The Spirit Believers

by Tess Burdekin

The story so far: Suffering from amnesia and recovering from the loss of her father, Tatiyana, now known as Streak, returns to the laboratory where she was transformed into a super human, to find answers to her lost past. When the chapter begins, her uncle Ygor has locked her in a chamber filled with deadly traps. She has now overcome the traps with the help of her magic right eye and is about to take control of the situation.

Chapter 13.

‘Enough!’ Streak yelled. She ran at the control room wall and jumped, right up to the window.
Ygor stepped back, his eyes wide. The colour drained from his face.
There is no escape for you, monster, Streak thought as her right eye began to glow. The window shattered.
Ygor tripped and fell. Glass showered over him, drowning out all other sounds.
Streak landed. All became quiet. She straightened, clicked her neck left and right and approached him. Glass crunched underfoot.
Ygor looked up, dazed. Then he made a chocking noise as his eyes widened. Lips moved, but no words came out.
Streak stared at him, unblinking eyes fixed. Once more, she travelled into his mind and memories.
She saw through his eyes a creature with a pointed face, ram like horns on its head, long feet and hands tipped with claws, purple-grey skin and batlike wings.
‘Do we have a deal?’ it said in a voice as rough as sand-paper.
‘Of course we do, um….sir.’ Ygor responded. ‘I give you and…. your colleague, Tatiyana’s soul. In return, you give all that I require for my super humanoid project. You can’t get any fairer than that, can you?’
The creature stuck out its clawed hand. ‘Seal it then.’
They shook hands.
The scene changed.
Ygor now looked up at another creature. This one had the horns of a bull. An office chair lay on its side by Ygor’s right hand. The creature’s eyes illuminated rage.
‘You promised us the soul of the young girl.’
‘Yes, I… didn’t you get her?’
‘She survived.’ It snarled, baring its teeth. ‘You said that there was no way that she could endure the explosion.’
Ygor took a step back as the creature brought its hideous face close to his.
‘I want my payment! Unless you have something else to offer, I will take your soul right now.’
Ygor trembled, then said: ‘What about my brother? He was also in the lab when the bomb went off. You can have his soul instead. I’m sure that he did not survive.’
The creature’s anger subsided and its eyes mellowed. ‘Luckily for you, your brother did not.’
Ygor relaxed as the creature drew back and extended its bony hand.
Again, they shook.
Streak shivered with disgust and severed the link to Ygor’s mind.
‘Excellent, T…. Tatiyana,’ Ygor stuttered from the floor. ‘Yo…you’ve done extremely…’
‘Shut up!’ she snapped. ‘Enough of the lies!’ She strode forward.
Ygor scurried back.
‘How could you sell out your own family? And for what? Just so that you could fulfil your own selfish ambition.’ Her right eye started to glow.
‘How do you know?’ He was punched in the chest by a tremendous force that sent him into the air. He looked around, but saw nothing. Ygor was just hanging in mid-air. ‘What’s going on?’
Streak tightened her mind’s grip on him. Only his eyes moved. With her telekinesis, she brought him up to her face.
‘You never enquired about my new right eye. Well now you’re going to feel the full force of its might!’
With her mind’s grip she launched him backwards and sent him crashing into the wall with the force of a typhoon. She felt his ribs crack. She allowed him to drop. He tried to crawl away. Her mind ensnared him and threw him hard against the side wall.
‘Suffer, just like you made me suffer.’ With her mind’s grip she tossed him repeatedly against the wall, hammering the limp body into the plaster.
‘Please…’ Ygor stammered when he finally lay broken on the floor. ‘Have mercy.’
‘Mercy?’ She sneered. ‘Why should I show you mercy? You showed me no compassion! You robbed me of everything I held dear! My father, my memories, myself! You stole it all away!’
Hate and anger burned in Streak’s eyes. Her mind’s grip entered Ygor’s head, into the inner sanctum of his mind. Her grip surrounded the network of cells and nerves and slowly began to squeeze.
Ygor screamed. A hand flew to his head. The other injures were nothing compared to this agony. Tears gushed from his eyes.
Streak stood still. Her mind’s grip squeezed harder with each second. ‘You robbed me of everything I ever loved. Now I will make you pay.’
‘Please! Make it stop!’ Ygor screamed, his eyes almost bursting from his head.
My abilities are greater than I ever imagined, she thought. I can hurt him without lifting a finger. She gave a little smile. All I have to do is use my powers on his brain directly. I think I’ll call this attack Mind Sting.
Suddenly, for some reason, she remembered looking through Ygor’s eyes. How he sat there, watching her struggle as the electricity entered her body on the operating table. How he listened to her screams and felt nothing.
Just like she felt right now. Horror smothered her.
‘No,’ Streak severed her mind from his. Her Gem Blade clunked to the floor and she buried her face in her hands, her throat dry.
Ygor stopped yelling, but his screams still rang in her ears.
What am I doing? I’m acting no better than…him! Shame burned inside.
She heard a groan. Streak looked up. It was Ygor, his legs unnaturally twisted, an arm hanging. With his one good arm, he managed to painfully drag himself towards the door on the far side of the room. The slightest movement was agony for him.
Streak’s mind cleared. She strode past him and stamped her foot in front of his hand, inches from his fingertips. Ygor pulled back his fingers and looked up at her, eyes wide with fear.
‘You’ve gone through enough. I’ll do nothing more to hurt you,’ she said.
Her mind’s grip picked up a fallen chair and made it fly across the room to them. Taking Ygor by the collar, she lifted him off the floor and placed him in the chair.
‘Why?’ Ygor groaned. His head was twisted to one side, blood streamed down his face.
‘Because if I kill you, I’ll lose my true self.’
He looked bewildered.
‘And anyway, killing you won’t prove that I’m strong. It will prove that I am weak, like you. And that’s the last thing I want.’
Streak looked at her injured leg. The ripped skin was now free of blood and was starting to heal. It was the same with her injured arm.
‘What was that grey slug you used on me?’ She took him by the throat. ‘Talk! And you’d better not lie.’
‘I … It’s what was used to turn you into a … super human,’ Ygor grasped. ‘It’s the … only thing that can hurt you. Your strength … is cancelled out when your near it.’
‘What is it? Where did it come from?’
‘I don’t know.’
Streak tightened her grip on his throat.
‘It’s the truth!’ he gargled. ‘They said that they would supply me with all the serum I needed.’
‘They? Who are they?’ The words were barely out of her mouth when she remembered the vision she’d seen in Ygor’s mind. ‘Of course, the demons.’
‘How do you know?’ he spluttered.
‘It seems that along with my new mind powers, I also have the ability to read other people’s minds.’ She let go of his throat. ‘That’s how I know that you installed all the information of the experiment right here.’ Her hand darted into his shirt pocket and brought out a black rectangular object.
‘My hard drive…’ Ygor began.
Streak tossed it into the air. Her Gem Blade flew into her hand. With two slashes the hard drive fell to the floor in four pieces.
Ygor moaned.
‘You will not do this to anyone else. No point in you looking for volunteers now.’ She turned. ‘Time to put this place out of commission.’ she adjusted her grip on the hilt.
‘You said…’
‘I said I won’t hurt you. I didn’t say I wouldn’t destroy this place.’

This piece was read as part of Origins and Superpowers,  a public readings event held by Scope and Melbourne Library Service in December 2015. A group of writers with disabilities who had worked with professional writers in the Telescope Workshops read selections from their work across the genres of fiction, memoir, poetry and non fiction.

Telescope is one of the arts programs run by Community Inclusion staff at Scope and it includes workshops, a writing prize, awards and public readings.