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Chapter 25

Jake waited on the bench outside for Emily to arrive. He hadn't seen her in a while, since he spent most of his time with Sara and Rebecca over the past week.

His sister walked over to him then, and sat down next to him.

"Do you remember when we used to talk here?" Jake asked her. Emily nodded as both of them reminisced.

"How are you and Sara doing?" she asked. "With Rebecca."

"Sleep-deprived. I feel bad for leaving Sara alone with her."

"I'm sure she'll be fine. They're probably both asleep right now."

They watched the citizens in the park, families talking on the artificial grass, children playing and chasing each other.

"Emily," Jake began, looking at her now. "If something happens to me and Sara-"

"It won't."

"I know, but if anything does.... I want you to take care of Rebecca."


Jake nodded. "Of course. I trust you with her, and I know you'll protect her."

"I will, I promise."

Emily seemed deep in thought, looking at the children playing.

"You used to be like that." Jake said, gesturing to a girl who looked around 5 years old, chasing a boy about her age.

"Back when I still had my innocence." Emily laughed without humor.

"You're 20 years old, Emily."

"Has it already been 10 years?"

"That wasn't supposed to happen to you that young. You didn't deserve that. No one does."

They sat in silence for a few minutes.

"The quarantine was a mistake." Emily said, breaking the silence. "I don't know what I was thinking. How did you even manage to convince the government to keep it for this long?"

"You don't need to know that." Jake responded.

"Tell me."

He sighed. "I threatened to expose them. What they did to our parents."

"What? How did you even know it was-"

"I didn't realize it at the time, but there was security footage. And I found other records of it. I know exactly who they were."

Emily tried to ignore the past tense in the last sentence. "How did you even find the records?"

"What else do you think I was doing while you were trying to bring the subjects back to life?"

"Believe me, I know exactly what you were doing." Emily responded, remembering the early stages of Jake and Sara's relationship. "What did you do to them?"

"It's taken care of." He ended the conversation.

Jake knew she wouldn't question his methods; he would never tell her what exactly he did to them. After Rebecca was born, he would make sure nothing like that would ever happen to her.

"What about Jennifer?" Emily asked, changing the subject. "If she comes-"

"I'll handle it. I'm the head of security, that's practically in my job description. I'll do whatever it takes to protect you from her."

"You will?"

He held her closer to him, hugging her.

"Always." Jake promised.

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