"Mom?! What's happening to me?!" Octavia yelled. What I thought I knew about myself, was all wrong. I thought I was my own person, but apparently, I'm more than that. I was having one of my good days today. I layed on the beach as the waves surrounded me. I felt at peace with myself. I've been having more good days lately. I used to get these strange feelings that would make me shut down and just want to be a recluse. It's that feeling like there's something inside of you that wants to come out but is too nervous and scared. My mom took notice and brought me home some personalized pills she made in her lab. They help tremendously but I have thoughts about what my mother actually does at her lab. I have to push these thoughts out and just focus on myself. I'm happy and I'm free. I made my way home and started cooking up dinner. It's usually just myself eating because my mother normally stays late at work a lot. My mother isn't a very open person. She's there, but she's always into her work. She won't talk to me about it. I've asked her to take me with her to work since I was 8, I'm now 18 and still get the same answer "no". After I eat, the pills normally start to wear off but I just have to deal with it until bed because I have daytime and nighttime pills. They help me sleep through the night. I normally would chill out after dinner but today I felt different. I wanted to go for a walk and just be one with nature. Before I knew it, it was midnight. I had just gotten home when my mother pulled up. She hates when I go out at night. She strictly forbids it. I find it kind of odd but I just go out when she's not here. I tried making myself look like I've been there the entire time, but she knew the truth. She walked in and didn't even speak to me, just a death glare as she sets the alarm for the night. I make my way up to my bed. As I lay here, all I can hear are the waves crashing against the rocks. It normally soothes me to sleep but right now I just feel kind of out of place. I finally get to sleep around 2 but something just feels off. I jolt up around 4. I'm burning up and sweating but I'm also freezing cold to the touch. I run to my bathroom. Something isn't right. I feel like I'm about to get sick. I've never actually gotten sick before, my mom just says it's because I have a good immune system, I find it kind of strange but I listened to my mother. I sat there on the bathroom floor, crying. I start seeing odd colors that just make me more nauseous. My entire body feels limp but I find enough strength to pull myself to the toilet. Something isn't right. "Mom?! What's happening to me?!" I yelled with my last bit of energy before I black out. I awake in an almost hospital-like room, except there's more updated equipment. Some of the things are basic monitors but I'm hooked up to some sort of machine. I think there's something hooked up to my stomach but I feel too weak to get up. I managed to press the call button for help before I fell back asleep. I wake up once more but this time, my moms in the room looking at some papers. I'm hooked up to more machines than I was before. I feel odd. I managed to mutter and get the attention of my mom. She walked over to me and handed me a glass of water. I can tell something is off with her but I want answers first. "Where am I? What's wrong with me? Why am I hooked up to all of these machines?" My mother helped me sit up a bit but it hurt too much so I layed back down. She told me we were in her lab and that she has some news she has to tell me. In my mind, I'm thinking that she's going to tell me I have some sort of disease that can't be cured. To be honest, I'd probably rather have that than what she actually told me. "Honey, I've kept a secret from you for some time. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I didn't even think I'd ever had to tell you. When your mood swings came about, I knew I would have to tell you sooner or later. I work for a top-secret genetic engineering government program. Before I started working for them, there was no chance of me being able to have a child. My body just wouldn't allow it. Octavia, you were created in this lab 18 years ago. It took me over 3 years to find the perfect collection of cells that formed into you. The perfect match was experiment 228. My body was not able to carry a child so you grew in an incubator for 9 months. Since you were hooked up to machines the entire time you were in the incubator, your organs and blood cells started changing. Your blood cells kept fusing together making different types of other cells. Your organs began to grow in odd ways. When it was time for you to come out of the incubator, your organs and blood cells kept changing so we knew that you needed surgery. To get everything right in your body, you needed nanotechnology to be embedded into your veins and organs." I lay there in the bed, intrigued but scared. I didn't know what to say. My mother walked out of the room before I could ask anything. She didn't explain what's wrong with me now and why I'm sick. I still feel really weak so I'm going to take a nap and hopefully when I wake up, I'll be in my bed at home and this would have been all a dream. Ughh, I'm still in this room hooked up to these machines. I wish last night was just a bad dream but reality hits me as my mother walks through the door. "How are you feeling this morning?" Octavia's mom asked. "I feel odd and weak" I whisper "I have questions." My mother sits back in her chair and crosses her legs and waits for me to speak. "What's wrong with me?" My mother sighs," The nanites in your body are failing and need to be replaced with updated ones. That requires extensive surgery and ample healing time. It could take up to a year." I sit there and process what she just told me. I'm not normal, I'm not like everyone else, but is that a good thing? My mind wanders to what if my mom stopped at the 200th experiment and gave up. If she had given up, I would not be here. What I knew about myself changed today. I'm a man made from my mother's lab, and I'm dying. My mother comes in and preps me for surgery. She came in earlier today to inform me about it. I'm too weak to protest, but if it'll help me then so be it. She talked to me about cryotherapy. She said it'll help me to heal in half the time and I won't even have to feel pain! I'll wake up as soon as my body is healed. I'm scared, but as my mother says, everything will be alright. 