"Well I guess that could work, Ashia." Nerezza huffed.
"Don't be stupid, the only way to get in this safe is if we somehow get the combination." Nerezza took down the knife he was using to attempt to jar open the vault door.
"And how do we do that-" he was cut off by the sounds of barking of dogs and deep voices of men.
Both of our faces turned white. We knew that if we didn't get what was behind that vault door we would be better off dead. I couldn’t bear to take another punishment. The master would be seriously disappointed in us, it was our second time this week that we flawed. The door we came through bursted open and three tall men stood there glaring at us. "What are two teenagers doing here?" one of the men questioned.
“We were trying to just maybe get a look of what was in that vault!" Nerezza blurted out. I shot him the most threatening glare I could manage. The man on the left barbarically grabbed our arms. I managed to let out a scream of fear. The man dragged us out of the room, "Now, I will ask again, what were two teenagers doing near Keiser's vault? I would like to hear the truth." the tallest man urged.
"W-we were just trying to see something, that's all." I choked out. I could just feel their glare piercing through
"I never want to see you two here again."
He shoved both of us out of the building. I could hear the man screaming at the others that came with him.
Nerezza stood there in silence, his grey eyes fixed to the ground. I placed my hand on his shoulder, "Hey Nerezza, it's okay, we can always try to get that stupid stone another time." I said in an almost motherly tone.
He looked up at me and his grey eyes pierced through my dark green eyes and we stood there in silence, staring at each other. I broke away from the stare and started to walk away. Nerezza followed me, after a while of walking he broke the silence. "What are we gonna tell boss?" I paused and looked up at the night sky. "We will just tell her what happened, simple as that."
There was a long still silence between us, with the dull noise of the wind. I could pick up that he was having a nervous breakdown inside… and hell, so was I.
His dark brown hair flailed in the harsh wind, "We should hurry and get back before it starts to storm."
I nodded in agreement and picked up the pace
Later that night, we arrived back at the base. Kyros was sitting in the main hall as usual. He was Nerezza’s only friend here and he usually greeted him upon our return. But our attention was fixed on the boss's office, we slowly opened the door and walked into the dark office where the boss sat in her chair, rummaging through a chest. She peered up from her concentration.
"Did you two get that stone like I asked?" she asked as she raised an eyebrow. "We weren't able to get it, I am sorry ma'am."
She flashed a crooked smile and shot up in her leather seat, "It's not me you should feel sorry for, it should be yourselves, now off to the left hall with you two." she said as she flicked her wrist, motioning to the exit. We left with our heads hung low. I could still my sunken heart in my chest. My pale blonde hair drooped in my face. Nerezza moved the hair from my face and tucked the lock behind my ear. This kind gesture didn't get rid of the fact we had to stay in a dark room with nothing for a week as our punishment. It was “tradition” at the base that if one of us, or a whole team, were to have an accident that they’d have to stay in a dark and cold cell for up to god knows how long. Nerezza stepped into the dark room and sat on the ground while I sat in a corner, the door quickly slammed shut behind us. I couldn't see anything just my pale white hands in front of me. I could hear Nerezza's steady breathing in front of me and footsteps from outside the door. "How did we get into this mess..."
"We can blame our "parents", they are the ones who left us here to rot." he murmured under a heavy sigh.
Both of our parents had left us here, Nerezza was dropped here when he was only three years old. I was left here when I was three as well, although we were merely one year apart in age. We’d been stationed at the base for fourteen years. Everyone at the base did hunger for freedom. Quite frankly a majority of us are at a lost for what we’re fighting for. The base leaders say the have a plan to change the world, but I highly doubt it. This land has been casted into war many times that it is far beyond repair. Nerezza always argued with his friend, they would shoot comments back in forth about the Outcasts. Since we are the opposing side. His friend would go off and yell about how he should just join the Outcasts once and for all. Nerezza would fire back, “Are you mad?! It’s far too dangerous for you to go alone!”
Of course that would shut his friend up.
It had been a couple hours, and I had dozed off in the darkness, though I couldn't shake the feeling Nerezza was watching me.
Protective much…? Guess I couldn’t blame him.
There was a sudden knock on the door that made me jump up. I slowly walked to the door. It was probably her. The leader just dying to give us a speech about responsibility
"Who is it?" I asked. I heard a familiar voice from the other side, "Hey it's just me Kyros."
"What? What are you doing here!?"
"Sh sh, I've come to get you out," he added followed by the door making clicking noise and opening.
Nerezza and I were greeted by Kyros navy haired self.
