G’day! I am starting on the last book in the Zion trilogy! I am both excited and nervous about nearing the completion of the trilogy. But at least then I can move onto other stories. Have a nice day and enjoy this start to the third Zion book!
She shot up like a bullet, sweating like crazy. Anastasia took deep breaths to calm herself. It was just a dream, she kept repeating to herself, but doubt crept into her mind. Was it a memory?
In the dream, she had been lying down in a white tube. She had been able to blink and move her eyes in whatever direction she chose – but she could not move the rest of her body. Not her arms, hands, head, legs or feet. The rest of her body had seemed to be paralyzed. Anastasia remembered that, in the dream, she had heard snitches of conversation from people outside of the tube in the dream or memory.
“Her heartbeat is normal. Her breathing is calm and even. She is responding remarkably well,” a female voice, one she had not recognized, had said.
“The Freeze Serum and being in the close confines of the tube has not disturbed her?” a man had asked. He had sounded like Charles.
“She did panic at first,” someone had answered. It had been Petrus. “But then she calmed down very soon afterwards.”
“Ivanka is responding to all our tests remarkably well. The refining has worked,” Charles had then commented. “Just one more and I think she’ll be fine.”
She had then started to fade out. The voices had begun fading, and everything had then become darker. She woken up then. What did it all mean? It didn’t make any sense. And what the heck is a Freeze Serum? And what tests? Strange dream. Where am I?
Then everything came flooding back. Her escape from the Peak. Being shot. Running from super soldiers. Being so exhausted that she had collapsed. A super soldier had pointed a gun at her head, she had heard a gun shot and then…then she did not remember anything else? Had I passed out? What happened? How did I get here? What was the gun shot? Anastasia stood up and looked around at her surroundings. She had been lying down next to a tree. There were several trees around in a circle and the trees were all leaning forward towards the centre of the circle, forming a canopy over the area. There was a circular space in the centre of the tree tops where she could get a clear view of the sky. It was night time and the stars were shining brightly. I must have been asleep for a while, she thought.
There was a fire going. She noticed her belt with the knives and gun hanging from a branch. Her quiver was also hanging on the same branch. Her quiver was empty – no arrows, no bow. They must have all washed out in the river, she figured. There was nothing else around, no sign that anyone else was here. Yet someone had clearly brought her here, made sure she was warm. Was it the super soldiers? She instantly dismissed it as they had been trying to kill her.
My bullet wound! She took off her jacket and looked at her right shoulder. It ached, but it was clean, her bandage had gone and it was stitched up with nice, neat stitches. Huh? Someone has had medical training. And there was no first-aid kit around. Whoever saved me from the super soldiers has decided to leave me here. No. No-one is stupid enough to leave a fire unattended, Anastasia thought.
“Ah, you are awake.”
Anastasia spun around to face the person who had spoken. The person was a late teenager or a young adult. He had brown eyes that shone with curiosity and mirth. He was short – five feet four inches – had brown skin, was bald, and had a childish face, but had a deep voice. She opened her mouth to comment on this peculiarity, but after seeing him holding a dagger in his hand, ready in case of trouble, she decided to keep quiet about it. “Where am I?” Anastasia queried.
“Safe. Don’t need to worry about those super soldiers. They’re taken care of,” the person said.
“Thanks. But that’s not what I asked you,” Anastasia responded.
The guy raised his eyebrows. “About four miles from the Min River. If you want answers,” he added as she had opened her mouth to ask more questions, “you need to wait for the boss to come back.”
“The boss?” Anastasia asked casually, hoping to fish out information.
“Clever try,” he said. This guy’s good, Anastasia could not help admitting. “Who are you?” he asked.
Not sure whether this guy was trustworthy or not, Anastasia instead replied, “How ’bout you tell me who you are?”
This time he grinned, revealing two rows of perfectly white teeth. “You’re quick. I like that. I am allowed to answer that question: I am the Doc. Satisfied?”
Not really. But she just nodded, knowing that that was it for the moment. Something then jumped down infront of her from above; a blur of green and black. The ball rolled and then jumped up, unfolding itself. Anastasia was so taken by surprise, that she took a quick step backwards and tripped, falling on her back. She heard laughing and sat up. The Doc was doubled over laughing, pointing his finger at her. Anastasia stood up, glaring at him, which only made him laugh more. She looked at the green thing, and realized that it wasn’t a thing, but a person. The person was dressed in a hooded light jacket that was coloured green, was dressed in black trousers and black boots.
The Doc finally calmed down and said, “Here’s the boss. He’ll answer all your questions.” The boss turned to face Anastasia. She could not see his face clearly as he wore black night-vision glasses. The light from the fire shone on part of the lower half of his face and she saw that he had a bronze complexion.
“My name’s Shadow. You already know the Doc,” Shadow said.
“What happened?” Anastasia asked.
