43 - Termination

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At times, I hate when my thoughts aren't protected; I don't always remember to guard them, but I suppose I should, especially with everything happening lately.

I wasn't particularly interested in going anywhere with Brink--especially alone where there are no cameras and no way out--but I let him take my hand and lead me to the Landing Zone again.

Once we reach the sparkling blue cave, he starts conversation with a question. "Is it strange that I feel better out here?" His voice echoes in the hollow space.

"Versus cramped up in the HQ? No. We probably just get a little stir crazy," I admit. "Why did you want to come out here?"

"I was headed out alone, but I figured I'd ask you to come along. Get you out of the white walls for a while."

I halfway smile. "The environmental change is certainly nice."

"Dare I ask how your ability is coming along?"

"It's coming," is all I say.

He dips his head. "Hmm...your meeting with Damon? How did that go?"

I smirk, but hurry to hide it. "It was wonderful. Ended up getting the information I was after."

Brink raises an eyebrow. "What kind of information? You could have just asked me."

Yeah, because Brink is always so open to talk about my concerns.

I'd never be able to disclose my thoughts of this corrupt place to him. He's a part of what makes it so horrible.

"If I thought you had the answers, I would've asked you. And stop trying to read my head."

He purses his lips. "Anyway, I did want to talk to you about something--Travis McCormack. I am terminating the investigation. Focusing on your power will be much more useful. From now on, someone else will be taking care of him," he says.

"But you haven't given me enough time to really—"

"You have been at it for days, and nothing of use has come about, so we are stopping it. There are more important things to worry about right now, Aurora. We need to get you fully trained."

His insertion of the words we is irritating. I always feel it's me against everyone else.

"I understand, but—"

"Stop. We are done talking about this. You have new priorities now. End of discussion. It is time to head back."

Training has been new for me. I've surpassed the level I've been on in my obstacle course and am given a new challenge that is impossible to complete. I can jog for miles now and ace my running tests every time. On occasion, I leisurely run around the entire training complex just to clear my head.

I've told Brink I want to opt out of combined training for some time until I am able to fully master my power. I don't give him a date in which I will start up again, but he approves. That's all that matters.

Brink advised me not to visit Travis again. His stern rule has lead me to believe things will end badly for Travis, but I don't think I can let that happen yet. If what Travis has said thus far to me has been the truth, I seek more answers from him.

If I'm going to uncover the corruption here from the inside out, Travis will be a good place to start. The day things went wrong on Earth seemed to be the jumpstart to all of this, and if he's truly from Earth, no one would know better about what happened than him. So whether visiting him is against Brink's little rule or not, I head over to the Holding Room in hopes Travis is still dangling from those shackles, alive.

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