Chapter Ninety-One

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We managed to close the doors before slamming through the fence that surrounded the platform with ease. We were lucky; most of the guards had been positioned elsewhere because they'd never expected us to get this far. We were finally actually driving away from the Equator, through it's streets and hopefully out and back to the wilderness.

Somehow, we'd made it.

Rose stood in the corner talking excitedly with the boy who'd stood in the back of the truck, now that I wasn't so distracted by the thought of dying, I took in that he had dark hair and glasses, and had a nice face. I guess it didn't matter how his face looked - anyone could betray you in an instant. I decided not to worry about that for the moment.

I was too depleted from one betrayal to deal with distrust at the moment.

January sat next to me, hugging her knees to her chest once more. Her eyes were red and it looked like she'd been crying. I remembered one of the first times I'd seen her, when she'd seemed almost to like Mace. She'd been with him the longest out of all of us here.

"Are you okay?" The question sounded stupid to ask, since obviously none of us were at the moment.

"I just...wasn't expecting that from him. He'd seemed so normal...," she murmured, trying to make herself seem less sad than she looked.

Hearing our conversation, the boy who'd been talking to Rose suddenly looked up. "They all do. Don't worry. The feelings will pass." His word seemed like they were trying to be reassuring, but it didn't seem to work well with January. He walked towards us and knelt down next to her, before pressing his palm against her knee. "I know what it's like. A lot of us do, from where we're from."

"What do you mean?" I asked, interested in who exactly I'd aligned myself with. I only knew a bit about this group, and that definitely wasn't enough.

"You're not the only group they did this, too. Of course, not all of our groups were fortunate enough to have a doctor's son in it," he commented, while glancing over at Asten who was apparently sleeping against the wall of the truck. There was some sort of distrust in the boy's voice at the label he gave Asten. "But most of us were lured in by trusting another person about our age, until that person called in the Equator to take us all down there by helicopter."

I was still missing part of the story. "Why us? Why do they need teenagers so badly?" I felt bad asking so many questions, when I knew the boy was probably just as tired as we were.

"Because they believe we are the most trusting. It's why...these teens they sent out were also worried to kill any adults remaining. To the Equator, the adults are useless. You won't see many people above eighteen roaming the forest like all of us were. The only ones you might find are with gangs, because they work together and are strong enough. They're too hard to kill. But please, get some rest. You can save most of your questions for when we arrive. And by the way, I'm Dennis, just so you have something to call me by..."

I nodded and leaned against the metal truck wall, ready to listen to what he said. I was unbelievably tired out from everything that had happened. But as Dennis started to get up, another important question hit me. I doubted anywhere in the snow would be safe now that we knew the Equator was monitoring it. Even more importantly, I couldn't help but wonder how in the world they managed to keep themselves hidden for however long it had been.

"Wait...Dennis...can I ask one more thing?" He was patient enough to actually turn around and raise his eyebrows, allowing me to get on with asking whatever it was that I needed to ask. "Where exactly is your camp?"

He tilted his head to the side for a minute, considering how he could answer my question. "Most of this continent is covered with snow or nearly uninhabitable. But some places aren't as bad as others. We managed to find one of these...few places. It's nice actually...people used to hate its weather, but now, it's a safe haven..."

I waited patiently for his response. Even as he began to form the words, I already knew what he would say. It was something that hadn't hit me. A beautiful idea, that I'd never even considered, and now that I did, I realized that there could be a future for me. There was a possibility of not having to spend my days, suffering while desperately trying to survive in the frozen wasteland the Equator had laid out for us all to die in. There was finally a hope.

"The desert."

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