Mari can’t help but marvel at the speed of which the robotic arms are working to bring her sister Sonjia back to life, whatever that means. But Mari doesn’t trust this place and while Oliver remains focused on her sister, she slowly makes her makes her way towards the door.
“I won’t keep you here against your will, but you are safer here with me than out there,” says Oliver, eyes never wavering from the key pad and screen as he watches Sonjia’s vitals fluctuate.
“I doubt that.”
“Place your hand against the door.”
She does trying not to flinch away when the door scans her palm print. She hates the idea of anything of her being on file with the Reapers. When the seal of door releases and the door is wide enough she squeezes herself out and races down the acid pocked asphalt. She runs without thought or destination, running only from where she can never return.
She races along the northern road heading out of town, feet pounding, legs tiring and lungs burning from the poisonous particles in the air. She is committing a suicide of sorts, running with no cover in sight, no supplies and no plan for either, but she doesn’t care. Right this second she feels the freedom of not having to live anymore and laughs into the wind. Finally in front of her is the long bridge that once spanned the valley below. A bridge whose end remains constantly obscured by a maggot gray wall of fog that not a single person who has past through, has returned. No one bothers to try anymore. But with nothing to lose and no where else to go Mari races down the once yellow center line and leaps like a long jumper into the unknown, sailing through the air longer than she thought possible and then slams into a rather large but only slightly dirty chest. She flies backwards and slides a couple of feet on her ass.
“You are one tough cookie young lady,” says a round baritone voice that Mari assumes is attached to the meaty hand reaching down to help her up.
“Why is this fog not burning us?”
“Fake. We made it as cover.”
The hand pulls her to her feet and Mari peers at the square, worn, honest face in front of her and decides to trust it.
“Welcome to HuGen, Mari. We sure are glad to have you. Let’s see what we can do about getting your mother back. What do you say?”
“And my sister.”
“Sorry, mon petit, that ship sailed as soon as she went under the spider.”
“Don’t call me ‘little one’ it’s condescending and patronizing.”
“Those are kind of the same thing.”
“Shut up,” says Mari as she shoulders past him walking deeper into the mists. “Show me what you got.”
Though unnoticed by Mari, the smile that appears on the square face barely masks sorrow and whispered to the ghosts in the mist is, “How like her father she is.”