Highers Like You

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Highers & Lowers

Submitted: May 19, 2017

Reads: 54

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Submitted: May 19, 2017

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Okay. I know it has been extremly confusing, but here is a sort of explanation... :) x

 

 

 

Jason heaved a sigh of relief. He had been so scared that his father would recognise his sister. Jason knew that after his and his father’s supposed death, The Accident, Benedict had nursed an intense hatred for his only daughter. Jason remembered every detail of that terrible night.

 

 How Benedict had come into his room and told him that they were going to ‘die’ tonight. How happy Aspen had been, lying in his lap. How the rock flying through the window had knocked him out cold. How his consciousness faded out to Aspen’s terrified screams. After his mother and sister were driven away by an ambulance, someone had poured something down his throat and he had awoken with a gasp. He had felt fine, immediately. Better than fine. Alarmingly better than fine.

 

 It had felt like a veil was removed from his face and he could see. Really see. A random biology fact had occurred to him at that moment: “You are only using 10% of your brain.” Jason supposed that this was the remaining 90 or so per cent waking up. Everything seemed brighter, and there was more to see.  Creatures he thought only existed in fairy tales were all a round him. Jason remembered thinking that he had died and gone to heaven. But no, he hadn’t. In fact, he had just begun the rest of his life.

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

Considering the outside looked like a palace, Will thought, the inside looked like a tech lab in a dystopian movie. Screens covered every inch of the walls, screens that Will did not think had been invented yet. Around twenty people in lab coats poured over them, tapping away feverishly.

 

Dylan led Will to a small room, consisting of three chairs and a breathtakingly beautiful girl. She was perched on the edge of a chair, wearing a leather cut out mini dress, her long legs crossed, probably to reveal as much skin as possible, and smiled charmingly at him. Will turned away. He hated girls like this, girls who thought looking provocative would open doors for them. Laughing, the girl left the room and came back in a second later in faded jeans and a green hoodie. “Thank God you’re not one of those guys.” Dylan rolled his eyes. “Will, meet my sister, Marina. Apologies for her greetings, she does that to everyone. If after that she dresses normally, she likes you.” Marina slapped his arm lightly. “I can speak for myself, I am not seven!”

“Okay. Will. We advise you sit down. Some people find this hard to believe, but we need to be quick, if we mean to save Natalie.”

Natalie? “It would be in your best interests if you do not talk or interrupt though out this explanation.” Dylan sounded bored, he spoke in a monotone, as if he had been taught these words.

 

“You know that people like you can only use 10% of your brains, right? Well, people like us can access up to the full 100%. We are called Highers. It does not mean, as you may think, that we are much more intelligent than the Lowers, it means that we see the world, the full world. We see the beings you Lowers reserve for fairy tales, or corny Netflix shows, we can hear the sea whisper to the sea dwellers and the mountains roar like the dragons. Us Highers, we have varying degrees of Sight. Marina and I have, for example, have 92% vision. Anyone above 80, is a Betrothed. That means we are committed to keeping you Lowers safe. Irritating really, you guys are so blind. Anyway, 50-79 are Gifted. They are what you call ‘Fantasy’ writers. They attempt, however unsuccessfully, to open the Lowers’ eyes. 11-49 are Middle. They have no real function in the Higher world. All they do is cause unnecessary trouble. A waste, I suppose. All Highers are Highers by blood. They may, however, not know it. They just may think they have an overactive imagination. Some Highers choose to opt out of our world, and into yours.” Dylan paused for breath. Will looked shell shocked. Letting out his breath in a hiss, Dylan began speaking again. “Natalie, your girlfriend, is an ex of mine. I loved her with all my heart, but she did not feel the same way. I guess that’s why she was such a bitch to me. Dumped me by text. But I still need to rescue her. You see, there is something truly special about Natalie, she is a real 100%. I have never met anyone else like that. I think that is why she was taken.”

