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The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

Skyscraper: Part 1

Magnus must take the opportunity to escape his confinement while he still has the chance.
Art by Josh Truesdale
Magnus must take the opportunity to escape his confinement while he still has the chance.

I look down the dark hallway from my bench. The walls and ceiling are a glossy pitch black and the floor tiles are polished chrome. A long purple light runs all the way down the hall along the floor, reflecting off of the tiles and projecting dull swirls onto the walls. The room has an almost threatening design, as if it’s some sort of alien spacecraft. The sound of high heels hitting the hard ground alerts me to the presence of another person. A tall woman with dark hair makes her way towards me, holding a glass clipboard in her arms. Her stride reminds me of that of a runway model’s, dramatically crossing one leg over the other as she walks. She silently taps my wrist and I get up off of the bench to follow her. The woman leads me through the mysterious hallway and presses her hand against the wall at the very end of it. A door indistinguishable from the wall opens in front of us and we enter a new room. 

This room is lit up by a bright, white light, though there are still no windows. The space is circular and a long marble counter follows the wall, a surgical chair in the center. I get a much better look at the woman in the light. She’s wearing violet scrubs, a stethoscope around her neck, and a modern-looking watch with a complicated screen on her wrist. She gives me a fake smile with blindingly white teeth as she sets her clipboard down on the counter in front of her. “Hello, Magnus. My name is Dr. Ophelia.”

She points to the chair, so I sit down in it. “What is this room?”

“It is one of our many procedure rooms. Once we are able to resolve whatever problems you are facing, you’ll be free to be escorted back to your room.” 

To my left is a guard I hadn’t noticed before. He stands well above me and Dr. Ophelia, who’s nearly six feet herself. He holds a large scoped rifle that seems too menacing for a doctor’s office. “Why is he here?”

“Standard practice,” she answers nonchalantly. “The safety of our patients is our top priority.”

“Yes. Okay,” I say, looking down at the metal band that holds my wrists together. Being bound for so long is making them sore, but I suppose it’s better than being in my lonely room. Dr. Ophelia settles into a rolling chair and pushes herself beside me. She presses her hand onto my chest, forcing me into a lying position, and proceeds to buckle a strap over my waist and arms, holding me in place. She pulls a rolling metal cart to her side, but I can’t see what’s on top of it. She picks up her clipboard again and looks down at me.

“Magnus Warston. You are thirty-one years of age, you weigh one hundred and sixty-six pounds, and you are five feet, ten inches tall. Is this information correct?”

I struggle against the restraints. “Yes, it is.”

The soldier taps the back of my chair with the butt of his rifle as Dr. Ophelia frowns at me. “Please remain still throughout the procedure.”

My mind is getting cloudier the longer I struggle, so I stop moving altogether. “I will do so.”

She signals to the guard to come to her and whispers something into his ear. He nods his head then promptly leaves the room. She puts the clipboard down again. I can tell that she’s naturally indecisive. “Have you been feeling okay, Magnus?”

“Yes, I have. Thank you for asking.”

“Are you sure you haven’t been experiencing anything?”

My blood goes cold for a second. “NO– I have been feeling a little bit out of it lately”

She’s visibly confused for a moment but quickly returns to our conversation. “Do you know what today’s procedure is?”

“Yes, I beli-E-eve I do.”

“Has this been happening for a while?”

“What exactly?”

“Your stutters.” She positions her pen above her clipboard. “Are they new?”

I bang my head against the seat and my hands twitch. “They– NO– are not.”

“Interesting, I’ll have that fixed for you. Remember to refrain from moving at all times.” She turns to the cart and picks up a thick tube. She squeezes its contents, a blue cream, onto the palm of her hand and rubs it into my forehead. Within seconds my entire upper body is numb. “We will now begin the procedure, Magnus.” 