“Hey buddy!" Nerezza greeted Kyros with their own hand shake which always baffled me. "Alright let's get out of this hell hole of a base shall we?" Kyros said with a smirk. Nerezza and I nodded in eager agreement. We started dashing down the dark grey hallways trying not to draw any attention. Kyros had a set of keys latched to his belt, the keys themselves produced more noise than he did. When we reached the main exit Kyros grabbed for the gold key and jammed it into the keyhole causing a clicking sound. Nerezza pushed the heavy steel doors open. I felt a gush of fresh crisp air right after the rain fall. We ran out the doors and quickly shut them behind us. I stretched my arms and heavily sighed. All this time Nerezza was watching me in some sort of amazement. Kyros handed us both a bag that he'd been carrying on his back.
"You'll need these, they got everything you will need on this adventure."
"A-Adventure?" I whispered.
“Yeah, if you haven't noticed yet I just got you out of the base. We’re leaving. To the city.”
“What if they catch us, Kyros?” Nerezza inquired.
“Then the Rangers catch us. Would you rather live a life in captivity or have a glimpse of freedom for awhile?”
Freedom of course… But worth the risk?
“We won’t live through this, freedom or no freedom, you’re crazy!”
Kyros began to saunter away, “You can go back right now. I’m not stopping you.”
I moved quickly to catch up with him, “I’d rather have freedom more than anything.”
He chuckled a bit and looked back at Nerezza, “You coming?”
“If I die, I’m blaming it all on you.”
It felt good to be out of that musty base and into the fresh air. Nerezza and I followed Kyros not knowing where we're going. The sun slowly started to rise in the East. "That's a beautiful sunrise, don't you think Ashia?" Nerezza said, breaking the long silence. He looked over at me and gave me a smile, I returned the smile.
“Aren’t you glad you came?”
“It’s starting to settle with me.”
Kyros glanced back at us and rolled his eyes.
“So where are we going to be exact?” I questioned.
“Somewhere safe, where we can get away from all of this.” he said not looking back at us.
“And where is this safe place?” Nerezza said as he perked up an eyebrow. Kyros looked around, “I say, about twenty miles from here.”
Freedom equals walking forever. Sounds about right.
My heart sunk in my chest, twenty whole miles? And we have to walk all this time, just fantastic.
The sun was rising slowly and the grassy plains we walked through were wet with morning dew, before I knew my feet were soaked and cold. Nerezza had a blank expression written on his face as we walked. He never showed much emotion anyway, although, I always liked Nerezza, he was kind and loyal, but we never had time to really like each other. It just seemed so unsubtle to tell him all the time. In fact we never really had time for ourselves in the first place. We were always busy on missions and bounties. You’d think we’d be all over one another, but I really don’t think he felt the same.
I began to doze off after awhile of walking. I kept stumbling over the rocky road. Nerezza let me use his shoulder to walk. Kyros was relentless, he did not seem. He walked the same pace for miles. I kept glancing back.
I couldn't shake the feeling of we were being followed.
Nerezza halted and looked around frantically, "What is it?" I asked. "I saw something out of the corner of my eye."
Nerezza grabbed my arm and pulled me to him, "Just stay by me okay, Ashia?"
He was protecting me. That was the first.
Suddenly I felt the wind knocked out of me as I was crushed into the ground.
A woman had pinned me down to the ground by my arms, she had a black mask covering her entire face and had her dark grey hair pinned back in a ponytail. I thrashed to try and escape her grip but she had a firm hold of me. "What are you teens doing all the way out here?" She questioned behind her mask.
"We are trying to get somewhere." Kyros calmly said.
The woman got off of me and stepped to the side.
"Where are you trying to get to?"
"No where of your concern."
The woman scoffed as us.
I staggered back on my feet, the woman took off her mask to show a young face, yet a little older than us. "Maybe I could assist you three eh?" She asked. We looked at each other. "I guess... But what is your name stranger?" Kyros finally asked.
"Oh my name is Amaya.”
I know this woman… From a place that I cannot remember too well.
“Where are you from?” I nearly blurted out.
“I am not from anywhere. Anywhere important that is.”
“You have to be from somewhere! It wouldn’t happen to be the Peace Village at the edge of the Valley?”
Amaya’s eyes went distant… “The Peace Valley… That’s correct.”
I gasped, I knew I had seen this woman from somewhere.
“I was born in that village. I remember you, Amaya, as a small child! You used to go to the park I did every Tuesday with my grandmother!”
She shook her head and looked down.
“Let’s just go you two.” Kyros interfered and proceeded to walk.