I run faster than I’ve ever run before. I have a good reason to. First, it’s my job to run for my life. Literally. I don’t get paid, but the reward of seeing another day tends to outweigh the consequences of not. Plus, it was Night’s idea to set this. Not to catch a Subzero, but to catch Gringget. Nevertheless, it’s a known rule that if you see a “survivor” as they like to call themselves, you run like Hell’s frozen over.
Because we all know that’s not going to happen as long as global warming plans on sticking around.
Just like we all know—or thought we knew—that Subzero’s would never reach Lynn City. That they were stay in that tiny little bubble that they’ve outlined around their little hole in the ground with their gadgets and gizmos and that they’d just leave us alone. They don’t like us, and we don’t like them. It’s as simple as that.
Anger pushes me faster, the ancestral hatred toward the bases and those who live there. Those who managed to get inside before the storms got so bad. I glare and push myself faster, adrenaline making it hard to focus on everything around me. I can hear the shouts of the others filtering through the hood of my sweatshirt. My hair brushes against my forehead; the red strands just long enough to reach the tips of my lashes.
They call themselves survivors. But they know nothing of what our people, those who were left on the surface, forgotten and left to suffer, were forced to endure, to adapt to. The people in the base are nothing but cowards. We adapted. We are the new image of the human race. They are relics of the old world, the way things were. We are changed, and we are proud. We are brave. We are the true survivors.
I barrel forward, leaping over a tall chain-link fence. Rust falls in my wake. Small orange flakes, like hot coals, float down to the pavement. My hands would burn on the rust if not for my gloves that just barely expose my dirty fingertips. The leather is smooth, cool and water like against my skin though I’m already drenched in sweat beneath the muted sun and heat from the greenhouse ozone above my head.
But still, I run.
I can hear the patter of footsteps behind me. I can still picture the shocked look on the boy’s face as he stared down at me for that one small breath. How it felt to have my hands barely touch his as I gripped this…thing. But there’s no way I can give it back now. It might be able to teach us something about Erebus, about the world we live in. He might have information on the burnings that have wreaked havoc on more than one city in the area recently.
If only Night can manage to figure it out.
I inhale sharply, my breath ripping at my insides as it starts. I grimace, trying to not let fear get the better of me. I try to keep the memories back of the days where the sky would go dark and fill with acrid smoke. How the sun would seem to blaze a vibrant red for days afterward. How the troops would force all of us from our homes, take away our parents, leave us to die on the streets if need be.
The one picture I allow myself to focus on is how Night’s eight-year-old arms wrapped around my shoulders when I was six. We stood on the street corner as the troops paraded through like they were the best things in the world. How they carted my mother and father away from me. How I tried not to sob as they disappeared into a bigger mass of people, trapped within the blockade.
It’s then that the sound starts. It’s low, gravely. It’s like a slow whirring, but there’s so much static, so much interference. I grimace and push forward, losing my grip on the panic. I whip around corners, leap over old bins, of sleeping mounds of fabric.
I have to get back to Night. I have to get back to the base. Before it’s too late. Before the storm hits.
Vaguely, I hear someone shout behind me.
“What is that noise?”
I swallow and throw myself around another corner, then another, and down a narrow side street. The buildings tower above, bent at odd angles.
Someone growls, and the footsteps of the Subzeros’ grow closer. I scowl and throw myself the last few feet, skidding on the pavement until my chin is at the base of a dark, black door.
I manage to knock twice before something grabs onto my ankle, and explosions start to pepper the air. I can see the flashes of light in the sky above me, with the eerie orange glow of fire.
|Evan williams||as Hammon|
|Atticus Dean Mitchel||as Night|
|Sara Paxton||as Nova|
|Ashley Greene||as Maya|
|Kellan Lutz||as Turk|
|Elle Fanning||as Ria|