Twenty-Six: Confessions

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Day 63 of the epidemic: August 9, 2138

We ran as fast as we could last night, but it wasn't fast enough. Evan was shot and I remember everything else in bits. Cradling his blood-soaked body as the masses of Burned people ran towards us. Emma freeing herself but seizing control of herself long enough to stay by my side. The bright lights that suddenly flooded everything around me. Noise; so, so much noise. Gunfire, engines, shouting, screams of anguish from the Burning as they were gunned down in a massive slaughter. I remember steady hands grabbing hold of my arms before everything went black.

I remember waking up to the light beeping of a heart monitor, with Emma next to me. Free of the disease; her skin is clear and her speech full of life once again. I remember... oh, I remember Evan's limp body being carted away to the morgue, and I remember a scream of anguish tearing through my system. I remember Emma holding me in her frail arms and crying with me, but assuring me things will be okay.

Because of her book. Because of this God she now swears has saved us.

I still don't know what to make of that.

The people who saved us say they're members of a new organization of all the countries who united to find a cure for the Sear; they say that both North and South America have been desolated by the moisture bombs. Everything is little more than never-ending desert, victims of the Sear roaming wild. They're evacuating the survivors to wherever we are now.

There are survivors, though. People like us, who fought through this living hell and survived. Other countries were affected, too... Australia, Africa, a lot of Asia, parts of Europe... the whole world is affected by this disease and the bombs that tried to kill it.

But there's a cure. There's a cure, and on this island, we are safe.

E or ez x 4 . ru of ne ve se no, S or ze x 4 . ru of ow t

I nearly drop the book on the ground.

It's over. They found their cure, finally, and I wonder if it's the same one my father found. It has to be, right?

And the last sentence, the mess of letters and numbers. It's a coded message of some sort.

And then it hits me. Kyros. He knew, that jerk. I stand and take off running down the stairs, storming past Kara in my haze of shock and irritation.

My ghost is returning upstairs with his spoils from a fridge raid when I slam the book into his chest, sending a bag of chips, some cold pizza, a jar of peanut butter, and other miscellaneous items flying down the rest of the stairs.

"What. Does. It. Say?!" I hiss, my voice dangerously low. Kyros barely seems fazed by it, looking more concerned for my sanity than about what I'll do to him.

"I mean, I was pretty sure you could read, but if you need someone to teach you, I'm sure..."

"Not in the mood, Ky. You know what the coded sentence at the end is, don't you?" I hiss, but he doesn't reply. Instead, he grabs my wrists with three fingers on each hand, prying me away like a small child. I try to fight the anger swelling up inside me, but some of it slips out through a heavy huff of exasperation.

"Alright, little miss fury, why don't we go grab my snacks? We can talk once I have my food back," he grins, pointing finger guns at me jokingly as he starts to collect food off the floor. I merely stand there, shocked at his reaction and not really sure what to do about it. Two minutes and a crazy amount of food later, he places his hand on my back and leads me up the stairs, dumping the food on the floor of the hallway. He leans against the wall, popping open the bag of chips and motioning for me to sit across from him. I do, albeit grudgingly, and flip to the final page, where the weird letters I assume are coded are printed. I turn it and show him the page, but he doesn't even look down at it. Of course. He did know.

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