[42] Sage

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We are preparing to fight.

I stretch my muscles, getting in the right mindset for battle. Carefully, I look around me, assess the situation.

These tables will make fighting difficult, broken up, but on the other hand, their edges and corners could be good weapons. Maybe not lethal, due to the hardness of the Albinos' skin, but they would sure pack some punch.

I glance at our uneaten meals next.

Our plates could be used as weapons against us, unless we use them first.

I cross the room, grab the dishes, shake the food off of them, and bring them to Jake. He is cracking his knuckles and rolling his head on his shoulders, making his neck pop.

"Ready?" I ask.

"Are we sure they're going to fight us?" Jake asks.

"Yes." There is no question about it. If we don't participate in their final Trial after making it this far, the Albinos aren't going to just shrug it off and send us home. So far, we've cooperated. But now that they've killed Deirdre...now that Jake's life is on the line...

"So what happens if we somehow manage to overpower them?" Jake asks.

"Their technology is so advanced that we could probably find something to...to teleport us home or something crazy like that."

"But there's nothing left for us there."

This gave me pause. What were we going to do if we somehow defeated the Albinos? We couldn't just return to our home planet. We'd be locked back up, questioned about what happened to the spaceship and the rest of the passengers. And then there would be no guarantee that our story about aliens would be believed - in fact, it was incredibly unlikely. I was certifiably insane, after all, and Jake was a convicted criminal.

"Maybe they know other alien worlds. Places that could support our kind of life. After all, if there was one other habitable planet, there have to be more. We could go to one of them."

"So your plan is to miraculously defeat the Albinos and then live on an alien world for the rest of our days?"

"Do you have a better idea?" I snap irritably.

"No, I actually love that plan. Always wanted to get out. See the worlds." Jake grins at me and I smile back softly, glad that he's fully on board.

"But what about their skin?" I suddenly muse out loud, realizing we have to consider our biggest problem.

"Xavier used his wholly intact metal leg. Everyone else who's touched them have used their bare hands. Maybe they won't be so oblivious to shards of pottery." Jake grabs one of the plates and snaps it in half. He hands me one of the jagged pieces. I adjust it in my hand and do a few test swipes to see how I can grip it best. To test the sharpness of the jagged side, I draw it lightly along my finger. Bright red blood wells up and I grin.


And then there is nothing to do but wait.

Silent, tense minutes tick by.

"What if they're not coming?"

"You mean what if they've actually given up on us?"

"Yeah. Maybe we should go look around a little bit."

"No! That's an awful idea!"


"There are probably countless other secret doors that we still don't know about. They could jump out at us from anywhere, at any time."

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