We're all in this virtual space together.

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You wake up Alone in a virtual space, armed with only a shield.

What do you do?

After the initial wave of revival that flushed over his body at getting out of the choking atmosphere, Myos noticed that something was very wrong.

Why were all of his teammates glaring at each other?

Zeke stood in one corner, looking down at all the others with a sneer twisting his thin lips. His strong jaw was tensed, and it was obvious that he was looking at all the others with distrust in his eyes. Achernar looked to be on the point of boiling, cracking her knuckles with audible snaps like she was ready to throw a punch at anyone who got too close to her. Razzy appeared more withdrawn than usual, her lapis eyes not focused on anyone present in the room. Amaya’s eyes darted between the four others nervously, her usual upbeat demeanor diminished by the combatative aura of the black lit space.

What had happened to his friends while he was trapped in the stifling blackness? Had they been spoken to by that same persuasive voice? Myos grew concerned, stepping forward to join his friends.

“Come to trick us again?” Razzy said pointedly, removing herself from her thoughts to turn her head to face the redhead, alabaster bob bouncing as she did so.

“Um, what?” Myos asked, taken aback. He looked at the rest of his teammates for support, noticing the same blame in all of their eyes being placed on his. What did that text tell them?

“I didn’t stutter,” She replied simply, crossing her arms to signal the end of the conversation.

“Well what about you miss mysterious!” Amaya retorted, voice uncharacteristically angry for the bubbly girl. She immediately gasped and put her hands over her mouth as if she could catch the words, but it was too late.

“Yes, what about you?” Zeke said, taking up the mantle of the argument. “We barely even know you, yet you say you’re with us. You tell us you aren’t going to help, but then you come back only a day later wearing the ‘symbol of the team’. We’re supposed to trust that?”

“You wanna fucking call someone an outsider? What about that blonde bitch over there?” Achernar raged, stepping in front of the ghostly pale girl and waving a tightly curled fist in Zeke’s face before switching her attention to the quivering girl in the corner. “How’d you get through the first room? Someone let you in didn’t they? Just fucking tell me so I have an excuse to slash your ass to pieces!” The bluenette snapped, crimson eyes flaring.

Myos stepped in to protect the girl who was being verbally assaulted only to be pushed away, a look of hurt and distrust in her amethyst eyes. He stepped back, feeling his heart drop.

This couldn’t be happening.

“Zeke. How did you know the password,” Razzy asked, laser sharp focus now being directed at the man with the hair like night.

“Is it a crime to be knowledgeable?” Zeke volleyed back, same flicker in his eyes as before when emerald met sapphire. He brushed his short bangs back, combing through them with his fingers in an act of indifference to the accusation.

“It is when you wear this thing,” Achernar snapped, fisting the heart and wing pin along with the other’s tail coated asymmetrical green vest.

“Then don’t trust me,” Zeke replied easily, wrenching himself free of the woman’s angry grip. “No one asked you to come, and no one is asking you to stay.”

“And where are we supposed to go? There’s only one way back and one way out,” Amaya said quietly, hopelessness beginning to fill her eyes as her soft features began to quake.

“Wrong. This room has enough exits that we don’t need to stay together anymore. Goodbye,” Razzy replied, turning quickly on her heel to walk down a velveteen pink corridor just barely visible beyond the reach of the black light.

The remaining quartet watched the ceramic skinned girl go in silence, and then looked at each other in anticipation to see if they would heed her words. Amaya was the first to slip quietly away, guilt and shame present on her face as she made the decision to forge her own path through the Empress’s twisting labyrinth. Achernar was the next to go, blue hair flowing like a stream behind her as she stalked off into a textured crimson hallway, heavy footsteps thunking along the uneven ground.

Myos and Zeke looked at each other, both absentmindedly twisting their respective thumb rings. And then there were two.

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