Short Story

It wasn’t nice… Waking up with the taste of blood in your mouth and an ear splitting headache, you don’t have to ask Paul why this was, he doesn’t know what happened. In fact about all he knows right now is that yes, his name is Paul. Sitting up Paul looked around, he was laying on a bench, had he been drinking? He didn’t feel the effects of a hangover, he more or less just felt like shit. As he looked up his head didn’t spin, no it wasn’t alcohol, it was something else, something that, Paul paused. With his hand he felt along his cheek, quickly pulling his fingers away as he reached his jaw bone. Someone had done a number on his face. He could open and shut his mouth, no broken bones, but damn, it hurt. Mentally he did a once over on the rest of his body, no other apparent wounds, but his face sure hurt, he needed a mirror to see just how much damage had been done. Paul, that is my name he thought. What else do I remember? Not much it seemed. Swinging his legs onto the ground he tested his footing as he tried to stand. A nauseating moment later and he was standing, almost proud that he did not throw up.
“Argh, what the hell happened, and why does this feel familiar?” Paul said aloud.
“Um, because you are an ass maybe?” Answered another voice.
Looking around he saw nobody, in fact he seemed to be alone in some kind of public park. Who was speaking to him, and why did that voice sound familiar? There were too many questions. As he looked down at himself he realized that he had on a pair of jeans, running shoes, and a sweatshirt, there was some cartoon running man on his shirt. He shook his head trying to remember. Wrong idea he thought as the taste of blood came back to him and his vision blurred with pain for a moment.
“This is enough!” He said aloud. Again the voice responded.
“Suck it up. You always were so damn selfish!” This time he realized where the voice was coming from, it wasn’t his ears that had picked up the voice, but rather his head. The voice was in his own mind.
“Who are you?”
“Don’t worry about it, just realize that you are an ass hole and nobody likes you!” The voice responded.
“Why can’t I remember anything?” Paul asked the voice.
“I don’t know, I’m not your keeper!”
As he attempted to stand his vision once again blurred but cleared again as he got his feet under him. He began walking to what looked to be a path leading to the entrance of the park.
“How long have I been laying on that bench?”
“Um, about 2 hours I would guess.” Responded the voice.
Thinking about this Paul realized he didn’t know what to call that ridiculous voice in his head, “Do you have a name?” He asked.
“Why thank you for asking, perhaps I was wrong, you can be taught to be civil. I don’t have a name, but I have watched you for quite some time now.”
For some reason this didn’t alarm Paul as it should have. Perhaps, thought Paul, I am just in shock or something.
“Can you see me?” Paul asked.
“I can see what you see, which is frustrating as hell sometimes. Look, I’d like to stay and chat with you, but I gotta go do something, I’ll be back later.”
“Be back? Aren’t you stuck in my head?
“Kind of, but not always. Look I gotta go.”
The voice had a tone of urgency and like that it was gone. Paul could sense that it was no longer there, he didn’t understand how, but something felt different, less fuzzy in his head. As he neared the opening to the park he noticed that there were no people walking around. Looking up at the high rise buildings he was in what appeared to be some kind of metropolitan city. He walked to the first shop he saw and peered inside the window. Through the glass he could see that the shelves were fully stocked, he tried pushing the door and found that it swung inward, it was unlocked. As he entered the shop he heard what sounded like bare feet slapping against the tile floor. Looking around he saw the face of a woman just before the pain came. Something had smashed into the side of his head, for a split second his world spun out of control and then everything went black.
He came to, he was sitting on a park bench. It was the same one as before. Looking down at himself he saw that he was wearing the same running shoes, jeans and sweatshirt. Yeah, this definitely felt familiar, thought Paul. He was thirsty he realized. Again his head hurt, this time the pain was sharper, more intense. Sitting up was difficult, oh, and the voice was back…
“You don’t learn do you?”
“Why do I keep getting hit, and why do I keep waking up on this stupid bench?” Asked Paul.
“Yeah, about that. You should try something different, why do you keep going to see that woman in that shop?” The voice asked.
“I remember doing that just a moment ago. That wasn’t the first time I wandered into that store?”
“No, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, you are not a quick learner.”
Paul mulled this over for a moment. “Is this some kind of experiment?”
“Well, I suppose you could think of it that way, but it is much more elaborate than a mere science experiment.”
“What if I don’t want to be a part of it anymore?”
“Too late, you already signed all the legal forms, you can’t get out of this until the experiment is completed.”
“What forms? I don’t remember signing anything, hell, I don’t remember anything at all other than this damn park bench. How long have I been here?”
“Here is a relative place. Are you asking how long you have been in this experiment? Just one week so far. We are curious how long it will take you to…” The voice trailed off.
“How long it will take me to what?”
There was no response. The voice was once again gone, Paul could again sense that it was no longer in his head. That was both a relief and alarming. The voice had answers, he knew that he needed that voice if he was going to find some way to stop whatever kind of experiment was going on here. Still, it was nice to once again have his mind a bit clearer without that voice muddling up his thoughts.
I’ve been to that shop before, he thought, I must have been hit both times. This time he moved much slower as he approached the entrance of the park. Turning onto the street this time instead of approaching the shop across it he began to walk. Looking at the street sign he saw that he was on Main Street. There were a couple of parked cars, but all the windows were rolled up and the car doors were all locked. After walking about four blocks he came to another park. This one looked exactly like the park he woke up in. Standing at the entrance he saw that directly across the street was what appeared to be that same store he went into last time. A cold feeling broke out in Paul’s heart as both a sense of dread and deja vu came over him. He wasn’t looking at a similar park and store, he was looking at the exact same park and store. His pace quickened as he entered the park and walked back to the same bench he had been at when he awoke.
This is too weird, Paul thought. Same bench and apparently wounded from probably the same person. I need to figure out why I’m here and what is going on. As he neared the bench he inspected the grass around it. There didn’t seem to be much in the way of foot traffic through this park, the grass was of even length but just a little unkempt. There were no dead patches or trails where people may have sat or walked over. He decided to follow the path deeper into the park this time and see if perhaps he could find an other outcome than merely being hit in the head and again waking up here. Deeper into the park he went an as the foliage grew more incessant at tearing his skin and clothes. What the heck is going on? I thought this was just a city park. Paul thought. His pace grew slower as the vegetation increased until he came to an area so dense with trees, shrubs, and bushes that he could no longer proceed. Turning he was thinking about trying to find a way around this area, when he again heard that voice.
“You won’t be able to get out that way. They won’t let you. It is like a video game, you just can’t go any farther. It will just be more of the same, so many plants that you will be stuck.”
“So you are telling me that the only way is to return to the street at the front of this park and try and get somewhere without ending up with my head all beat up and back on that damn bench?” Asked Paul.
“Yes, that is what I am saying,” and with that the voice once again grew silent.
Son of a bitch, thought Paul. What kind of people would do this? As he proceeded back the way he came it did seem almost as if the plants were easier to get around than on his way in. The sun was getting low in the sky as he reached the same park bench he had woke up at. His head was again hurting and he was thirsty he realized, thirsty and hungry. Once again he set out towards the front of the park. This time he looked around for some kind of weapon. There were no cars nearby but about a block away some kind of SUV was parked. He walked wearily towards it while paying close attention to his surroundings. He would have to pass by the same shop that he had entered before, the one where he had been hit by something. Gritting his teeth he picked up his pace until he was nearly running. Every time one of his feet hit the ground a jarring thud would pulse in his temple. He needed some aspirin and still he was so thirsty, the running wasn’t helping, but he had to clear that store. He didn’t think he could take another blow to his head.

