Chapter twenty-four

[Blake’s POV]

The blue flames that swirled around in my palm gave an eerie glow to the room Helena and I fell into. It was obvious that no one had set foot in this hidden room for years if the dust had anything to say. There was an old peeling leather sofa pushed into the far corner, it looked well used despite not having been touched for years. A dusty, old dartboard was nailed to the wall and an old box television that still had bent antennas sticking up from the top sat across the sofa. In the centre of the room was a large and scratched up wooden table with several chairs scattered around, some turned over and many books thrown across the table top.

All in all, the hidden room looked safe and seemed as though it was just a room that used to be a place for some students to relax in. Although from the look of most of the equipment it was quite some time ago that the last student relaxed here. Another groan from Helena shook me out of my reverie and I quickly bent down to help her up slowly.

“Geez, Helena, are you alright?”

She held a hand to her dark mahogany hair and I couldn’t help notice the blood that was slowly spreading out. She groaned and finally focused her eyes before answering, “I’m okay... where the heck are we?”

“I have no idea... it looks like some sort of hidden hang out” I answered uncertainly. I watched as she began to walk around, sliding her hand over the television and the sofa before stopping at the table. The smell of dust and mildew was strong and I noticed there weren’t even any windows to clear the air out. The mildew reminded me too much of the caves below the campus and I began to panic. I needed to get out, I felt too trapped in the small room but tried to hide it from Helena. Instead I walked over to the table with her and watched as she flipped through a notebook.

“Anything interesting for some light reading?” I joked.

A small smile tugged at her lips but she continued to flip through the notebooks. “These look like normal text books. This one was for a history lesson, see? And this one was for Combat... it looked like this person had taken down notes afterwards” she pointed out the diagrams sketched with small notes pointing to certain drawings. “And this one...”

Helena’s voice faded off and I waited for her to finish. When she didn’t I walked over next to her and looked down at the notebook she was flipping through. “What’s that? Naughty drawings?” I chuckled at the pathetic joke.

“Blake... this is a notebook for a Skills class”

I paused and frowned. I didn’t understand the reason why she was acting strange. “Okay... a Skills class. So what?”

“It’s a Skills class for Stingers...” She quickly grabbed another book and flipped through it as well. “This one is for a Stinger Tutorial class” She began to scramble at the notebooks and flip through each one quickly while her eyes darted from one page to the page, widening with every flick of old paper. Suddenly she dropped the books and stepped back while her brown eyes darted around the room again. I followed where she looked, unable to see what was frightening her, and began to notice other little things I hadn’t noticed before.

A map of the world with a second map to the side that was an enlarged area with the campus set in the middle. Red pins marked random spots on the maps, the majority of them concentrated on the map with the campus on it. There were tattered scraps of paper below the dartboard that were obviously several different photos at one stage and other little things around the room that were either odd or made it feel a less ‘safe’ than I had originally thought.

“Blake... I think this used to be a place where the old Stingers who studied here hung out. It has to be” Helena whispered.

“I think you’re right” I whispered back. I wasn’t sure why we were whispering but it just suddenly felt as though we were disturbing a place that we had no right to disturb, like walking through someone else’s grave in a cemetery. “We need to find a way out Helena... I really need to get out of here”

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