The Lonesome Road

Lost souls

Where am I?

She awoke in a box. The walls were smooth, neither warm nor cool, hard and strange to the touch. Everything seemed to be lit with a warm white glow, although there wasn’t a clear light source – it was as if the walls were the light source.

She stayed very still and tried not to panic. Everything was kind of fuzzy.

She remembered the ship crashing, ploughing into the cliffside and then onwards into the land beyond, into the houses. There had been so much screaming, fire and carnage around them as the ancient aircraft carrier tore into the commonwealth holdings in the dying light of the day. She remembered springing from the deck far out of range of the destruction. She remembered watching as it ploughed forwards, wondering if the others had made it off the boat as they had agreed. There had been shapes in the darkness, people running and moving fast, she assumed fleeing the destruction.

She didn’t remember anything after that.

What happened?

She laid her hand flat on the strange surface. It felt… familiar. She let her focus slip a little for a moment, felt the familiar sensation at the ends of her fingers as her control wavered and her body tried to destroy.

Nothing happened, and that answered everything. Lili felt tears beginning to leak out of the corners of her eyes as she lay motionless on the floor of her pristine white cell.

Oh God. They caught me.

Who am I?

He stared at the girl in the box, raging and flinging herself at the walls. It hadn’t done anything so far, even though she had been doing it since he had arrived in this strange… other, bigger box, smack bang in the middle of the huge warehouse. He wondered why she was in there. Why would anyone be kept in a box like this? He didn’t understand. Tentatively, he raised a hand to touch the edge of the wall, as if she could somehow feel it and it would calm her. It didn’t, of course.

He didn’t know where he was. He didn’t know who he was. He remembered nothing before he had awoken perhaps twenty minutes earlier. Things seemed to have some meaning to him – some objects had names and purposes – but he didn’t know why. These people, they kept calling him Eli; except the woman standing on the ledge, he noted in passing that she never named him at all. Was that his name? They seemed to know who he was, seemed to expect something from him. Certain memories or behaviours perhaps, recognition? But they were just tall, slightly terrifying strangers and he didn’t know what to do or who to believe.

Apparently he could heal himself. He had discovered that when the man with the thing on his face had driven towards a line of men and then hot white heat had ripped through his shoulder. He had discovered it again when they had crashed into the building and he had been flung out and into a wall. The world outside was dark and loud and full of pain and he almost wished he could trade places with the girl in the box. It might be quieter in there. He wouldn’t have to feel all this… bombardment, of what he was rapidly realising was other people’s feelings. He could curl up and take some time to try and process. He had a lot of things to think about and no time to think about them.

And now this woman was saying that the people who he had seen first when he woke up were killers and she was his mother and he should just… do what she wanted? Listen to her instead? She had shot at the giant man with the wings, shot at the man with the thing on his face. Why had she done that? Was she bad? Were they all bad?

Eli didn’t want to listen to these people anymore. He didn’t want to go back outside, but he didn’t want to stay here either. The girl kept banging helplessly at the walls in impotent rage. She looked like she needed saving. He frowned and stepped sideways along the ledge again, away from the woman and the man with the wings.

He was going to do what he wanted to do. He opened the door.



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