 

Only then was Will able to get a word in edgeways. “H-her name is not Natalie. It’s Aspen. Aspen Olwen from the UK. She moved here in the beginning of the summer break.” At this, Marina and Dylan both looked confused. All of a sudden, a look of comprehension broke flitted across Marina’s face.

“You don’t think-” She began,

“Doppelganger?” Dylan queried. “Possible. It happens with the 100s, I hear. Unlikely, though. Aspen did not know anything. I think the man just thought ‘Natalie’ was important to me, so took the wrong girl.”

“She still saw us, though, even with 90s Camo on.”

“True.”

“Dylan,” Marina began, looking at Will, “Now the Lower knows, it is our duty to keep him safe. And,” she grinned, “I kinda wanna find out if we have a real doppelganger knocking around NYC!”

 

Dylan smiled at his sister. He could tell she had a crush on Will, there was no law saying they had to keep the Lower safe, but, to please her, he went along with it. “Why of course. How foolish of me to forget.” Turning to Will he said “Lower, you have a choice. You can come on a rescue mission to find Aspen with Marina and I, or you can stay here at the Centre and wait.” Will was still reeling. Wanting answers, however, he agreed to come. Marina blushed and smiled at the floor.

 

***

 

Jason was worried. Aspen had not opened her eyes or two days now. Meaning that Jason had not closed his in two days now. Just as he thought this, Aspen screamed. Screamed like nothing he had ever heard before, like this was a worse pain than could ever exist. Her eyes were wide open, but not seeing. Blind. Struggling, Jason managed to get her up. Shaking her shoulders. Yelling. But arise she did.

 

“Jase?” she looked shocked. Scared, even. In her head, she knew that Jase was, that Jase was… dead. Yet here he was. She smiled. If this was a hallucination, she was going to enjoy it. “Jase.”

“Yep. I’m here, Pen.” Aspen smiled. In the same way that only she called Jason ‘Jase’, only Jase called Aspen ‘Pen’. It felt so good to hear that name again. Shifting into a sitting position, she embraced her brother, tightly. Jase laughed into her ear and began tickling her. Laughing with him, she playfully kicked him in the side. Abruptly, Jason stopped. “I hear footsteps. No matter who it is, don’t let on that we recognise each other.” Slightly nonplussed, Aspen agreed.

 

As if in a nightmare, the scarred man walked in. Aspen began shaking, too terrified to scream. The man strolled menacingly towards her, and when he got to her bed, leaned over her, forcing her eyes to his ruined face. “Do you recognise me,” he hissed. Aspen knew that voice. But now it sounded… different. Raspier. Harsher. And his face. Familiar, but tainted, not just by scars. “Huh. I guess you don’t.” He grinned nastily at her. “Some kind of daughter you are, eh?”

 

***

 

Dylan and Marina were painstakingly trying to explain what Camos were to possibly the worst student ever. “So wait,” Will said, as he had for the thirty-second time that minute, “Highers can… using your… hang on… brain power, you can disappear?” Marina sighed, audibly, she had been through this so many times.  “Yes and no. Yes, we disappear using our brains, but not completely. It goes like this, if you have, for example, 80s vision, no one below 80% can see you, but 80s to 100s can. Dylan and I use 90s vision, second strongest. Only other 90s and the few 100s can see us. This is why we are interested in Asp-"

Dylan cut in. “Yes. Because, she saw through a 90s Camo. That does not happen to Lowers. Therefore, she is a Higher. And,” Dylan took a deep breath, and his next words came out in a rush, “Because she is identical to Natalie, she might be a doppelganger. All doppelgangers are 100s. Do you get it?” Will did not. Not at all. But still, he nodded, slowly.

 

“When do we go and find her?” Will asked.

“Ah. You see, she is already found. We just have to pick her up.” Looking shifty, Dylan continued. “I have been asked not to take you.” He flashed a devastating grin. Will noticed how white and straight his teeth were. “But rules were made to be broken, right? So you can come. If you want. I mean-”

“YES! Take me! Let’s find Aspen!!” All three laughed. A laugh of true comradery. 


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