The world washed in in vivid strands and hues of color and... light, god, the light... It was so bright. I squinted and tried to roll over, but failed to do so. I just had no energy, and I felt like I had been punched in the gut. It was then that I realized Jordan was standing right next to me.

"You okay?" I scoffed.

"Do I look like I'm okay? I-" I groaned again, because now I noticed there was a sharp metal-like branch lodged in my side. Not like it was really deep, but it still hurt, and I pulled it out and hurled the offensive object a distance away.

"You're hurt," Jordan said gently, and I tried to scoff, but it ended up coming out as a hacking cough. "That isn't something you should laugh about," he said seriously, rummaging through his belongings for something. I put my hand to my side, it was still seeping blood, eww, and when I pulled my hand off, it was covered in rusty red blood.

I was ready to tear a part of my jacket off to use as a bandage, but apparently Jordan had other ideas. He knelt beside me and pulled out a bright white package, and attempted to wrap it around me, but I snatched it away.

"I can do it myself, thank you very much," I snapped, trying to fix myself in an almost helpless attempt. "And you, good sir, may look the other way." Jordan sighed and turned towards the mountains to the right side of us while I pathetically tried to wrap around my scorched wound. I will admit, I'm a fighter, but no doctor. "Done," I said, but Jordan just kept on staring at the mountains. I just barely noticed him pull out a shiny metal object, and I could somehow make it out as the same object he had taken so much care of last night.

"How did you manage to escape last night, anyway?" I asked, scrutinizing him carefully. I still didn't trust him, and like a fool, I began to wonder if I should run and take off in the other direction, because if that thing he was holding was some sort of explosive, hey, no big deal, but I'd rather not be blown to bits. "You just gonna, what, stand there and obsess over that... hey..." I stood there, shocked and speechless, watching as the thing started to glow blue.

Whatever that thing was, it couldn't be good.

"Give me that," I snarled, hurling the offensive thing a long distance away. He frowned. In an almost trance-like state, he walked over to where I had thrown it, then picked it up again, only this time, it was a dull gray. I approached him, feeling like a tiger slinking closer and closer to a cat.

The orb he was holding started to glow again.

I panicked inwardly, not knowing what to do. Oh, gods, what was that thing? Did it have a connection to me? Why did it glow when I approached it?

...And what the hell was wrong with Jordan?

"Jordan..." I said hesitantly, and he turned to look in my direction, the orb he was holding falling to the forest floor. It was like he had been snapped out of a trance.

His knees buckled, and he fell into a sitting position onto the charred forest ground. "Are you okay?" I inquired, although I well knew the answer. That wasn't what I really wanted to know. I just wanted to gain his trust, and then, decide whether or not he was good company. I really hoped he proved me wrong, though. "Is... what is that thing?" I prodded. This was information I needed to get my hands upon. If I had Jordan's trust, if I had him believing I sincerely wanted to help him, to care for him, then I could most certainly infiltrate the Scientist's lab successfully.

"I... I think I remember something," Jordan said, making my heart skip a beat.

"W... what do you remember?" I asked, my voice sounding so weak. The back of my throat felt as dry and cracked as the desert, like I had just eaten a mouthful of sand. For a moment there, I wanted to fall on the ground too and cry cold, black tears into the burning soil.

Could this be the end?

"It... I was in a forest. There was a girl calling to me. She was wearing a light, silky sundress and a straw hat. I waved back, but she was gone. I just felt... so lonely. It was incredible." He shook his head, and I let out a deep breath, as the reality of those words suspended in the air echoed into my ear.

"Is there anything else?" I asked. "Anything at all?" Jordan shook his head.

"Why does it matter to you so much what I remember?" He inquired, his tone faltering a little. I snorted, trying to keep my tough-girl facade up.

"Because... you're my brother. I only want what's best for you." He frowned.

"I... I don't remember much about who I was before this all happened, but I do feel that no one would have ever treated me like that... so, thank you, Eliza. That was your name, right?" I nodded simply, noticing a tear blossoming in his eye.

"Yes," was all I could manage to croak. I didn't like the salty attitude settling over the mood like a thick, anticipating cloud, so I did my best to shrug it off. I wiped tears away, not even knowing I had been crying.

"We have to go," I said quickly, my voice sounding a tad bit congested. "I mean... I can't stand the overwhelming smell of ash. Not to mention the bitter aftertaste it leaves, either." He chuckled, although I had not intended it to be a joke.

"Very well, then.. Eliza."

I knew him from somewhere. And I don't mean when he tried to kill me. I can tell, somehow.

Only trouble is, where?

And why?


First written chapter from this year! ^^

Sorry I took so long to update, was a bit busy with matters in need of my attention. XD

Thank you, and please remember to R&R!

-Samantha Morrison