Babylon High Day 4
Posted By: Shurmanator<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 18 September 2009, 12:14 am
>>>////ONI Transmission >>>////Priority Alpha Record Log- Journal Excerpt
>>>////Project Babylon - WARNING: TOP SECRET EYES ONLY
Orbital Observation Platform Infocus over Neptune
Mission Clock: Day 46
The time I had spent at Babylon High over the past 30 days or so has been the worst in my life.
I remained ever-lonesome, my only solace in the dismal building Atas', who had become, without a shadow of a doubt, the best friend I ever had. But it was all for naught, and I felt no true kinship with anyone anymore. I barely felt anything at all.
Classes gradually had become more and more dull. My entire routine had fallen into one blob of hazy summarization; I learned things I would undoubtedly forget the next day. My life was severely pathetic, and I began to spiral towards a depression. Gone was the snarky, well-beloved charm I prided myself on. No one else did, but I prided myself on it. I slowly began tearing my own psyche apart, with more than a little help from the unvarying monotony of the high school.
I found I could no longer function at home. All of my lessons had been drilled into my subconscious, and though I had no trouble with school-work, but I could not longer talk to my parents. All my old contacts with friends from middle school and my last high school were severed. The only person I could truly talk to was Atas', and he had been falling into an even worse rut than I did.
The naivety that had haunted Atas' had finally caught up to him, and after 40 days of prejudice, segregation, dullness, and routine he had finally broken. His faith in the system, outlasting anyone else in the school, was finally destroyed. He barely spoke, and only listened. He seemed weak, and diminished.
Sangheilli, Humans; that, that place had gotten to them. They could no longer think for themselves, free will had become a four-letter word, and the once specious nature of a glorious inter-species high school had left even the most naive of minds. The teachers feigned ignorance, but I saw it in their eyes.
They were scared.
They were the same as us.
It's like they were zombies... it's like they were inhuman. In fact, they almost were. Because I found out the truth. I finally did. And I thought it was over.
But its not over, is it?
It's not the end.
I'm not going to say it, because if i do, this whole damn situation will get so fucking cliche that I'm going to have to kill myself. But if its not the end, what do you think it is?
>>>>>>>>>ACCESSING MEMORY LOGS
>>>>>>>>>**WARNING: ANOMALY DETECTED IN SUBJECT'S MEMORY PATTERNS. RECOMMEND LOG FOR PSYCHIC ANALYSIS
I woke up in the morning without feeling. I showered without feeling. I ate without feeling. I went to school without feeling. I walked through the doors without feeling.
Then, as soon as the first bell rang, the pain started.
I had never felt it before. School had been emotionally destructive to me for a good week and a half now, but this was different than just a heaviness inside me. This was true pain. It began in the back of my throat, then squirmed its way up my mouth, writhing and spreading like some sort of parasite. I felt unclean with it inside me.
I went to Trigonometry with Atas'. He remained distant, but I could tell he was listening when I talked to him. I think talking to him helped keep me sane enough to still be human. Atas', though he could not speak anymore, still had the remains of a hopeful glint in his eyes.
It gave me hope too.
I walked to History. My once favorite subject had lost its appeal. It was just another cog in the wheel of my tortuous cycle. I learned things that I can not remember, but at the same time I know by heart. It's as if they're pushing everything down deep inside of me, where I can't reach it, but where they can pull it out whenever they want.
The teachers don't want to do it though. They have pained looks on their faces as they teach. I've seen them turn their backs and cry when the bell rings, as their unwilling pawns file out obediently. No one else notices. No one else is programmed to noticed.
I try to act inconspicuous, try to seem like I am one of them, that I do not have shred of a soul left in me.
It's not hard.
What I see is enough to rip the soul right out of me.
I talk to Atas' some more, about nothing important. I talk about celebrities, girls I think are hot, sports, our parents. Anything but the school. Anything but the school. I need to stay sane, I need to talk to him, I need to know that someone is listening, someone still cares.
It happens during lunch. Doesn't it always.
As the pack moves toward the lunch-room, unflinching, unwavering, their eyes glazed from the day of programming they received, I stop. Dead.
The pack shifts around me, not noticing the one rebel in their flock. Atas' is slightly behind me. A moment arrives. He sees me stopped, and tries to do the same. I see him struggling, his feet twitching as they walk, signals being blasted from the small battalion of sanity he has left, trying to win this one last guerilla assault against the program. I watch an epic war unfold inside him. The rebels are fighting hard, fighting for their honor, their families, their loved ones. But although one of them is worth one million of the enemy, still, the enemy is too great. There are too many. The attack fails.
Atas' keeps walking.
One soldier crawls, mortally wounded on the battlefield. The enemy, finally having drawn the rebels out of hiding, walk about the field, finishing the job, taking full control. This soldier sees the carnage in front of him, and suddenly one of the commanders appear. He orders his men to ruthlessly execute any wounded. The soldier sees his chance. His one chance to make a difference. He charges the commander, knife in hand. Bullets crash into him, but he keeps running, hope fueling his body. The knife pierces the commander's neck, killing him, severing the chain of command for one brief second.
Atas' turns his head.
He looks right at me.
I see his thoughts.
I will. But not yet..
Atas' keeps walking, finally one of them.
And I am alone.
I sprint away from the pack, running down the corridors of the school, feeling the eyes of the cameras watching me. I don't care.
I don't know what I'm looking for, but I know it must be close.
I find myself in the lobby. The mirrors on the floor and ceiling reflect me in infinity. My torture reflects in infinity. I know I have little time, and soon I will break too.
I remember watching Dr. Halsey and the Cleric leaving through doors behind the holo-screen at the end of the auditorium. I know now I must start there. I hear footsteps approaching. I know they will find me.
