19 - Sector A

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All I hear is my feet shuffling along the floor as I creep deeper into the L-shaped room. A charcoal black desk with a glimmering teal pattern on its front emerges into view on my right, serving as a heavy contrast to the all-white room.

Sitting behind the desk is a guy with a matching suit—black with turquoise stitching, which subtly smolders as if electricity pulses through the fabric. It looks like if I were to touch the blue, my fingers would sizzle to bits.

Maybe I'm getting him mixed up with the others, but something about this guy is familiar. Unlike the others, he has his own look—a more squared-off jaw, a wider nose, and slightly bigger eyes. His ears don't perk out as far as the others' do either. Plus, his hair is black. Jet black, with a thick highlight of teal streaking across the left side of his head.

He tilts his face up at my arrival and his blazing blue eyes stare at me, waiting. The more I stare back, the more I feel like I know him.

Wait.

I do.

He participated in my capture. He was the one from the cornfield who tackled me to the ground. The one who took me hostage and dragged me to this foreign place. He stole me from Travis and Katie. He has answers. And he's guilty as sin.

"Sit," the guy commands in a deep, level voice. He gestures to the chair in front of the desk, but its thin metal frame looks anything but appealing.

"What is this place?" I blurt out. He knows exactly where we are.

The guy raises an eyebrow at my disobedience and says, "Unfortunately, I can't release that information to you." His eyes shift before adding a half-hearted, "Sorry."

"What is that supposed to mean?" I question venomously and cross my arms. "Why can't you tell me?"

He shakes his head. "I just can't."

My lips press harder together the more irritated I become. "I know who you are."

The guy drags his eyebrows down toward his nose. "You do?"

"You took me, so I know you know what's going on. Don't play dumb. I'm not buying it."

He clears his throat, but doesn't verbally respond.

"Where is this place? Why am I here?" I try again.

The guy stands and hits his hand against a button near him, releasing the vents above, and points at my mouthpiece. "You can take that off," he says, fully ignoring my questions.

So I ignore him back.

He rolls his eyes when I don't remove the breathing device and begins to orbit me like a moon around a planet. Maybe he's assessing me. Analyzing my brain functionality. My health. What if he's a doctor?

No. He's definitely too young. Maybe just a year or two older than me.

He crosses his legs and arms formally as he leans against the edge of the desk. Not a doctor, but certainly not a robot, like the others. He's human. I'm positive.

"Aurora Mayfield, the newest and final addition," he announces, smacking his lips. "Welcome to the club."

My frown sinks deeper at his mention of my name and at the term "addition." "How do you all know my name? Medical record? I didn't have any ID on me. Did you run my bloos through some system? Did you draw my blood?"

The least he can do is answer that.

He holds up a finger, the way a genius would when deciphering a complex math problem, and says, "Everyone in this compound knows who you are, though the bots just distinguish you by your numerical identification. You see, we all have microchips, which are constantly being updated," he explains, using his hands.

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