Choice of Millions

[OT] Free-form Friday

Jenny stepped out of the pitch black, vertical hole that hovered in the air into a bright, white office lobby. A black cat with a red skull pattern in the fur atop its head followed her out of the portal, then the hole disappeared. The spiky-haired girl greeted the receptionist.

“Hi, Melody! Janet said Ms. Sharp wanted to see me?” She asked the woman.

“Hey, Jenny,” the dark-haired woman nodded. “Yup, she’s waiting for you,” the woman pointed at the door behind her. “Go on in.” Jenny walked toward the door and the black cat followed her.

“Janet, you can wait out here.” The cat hopped onto the secretary’s desk and stared at her.

“I’ll wait where ever I want, thanks,” Janet, the cat, said. She swished her dark bushy tail and another, smaller portal opened over the desk. She walked through it and disappeared. Melody and Jenny shrugged at each other, then Jenny continued into the office. Ms. Sharp stood from behind her desk when Jenny entered and smiled at her.

“Jenny! Congratulations on the win, you girls did a great job out there. Come sit down, we have something important to discuss.” The tall woman gestured at the seat in front of her large wooden desk. Jenny sat down while her mind wondered what was so important. She smiled at Ms. Sharp. “You know…,” Ms. Sharp began to pace around the room instead of sitting back down herself. “After you lost the first game I doubted myself a little bit.” She walked behind Jenny, and the girl needed to turn her seat to keep her focus on the woman in the white suit. She looked at Jenny and pointed a finger at her. “I doubted you very much.” Jenny’s stomach knotted itself with those words. She looked up to Ms. Sharp in so many ways, and the young girl could not stand being doubted by her. She decided it would never happen again.

“I almost kicked you off the team, but Bailey made me give you another chance,” Ms. Sharp explained. Jenny’s eyes went wide.

“Bailey did that for me?” She asked. Ms. Sharp nodded. “Wow… I thought she didn’t like me.” Jenny meant to mumble the comment to herself, but Ms. Sharp heard. The woman smiled at Jenny.

“You know she’s a Sirena, right?” Jenny nodded.

“Yeah…?” Jenny gave a half nod while she wondered what that had to do with anything. “OH!” The connection struck her like a bolt. “Oh, no… I never even considered she was controlling her emotions…  I just thought she didn’t like me because I’m a Zero.” Jenny’s head dipped slightly, but she kept her eyes on her chosen mentor.

“Not at all. She treats Uniques and Zeros exactly the same,” Ms. Sharp said. “Want to test her?” She asked Jenny with a smile.

“I… what?”

“I called you here because Bailey can’t keep up with the duties of being a Team Captain anymore. She recommended that you take over.” Jenny started smiling and discovered she couldn’t stop. She started nodding her head.

“YES! I’LL DO IT!” She jumped to her feet. Ms. Sharp held up a hand.

“It’s not quite that straightforward,” she said. Jenny let herself fall back to her chair. Ms. Sharp continued to pace around the room while she explained the situation. Jenny continued to turn in her seat to watch, thankful the chair spun with her. She caught a slight sigh from Ms. Sharp before the woman began speaking again.

“On paper, in public, you’re already the team captain. But the sticking point is I have investors I need to answer to. They’re fine with a Zero being the team captain on paper. Unfortunately, they’re less fine with a Zero being the actual team captain.” Jenny clenched her fists discreetly to hold back the tears.

“So then I can’t ever be the real captain?” she asked with a cracked voice.

“Well, that’s up to you. How important is it for you to be the captain?”

“I’ll do anything!” she said. Ms. Sharp nodded.

“I thought you might. The board members won’t accept a Zero team captain, so all we have to do is make you a Unique, right?”

“Yeah. Easy. Something that can’t be done.” Ms. Sharp shook her head and walked to the girl. She placed a hand on her shoulder and looked down at her.

“Jenny… It’s like you don’t know who I am. Do you think I would bring you here just to tell you something is impossible? Do you believe that I think anything is impossible?”

“You can do it? YOU CAN REALLY DO IT??!” Jenny jumped off her seat and wrapped her arms around the woman. “I wanna be a Sol! I mean, please. PLEASE!” She bounced in place still holding Ms. Sharp. After a moment the woman managed to free herself from Jenny’s grip.

“I can do it, but it’s dangerous, and it hurts. A lot.”

“You’ve done it?” Jenny asked. “Of course you’ve done it. What are you?” Again, Ms. Sharp shook her head.

“Not yet I haven’t. I don’t like pain, so I’ll wait until I make the process painless. Melody has though, she’s good with pain. She’s #35, La Estrella.”

“Cool. Yeah! I don’t care how much it hurts. I’ll do it.” Ms. Sharp walked to her desk and sat down in front of Jenny.

“First of all, I can’t make you a Sol. To do it I need one of the souls that you want to be. At the moment I only have plant souls handy. If your team continues to do well for me I’ll upgrade you to another tier when I get a chance.”

“I’ll take it!” Ms. Sharp held up a hand.

“And, you need to know the process. You understand what Uniques are, right? There would only be one of you. No more “you”s  in any universe. But, and this is the important part, to turn you into a Unique I need to kill a million of your Zeros. After that, all the ones that I don’t kill will die anyway. No more of you will be born. So you have to figure out whether you’re willing to make that decision for all your doppelgangers.”

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