1 year and 2 months later I come to in the room I was in before the surgery, but I was in this odd machine like a table. It seems as if nobody has been in here in a while. I try to find my way out of the room but every door is locked. Where is mom? I feel amazing, better than I ever have. Did she fix me? I need to find her, I still barely gotten any answers before surgery. I was so deep in thought I didn't hear the door open and a man steps in. He spoke sternly, "Octavia, come with me. We need to talk." He grabbed me by the arm before I could even stand up. Something's wrong. Who is this man? Does he work with my mother? We make it to a room that looks like my Mom's office. We both take a seat and I wait for him to talk. "Hello, Octavia. I'm Maddox, head of government secret relations. Your mother will no longer be your caretaker, as she was sentenced to life in jail for lying and hiding you from us. Your mother worked for us. We were the ones who gave her everything she needed to make you. All we wanted in exchange was that she give us the data of her experiment. She told us that she stopped trying after 200 failed attempts and we believed her until last year when we got notified that the cyrotainer was being turned on. When we came to investigate, your mother was long gone. She turned herself in two months ago and told us everything. She told us that you would be waking up soon and that you'd be confused and lost when you woke up. She agreed to hand over her data as long as someone looked after you." I sat there processing what he has just told me. How could my mom do that, did she have a reason? Can I trust these people? I don't know what to do. Should I run or cooperate? I still need answers. Maddox opened up the door and a blonde haired lady steps in. She offers me a glass of water and a sandwich. I ate because I haven't eaten in literally forever it feels like. Maddox introduces her as Lila, my caretaker, he said she can answer all of my questions and steps out of the room leaving just me and Lila. Lila looks at me as I'm an object rather than a person. Can I even call myself a person? I was made in a lab and kept secret from the rest of the world while she created me. Should I be worried about Lila? Surely she can't be that bad. She sits down beside me and stares attentively. I start off by asking if I'm okay. She tells me that whatever my mother has done to me helped. She also explained how since the surgery I'm more technology than human. That kind of scares me but I think I can deal with it. I dealt with it for 18 years perfectly fine without knowing. Lila said the only reason my mother even told me was because she was afraid I'd die before she got the chance to tell me the truth. When your mother brought you here, Lila said, she knew she was going to be caught for lying to us but she has done it anyway to save you. She seemed to be a good mother, too bad she lied to the government, we could have helped her help thousands of others but she kept her research to herself. I asked Lila what would happen to me now. She explained to me that I have government housing close to her so she can check in from time to time. The government will give you a credit card that they will pay off. It will be for food and necessities. For life's luxuries, you'll have to get a job. My mother never allowed me to have a job, now I understand why. Lila informed me that my mother said I'll notice a few changes over the first couple of months once I wake up. My body will start to adapt and build up my immune system again, but this time my body will be able to withstand more damage than before. I don't plan on testing it out but it's cool to know. Maddox comes back into the room and tells us that there's a car waiting to bring us back home. I don't know If I'm ready for this. But I can't wait. I've been asleep for too long and maybe, just maybe, I can live a normal teenagers life. At least I thought that's how it was going to be, but boy, was I wrong. So we made our way to the government housing. It's a quaint neighborhood in literally the middle of nowhere. It took us over an hour to get here. I'm not really sure where 'here' is because my mother only allowed me out with her and she never took me anywhere far from our house. Lila is very quiet on the ride over. We pull onto a road with two houses. It's like a cul de sac but there are only two houses, one at the beginning of the road and one at the end. The one at the end of the road looks welcoming and warm, I hope that one is mine. Lila points to the warm and welcoming house and says to me, "See that house? It's all yours from now on. You'll be staying there and nowhere else." I walk in the house and it's an exact replica of my mother's house. Lila said they decorated it so that I could feel comfortable in this space. As Lila walks out she turns around and says, "I'll be back to get you around noon tomorrow, we have errands to run" with a sly grin. I make myself dinner, with the already stocked fridge, and sit down