“Dawn?” Jasmine asked.
She felt completely out of the loop. The last thing she could recall was squaring off with the Soldier in the Box. Her questions were only building up from there.
Shane hung his head in frustration.
“Yes,” he growled. “Our country, our world changed that morning, but you don’t remember anything?”
Jasmine shrugged and shook her head. She turned her gaze to Jordan who was preoccupied with digging her heel into an anthill.
“Listen, Scribe. All survivors from the Waiting’s destruction were separated into groups. I was sectioned with the Laborers, some were transported to Expectation Combat School where I worked.” Jordan flinched at this last part.”And some were scooped up by Control.”
Jasmine wanted to ask so many questions about these groups – the Waiting, the Expectation, the Control– but she bit her tongue and allowed him to continue. She could tell he was struggling to figure out where to even begin.
“All For-seers and anyone associated with them were attacked,” he said. “Their power to shift in time and space is threatening to the Expectation. Not many of the For-seers survived the attack.”
His eyes grew heavy and sorrowful, staring blankly ahead.
“But some are in hiding. I’ve heard that there are actually a few Writers and Musicians who escaped.”
“Where?” Jasmine asked anxiously.
“Europe,” Jordan chimed in. “Where the Waiting hasn’t attacked yet. Dublin. Amsterdam. Paris. London. Munich… they can be anywhere on the continent.”
Shane glanced up at her and raised his eyebrows in shock.
“Now, how the hell do you know that, Soldier?”
“‘Cause none of your damned business,” she said, defensively.
He held up his hands in submission.
Jasmine heard a mechanical noise along the tree trunk beside her. She held up her index finger to hush them.
“What?” Jordan asked loudly.
“Shhh!” Jasmine shushed.
Her hands brushed along the bark, feeling for whatever odd sound came from it. Jasmine’s fingers scraped over a small strange lens which shifted to face up at her.
Shane stood from the rock he’d been sitting on and stared coldly at the camera.
“Uh,” he said.”We should-”
A soft whistling sound pierced the air and headed straight toward them. Shane looked over their heads and saw the familiar small aircraft flying high above them.
“MOVE!!” he yelled.
Shots fired into the forest around them.
“INCOMING!” Jordan shouted.
The three sprinted away from the hot orange flames shooting at the ground just yards away, until more shots fired in a circle, enclosing them. There was nowhere to run.
“SCRIBE!” Shane called. “Get us out of here!”
Jasmine felt the warm fire reaching closer to them by the second. If she didn’t think of somewhere fast, they’d burn to a crisp. She grabbed her paper and pen, palms sweating.
“SHIT!” she yelled, dropping the pen. She quickly recovered it and closed her eyes, steadying her breath.
But she couldn’t picture anything. The noise and the heat pinching her skin was too distracting.
“HURRY!” Shane shouted over the burning woods.
“Okay!” Jasmine relaxed her grip on the pen against the paper.
I have never been there, she thought.
She tried to imagine what a city in Europe would look like, and dug deep for something familiar; something tangible.
Wide, peaceful, green fields with wet cobblestone pathways leading to old cottages.
A brief flash of a blustering busy city with a bridge stretching over a river.
She pictured all three of them there, and wrote the only city name this image might belong to.