Chapter Thirty-Five

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We were stuck.

After realizing how everything I once knew was destroyed, it had suddenly also come to me that now Mace's friend was probably dead. We'd lost our best chance at reaching the Equator.

"We have to leave," Mace said as he knelt next to the decline into death. "We don't know when they bombed this...or if there's radiation left over...or anything. They could still be near, whoever did this."

The decision seemed to be unanimous. People began drifting back into the truck for the ride back home. I stood at the edge of the decline, and continued to stare out, even though I knew I had to go. We really did have to leave.

"Calestia?" Asten came up from behind me. He was looking at me with a concerned expression.

I turned to him slowly. "Yea...I'm good...we should...go," I whispered, before shoving my hands in my pockets and turning away. Asten continued to stand a couple feet away from where I'd been.

"Why do you think they did this?" he asked.

I sighed and shook my head. "I honestly don't know...I don't think there could be a good reason for it."

Asten just nodded, and dropped the conversation.

The wind picked up as I walked back towards the truck. Flakes of snow fell around me. I was ready to get back to a bed and sleep.

Just as I was about to reach the truck, though, I noticed somebody still immobile at the decline. It was Mace. He was holding something in his hands and seemed really concentrated.

I turned and walked back towards him. I knelt at his side, and realized it was a piece of paper. I knew something was up when he barely reacted to my presence.

"Mace...are we good to leave?" I asked. I was a bit concerned.

He shook his head suddenly and stood up, crumpling the piece of paper in his hand. "No. We can't leave now. They found us."

My eyes widened. He sounded insane. "Um...who exactly found us?"

"Grayson. My friend. He's watching." Mace had an odd expression on his face. I couldn't tell if he was excited or horrified.

"That doesn't explain much..."

"Our guide."

"Oh." The word escaped my lips. That meant our mission wasn't over just yet. If Mace was right...it'd only just begun. "How would he know we're here?"

Mace just shook his head. He turned around and suddenly chucked the paper far into the abyss of devastation. I watched it fly in a parabolic arc.

"That's what we're going to find out. Get in the truck. Tell Axel to drive southeast. We're going to find him."

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