Dr. Ophelia wipes a cold, wet piece of fabric on my neck, sanitizing my skin. With a marker, she then makes marks on me indicating where the procedure that she vaguely mentioned is going to take place. I watch her face as she works, my restricted movement stirring up some anxiety within myself. As she brings a scalpel towards my neck, I struggle in my restraints, causing her to back away. The cloudiness returns and I can feel myself losing consciousness, so I stop for a moment. Dr. Ophelia moves back towards me, but she’s still unable to make an incision as I suddenly jerk in my chair. Concerned and afraid, she taps the watch a few times before speaking into it. “SP #211, please hurry back as quickly as you can. Subject Twenty is running low on Panacea.”

I continue shaking my body as my eyesight goes blurry and my mind tries to shut itself off, though the adverse effects to my resistance are becoming weaker. I finally stop my movements again and I can see normally after just a few moments. I turn to Dr. Ophelia, who is clearly terrified. “Magnus. REFRAIN FROM MOVING.”

“Yes, Dr. Ophelia. I’m sorry, Dr. Ophelia.”

“Thank you.”

My blood goes cold again and my entire body shakes, but this time loss of consciousness doesn’t seem as plausible. The effects are almost gone. My voice starts quivering and I can’t say anything normal. “Yes, Dr. Ofe– STOP– I will comply with– DON’T TOUCH ME– I apologize– NO–”

The guard opens the door and rushes into the room, handing her a syringe. “Magnus, hold still!”

“GET THAT AWAY FROM ME!” The more I resist, the freer I am. Suddenly, I can talk normally again. “LEAVE ME ALONE! LET ME GO!”

Dr. Ophelia raises her arm and brings the syringe down towards me. I move my entire body, almost tipping the chair, and the needle lodges into the fabric next to my torso. I shift my body back, breaking the glass of the syringe with my side before she can pull it out. A black liquid sprays her and she screams, falling off of her stool. The guard trains his gun on me as I flip the chair over onto its side, a bullet ripping through it and barely missing my head. The band holding me down snaps off of the seat and I lunge at the guard, catching him by surprise. With one quick twist, he’s unmoving on the floor. I turn to Dr. Ophelia, who’s cowering in the corner of the room. Her skin is covered in stains from the fluid that sprayed her. Before I can say or do anything, she does something to her watch and an alarm sounds.

I pick up and toss the surgical chair across the room at the doctor, crushing her against the counter. It bounces off of her and she collapses onto the ground. The chair had felt weightless, and it’s that realization that catalyzes the return of my memories. I slam my fist into the wall, breaking whatever mechanism controls the door, and run out into the hallway. The remnants of my wrist restraints dangle from my arms, so I rip the metal cuffs off as I bound down the hall. 

I can’t believe it. The Panacea–whatever that black fluid was–that had suppressed my mind had faltered. I’m becoming more aware of my surroundings the longer I’m fully conscious and I finally realize that I have no idea where I am or how I got here. What I do know is that I’m an abnormality. Perhaps it’ll help me get out of whatever building I’m in. Perhaps that’s the reason I’m here.

I can hear footsteps coming up the stairs to my right, so I continue past them. Further down the hall are numerous elevators that can only be opened with a keycard. I panic for a few moments, but then, as if on cue, one of them opens as a man in violet scrubs steps out. I push him out of the way, sending him to the floor with great force, and step into the elevator. A screen over the doors reads “Floor 102”. I’ve seen no windows, so I’m surprised to learn that I’m so high in the sky. I follow the numbered buttons down the panel, click the one labeled “Lobby”, and I’m off. 



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About the Contributor
Josh Truesdale, Creative Writing Editor
Josh Truesdale joined The Lancer Spirit as a junior and became the Creative Writing Editor in his senior year. Having been passionate about creative writing for years, Josh is enthusiastic about his position on staff. He also has a love for film and media production, so he often works on and assists with multimedia projects. Other than The Lancer Spirit, Josh is also a member of the Video and Podcasting Club and the President of Model United Nations.

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Skyscraper: Part 1