Sisters: The Beginning

by Eric Johnson

Our story opens in a top secret government laboratory in close proximity to The Pentagon. Doctor John Cartwright is the lead scientist, one of many working on the process and application of DNA manipulation to increase a soldiers mental abilities, strength and durability on the battlefield. Well, that was the initial plan. It is a highly sensitive top secret operation black funded by the government only known to the highest levels of military brass and the Vice President of the United States. It stops with the USVP for obvious reasons; deniable plausibility by the commander and chief if any situation associated with these experiments got out of control or if there was loss of life. The lab is a large rectangular room with two levels of metal catwalks that encircle the room. Down below on the floor level are a series of simulation computers for phase one trials. Phase two will include testing on chimpanzees and then on to phase three which would include testing on human subjects.

Above the lab is an observation lounge for VIPs and military personnel. On this day, along with General Maurice White and a host of other military brass representing the Navy, Air Force and Marines is Johns wife, Joanne, and their three children; Julianne (12 years old), Justine (10 years old) and Jessica (7 years old). John pulled some strings to invite his family to the phase one testing. General White initially denied the request but since John was the lead scientist and a pioneer in the genetics field, his family were the only civilians allowed to witness this event. Down below Doctor Cartwright is frantically making computations and calculations while his colleagues assist him with preparing to demonstrate the final testing in the phase one trials.

Doctor Lennox, are the deuterium generator levels within specification? John asks. Doctor Lennox checks them. Yes they are doctor; radiation levels are slightly above normal but are within safety parameters. John checks the levels himself to confirm, but he knew within himself that his colleague was not mistaken. He had to check the readings himself to be sure. The readings are acceptable; we will proceed with the conclusion of phase one trials. John declares. Before John returns to his station, he speaks to doctor Lennox in a hushed voice. Keep a close eye on those radiation levels; if they were to go critical, no one here would survive the blast let alone the deadly radiation. White who is the lead General in charge of this top secret division, walks over to the intercom and presses the speak button.

Doctor Cartwright, I have a very busy schedule today. Can we get on with this? What do you have for me? John turns to General White and says. Sir, this phase cannot be rushed. If any calculations are off even by a fraction, this lab would be destroyed. No one would White interrupts. Proceed doctor. John turns his attention back to his experiment. He begins to initiate the coding sequence. The three deuterium tanks that are placed in the rear of the lab activate and emit a low sounding hum. John whispers to himself. Here we go. He then turns around and looks up at his family in the observation room. His youngest waves at him and smiles. His wife of fifteen years Joanne whispers to him through the two inch thick observation room glass. I love you. The testing proceeds.

Doctor Lennox says. Levels are holding fine doctor, , we may have a problem! John quickly runs over to the radiation monitor. What is the problem doctor? Radiation levels are spiking, the temp levels in the deuterium tanks are rising above normal parameters. We have to disengage the generators and shut down before.. No! John screams. Keep the generators engaged! I will compensate! Just keep it engaged! Joanne, visibly worried is observing along with everyone else in the observation lounge what is happening down below except their three daughters. They are sitting on a couch at the rear of the room. Suddenly the generators begin to shut down one by one. An automated computerized female voice announces the coding sequence is shutting down. It is a safety precaution installed for this very reason, in case if there is a danger to human life.

No! John screams. Lennox, reinitiate now! We have to.. General White speaks into the intercom. Doctor Cartwright, its over! I want this lab shut down until further notice! General! Please let us try. White interrupts and says. John! Its over! The General begins to walk out and says to the other Generals in the room. Gentlemen, we have other successful experiments in other areas of this facility. Lets go. The host of military brass follow him out of the lounge. Down below in the lab John is standing at his station. His head is lowered in disappointment. Joanne is standing at the window also feeling his grief. Doctor Lennox and all other lab personnel leave the laboratory visibly disappointed.

Joanne speaks into the intercom. John; honey, there will be other opportunities. The girls are tired, please lets go home. He looks at his wife for a moment. No! Doctor Cartwright begins savagely retyping the coding sequence into the computer. Joanne almost on instinct quickly runs down to the lab entrance; punches in the entry code and enters the lab with her husband. Joanne is also a notable scientist whose work in microbiology has earned her several scientific awards over the years. Honey, what are you doing? You heard the general; theyre shutting down this lab! Please! Lets just take the girls home! Joanne says passionately. Jo, of all people I know you must understand what this means to me! This is my lifes work; beyond this, I have nothing! Will you help me make another attempt? Please! John pleads. Joanne takes a moment. She nods in agreement.

