“What was that for!?” Ash asks, stepping back.


“Your bitch of a best friend kidnapped my best friend. Ed Terrell. I don’t give a flying fuck about her being his sister. I’m headed to Dc to save Ed, and kill Helena.”

(Also, RIP Instagram and Facebook)


“Wha…ooooohhh…” Ash says, “Is Helen one of the corrupted?”

“What the hell is that?” I ask, still angry at Ash.

“The Corrupted… they’re exposed to shit from the weird space crap and go insane from it. Eyes turn black, voice gets weird, starts saying weird shit about some chick named Kassandra Oliver… those guys.”

(What happened to Insta and FB?)


(They’ve been broken all day.)

“There’s three versions of Helen. Mortal Helena, Light Helena, and Dark Helena. You know the mortal one. Light is a crazy girl who was part of the Luminescent Republic. The white world in the sky. Pretty much a Nazi-North Korean esqu place. Dark Helena serves Kassandra Oliver, the current leader of the Darklings. Black city. I don’t know much about there. I don’t think any of them are like tha… Oh shit. Mortal Helena… That’s what Ed meant…”


“What are you talking about? All I know is that a giant hole opened in the sky and weird shit started happening.” Ash asked. “How do you know so much?”


“Because Ashley,” I start

“This bitch has seen all of it. I was captured and turned in a warrior of Light. I’ve met others who were born and raised as warriors of Light. I’ve seen the same of dark. I’ve seen the primordial beings who created Light and Dark. I’ve seen a forbidden love between Light and Dark. I’ve helped create a resistance when the worlds merged. I’ve nearly been killed by the Dark. I’ve joined Kassandra Oliver, then ran away. I’ve seen bodies burn to start the assassination of an immortal being. I’ve had visions of darkness. I have lived through all that and more. And now I’m going to save Ed because I care way to fucking much. He started all of this shit, and knowing how this shit turns out pretty much every time, he’s gonna end up being the only one who can end it.”

The words spill out of me, angry, hurt, and depressed. Before Ashley can respond to my rant, we hear police sirens. “Shit. We gotta get out of here.” she says quickly, running forward and grabbing my wrist.

I am promptly dragged outside, to a motorcycle. Because of course Little Miss Edgy Goth has one. She swings herself on, and motions for me to join her. “We don’t have time! Come on!”

Hating myself for it, I climb on behind her.


“Why are we going?!” I ask. “What are we supposed to be doing?”

“I came here for food and supplies for my crew and I’m supposed to be back pretty damn soon. Now the fucking Inferno is trailing us and we’ve got to lose them before we get to Horizon HQ. Which is literally just a shopping mall. But anyways,” Ash says, “You’re gonna have to follow me!” she shouts, revving up her bike.

“What are Inferno and Horizon?!” I ask.

“Survivalist groups, now shut up and hold on!”


We peel out of the parking lot at speeds definitely breaking the limit, but guessing from Ash saying that the police sirens are from a survivalist group, the speed limit doesn’t matter anymore. I turn my head slightly and see at least five cop cars chasing after us. “LAX is closed by the way. Unless you plan on hijacking a plane, there’s no way you’re gonna be able to fly to DC.” Ash shouts to me.

“Yeah, I know!”

Ash speeds up even more. She’s scanning the roads around us, and suddenly spots something. “Shit!”

“What now?!”

“Abyss, another survivalist group. They’re blocking the roads that I could use to lose Inferno. The only open route is right to HQ. I’m so fucked.”


“Hold on,” I said. Quickly, I checked my pockets for some kind of weapon to use.


Of course I left my sword buried hilt deep in the gas station wall, so that’s dead. But, I find something. It’s small, white, and circle shaped. I vaguely remember it from my day at Luminescent school. “Thanks Ernest.” I mutter.

Acting fast, I activate it.


Right when it hits the ground, it sends out a bunch of bright white smoke that lingers for a bit as we rush off to HQ.


Ash laughs. “Nice work!”


“No problem!” I shout.

“Question, who do you crew with?” Ash asks.

“What?” I reply.

“Who’s your crew? Like, which survivalist group?”

“I don’t think we had a cool name or went out often, but we were centered on Long Beach Academy of Fine Arts,” I responded.


“I guess that makes sense. I’ve heard about some weird things happening over there.”


“That’s an understatement for the ages,” I said, just as Ash pulled to a stop at an abandoned shopping mall.

“Here we are,” Ash said, smirking. “Horizon Center Shopping Mall.”


I climb off the motorcycle, and Ash leads me inside.


Pushing open the door, I see, very slowly, about ten people staring at me and Ash. One in particular, a college-aged black woman with a shaved head and a bandage covering her stomach just between her crop-top and skinny jeans, stands up from a broken fountain. She wraps her hand around a baseball bat covered in barbed wire and stares Ash down, asking in a stern voice, “Who is she and why did you bring her here?”


“Her name is Mesa Wyatt. She’s knows all about the apocalypse. Stand down Daisha.”


“Okay, fine,” Daisha says, “but what’s her crew?”


“The unnamed crew camped out at the Fine Arts academy in Long Beach.”