Midori stayed glued to the gun as if it were a teddy bear she was hugging. She was starting to have difficulty breathing. Even though the woods were completely dark, her hearing was her best weapon. She was nervously gulping down to the point where the insides of her mouth were starting to dry. Minutes went by and eventually she stopped hearing the voices and the footsteps near her, so she put the gun down and approached Atlas, shaking him by the shoulders once again, this time a little softer.
— Atlas, wake up... Atlas... Please...
Midori’s voice was starting to break. She placed her hand over Atlas’ wrist and after a second, she let out a relived sigh.
— At least you’re not dead…
Midori leaned Atlas’ head on her lap, while she leaned hers on the rocky wall behind her, resting for a while, however she started to hear the footsteps approaching once again. They were screaming at each other.
— WHERE ARE THEY?
— YOU STILL HAVEN’T FOUND THEM? YOU’RE ALL USELESS! THEY HAVE ALL THE PAPERS OF THE PROJECT!
— WE’RE DOING WHAT WE CAN, SIR.
The fear towards that man could be clearly felt through the nurses voices.
— Maybe he has them as his slaves... —muttered a familiar voice–.
Midori gasped. She heard how Atlas started to slowly talk, barely audible.
— Atlas! Are you okay!?
— Y-yes... just... —he brought his hand to his head— My head hurts a lot... and I’m a bit... dizzy...
— We have to go... It’s only a matter of time before they find us here...
— I know...
Atlas coughed. Some blood spilled from his lips.
— We have to get you to a hospital, urgently.
— N-no...! First... the police... we have to hand over... those papers....
Midori bit her lip. Her heart breaking every time Atlas talked. Every time he sounded more and more like he was about to fall unconscious again.
— Come here, I’ll help you get up.
Atlas sat on the ground, with his hand still holding his head. Midori carefully stood up and cleaned her gown. They were dirty from head to toe but it didn’t matter. Midori extended her hand and Atlas took it, pushing himself up. When he stood up, Midori hugged him by the waist with one arm, the other going around his neck.
— Let me know which way to go...
While they were walking, Atlas guided Midori through the woods. In the distance, they could notice an absence of trees; assuming they were near a road or something similar, they kept walking until they got there and confirmed that it was indeed a road. They stood there for a few minutes, waiting to see if a car passed by.
Hours and hours went by, Midori turned her head to Atlas, who was unconscious once again. Midori was starting to lose hope, but then she heard the horn of a truck. She raised one of her arms, waving it to draw the driver’s attention.
— Atlas! Someone came!
— ... Y-yeah...
The driver stopped next to them. He had a peculiar expression on his face; in front of him was a girl with bandages over her eyes along with a guy who was covered in blood and unconscious. Midori just asked of him to get them to the nearest police station. The driver agreed to it, understanding they needed help. He helped them in getting on the truck. The way to the police station was long, it seemed they were in a distant part of the city.
— We’re here.
— Thank you so much, really. Come on, Atlas.
They got off the truck and walked to the station. There were two police officers at the door, drinking coffee. One of them saw them and chocked on his, quickly approaching them.
— Are you okay!?
— Don’t worry about us... Atlas...
Atlas weakly nodded and handed over the papers he had in his arms. Atlas mustered all his strength to not let go of them all this time. The officer took them with a curious expression and started to read them. After a while he took the radio that was resting on his hip and made an announcement.
— All units please respond, I repeat. All units please respond, we have a situation. You, the guy over there, take these kids to the nearest hospital.
— Yes, sir.
Another officer walked Midori and Atlas to his car. Both sat down in the back seats.
— I told you... that I would get you out of there... Midori... —he whispered—.
Midori let out a weak laugh. She leaned her head on his shoulder, and finally, fell asleep.
TO BE CONTINUED.