A New Hope



I listen to Danni “I know ok, I don’t know, just she isn’t staying in there” I said firmly before reaching for the water bottle “Thank you” I smile before moving close up to the cage. She looked… Well a mess was the only way to describe her, even beneath the layers of dirt I could tell she was scared.

I smile gently “I know you do… I will figure something out ok” I tell her looking around again to make sure that none of the guards where coming “Ok having some of this water” I said and put the nozzle of the water bottle through, it was the only way I could get some water to her.


I hear voices, I see faces, new people being caged, caged people being taken away, I was brought here in chains and almost thrown in the cage after causing trouble and trying to escape, the chosen had almost beaten the strength and energy out of me, I have no fight left… I sit in the corner my back to the others in the cage, unaware of who is coming in and out, I have lost weight, with very little food or water, I want the smaller weaker people to eat more than I… My thoughts constantly on Salene and our baby, I don’t know if its a girl or a boy or if Salenes ok… I miss her I miss my family, I sit in my own bubble not talking or looking around… I HAVE GIVEN UP…


I listen as Zandra says she will figure something out, when people say they will sort it out, it normally ends in tears. Sometimes happy tears with heartbroken sobs. I looked worried over at her, theres nothing more i want more then to get out of the cage, but at the same time i dont want Zandra to get hurt.

my eyes wander around the beach as hers do, im worried, and yet again feel so guilty. I wanna tell Danni how sorry I am about everything. Before the virus the beach used to be a happy place, now it feels like nothing more then a living nightmare.

Zandra put the nozzle through so i can have a sip of water. I know i need it, but at the same time it would be wrong everyone needed water. Thought I need water, so i place my lips on the nozzle and take a sip of the water. It probably looked just like when the animals in the petstores had their bottles before the virus. I pull back.

“thank you,” i say looking over at Zandra before looking at Danni as well. “thank you both of you” i know that they both could get in trouble for this and that they didnt need to do this


Listening to Zandra I hold back my comment, I could tell she wanted to help although I wasn’t sure how she knew Patsy, now definitely wasn’t the time to ask questions.

As Zandra helps Patsy to drink I look around, making sure that we aren’t being watched. The last thing we needed was to get caught doing this, that would end blackly for everyone including Patsy. “Don’t thank us yet.” I comment out looking around. I knew I sounded harsh but the truth was I wasn’t sure how I felt seeing her after all this time. I’d spent so long blaming to Mall Rats for everything but now, coming face to face with her, it wasn’t that easy.

“Zandra, we need to go.” I tell her, “we can come back later but just standing here is going to look suspicious. Plus, we need to check the rota, see what’s going on.” I knew the prisoners didn’t get much in the way of rations but starving them like this just felt… wrong… and it was making me suspicious about all the other changes that had happened recently.


I accept Alice’s hand and squeeze it tightly, her words offer some comfort to me but it’s still only a small light in a sea of darkness.

“I don’t know how much longer I can put up with being here” I respond, keeping hold of her hand. Alice’s hand was rough but it always had been back before we were slaves they had become rough from working on the farm way before the virus.

I look around us and realise how much more busier the cages had become, with more and more slaves being brought in each day.


i sigh deeply and turn back to May " yeah, maybe it can be a chance for all of us. We all have done things, we aren’t proud of. " i answer and watch her lying back down in the sand. I follow that behaviour and lay down by myself. the sky looks so clear today, just a few little clouds and some birds arround. I think back to Ryan and the time with the Choosen and of all things that have happened, just because i was so stupid and scared… I don’t want to be that person anymore.

" I’m in, with the “new person”-thing "


I smile at Patsy “We’ll be back ok, we just need to figure the safest way to get you out of here. Just hold on alright” I tell her before moving away from the cage and passing the water bottle back to Danni then continue walking before looking over my shoulder at Patsy for a second as we walked away.

I turned to Danni as we walked “I know the risks alright, I do… But I cant leave her in there, we need to figure something out alright… They are starving in there” I said to her with a sigh.

We passed all the cages but I couldn’t face looking into them because the faces starring back at me were all looking hopeless and most of them had given up. As we reached the cabin to go check the rota, it was empty "Danni we cant be doing the right thing here… We shouldn’t be holding these people as slaves… " I bit my lip as I looked at her “Can we at least feed them and give them some water”


I don’t know how long the others have been gone, but I couldn’t stand sitting around doing nothing and watching the children play. I’ve had enough of the sitting around and being stuck.

You could say I was getting a bit stir-crazy, an itch for adventure taking over, though I’m not exploring this island any further than the rocks along the shore, complete with a bucket and makeshift trap in hand. I’m looking for something other than fish to have for dinner tonight and where there are rocks there are a nice chance for tide pools. And where there are tide pools there’s bait. Hopefully that which will be suitable for crabs.

I sure hope this island is home to the delictible seafood. And hopefully the edible kinds.


Putting my head down on my knees, TRYING to shut out the noise thats around me, I hear a voice, the familiar soft, tender, caring voice from the mall, the voice of Zandra, it echoed in my head, I shake it off its a memory it has to be, Zandra is dead… My head full of noise and bustle, I struggle to work out whats real, clamping my hands over my ears, trying to block it out, wishing I was in the mall with Salene, just how it should be, we had barely been married long enough to experience married life, I guess shes moved on, probably thinks I am dead… I hate this, I hate being caged like an animal but I know if I try and break free everyone would be punished, its not worth it…


I dont want them to go but i nod my head slightly looking after them. All i want to do is to run after them, but my feet wont carry me. I sink down in the sand landing on my knees. The familiar faces are gone. Wrapping my hands around my knees I take a deep breath.

