I'm running as fast as I can, my feet barely touching ground as I fly through the maze of trees. I can hear them behind me, feel their hot discusting breath on my neck; Connor and his band of mongrols. I block all of the images that i've just seen, block the image of Felix, and just look straight ahead at the opening further on.
The sun blinds me as I spring out of the forest and into the snowy clearing, the men right at my tail. How I wish Felix was here right now. My eyes quickly adjust to light and I start running towards the boat, running towards my way to safety.
I'm about twenty feet from the docks when something strikes me in the back of the head. I fall in the snow and the cold comes creeping inside my jacket. I moan and turn myself over on my back. Just then, the sun is blocked out by Connor's face and I know. I know I'm about to die.
My skull is aching and I have the sensation of floating but when I open my eyes, I see that I am on firm ground, or sorta; i'm bound on the floor. I look around the shack and realise i'm in one of the huts. My hands are tied behind my back and the skin around my wrists is welted.
I moan and look around the room, hoping to see Felix but I don't. Just then, the wooden door of the hut creaks open. I close my eyes and let my head slump forward, pretending to still be out.
"Why'd she run?" a femal voice asks in a very thick British accent and then I hear Connor answer.
"She wanted to see Felix, so I brought her out to where Allen and the boys were. Didn't quite understand what was going on, I guess." He sounds almost worried. Last time I spoke with Connor, he seemed ready to drown me in the frigid Atlantic waters.
"I can't even imagine what that girl went through." The woman answered. Her voice was smooth and gentle. She couldn't be more then thirty years old. I hear them rummage around the shack. Soon after, I feel the warm, gentle touch of the woman's hand on my cheek. "Wake up, Charlotte."
I pretend to daze out of sleep. I keep my eyes half shut and mumble under my breath. I feign terror and crawl back against the wall. My eyes lock with Connor's and now I don't have to pretend anymore.
"You guys are sick! Your worst then those bastards, you cowards!" Connor walks towards me but stops short when I spit in his face.
The woman comes between us and tells - no, orders - Connor to go for a walk. He complies and steps out of the hut. She must be their leader, of course their must be a leader. The man in charge. Or woman in this case.
"My name is Mallory. It's nice to meet you, Charlotte." The woman says. She leans in towards me and I instinctively shrink away. "It's okay, I just want to untie your bindings." She smiles at me and I see genuine compassion in her eyes. Just the way they squint.
"Who are you?" I ask her, and begin to massage my wrists the moment they are freed. Mallory takes a good look at me once i'm standing and she honestly looks concerned.
"I'm the woman who's going to answer all of your questions. First off, Felix is fine. What you saw was a just a tradition we started. Connor shouldn't have shown you that without explaining it. We need that, you know. Traditions. In this new world, it's easy to lose focus and just kill," She walks over to the cabinet and grabs two glasses, fills them up with water and hands me one of the glasses. She continues, "I've seen horrible things before coming here. As i'm sure you have too, Charlotte. Things a person should never have to see. Or do. You know what that leads to, right?"
I take a sip of water and for the first time, I notice just how fiery red Mallory's hair is. "Um, no, sorry."
"When something bloody bad happens, we naturally want to blame someone. We want someone to take responsibility for the petty shit that has come our way," Mallory says with disquieting amount of zeal. "Have you ever heard of Typhoon Tip, Charlotte?"
"Can't say that I have," I answer, and for some reason the vibe is different. There is a unseen weight in the room.
"I'd do some research if I were you," she starts walking towards the door and goes to leave but not before turning back to say one last thing, "You might find the reason why your parents went to Tokyo to create a bloody chemical agent that could wipe out the entire human race."