balance for harmony’
‘You were creating a world without freedom’ said Xavier
‘Freedom is overrated’
‘Maybe, but that’s not your choice’
‘And what is your choice Agent?’


Chapter X

Xavier walked out of the office; the General sat in his chair while his brains slid down the window behind him.

‘I need help locating something’
‘Sure thing, who we looking for?’
‘Not who Knowledge; what’
‘Okay then; what are we looking for?’
A moment of silence lingers between them

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