They both begin to work. John instructs his wife to power up the deuterium storage tanks one at a time. The same sequence has started and once again the same result. Automatic shut down of the system due to temperature levels in the tanks rising to dangerous levels. Again, disappointment for John and his wife. Suddenly about 20 seconds later, the system matrix light up with activity. The deuterium tanks are automatically reactivated working at full capacity. John excitedly observes all that is happening, he checks and rechecks all data. Success! The conclusion of phase one is completed.

John says excitedly. Joanne! Do you know what this means? I will be able to get full funding for phases two and three! Sweetheart, I am so proud of you! Now the next step is to bring General White back in here to. Suddenly an alarm goes off. Its the deuterium tanks. Their children are at the observation window watching all thats happening. Jessica is crying while Justine is trying to comfort her. This time the temperature in the tanks have gone critical. John races over to the tanks and checks the readings. There is an overload in progress. One tank explodes. There is an emergency shutdown button on the wall. John races over to press the button.too late. The two remaining tanks explode causing a chain reaction throughout the lab. The explosion is felt throughout the entire facility.

The sheer force of the explosion is mostly contained in the immediate lab. John and Joanne are killed instantly. The girls are thrown back into the rear of the observation room. The couch they were sitting on earlier absorbed most of the impact, but they were all knocked unconscious with glass and other debris scattered on and around them. Because of the radiation levels, the emergency response unit could not enter the area for an hour after the explosion. Julianne, Justine and Jessica were admitted to the naval hospital for observation and treatment. For a week following the accident, the girls remained in a coma. General White ordered that the girls remain under strict observation while in the hospital. He was hoping that their exposure to the radiation would somehow alter their DNA thus making what he had set out to accomplish a success.

In Juliannes room a nurse is attending to her needs. She regains consciousness; her sight is a bit blurry so she reaches up to the nurse groaning. ? The nurse replies. Rest child, your sisters are safe. Rest. Julianne fades back into unconsciousness.

Two weeks have passed. The sisters are at the funeral for their parents at Arlington National Cemetery. Its raining. The girls are crying standing by the coffins of their parents. With them are their Grandparents John Sr. and Martha Cartwright along with a host of other family and military personnel. The priest is speaking, quoting Psalms 23. General White walks over to the girls and hands each of them an American flag and says. Your parents served their country well. They will be missed. Julianne responds trying to hold back her tears and emotions. Thank you sir. Since there were no apparent affects from the radiation, General White released the girls to the custody of their Grandparents.

A year passes. The girls are living with their Grandparents. Julianne is in her room doing homework. She is working on a calculus problem and needs her calculator. She looks for it in her book bag but cannot find it. She notices that its on her night stand across the room; she looks at it for a moment knowing she has to get up to get it herself. Another moment passes, suddenly the calculator moves about an inch. Julianne knows she should be freaked out but for some reason she isnt. Without saying a word to anyone she practices moving objects around her room. Day by day she is getting stronger. Its like working a muscle. Unbeknownst to her is that her sisters are also daily practicing their newly found abilities. Justine has the power to control ones thoughts and actions. She practices on her pet ferret having it do odd things around the house like stealing objects and moving things around. Jessica discovers she can teleport anywhere in the house without anyone noticing; shes the best at hide and seek and always wins. Julianne also discovers that she can manipulate ones mind and teleport, but those abilities for her are limited. Another year passes and the girls are proficient with their new powers.

They reveal to each other and their Grandparents that they have these new talents after the second year of discovery. One day Grandpa John gathers them together and instructs them to only use their power as a last resort or if their lives are in danger and to never use their power in public view for fear of the government taking them away. The girls agree.

