Chapter 4

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"I'm sorry. Our first outing should not have ended like that," Ninety-one said while he set his phone in the square indent between us. He had just finished telling the authorities about what happened at the mall. They were already on their way.

"It's not your fault they appeared there," I said.

"Yes, but I still would have liked this to be a good experience for you."

"It was for the most part," I assured him. "and we'll get a chance to go out and other things too, won't we?"

"Yes, we will."

We fell silent after that. The car was playing a gentle song, but it wasn't the same as before. It could have been because of past tension. What had happened was definitely frightening, but less than how it felt to be chased by an enforcer. Or when Goldsboro was falling apart. Maybe it was just a different kind of fear. Maybe I didn't understand how dangerous they were yet. Or maybe I was just tired.

"We're coming up on the apartment."

He pointed out toward a building that had a side that was completely painted in a light magenta. When we neared it, we took a right around the building, I saw that this side was painted in yellow. The apartment building looked to be at least twenty floors high and had some kind of steady blinking light at the top. It was one of the only buildings that weren't covered in flashy screens. M7-0391 drove down a driveway that led to a brightly lit parking garage under the building. After he parked, M7-0391 led me to an elevator that we took two floors up.

"We have to go through the lobby before we can get to the residential floors," M7-0391 said during the short ride.

The lobby was bright and shining with hanging glass light fixtures like the one at the hospital. The walls were decorated in a soft white with eccentric cyan and magenta flowers everywhere. There were plush chairs spread about, encircling dark square tables. A large shiny grey desk was off to the wall on the right where people stood and spoke with the workers behind it. Gentle music played in the air while I followed M7-0391 through the room.

"What are those called?" I asked while pointing up at the lights hanging from the ceiling.

"Those are called chandeliers."

"What type of music is playing?"

"That's a piano. It is a type of large instrument. Do you know what those are?" I shook my head. "They are tools used to make music. There are many different kinds and each one makes a unique sound. A person who plays an instrument is called a musician. When a group of musicians get together and play music can be called a band or orchestra, depending on the music and what is being played."

We made it at another, larger elevator. The inside was painted a soft cyan color and lined with a grey metal. The floor was covered in a black and grey swirling carpet. A different piano song was playing inside it. We stood near the back as we rode the elevator up with a small group of other people. I followed M7-0391 off on the sixteenth floor. He led me down a yellow and white hallway that was covered with a white and deep yellow carpet that looked to have large flowers within its pattern. We passed several doors before stopping at one with the metal numbers 1694 on it.

"This is our home," M7-0391 said as he unlocked the door.

When the door opened he turned on the lights and let me walk in first. The room was large, at least twice as big as my old home. The walls were painted a light grey and there were round lights within the ceiling. There was a large grey chair that sat near the middle of the floor. It was longer than a regular chair by about four times. It sat in front of a sleek black table and beyond a much larger version of the TV that was in my room at the hospital.

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