The Labyrinth

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Chapter 7

The Chaos (part two)

...Wrapped in a blanket and holding a cup of hot tea mixed with brandy, Sia felt like everything around her was spinning. Within five minutes from the moment that both she and Sebastian had recovered their senses, their school had been inundated with people of the Special Forces and technicians who were trying their best in order to disconnect the other students while trying not to damage their psychophysical state.

Amid all this chaos Sia managed to catch scattered phrases from here and there about what had happened, and why they returned in such a way. The planet had been tested by an unexpected and above all unprecedented electromagnetic storm which led to the fall of the electromagnetic network and stopped all the communications.

The chaos that followed had no precedent. No one had any means to learn what had happened to their relatives while millions of citizens were trapped in the Network and terminals on the other planets.

Their class was amongst the lucky ones who returned before the Network ultimately collapsed, in this way not causing major complications and effects on their psychophysical condition. Sia watched them recover their senses one by one, and sitting, staring at the world around them with empty eyes.

She glanced at Sebastian who was sitting next to her. He was watching everything that was happening in front of them with eyes wide open. It seemed he hadn't fully realized what had just happened, since everybody else needed special injections in order to rebound. As for him, once he passed through the examinations, and after taking two pills, he was sitting next to her and seemed to be more vivid than ever.

But the same didn't happen with Maria. After she was shot with two injections but didn't open her eyes; a huge team of Special Forces had gathered around her. Sia had a feeling that something was going wrong. They didn't allow any students to approach her and now, helpless, they were watching her being transported by an air ambulance, which got lost from their view within some moments up in the sky.

As she reached at home, the first thing that Sia did was rushing to her grandma's room. But she was already walking down the ladder holding a lit cigarette in her right hand, and speaking at the same time on phone. The expression of her face scared Sia. Two deep wrinkles had appeared on her forehead as if something was tormenting her. "We are leaving" she said briefly. "I talked to the doctor who is in Maria's charge. He has news which he couldn't tell me via phone…"

… Inside the hospital panic prevailed. The staffs were running up and down accompanied by androids and drones while from every entrance unconscious people of all ages arrived on auto-moving trolleys. Sia began to wonder what exactly had just happened to plunge the whole world into chaos?

Next to her Sebastian was petrified. His hand found hers. "Sia..." he murmured, "what exactly is happening?" Sia didn't have time to answer, as next to her grandmother - who was looking for someone in the crowd - appeared a hologram of a middle-aged man with a beard. "Madam de Niez" reached their ears ¨Please go to the 3rd floor, room 314."

In front of them on a bed cannulated, with many cables from her head was Maria. She looked like she was just sleeping, but when Sia approached her and looked at her more closely, she noticed that her lashes flickered while her fingers trembled nervously.

"Hello," the man who had emerged as a hologram greeted them. The hologram did not differ much from the true form. He was a middle-aged man with a beard, and his eyes showed that something puzzled him as they ran up and down the faces of the attendees.

¨I will talk with very simple words in order to be understandable to all who are here," he continued as he approached Maria. Beside him in the air appeared a hologram of a human brain. Some areas were marked in black, others with white, and others with red.

¨As you can see the concrete Missy is in a comatose state, which have fallen at least another 200,000 souls around the planet. It is something we have not faced before, and therefore we do not know how to handle it. What initially gave us questions and surprise is the reasons that led to this situation. The machines that separate the mind from the body even in extremely volatile conditions manage to bring the mind without causing damage to the psychosomatic state of the user. We do not believe that the electromagnetic storm affected in any way, the delivery of the mind. Second, and most important, is where it is located in the mind of the users...¨

He stopped boasting and remained staring at his hands as if he did not know how to continue. ¨As you know, every brain generates a unique signal that can be detected anywhere in the Intergalactic Alliance. Well; the thing is… What you are about to hear…Has no precedent. Obviously something happened as the consciousness was returning to the Earth. Something that no one is able to detect yet. But at this moment, as we speak... "And he looked helplessly at the bystanders, "the brain signal of the girl here is being sent from the well-known game, the Labyrinth. Hers and the other 200,000 people who are in this comatose state... ¨

Sia felt the ground shaking under her feet. Everything darkened around her. Everything darkened around her. But at the very last moment someone grabbed her, and opening her eyes she saw Sebastian, who had become cadaverous but still maintained his composure. "Thank you," she stammered. He grabbed her by the shoulders without saying anything and turned his head to the doctor.

¨ What we also cannot succeed in, is to find a way to return the mind to the body of this girl, as we do not know what was the process by which the mind was separated and escorted to the Labyrinth. We cannot use any known method, given the fact that we do not know what kind of complications may have a violent return to psychosomatic condition. In a few words ... Our hands are tied ... ¨ he sighed. ¨ We can't do anything else than watching all those minds signals which are at the Labyrinth, and bring them back to reality with one of the already known ways ¨.

'Labyrinth' crossed Sia's mind. 'Labyrinth…'

And then she realized it.

Her eyes met the eyes of Sebastian. Within them she read what she was thinking as well. "Sebastian ... I think we should visit someone..." she said without a second thought. ¨ someone who may possibly needs us as much as we need him right now…"


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