Chapter Eighty-Two

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I was worried about our plan.

I knew that Rose had said that it had turned out okay in the past, but that didn't mean we definitely wouldn't have issues. To me, it seemed like a lot of it was just forcing our way out. My main method would have been to try sneaking out rather than just straight up confronting them. I knew I wasn't the best fighter.

Even so, I didn't have much else to hope for. Before she'd come, I'd practically given up.

Now we had a chance. A minimal one, but still a chance.

I was surprised by how easy it was going back down. The entire time, I was afraid someone would see us, but Rose seemed to know the way well enough, and knew how to get through the building without being caught. I wondered how many times she'd done this. She'd mentioned another group, but that was all. Judging by the way she was handling the situation, she seemed experienced enough.

But even more curious than her was the group she claimed to be a part of. It was hard to imagine people outside of the Equator so desperate to hurt the government here that they purposely try breaking prisoners out.

Even worse was the fact that she seemed incapable of totally explaining what was wrong. I understood most of it. But even so, she and her group were risking their lives. What could be worth that when life was already so precious in this world?

I re-entered my cage as we arrived back in the prison area. Mace looked at me questioningly, and I remembered the first part of the plan. Telling everyone else to fight back.

I didn't know how much time we had, but I worked as quickly as possible. Rose had said tomorrow, but without windows, I could not tell the time.

After about an hour, Mace and I were able to spread the word using gestures and mouthing. I realized belatedly that the place might probably have cameras. But since nothing bad had happened when Rose took me out, I assumed she'd taken care of that.

The prison area went silent as people began to fall asleep once more. We were satisfied with our plan. The only problem was that I couldn't sleep. I just knew I had to be fully awake whenever they came to get us.

Because I knew that that was when we could finally escape. Past simply getting out, I wasn't sure what we would do. We would obviously also have to somehow get out of the city, which I knew we were likely in the center of. That would be difficult. But after that...then we would be back in the snow. Although it seemed terrible, I knew I'd rather be able to be free out there than stuck imprisoned in the Equator for the rest of my life. Or at least until they did whatever Rose said. I'd rather be free in hell than chained in heaven.

It was funny how I had never really thought of the outside like that until now. I didn't miss it. I just knew it was the better option of the two.

In the building without windows outside, time felt like it dragged along. I had no sense of hours or minutes. I never really had until the training complex anyway, but it was still odd. It was as if each moment was absolutely timeless, and that there were infinite minutes ahead of me and behind me. It was intriguing to think about.

But at some point during those infinite minutes, I heard a door slam. At the same time, the dimmed lights of the prison area slowly grew in brightness, lighting up the different cells once more. The few people who had still been sleeping suddenly woke up due to the change, and I sat up straighter.

It was finally time.

I could already feel my heart beating quickly with anxiety. This would determine our future. I really just wanted to get out with everyone else. My focus wasn't a vendetta against the Equator as Rose's was, but to just be safe once more. That had always been my goal. Saving myself.

But now I had to save others, too.

And at that exact moment, I didn't mind it. Having other people to actually care about made me feel as though we had more of a chance. There was more safety in numbers.

Footsteps echoed from the staircase leading down into the prison, and then the door at the end slid open. I pushed myself off the ground and moved towards the glass to see how many there were. Four guards stood with guns, ready to take us to wherever. I knew they'd probably handcuff us so we couldn't attack them, but we'd prepared for that. One could still fight with their hands together, it would just take more effort and more people. But I believed we could do it.

And if anything, Rose was just outside waiting to come and help.

The guards began walking down the hall with a device in their hands, probably meant to be used in unlocking the doors. They reached Asten and the start of the Snow Society, and I expected them to stop and begin letting us out like Rose said they would.

But they didn't.

They kept walking.

As they got closer to me at the end of the prison, I felt pulse quicken. Already it wasn't going to plan. If everyone wasn't out of their cells, there was no way we'd be able to take down four guards. The advantage we'd had would have been in people. Without that, we were pretty much nothing.

The guards stopped suddenly directly next to my cell. For a second, they glanced at the figure in the cell across from me, but then they turned in my direction. The one with the device locked eyes with me.

And then my door was open.

I couldn't fight.

I couldn't do anything. I was alone.

Without retaliation on my part, the guards immediately cuffed my wrists and pulled me from my cell.

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