Don’t you just hate it when you’re so busy you can’t do anything else?

That was me yesterday, I had no time to write at all. Sorry, but enjoy the next part of Trapped to make up!


The Hall of Fate was…nothing.

Hope gaped at the dark, empty space that stretched out in front of her as Terrence pulled the doors closed. “What’s out there?” she gasped as he came up beside her; Kestrel remained by the doors, watching impassively.

“Whatever you see,” Terrence replied cryptically, looking up. Hope followed his gaze to see a thick white mist clouding the air high above them; she couldn’t see the ceiling, and she doubted there even was one.

“Hope U-D Hadel,” Terrence called up. His voice echoed in the large chamber, but Hope wasn’t sure what it would do.

The mist above solidified into a glowing white square, which descended in front of them. Hope rubbed her eyes to be sure she wasn’t hallucinating.

She wasn’t.

Her name was written in thick letters on the front, in the neatest handwriting she’d ever seen: Hope U/D Hadel. She looked over at Terrence, confused.

Terrence took a step back. “When you’re ready,” he murmured, “place your hand on the file. It will show you your Fate.”

“Will you see it too?”

“It is not my place,” he replied, then turned to join Kestrel at the door.

Hope turned back to the square and took a deep breath. This is it.

No regrets.

She placed her left hand flat on the square.

 

At first, nothing happened. She waited, eyes closed in anticipation, but all she saw was the darkness of her eyelids.

She opened her eyes a little. Still nothing.

Suddenly, a whirl of images bombarded her, so fast that she almost didn’t see them. She was briefly reminded of the foresights that hit her from time to time, like earlier that day, but this was much worse.

First she saw herself racing through the Concrete Plains, dark figures running with her. Shouts of terror rang out, and screams of agony as their pursuer caught the slower ones. She felt herself stumble, felt the fear that struck her with every leap, every fall. She knew, somehow, that she and the others were probably running from the Darkness, but the terror and helplessness unnerved her.

Next she found herself kneeling on the ground, Sam standing in front of her as crippling cold and darkness swirled around them. Melody, Jay, Kestrel, and Angel stood to the side, horrified, but Sam was saying something that Hope couldn’t hear. The Darkness’s voice pounded in her head instead. You have a choice, Hope. You for them, or them for you.

An image from her past resurfaced: she and Melody waking up in the Concrete Plains. She remembered, even though it was so long ago, waking up to meet ten-year-old Melody, who also admitted to having no memory. She saw herself pointing to the large doors in the distance, and remembered the trek across the Plains; she also remembered the creeping Darkness about to whisk them away with its chilling sorcery and ominous words. She remembered how relieved she was when the two young girls ran into an Echo patrol that took them back to the Hole, but the Darkness’s parting words still reverberated in her head: I will find you, Hope U-D Hadel.

The scene changed. She was standing on the edge of a hard platform that was made of a material that seemed like a shiny stone. Below her raged a fiery expanse in a strange color; she wasn’t sure what it was, because it wasn’t the normal grey fire she was used to. She knew, however, that whatever it might do to her, she had to meet it with courage, even if she didn’t know why, so she backed up and took a running start, leaping off the edge of the platform. As she fell, the smoke rose around her, cocooning her in black.

There was one more image that Hope couldn’t make out; she felt like the fumes were invading her mind, purging it of everything except pain and fear. The last image faded away, but the burning sensation remained, lashing at her until she felt she might scream from the agony.

She felt her knees hit the cold ground, but was already unconscious before she fell.

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