Log entry #548, 01.06.17
I have made a discovery. What is it that we humans crave? That we endlessly search for, strive towards? Life. Life without end, without the futility of its own inevitable end. And here it is.
A girl, unremarkable in her appearance. Age 12, height 150 centimetres. Brown curls, a pretty face.
I found her in an abandoned mine along the path I was walking on. My husband Harry and I were four-wheel driving, and I was out to stretch my legs.
The girl was sitting just out of eyesight inside the entrance, knees huddled to her chest. Her hair fell limply down over her face obscuring what was there, and as I walked over I realised she was asleep. It wasn’t a peaceful sleep however; it seemed as though she was fighting to retain her consciousness.
Somewhat shocked, I picked her up and took her back to the jeep where Harry was waiting for me.
“Oh my god.”
“Yeah, help me get her into the car will you?” I replied. We strapped her in, head lolling onto a barely rising and falling chest. Hair clung to a pallid face, damp and tousled.
“She was just inside the entrance of an old mine”, I explained. “Nothing there at all.”
“She can’t have been there for long, then”, Harry remarked. I nodded, and turned to look at her. She wore cargo pants, trainers and a plain white top. They were in a terrible state, dirty and torn to shreds; as though she’d run headlong through some form of thorny vegetation. The right leg of the pants was ripped from the hem to the hip, the skin underneath red and bleeding.
I hooked the first aid kit out of the glove box and slid into the back seat next to her, taking out bandages and antiseptics. We drove home, and put her in the spare room. She slept for eighteen hours.
Entry #549, 02.06.17
I may have been generous with the use of the word sleep. She tossed, turned and cried, but all the while remained trapped in whatever tortured world she was in. I spent those eighteen hours in a chair beside the bed.
She woke up at 8am on a Monday. I led her gently downstairs by the arm, and sat her down at the table. She had buttered her own toast, but when I came to take the plate away she held onto the knife.
I didn’t protest until I saw her draw it across her left wrist, agonisingly slowly. The thin red line it produced flowered and spread down her forearm as I cried in shock, rushing to her side. But the steady trickle halted, seemingly of its own accord – and retracted. The crimson fluid flowed backwards into the cut, and the incision disappeared. As I looked, paralysed, I met the girl’s clear blue eyes, and saw them well with tears.
It was instinct that made me embrace the now sobbing child. I was terrified, yet still clung to her.
But as I held the slim, shaking form, I heard a whisper between the gasps.
Entry #554, 07.06.17
DNA structure nothing abnormal. There’s nothing obvious pointing to why or how she can do these things. Harry suggested a neural scan – again, nothing abnormal. The closest I have come to a theory is that she can somehow manipulate energy; direct its flow, tell it what form to take. She’s incredible. I plan to continue running the experiments, collecting data to see if I can find anything. As soon as I come up with something tangible I’ll introduce her to the professors at the university. They’ll have more to say on the subject than I will, but I don’t want anyone taking credit for my work.
She doesn’t talk much. I began testing on Mikayla a week ago now. After the knife incident, the occurrences had only continued – I’d found her standing in the backyard surrounded by a ring of flames that rose and fell at the motion of her palm. I’d seen her move from the other side of the room to catch a falling mug in the blink of an eye, and after I saw a TV remote fly from the coffee table into her hand, I’d taken her into the labs. It had me properly intrigued, excited. What else could she do?
Entry #569, 16.07.17
I’m not sure what I expect to find. I’m continuously sifting through swathes of new data but there’s nothing I can see to suggest an abnormality in her genetic structure. I’ve had a look at her cells, and they regenerate and multiply far faster than the normal rate – but I’m a geneticist not a cellular biologist. I don’t know enough about the data I’m uncovering. I need a breakthrough with regards to her DNA; there has to be something.
Entry #613, 27.08.17
Still nothing. I have noticed an irregularity in her control over her abilities, as if she doesn’t quite have a complete handle over them – she’s smart though. Good learner. She doesn’t just demonstrate destructive potential, she can perform a multitude of tasks – she’s fit and strong, not even counting the fact that her body can’t be physically harmed by any means I’ve discovered. She feels pain for certain, but I don’t plan to run any more pain reception tests.
I just don’t know how much longer I can keep this under wraps from the university. They’re sending letters. Not happy with all the “fruitless” hours I’m spending in the labs. Of course, it’s only fruitless because I haven’t told them anything. I don’t know when, but I will find something solid.
Entry #680, 04.01.18
She’s grown. She really has, and try as I might I just cannot convince her to eat her veggies. She hates washing up, loves it when I let her help me do my makeup, and has a slowly developing interest in boys that I’m doing everything in my power to stop. She’s immature. It’s too early.
We had a phone call yesterday. A man from the university, saying that my professors needed to see what I’d been doing for all this time or I’d be canned.
I’ve burned all the hard copies and everything else is safe on my hard drive – I can’t let this get out, or God knows what will happen to Mikayla.
Entry #720, 28.02.18
University dropped me long ago. I try to keep Mikayla with me as much as I can, but I can’t confine her too much – she has to get outside. Being cooped up in here won’t do anything for her.
Entry #747, 16.04.18
University reported me. Abuse of materials apparently. I haven’t returned letters or calls. I won’t leave Mikayla.
Entry #800, 12.05.18
She was scared. I don’t blame her, and I’m not angry. That policeman had no right to grab her, and even less right to be pointing a revolver at her. She answered the door and he stormed right in. It suffices to say that she’s dangerous when she’s threatened, but isn’t anyone? I’m staying put. I’m afraid, terrified. But I can’t leave her, and there’s nowhere we could go anyway.
Entry #801, 01.06.18
They’re coming. Military police.
I’ve barred the door.
I love you.
* * *
The general snapped the book shut, and silence echoed around the room. The photos of the twelve men who had stormed the house on that day, twelve men who never came back, stared across at us all.