She saw him coming again. This time she would hit him hard enough to kill him. This was all she had, this small store, they always seemed to come here first. She didn’t like what she did, but what choice did she have? They were strangers, they appeared from week to week trying to take from her what she had found. What she found? It was very hazy when she would think back to how she got here. Looking again at her wrist, at her bracelet she traced the outline of the cross and shield. That was all she had left over from whatever life she had lived before. On it was her name, Katherine Morgan, there was other writing, but it was all scratched up. So many times she tried to think back, what was on these stupid medical bracelets? Usually there was some kind of address, maybe her physician and some kind of medical condition. She couldn’t make any of it out, couldn’t remember any of it at all. What was that sound? Katherine sat up, snapped instantly from her fuzzy thoughts about her past, her heartbeat quickened, she felt that rush of fear and adrenaline as she grabbed her weapon. She had lost track of the man when her mind had wandered to her bracelet, but now she was once again alert, ready to defend her stash of food and the meager weapons she owned.
Looking down at her choices she sized up her situation. Her crowbar (the one she had hit him with earlier, twice…), a .9 mm Beretta with 2 clips, one was empty and the other held her last 5 rounds, and lastly was her hatchet, the kind with a hammer side and an Axe side. She picked up the crowbar, this time she would kill him, how he was still standing after the first two times he had come into her shop she didn’t know. Hiding behind the door this time she stilled her breathing and waited for the man.

