A New Hope



Amber grabs my arm and I let out a sigh lowering my head, nearly in shame. I know the desperation for answers. I also don’t pull away, I might come off as heartless sometimes but I remember the crushing weight after Mega told me. The feeling of suffocating and the rage. This really isn’t the best place to tell her, but if Amber is insisting…

I lower my voice, “Bray, Taisan, and the rest are alive. Some stayed in the city. Some went off to work in other places. Scattered, he never gave me the locations, but that doesn’t matter because we are stuck on this godforsaken island.”

The deep dark secret comes out. Part of me is happy that I don’t need to keep it anymore, but the other part knows that the only reason why I let myself fall for Siva was because I thought Taisan was dead. Now it’s the opposite except we are stranded, I’ve completely lost Siva and there is no promise I’m ever going to find Taisan.


" sure i can " i nod at Amber as she walks over to Lex. I watch Trudy for a moment, something has happen to her, a memorie or something, She looks like she has seen the Guardian again…
" Come on Trudy, let’s get the others" i carefully take her arm and lead her with me. " I look over at Ruby and the kids. " guys, grab your stuff, we are leaving" i shout out, watching arround


He doesn’t fight me or argue and for that I am truly grateful, I just didn’t have the energy to fight right now, sleeping on the boat hadn’t been easy and I felt as though I was carrying the weight of the entire Tribe on my shoulders right now, which really wasn’t helping - it was as though everyone was looking for answers and I just couldn’t reassure them this time, couldn’t tell anyone that we’d be fine, sure we all had each other, but we’d lost our home and that was huge for all of us.

Listening as Lex lowers his voice I felt as though all the wind had been completely knocked out of me, as though my body had slammed into some solid object and was ready to just crumble to the ground, no he couldn’t have just said the words I thought I’d heard, it just couldn’t be true. My grip on his arm tightens as my knees buckle slightly and all I can do is stare at him, as if I was hoping those words hadn’t just left his mouth - no Jay had told me what Deleted meant, I’d said goodbye to Bray, I’d…I’d. Ok I hadn’t accepted that he was gone, but no, this couldn’t be happening, I’d heard Lex wrong hadn’t I?

“Bray.” I murmur after what feels like an eternity of silence “But…it can’t be true, why would you.” I look at him and shake my head “Why didn’t you tell me, why would you keep this from me? From, from all of us?” I ask my voice low yet shaky.


Before Zandra has a chance to answer I hear raised voices from the direction of the cages, if this was what giving them water did it was no wonder they were on rations. “We should go check that out,” I tell Zandra although I can tell she’s more interested in the documents on the table. “Well, I’m going to, before we get in trouble for snooping.” The truth was I knew important documents weren’t in here, they were only left out on tables in movies, in real life anything of importance was locked away which meant it would more likely be stored in the filing cabinets in the ‘office’, than abandoned on the desk, I’d done this enough as a child to know where people liked to hide things of importance.

Leaving the cabin I walk back to the cages, I can tell the water has helped as more of the prisoners are moving around although part of me thinks it was less creepy when they were all silent and still. As I walk I can’t help but notice none of the other guards are coming to help, seriously? Was everyone on vacation today and I’d just missed the memo?

“Settle down” I tell the prisoners, raising my voice enough that I can be heard over the drone of conversation, definitely better when they were all silent. “Or all rations will be revoked.” Ok I wasn’t in a position to do that, but they didn’t know that and I had a feeling after what they’d been through something like that really would quieten them down.


I shrug off Salene’s hand, not wanting her to touch me. “NO” I say as I turn around. "Do what you must, but leave me out of it."
Quickly I walk away, unsure if I could even still trust Salene. Afterall, she had been a part of it aswel, what if that had been her mission all along, to get me back to that dark place in my past.

Ram’s cackle surprises me as I make my way over to him, until I spot the crushed crab and undone zipper. Who knows, he might be the only person with the answers I so desperately need.
“Look Brady, Ram has already cracked open a crab for dinner” I tell my little girl with a hint of sarcasm in my voice, while still holding her close to me.

“Ram? We should talk… one reformed villain to another…” I whisper as I glance at the others, who are still to close for comfort. “Away from… them


Looking back at KC

“Zandra is dead KC, we buried her on eagle mountain with Amber”

Knowing Patsy has said the same thing about Zandra, was this real or reality space…
Hearing someone come over and shouting to settle down, I turn and look


Surprised… Who else was alive that we have missed…


Zzzzzzzzzip! I re-zip my uniform and face @Trudy with a droll expression. “It bit me.” I explain dryly. Now my brow furrows in a concerned frown as I gingerly touch the spot where the thing nipped my neck. It bit me! Oceanic crustaceans have been known to transmit all kinds of diseases! It could be infected! I could die!

