Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the bustling city, a pair of gorgeous sapphire eyes pop open for the first time in nearly a day. Her perfect red hair sprawled out across a comfortable pillow laying upon an inclined hospital bed in a large empty room. Concrete floors, unfinished ceiling, left the impression of a warehouse or some back-room torture chamber.
Feeling a pinch in the top of her hand, Skylar glances down and follows the tubes from an IV connected to a bag of medicine or saline. Terrible images cascade down her subconscious taking her to a dark place. She believes whatever or whoever captured her has plans to dissect her and keep her alive to feel unmeasurable amounts of pain. Her body shakes as a freezing chill spreads across every inch of her skin.
Skylar, grateful to at least be alive for now, tries to move her legs off the bed escape before this situation gets any worse. As her feet touch the ground the room spins around like an out-of-control Ferris Wheel. As a pounding headache follows, the poor girl lays back upon the pillow hoping to gain strength.
“What exactly did that psycho inject into my body?” She ponders, “What will he do now?”
Echoes of a female voice interrupts her thoughts. A deafening ethereal tone bounces off her brain as a rubber ball on a racquetball court. Skylar tries to filter this voice and separate from her own but the sound increases with each passing moment. The voice reaches a crescendo as a woman opens a door from the other side of the spacious room. As she approaches her cheeks rise into the warmest of smiles.
“Oh, good. She’s awake,” announces the same voice trapped inside Skylar’s mind. The voice continues as the woman walks towards the bed. Her lips never opening for a second. “She looks so scared. I told them this was a bad idea. I hope I can calm her down.”
“Huh?” Skylar chirps, her eyes fixated on the mysterious woman. “Did you say something?”
“Not yet,” the woman responds while she places a hand on Skylar’s forehead, then checks a monitor behind the bed for vitals. The woman wears all white scrubs with a name badge attached to her shirt. She pulls a hair tie from her pocket and wraps her long brown hair into a ponytail behind her head.
“Hello Skylar,” echoes the voice which matches the exact pitch and tone of the woman standing in front of her.
“Hello, Skylar,” says the woman.
“How many times are you gonna say hello?” Skylar asks. Her head still aching as if someone bashed her temple with a hammer.
“Disoriented. I better take note,” yet another reverberating comment fills Skylar’s thoughts.
“You better believe I’m disoriented, lady. My head feels like you hit it with a brick. Take note of that! But I can hear you, you don’t have to repeat yourself,” Skylar moans.
“I only said it once, hun. I want to say you’re in good hands. And it’s an absolute pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Cassandra. I’m an RN, but in my spare time I work for the group who brought you here.”
“The Zealots?” Skylar assumes.
“Oh, god no. She thinks I’m a Zealot. There is no chance I will get her to trust me,” echoes the voice. Before Cassandra could open her mouth Skylar interrupts.
“Don’t feel bad. I just trust no one at all. It’s not you.”
“I never said anything about trusting me. But I hope you understand, we‘re here to protect you. In this world you will find out there are some people worth trusting. And besides you‘re special. Very special.”
“If not the Zealots, then what group brought me here?” Skylar asks.
Skylar held her hands to her head as the echoes continue, “the first question I can’t answer. Earlon would kill me. I don’t even know if he wants me to tell her the name of our group, yet.”
“You’ll find out in time,” Cassandra answers.
Skylar stares into the Cassandra’s face and realizes she doesn‘t open her mouth half the time, yet she still can hear her speak as plain as day. The tones are as different as listening to Music with headphones on and then listening to the same music on a loudspeaker. “Am I hearing her thoughts?” She mumbles.
“What did you say?” Cassandra quizzes.
“Who is Earlon?”
“How do you know that name? Did he give it to you? Are you compromised?” The nurse’s hands shake, her face turns pale as she glares into Skylar’s eyes.
Skylar focuses her attention back on the voice inside her head which seemed more cooperative than the woman standing in front of her. “She knows Earlon. This is weird, I guess this is less than a secret than we originally thought. What else does she know? Does she know of the League of Defiance? Our mission? This is bad, I need to call Earlon now.”
Skylar pulls the IV from her hand, places a blanket and applies pressure to stop the bleeding, and smiles. “The League of Defiance, huh? Oh, your thoughts are so interesting. Maybe you should just keep quiet and tell me the rest.”
“Mind reading? How is this possible? None of the other patients displayed symptoms of this type. I better call everyone in here. This is getting dangerous,” Cassandra’s thoughts leaked out of her mind as if there were a hole in her brain.
“I’ll be right back, hun. Just hold tight, please.”
“Nah. I think I’m gonna just leave if that’s okay with you,” Skylar decides as she rises to her feet and stands face to face with Cassandra. Though the dizziness and headache were still a factor, Skylar decided she’d had enough of the games.
“Please lay back down. Please trust me. Until you know everything, you’re very dangerous. Just let me get someone to speak to you. Please,” Cassandra begs.
“Maybe a sedative would work? Maybe I push the panic button? I… I,”
Skylar places her hands on Cassandra’s collar and grips it tightly, “I don’t want another sedative. I’m good. I’m leaving.” With very little force Skylar tugs on the woman’s collar as if to nudge her out of the way. The force of the push sends Cassandra tumbling across the room as if she’d been hurled from a moving car.
Skylar examines her hands in bewilderment and wonders how the woman ended up on the opposite side of the room still tumbling and sliding into the far wall. Fear seeps into her heart as she makes a break for the doorway.
“What did you do?” She yells as she approaches the heavy steel door. Skylar tries to turn the knob, but it’s locked. She pounds her fists on the door, sending it backwards off its hinge. “What in the holy hell?”
Cassandra, opens her eyes, and screams, “Please! We are the good guys! Don’t go. It’s still too dangerous out there.”
Skylar pays no attention and runs down an empty hallway praying to find an escape. Something inside her has changed. For better or worse, she was more frightened than ever before in her entire life. Perhaps, the answers she seeks are with this Earlon. Determined to find him first before he finds her, so she could have the upper hand was the clear objective.