Paul walked on the opposite side of the shop this time. He looked at the door wearily, in the window were drinks and canned food, snacks, candy. He was hungry, and still that dry feeling in his throat was growing unbearable. He needed water, and soon or else he was going to collapse. He tore his eyes off of that prize of food and drink and looked at the building to his right, the one on the side of the road he was on. There was an escape ladder about 20 feet up, but other than that it was just concrete, no doors or windows until about the second floor it looked like. He knew it was a bad idea but he again found himself turning his head and his thoughts to that shop. Why had he been attacked? He was here in some kind of sick game, he wasn’t alone he knew, someone had attacked him. Maybe they were here in this game as well. Maybe that is why they had attacked him, they were defending their find, the shop.
“I don’t want any trouble, I wasn’t going to attack you last time.” Paul called out. “I didn’t know that anyone was even in there. It is just that I am so thirsty, could I just have some water and maybe a can of food and I will go?”
There was no answer, Paul was facing the shop and he found it hard to stand still. They could have a gun, or maybe there was more of them, they could be sneaking up on me right now, he thought. While these thoughts alarmed him, he was so thirsty. He hadn’t been this thirsty in all of his life, the hunger was nothing compared to the parched feeling he had in his throat.

Katherine saw him standing there, in the middle of the road. He was asking for food and water. She knew he would try and take her weapons too, to take whatever he wanted if she let him come in her shop. Also, she knew that she had been here too long, how many days had it been since she had arrived? Was it days? She couldn’t remember, it seemed like the longer she stayed in one place the harder it got to think about things, her memory was so frayed. She remembered waking up so long ago, how long she couldn’t say, waking up on a hospital bed. She was in a hospital gown, other than the gown she had only her medical bracelet on. The lights and smells were how she had known it was a hospital, they all smelled the same that bleached smell from the constant cleaning and that lingering sent that hinted of people dying.
“I won’t hurt you.”
She looked up, how was he there, in front of her? She scurried backwards crablike and quick away from the man, he was so close. His hands were held up like he was surrendering.
“Look, I won’t hurt you, I just want something to drink.” Said the man, his voice sounded dry and his face showed pain, like it hurt to talk.
Her eyes looked down to her empty hands, she had dropped the crowbar, her only weapon. Why was it so hard to stay focused, she knew he had been right outside the door, now her heart beat hard against her chest as she felt her fight or flight instinct telling her to run. Where to though, she was backed into a corner, why had she chose to be behind the door?