“Mmhm…” I hum distractedly, still feeling the neck welt – It’s sore and itchy. An itching wound can indicate bacterial infection! Then Trudy suggests we continue our discussion in a more covert location and I stop. My eyes narrow into a squint as I regard her curiously. “Talk about what…?”


Amber let’s go of my hand as she tries to keep herself from crumpling to the ground. I take a step forward hands at the ready to catch her if she can’t handle what I’ve just said.

I let her take the time she needs to process. And when she does, the blame gets passed to me. “What good would that have done, all I had was Mega’s word. I didn’t know if he was just trying to save his skin.” I rub the back of my neck with my hand. “I wanted to find them more then you probably know. So fine! Blame me all you want Amber because I’ve kept Bray from you. When I’ve had to go weeks wondering about my best friend and wife. I warned you.”


“Then you must have buried her alive” I called back I could tell that Ryan was getting frustrated. My own words sink in and I realise why Zandra wouldn’t come back with us…not only had we left her on Eagle mountain but we had buried her alive.

I hear Ryan call another name…“Danni” I turn to look where Ryan was staring and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Danni had been missing since the Chosen attack on the beach…we all believed she had been killed along with the other Tribe leaders. I want to call out to her as well but she was different, she had a hard face and was shouting threats. She looked like a real member of the Technos…what had the Chosen done to her?


I hear kc asking me if i saw Zandra, i nod my head. “i saw her, Im sure it was her,” I say and look at Kc, quickly i glance over at Ryan. I had told Ryan that i had seen both of them, hadn’t i? or had I only mentioned Zandra? I can’t remember, it doesnt matter either way.

Pushing my hair back as i take a deep breath. I listen as the boys say the name of Danni. ¨



Turning back to KC…

I…I… Lex buried her… I was looking after Salene and the girls, I. Lex said she was dead, I never saw her body"

I look back towards Danni as she was shouting threats at the cages, hard to believe this is the same person who wanted law and order and fair justice system and was against slavery, she was now in charge of slaves, what happened to her, what had made her change soo much, so many questions need answers but as I look towards her, I know we probably wont get them…
Grabbing Patsy’s arm I pull her down so we are both sitting down, I want to keep her close and give the Techno’s no reason to split us up…

“Whats going on” I whisper “Theres no other guards”

I look towards KC and then to Patsy, then scan the cage

“There are normally loads about especially when one starts shouting they come out of no where, even Danni looks confused”



‘There’s some Aloe Vera plants over there… it will help with the bite mark…’ I say as I gesture to some plants growing towards some rocks.
I start moving in that direction, grateful Brady has fallen asleep on my hip, and sure Ram will follow.
‘We need to talk about the building… and this island…’


I listen to what Ryan is saying, but i also know what I saw. I havent gone crazy, or i dont believe i have. KC had asked if i had seen her as well so he must have seen her. Ryan speaks about how Lex buried her, can we be sure that she was dead? Cause the girl i spoke to a few hours ago was Zandra, i feel certain about that.

Ryan puls in my hand and i sit down next to him, he whisperes about where the guards are at. He is right, i can’t see any of them either. “Maybe something has happen?” I suggest looking from Ryan to Kc.



Aloe? Was she serious? Like that was going to help if I’d contracted some life-threatening disease from the stupid crab… – She’s started to move off and, after a moment’s sheepish hesitation, I break off a chunk of aloe leaf and follow after her, dabbing the juice on my neck. “Yeah. Right. Thanks.”

Her response to my question brings ambivalence as I wonder about her reason for wanting to talk to me in particular. Could been planning to blackmail me with something she’d found? I’m not sure I know Trudy well enough to rule it out… On the other hand, I’m keen to hear about the building expedition and talking to Lex was about as much use as this aloe will be if I’m dying from flesh-eating bacteria!

“Ah, yes… The mysterious building… I heard you found something interesting up there…” I bluff carefully, watching her face for reaction. I figure we’ve sufficiently distanced ourselves from the rest of the group by now and I turn to her with brows raised expectantly. “Lay it on me, Trudes. Whatever it is. You can trust Ram.”


