Chapter 87 (Rune)Mature

Rune

Casady plodded down the hallway, oblivious to how Rune watched him. He turned a corner, and Rune was half-tempted to follow. Something sinister was at work, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

It was this whole blasted place, really. This whole building with its white walls and its neverending corridors. It made Rune wonder if it was really a building at all - what if it was a whole world? What if it was something detached from any semblance of life he had known before? A different planet, maybe?

No, that was crazy-thinking. They were on earth. And if they were on earth, there had to be a way out.

Around Rune, there was no activity. No one wandering the halls. No one asking him if he was lost. There was no sound of voices, no scent of the breakfast hall, only the ever-present feeling of being watched. That was one constant that never failed to surround Rune.

With careful steps, Rune made his way down the corridor, keeping an eye out for Force officials. His memories of attempting to find the medical clinic were right before his eyes, and now, more than ever before, he felt compelled to know what was really going on with the Force.

Feet faltering at the thought of being so close to something so dangerous, Rune recalled the corridors he must pass through in order to find the first of the entrances to Ground Zero. Was it his imagination, or were his footsteps louder than was natural? Maybe there was something about the floor. He slowed down, rolling his steps on the sides of his feet in order to be even quieter.

Rune remembered his eerie conversation with Trace about the medical clinic and Ground Zero, and he shuddered. He wasn't sure if he was brave enough to take on this mission. He wasn't even sure he could get past the first entrance.

A low electrical buzzing met with Rune's ears, and he pressed his hand against the door in front of him. "Authorized Personnel Only," it read. He definitely wasn't authorized. Who would be? Possibly Vinnia, but she was gone.

In idea flitted through Rune's mind. A risky idea, and one that hinged on being downright immoral. But was there any other way? Rune considered the options, then set his jaw. There was no other way. He had to talk to Casady Conlin.

The End

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