Simon Hatos was cold. Really, bone-freezing, skin-cracking cold. He was also scared. The lead-stomached, jumpy-nerved kind of scared. The survival instinct type of scared. His best friend was next to him, walking like there was nothing to be scared of. Then again, Elizabeth John wasn't afraid of anything- not even the cold. Simon pulled his coat tighter and tugged out his pocket watch to check the time.

"Come on Eli! It's almost one. I don't wanna be out past curfew." "Scaredy cat. I still don't believe in this stupid rumor of yours. I'm not scared of Them either." Simon had to acknowledge that as truth as he took in her clothes and hair. Her clothing, reminiscent of the men of Elizabethan era, along with her two toned dyed hair screamed rebellion against the modernization of Them. Simon's dark modern clothes muttered safety- he'd rather be drab than dead. Besides, he was more comfortable in these clothes as opposed to the more rebellious cluster that Elizabeth preferred.

Elizabeth jabbed Simon in the side. "Come on, are you really scared?" "Yeah. I seriously am. I don't want to be caught by either Them or this other group." " We won't, chill out."

Simon checked his watch again. "Shit, its 12:57." "Oh crap." "I thought you weren't scared of them?" "I'm not. But if the boss-man catches me coming in past country curfew he's gonna kill me." Simon laughed quietly. The laugh died in his throat when he heard shoes that didn't belong to him or Elizabeth behind them.

"Eli? You hear that?" "Yeah." Elizabeth's voice sounded a little shaky. " No one is out this late, Simon." "I know. This is why I wanted to get back quickly!" " Shit, shit, I know man." They picked up their pace. The shoes also picked up the speed of its walk.


Elizabeth's housing complex, attached to the mechanic workshop where she worked, came into sight.

"Time?" "12:59" "Let's bust ass."

They began to sprint down the road, legs taking in stretches of pavement. The shoes began to run as well, moving closer and closer.

They almost made it.

The clock tower tolled once.

Simon felt a prick in his neck and felt his body collapse under him. He hit the ground and heard Elizabeth crumple up beside him.

The last thing he heard before he passed out was the sound of footsteps jogging to a stop and the slight wheezing of someone who has been running for a long time.