Two weeks later, Justine is playing outside with a couple of neighborhood boys her age. Hey you boys wanna play a game? Justine says. Sure! Replies Jackson. What kind of game? Bobby asks. The game where one of you will kiss me on the lips. Justine declares. Yeah, Im not kissing you! Thats disgusting! Jackson says. I think Ill pass too. Bobby says. Justine uses her telepathic powers on both boys and says. Bobby, you can go home now. Ok. Bobby says and walks away. Then she says to Jackson. Kiss me. He immediately steps over and kisses her on the lips. She releases her hold on him and says. Now that wasnt so bad was it? Grabbing his hand. What wasnt so bad? What are you talking about? Jackson asks. You know you just kissed me right? Justine says. No, I didnt. Jackson declares. Sure you did, dont you taste the cherry lip gloss on your lips? Jackson licks his lips and what just happened is confirmed. He starts wiping his mouth and says. Im telling my mom!

He runs home. Justine shrugs her shoulders and walks to her house. About twenty minutes later Jacksons mom calls Justines Grandfather. Justine is in her room playing with her dolls. Justine! Come downstairs please. Grandpa John says. Justine makes her way to the top of the stairs and says innocently. Yes Grandfather? Call your sisters; were going to have a chat.Grandpa John says. Julianne and Jessica make their way downstairs and they all sit on the couch together. Yes Grandpa? Julianne and Jessica ask. I wanted to talk to you girls again about responsibility. I made a promise to your parents years ago that if anything were to happen to them, I along with your Grandmother would take care of you. I wanted it no other way. Your father told me what he was working on at the lab and he also told me that if anyone were exposed to its radiation, they would possibly develop extra ordinary abilities. Which is what happened to you three. Listen, you girls have to be even more careful now that your powers are advancing. Your Grandmother and I love you very much no matter what you can do. I cannot stress this enough; do not use your powers in public unless your lives are in danger. If anyone were to discover what you can do, rest assured the government would take you away from us and that we could not live with. He turns to Justine. Jacksons mom just called and told me you forced her son to kiss you. Is this true? With tears in her eyes Justine replies. Yes Grandpa. Well make that the last time that happens, ok? Grandpa John says. Sorry Grandpa. Justine replies. Now all of you give your Grandfather a hug. They all get up and hug him while Martha is watching from the kitchen smiling.

7:30am present day: A van pulls up in front of the home of Julianne, Justine and Jessica. The girls have grown in age, maturity and supernatural ability. Julianne is an executive at an accounting firm. Justine is a junior in college and Jessica is a senior in high school. James Madison High School is written on the van and under that it says first student. The driver sounds the horn for Jessica. Julianne has just finished making breakfast for her sisters and screams out. Justine! Jess! Come down, breakfast is ready! Hurry up, Im already running late for work! Jessica comes running down the stairs first. Jessica says. Sorry sis, cant stay for breakfast! Ill just grab some toast! Hey! This spread looks great, but my chauffeur is waiting. Gotta go, see ya later! Jessica exits the house and jumps in the van which takes off as soon as she enters it. Justine takes her time coming down the stairs. She has music blasting through the headphones on her ears. She speaks loudly. Wow Julianne this looks nice! Too bad youre the only one whos going to eat it, I have class in 30 but Ill take a sip of juice. Justine goes to the local community college. Shes an average student but is more into her boyfriend than her studies and gets a monthly speech on responsibility from her older sister. She jumps on her motorcycle and races off to school.

The van pulls up in front of the school. Jessicas two best friends since grade school Christine and Nick are waiting for her at the curb. As Jessica exits the van. Christine says Hey girl, how are you today? Jessica replies with a puzzled look on her face. Fine.I guess, whats going on? Hi Nick. Whats up Jess? Dont ask me, Im confused too. Nick says. Dont you have your appointment with Mr. Johnson today? Christine asks. Yeah, I almost forgot. Jessica admits. Show off! Look at her Nick, she has the world at her fingertips but shes so calm! I hate you! They make their way into the school and while walking down the hallway Jessica notices a group of girls heading towards them. The leader of this group is Michelle; she uses every opportunity she gets to harass Jessica. As she passes, she bumps Jessica and says. Whats up freak? I mean Jessica. Jessica stands her ground and glares at Michelle. Christine grabs Jessicas arm and says. Dont even pay attention to them girl, they want what you have; a brain. Jessica chuckles and they walk away. Yeah, forget em Nick says. Christine changes the subject. Anyway, Hey! What time is your appointment with Johnson? I think its right after first period. He already spoke to Mr. Hanover about me being a few minutes late to class. Jessica states. Well, good luck though you dont need it. Hey, we gotta get to class. Christine says. They split up and go their separate ways.