“please come back” i whisper to myself


Taking the bottle from Zandra I glance around but it’s quiet, very quiet. There weren’t nearly as many patrols as usual which was strange. "And the others?’ I point out, “Zandra you can’t just open the cage door for one person it doesn’t work like that.” Hearing her sigh I look at her for a moment, I knew she was right and they were starving but I didn’t know what we could do.

Staring at the empty rota I frown, “something’s wrong” I tell her, although I’m sure she’s already worked that out for herself. “Let’s start with water,” the rotas were normally published every morning and I was still confused as to why that had changed, “why don’t we get some water from the well, start with the bigger cages and then into the smaller ones?” I knew we would be in trouble if we were caught but I’d had an idea, “and if anyone asks, point out that dead slaves can’t work.”


I tilt my head looking at her when she says that something is wrong, I lean and see that the rota is empty “That is odd” I reply with a frown, but shake it off “There is no point in worrying about the rota just yet” I tell her.

“Yes” I nod “Lets go get the water” Its not like its far away. I look around the cabin and sat in the corner were the buckets.
I knew the cages had empty plastic bottles and makeshift cups that they could use so we wouldn’t need to worry about that. I was eager to get moving, and with Danni saying ‘dead slaves cant work’ it just reminded me how much they really did need the water.


Sighing quietly I move and grab one of the buckets, “come on.” I tell her moving away from the cabin. There were a lot of cages and if we really were going to get water for everyone without getting caught we needed to do this quickly. The fact the rota wasn’t out yet was bothering me, but Zandra was right that letting everyone starve was just wrong.

Reaching the well I hook the bucket in place before dropping it into the cool water below. Something really isn’t right here, I comment again to Zandra as I look around.


I smile at Danni and grab a bucket myself, the best way to do this was quickly… Especially with Danni worrying which I get, however it wasn’t my main concern at the moment.

As we reach the well, I watch her fill the first bucket and let out a small sigh when she says something isn’t right “Something is off, and I promise as soon as we have made sure they have water we can go look into it and try to find out whats going on, but we cant do two things at once, so lets get this done and then we can do find out some more information… Deal?” I said looking at her before filling the 2nd bucket.

“Should we do one cage at a time or split up?” I ask


“Alright, we can deal with that after we’ve given everyone water, but Zandra… please don’t try and open the cage, not yet anyway.” I had a feeling she was more interested in helping Patsy than thinking this through but if something was wrong the last thing we needed was a bunch of prisoners running around the island without knowing what was going on.

Looking around I sigh quietly, “I guess we split up? The faster we can get this done the better.” I wasn’t keen on the idea of going round the cages with water by myself, especially not now Zandra had raised the thought of there being more Mall Rats here, but I wouldn’t admit that aloud. Once my second bucket is full I look around, “alright, the faster we do this the better… I really do not want to get caught doing this.”


I nodded to Danni “I promise I wont open the cages… Not until we can figure everything out first” I say to her before taking the bucket and moving towards the biggest cage.

Placing the bucket on the floor, I unlocked the hatch before pushing the bucket through with my foot then locking the hatch straight away.

This wasn’t the cage that Patsy was in, but I would get to that one next. “Don’t waste the water, there is enough for everyone” I call out to those in the cage.

I take the time to look around the cage to see if I can spot anyone familiar… Was that KC?! It cant be.
I stare at the guy a little longer before taking the chance “KC?” I call out, though the uncertainty can be heard.


I look up as one of the prison guards being water to our cage. I don’t pay a huge lot of Attention as there clearly isn’t enough water for everyone so turn back to Alice.

I hear someone call my name, I look up again and realise it’s the prison gaurd. She looks familiar ur it can’t be can it…I mean she died…she died years ago back at Eagle mountain…I shake my head thinking it’s another VR trick my mind is playing on me , like the time I thought I saw Bray but I had heard from Moz that he had been deleted…so it couldn’t have been him.

I close my eyes and reopen them and she is still staring at me…“Zandra?” I whisper not sure that the name even escaped my lips


Oh god, it was him! I couldn’t help but wonder how many Mallrats were stuck in these cages.

“Not you as well, I was hoping it was someone” I said and looked around, thankfully once again there was no guards around, which made me think to what Danni was saying about there being something not quite right.
I ignore the fact and move round the cage so I am right by where KC is “I will find a way to get you out of here, I… I… Don’t know how yet, but I will figure out” I said and paused.

I cant believe I am seeing so many old faces, faces that I thought I wouldn’t see again “You should get some water, you need it”


I stare at her in complete confusion, I can hear what she is saying but nothing is making sense plus the fact she is wearing a Techno uniform.

I stutter my words “but how?..you died? I mean how…”

Then my thought goes back to what she said “not you as well” does that mean there are more Mallrats here? Did none of us escape the Techno invasion?


I shook my head "No I didn’t KC… " I looked down for a moment, this wasn’t something I liked to talk about, in fact it wasn’t even something I had thought about for such a long time. Part of me didn’t want to talk about it but given the situation it wasn’t like I couldn’t explain “I was unconscious, I don’t know how long you guys had been gone when I woke up. It… It wasn’t great but I’m ok now”

I looked at him and gave him a small smile “Don’t worry about the past ok, I promise… I will find a way to get you free, after you saved me all those years ago with Tribe Circus I owe you” I looked around again, still no other guards had passed by, I know there are quite a few cages but its really quiet.