I pull my hand as Trudy shake it off and walk away after a bitchy announcement . Oh thats great, a freaking out Trudy is what we need right now.
I sigh and walk over to Ruby and the kids. " Ok, we need to get ready come on" i say again and start to pack things. " Lottie, please get the basjet for Bray jr" . She nods at me and runs to the boot, just to return a few minutes later with the basket we used for the baby to sleep. Ruby lay him down there and so we start packing. From time to time i look up, searching for some of the others to come…


I ignored Danni for a few moments as I flicked through the papers, I was just trying to find something… Anything that explained why it was so quiet, but nothing was standing out. I was about to respond to Danni when the shouting started, she disappeared quickly so while she was gone I piled the paperwork back up.

I looked around the cabin before heading out towards the cages to see what was going on. It was KC, Patsy and Ryan! I cant believe Ryan is here as well… Seriously how many of the Mallrats are still at the Mall because most of them seem to be here.

I move closer, shaking my head, Danni is right we don’t want to draw attention to them “Guys you need to quieten down… We cant draw attention to you lot, it will things much harder for us” I whisper to them before turning to Danni moving close to her and whispering to the others didn’t hear… Just in case she didn’t agree “Can we move them into the same cage… I’m not saying release them now cause I know we cant, but at least if they are in one place it will make it easier for us”



Another Techno comes over, I look at her, not really believing what I am seeing, I just stare at her… She looks different some how, I hear her speak but the words take time to sink in


I say moving away from the side of the cage, I look at Patsy and KC, knowing I owe them an apology, turning back I see her and Danni talking, I try to hear what they are saying but they are too far away, I move back beside Patsy…

“I… I… I can’t believe Zandra is alive”

A sudden thought feels my head…

“But Lex, he buried her, he said she was dead, she was alive, why would he say she was dead”

Watching Zandra and Danni talking, so many questions need answering…



A part of me want to take the ‘i told you so’, but i decide against it. It must be just as much a shock to Ryan as it was to me. But i had been right, she had been there. She was there right infront of us talking to Danni. I take a deep breath as I watch them, before i let my eyes travel to the other cage resting on Kc’s face.

Even if he has grown up and changed a lot, its still him. I pull my feet up under myself and rest my head on my knees, so much happening, and your not in controll, everything is changing, and i hope it is for the better. “Alice is here?” i ask, hadn’t kc mentioned Alice?



Hearing my name called by someone else in the cage I sigh quietly, this was becoming more and more like a nightmare. Every time I decided this wasn’t virtual reality another person popped up to make me question it, the sight of the mall rats… This was definitely a test.

Making sure none of the other guards are coming I move slightly closer to the cages to have a look who is inside; people have changed, and although they know my name I’m not sure they are who I think they are. That could be Ryan, but it could easily be someone else.

As Zandra joins me I glance at her and listen as she talks, “easier for us to what?” I question. “There are a set number of prisoners in each cage, you think they’re just going to swap if we ask nicely?” I knew I wasn’t giving her the answer she wanted but I could see how we were going to move the rats from one cage to another without drawing attention. “Unless?” I pause. “We need a reason to move them, one that wont be questioned.” If they were causing trouble we could use that as justification to move them to one of the other cages, because something like moving prisoners would be questioned even if giving them water wasn’t. “We can’t risk getting caught, I wont risk getting caught… because I for one, have seen enough of the inside of a cage to last me a life time.”



My hold on Lex’s arm remains and tightens slightly, I was afraid to let go, if I let go I had a feeling I would be on the ground within seconds and that was the last thing I wanted. How could this be true? I wasn’t angry, I was confused and slightly hurt by the fact he hadn’t talked to me.

Listening to his words I shake my head, it was easy to see he thought I was blaming him - no the blame lay elsewhere, I was just shocked he’d kept this from me; we were closer now than we’d been in the past and I’d hoped he would have told me something like this. Watching him momentarily I consider his words “This isn’t me blaming you Lex, I don’t blame you. Not even slightly. I just, I wish you’d have come to me sooner and honestly this isn’t even about Bray, it’s about everyone.” I say and pause, “It’s about all our friends - in the city maybe we could have done something, done more, but you know maybe we still can.” I say looking at him carefully, “We don’t have Mega, but maybe Ram can provide answers?” I knew it was a long shot, but he could’t be as oblivious about this as he made out, could he? He’d been the leader after all.