Chapter Eighty

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I couldn't tell how much time had passed since they'd left me in the cells with the others.

Immediately once the group of guards and Dr. Conway left, I tried talking to Mace across the border that separated us. It didn't work. He hadn't even heard me enough to turn his head and look in my direction. I would have gone as far as pounded against the glass, but it was pointless. Pounding against glass and screaming was no way to communicate.

I would have to deal with silence.

A couple of times I locked eyes with the other people locked up, but I only felt more uncomfortable. They seemed even more scared than I was.

The worst part of it all was the waiting.

I could feel myself becoming more and more anxious with each passing second. They didn't tell us why we were here. There was no explanation as to why we were all locked up. All we did know was that we all had managed to escape the training complex, and then were caught not long after. I was surprised we weren't already dead. She'd reasoned that she needed me for the notebook I just happened to pick up when I was at Claudia and John's house, but she wouldn't have much use of everyone else. They'd had no trouble killing people who they deemed a threat before, so why stop with us?

All of a sudden, the lights in the prison dimmed, indicating a change in time. I'd assumed it was already pretty late when I'd arrived, but I guess I'd overestimated. I wasn't sure what time it was, but I was positive this meant they were expecting us to sleep.

Like that was possible.

My thoughts were too turbulent to just lie down on the ground and allow my conscious to dissolve into dreams. Even if I wanted to, I knew I probably couldn't.

Slowly, a few of the others began closing their eyes and falling asleep. I sighed and leaned my back against the wall, waiting for morning to come. It would be a while.

And then I heard a peculiar noise.

It was the sound of someone knocking against glass.

I sat up immediately and looked towards the hallway. In the dim lighting, crouched a girl of about my age, looking at me with panic in her eyes. I got up immediately and walked over to the glass, completely confused. She had seemed to have come out of nowhere. And wouldn't the guards have seen her? I didn't even know who she was or how she got to my cell.

"Who are you?" I whispered, but I could tell my words didn't make it through the glass. Nothing would. Whoever she was had come pointlessly, because there was no way we were going to be able to talk or do whatever she had in mind. She shook her head back and forth frantically, her golden hair bobbing up and down. Her blue eyes screamed of urgency. She pointed at me, and then mouthed a word, and pointed at herself. I tried to read what she was mouthing, but it was already difficult to see her in the dim lighting. She repeated the gesture a couple more times until finally the word she was mouthing hit me.

Trust.

She wanted me to trust her.

I didn't even know her. I didn't know what she was doing. And I'd already had issues with trust in the past.

Before I could shake my head no, she slammed her palm against something on the outside of my cell, and the glass door slid open.

I stared at the sudden gaping opening in shock. She couldn't be letting me go? Right?

"We have to move fast," the girl said, her voice raspy and desperate. She seemed like she wanted to just turn and leave without even waiting for me to follow.

"What?" I asked, flustered by everything that was suddenly happening.

"Trust me. I'm a friend. I just need you to follow me before the guards return," she explained in as few words as possible. I glanced down the hallway towards where the guards had been guarding the prison door, only to find them gone. I wanted to know how she'd managed to do that.

A couple of the others were now awake. Mace looked at me through his glass cell with a puzzled expression. But if this girl was right and the guards were going to return soon, maybe it was the best thing to just listen to her. It was my only hope of escape.

I nodded at the other girl. She immediately began jogging down the hallway, and I quickly followed.

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I had no clue where she was going.

I followed her down a multitude of different halls and past large open doors, as she continued moving. As we went, I could tell we were moving upwards through the building. Some of the hallways were slanted, while others contained steps midway that we had to walk up. By the time she finally paused outside a metal door with labelled "Stairs", I was out of breath.

"Where are we...?" I started to ask, but she'd already opened the door and had started up the stairs.

I ran after her through the door. As I looked up, I saw the metal staircase ascending for much longer than I expected. I didn't understand what she was doing. It seemed almost like she wanted to get to the roof.

I wasn't wrong.

After struggling through what seemed like thousands of steps, the girl finally pushed open a metal door at the top, much like others we'd passed along the way. This one was different. As she pushed against it, the metal screeched. As the door swung open, a blast of cold air slammed against my face, and I winced against it. She walked out onto the open roof below, and despite everything that told me not to, I followed.

From here, I could see everything. Buildings glowed far below, their lights bright against the dark sky. Different colored neon light mixed in with the white, and I could hear the distant sounds of cars and soft chatter. The wind blew across my clothes as I walked closer to the edge, too amazed to even pay attention to the other girl. This was the Equator.

It looked like the world.

It looked like humanity before everything died.

"Be careful," the girl warned. I hadn't realized how close to the edge I was. If I took another three or four steps, I'd be walking off and falling into the wind-filled air to my death.

"Who are you?" I asked, as I suddenly turned around to look at her again. Her being there didn't make sense.

She wore jeans and a black sweatshirt. Her skin and clothes seemed barely dirty, and I knew that she must not have come from the outside. If she had, she wouldn't look nearly as nice as she did. Compared to me, she probably looked like the epitome of cleanliness.

"I came to tell you that your in danger," she said, as she walked closer to me. "We can catch up later. But right now we need a plan."

"A plan for what?"

"What do you think?" She raised an eyebrow at me.

"How am I supposed to trust that you actually want to help us escape, when I don't even know who you are?" I replied.

She crossed her arms. "Fair." For a moment, she didn't say a word, and I wondered if she'd leave it at that.

But she didn't.

"My name's Rosaline, but you can call me Rose. And I work with a group that wants to help your people."

"Why us?" I asked, genuinely curious. None of us were that important, and it didn't seem like we would be important to anyone.

A disturbed expression fell upon Rose's face. "Because we've tried to save people in the past and failed. And they're dead now."


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