It’s been a while since I have posted, and I am trying to get back to posting every Sunday. Raptor, however, has not been going well. I’m not dropping the story, but I believe I need to file what I have away and entitle it Raptor: Draft One and a Half.
I am now starting Draft Two: The Raptor. You’ll probably remember the first chapter, but there are some new changes. I would love to hear feedback on the new beginning. Enjoy!
Elijah opened his eyes, but he couldn’t see anything. He blinked and sat up. But he laid right back down when his head started pounding. He looked up as he did, and noticed a light. The moon, looking between leafy branches far above him.
He jumped to his feet. Where am I?
He ignored his throbbing head, and all his other muscles, aching and bruised. There was wind, a hot wind. And there were noises. Bugs, birds, warbles and thrums that he didn’t recognize.
Fire, fire. Falling, falling.
“The plane,” he whispered. “I was on it.”
Falling, falling. Fire, fire.
“It blew up.” And I am in the middle of the jungle. Drat. Elijah sat down again, his headache not decreasing. As he did he felt along his arms. Yes, the wings were there. He supposed they must have saved him during the fall from the sky. Though he didn’t remember it.
Jungle. He repeated to himself. He shook his head, but he couldn’t remember where the plane had been. On route to India. He was either there or in Africa. Long way from home.
He stood up once again. He thought he should try and get a bird’s eye view and find out where exactly he was. But even as he did, he heard another sound.
A thrumming. He looked up.
Helicopters. And the thrumming was coming towards him. Not a time to fly. He drew in his wings, back into his skin, back amongst his bones.
He started to walk away from them, and then he started to start. Not too fast, there were too many leaves, to many vines. But he went quickly, though it was dark and he had no idea where he was going.
Though he did have an idea who he was running from.
He woke up later. Just his consciousness, not the rest of him. He couldn’t get his body to move. Drugged. I’m drugged. What happened.
He tried to open his eyes. They did, maybe. But like in the jungle, it was still dark. Maybe I’m still in the jungle. But it was silent around him. I’m in a cell. No, I’m in a chair. A chair in a cell. Can’t you think straight?
You’re drugged, he told himself. You’re not losing your mind it’s just – lost. You still remember your name? Elijah. That’s right. Elijah Burton.
He shook his head and tried to wake himself up.
“It will wear off in a few more minutes.”
Elijah’s heart jumped when he heard the voice, but still he couldn’t move. He heard footsteps. Then he opened his eyes.
The room was lit. He went to rub his eyes, shocked by the light. They didn’t move. He looked down. His wrists were clamped down to the arms of the chair. But that wasn’t so terrible. It was the steel braces on his arms, across the back of his shoulders. They’ve pinioned my wings.
He looked around, blinking.
“What are you? The Correlation?” Elijah asked, groggily. He looked over, trying to distinguish his company through the remaining blurs.
“You know that’s a cover.”
Elijah’s eyes finally focused. It was a doctor, or at least he looked like one in a lab coat. He had grey hair, and black rimmed glasses, which he adjusted after putting something away in a black case. Syringes.
Elijah looked down at his arm. A thin strip of white tape over gauze. I suppose they’ll be inspecting my bird blood.
Then the man took his case, left the room, and closed the door. Elijah heard electronic beeps on the other side. The metal clamps slid back from his wrists.
He sat up and rubbed his face, shaking the last of the drug off him.
There wasn’t anything around him, except another chair. He sighed, leaning forward on his knees. But as silence drew in, he began to notice that there was a soft hum all around him, and a faint sway to the room.
He was in a plane.
What had the man told him? The Correlation. No. I said that. He said that that’s just a cover. A cover for what? But more importantly, where am I going?
But the fact that they thought Elijah knew about them, meant that they had a very wrong impression on them. Don did warn me about them, the Correlation. Some new science branch for the government. But it’s a cover.
He put his head in his hands, still sore. Same with his back from the braces, his arms from them too. He wanted to tear them off. So he tore the tape off his arm instead. He threw it off the floor. Then the door opened. A man stepped into the room. The door shut.
Neither of them spoke for a moment. Elijah was not going to start, and the man seemed to be taking his time. A formal personality matching his suit.
“Burton.” The man said.
“And you are?” Elijah asked.
“My name is not relevant to this conversation.” The man went over and sat down. “You know your plane wasn’t hit by accident.”
“Yeah, I know,” Elijah said. They shot it down for me. But I wasn’t the only one on it. “Did you hope I would survive?”
“We knew you would.”
“How?” Elijah leaned forward.
“We are aware of your unique abilities. We are also aware that you have tried to keep them under cover. Evidently you weren’t ready to be turned on the loose. I can say I’m surprised they let you out at all.”
“Turned on the loose? Let out?” Elijah asked. “And who is this zoo keeper I am unaware of?”
“You could answer that.”
“Uh –huh.” Elijah sat back. He felt cold to his bone, the way the man was looking at him. Elijah put his own jaw as tight as his, his own eyes as blank and steady. They think your someone, he told himself, they think you’re an experiment. It might not be a good idea to tell them that you’re not.
“Are you going to cooperate with us?” the man asked. How can I not? I’m stuck in a plane.
“Define cooperate,” Elijah asked.
“Who made you?”
Elijah was silent, but inside he laughed. I was born this way, didn’t you know?