Chapter Thirteen

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And unfamiliar sea of voices and beeping gadgets engulfed Rachel.

She could hear the loud, purring engine like waves crashing over one another. It was then that she realized they must be bringing her into an aircraft.

Bright lights seeped through the black fabric of her blindfold with no other purpose or need to be anywhere except to torturing her with the promise of things she couldn't see.

Rachel had never flown before. In her world, that was something only birds did-- and fear clutched her strong and harsh at being suspended so high in the air.

The sting of a needle forced her into being alert. Someone was standing beside her and was poking and prodding at her arm.

"Where am I?" Rachel demanded.

The other person continued to work over her silently. They slipped sticky squares onto her chest, side and over her legs and ankles. Then they proceeded to clamp something over her finger which resulted in a beeping sound that mirrored a heartbeat.

Without being able to see, Rachel had to rely on her other senses entirely.

Her fingers probed the cool, metal surface she was strapped down to but other than that there weren't any other clues.

"The least you could do is answer me," She reproached. Her hands -trapped as they were- would not allow her to reach up and strike her captor but they provided enough wiggle room to slip her hand into the pocket of her overly-baggy pants where she had stuffed a knife during her fight with Debra.

She fought off the urge to groan. Of course they had searched her and taken all of her weapons. These people were meticulous.

She knew it was pointless to ask but she couldn't help herself. "Where are my friends?" Silence was her reply and after a few minutes she noticed the other presence disappear from the room and she was left alone once more with only her raging thoughts for company.

What was going to happen to them now that they had been captured? She tried to picture herself as a marked one- not the fake mark that decorated her forehead but the real one, the one that would strip away her humanity and make everything about her that was good disappear.

With a pang, she wondered if she would very soon be looking into her brother's eyes. But would the eyes that stared back at her be cold and flat and nothing like the kind, green gaze that she was so used to?

Not for the first time that night, Ruth flitted through her mind, too. The last thing she had said to her mother had been so cruel ...so maybe it was just fitting that she should get marked. After all, each day that went by, Rachel could feel the compassionate parts of her slip away more and more, like leaves lost to the wind. Pretty soon, all that would be left of her would be something similar to the evil people surrounding her.

A slow, painful moan drew Rachel out of her thoughts.

"Who's there?" She asked while she fought to lift her head but found that her neck was strapped down as well.

"Maaaaan....that's some hard-core shit...stupid...old...fart...."

"Juan? Juan, is that you?" Rachel's voice was frantic and she listened hard to pinpoint where exactly the voice was coming from. Juan's groans floated down to her once more from a place somewhere above her.

"Juan, are you okay? Are Simone or Hector with you?"

"What?" Juan garbled. "Why would they be with me-what the?" Metal rattled above her and she could picture Juan thrashing in his retrains, making the metal slab he lay on shudder.

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