Chapter Eighty-Nine

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Rose turned around anxiously towards the door, realizing what this could mean.

We hadn't been driving for long. I wasn't sure if we even managed to reach the streets of the Equator.

If we'd already been stopped, that was a bad sign. Then again, how could  we possibly have been stopped when it would seem physically impossible for the guards to have gotten into their vehicles and surrounded us in that short amount of time?

Someone began banging on the back door, and Rose reached into her pocket for her gun. She pulled it out and pointed it towards the closed back of the truck. I stood up along with a few others. We all waited in anticipation for Rose to open it.

In one smooth motion, she undid the lock and the door swung open.

A collective sigh of relief ran through all of us as Mace quickly hopped up into the truck, seeming flustered. He looked around at all of us gathered in a lopsided rectangle. "The truck broke. Something happened. I don't know...," he murmured.

A few seconds later, the truck driver, a tall, dark-skinned boy, appeared in the opened doorway. He was a part of Rose's group. "Yea, he's right. It's odd...it's like somebody rigged the truck."

"Who could've rigged the truck?! You realize we're the only ones who've touched it," Rose argued, as she threw a paranoid glance back towards the building which was farther away than expected.

"It doesn't matter. If the truck's broken, we have to move," Asten butted in. He jumped out of the back of the truck and stood there with his arms crossed. I sighed, knowing he was right. I jumped out after him and then held out a hand to help January down behind me.

She smiled at me as she took it, but I could still see worry in her eyes. "Thanks," she said. I nodded at her in response.

I didn't understand how we could possibly make it now.

We would be on foot, while the guards would definitely have guns and trucks. They'd be here any second. I tried to ignore how hopeless our situation was. We just had to run. Maybe we could make it.

But by the looks on everyone's faces, I was pretty sure we all knew that we couldn't.

We began to sprint anyway towards the edge of the pavement. There was a short drop before the beginning of the actual city. I could hear a distant honking from the streets. We were too far out. There was no way we'd ever get there in time.

I was right.

In a few seconds I heard the engines of trucks coming up behind us, before I saw the first one swerve to a stop right in front of where we were walking. I froze as another two stopped next to it and a bunch of guards poured out the back. They all held guns. Finally, after everyone else was out, the last door opened and Dr. Conway stepped down onto the pavement, her gray eyes seemingly lifeless without a hint of anger. She just seemed tired of us and the trouble we caused her.

I guess I hadn't hit her hard enough with that tray.

All of it felt like a dream. I wasn't sure I could muster energy to fight back against them. It felt as if a bit of the anesthetic had accidentally gotten into my bloodstream, even though I knew that was impossible. My body wanted me to give up. It would be much easier to let whatever happen happen.

Of course, I wasn't the only one in this fight. If I gave up, it meant nothing. Everyone else would have to, too.

I wasn't sure who struck first. At the edge of our group, Jadyn and one of the guards had already been standing so close that it could have been either of them. But knowing Jadyn...I had no doubt it was her. I only caught her slamming her fist into the side of the guard's face as the he tried shoving her to the ground.

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