"Wake up, Rachel." Sonya was shaking Rachel awake. Rachel opened her eyes and sat up, a blanket falling off of her. Someone playing the Glade mother.
"What time is it?" She yawned.
"Time you go into the Slammer for the day." She helped Rachel up, and they started walking in the direction of the Homestead. "Amy and Nia found you yesterday and told everyone to let you sleep. They also told everyone what the Council decided about you. Some people protested, some people approved, but most people didn't care. But once we decide on a vote, it stays."
"Have fun in there." Sonya smirked from the other side of the bars. Then she walked away, leaving Rachel to sit at think in the silence with nothing else to do.
In the Slammer, there was nothing but a flatly cushioned chair, four walls, and some steel bars. Rachel sighed and plopped down on the chair. What was she supposed to do for the whole day until sundown?
The boy. Her thoughts floated to him. Was she going crazy? Or had he really been talking in her head yesterday? She knew instinctively that the voice was the boy's. Maybe it wasn't just her going mad-how else would she have heard the voice? She knew it wasn't in her ability to remember anything. And even if she did, she was certain that no one would ever say anything like that, unless they were in the Maze. She couldn't rule out the possibility of telepathy. If a Maze the size of the nightmare they were living could be built, then anything was possible.
As time ticked away, Rachel felt the boredom almost more than she felt the distrust from the other girls. Around noon, Ivy, the Track-hoe, came in to check on her. She was a short, skinny, small Asian girl, and her voice was high. The only word to describe her was cute. But she was not like a little girl, despite all of this.
"Hi. I thought you had to watch Michelle," Rachel said.
"Amy said that Michelle's probably better now, so the Med-jacks can handle it. Here." A few sandwiches was handed to Rachel through the bars.
"I though they said no food."
"Shh. Please eat."
Rachel attacked the sandwiches ravenously, sensing that she had another supporter, although this one wasn't very big, although she was strong.
About two hours before sundown, Nia sat next to the bars, grinning down at Rachel.
"Having fun, Greenie?"
"Shut up," Rachel said. Nia's grin grew wider.
"Hang in there. Just a couple more hours left."
"Yeah, yeah. Easy for you to say, shank."
"When you try to be mean and use Glader slang, it's hilarious."
Rachel sat back on the chair and laughed, glad that Nia was distracting her from the complete boredom of staying in the Slammer."Where's Amy?"
"Good question. Probably hanging out with Michelle."
"She's better. Almost back to new. She'll be a little different, but luckily she'll be better off than most other Changing victims."
"What do you mean?"
"Most people who go to the Changing are...different. Dark. She seems okay. She must be hiding it pretty well."
"Hey." Michelle knelt down and unlocked the Slammer. She reached out a hand, and pulled Rachel out. Around them, the four Doors shuddered closed.
"What are you doing out here?" Rachel asked. Michelle looked unnaturally healthy, especially considering what she'd been going through recently.
"Taking you out of the shuck Slammer."
"How are you feeling?"
"Terrific," She said sarcastically. "Actually, I feel like a pile of klunk. I don't remember much anymore, except that I tried to tell someone something about what I saw, which I also don't remember, and then I couldn't breathe."
"Oh." They walked in silence until they were almost past the Homestead when Amy came running up to them, and immediately threw her arms around Michelle. Rachel stood awkwardly as the two girls clung to each other, relief pouring off both of them. Then they pulled away.
"Look, I'm sorry if I said anything mean before. I don't remember," Michelle said.
"Yeah." A pause. "I'm sorry too." They both turned back to Rachel. "Sorry." Rachel shrugged.
"Let's go to dinner," Michelle said. "Your terrible prison sentence of one day is over."