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The cold chill that had sat in the pit of Skye's stomach since she had entered Jack's car had now grown. Mark drove through country lanes, then blacktopped roads, and eventually joined an interstate. All the while, Skye's mind thought up and rejected numerous escapes.

Almost ready to give in to the despair inside, Skye sat up when Mark turned south on the well-paved highway. She knew where they were. In everything that had gone wrong today, this was something. It was a very big something.

And yes, they were traveling south, opposite of the direction she would have liked to be going, but if she could somehow get turned around, this road had an exit to Colton. She knew the way home.

Skye's arms squeezed the trembling Kelsey, and the girl looked up at her and returned Skye's smile with a small, wavering one of her own before tears sprang to her eyes.

Skye wished she could say something to Kelsey, anything. She glanced up at Jack, even from the back he seemed all rigid now. Skye had deeply upset him. Jack wasn't as comfortable with his post-AgFlu life as he would like people to believe.

She dare not even whisper for fear of another bashing. Skye's lip and cheek still throbbed from the last one, and his threat of a further beating hung over Skye's head. Instead, she smoothed Kelsey's hair hoping that would suffice for now.

The interstate was a strange mix of scenes. Some areas were free of debris and cars, and they traveled as freely on the road. Every so often, a car or two would be left alongside the road. Some areas had debris as if an overpacked trunk had exploded. Toys and nightwear fluttering in the wind littered the road. People trying to run to safety, leaving sad little bits of their lives behind.

But the hardest areas to get through were those where groups of cars had been left behind as if everyone had en mass got out to walk. But walk where? They were in the middle of nowhere.

Unlike when Skye had tried to get to her family, someone had pushed a path just big enough for a car to wiggle its way through. It was tight, but Mark was able to do it.

Most of these cars were practically empty, perhaps a water bottle or a book laying on the seat. But in a few of the vehicles, there were bodies. They had been there a while, the skin taking on a leathery quality, first from the heat, then from the cold.

Skye looked at the floor. It was sad but inevitable this would happen. Few people would be such a good Samaritan to bury someone when it could mean their own death.

Skye pulled Kelsey closer to keep her from seeing the hunched, rotting bodies though Kelsey had seen far worse since this had all began. The girl had told her in their many session of the horrors that continued to torment her. Still, Kelsey seemed to appreciate it as she turned away from the window and drew her knees up.

Moving out of that cluster of cars, Mark picked up the pace again. Though there was a chill in the air, it was a sunny day. With the windows up, the car was warm, and after driving for what Skye timed a half-hour from the car's digital clock, she felt her eyes get heavy.

Skye scolded herself, thought up songs and bit her lip to stay awake, but nothing worked. The combination of her anxious night last night with Dylan and the explosion of emotion she'd had since being captured was working against her. No matter how hard she tried, her eyes drifted closed.

The care screeched to a halt. Skye sailed forward until her seatbelt caught her pulling hard against her shoulder. What happened? What time is it? Where are we? Please let us be on the same road.

Skye's foggy mind cleared as she looked around. She clamped her lips together before voicing her concerns. Skye looked from one side of the four-lane highway to the other. It seemed like the same one, but there were no signs to identify it.

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