Chapter 5: Silence

“He’s not dead.”

“He can’t be.”

“Well, he’s breathing so he can’t be dead.”

“So? Who told you he can’t be dead?”

“Maybe he’s on the verge of death?”

“Well, I don’t want a person dropping dead on my watch.”

“Me neither.”

The world slowly came into focus. “Wuzzgoinon?” Jack mumbled.

Three pairs of eyes turned to stare at him. “Wow, he’s alive,” said Jason.

“We didn’t know if you would survive that explosion,” said Nyx.

“Yeah,” Angelika added, “we were running for a while-“

“-and then we did a headcount-” Jason interrupted.

“-and there were only three heads-” Nyx continued.

“-because you were gone, obviously-“

“-so we ran back-“

“-and you were lying there-“

“-on the ground-“

“-unconscious-“

“Okay, I think I get the idea,” Jack said. “I’m alive, okay? Yippee.” Then he looked around.

The walls of the room were light blue and the ceiling was a dark gray. There were windows, but they were covered in dust and grime. The room was full of needles and bottles and cotton balls. A hospital bed was lying in the middle of the room. An IV was hanging from a rack. A get-well card lay on the table.

“Where are we?” Jack asked.

“Some abandoned building,” Angelika replied. “Don’t worry, we locked all the doors and windows. I think it’s a hospital-“

“Judging from the bed,” Jason added, pointing to the hospital bed. “I call sleeping in there.”

Angelika shot a look at Jason, then continued, “I think we’ll be safe here. Hopefully.”

Nyx yawned. “I’m gonna go see if there are any good snacks anywhere.”

“I’m with you.” Jason stood up.

“If it’s okay with you guys,” Jack said, “I’m going to get some rest.”

“I’ll stay here with Jack,” Angelika offered.

Jack looked at Angelika. Her black hair was a mess. Leaves and dirt and bark were stuck in her hair. Jack also noticed she had bright blue tips in her hair. “Um, you’re hair’s a mess,” Jack said. “I can help you fix it. If you want,” he added quickly.

“Uh, sure,” Angelika said. Jack thought her cheeks turned a bit pink.

Jack helped take the leaves out of her hair. His cheeks burned a bit, although he didn’t know why. He tried to sit up, and he fell.

“Don’t sit up yet,” Angelika warned.

Jack noticed he had grabbed her hand when he had fallen. His cheeks felt warm and Angelika was blushing when he took his hand back.

“What do you think we should do? I mean, with the world sickness and all that,” Jack said. He couldn’t stop staring at her gray eyes.

“Well, I think we should find a cure,” Angelika said. “Obviously.”

“What do you want to do after we solve this problem?” Jack asked. “I always wanted to be in the military.”

“I’ve always wanted to be an author.” Angelika’s eyes got dreamy and Jack could have sworn she blushed more. “And… can I tell you something?” she asked Jack.

“Sure,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to have magical powers. Like in stories,” Angelika said thoughtfully.

“Like what kind of powers?”

“Well, basically anything, but I’d love to have ice powers.”

Jack smiled. “Like Elsa?”

“Exactly.”

“Well, we just got hit by magical powers. Like, try to freeze my hair or something,” he joked. “Bet you twenty bucks that you actually have ice powers.”

“Deal, but it’s probably not going to work.” She stuck out her hands…  and nothing happened. She tried again. Nothing.

“Think of snow and ice,” Jack suggested.

“Okay…”

She stuck out her hands, and Jack’s hair froze.

“What the- Ahh!” Jack yelped. “My hair’s frozen! God, that feels so weird-“

Angelika just stared at her hands. “What,” she murmured. Then she clenched her hands into fists. The ice on Jack’s hair transformed into millions of water droplets and those droplets soared towards Angelika’s hands.

“Angelika,” Jack whispered. They locked eyes. Angelika’s gray eyes shone brighter than ever before. The room was silent.

Then the door burst open and Angelika’s and Jack’s gaze broke. Nyx and Jason walked in, holding huge bags of Doritos, chips, Cheetos, and other snacks.

“We just found like ten vending machines,” Jason yelled.

Nyx smirked. “Did we ruin the moment?”

Jack felt his face grow warm. “No,” he said.

Angelika blushed but didn’t say anything.

“What’s up?” Nyx asked her.

Angelika took a deep breath. “I-I think-“

She sighed, then said. “I think I have powers.”

Chapter 6: Danger

“Wait,” said Nyx, “so you froze Jack’s hair and then the ice turned into water and then the water went into your hands?”

Angelika nodded. Jack could tell this was tough for her. He’d had an experience like this before. When he was younger, he’d dreamed about being in the military- he still did. Then he got accepted to a military camp and it was one of the best times of his life. But when he found out he’d even gotten accepted to that camp, he’d practically died inside.

Jason whistled. “That’s confusing.”

“It is,” Angelika said softly.