Paul was standing there astonished. His attacker it would seem was a woman, she was the one he figured, that had hit him last time he was here. She had on a long sleeved shirt and jeans, hiking boots on her feet. She looked scared and he saw something that caught his eye, a crowbar. She had scurried back from him, dropping it as she had backed herself into a corner. He bent down and picked up the crowbar very slowly, all the while keeping his eyes on the woman. With small intentional steps he backed away from her. He now held the crowbar, but still he kept his hands in the air. He was thirsty, he kept his eye on the woman but with his left hand (the one not holding the crowbar) he reached out to the shelf next to him, it was full of bottled water, the large one liter ones. He twisted off the cap and brought the bottle to his lips, taking a long pull from the precious water he finally felt some of that dry pain leave his throat. His head was feeling better too he realized.
“Why did you hit me?” Paul asked.
“You said you just wanted water, now go!” The woman shouted frantically.
“I will, but could you at least tell me what your name is? Where are you from? Why are we here? Are you a part of this damn game?” He hadn’t meant to curse, but he was frustrated, this was his attacker, he had just wanted water and food, supplies.
“Just go ok?! I found this place first, why do you all think you can just take it from me?”
“Who was trying to take it from you?” She wasn’t all there Paul thought.
“All of you, every couple days someone comes here, I found it first. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but you don’t make it easy, just walking in like you own all of this. I found it. You don’t know how hard it was for me to get this food, to find this place.”
“Look, I don’t want to hurt you, I don’t want to take this place from you. I just don’t understand why I am here. Is this some kind of test? Some kind of game?” Paul wanted to ask her about the voice in his head, ask if she heard voices too, but it sounded too crazy in his head to bring it up.
“I can’t remember.” At this point she hunched over, her face in her hands, she was crying.
Paul set the crowbar down on the counter, he walked to her and bent over to reach out to her, to comfort her, he saw it a second too late. Her foot snapped out lightning quick and contacted with Paul’s knee. Intense pain shot up his leg as he collapsed to the ground. The pain was sharp and distracting but he saw the next blow coming and he caught her small fist in his hand before she could connect with the wounded side of his head. He used his good leg to push off of and threw himself onto her pinning her with his weight. She was small, but vicious trying to bite and claw his eyes as he grabbed her hands. He was trying to think of what he should do when she stopped struggling. She was now staring slack jawed at him.

Katherine was frightened, he was on top of her, his body pressing into hers, he would kill her now if she didn’t stop him, didn’t cripple him somehow. His head was about 6 inches from her face, she could see clearly where she had hit him before, the side of his face was covered in his own dried blood, but the would looked old, not as new as she knew it was. Then it happened, it was closing, the bruising was fading and the old looking cut seemed to knit back together. Her muscles grew slack as she openly stared at what was now a healed face.
“How the fuck did you do that?” Her voice broke in fear as she asked.
“You are acting crazy girl, what are you talking about? Look, I am going to let you go and step back, I won’t hurt you just chill out ok?” The pain in his head had faded, he figured it was the adrenaline, even his knee she had kicked was feeling better.
“Let me go, what are you? How did you do that?”
He let her go and quickly stood and took a step back.
“Do what!?” Paul demanded.
“Your face, it is healed.”
Paul traced the side of his temple wincing at the expected pain, but it didn’t come. He felt the dry blood, but no break in his skin, it didn’t even feel tender. He pressed a little harder, still there was no pain.
“I don’t know, it doesn’t hurt anymore. Can we just talk now? I really won’t hurt you.”
“Ok.” She sat up and leaned her back against the wall.
“I really don’t know what the hell is going on,” Paul said, “but my name is Paul. I woke up on that bench in the park and my head was hurt. I came over here and saw food and water, I can’t seem to remember anything from before that.”
“My name is Katherine, I woke up on some hospital bed, I don’t know how long I have been here in this place, but it has been some time, my memory gets fuzzy when I try and think back to before this whole place.”
Paul lowered himself to the floor and reached over to get the water bottle he had dropped, he twisted off the cap again and took a long swallow. His throat was feeling so much better, in fact his whole body felt great other than the hunger that was now dogging him.
“Can I have something to eat while we discuss what happened to us and what we do to fix it?”
“Ok, but lets eat out here, we can eat at that table over there,” said Katherine as she nodded her head to the table behind him in the corner of the shop.
They worked efficiently, the crowbar lay forgotten on the counter, Paul grabbed a can of beans and a can of beef stew; Katherine was setting up a small propane stove, a pot, and laying out some paper plates and plastic spoons. She wearily kept her eye on Paul but her sense of dread was quickly fading and was being replaced with a sense of relief, she wasn’t going to remain alone. She hadn’t realized just how alone she had felt. It was scary how good it felt to talk to another human, to have some company.
Paul didn’t realize what Katherine was feeling but he also felt it, the relief of not being alone, even though he had not been here (where ever here was) as long as her he knew that if he was going to make it he would need to befriend her. The food smelled delicious, they were both ravenous and even the canned goods were delicious. Both finished dinner with the good old fashioned bottles of Coke that had been stocked in the store. Neither one of them wanted to be the one to ask but the questions lingered in both their minds, can we stay together for a bit? Just until we get out of this mess?
That question remained unanswered as the evening progressed into night, Katherine was beginning to feel at ease with Paul and he had long since stopped seeing her as the woman who had attacked him earlier. They made their sleeping arrangements in adjoining rooms but both were within the relative safety of the locked store. Sleep came quickly to them both.

