XXIII - Fear of Tomorrow

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Rye & Daughter Aviation
Holland Valley South
A little while later...

Always mysterious, the Bliss.

Whether or not it had mystical powers was something Diana still didn't fully understand, but now she couldn't ignore the signs she'd just recently witnessed. Joseph was watching, as he always did, and he managed to pass along a message from afar, as if he'd known she was in danger. There was repetition in these strange occurrences, words and phrases pieced together from the past and somehow a warning of the future, and it always came back around to his final words. Then again, she wondered if there was something amiss elsewhere—that perhaps something had happened to him or Faith on the island...

"You must come back to me, Diana."

As if there were finality in what he'd said, she couldn't shake the way Joseph insisted she return... to him. Had he seen the end—the real end—without John or Jacob or anyone else in the picture? The latter was more her concern, as much as she adored John, but her husband, whom she'd fought so hard to get back was gone again, just out of reach... and the visions she'd seen were almost always apart from him. She wouldn't want to live in this world, wasteland or thriving, if it meant to be apart from Jacob any longer.

When the dizzying effects of the drug wore off, Diana returned to consciousness, gasping for air and kicking out at anything nearby. Her mouth was dry and her body ached, the usual warping headache throbbing at her temples. Her body hit the barrier of metal and glass beside her, and she discovered she was seated inside an aircraft. She sat up straight, feeling the resistance of a seatbelt at her neck and waist. Jutting forward, she raised her hands to free herself, but found them bound too, knotted just as tightly as the ribbon had held her hands to Joseph's in that dreamscape.

There was laughter at her futile attempts to break free stopped her, forcing her to look up when she heard a voice.

"You know I thought when ya came back you'd be some sorta badass. Actually, I knew you were, the way you dodged them bullets when I tracked you and John that day—boy that feels like ages ago, don't it? And like some Guy Marvel superstar went stuntin' your way to safety. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were trying to beat out Clutch Nixon, or something!"

Nick Rye. You bastard.

It didn't matter that he was complimenting her, it was a backhanded way of mocking the fact that she'd failed an escape this time.

Without much choice but to stay put until they landed, Diana turned to watch the landscape as they soared over Holland Valley. It was more entertaining than staring at the back of Nick's head, imagining the satisfaction she would have by knocking him out for what he'd done. However, at this high up and no control over the plane that was transporting her hundreds of feet in the air, she decided it best to stay put, and not endanger herself or Rye. Her shoot was lost in the last jump, and she would likely fall to her death if she tried anything that foolish.

She followed the course that she and Jacob had planned to take toward John's Gate—better known to the County presently as the Iron Fortress. To her surprise, she noted that Nick was flying a course to the south, which meant she might pay his home a visit before her unfortunate demise with Hudson. Curious, she thought, following the roadways around the cliff from Langford Lake to the south, through the farmlands east of the Pumpkin farm, all the way down through Fall's End.

Nick must have sensed her glaring daggers at the back of his head, and he briefly looked over his shoulder. "Don't worry yourself too much, I ain't gonna kill you. Was never really my aim, to be honest. But I'm on strict orders to keep you breathin' and all your pieces intact, whatever that meant. Anyway, we're just about here. You got a little while before I take you up there."

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