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When Flowers Bloom and Wings Spread: Chapter 2 – The Stranger

by Amelia K Bowers
P420 was awoken from her coma-like state by crashing waves on the beach. She started to slowly sit up from the ground only to be pushed down by an unknown source.
“Stay down,” ordered a masculine voice. “You need to rest. You took a pretty nasty hit to the head.”
Sure enough, the back of P420’s head exploded with pain. She released a groan and rubbed her head hoping to ease the pain. Laying back down, P420 analyzed her surrounding while taking a mental note of all escape routes in the room.
The stranger, who had been stirring some sort of concoction, walked over to P420 again. He held a cup out to P420 saying, “Here; Drink this. It will ease the pain…somewhat.”
P420 looked at the cup skeptically.
“What if it’s poisoned?” she thought. “Why does this guy expect me to trust him? Haha, no way, compadre! I would like to live, thank you very much!” Her paranoid thoughts swam around in her mind asking, “What if… what if… what if?” Distrustingly, P420 shook her head profusely.
The stranger chuckled at this response. “Oh, so I guess you want to be in pain. Is that i?” He looked at her with a sly smile. “What motivation would I have to poison you? I mean, I just met you! And the fact that I saved you would be a reason why I won’t kill you.”
Defeated, P420 sighed and hesitantly took the cup from the stranger.
After drinking the bitter tasting liquid, she set the cup down and asked the man, “Who are you?”
“Me?” he replied, “I’m the guy who saved your sorry butt from drowning!”
“How long have I been out?” she worriedly asked.
“Four days… You’re really lucky, you know. Most people would’ve died after that fall.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not ‘most people.'” She sat up groaning. She started to feel sore in her back as well.
“Can you tell me how you did that,” the stranger suddenly asked.
“Did what?”
“You were flying when I saw you. How did you do that?” the stranger’s voice was monotonously calm.
P420 stayed silent. She didn’t want to tell him her life story. She wasn’t comfortable at all with this conversation. in fact, she felt like she was being interrogated.
After a while, she finally answered, “How about you tell me your name, and I will think about telling you my backstory. Sound cool with you?” She held out her hand and smirked, already finding a loophole that she could use to her advantage.
He looked at her for a few seconds before taking her hand and shaking. “Deal. My name is Alexander, but you can call me Alex if you want.” He smiled a little, “Now aren’t you going to explain how you flew?”
“Ah ah ah, Alex,” she said wagging her finger, “The deal was that I would think about telling you my past. I never said that I would say yes.” She smiled at the accomplishment of tricking Alex.
He sighed impatiently and stood up from the homemade stool next to P420.
“Could you at least tell me your name?” he asked. He was not prepared for the straight answer he would receive. The smile immediately wiped off P420’s face at Alex’s question.
“I don’t have a real name,” her voice barely whispered.
“What?”
“I don’t have a real name,” she repeated louder.
Alex stood where he was, awestruck. “Of course you have a name! Everyone has a name!”
“Nope. My letter and number is P420,” she said, taken aback by his outburst.
Alex knew exactly where she was from. He had been a lab monkey for them as well. Not too long ago, he escaped from that terrible Zachary Cole. He was called T01 at the time, but he remembered enough of his old life to know his real name. “Zachary must have taken P420 as a baby if she doesn’t have a name,” Alex thought.
“Was the place you got your ‘name’ from called VIPER?”
P420 looked at him with a surprised expression. “Y-yes,” she stuttered, “but I always called the horrible place JWGEI (Jerks who Genetically Engineer Innocent). I know it’s lengthy, but you get board on that stupid ship!”
“I know wthe feeling,” Alex smiled. “You know what,” he said out of the blue, “I’m going to give you a name, and I think it would suit you perfectly.”
“Really? You would do that for me?”
“Of course! It’s not like I’m going to call you P420 all the time!” he exclaimed.
Alex thought to his past, hoping he would find a name for P420, and he remembered his mother, Becky. She would always be in her backyard garden watering her fruits and vegetables. There was one flower in Becky’s garden that was everywhere, Azaleas.
Alex looked P420 up and down. Her messy, dark brown hair reached her shoulders. She had very rosy cheeks and slightly tan, yet still pale skin. Alex looked at her eyes and saw specks of bright purple in her big, grey eyes. Azalea would suit the young girl perfectly.
“How about Azalea?”
P420 nodded profusely at the name. She could now have a name to call her own, and she would forever cherish that. Maybe Alex wasn’t so bad after all.
Alex chuckled lightly at Azalea’s eagerness. “Okay, maybe you should rest. You need to heal completely before I show you around the beach.”
Azalea wanted to stay up but sleep overtook her. Now all she had to do was heal… and pray that VIPER wouldn’t find her.

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