“This one is different, he may be what we are looking for.” Muted excitement was audible in the first voice.
“Yes but I am having a tough time remaining connected to him, his mind blocks me out, even as he tries to talk to me.” Said a second voice.
“What are you saying? You can’t keep track of him?”
“No so far keeping track of him is not a problem, especially considering the nature of what we are working with, but I don’t know how long I will be able to communicate with him.”
“You know what will happen if we lose this opportunity right? I don’t need to tell you what is at stake I am sure.” Stated the first voice.
“Of course, I’m as vested in this as you are my friend.” Coldly replied the second.

There it was again, this time it was closer than the edges of his subconscious, a sound, not a dream. Paul groggily rubbed his eyes as he sat up, it took him a few seconds to place where he was, but when he did he was glad for his shelter and for his new companion. That was what had woken him, the sound of glass breaking. He got up in the darkness and made his way to where he remembered the door to be. It opened to a scene of chaos, so far the store was untouched but outside there seemed to be some kind of fight going on. He hadn’t seen or heard anyone else in the almost 2 days he had been here other than Katherine but now he was seeing what appeared to be two different group of people attacking each other just outside the safety of the store.
There was a small child running from one of the groups, he was fleeing for safety and then time seemed to slow as one of the men from the second group raised his arm, some kind of gun in his hand he drew a bead on the boy. Paul was outside before he even remembered thinking about moving. He had crossed the street to the man aiming the handgun. Paul was on him, he had jumped onto the man’s waist, the man was still standing with Paul gripping him with his feet while his hands were on the man’s head. Twisting with his hands there was a sickening pop as the man’s head came off in Paul’s hands. Blood spurted in a shower a good 4 feet to rain on the remnants of the now dead man’s group.

They were fighting, they had found what appeared to be a supply group from their hated enemies in this God forsaken hell hole of a city. Then as one of their members raised to fire on the child the blur came. It moved faster than anything they had ever seen. Before any of them from either group could move it was upon them. And like that there was blood, a shower, how could there be so much blood? They saw Frankie, he was still standing there supporting himself and what appeared to be a man, but he had no head. Where was his fucking head?
“RUN!” They screamed.
Run they did, Paul was now standing there over a dead body, looking down at his hands he saw the human head in his hands, he was covered in blood, the groups were running from him. His mind couldn’t comprehend what had just happened. Then it happened again, things slowed down as he raised his head. One of the men from the now dead man’s group was aiming a rifle at him. Without a second thought he threw the human head at him. It flew a good 100 feet before smashing into the chest of the man with the rifle, while the head was flying through the air Paul had already moved. He couldn’t remember doing this, it just sort of happened. He was running a zig zag pattern toward the man he had just thrown the head at. Within a second or two he was on him, the man was on his back, coughing up blood, his chest looked to be concave from the impact. Fear shone in his eyes as he looked up at Paul who was standing over him.

