The Branding System

Chapter 8: A daring choice.

Running through the crowd they knew for sure that they would never be able to reach their safe place before someone would catch up to them. They weren even sure if the two Contrivos were dead or just unconscious because of the attack.

Given how strong they were they might just wake up and come after them to get their revenge.

”We need to hide! ” Yve shouted as she skids into a side lane adjacent to the main road. She had lived there for more than three months and thankfully she had become well versed with the ins and outs of this city.

Following after her Aksel would look back every once in a while to make sure that no one was following them. It was then that he heard a sound of boosters and looking up he instantly grabbed hold of Yve and forcefully pulled her to the side, into the shadows under the roof of a small store.

This action made the two of them groan at the pain their body felt as their wounded muscles went through another unprepared shock. Aksel who had taken the brunch of her weight felt vomit rush up to his mouth and forcing it down he opened his mouth to get rid of the rancid taste.

”Why did you do that? ” Yve groaned slowly getting up from on top of Aksels body and rolling to the side, lying on the cool cemented pavement she waited to let the tremors subside.

”Dad- ” Aksel coughed suddenly getting choked on his saliva. His mouth had been completely dry because of the series of events that took place and he desperately needed water.

Realizing Aksels condition Yve instantly took out a water bag from under her loose hooded top which she kept inside a harness she wore on her waist and opening the cap she gave the small, slightly unhygienic plastic bag to him.

Aksel gratefully drank the liquid taking not more than two sips as he handed it back to his friend.

Friend?

Were we friends now? Partners? Acquaintance?

That wasn what was of importance at that moment and clearing his throat he explained, ”I saw Dad flying with that red Contrivo in his hands. ”

This piece of news was unwelcomed by Yve as she astonishingly asked, ”He survived that billboard? How did he manage to do that? ”

The surprise should have been unwarranted though because that was the difference between these branded and unbranded people. Their transformation has made them so strong that they were nearly immortals unless someone utterly and completed destroyed them.

Aksel was however relieved. He didn want to kill someone as much as he didn want to be killed. Not to forget in his memories that man was still someone he had once cherished; forgetting that was going to be difficult.

”Do you wish to buy something from my store? ” they heard a puny voice ask them and turning around to look at the person who had addressed the two, Aksel felt his eyes widen. He could see his and Yves figure sprawled on the pavement in not one, not two but a hundred tiny silvery reflecting hexagons that were bulging out of the socket of the mans eyes in two unanimous shapes of an oval. He was an Exeter with a developed sight and making sure that their face wasn visible to him he got up.

Yve seemed less shaken than him and bowing she said, ”No, sorry but we will be leaving. ”

Grabbing his big hands in her small ones the green-eyed beauty pulled him further into a side lane and down a sloping road into a less crowded street. This particular street had small-sized houses on each side that had so little movement that they seemed abandoned at first glance.

Here she got into another alley comparatively cleaner than the one they had entered before and signaling him to be quiet she removed a trash can from its place and revealed a manhole as she pointed at it to let him know that they were to go in again.

Making sure that she made as little noise as possible she instructed him to get in first and climbing down a few steps he watched as she pulled the lid closed over them. Darkness covered them instantly and he knew that the little lamp was coming next as he watched the small pale light brighten up their immediate surroundings.

He had taken two more steps down when he noticed Yve still standing by the top and watching carefully pulling off his hood he noticed that she was tugging a rope through the hole in the lid as a vibrating sound of steel dragging against cement could be heard above.

Yve aware of his gaze explained, ”This rope is attached to the base of the trash can and helps me to wheel it back in its place to hide the lid. ”

She was smart he had to give her that much and jumping down the last step he landed on the dirty floor of the sewage that he hated so much.

”Why did you tell me to stay quiet before? ” he asked, sighing as he realized that his list of questions seemed to be endless in regard to this new city that he had been dumped into.

”This wasn because of a special reason, it was simply because we were in a residential area at night. If we were to make any sound then we would have been screwed by Exters and Contrivos who would be pissed after being disturbed from their sleep, ” Yve laughed as she walked forward, and feeling stupid Aksel tried to change the topic to divert her attention from him.

”I have been meaning to ask but why do you think that my Da- ” stopping in between his words at the pointed look Yve gave him he rolled his eyes and corrected himself, ”Richard. Why do you think Richard didn attack you? ”

”Well I am not very sure about that but I have my theory that he didn consider me a threat since his main target was you and therefore he didn do anything to me, ” Yve concluded musing to herself and nodding his head Aksel pinched his nose as the smell of the Sewer was stronger and staler in this region.

She noticed his actions and laughing inside she thought back to the scenes from before. Remembering how Aksel had fought she blurted out the next words in an impressed fashion, ”But I didn know that you had it in you to take down two Contrivos at once! If it weren for the reason that we had gotten in trouble because of you I would have patted your back in pride. ”

Her sarcasm-filled praise was better than nothing and staring down at his hands that were scraped and dirty he murmured, ”I have never once played any sport or even learned to fight then how did I do it? ”

Laughing at his worries Yve revealed as she swung around her staff in the air, ”I don know why but every unbranded knows how to fight. Maybe we all were trained before being sent here with the fake memories for whatever reason and purpose. We are the byproducts of a fail in the system or maybe a glitch and therefore we have all the fighting abilities that an Exter or Contrivo has without their powers. But I am not entirely sure, this was Darens theory at least. ”

That was definitely a more logical approach than anything else which could come to his mind and taking hold of her staff he tried to imitate the moves that he had just seen her do. His movement was not as free and easily executed as hers but he knew that with a bit of practice he would get a hang of it too.

Passing it back to her he brooded, ”So whatever the two of you had been saying was true, huh? ”

Yve could make out the despise in his tone and huffing she said, ”It would be better if you accept the truth as soon as you can. ”

”What else do you know about this world? ” he asked as the two walked back home.

”There isn much that we are aware of and these are all our own theories but it seems like The Branding System collects us from different regions of the earth and sends us here, after branding us to live a life according to them. I believe that except for the memories of our families the rest of the information that we have is true. ” Yve informed, struggling to make sense to him. She hated explaining things or even swearing by them when she might not be right as well.

”And since we are unbranded we are a fault in their system that they run? ” Aksel asked as he thought back to how quickly he had been replaced by his family. He was sure that if he had been fed with memories of them then they must have been fed with memories of him too but when he failed to reach them as their son the said son was changed from their memories.

”Yes exactly, ” Yve nodded thankfully that he was starting to get a hang of this place and its ways.

”For example when my parents forgot about me it was because the system changed their memories as they were branded and under their control but since I wasn branded they were unable to change my memories. ”

”The exact reason why they want to kill us. We know the dirty secret of how they are controlling peoples life, memories, and everything else. Anyone living in this city, every branded person is just a puppet in the hands of the system. Now, aren you glad that you aren just being used for whatever their aim is? ” Yve asked, hoping that he shared the same thoughts as hers. It would be a problem if he would instead somehow want to get branded.

Aksel wasn sure what to say when the problems that came with being unbranded were endless but if he thought of how scary it would be to not be in control of his own body he nodded his head slowly and tiredly replied, ”Yeah, I am glad. ”

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