Awakening: The ALPHA Generation

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Chapter 23

Elle’s voice breaks through my light sleep.

“Sector 3.”

I pull myself out of sleep and force my eyes open. The light outside is brighter now, speckled with flecks of gold from the sunrise.

I rub my eyes. “What?”

Elle responds from the front seat, “I’ve gone through all of the Cliks, looking for history and activity related to the Truth. Most of it is coming from Sector 3.”

“Then that’s where we have to go.” I unbuckle my seatbelt and carefully make my way closer to her. In the driver’s seat, Darren looks tired. He offers me a nod but doesn’t take his eyes off the road. “Where are we now?” I ask him.

“We’re already on our way to Sector 3.”

“How far are we from the border?” I ask.

“Getting close,” Darren answers. “We should be there in an hour or two.”

Xander comes up from the back. He’s regained a bit of himself, but there’s a distinct tiredness to his voice when he asks, “How are we going to get passed the border? They might be looking for us.”

He brings up a valid point; the borders between Sectors are heavily guarded. There’s bound to be a report out about our escape. They’ll be looking for us.

Or maybe the Redeemers have chosen to keep it quiet, shoving records of our escape in the same place they keep those of the Flawed. Announcing our escape would make the Redeemers look weak.

“We’ll think of something,” Darren says in regard to Xander’s question. “We’ve got a few hours to brainstorm.”

I nod and return to my seat. My fingers tap nervously as I try to bring my focus to the open sky that fills the window. I’ve been in this cramped van much longer than I would like to. The walls are too tight, the space too easily filled by our bodies. It’s starting to get to me.

To keep my mind off the tightness, I stare out the window and try to come up with a way to get by the border’s guards. There’s always the option of sneaking through on foot, although that would mean losing our van. But maybe there’s a way to get through, right in plain sight. Darren is a certified Redeemer now. Would that let him through without being questioned?

There’s a chance that only the Sector 7 Redeemers know about us right now. That would leave the guards at the border in the dark.

I glance at the others. We could set up a charade, pretend that Darren is taking us to be Cleansed. But it’s unusual for Redeemers to travel outside of their home-Sectors alone. Having only Darren as a Redeemer might raise suspicion. My eyes wander to my marking, hidden under my sleeve. I could pass for an official Redeemer, right? A small, young-looking one, but still. And Darren is still in his Redeemer uniform.

“Darren,” I say. “What Redeemer supplies are stored in this van?”

“The basics. Artillery, communication, uniforms-“

“Uniforms. Where are they?”

He gives me a curious look and points. “Flip the seats back.”

With help from Xander, I do so, and find that there’s an entire compartment filled with equipment under the row of seats. Long guns lie row by row, next to a pile of neatly folded uniforms. I pull one out and hold it to my chest, then turn to Xander, who is looking at me curiously.

“What exactly do you have in mind?” Darren asks from the front of the car.

I smirk. “We’re going to play Redeemer.”

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