His friend, that’s who he had been and now he was just a fucking headless shell. His blood covered the monster who was now standing over him. The order had been given to run, but he couldn’t just leave his friend with that monster even if he was dead. He raised his rifle up to fire on it, but the minute he had the iron sight on the blood covered man the man was already moving and something was flying towards him. It didn’t even hurt when it hit, things just went numb. He was going to die, he knew that. Then he was there, the monster. The monster just stood there, looking at him. He couldn’t breath, his vision darkened and the last thing he remembered seeing was the look of confusion on that monster.

Paul was standing in what was now an empty street. He was covered in blood, there were two dead bodies near him. His mind was finally grasping what had just happened, but he still couldn’t quite understand. Was he the one who had killed them? Surly not, the store was all the way across the street and a good ways down to boot. Who had done this? He was so confused. Who could do so much damage and how had he gotten so far away from the store, it had only been a few seconds since he remembered looking out at that fighting from the store.
He slowly walked back, he picked up the 2 weapons left on the ground, both from the dead bodies, one handgun and one rifle. He didn’t know much about firearms. As he neared the door to the store he saw Katherine standing there, she was wide eyed looking at him.
“I heard the fighting, are you ok? You are covered in blood. Where did you get shot?”
“I don’t think I was hit. I can’t remember exactly what happened, but I’m ok.”
“Then whose blood is that?” She asked.
“I don’t know, I guess from one of the two dead guys, I honestly can’t remember exactly what happened.”
“Come on back in, let me look you over and see if you are hurt. What do you have here?” She was looking at the guns in his hands.
“I don’t know, I figured we may need them, they were from the two dead guys.”
“Well, this is a H&K .45 handgun, same kind the special forces use, and this rifle is a Springfield M-21 sniper rifle. At least you got these even if you are covered in blood.”
“You are good with guns? I have never fired a shot in my life.” Paul said.
“Yeah, I don’t remember a lot from before this damn place but I do know my guns. I wish I could tell you how I came to know so much but I can’t seem to remember.” She felt foolish for telling him she couldn’t remember but something in him made her feel safe, even if she couldn’t understand how he had so much blood on him that wasn’t his, but nothing seemed to make sense about this place.
“Hey, I am already awake, I can’t seem to figure out what happened, but I’m sure I couldn’t fall asleep even if ya paid me. How about I stand watch and you go catch some sleep. If ya wake up before morning maybe I’ll be tired and you can relieve me.” Paul said.
“Um, ok. Thank you Paul. I will come and relive you in about an hour.”
He sat there after she left the room. He was behind the counter where the cash till sat on the counter. So much of this place seemed normal and then there was the two dead bodies out side the store that screamed in his mind that this place was anything but normal.
She came at almost exactly one hour, he didn’t think he would have been tired but he was exhausted and ready for her to take over. She groggily waved at him as he mumbled something about it being quite outside. He fell to sleep almost instantly as he lay down. A dreamless sleep followed and he was woken by his hunger. It was barely light outside, he walked up to Katherine who was sleeping near the front window. He smiled at her, she may have fallen asleep but she meant well. As he walked between the shelves of food the beef jerky caught his eye and he ravenously tore into the package and ate the jerky in three fist fulls of it. Why was he so hungry?
“You’re awake, I stayed up as long as I could, but I must have fallen asleep.” Katherine said groggily to Paul.
“It is ok, I was falling asleep when you came to relieve me. Oh, I’m sorry,” Paul stated as he looked down at the empty beef jerky bag in his hands, “I was starving, I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“No, it is good that I’m awake. We need to fortify this place, also I have been wandering, why is there electricity? This city seems pretty lawless, so who is running the power?”
“I haven’t given it much thought, It does seem odd. I suppose we could have better things to complain about.” Stated Paul
They sat there in silence for a moment, Katherine began to prepare coffee and Paul tidied up their dinner mess and discarded his beef jerky bag. Katherine finished up the coffee and turned on the coffee maker and then sat down near Paul. She began to disassemble the H&K .45 and the Springfield M-21 rifle so that she could clean them. Paul sat silently listening to the percolating coffee and the sound of Katherine cleaning the weapons. His mind wandered to the previous night and he also felt a buzzing at the back of his head. It was really just a nuisance but after a little while it kind of just fell into the background of everything.
“He doesn’t suspect us now. I think I have a lock on them.” Said the voice.

