“What? Why?” Ernest says.


“They must have attacked both bases simultaneously,” I say.
“But where is the rest of our group?” Ernest asks. “The survivors?”


“I don’t know,” Alison says. “As far as we know, we’re the only ones.”


Alison and Ernest start arguing, loudly. I stand off to the side, awkward. Than I get an idea. “What about Long Beach?” I raise my voice over both of them.


Everybody goes quiet.

“Wait, what?” Alison says.

“Long Beach Academy of the Arts! It’s an art school in California near the Los Angeles breach. That’s where my friends are. That’s where Ed is.” I say.


“And who is Ed?” Alison snaps. Ernest just looks shocked.

“My best friend.” I say, after biting back something else.


(Hey guys. I’m curious what happened to Ed’s sister Helena?)

“We don’t have time for that,” Ernest says. “Our priority should be saving Tang.”
“And how exactly are we going to do that?” I ask. “Long beach has people and resources.”



“Long Beach is full of idiots who don’t know how to fight.” Alison said.
“Yeah,” I said, “Sure, but Long Beach is our only option right now.”


“Okay,” Ernest says finally. “We’ll go to long beach.”
“No way,” Alison says. “If you two want to meet your friends go ahead. I’ll go save the world alone.”


I start to tell her I’m staying here too, just to cheer her up, but instead what comes out of my mouth is different: “Okay, fine, go die alone then.”


Next thing I know, there’s a sharp crack, stinging pain across my cheek, and I’m on the ground.

“Stupid, ignorant bitch!” I hear Alison spit.


“Activate teleporter!” I try to say, bleeding out of my mouth.


Suddenly, Alison is standing over me, one foot on my chest. “Do you want me to kill you?”


“No, no, I’m sorry, just please let me go!” I choke up.

“She didn’t mean it, get off of her!” Ernest shouts.


“Why should I? Why shouldn’t I bury my sword into her chest until the life drains from her eyes?”


“Because she’s my sister,” he says, jumping in front of me, “and you’d have to get through me first.”


Ernest shoves Alison off me, and a fistfight ensues.


“She disrespected me!” Alison screams, socking Ernest in the jaw.
Ernest responds with a kick to the shins and a “That’s no reason to kill her!”


“When my uncle hears about this-”
“Your uncle just got burned!”

I hear a thud, and Ernest is now lying next to me on the ground. “Now I’ll kill you both!” Alison shrieks, brandishing her sword.

“Who was her uncle?” I whisper as quiet as possible.

“Take a wild guess.”

“No… Not Vynr…”

“Hit the nail of the head.”


“Well, Kal Vynr-zi is at Long Beach,” I say.