Chapter 3: The Truth Is Clear

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    I stared at the plant. How could a plant kill me if I touched it? I’m starting to think that he escaped from a mental hospital. Why else would he be out here?

    “How could a plant kill me?”

    “You don’t know?” I cocked my head to the side, staring into his blue eyes questionably. 

    “The reason the Earth’s dying is because of that plant. It’s toxic. Deadly. You eat it. You die. You touch it, you fall ill. You don’t die at first. But your sick, almost on the brink of death. For weeks. Then you die. Too much of this plant is growing. Killing everything slowly”

    My mouth hung open. How could I have missed that? I stared at the plant. It was different from the other plants when I paid more attention. I should have been more careful. But this boy saved me. But I couldn’t just keep calling him boy.

    “Hey, what’s your name?” He lifted his head, the light making his brown hair look golden.

    “Jess. I’m sixteen, and your name is?”

    “Katlin. Fifteen,” I reached across and shook his hand, “And now your’re stuck with me.”


    Thirty miles later and only a drop of water and a crumb left, Jess and I made it to the base. I asked Jess why he was out there, he only answered as I did: to save the Earth. 

    “Katlin. What makes you think that we’d be able to make it into base 34? I mean, it is a base. High security?” I handed him my bottle of water, letting him drink the last of the water.

    “The Earth’s dying, the base is almost fifty miles away from civilization, and people are panicking. I don’t think that security is their top priority right now.” I glanced at him before placing my hands on the cold steel doors. With one shove, it flew open. I turned back to him and raised an eyebrow. Young grasshopper has much to learn. 

    A bell rang, followed by a voice coming from hidden speakers. 

“Welcome. Come in. My name is Dr. Dervling. If you have any problems, questions, or answers, please go to the first door on your right at the end of the hallway.” With a click, the announcement turned off. Jess whipped his head around and looked at me as if I had two heads.

    “Why couldn’t he just say, ‘Last door on your right’?” I sighed; I am so glad I don’t have two heads.

    “I don’t know Jess. Probably because he wants to be first. Wants to be number one. Come on. We have to figure something out. We don’t have all the time in the world to think about something like this.” 

    As we descended down the hallway, I noticed the names engraved over each door. They all belonged to the scientists who where creating a food that was meant to give you as much nutrition as two days of meals could. I Turned my gaze straight, leaning my head over near Jess. 

    “Have you realized these are all the scientists that where creating that nutritional plant?” He stared down at me and frowned, turning his gaze back up at the name plates. 

    “How do you know that?”

    “School. I’m home schooled, so my mother teaches me things I need to know. And I guess she thought this would be something I’d need to know.”

    “And it’s a good thing that she did, too.” Now I stared at him. 

What does he mean? As if reading my mind, he sighed and turned serious.

    “What I mean is the deadly plant we found. It was foreign. And do you personally know a plant that could kill you if your finger briefly touched it? No. Thes-”

    “These scientists are the cause. It was a prototype gone wrong.”


    “Then we should hurry up.”

   “We should.”

    We ran down the hallway that was between us and Dr. Dervling. When we reached the door, our fists immediately made contact with it. Barely letting in a second of silence. So loud, that we didn’t even hear footsteps or Dr. Dervling’s voice until the door opened and sent us flying in.

    “What the fruit?! What are children doing in the base?” I regained my composure and stared at him. He was young, probably only twenty or so, with hair that was thick and black. His eyes where dark, not dark enough to call black, but not light enough to call brown.

    “The Earth is dying.”

    “I know that, young lady. Everyone knows that. Is that all you had to tell me? Something I already know?” I swallowed, trying not to let him get to me. 

    “No. I want to know why.” He smirked at this. Why would he smirk? It was a reasonable question that deserved an answer. 

    “Now, if we knew. We would be able to fix it. Am I correct?” Jess nodded his head slowly, as if he wasn’t even here. I gave a slight jab to his rib cage. I will not be humiliated alone.

    “But. We have an idea. Would you like to hear it?” Without a reply, he turned around and strolled across the room.

    “How do they not know? We know.” Mouthed Jess calmly.

    “Not everyone has answers. Or puts the puzzle together. And most people refuse that they are in fact the cause.”