Jack yawned. “It’s ten-thirty,” he said, glancing up at the clock that was hanging up on the doorway. “Should we go to sleep?”

Nyx shook her head. “I don’t think so. We don’t know what we’re risking if no one’s awake.”

“You’re right,” said Jason, “but I’m exhausted. Maybe if-“

Bam. Bam. Bam. They all jumped. “What is that?” Angelika squeaked.

“I don’t know,” Jack said.

Nyx ran to the window and looked outside. Then she turned back to Angelika, Jack, and Jason and said, “The infected. They’re here.”

“Wait. How do you know if people are infected?” Jack asked.

“Their skin turns slightly green and they act like a dog with rabies. Aggressive,” Nyx explained quickly.

“Sooo what do we do now?” Jason asked.

Suddenly there came a deafening CRASH from downstairs.

“Really what do we do now?” Nyx asked.

Angelika dashed to the window. “Nyx, give me your sword,” she ordered. “Everyone, get ready.”

Nyx reluctantly gave Angelika her sword. Jack started to say, “Angelika, what are you-“

“No time to explain!” she yelled. “They’ll be in here in a sec, so-“

The door burst open and the infected flooded the room. Angelika slashed at the window with Nyx’s sword. Shards of glass flew everywhere.

“JUMP!” Angelika shrieked, grabbing Jack’s wrist. She leaped from the window. She held onto Jack’s wrist so tightly that Jack thought his bones were going to break. He didn’t judge her. He probably would’ve done that too.

Jason shouted in fear and Nyx looked at Angelika like she was crazy. Angelika let go of Jack’s wrist.

Jack landed first.

“Jack, TRUST FALL!!” Angelika yelled. Jack caught her.

“Nice save,” said Angelika, patting him on the shoulder. “Um, Jack… what happened to your arm?” Angelika pointed to Jack’s arm. Jack looked down.

His right arm was made out of metal. It was covered by a thick layer of frost, but that didn’t matter. He heard a hum of machinery and a surge of power ran through him.

“Oh my god,” said Nyx, staring. “I am so jealous.”

Suddenly they heard a loud groan and scratching. “The infected,” Jack realized.

“How are we going to get out of here?” Nyx’s voice was shaking.

Jack looked around. The infected were getting closer.

“People!” Angelika yelled. “I found a way to escape!”

“You did?!” Jack shouted. Then he saw her. “Angelika, are you sure-“

“I know! I’m a genius!” Angelika said. She was in the driver’s seat of a black Lamborghini. “Now get in and let’s get the heck out of here.”

Chapter 7: Later Losers

“Angelika, how old are you?” Nyx shrieked as Angelika swerved through the streets of San Diego.

“Twelve and a half,” Angelika yelled back as the Lamborghini smashed into a stop sign.

“Twelve and a half?!” Jason shouted. “Angelika, we’re going to get arrested! Are you crazy?”

“The cops are infected!” she yelled. “And to answer your question: yeah, I’m totally crazy!”

“Angelika-” Jack started. They crashed into a McDonald’s. “I have to tell you something-“

“I’m a terrible driver?” Angelika hollered. “I know that!”

“No!” Jack yelped as they narrowly missed Wendy’s. “Your hands are freezing the wheel!”

“WHAT?!” Angelika screamed. She looked down.

“Don’t look down!” shouted Jack. “You’re going to kill us!”

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME EARLIER????” Angelika shrieked. “NOW MY HANDS ARE STUCK TO THE STUPID WHEEL!!!”

“Actually, you’re freezing the entire car now,” Jack remarked.

“Guys!” Nyx said. “It’s totally cute when you two are arguing with each other-“

“WHAT?!” Angelika yelled furiously.

“CUTE?!” Jack shouted.

“-But you gotta shut up and focus on what’s happening!” finished Nyx.

“Yeah, we’re about to die a tragic death here if you don’t stop bickering!” said Jason.

Jack heard Angelika talking under her breath. They’re going to catch up to us soon,” she muttered. “We’re going to have to get off the road.”

“Wait,” said Jack nervously, “what do you mean ‘get off the road?'”

Nyx let out a small squeak of terror and buried her face in her hands.

“You’re about to find out,” Angelika said. Then she suddenly screamed, “HEADS UP!!!!”

That scream could have made Jack deaf. It was that loud. Angelika veered off the road and drove off the cliff.

“AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” Nyx shrieked.

“Angelika, ARE YOU CRAZY??” Jason shouted.

“YES!!” Angelika hollered. “I TOLD YOU THAT!”

“We’re heading into the water!” Jack yelled.

SPLASH. The Lamborghini crashed into the water. Luckily, the car floated, so after they were bobbling on the surface for a couple of minutes, Angelika opened the sunroof and climbed out of the car. “Coast is clear,” she said.

Jack climbed out next. “Whoa.”

The sunset was amazing, and Jack might have actually enjoyed it if his life wasn’t in mortal danger.

