Prologue

Prologue:

And as their fingers reached out to the pane of thick glass between their palms, the weather became vicious. A shuddering roar swept through the exposed eaves 80 floors above them. Everything seemed to slow down, just like in those moments when every fluttering beat of a hummingbird’s wings becomes a rhythm of hypnosis. Carrie took in a deep expectant draw of breath with her eyes widening, only then for her eyes to shut as Noah’s fingers connected on the glass, perfectly mirroring hers the other side. Despite the torrent of weather building in crescendo around the facility, it seemed the light around them was brightening and the sounds above drowning a death. And, all at once everything made sense. He was 758N and she was 734C. A tide of electric memories surged through their chemically conceived minds. Fifteen long years of living in what felt a lucid existence, came crashing down around both bodies of XIST Corp.’s first wave of the Genetica Programme.

“…The eighth Principle of XIST states those created under the Genetica Programme shall be incapable of establishing any form of attachment, empathy, emotion or character. They shall be engineered Beings of which will be fully predetermined in all scales of measure, by us, in their laboratorial conception…”

 “I watched you leave the facility fifteen years ago Carrie…” The sombre tone of realising neither had seized the most of opportune moments fell on Noah’s words. “I watched you be led away for destruction Carrie and yet…” Noah paused to swallow back a tear, despite it being written within the DNA of a Humax to remain a blank canvas, void of emotion let alone the ability to display it. “…I was not wrong to know you’d never truly left me.” Carrie watched the crystalline shard trace down his cheek and drip from the tip of his chin. Then all at once she remembered to breathe again, being firstly paralysed by the expectation of Noah’s touch despite the glass and then secondly, by the shock of seeing in her mind’s eye the younger Carrie fifteen years earlier, screaming in a confined cell, clawing at the walls till her fingers bled, hoping and praying Noah would come for her. “You never came Noah! I screamed till my throat ran raw… My fingers still scarred from the endless picking trying to escape…” Her tongue initially whipped anger in her words but then softened when she too acknowledged that despite it all, they were here, back together. “We aren’t supposed to love Carrie!” Noah blurted out to her. “But I do. And I know you do.” An awkward hesitation between them flirted in the pause before Carrie broke into unfathomable tears. Her slight frame quaking as she pressed her hand harder to the glass to stabilise herself between gulps of air and words amongst sobs. “Where have you been Noah? Where-have-you-been?”

“I never meant to abandon you Carrie, I thought you had been destroyed…” A hint of desperation in his explanation caused her to look up for a fleeting moment. “We are not human. We should not be able to do what we do. But we were the flawed experiment Carrie” Noah withdrew himself from the glass pane. He rubbed his eyes with a clenched hand. “But what is not flawed is that after all this time… All of this time…” His words ever softening as if he could reach out to tip up her chin and look deeply into her hazel eyes that shone like Polaris was caught within them. “All this time I loved you… They stripped us of everything we were as soon as we were dragged through those doors. No longer people Carrie. We became Humax. If you doubt that, we wouldn’t be here now nor able to talk with Telepathy…”

 

Coughing on her tears, Carrie looked up at Noah. A deep, searching look of helplessness fell on her face as she interjected what he was saying. “You love me still now Noah?! Like this? Was it worth the wait?” Despite her supernova eyes, it’s true that the sallow skin that clung to her face and thin limp shoulder length hair was not Noah’s memory of her. “Is this what you wanted. To hope one day to find me in this mess after being trafficked pillar to post… Awful things have happened to me. I’m not the same as I was. From that day when they dragged me away from you I’ve never been the same.”

“If I could come through this glass and hold you Carrie I would. You were, and are, and will forever be my light, my soul, my purpose. We were given through their own error the chance to feel. And I want to feel this with you till my days run dark. You don’t have to fight anymore Carrie….” Noah put both hands out, his palms feeling cool against the glass. Her lip trembled as she pushed her hair back from her face with equally trembling hands. A thousand lost ‘I Love Yous’ welled up in her chest.

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