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I awoke tied to a table. My neck was killing me and I couldn't move any part of my body. "Holy Ham and Cheese! Not again," I said as I struggled against the restraints. The more I moved the more pain I felt seeping through every pore of my body. What the heck was going on? I had super human strength, why couldn't I lift my body off this stupid table. I looked down and found the reason. There was a glowing inhibitor collar around my neck. I was powerless and at the mercy of whoever it was that had captured me.
"Oh good. You're awake. I thought I had already killed you. That would be no fun at all," a sickening British accent said.
"Xi, is that you?"
"Of course it is," she said stepping into my limited line of sight.
So much for mercy. Specimen Xi was the most insane and disturbed genetically enhanced superhuman created in a laboratory ever. She probably stayed awake at night thinking up the most painful way to kill me. Looks like she might have figured it out.
"What do you want, Xi?"
"Well, that is a ridiculous question. What do you think I want?"
"You want me to die a painful death. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just do it already. I don't feel like having polite conversation."
"Tsk, tsk, Priscilla. Aren't we grumpy? Oh, that's right. You're having boyfriend trouble, aren't you?"
For a second I didn't know if she was talking about Marco or Kyle. Fortunately...or unfortunately she went on to clarify.
"You lie to Kyle for months, then kiss Marco right in front of him. Then you get Marco killed. And going back to Kyle has proven harder than you expected hasn't it? Now he's keeping secrets from you."
How did she know all of this?
"Shut up, Xi. I did not get Marco killed. If anything you did. He was trying to stop you and Colonel Selliwood. And about Kyle...just shut up about Kyle."
There was nothing I could say to refute her there. Unfortunately she was right about that part. I had to lie to Kyle for his own safety. I didn't want him to know that I was the daughter of a genetically enhanced superhuman and that evil villains were chasing my family all over the world. I underestimated Kyle and thought he would reject me if he knew I had super hearing, super strength and could shoot fire out of my fingers. Marco was another specimen around my age and I didn't mean to, but I fell for him. He was like me and I thought we belonged together. Maybe we did belong together. I would never know for sure because now he was dead.
Xi didn't respond at first. She took a mirror out of her purse and ran her fingers through he r waist length black hair with hot pink highlights.
"Believe it or not, I'm a little jealous of you," she said, snapping the compact shut.
I was too shocked to actually respond with words. I kind of gave a confused grunt before she continued.
"You've had two boys completely mad about you. I've never had a boyfriend."
"Wha...huh?" Again, too shocked for words.
"I don't mind telling you all this because I'm about to kill you anyway. " She hopped up on the table right next to my feet and crossed her legs. "I haven't even had my first kiss yet. Boys just aren't interested in me."
"That's because you're a psycho." I probably shouldn't have said that, but I couldn't help myself. I mean it was true. And what did it matter what I said. She was about to kill me anyway.
Xi glared at me. Then she looked away and shrugged. "You're probably right. But it doesn't matter. Even if I kissed a boy I probably wouldn't be able to feel a thing."
Xi had no pain receptors. She was extremely hard to defeat in a fight because she never felt when I burned her. And even if I burned her, she could regenerate her body parts so she just re-grew her flesh. The last time I fought her, Marco and I cut off both her hands in order to get away. From the fresh coat of hot pink polish on her nails, I could see her hands had grown back nicely.
Xi looked sad. Suddenly I felt the need to play psychologist. "Look, what are you twelve years old? You still have plenty of time. I didn't have my first kiss until my thirteenth birthday."
"And how was it? Did you see stars or the like?" Xi turned toward me excitedly and tucked her hair behind her ears like a child at a slumber party. I expected her to whip out a hair brush and start singing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
Yes, Xi was a psycho and yes she was currently trying to kill me, but I actually felt a little sorry for her. And thinking about my first kiss with Kyle brought up a whole bunch of warm fuzzy feelings. I couldn't help but talk about it.
"I saw stars. I felt explosions. Thousands of butterflies danced in my stomach. I still get that feeling even when I just look at him."
"Wow," she said as she stared up at the ceiling with a wistful look in her eyes. "What about Marco? What was it like to kiss Marco?"
I wondered how she even knew about that. She probably read my mind. Almost all the specimens had some sort of telepathy. My mother could move things with her mind and my brother, Josh, could see the future. My father was a normal human. And though my five-year-old twin baby brothers hadn't developed any powers yet they were far from normal. Let's just say they like to throw poop and blow their snot on unsuspecting targets.
"Marco only kissed me to protect me from Specimen Zero." That was partly true. Marco had the ability to convert his entire body to metal. Once in metal form he was pretty much invincible. He could stop a bullet at point blank range. Marco could also transfer his powers through an enzyme in his saliva. Thus the kiss.
Xi rolled her eyes. "You think I'm some sort of tosser? I saw the way he looked at you. He was totally smitten."
Once again, Xi was exactly right. He was...smitten with me, or whatever. We'd always had a special connection to each other. I felt it the first time I saw him when I helped him and the other specimens escape the Selliwood Institute where they were created.
I thought back to that kiss with Marco. While it started out as business, it ended with nothing but pleasure. It was amazing. Thinking about that kiss made me miss him even more. Three months ago, Marco, Josh, Ryan, Ian and I traveled to the Arctic Circle and captured Colonel Selliwood. In his metal form, Marco was too dense to swim. He ended up sinking to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.
"It doesn't matter. He's dead now." I turned my head away so she wouldn't see the tears glistening in my eyes.
"What if I told you he wasn't?"
I turned again and stared at her like we were in a poker game and she was claiming to have four aces. It was possible, but I didn't know whether to trust her or not.
"This conversation has gotten boring," she said finally ending our staring match. "Let's get this over with, shall we?" She hopped off the table and grabbed a syringe off of a nearby desk. She squeezed a little bit of white liquid out of the top of it. "Don't worry," she said, walking toward me slowly with a sinister grin. "Okay, you might want to worry. This is going to be extremely painful."
Xi's main goal in life was to cause other people pain since she couldn't feel pain herself. I knew whatever she had planned for me would be beyond anything I could ever imagine. I doubted if I would survive. My mind raced trying to figure out a way out of this. Nothing was coming to mind. Was this the end?
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone enter the room.
"Kyle? What are you doing here?"