No one notices us when we slide into the crowded Warehouse, leaving behind the Entry Hall tunnel. I detach my hand from Matthew's and stride briskly towards Grace Ward's apartment, feet pounding the dark stone underfoot.
"What do you think you're doing?" He hisses as he struggles to keep up with me, dodging the nighttime crowd. People scowl at us as we breeze past them.
"I'm going to talk to Leah's grandmother. She basically runs the place. Maybe we can warn her about what's going to happen, and she can come up with some sort of a solution." I reach her front door and turn to face Matthew, arms adamantly folded across my chest.
"And how do we explain the fact that we know this stuff in the first place? 'We were just walking through a tunnel when, suddenly, it hit us'? She'd either think we were crazy or trying to scare her."
"I suppose I should just tell her the truth. It's not like you have to come along with me."
I stare into his stubborn, warm eyes for a long time.
I want to tell him. I want to tell him that I like him, and I want us to be closer, and he makes me feel braver than I've ever felt... But I can't. Not now, anyways.
"I'm going," I mutter. "Join me if you wish." I turn around and knock on the door.
* * *
"What?" Grace splutters, her already-pale face turning a more diluted shade of white. The light reflected off of her steepled glass ceiling paints distorted, watery shapes over all of us.
"I know it sounds crazy, but you have to believe us," I beg. Matthew clears his throat. He leans against the wall behind the couch I sit on.
"How do you know this information?" Grace whispers. Her voice is weak. She doesn't seem as urgent or scared as I think she should be. But she does seem alarmed.
"We followed Luke to the Pillar and listened in on some sort of elitist convention," Matthew replies, his tone no-nonsense. "Like we said, he was caught sneaking out of the Depot without permission."
"You mustn't tell anyone," she whispers tersely.
"Why not? We should warn people!" I raise my voice. "That's why we came to you!"
Grace stares at her knees for a long time, then raises her head and looks at me directly. Her eyes are so clear that I forget about her age.
"I already knew about the attack plans. I already knew that our location was discovered. But I did not know about the second entrance." I blanch.
"Hold on," Matthew growls, slowly advancing towards her. "Are you telling me that you knew all of this and chose not to do anything about it? Are you insane?"
I've never heard him so upset before.
"Of course I've done something about it!" She retorts, regaining a haughty attitude. "Why do you think I decided to create the Training Facility in the first place? Tell me, what kind of 'missions' do you think we are really training for? This has been a long time coming, and you are both fools if you really believe that our resistance would never be caught eventually."
Anger and fear brew in my chest, and I can't decide which is stronger. I choose anger.
"You liar!" I shout. "They have us wrapped around their finger: everything we do, including your precious training program, is going according to their plan. They want you to think you're in control!"
"If you call anyone a liar, Ms. Price, it should be your mother," Grace says quietly. Suddenly the heat disappears from my anger, replaced by bitter realization.
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Unplugged: The New World (#1, Unplugged Trilogy)Science Fiction
Choose to Rebel. RScreens (Reality Screens) are all the rage in America's future, just a few years after the climax of World War III. They were invented for sport, convenience, and -- most importantly -- surveillance. Enna Price, an 18-year...