Chapter 8

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Cynthia awoke to stand in front of the building. She didn't remember hitting the ground. Her hands had no blood on them, and the pain was gone. It was as though she never entered the building, but she didn't have her earpiece. She approached the building and saw it on the floor, right where she left it. She picked up the earpiece and put it in. "They're going to kill me?" Cynthia yelled. "I told you they would, and this isn't one of your fairy tales. You won't have some last minute heroic escape. You'll have to outsmart and fight your way through just like in my world. Welcome back," Johnny responded. Johnny was so calm, Cynthia almost forgot what she learned. Could it be that he was Samson? I need to wait until I can confront him, Cynthia thought.

"What is it, you look like your in deep thought?" Johnny asked. "I can't believe I just died! Now I'm here like nothing ever happened!" Cynthia screamed, drawing the attention of the guards. "You'll die again if you don't grab your gun," Johnny responded, he held no remorse. Why would he, he's a robot, Cynthia thought. The front doors opened. "Excuse me miss, this is private property," the polite guard said. The guard was much bigger than her and much bigger than Johnny. There was no way she was taking him head-on. "Sorry miss, this place is off limits to civilians," the guard said, this time hinting that she had to leave. "I'm not a civilian, it's my first day," Cynthia answered. "Not bad," Johnny said. "Welcome, can I see your credentials miss....?" The guard said as he motioned her into the building. "Miss Hansen," Cynthia answered.

Just as the teapot appeared on Caroly'ns desk, Cynthia pulled an ID card out of her pocket. "Here you go," She said. "I see someone learned some new tricks," Johnny said. She almost threw out her earpiece, but she didn't want to seem suspicious. The last thing she wanted was a backseat driver. The guard took her ID card and walked to his computer. He fumbled around the keyboard, "I don't see you in our system," he said. Cynthia quickly began planning. Should she try to fight him, from the looks of it, he would crush her. If she ran for it, how far could she get? So many thoughts were running through Cynthia's head. "Looks like you get a visitor pass today, sometimes these systems need to be updated," The guard said. The guard handed her a pass and said, "Go check in on the second floor."

Cynthia made her way to the elevator. "You're a natural," Johnny said, as he clapped his hands. "What's on the second floor?" Cynthia asked. "You created this Cynthia. You'll have to see it through," Johnny said. He was right. She was in her consciousness training after all. Cynthia knew she needed to get to the lower levels but had no idea how to get there. Instead of getting on the elevator, she waited for the guard to finish patrolling. When he left, Cynthia quickly darted in the other direction. She found a few offices, a staircase that led up, and restrooms.

As she made her way back to the elevator, she could hear the guard walking towards her. She quickly darted into one of the nearby offices. Good, it's empty, she thought and locked the door. Then she heard a knock on the door. "Miss, I need you to come out right now. You're not supposed to be in there," he said. Cynthia didn't move, and she didn't say a word. The door handle jiggled, but the door didn't budge. The guard kicked in the door and rolled a small metal ball. Cynthia had never seen anything like it. "Cynthia get down," Johnny screamed, but it was too late. The ball rolled to a stop and then exploded with a loud bang. Cynthia blinked her eyes, and she was in front of the building again.

"What the hell was that?" Cynthia asked. "It was a grenade. You learned about explosives didn't you?" Johnny asked. "Yes but I didn't think they came in different casings," Cynthia responded. Cynthia picked up her rifle this time. She pressed a few buttons and turned it into a pistol. "It's our capability for destruction, and it comes in all sizes," Johnny said.

"He didn't even give me a chance," Cynthia said. "That's because you're fighting through your subconscious mind," responded. "Am I supposed to know what that means?" Cynthia snapped. "Your subconscious won't hesitate to attack you. It's conditioned to defend itself at all costs," Johnny said.

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