The Corporation

Chapter 1

by Lillo C

Lucid dreaming is when you are having a dream so realistic you would think that it’s real, but it’s not. When this does happen, most people will try to control their dreams, make themselves fly. 

I thought I was lucid dreaming when I first arrived at The Corporation. Of course you would if you saw your dead body on the floor of a public bus, then felt your body whisked away, your stomach dropping as thousands of stars pass by you, then flashes of people in masks sitting at a judges bench who assign you to a team and tell you that you are now going to be a grim reaper because you were boring and didn’t do anything in your life. I was scared and lost and felt in denial about my death.  

For a month I was in training to learn how to control my mind. One day I was meditating, and felt a sort of realization, like being lifted out of water. I suddenly became aware of my surroundings, opened my eyes and for the first time in a month I felt real. I felt like everything around me, the food shops, the training halls, the people walking around and floating along in their boats, was real. 

I quickly walked out of my teacher’s room, thanking him on the way out, and left the training center. As I hurried across the wood plank boardwalk, I clutched my bag’s strap and passed under the arch that marked the library’s campus. There were chairs all around me, but I headed straight for the Records building, the wood boardwalk under me disappearing into grass and field flowers. I was excited for some reason, my tailbone tingled, and I quickly walked. My Chuck Tailors made no noise on the polished wood floor, and I walked up to one of the librarians. Her hair was up in a bun and pinned to her chest she had a blue ribbon with an open book printed on the bottom. I asked to see my file, showing her my ID and she told me to follow her. I then received half a piece of paper with basic information about myself. 

“Is there nothing else?” I ask, wondering why there is so little.

“Oh there is, but it hasn’t happened yet.” She responded and walked off, her heels clicking. 

Mysterious, but I looked at my record and saw that I really had died, according to this paper. I actually felt good about this. For the next two months, I was trained to fight as a grim reaper.

“Isaac, hey are you with us?” Damian asks. I snap out of my trance, look around and see we have arrived at the Missions location. We get off of our boat which is floating on mist and hide it, making it nonexistent to the living. I grab my bag, weighted heavily with its contents. I look over at Zach and he is in a black and red suit. He catches me looking and smiles. I feel cool and tough in my army pants, and long sleeve black shirt, tight on me. Flexible armor is attached to the shirt making it easy for me to move around in combat. I have a mask on that covers everything but my eyes. 

“Alright here are your earpieces. Make sure you don’t lose them and remember your code names – if anyone somehow listens in on our conversations, you need to keep your identity a secret.” Damian instructs, holding out three earpieces. I grab one and put it in my ear, and a soft but strong material wraps around the back of my ear securing it in place. I cover my blonde hair with the tight hood fitting perfectly over my head. 

“Ok, ready?” I ask and they both nod. Walking away to get into our positions, I hike up a mountain that looks over a mansion. It’s rocky and has desert shrubs growing along with the occasional cacti. Suddenly I hear footsteps; I duck behind a large rock. Two security guards are walking around, and behind a cluster of boulders I see an armored gang creeping towards the mansion. Right on time. The Librarians back in The Corporation had predicted this and told me about the gang’s plot to assassinate the Minister and the Mayor. 

I got up and walked swiftly to my spot. It’s a clear area, with boulders in front of me, great to rest my rifle. Right in front I can see into the glass roof of the Minister’s mansion. It’s clear of patrols and from people watching overhead. Setting my black canvas sports bag down, I quietly unzip it and lay out my weapons: a sniper gun, medium sized fighting sticks with a hand hold jutting out, a couple guns loaded with sleeping darts, and some small knives. Laying on my stomach I set up my sniper gun. I look into the eyepiece and see the Minister, with his gray and white hair and tan suit. The Mayor, who is about ten feet from the Minster, has on a navy suit. 

“I am in position. My targets are in my sight. Green over,” I say into my earpiece, pressing the button on it so they can hear me speak. 

Then I see Zach walk in. He takes a drink from the waiter who walks in front of him. He started towards our third target, a very old man with an oxygen tank and machinery attached to him, which appears to be keeping him alive. He is riding around in an electronic sort of wheelchair. 

“Approaching target. Oh, and hi Green. Red over,” Zach says as he glances over at me. I tilt my head toward him and he continues on. 

“I am in position. Red let us know when to begin stage one. Blue over.” Damian says. Zack starts talking to the group of people with the old man and after a few moments of conversation he says something that makes them all laugh out loud. 

  “All right begin,” he says. I put my eye to the eye piece, take a deep breath in, put my finger on the trigger, and pull it when I exhale. A loud bang echoes through the mountain, followed by another. The Minister’s body falls to the floor along with the Mayor’s a few seconds later. Zach immediately takes his gun out and shoots the old man four times, two in the head, one in the chest, and another right in the heart. People start screaming, and chaos takes over. Security guards run over to Zach, guns out, to try and take him down. Zach turns to the one closest to him and runs full speed at him. At the last second Zach shoots while tucking and rolling away, and the spot where he had been was now pierced with a bullet that hit the floor. 

I hear people running in my direction and see military men with their guns coming right towards me. I hid behind a rock and took my smaller gun loaded with sleeping darts. I shot at as many people as I could before having to hide to avoid getting shot. I take my supplies and run out. I shoot the people in front of me. They all fall down, some of them are already snoring before they hit the floor. 

I take my fighting sticks and launch into battle. Dodging bullets, I knock security guards unconscious with such swift and light movements that it does not leave a mark. One of them tackled me and I squirmed, but my fighting sticks had dropped from my hand and I was out of sleeping darts. The security guard started to choke me and I’m able to get one hand free.  I stab him in the abdomen with my small knife, and he yells out. I slip out from under him, and he tries to grab my legs but I kick his wound and then his neck. Finally, he lays on the ground limp. 

More security guards surround me, but they don’t have any more guns. Damian must have been able to take their weapons away. I smile. They surround me and I charge at them using my sniper gun like a bat. The next few moments are like a blur. I’m being attacked; I get them off; I realize my power has been activated. I’m moving too fast for them to follow me. I am then standing next to all the security guards sleeping on the ground from my darts. Walking off I reach my hand up to my ear and speak into the earpiece. 

“Stage one complete. Stage two commencing. Green over.” 

I kneel on the ground and make a quick prayer for the security guards to heal well, and wake up alright. Then I take each of their heads and erase their memories of me, and change it to be the armored gang that tried to attack earlier. Finishing with the last one I exhale, my arms trembling from feeling their emotions from that time. I have a headache and I’m sweating from the mental effort. My teacher did not tell me about this in my lesson.  My fingers slip from their temples, and I gather my supplies, zipping the black canvas bag closed. I sneak down the high part of the mountain, and slip between squadrons of military reinforcement running about.

Waiting at the boat, I lay down and imagine what Mayanne must be doing. 

About the Author

Lillo lives in the South Bay, and goes to Castillero Middle School. They enjoy reading relatable books, fantasy, action, and some about mental health. They also enjoy eating ramen, and drawing. They will often be found listening to music, or on their computer writing.  Lillo loves  moths, frogs, and mushrooms, and wishes to have an alt. grunge, punk style, in clothing.

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