By Audrey Lambert, TIWP Student
They isolated those that they feared—weapons in human form with abilities that surpassed imagination. If they suspected you, they branded you with a triangle on your neck and implanted a tracker in your left wrist.
They told the people we were dangerous and to report all Adroit activities. Adroit, that’s what they called us. Some super-smart scientist guy came up with it. Adroit means clever or skillful in using the hands or mind. Essentially, it’s a fancy way of saying gifted, but they didn’t want to call us gifted because that painted us in too much of a positive light. They wanted the people to be as scared of us as they were. But now, we’re the ones that are afraid.
I told him to meet me at the abandoned gas station at the edge of town. I probably should’ve been more specific. All the gas stations, and any building for that matter, are abandoned. Our town used to be a safe haven for Adroits, until it got raided and shut down and most of us were taken to an isolation camp.
Waiting was agonizing. I was worried, worried he had been taken, worried he wasn’t going to make it here. Maybe he hasn’t gotten his tracker out. I was able to remove mine pretty easily, since my power is density manipulation. Basically, that means that I can separate my atoms far enough apart that I can be reached through, or condense them so much that I’m hard as steel. Anyways, I was able to reach into my arm and remove my tracker without pain. Porter would’ve had to cut his out.
Porter is a hard guy to work with. He may be my best friend, and of course, I love the guy, but sometimes he gets so paranoid that I can’t stand to be around him. Although, I’m eternally grateful to him. You see, Porter has precognition so he can see the future. The night before the raid he had a vision. He got a small group of us out of town before the Raiders arrived. We agreed it was safest if we all split up and hid out until the Raiders left town. Porter and I agreed to be the ones to return first and scope out the area and make sure it’s safe.
I dragged a stick through the dirt, bored and brain dead as I sat in the skin-melting desert heat. A pebble landed in the middle of my dirt creation, blowing dust into my eyes and mouth, destroying my masterfully drawn frowny-face. I squinted up into the sun as I searched for the source of the pebble, choking a bit on the dust that had entered my lungs.
“Psst!” For a second I thought my drawing was expressing its pain until I turned my head to the origin of the sound, “Orion!” The voice called. I saw Porter’s head poke out from the wall of the gas station.
I put my hand up to shield my eyes from the bright sun, “Porter? Why are you acting so weird?”
“Why are you just sitting there out in the open?” He shot back, frantically beckoning me to hide behind the wall with him. I stood and dusted the dirt off my butt as I walked over to him.
“I haven’t seen anybody, I think we’re in the clear.”
“Orion, you’re going to get us killed!” Oh poor, paranoid, Porter. This was going to be a long apocalypse.