After standing there in the doorway of the jet for a few moments, I feel a cool breeze on my neck. Only there is no breeze. I turn slightly, and realise that the six men are standing in two lines behind me, all with their sunglasses on, waiting to get past.
I take this moment to get to know my new friends, as it's apparent they'll be with me for a while. At the front, the man on the left – who was practically breathing down my neck – has scruffy, dirty blonde hair, just reaching his collar; his eyebrows are peeping over his glasses, honey-coloured and bushy. Next to him, a man with long, muddy-brown hair, dark as the night sky, is stood in a perfect line to the others. He has a small scar above his lip, below his right nostril, and his sunglasses appear to be covering up his eyebrows. Before I get a chance to look at the others, the man on the left speaks to me.
"Mr Oswald," He says calmly in a monotone voice, "We should be getting going now. If you wanted to know who we are, you shoulda asked. I'm Anderson, that's Foster," He points to the man next to him, "then there's Levitt, Holden, Wright and Clarke." As he says each name, they salute casually with one or two fingers on their foreheads. 'So, on the left you got Anderson, Levitt and Wright. On the right there's Foster, Holden and... what's his name? Clarke!' I try to remember their names; desperately fighting a battle that I know is futile, as soon I'll be gone, then dead.
Anderson clears his throat, and I remember about him saying to go. I turn on my heels and bounce down the stairs to the tarmac. Anderson and Foster usher me towards the tall building next to the dome. I think that's where Mia went, and I notice that the other four have stayed with the jet. I assume that they have to go and get someone else.
The seemingly endless grass makes the building deceptively further away than I first thought; I now also realise how large the dome and building are. The dome is easily double the size of a 'football' stadium from before the war that we were taught about in our schooling hours at the Training Centre, and the building is at least 30 floors high. As we approach, I see that the large front doors are metallic, and are two floors high. They open when we are a few metres away, bars going from one side to the other fold out towards us, before retreating into the walls. Inside, a large room welcomes us in the most unwelcoming manner; the room is empty other than a rectangular oak desk with a man sat behind it. His hair has been cut almost to the point of baldness and his glasses dig into the bridge of his nose. In his ear is an earpiece identical to that of my security team, and he's wearing a white lab coat, with the buttons open to show his plain white top and trousers.
He continues to type at a laptop in front of him on the desk, until I force myself to cough lightly, making him acknowledge me. He looks up sharply, startled, before licking his lips slightly and wriggling his nose. He asks who I am in a strong Scottish accent, and I stutter on reply. Anderson then steps forward, and I realise that Anderson must've spoken to the man already via his earpiece, as he moves back a little, clearly intimidated.
Prompted by Anderson, the three of us walk towards an elevator. We walk in, an air of confidence among the others after asserting their authority and superiority to the man. They stand behind me, one each side, in line. Foster begins to whistle as the lift jolts violently, and then steadily rises up the many floors, to one marked 'S'.
The door opens to a blank corridor. The walls and floor are complete, unbroken, pure white. There are three doors on each side. A rectangular light goes the length of the room, illuminating every nook and cranny. Anderson and Foster put a hand on my shoulders and push me from the elevator, causing me to fall to the hard, cold ground.
My head whips round, but the elevator doors have already closed. I look up at the corridor I am now in, and sigh heavily. One of the doors to my left opens.