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It is just me now. I am fourteen. I fled my home two years ago, when it was destroyed in the war. I fled, hiding in temporary shelters, never giving up. I would never let myself go when one of those shelters fell apart. I moved on at the slightest sign of disturbance.
Angel Lawrence was his name. He had blue-gray eyes, like the sky when it is ready to send water down to earth. His hair was as white as the snow that sometimes fell in the winter season. He was skilled, an expert hunter, and that was why he had been sought out. He had been sought out and taken and now he would be freed.
I would free him.
Slowly, I approached the colossal jail. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before—cells exposed to the world and the prison itself stretching up to the stars. There were no stars now, in fact. Fog descended from above, coating the top of the enclosure. It was the perfect cover that I needed for my mission.
I closed my eyes slowly; eyelashes coated with miniscule droplets of water, and pictured the fifth floor. It was the floor Angel was on—he was locked in an interior cell.
Just breathe slowly, Karen. He’ll be free when you’re done. You will no longer be alone.
I began to run, starting at a jog and slowly increasing my pace. I bolted through the first door, using my momentum to smash past the first guard. He fell, silent. I continued to run, swinging up the first flight of stairs, snatching a cloth from my pocket and slinging it over security camera A.
The alarms began to blare, and I was only on the first floor. This was going to be harder than I expected.
I ran past the prisoners on the second floor, ignoring their outstretched arms and pained stares. Their gazes pulled at my heart, willed me to stop and save them as well, but Angel meant more to me than these strangers anonymous and I continued on.
I was flying up the third floor stairs, running faster than I had ever gone before, taking out guards left and right, knocking down security cameras as I went. I ignored the suffering of the others and focused only on my task.
Fourth floor: There were three guards—that was unanticipated. The first one pulled out a laser pointer, the most deadly weapon in the land, and aimed it at my forehead. I shouted, dived for his legs, knocking them out from under him.
The second guard was more prepared. I no longer had the element of surprise against him. He swung at me, a hooked punch. Luckily, I moved and used his momentum to force him to the ground. I knocked him out, cold.
I spun around to face the final guard, and found yet another laser pointer trained on me. The guard smiled a knowing smile. “Karen Cross…we were expecting you. You’re here for Angel Lawrence. By saving him you had the chance to free so many others, to liberate them from their misery.”
You did Karen. What does this guard want, though? What could he possibly have to say?
“What do you want?” I said, throat developing a dry sort of feeling.
“I want you to know that your boyfriend Angel was removed from this confinement days ago. It was our decision that he would go back to work, return to his normal life.”
All I felt was cold.