I lay on the rough wooden bed in the corner of my cell for hours, just trying to up with an escape plan. I didn't get anywhere. I was too weak to attack the guards when the cell was open. Even if I managed to take them out, I wasn't going anywhere. My legs barely responded to my pleadings to move.
Black silence muffled any chance I had of ever seeing daylight. The prison left me as a dead man. Barley moving, barely wanting to breath. Unable to see and unable to believe. Hate raged inside me. They took everything from me. My parents, my sister and my life. How could Eve side with something so dark? Why couldn't she see them for what they were? Had the comforts Isoli offered her lulled her to sleep and shaded her from reality?
Now they took my hope. Earlier that evening a dark suited official informed me I'd be executed two days. There would be no trial, just an execution. I was an enemy of the state. A rebel. Too dangerous to treat like a human being.
The soft clacking of high-heels broke the calm of the night. The silent guard rose up from his seat to greet Dr. Braga.
"How is he?" Dr. Braga spoke abruptly with the gaping security guard.
"Won't eat. Been lying on that wooden bed for hours."
Dr. Braga stood next to the bars and waited for the guard to open the door. I rolled my eyes at the second guard that arrived with her. As usual he kept his paralyzer trained on me. She stepped into the cell and slid the metal tray of powdered eggs and turkey bacon to the side. She walked over to the wooden bed and stood next to where my head layed on the flattened white pillow.
"You can leave." She spoke to the guard without emotion.
"What? I can't just--"
"President Isoli needs information from the prisoner. He wants to know the rebels location. You are not to hear this. You can leave."
The startled guard cautiously backed away from the cell. "Are you sure Dr. Braga? But he's dangero--"
"I can handle myself. Now leave!"
The guard slunk down the hall and out of sight.
I turned my head away from the doctor, angry at what I felt. I wanted to trust her soft, kind features. Her dark hair and especially her green eyes were different. Elite doctors and officials wives and daughters didn't have dark hair or green eyes. They died their hair blond and wore vivid blue contact lenses to hide their true color. Even her olive skin betrayed her from the rest of society.
Her warm hand touched my exposed left shoulder as she spoke. "I'm not here to question you. I want to help you."
"You can't help me, Dr. Braga. You know I won't fall in line. I'm not that guy."
"I know you're not, but you have to trust me. And please Micah, call me Olivia."
I didn't respond. I couldn't. Every time I heard her soft voice, I wanted to trust her. But Eve had left me unable to trust. I closed my eyes. Anger welled up inside me.
Her calm voice soothed me. "You have to trust someone Micah."
Again I was silent. She continued as if she could read my mind, "Eve is not your enemy. She's just naive. She wants to believe everyone is essentially good. She had it easy these past 3 years and so she's just forgotten what its like to have no hope of a better life. She's worried about you. I'm worried about you. Your anger and hatred are making you weaker."
I exploded, no longer able to control my emotions. Words spilled out, unchecked, "What do you know about anger? What do you know of hatred? You talk like you and me are the same, but we're not! You've been sheltered like Eve. You wander around trying to help people, but you don't know anything about their problems!"
Olivia pulled back her hand and stared at me, "Micah, I'm sorry, I--"
"You don't have to be sorry. You just don't understand. You tell me to stop being angry and stop hating, but you weren't orphaned when you were 11 years old. Your parents weren't taken from you because a power hungry president decided to get rid of them. The barcode on your wrist isn't telling you that you're garbage."
She moved her hand back to the stitches on my shoulder. "Micah, I know I don't understand. I came to tell you something my father says you have to hear."
Her touch and her voice calmed my anger once again.
"You need to know why your father and mother were taken."
I felt a warm tear drip onto my shoulder. Olivia's hand moved down my side and held on to my own. Guilt wrenched inside me. I felt ashamed of how I treated her. I knew she was trying to help me but I let my anger and hatred blind me. I squeezed her hand and waited for her to finish.
"Before we were born, our fathers worked at the University. They were doing DNA research for the government. President Dannah wanted them to verify the claims that DNA could be used to identify characteristics that would predispose individuals to certain jobs. Your father found that different genes could be identified that would help treat some genetic diseases, but they couldn't find anything to identify characteristics. The president was furious. He ordered them to falsify their findings. He wanted them to tell the public their research was a success. He threatened them. My father cut a deal with the president and promised he wouldn't reveal the research as long as the president didn't force him to give false findings and as long as his family was kept safe. Your father was brave. He took your mother and ran. They hid in the slums for 12 or 13 years. Just before your parents were captured, your father made a breakthrough. While working at the hospital under a fake name, he gathered evidence against the bar-codes. He finally had enough to go public when he was caught. They found your house and took your parents. When my father found out, he was heartbroken. He blamed himself for what happened. He wanted come help you, but it was too risky. If he did he'd blow his cover as a rebel. More people would've died."
For the first time in my life, I felt freedom. I already knew my father died because he wouldn't give in, because he was against them. Now I knew why. And I had a mission. To publish my dad's findings. I had to finish what he started. I started to sit up. Olivia's free hand pushed me back down.
"You need to rest. My father has figured out a way to get you out, he needs an insider to pull it off. I wanted to do it, but he says I still need to keep my cover. I convinced President Isoli's son Darion to do it."
I lay on the cold wood, stunned. "Eve really decided to do something?"
"Don't get too excited. She doesn't know. She's still convinced that Isoli will let you go. "
I was deflated. "If my potential execution didn't sway her then I don't think anything will."
"She's trying, Micah. In her own way. You're brave. You'll convince her." She got up to leave.
"When will I see you?"
"Maybe in three days. Darion will break you out. Then I'll visit the rebel camp. "
"Three days? The execution is in two. You'll be too late."
"They moved it back. The people are rioting. They want a trial. It appears you're too famous to just kill. The people won't let their "Robin Hood" die." She smirked sarcastically.
I grinned sheepishly, and she turned to leave.
"I'm sorry. You do understand."
She smiled. The first one I'd seen in days. The room was still dark but somewhere inside me a light turned on. Olivia slid the metal bars shut and disappeared into the dark.
I smiled. My first genuine smile in years.