I stand slowly, staring at the black screen.
How do I even deal with everything I've just learned?
The lock clicks behind me, and with a rush of air the door slides open. Spinning around, I come face to face with Hartley, who has a gun pressed to Isaac's temple.
"Hello, precious," Hartley says, smiling, "Have you finished watching your movie?" I don't answer, stepping backwards towards the glass door. "It's a rhetorical question. I know you finished. Isaac and I were watching from the next room."
Isaac is still, his chest barely moving as he grits his teeth. Even from here I can see his jaw clenching. His hands are held behind him by Hartley. The man must've snuck up on him, because I can't see Isaac being cornered into this situation.
The door shuts behind them.
I feel around behind me, the cool glass of the door meeting my open palm. My hands move down, and I find the keypad.
"Now that you know what happens to people who fight back," Hartley says, pressing the gun into Isaac's skull, "It's time to meet your consequences."
He pulls the gun away from Isaac, pointing it towards me.
"Any last words?"
My fingers are poised on the keypad, feeling the outline of the numbers behind my back.
It was Mandy's birthday last time. It won't be the same number.
Taking into account what I just learned, maybe my father is still on my side. I can see those cuffs on his hands still, hear the desperation in his voice as he tries to convince me that there was no other option. He gave us the cure to protect us. The virus wasn't his decision. He was forced into making it.
Maybe he's still trying to help me, in his own way.
"Yeah, Hartley, I do," I say, biting my lip. Hartley raises his eyebrows, nodding. "When's my birthday?"
A look of confusion crosses his face, and my fingers are already typing the date in.
"How in the world would I know that?" he asks, scowling at me.
I look at Isaac, who looks just as confused.
Neither of them know it. That means, if I'm right about the code, they can't get in behind me.
"You don't need to know," I mutter, pressing the last key.
The lock clicks behind me, and I turn the handle, ducking into the room as Hartley fires, the bullet hitting the door frame when I slam the door behind me. Hartley tosses Isaac to the ground, running to the door. He shakes the handle violently, his face turning red in anger. Slamming his fists against the glass, he glares at me.
"What's the code?" he asks, voice muffled through the glass.
"When's my birthday?" I reply, smirking.
"I don't know!"
"That's the code."
He explodes, hitting the glass with his fists. In fury, he turns on Isaac, pointing the gun towards him.
"When's her birthday, Montez?" he shouts, and I press both hands against the glass.
"I don't know," Isaac says, his voice cracking. His eyes dart between me and the gun, fear in them. It's the same sort of fear I saw the night in the basement, and I begin to feel sick.
"You're telling me you have no idea?"
Isaac shakes his head violently, strands of hair falling out of his bun.
YOU ARE READING
"I live in a place called Compound 4. We are one of ten different compounds placed at strategic locations around the US. It's been thirteen years since the virus overtook humanity, turning about ninety percent of us into zombies. I'm not sure how it...