"Yeah." Rachel said truthfully.
"Are you absolutely sure you want to be a Runner?"
"Yes." Despite her nervousness, she was eager to fulfill what she knew was her fate. "Can we get going now?"
Amy chuckled and looked Rachel in the eyes. "Eager to go start the worst job in the Glade, are you?" Her tone said she was joking, but Rachel sensed some truth and darkness behind it. She decided to ignore it.
"Yeah. Let's go."
"Okay. Follow me. Keep up." Amy ran into the Maze, and Rachel took off after her.
They'd been jogging for a while. Good shape or not, Rachel was definitely feeling the burn. She followed Amy, who wound her way through the Maze without a second thought at each turn.
"I really mostly on memory," Amelia said as she took a notepad out of her pack and jotted down a few notes. Then she put it back, never fully stopping. "Every few turns, I write a few notes down. They're mostly just stuff related to yesterday. Then I can use yesterday's map to make today's." Then she took out a knife as they turned another into another corridor and sliced a big piece of ivy from the wall, without slowing at all. She'd been doing this for awhile.
"You got it." Amy looked back at her, a trace of a smile on her face. "You're Gretel. I'm Hansel."
They kept running for a few more minutes, then she turned back again. "Your...turn," She huffed, finally showing a bit of strain.
"Bread crumbs," She said simply. Rachel fumbled with her pack, then took out her knife. It took her a few tries, but she managed to cut the ivy off the wall. Soon she could almost match Amy at the task.
They ran for two more hours, sprinkled with a few breaks that seemed to get shorter each time. Finally, Amy stopped and took off her pack.
They sat on the stone ground, leaning back against the wall covered by soft ivy. They took out their lunches, staying silent. Rachel ate slowly, relishing her sandwich and raw vegetables slowly.
"Anything different today?" She asked. Amy shook her head.
"Nope. Nothing." Amy put her notepad back into her pack, and Rachel caught a glimpse of a shimmer of gray.
"Hm?" Amy turned to where she was looking, then shrugged. "Oh. That. it's just a label, I guess. No real purpose to them. You learn to ignore the bloody things after while."
Rachel shoved the ivy aside and read the words.
WORLD IN CATASTROPHE:
KILLZONE EXPERIMENT DEPARTMENT
"What does that mean?"
"No idea. Let's get going. We have to head back now."
"No buts. We're not taking chances. Let's go."
The rest of the day was a blur of exhaustion. Rachel and Amelia had made it back to the Glade, went to the Map Room and drew that day's map, and compared them to the previous days. Then the walls closed and dinner.
Rachel went to bed right after dinner and closed her eyes. She was almost asleep, about to enter that comforting sea of darkness, when she heard it, clear in her head.
Rachel, I just triggered the ending.