Chapter 19

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The morning birds chirp outside the window and the night dwells amongst the winter frost

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The morning birds chirp outside the window and the night dwells amongst the winter frost. My phone shouts on the nightstand, dances across the wood with pulsating vibrations. The techno music is so loud it could wake the dead. It's time.

After dismissing the alarm, I finish slipping my running boots, stretch my fingers through the gloves. They self-tighten to my worn through pants and tired calves, instantly drowning out the cool air of the room.

I couldn't sleep a wink last night. My mind wouldn't stop racing, conjuring all the things that could go wrong. Then knowing I will have my birth record in my hands at last. I'll finally know where I come from—find out if I'm a god. I'll finally fix myself.

I snatch the Bō off the bed and walk out. The hallway light illuminates the off-gray walls and the stifling air that consumes the cold basement. It's still dark outside but the sun should rise within the passing minutes. The end of the witching hour is near.

There's a click and then a shut. When I glance back, Mika's coming out of the room across the hall. Out of all the guys in this household, they just had to put him across from me. It's a bit annoying, but I won't let this ruin today. For once, I'm actually happy to see the brat.

Mika hesitantly draws closer, floor creaking with each step. "Oh, it's just you," he says, his voice low and drawn out from sleep. He rubs his eyes. "Where are the others?"

"Out here. Waiting on you guys." Gio pokes his head around the corner of the living room wall. I'm surprised he's so wide awake, considering he's a deep sleeper.

Sure enough, Gio and Sam stand by the living room window, dressed in their uniforms—a knapsack in Gio's hand. They've strapped their weapons on, Sam's back and Gio's waist. Mika hits the wall with his double blades when he turns the corner. Everyone flinches. This guy really is accident prone.

"I thought the crack of dawn meant when the sun comes up," he whispers behind me.

"It does," I say, which makes me wonder how long they've been out here and why.

There's no time to dwell on such things. I take out my phone and surf through my picture folders until I find the right one. The screens light burns my retinas, exposing their tired faces as they pass the phone around and memorize our first destination.

"Teleport here and we'll go over the plan then. And be careful where you step. The buildings rickety and I'm not sure how much has changed since then," I whisper.

Pausing, I go back and forth in my head once more, what I've been doing all night. Maybe I shouldn't be asking them to help. It could be too dangerous.

I shake away the thoughts and slip my phone back in my pocket.

The instant I take Gio's shoulder we leave the basement and arrive under a storm moving and twisting all around us. The cloudy sky roars and cries under thick afternoon air. Mist chills my face, curls a loose piece of hair until it's completely frizzed. Exactly why I put my hair up in a bun.

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