“Hey, do you have that report ready?” I jolted upright in my seat. My hands clenched the edge of my desk and I let out a short shout. As I steadied my breathing, I turned in my chair to face the office manager.
“Yes, I was just putting the final touches on it and then I was going to email it to you.” I clicked over to the report on my computer.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. Are you all right? You seem a lot jumpier lately.”
I smiled. “I’m fine.”
“Okay. I’ll be looking for the report soon.” She walked off to check in with another employee. I turned back to my desk and resumed work on the report she wanted.
There had been a time not too long ago when no one could surprise me. A time when I could hear their footsteps, the rustling of their clothes, the beating of their hearts. Sitting at my desk I could pinpoint everyone’s location within three floors. I could hear everything.
That was before the new DNA screenings that could detect the gene sequence that gave people powers. I’m not sure how they got my DNA. After my powers developed, I was careful about who took my blood or anything that might have DNA. Despite my precautions, one day two men from the “government” came knocking on my door with test results. They talked to me for a couple of hours but in the end, they gave me three choices: work for them, be imprisoned as a threat to national security, or take a designer drug to suppress my power.
There was nothing at my job, in the entire building, that could be a national security risk. I had never used my power for anything more than harmless eavesdropping. If I went to work for them I knew that they would use me for something that would mean I could never be free of them. In the end, I chose my freedom over my power.
I don’t have it so bad. Some people can’t, or won’t, take the drugs because without their power they lose bodily functions. Some become too weak to stand. Some can’t see or hear at all. Some can’t breathe. I still have normal human hearing or at least that’s what the tests said. It’s still too quiet for me.