An hour later, first period is over and the transition bell rings. The hallway fills up with students. Some making their way to their next class, some standing around and others talking to friends making plans for the afternoon. Jessica emerges and makes her way to the schools guidance councilor Mr. Johnsons office. She knocks. Come in Miss Cartwright. Mr. Johnson says. Good morning sir. Jessica replies nervously. Dont be nervous Jessica, Im here to help and guide you onto the next stage of your life; college, which is a very important step. Mr. Johnson says. Im good Mr. Johnson, I just want to make the right decision so Im feeling a little pressured. Says Jessica. Dont be; now lets go over your options. Mr. Johnson says. They have a lengthy discussion about her future academic endeavors.

The next day in school just before last period, Jessica is at her locker alone. She notices Michelle looking at her from across the hallway. Michelle crosses the hallway and she approaches Jessica and says. Hi Jessica. Michelle, can I help you with something? Jessica asks. Well Im having a party at my house Friday night. And I was thinking maybe youd like to come. What do you think? Asks Michelle. During this conversation, Nick and Christine take notice of it and immediately go over and they both stand by Jessica for support if needed. Whats up Jess? We have a problem here? Christine asks. Nope, my new friend here Michelle wanted to know if I would be interested in coming to her party Friday night. Jessica states. Of course the answer was no right? Christine replies. Michelle rolls her eyes at Christine and says. You can bring her and Greg of course. Umm..the name is Nick thank you. Nick says. Oh, Im so sorryNick. Youre all invited. Michelle says. Well be there. Jessica replies. Great. Start at 10. Says Michelle walking away with a smirk on her face.

Girl, you know this is a set up right? Christine says. Yeah, I know it is but Im curious. I know I can count on you two backing my play right? Jessica asks. Jess, I dont know about this. Someone can get hurt. Nick says. Yeah, Jess Im going to advise you not to go. Those girls are mean and evil. God only knows what they got in store for you. Christine admits. Thats why you guys are going to be there at my side.come on, do it for me. Ive got a little surprise for Michelle and her crew if and when the time comes.

I dont trust them, but if you wanna do this, Nick and I will be at your side. Right Nick? Christine says. Besides, we may have a good time. Jess replies. So they all agree and make their way to last period. Later that evening around 6:30pm at the Cartwright home, Justine is on the phone with her boyfriend Adrian and Jessica is in the kitchen looking for a snack. Julianne comes through the door excited and says. You girls ready? Justine walks downstairs to see what the commotion is about. Ready for what? Whats going on? Jessica asks Have you guys forgotten about girls night out? Julianne asks. How could we forget? Hey, when was the last time we did this? Justine asks. A long time ago. Im restarting the tradition again. We need to do more stuff together. I miss that. Julianne admits. Ok, Im in. Jessica says. They both look at Justine. She lets out a sigh. Come on Justine. Itll be fun! Jessica says. Oh, alright! Whats up for tonight then? Justine asks. Well, its either bowling or karaoke. Julianne says. Bowling it is. Justine states. Yeah, Im a horrible singer! Jessica admits. Great! Be ready in 10. Julianne says. Everyone prepares for a night of bowling.

At the bowling alley. Justine is up to bowl. Come on Justine! Jessica says excitedly. She sets herself and bowls. Its a strike! Yes! Justine says. Extending her hand for a high five Jessica says. Alright! Give it up! Julianne interrupts the celebration. Nice, but watch how its supposed to be done. She sets herself. Bowls. The ball goes down the lane, travels with a massive curve. It travels close to the gutter and at the last second curves back toward the center making contact with the first and seconds pins resulting in a strike. And thats how its done! You ladies forget, in college I was on the bowling team and we made it to state finals. Julianne proclaims. Ok, show off, my turn. Jessica says. She also bowls a strike. Watching from two lanes over are three guys in their twenties. They are done with their game. One of them comes over and offers a proposition. Hey, whats up ladies? The name is Ryan. Justine answers. So? Yeah me and my boys were wondering if you ladies would like to challenge us to one game. Ryan says. Sorry, not interested. Were here just to have some fun together. Julianne replies.

