Chapter 31

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The boots grow closer, echoing through the hallways of Zephyrus' ship

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The boots grow closer, echoing through the hallways of Zephyrus' ship. Mika takes my head and pulls me into his fast pace. We run back towards the atrium and continue on into the maze of hallways created on this ship.

He better know where he's taking us because I have no idea where we're going. Every turn we make it all looks the same. From the white, faux wooden doors to the ship's ventilation to no numbers or maps for any directional guidance. There's no way you can teleport around this ship without getting lost.

It feels like we'll be stuck here forever.

We turn down another hallway and then another. The sounds of boots echo further away, sometimes popping up in random places, others vanishing without a trace. I still can't sense them and I understand why. Being robots, they don't run on the same energy we do. They have their own special fuel, making it impossible for me to locate them.

The longer we run, the more my confidence fades. This time Mika opens a random white door, which turns out to be not so random. There are metal stairs leading up and down. We go up, when personally, I would have gone down.

When we reach the top, he presses his ear to the door and waits. Hundreds of boots tap off the distance, but it sounds like they're getting further away.

Another quake bursts through the ship. We go colliding into the wall. The door locks automatically as small trembles creep around us. We catch our breaths.

"How do you know your way around this ship? Have you been on here before?" I ask.

He doesn't stop nor looks at me as he types in a code. The door miraculously unlocks. "No, I haven't and I don't plan on ever coming back."

Mika speaks the truth, but then how does he know the code to get out? How does he know this ship's layout? And why couldn't he have done this earlier?

I squeeze his hand more as we run out into the hallway and find the same identical doors and interior even on this upper level. I can't let myself be suspicious right now, I know I need to concentrate on getting off this ship, but the question comes out of my mouth, anyway. "How did you escape the beach?"

His steps falter, but he doesn't stop running. "I set up a scope in the bathroom using koto. It's like a camera where only my eyes could see what is happening." We turn down another hallway. "When I saw you step through the wall, I knew exactly where to go."

We come to what looks like a laboratory with large opaque doors, the only thing different on this floor so far. And no monitor. We can't use a code to get in this time.

"The pod came automatically after I pried the door open." He lets me go.

"But apparently the living room wall didn't," I remark.

A smirk crosses his face as he flexes his fingers.

With tight fists, Mika's arm goes back and rams into the glass door. It cracks, huge spider web lines spread from the center out. I step back in time for the second hit. Large chunks of glass shatter onto the floor, small pieces cut his cheeks and hand, while my arms barely receive damage as they shield my face. It should have taken one hit with his super strength, which means he's used too much energy already.

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