“You mean about you?” Shadow asked. Anastasia nodded. “Well, Doc and I were looking for a place to sleep tonight when we saw you collapse, then those super soldiers came, one was going to shoot you, so we killed them and then carried you to this spot as you had passed out from exhaustion. The Doc cleaned and stitched you up. End of story,” Shadow explained.
“Thanks. But, why would you help me? You don’t know anything about me. I’m a complete stranger to you two,” Anastasia said. Shadow raised his left eyebrow when she said ‘You don’t know anything about me’ as if to say ‘Don’t be so sure.’
Shadow put his hands on his hips. The Doc pocketed his dagger, then took off the backpack he had been wearing, opened it and began rummaging through it. “Anyone who’s in trouble with the League is a friend of us,” Shadow replied, then turned and went over to the fire and began warming his hands. The Doc pulled out three brown paper bags. He gave one to Shadow, who accepted it with a gruff ‘Thanks’. Doc then sat down and, from one of the two remaining bags, pulled out a sandwich and began eating it. Shadow was eating the same thing as well. Shadow looked at her, then at Doc and the two bags and shook his head. “Weren’t you ever taught to share?” Shadow remarked with a slight smirk.
Doc’s face had a sad expression on it at that remark, but it quickly disappeared. He chuckled, but it sounded forced to Anastasia. He threw her the third bag. She caught it and took out the sandwich and took a big bite. She did not realise how hungry she was until then and she ate the whole thing very quickly. That was foolish, she mentally scolded herself afterwards. “So, what do you guys do?” Anastasia asked.
“Move about wherever, inflicting pain to the League by helping out with the rebellions where needed,” Shadow replied. Why is he trusting me so much that he would tell me that? Shouldn’t he be more careful? Not that I’d betray them, but still.
Anastasia was pleased, though. Here was her chance to pay back the League of Nations for what they did to her and her family. “Can I join you?” the words were out before she had even realized that she had spoken. Doc and Shadow paused in their eating and stared at her, then at each other.
“Sorry, you haven’t yet introduced yourself,” Shadow commented.
“Anna,” she replied, not yet sure whether she should tell them her full name or not.
“Ok, Anna,” Shadow said. “Why do you want to do this?”
She thought of several reasons, but just listed one, her main motivation. “Personal reasons,” Anastasia replied.
Doc snorted, but Shadow just stared at her, trying to decide something. “We’re fighting for humanity here, but, heck. Doc and I are both doing it for personal reasons as well. I was watching you talking to Doc before. I noticed you were very cautious with what you said. Clever at avoiding answering questions, like the Doc here. That’s a good trait for this,” Shadow said, thinking out loud. “And you are clever enough not to give us your real name yet. We’ll try you out in the morning. For now, we go to sleep.”
The Doc lay down on the ground next to the fire and put his hands underneath his head and closed his eyes. Shadow stood up and vanished into the shadows some distance away from the fire. Anastasia lay down on her side and watched the flames lick up the sides of the wood for a few minutes. Then she remembered something. “Doc? You awake?” she whispered, propping herself up on an elbow.
“Yes,” Doc said, turning around to face her. “What is it, Anna?”
“How did you kill those super soldiers?” she asked.
“Shadow pointed some signal transmitter thing, (I’ve forgotten what he called it) at them and then shot them all dead. He said the transmitter thing was to turn off some nanobots inside the super soldiers,” Doc said. “Though how he knows about that, I have no clue. Good night,” and he lay back down.
“Night,” Anastasia muttered and lay back down as well. She was really concerned. It was a well-kept secret about the nanobots in the super soldiers and how to successfully kill the Light Force – only a trusted few of the League knew about it. So how come this Shadow knew about it? Who was he really? Anastasia eventually grew weary of thinking about it and fell asleep and then she dreamed.
She was in the white tube again, but this time she could move about. Anastasia heard voices. It was that female doctor again. “Hello Mark Cahill,” the doctor greeted.
“Hello, Ms. Gillard. Remember? My name is Petrus. Mark Cahill is an alias,” Petrus corrected. “How have these tests being going?”
“Great,” Dr. Gillard replied. “The final one was excellent. I’m just about to initiate the Memory Sweep. We’ve come along way since Einstein’s method.”
“We certainly have,” Petrus agreed. “What percentage chance does Ivanka have of regaining the memories?” he then whispered.
Dr. Gillard was silent for a minute. “29%,” she said.
“If she ever does, Charles wants her killed. But I think there is a way we can save ourselves without killing her,” Petrus whispered. “It is the same thing that Charles wants done to Patient 12, as he is also a big threat. But I want you to do it secretly to Ivanka. I’ll take the blame.”
“Aye. I’ll begin the operation,” Dr. Gillard said.
All novels and short stories on this blog are the works of @rue202 and Racheal’s Novels Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without the express and written permission of the author is strictly not allowed. You may use excerpts and links or reblogs of this material provided that complete and clear credit is given to rue202 and Racheal’s Novels with clear directions to the original content.