No pressure, but to make it interesting well put up $200 bucks. Can you match? Ryan asks. Like I said..Ryan did you say? Were here. Justine interrupts. Hold on a minute Ryan. Can you give us a minute? Thanks. Sure, talk amongst yourselves. Ryan says. He steps away. The girls huddle. Jessica starts off. Come on sis. We can beat em! Justine, no using! Yeah sure..oh alright! I promise! Justine says. You know, this could be interesting. Besides I dont like Ryan. He seems to be a bit too sure of himself. Julianne says. She calls him back over and says. Ok, were in. Great! Ill let them know. Ryan says. He goes over to tell them the good news. They come back over smiling, confident they will easily defeat the Cartwrights. They didnt have a clue who they were dealing with. Hi, Im Pete and this is Dom. You already know Ryan. Hi Pete, Dom; these are my sisters Justine and Jessica. So what is it? One game, winner takes all right? Julianne asks. One game, winner takes all. Ryan replies. The contest begins. The guys start off strong, easily besting the girls at the start. By mid game the girls huddle again. Yeah, were getting our butts handed to us out there! Says Justine. You know what; I think its time we show these boys who theyre messing with! Julianne declares.

Sis, can we? Asks Jessica. I said no using! We can beat them without. Ryan interrupts and says sarcastically. So would you ladies like to hand over the money now or. Pete and Dom chuckle to themselves. Julianne turns to her sisters. Lets wipe the floor with these guys! She turns back to the young men and says. Our turn boys! The girls make strike after strike and on the last frame, Julianne needs a strike to win the contest. She sets herself and takes off to throw the ball, but before she releases the ball Ryan holding his bowling ball drops it on the floor distracting Julianne. The ball is heading for the gutter. Julianne knowing what Ryan did was not an accident, uses her power; blinking her right eye. Suddenly the ball edges on the gutter and curves back in for a perfect strike. The girls celebrate. Whoo-oooo! Thats right suckers! You lose! Screams Jessica. Nice work. Justine says. Julianne walks over to the young men and says. Money please. You ladies got lucky. The boys walk away in defeat. The ladies pack up and head home.

Its Thursday afternoon the next day. Jessica is leaving the schools library. She has just finished studying for an upcoming exam in physics. As she reaches the bottom of the school steps, a late model two door mustang pulls up. Its Michelle, her boyfriend and a friend of his sitting in the back seat. Whats up girl, where you going? Says Michelle as if they had been friends for years. Hi, home. Why? Hop in, well take you home. Where do you live? Asks Michelle. I live on Chestnut Lane. Jessica replies. Good. Mike lives up that way too. You know Mike right? Michelle asks. You know what; Ill just take the bus Michelle interrupts and says as she opens the door. Nonsense! Jessica hesitates for a moment. Come on, why wait on the bus? Michelle asks. Jessica enters the vehicle and sits in the back seat alongside Mike. She is very uncomfortable. Mike looks a little too old to be a teenager and says to Jessica. Whats good girl? Oh, excuse my manners, this is Mike and you know my boyfriend Doug already. Hey! Have you got an outfit for tomorrow night? Michelle asks. Yeah, I have a Michelle interrupts. Wait until you see what I brought! Its so hot and so see through, right babes? Doug just smiles.

Im sure its nice.wait, Doug you were supposed to make a right back there. He does not respond. Dont worry, Doug knows a shortcut. Michelle says. But I have to be home by 6:30. Jessica replies. Jess! Chill honey; Doug knows what hes doing. Right babes? Michelle asks. Doug increases speed and as he does that, Jess sees a railroad crossing sign. Shes really beginning to worry and is now regretting getting into that car. The car is now traveling at 90 mph. Doug finally speaks. Dont worry girl, Ill get you home safe and sound. Doug, Michelle and Mike laugh. At this point no matter the cost, Jessica is determined to get out of that car. Trying to hide her fear Jessica says. You know guys, you can drop me off here, Ill call my sister and she will pick me up. No one responds. Doug jams the accelerator to the floor and as he does this, Jessica notices flashing lights up ahead. Its a signal for the train crossing. Jessica screams in a loud voice. Let me out now guys! I mean it Michelle! The others continue to laugh.

