Continued from February 13, 2018
Claire awoke, unaware of how much time had passed. She groaned as she stood up. Every muscle in her body felt as though it had been pulverized.
“Goldman?” She called out in the dark room, “Goldman, are you in here?”
She put a hand up and touched her forehead where the pain had been and felt a raised area. She shook her head, trying to get her bearings back, but stumbled as she walked out of the room into the hall. Everywhere was dark. There were no lights on anywhere, not even the emergency lights.
She walked down the hall toward the ladies bathroom, calling out occasionally but never receiving a reply. She entered the bathroom and approached the mirror to look at her forehead. There, in the center of her forehead, was what appeared to be a brand shaped like an ‘X’.
“You were chosen.” She heard from behind her.
“Whoa!” She said spinning around to find Daniel in the doorway looking weary. “Daniel? What the hell happened?”
“You were chosen. Just like I was.” He replied with a smile, pointing to his forehead. His had a similar brand but his looked like a “Y” but it had a point in the center too.
“What do you mean we were chosen?” Claire replied, “What is going on? Where is everybody?”
“They are going through the trials. Like we both did.” Daniel replied before he turned and walked away.
“Wait, Daniel!” Claire said as she ran after him. “What are you talking about?”
“It’s okay, Claire. I didn’t remember the trials either.” He said, “You’ll remember before long. The war is coming, we have to be prepared.”
“War?” Claire asked as Daniel walked through the main offices and toward the exits. “What war?”
“I’ll protect you, Claire. They all will.” Daniel said opening the front door to reveal a dozen more people, all of whom had the same symbols on their forehead as the boy next to her, standing at the base of the stairs that lead to the station.
Claire looked at Daniel with uncertainty, but his confidence, and gentle smile helped her to relax. She hadn’t even realized that she had her hand on her gun while they were walking. Daniel descended the steps slowly and approached the group of people.
“You found her!” One of them said rushing forward. Claire immediately recognized the girl as Beth, the girl who had gone missing with Daniel. She scanned the group’s faces but was unable to find Frank among them.
“Hi?” Claire said as Beth threw her arms around her.
“I’m so happy that we found you!” Beth said, practically giddy with excitement. “We were so worried!”
“You’re Beth, right?” Claire asked and the girl nodded in response. “Where’s Frank? Can you tell me what’s going on?”
“We don’t know,” Beth said, suddenly sad, “Frank went through the trials with us, but we lost him on the way out. We haven’t been able to find him since we left.”