I mean, we got in the truck anyways…

I’m silent and exposed, waiting for the fate they chose…
I might as well have been made out of hasty paint strokes on an improperly prepared canvas, tiny little details overtaken by large swoops of red hiding the dazed face of someone with their lips slightly apart and their arms outstretched in ambivalence at their fate. Should I be focusing on the little details- every little crinkle in the same clothes that I’d been in the day we were coerced from the sky, carefully washed, dried, and returned to me? The way that I kept seeing dark spaces where they didn’t belong? How the staff seemed to be keeping all of us drugged up for less and less time, letting us congregate in the big room with the skylight more often? Or should I focus on the swoops of red? Allaketo was still out there, running Zorphia with tyranny, and he wasn’t going to stop because someone had taken his main targets back to Earth for whatever the heck “assimilation therapy” was.
May?” a voice I could only imagine coming from a snake whispered to me, and I didn’t even bother from the extreme boredness of waiting for my fate to be proclaimed to be worried at all if I was losing my mind again. “May, are you listening?”
“Depends on who’s talking.” I rolled to my left side, trying not to disturb whoever was talking to me. Although, if they were just in my head like I suspected, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
“Would someone from Gehenna-Altaris be worthy of May’s audience?” I opened my eyes, and someone who could have passed as one of my friend’s fathers materialized in front of me from an elongated shadow. “I mean, it would only be appropriate to ask first.”
I pulled myself up to a sitting position, too absent-minded to be much amazed at the scientific impossibility in front of me. But I suppose that living in Zorphia for a while would desensitize anybody to wonders and miracles. “Sure, person from Calum’s world. I don’t know that much about it, anyways.”
“It-” he blurted out, then realized that it had nothing to do with what he was about to say. “Calum’s been taken to Yasmin’s old mansion-”
“Yasmin lived in a mansion?”
“Yeah. We’re in Soona Bris, of course, and there was a… monetary incentive for him to be kidnapping and altering children, after all. But anyways, they’ve taken Calum there- I’m not sure what for, but my friends and I have been working on-”
The door opened then, and the person who’d been talking to me dematerialized back into a shadow, hiding in a corner. “May! Great news!”
“Yasmin, what are you doing here?” I wasn’t pleased at all to be seeing her head peeking into my room. “What’s going on?”
“We’re releasing you all to my house. Assimilation therapy’s done, and now you won’t be feeling nauseous from having been used to all the little changes in Zorphia’s atmosphere.” She reached into the room and grabbed my hand, dragging me throughout the hallway and leading me to where Constance and Ophelia were waiting on another one of those stupid plastic benches for me. “Emma and Maxine are already on their way there, in a truck just like this one here…”
The vehicle in question- it looked so broken down that it didn’t even qualify as a truck- was rusty and made me feel like it would just break down completely on the way there. “And you expect us to ride in that thing?”

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