“Come on, the infected won’t leave us alone for long,” Nyx told them as she came into view.

Jason’s head popped out of the sunroof. “Wish we brought the snacks.”

Angelika tossed a bag of Lays chips into his face.

“FOOD!” Jason exclaimed.

Nyx snickered.

“What?” Jason protested.

“Nothing,” said Nyx quickly.

“We’re going to need a bigger food supply,” Angelika warned. “I only managed to save, like, four or five bags.”

“I’ll look for something,” Jack volunteered, “I owe you guys for letting me stay at the abandoned building.”

“I’ll look for food too,” Angelika offered. “I was starting to get claustrophobia from being in that car for too long.”

“Okay,” Nyx said. “I want to talk to Jason about something-” her voice choked up “-something I saw earlier.”

“Let’s go then,” Angelika said to Jack.

They stood on the roof of the car.

“Hm, I wonder…” Angelika whispered. She slid off the hood of the Lamborghini and stepped on the ocean. The entire body of water transformed into a thick sheet of ice.

“Wait!” Jack grabbed her hand. “It might not be stable-“

“Whatever, Jack,” Angelika sighed. “I’m good.”

Angelika created an ice staircase, going higher and higher. Jack followed her. At the top, Jack sighed, “Wow.”

The view was beautiful. Before he could lose his courage, Jack said, “Angelika.”

“Hm?”

“When this is all over,” Jack told her, “I’m taking you out to see The Secret of Rain.”

The Secret of Rain was the movie everyone at school was talking about. A couple of kids at school had actually created the movie themselves. The plot was completely random. That’s why it was so popular. Jack hadn’t seen it yet.

Angelika blushed. “And why?”

“I feel like I need to chillax with someone after this is all over,” Jack said simply. He wasn’t lying, but it wasn’t the whole truth either.

The sky was dark, with stars glowing brightly. “It’s too late, I think we gotta go back now,” Angelika said. “Weird, we get out of the car to find food and we don’t get any.”

They stepped down the stairs with Jack only slipping and landing on his butt only once. Then Angelika spotted something.

“Hang on,” she said. “You see that?”

“See what?” Jack asked.

“That sort of shadow in the ice,” Angelika said. “It looks like a person.”

“Please don’t let us get killed by an infected zombie,” Jack prayed.

Angelika ignored him (probably a smart thing to do) and thrust her hands out. The ice parted. The person came to life and she climbed out of the water.

“That was cold! I mean, how could anyone survive that?” cried the girl. She had dark red hair which made her caramel-colored stand out, somehow. She was wearing a gray vest with black pants and boots. Somehow, it seemed to work with her red hair. Her hazel eyes flashed angrily.

“Who are you?” said Angelika.

“Samantha Aires,” she muttered. “Who are you?”

Angelika and Jack glanced at each other, like Can we trust this person? 

“Um? Hi? Hello?” she said, looking at Jack straight in the eyes.

“Um, I exist too!” Angelika said quietly. Samantha ignored her.

“Uh, I’m Jack Lanturno, and this is my friend Angelika Kayne,” Jack said carefully.

“Oh wait, I know you! Well, at least I’ve heard of you. Aren’t you that kid who made that blueprint for the electric spear?” Samantha said to Jack.

“You’ve… heard of it?” he asked her.

Samantha nodded.”My brother went to the military camp with you. He’s- he was Owen Aires…” Her voice broke.

“What happened?” Jack asked.

“Got infected… he was one of worst cases… Ironic, isn’t it?… The strongest person I’ve ever known and got hit the worst…” Samantha tried to laugh and failed.

“Jack, we should go back to the car now. Don’t you think?” Angelika said suddenly.

He didn’t say anything.

Jack?” Angelika repeated.

“What- oh yeah, sure,” Jack stammered, looking at her. She seemed annoyed. Jack didn’t know why.

Jack and Angelika started walking back towards the car. Then, Angelika grabbed Jack firmly by the shoulders and shook him twice. “Jack, I need to talk to you,” she said very quietly.

“Is it about Samantha?” Jack asked. “Look, she’s nice, I don’t think she’s trouble-“

“No, it’s just that she came out of sheer ice not dead.” There was something in her voice that made Jack seem like she was hiding something else. He had a feeling that she still suspected something was strange about Samantha. There was an icy tone in her voice.

“Oh. That,” Jack said with a sigh, “it might be, like, her ability to survive extreme climates?”

“How do you know she’s not infected?” Angelika questioned. “She could be, for all we know…”

Jack didn’t say anything at first. Angelika did have a point. “But,” he said slowly, “if she was infected, she would be acting like a maniac. And her skin would be green.”

“Light green,” Angelika corrected, “very pale green.”

“So? Her skin would be light green,” Jack said.

“She could be possessed?” Angelika shrugged. “Or cursed?”

“Whatever,” Jack said.

TO BE CONTINUED

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