Chapter Three

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Lucy had frozen still from the shock of the situation, her eyes glued on the window that was in her direct line of sight after one of the cleaning bots jammed it open to facilitate the rush of motion. Now that she could take in the details of the outside, she realized there was a mirrored lake probably a short walk away. She wanted to run to it, dive in, and hope to never surface again.

"Damn, these thoughts!" Lucy cursed to herself. She felt defeated and helpless. She felt lost and afraid. She felt so alone, like she'd lost the most precious thing in her life, and even surrounded by complete disarray, she couldn't motivate her body and mind to do anything to help herself.

"Hey, lava cake!" the husky woman from earlier called to her, the thruster noise finally abating. Lucy turned to look at her, taking note of two other women heading her direction with the larger one. Still in shock and unable to respond, she continued to simply stare.

"We're bustin' outta this tin can!" the woman continued, approaching her quickly. "Look, darlin', I don't know what you did on the outside, but we all ain't deserve this. We got a moment here – you interested?"

"I...um," Lucy hesitated, her head suddenly dizzy.

"Oh, shit, Bess," one of the other girls exclaimed, tossing her long, blonde hair to the side as she put her face close to Lucy's. "She's all messed up on downer meds!"

The girl with black hair cropped close to her head chimed in. "You think we should get her to the nurse station?"

"With what time?" the one named Bess barked back.

"She'll be fine once this crap is out of her system. I've OD'd on it to get out of some shit before," the blonde answered.

The group decided to scoop Lucy up and drag her to wherever they were headed. The other gangs had finished their meals before the ship came and were taking free time in the large court with a clear dome overhead referred to as the "Golden Beyond". She assumed her being the only one left in the hall was what volunteered her for their escape plan.

They shuffle-ran over to the janitorial room together, but then quickly took note of the scene presented in the window. The ship they'd heard overhead had landed next to the glassy lake across from the facility, but its mere presence wasn't the distraction. It was the ship's owner.

"What in the world is he doing here?" Jiada exclaimed, then explained to the others how the ship had particular markings only found on the transport owned by Sebastian Galian, the Prime Minister's son.

"Looks like your hot intel was wrong," the black haired one taunted. "The father is not the son, dear."

"Shut up, Jessie. This is drama, babes. Daddy is on his way, but the boy got here first."

"I dun give a rip about some imperial ass-hattery drama," Bess huffed. "There ain't no way we can stow in the cargo of that flying cereal box. My rear end alone'll reach the cockpit."

"Let me burn some of that flesh off for you, Bessie," Jessie quipped with a cocky smirk.

Lucy mumbled, her stomach lurching with their motions. She scanned the room they were in for a container to empty its partially digested contents. Then, a flash of moving silver caught her eye right as Bess swore at the sight of it. One of the advanced cyborgs had spotted their escape attempt and rushed to subdue them.

They all scrambled to head in the opposite direction, but Lucy couldn't keep up and begged them to leave her. Only Bess hesitated to acquiesce, but eventually she found herself at the mercy of their pursuer as the others sought a new exit.  

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