Chapter Eighty-Five

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Resistance was futile.

No matter how hard I tried to pull away from the guards, I couldn't get them to let go of me even a little bit. I was forced to my feet and pulled along the tiled floor towards a door near the side of the television screen. It was like the previous one I'd gone through, except I knew what was lying behind this door would be worse. Much worse.

If Dr. Conway wasn't lying...then that meant whatever they were about to do would have to be some kind of surgery. That scared the hell out of me. I couldn't even focus with the mere idea of that on my mind. Instead I struggled and told myself it wouldn't be that. It couldn't be that.

I despised hospitals.

They were always too clean and perfect, while simultaneously there to cut you open and solve all of your problems. And this wasn't even a hospital. It was an institution where I was about to most likely be put to death. That was the only explanation for what she'd said.

Now, Dr. Conway followed close behind us. I wondered if she'd ceased trusting me after my outburst. I didn't blame her.

The guards shoved me through the door and into a brightly lit room. It took my eye's a moment to adjust to the blinding glare. I didn't need any more confirmation than this.

The room had a white tiled floor with nearly completely white walls to match. The only addition were a couple bright red geometric lines running along the top of the room like vines. There was no black to go along with them. In the center was a covered metal reclining chair like one might see in a dentist's office. The only addition were multiple white straps, likely used for situations like mine. I forced myself not to look at anything else. I knew I saw a glint of metal, but my heart was already through the roof and I almost hoped I would die of a heart attack before they could do anything to me.

The guards dragged me towards the chair, and I resisted uselessly. The heels of my shoes skimmed against the hard ground, and there was nothing I could do. I wasn't powerful enough. He quickly snipped the zip-ties holding my wrists together, likely so I could actually get in the chair without trouble. It gave me some freedom, but I was still tightly held by the two nearest guards.

But then, as one of the guards holding me went to grab something I saw my chance. He wasn't paying attention and there was a knife on a small metal tray right next to me. How convenient.

I never realized just what desperation made people do until that moment.

My hand reached out and snatched the knife by its handhold, before I swung it around and directly into the other guards stomach. I saw him keel over and almost froze with the shock of what I'd just done. Warm blood covered my hand, and I immediately dropped the knife. I looked up and found Dr. Conway staring at me in horror.

And then I ran.

I ran to the easiest exit, the door we came out of.

But it was the wrong move.

In my haste, I hadn't been paying attention to the two other guards who stood very close to the door. The first stepped in front of me before I even made it to feet while the other grabbed me by my waist and shoved me backwards. I fell into the tray, and heard metal crashing to the ground. I could feel a sharp pain from the impact, but my adrenaline kept me going. All I could focus on was escape.

At that point, it seemed impossible. I had a minimal hope, but it became smaller and smaller, as I felt myself being pulled once more towards the chair. It was no longer a guard, but Dr. Conway. She shoved me into the chair with unbelievable force, and I knew I'd get a bruise if I survived this. If I survived. It was hard to think about not surviving. I couldn't allow myself to.

She pushed my legs up even as I tried to kick her away and started strapping me down. As I struggled, I briefly noticed the body of the man I'd stabbed. He was keeled over, with the blood pooling on the floor. To me, the view of him felt surreal.

That view ended as my head was slammed down into the back of the chair and Dr. Conway finished strapping me up. I couldn't stop my heart from racing anymore. I couldn't see anything but the white light above, a bad premonition for what was going to come. I wouldn't let it. I wouldn't let it happen.

I had no choice.

The only thing worse than dying, was having no control over it.

Conway appeared above my head again, this time her face just a black shadow. She held what looked like a mask in her hand with a line trailing off the back. They weren't doing whatever it was with me awake.

Which meant if she put that on me, I was dead.

I was dead anyway.

My thoughts, no matter how defiant, couldn't help but return to the same pattern. It was over this time. Everyone doesn't get happily ever afters, and I'd been fortunate enough to even survive this long.

But in the end, I'd be just another name of someone far forgotten. I'd be just another person killed...just another person who would disappear due to the Equator.

And as the mask began to fall towards my face, it suddenly hit me that this was really it.

That's when I felt myself relax.

I felt myself give up.

Give in.

If I were to die, it'd be peacefully.

I closed my eyes, allowing myself to suck in deep, steady breaths. The faint scent of the sedatives pierced the air around my face and my breathing staggered a bit. It was almost over...just a little more...

A door slammed open.

The mask that had been coming towards my face froze in mid-air. My eyes snapped open and I tilted my head upwards, looking towards the door. The hope that had been extinguished inside of me reignited like somebody had thrown a match on it.

Asten stood in the doorway, a gun in hand. I could see a couple other figures behind him. Rose must have succeeded. They must have figured it out. Even in the horrifying situation, I couldn't help but smile.

And then my smile was destroyed, by the one word that came from Asten's parted lips as he stared at Dr. Conway, his gray eyes widened as far as they seemed capable of going.


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