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Neutral Zone, OR

The creature was joined by several others, more than she could remember having seen chasing them as she ducked out of sight. As she tried to still her breathing she heard heard the man sigh as he stood to his feet, straightening his clothing, which she now noticed was little more than a rumpled sweatshirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a pair of scuffed sneakers, all items of the old world as she’d learned it, making her suddenly think that he was someone that might have been older, or far-removed from the world she knew about.

“Stay here,” he said calmly, “I’ll see if I can persuade them to move on.”

“Wh-what?” she muttered.

He moved past her down the hall, not looking back. Instead he paused for a moment, still not looking around as he said, “Just in case though, take this door to the left and be ready to run.”

She was going to ask what he meant, but as she looked back to the room where her people still huddled in fear, her mind was whirling with the possibility of escape. When she looked back to the stranger, he was gone. She felt the hesitancy that threatened to keep her where she was at the moment, but instead she remembered who she was and peered into the room where her people still were.

“Be ready to go.”

(to be continued)

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