Doug reaches under his arm rest and activates the nitrous oxide boost system. The car is now doing about 140 mph. Jessica sees the train fast approaching and hears its horns blowing. Jessica shrieks in fear for her life. Suddenly, the nitrous oxide system fails and the car begins to slow down. Doug slams on the brakes but has too much momentum to stop in time. The car is headed for the crossing with the locomotive looming to meet them into what will cause total destruction. Jessica calms herself and begins to concentrate despite of all the chaos going on around her. The train despite the motorman also slamming on the brakes, slams into the car which splits in half and bursts into flames.

At the Cartwright home, Julianne and Justine are preparing for dinner. Wheres Jess? She should have been home 30 minutes ago. Julianne asks. Justine replies.Maybe the bus ran They both look toward the staircase at the same time and sprint up the stairs to Jessicas room. Back at the train/car wreck. The train obliterates the car. The locomotive comes to a full stop about half a mile from the intersection. The motorman jumps down from the train to take a look at the damage and destruction. Stupid kids! He says in anger.

Back at the Cartwright home. Julianne and Justine burst through Jessicas door. They are shocked to see Jessica kneeled on the floor. She teleported. Her clothes are smoldering from the car wreckage at the train crossing. She is coughing trying to get clean air into her lungs. The sisters rush to her side. Jess, Jess! What happened? Julianne screams and tells Justine to get her some water from the bathroom. Jessica coughing says. Ive shouldnt have got into that car.Michelle..Doug, theyre dead! She begins to cry. Whos dead? Jess, what are you talking about? Justine? Jessica takes the glass of water and drinks the whole thing. She is able to speak more clearly and says. Michelle and her friends were taking me home and I guess as a joke to scare me, they tried to beat a train at the crossing. It didnt work. Theyre all dead! Jessica begins to cry again. Justine comforts her. Julianne screams at her sister.Jess! Are you freakin kidding me! Why would you get into a car with those people! You know they dont like you! I dont know..I dont know! Jessica screams back. Juliannes eyes are watered now. Shes grateful that her sister is not hurt, but there may be another problem.

Julianne grabs Jessicas arm and asks. Did anyone see you get into that car? Because if thats the case we are in a world of trouble! I dont know, I dont think so. Jessica replies. How in the world could you do such a stupid thing? What am I always telling you? Both of you? If were not careful, the government will takes us away to be experimented on! Is that what you want? Jessica does not respond. Answer me! Julianne screams grabbing Jessicas arm again. Justine intervenes and says. Wait! Julianne calm down! Jessica is safe and no one saw her! Really Justine! Can you guarantee that? Theyre probably tracking us right now! Julianne exits the room slamming the door behind her. She needed to get some air before she lost control. Justine turns to Jessica and says. Are you good sis? Im good now. She replies. Good, lets get you out of these clothes and cleaned up. Dont worry about Juli, shell get over it soon enough.

At a top secret government facility in Virginia there is a large room with about 30 or more computer terminals manned by military personnel and at the front of this room, there is a 100X100 HD monitor displaying news and other bits of data for military eyes only. At the rear is a catwalk raised 20 feet above everything else and standing on that platform is General Maurice White, who is responsible for the militarys scientific experimental division. From one of the computer stations, Lieutenant Stevens speaks. General, sir I think Ive found something. The general makes his way down to the lieutenants station and as he approaches he says. What is it, Lieutenant? Sir, Ive been following up on a news report concerning some teens in a train wreck in Prince George County. I think this. Get to the point soldier! White commands. Sir, a witness says she saw a teenager get into a car with three other teens and about five minutes later that same car tried for some reason to beat a train at a crossing. The train destroyed the vehicle killing everyone inside. Stevens says. Why would I care about kids killing themselves Stevens? White asks. Sir, there were only three bodies recovered from the wreckage. I believe that we may have located one of the Cartwrights. The source is reliable sir.

Thats enough Lieutenant, youve got my attentionEverybody listen up, I want all eyes on this! I want surveillance and tactical on the Cartwrights.. Now! Move people! White says. Everyone starts to scramble. Someone get me Lieutenant Reynolds in my office in five minutes! Get it done! A few minutes later while the General is in his office, over the desk intercom his secretary Rose announces. Sir, a Lieutenant Reynolds is here to see you. Thank you Rose, send him in. White says. There is a knock at the door. General White responds. Come. Reynolds enters and the General says. Time to go to work son.

The sequel: Sisters II: Retribution

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