to eat. I feel uncomfortable in this whole situation. In the back of my mind there's this voice that just keeps saying run, but can I even get away from these guys? They're the government. After a restless night, I find myself outside on the balcony. I can see the entire neighborhood from here, it looks as if nobody else lives here. There's houses but no cars and no people. It's dead silent. This is off. By the time I go back inside, Lilas sitting at the coffee table. She tells me to get dressed and that we're heading out. I do as she says because I don't know what will happen if I defy her. In the car, I ask where we're going. Lila informs me that we need to go to her work, there are people there that would like to talk to me. We get there and as I walk in, everyone stares at me. The voice in my head keeps telling me to run but I just can't. I'm too nervous and everyone in this building would catch me before I could even step foot outside. Lila motions for me to follow her into this room. I do so and I immediately try to run back out but they're guarding the door. There's a table with straps to hold someone down. I have a bad feeling that 'someone' is me. As soon as I try to run out, Maddox steps in. I don't know what's happening. Are they about to strap me down to this table? I soon figured out the government's intentions as Maddox jammed a needle into my neck caused for me to black out. I wake up and I'm strapped to this awful table. Lila and Maddox are facing a desk on the other side of the room. Another worker steps in with a table of medical tools and syringes. I don't say anything, I'm trying to figure out a way to save myself. Maddox turns around and sees me awake. He approached the table and looked at me and said, "Octavia, your mother kept you a secret far too long, you are a scientific phenomenon. We need to be able to know how to make more of you so we will need to run rigorous tests. We're not sure if your body can handle it but we'll try our best to keep you alive." I cry I can't do anything else. They are about to use me as a human test subject to get the the the information they want. Did my mom not tell them everything? If she did, they wouldn't need to do this. I start thinking if they even have my mother. Everything they told me could be a lie. Lila walks over and sticks an iv in my arm and tells me my body is about to start feeling like fire. The entire time she's smiling. Is she enjoying this? My body starts feeling insane. My insides are rumbling and my whole body starts to shake. At this point, I wish my body would black out but every time I'm almost out they pump more liquid into the iv. I have tiny little wires and patches covering my entire body. I look over and a machine is recording everything my blood is doing. It's just multiplying everything over and over again. That's when I realize they're pumping me with poison, trying to figure out how much my body can withstand. I start trying to scream and Lila and Maddox both go," nobody here is going to help you." Those were the last words I heard before Lila yanks out the iv and jams another needle into my neck causing me to finally blackout and find peace, but not for long. I wake up in a different room. As soon as I awake, I see two guards outside my doors. There's a window on the other side of the room but I look out and we're on the top floor of some building. I trip over my own feet, stupid me right. I see the guards turn around and shoot me a death glare as one of the guards takes out their phone and calls Maddox and Lila back. First Lila walks in and sits down beside me, "I'm sorry for today, Octavia. If I told you we needed information on your body, you wouldn't have come with us so easily." I quiver, "how could you do this to me?" Lila sighs," Octavia, you are a scientific phenomenon, we need this information about you. We could better the world with this discovery! It would be amazing if you would cooperate." As Lila's telling me to cooperate, Maddox walks in and urges her out in the hallway. I can tell that Lila is flustered. She's yelling and waving her hands. All I could make out was that someone found my house and that we have to move fast. Lila comes back in the room and grabs me by my arm and tells me to come with her. We're in an elevator and she pressed the underground button. This can't be good. She explains that other countries have found out about me and that she needs to move me discreetly. We have our own underground trains. We're going to take the first one then Maddox and a security team will follow in the second. I ask her where we are going but she won't answer me. Soon enough we reach the train, the doors open and we get on. We're going pretty fast. This train is not normal. I'm guessing this is some advanced technology. I'm guessing we're re somewhere in Arizona right now because of the aired landscape. Lila informs me that we will be on the train overnight. I sigh, I want to figure out a way out but I'm still weak from what they have done to me. I sleep through the night and as soon as I awoke Lila tells me to get my stuff, that we're here. I step out of the train and I am truly amazed. Mountains surround me but just over the horizon, I can see a faint hint of the ocean. I try to ask her where we are again but she still won't answer. As I'm enjoying the view, Lila tells me it's time to come inside. We make our way inside and she sits down at a table and tells me to sit. "I will be leaving in a little while after the security team gets here. I have to go figure out who exactly knows we have you." I don't say anything back. I just walk away. As I'm walking off, she yells to me that if I try anything they will lock me in a safe room. As I lay in my bed everything