He sat up and reached for his coffee cup, it was empty. He got up to fill it and realized he was feeling amazing. Walking over to the coffee pot he filled his cup and added some cream. Hm, even in this hell hole there was cream, that makes things a bit better, thought Paul. He watched her clean the weapons he had brought her the night before. Her hands moved almost automatically, it was mesmerizing seeing her in her element. She was beautiful, he hadn’t taken the time until now to notice. Her black hair was striking against her pale skin and dark blue eyes. Drinking his coffee he saw her stretch from her kneeling position to reach for the upper receiver of the pistol. She caught him looking at her and he immediately turned red and looked anywhere but at her eyes.
She had seen him looking practically down her shirt as she was reaching. His sudden need for some more coffee gave him an excuse to make himself busy with its preparation. Katherine just smiled to herself and finished her stretch for the upper receiver. She was not shy about being looked at. Over time she had gotten used to the wandering eyes of the men she passed. As she was thinking this she saw Paul’s shadow nearing and she looked up.
“You look like a fish in water with those things.” He said.
“I have always been fascinated with guns, and they seem almost second nature to me, I couldn’t tell ya why that is, I can’t seem to remember shit before this place.”
“That seems to be going around…” Paul trailed off. “So? What do we do now? Will they be back? Those guys from last night I mean. Is this place still safe?”
“I don’t know, they have always seemed more interested in fighting whatever war they have with each other over any thing else. I couldn’t tell you the first reason why they are even fighting.” Katherine answered.

“So why don’t we try and figure out what is really going on?”
“What do you suggest?”
She finished reassembling the pistol as she said this.  Paul simply watched for a moment and then just before it became awkward he said, “We follow them, we find out where they go and then we see what makes them fight.  From there we can see if any of this has anything to do with us.”
“I have been here since as long as I can remember.  You can go if you want to but I am staying here.  I don’t know and don’t remember anything else.”
“So this is it huh?  You are willing to accept this life that has been given you by whatever powers that are monitoring us huh?  I see.  Fine.  Take your comfort in what you can I suppose, but for me I need answers.”
“I can’t just leave.  I have made it so far here on my own.  I don’t need to risk my life to help you find answers.”
And like that the two separated.  Paul packing a bag with items for his journey and Katherine sitting there angry and watching him go.

“So why don’t we try and figure out what is really going on?” “What do you suggest?”She finished reassembling the pistol as she said this.  Paul simply watched for a moment and then just before it became awkward he said, “We follow them, we find out where they go and then we see what makes them fight.  From there we can see if any of this has anything to do with us.” “I have been here since as long as I can remember.  You can go if you want to but I am staying here.  I don’t know and don’t remember anything else.” “So this is it huh?  You are willing to accept this life that has been given you by whatever powers that are monitoring us huh?  I see.  Fine.  Take your comfort in what you can I suppose, but for me I need answers.” “I can’t just leave.  I have made it so far here on my own.  I don’t need to risk my life to help you find answers.”
And like that the two separated.  Paul packing a bag with items for his journey and Katherine sitting there angry and watching him go.

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