One Year To Live: The Plan To Escape
I found someone I never thought to see, Sterga Lawless. It may be a mistake, but I have declined to inform officials of her continued existence. Perhaps I feel sorry for all that has happened to her. The trial was inadequate and unjust, her prison stay brutal, and now victim of cultist experiments. She looks very different from when I last saw her. Despite how badly scared her face is, I have no doubt this is the same woman.
It is my duty to try helping this woman change her ways and heal from her wounds. Even a villain such as this deserves a second chance.
I talked with Sterga today despite her unconsciousness. One of the nurses heard me call the woman by name. I informed staff that I only knew of her first name, not her last. If authorities have not made the connection now, I will not aid them in doing so. Far too much corruption exists there. I can help Sterga; I owe her as much. It is my fault she was captured, subjected to a mockery of the justice system, and all that happened after. I suspect she will need all the help I can give once she wakes. Soon she will have surgery to heal her face. I can only hope my aura expedites her recovery.
It has been many weeks since I found Sterga. Physically, she is healing well and my aura should prevent any further scaring. She has so many. I feel that Sterga desperately needs someone to be near her, why I have not left, and continuing to speak to her. She is lost and will need my guidance to become more than the villain she once was.
Several of the others rescued have died and one of them ended his own life. He had minor physical injuries, but was plagued by nightmares. It seems he was only reported missing a few months before the compound raid. That would mean his programming had only just begun. I don’t think most of those rescued will live long and it saddens me. We came far too late to help them. I can only take comfort no one else will suffer this fate.
The authorities did manage to salvage some research information that they shared with me. Thankfully, none of it betrays Sterga’s true identity. She was the alpha test subject, being subjected to testing before the others. There were notes on her successful assassinations, but she was never assigned a handler. The authorities are unsure what this means, but the current theory is that each individual is assigned a handler to dole out missions and provide field support. It seems only a handler can give orders to their unwilling slave. What this means for Sterga, I will not know until she wakes. One of the last entries expresses the need to find someone for her to test a new procedure.
I fear for her mental state. She must stay alive. I know she is important for the future.
Sterga finally awoke! But she is very disconnected as if in a trance. Oddly, she did not answer any of the doctor’s questions. When I asked the same ones, she answered everything. It is a good sign that she responds, even if only to me. She does not remember much, which is common among the survivors. I will need to press for her new identification. None of the others have regained their memories, so it is unlikely that Sterga will either.
During the brief encounter of her arrest, Sterga was quiet a fiery woman. Less after the death of her family, but still a spark. All of that is gone. I have no idea if this will be permanent. I’ve never stayed close to someone for so long and cannot know if my aura will heal the damage.
Once alone, she asked me who she really had been. She realizes I know, so there is hope for her recovery. But I informed her that I could not answer her questions in this place. After recovering sufficiently to be discharged, I will tell her what she wishes to know.
She did not object to the name I chose for her new identity: Sterga Lawbringer. I want it to be a reminder of the person she should become. Few remember the Lawless family. She was never a high profile criminal, overshadowed by super villains and their grandiose schemes.
Sterga recovered enough to leave the hospital. She stayed distant and ridged until we arrived at my home. As soon as we walked in, she bombarded me with questions. Who was she? How did she arrive at the hospital? The cultist compound? Why I had taken such an interest in her well-being? I answered each question, even the part about my vision.
I told her the vision of a future where she never existed and I am to keep her protected, training her to be a savior. She asked why I had allowed her to be incarcerated, admitting I had not seen the vision until after her escape. Originally, I misinterpreted the message, but after I saw her with the cultist, I realized I was to prevent that future. My revelations about her past and future overwhelmed her and she asked permission to rest. Sterga has been this way since she woke; only speaking to me, asking permission to do things. It seems that I am her handler and must be careful of the orders I give.
When I told her she did not need my permission to do anything, Sterga looked distraught, but acknowledged the order. I informed her if she was unsure, to ask. This is the only emotion she has shown, but it is a good sign. She is mostly well, all of her physical injuries healed without scaring.
I hope she will fully recover.
I went on patrol the other day, leaving Sterga alone. I told her to “wait here” foolishly not elaborating to mean the home and not an exact spot. She was standing were I left her. She looked guilty of something and informed me that she had moved to eat. I had to reassure her several times that I was not angry and she had not done anything wrong. Being her handler is a trying experience. Better me than someone who would exploit the link.
She will do things outside of specific orders. Perhaps the programming is not so strong that she can’t break it. In the meantime, I must remain diligent in wording orders.
After several attempts, I believe I have found something that interests Sterga. She has read all books I own and is running through the library’s selection. In fact, she has spent much of her time there. It’s nice that she leaves the house, even if constantly asking permission. She surprised me by asking if it would be acceptable to work at the library, proceeding to inform me of her desire to purchase a vehicle so she would no longer need to take the bus.
Despite her daily nightmares, she is doing better. As long as I can be here to sooth her, I know she will overcome them. All of the others rescued have since taken their lives, save one in rehabilitation for severe drug addiction. They all had horrific nightmares and flashbacks, but did not have the support I have shown Sterga. I wish I could have helped them all, but one is such a handful that I would have failed. Sterga is too important to neglect. My aura has a very powerful effect on her, far more than normal. It may be due to our unusual link.