I find the door behind the holo-screen, a sliding mechanism on rails. Its armor plated, and its locked. I bang on it, screaming at the cliche of it all. I feel the battle starting inside me as well. There are more rebels on my side, and the battle is more even than it was with Atas'. Still, I know I do not have much time. I need to open the door. I need to see behind it.
Two security guards, both huge Sangheilli, start toward me, running from one of the many hallways leading toward the inner bowels of the school. I see it in their eyes as they close in; they are more far gone than any of the students. They have no souls left in them, and most likely hadn't for quite some time. I pity them.
Then I pity myself.
A roar echoes in the hall. Two other Sangheilli, dressed in Combat armor, charge the guards. The guards may be large, but lack of a soul leaves an enemy with no will to fight. The other two Sangheilli grapple their enemies, and hurl them to the ground. A quick strike incapacitates both of them.
I know these Sangheilli, but my mind begins to fail me. Their names can not be placed. However, they both charge the armor plated door, their roars vibrating the walls of the lobby. The door crumples inward.
I do not thank them. They know it is not needed.
The door beckons. I rush in. More footsteps, and this time plasma shots, sound out from the lobby.
No more chances are being taken. I am going to be killed.
Finally, I look at my surroundings.
A control center circles me. The door I entered is on the circumference of a 50 sq. meter room, covered with control panels. Another door is directly opposite mine.
Camera screens show every angle in the entire school, with no blank spots.
The pain is stronger here, nearly overwhelming. My army inside me screams out at me, telling me the lines are falling. Too many are dying.
I feel myself slipping away.
I know this place is important, and by that logic it must be destroyed. I find a small metal tool lying in front of an open control panel. I begin to hack and destroy.
Sparks and bits of metal fly everywhere, and camera screens turn blank. Alarms ring, then are silenced. I sprint around the room, smashing everything until my tool breaks in half.
I look around, panting. I feel elated.
Wait, I feel. I can feel.
The pain is gone.
The rebel army stands victorious, cheering over the dead enemy. They chant my name.
"Kenneth! Kenneth! Kenneth!"
"Kenneth, Kenneth!" a voice stirs me out of my vision.
I look up. JBMAD and Geto Endam' are standing there. Their Combat armor is scorched, and plasma rifles are in their hands. The spread their mandibles wide, the Sangheilli equivalent of a smile.
"Holy shit, am I glad to see you guys. You saved my ass back there!" I exclaim, reveling in the profanity, reveling in the exclamation, reveling in the variety.
"No, Kenneth," said Jacked Bad-Ass Motherfucker Alien Dude, "you saved all of us."
"Bullshit," interjected Geto Endam', "we saved his pasty ass."
With the monstrous control equipment destroyed, the whole school wakes from a stupor. The glazed eyes are replaced with wide glances of confusion and disorientation. Teachers, being held against their will, and forced to impose these lessons of mind control on their students, are struck by a feeling of freedom.
The Beatles song rings in my ears. Come together, right now.... I laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Cheers rip through the halls, tearing down the dismal disarray of the past weeks. You can almost hear the music in the background, as if a revolution had just come full swing.
And it had.
I ran down the halls, flying through corridors. Humans that had barely known me gave me looks of respect and admiration. Girls kissed me, guys clasped my arm. Sangheilli slapped me on the back.
The ironic part is no-one knew what I had done. I was just another face in the crowd, and that was all it took.
Finally, I saw Atas'. No words were necessary.
He nodded at me. I nodded back.
It had been a long year.
>>>>>>>>>>ACCESSING>>>MEMORY LOG DISENGAGED
We arrived at a Neptune orbital defense platform later that evening, Earth time.
A total of 372 students escaped from Babylon High alive. A force of ONI soldiers and Sangheilli warriors met a rag-tag army of teachers and students in the drab courtyard in front of the school. The battle is a haze now, I don't remember much other than flashing weapons and moving bodies. It was actually like a rave, come to think of it.
Without the crappy music. So in a way, it was better than a rave.
When reinforcements arrived from the UNSC in Pelicans and Phantoms, the ONI forces were devastated and what was left of the school was able to escape. I won't bother specifying how many of each species made it, because there are no more lines between us. Sangheilli and Humans are together now. If you try to ignore the sheer ridiculousness of this whole situation that is.
It's about freakin' time. I'm glad that there's no more danger of some pissed of Sangheilli smashing my head through a window because I insulted his honor in some obscure manner.
To clear up a few 'unimportant' details, Babylon High was actually a major part of an elaborate ONI coup attempt to debase Earth's government. Section 3 orchestrated the whole thing to brainwash a generation of Human and Sangheilli and turn them into super-soldiers; totally obedient. It almost worked. Earth and the UNSC, and the Sangheilli government, are currently at war with ONI and their Sangheilli co-conspirators. Dr. Halsey and the Cleric are now war criminals.
As for me and Atas', our status has been changed to refugees. Whilst I'm happy to live out my life on some random outer colony with my parents, who were rescued from Earth a few hours ago, Atas' is going to train to be a Sangheilli Honor Guard for the council. Good for fucking him. I would just be glad if I never have to see another combat situation again.
Of course, that's not the case is it?
Considering I was the only one able to resist the brainwashing going on at Babylon High, I'm now somewhat of a hero. Yay. And a vital instrument in fighting ONI. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I haven't had my brain dissected.
In one day, I went from a brainwashed kid at an inter-species high school to a hero of a group of resistance fighters.
Although I pretty much have established the fact that I can't expect anything predictable out of life, I know, for certain, one thing and one thing only.
I am never setting foot in Babylon High again.
>>>>>>>>>RECORDING LOG FOUR TERMINATED
>>>>>>>>>ENDING PLAYBACK SESSION