hits me, I have to get myself out of this. I have nobody. They say they have my mom but I believe she's still out there somewhere. I hope she plans on coming to get me. I don't know how long I can handle this. It's only the first day and my body is so weak. I need help... I try to sleep as long as I can so I can have some peace finally but it's interrupted by Lila coming in and telling me to get dressed and come downstairs. I groan at the thought of what they're going to do to me today. I make my way downstairs and Lila and Maddox are sitting at the table and ushers me over. I sit down and sarcastically ask, "what's on the agenda for today?" They didn't find it funny but I found relief in how they turned away from me. Lila informs me that Maddox will be taking me to a testing site down the road and he'll be doing my tests today. "Oh goody", I thought to myself. As soon as we get in the car to go to the test site, Maddox handcuffs my hands behind my back so I won't try to escape. I wouldn't even know where to go from outside of this car. We get to the test site and a guard opens my door and leads me inside to a rundown old hospital room. At least the equipment looks clean-ish. The guard leads me to a table and takes off my handcuffs. Maddox makes his way into the room with a sly grin. He comes up to me and asks if I'm ready. "What would ever make me ready to be tortured?" Maddox just laughs as he sees me getting nervous. Maddox proceeds to pull out shackles and attaches them to me and the table. This is going to be awful, I think to myself. All I can do is cry. He starts pumping me up with this black substance. I instantly feel like I can't breathe and my entire body feels like it's about to give out. Just as soon as I'm ready to black out, my body feels like I just got a shock of electricity and it jolts me back up. Maddox looks over and says, "you're doing good little one." He yanked the iv out of my arm and replaces it with a longer needle that he said could reach my bones. I scream the entire time he's putting the needle in. It hurts horrifically. He starts pumping this red liquid into me and I feel calm and tranquil and finally at peace, but that feeling didn't last long as he jams another needle into my neck causing me to blackout. I wake up still shackled to the table. I start yelling for help but only Maddox comes back. He unshackles me and leads me back to the car. He doesn't bother to handcuff me in the car because he can tell the tests took a beating on me. I can barely keep my eyes open and my breathing is shallow. I get back to the safe house in the mountains, I try to run up to my room but Lila grabs me. She shoved some sort of pills down my throat and brings me back to the table. There's a nice meal in front of me but I have no appetite after these last couple of days. She forces the food down my throat. I gag every bite but she said the effects of not eating with the pills she just forcibly shoved down my throat will be worse if I don't eat. I eat and go back up to my room. I lay there and wonder what other torture they could possibly do to me tomorrow. I wake around 3 a.m. to gunshots and explosions outside of the house. What's happening? I walk to the balcony to look at what's happening. I can't believe my eyes. There blood and bodies everywhere I look. The entire security team is dead. I wonder where Lila and Maddox are. I think I hear Lila screaming downstairs for Maddox's help. I can't see who's attacking us. I lock my door and try not to make any noise. Lila comes banging on the door, yelling for me to unlock it to let her in. I let her in and she pulls a gun on me and tells me to follow her every direction or she won't hesitate to shoot me. We make our way out of the house into the only car there. Lila gets in the passenger seat and makes me sit in the back. As we pull out, four other cars follow in pursuit. Lila is taking every back road she can find to try and lose them. One of the cars behind us start trying to shoot out her tires. Before I could even wrap my head around all of this another car comes from the side of the road and rams straight into our car. I wake up in a different car with different people. They're all wearing masks. I start screaming at them to let me out of this car. The person in the passenger seat takes off their mask. It's my mom, she came for me. I hope I can finally be at ease. Mom?! Mom?! Where have you been? They told me you turned yourself in. I was so scared. They hurt me... They were holding me captive to run tests on me. My mom just hugs me and tells me that nobody will be able to get near me ever again. One by one, the driver and the other person takes off their masks. My mom says they are her coworkers that helped her hide me from the government. She went to find them after she was done my surgery. Once she told them her situation, they already knew what was going to happen to me and wanted to help. We have been talking so long I didn't even think to ask where we were going. I found out when we got to an airstrip. Where are we going, mom? She said someplace tropical, out of the country. I'll finally be safe hopefully. I've never been on a plane but my mom reassures me we'll be fine. Once we get on the plane, my mother starts telling me what happened since the government had me. I can't believe all of my torture is finally over. I drift off to sleep with hopeful thoughts. The next morning, I awake and we're still on the plane. My mother said it's only a couple of more hours. Before I knew it, we landed on an island. I stepped off the plane and breathed in the fresh air. I feel amazing. I have my mom back and I'm no longer being tortured. Things will be good from here on out. I finally have my peace.