Um, ok you guys. THIS IS A CYOA FIRST. After viewing the hologram and getting attacked by Cain, y’all voted on what to do next and… THERE WAS A TIE. QUOI THE QUOI. I counted the votes, like, three times. So basically, that means we’ve gotta do a combo of:

B.  grab Cain’s ankle and try to flip him. No way is he keeping that chip.

D.  hand Cain the chip, saying coldly, “There was no call for violence. I didn’t even know she was my aunt until a few hours ago — what makes you think I believe her? Or that I’d be on her side?”

Seriously? How are we supposed to do both? Well, I guess I’ll we’ll figure it out. Nobody ever said a dyspocalypse was simple…

Chapter 14: Warning! A Virus Has Been Detected.

As Cain reaches towards the chip, you grab his ankle and, with all of the force you can muster, you pull hard, attempting to throw him off balance. Considering the fact that you haven’t slept in a while, AND you’ve been drugged, AND you just found out a ton of shizz that’s threatening to implode your brain, it’s nice to know that your good friend adrenaline still has your back. As Cain staggers to the floor, you reach for the chip, only to feel his hand close over yours.

You both freeze, breathing hard, and stare at each other.

“What the frack is wrong with you?” you ask, attempting to tighten your grip on the chip. “Dude, we’re on the same side here.”

Cain’s eyes narrow. “Are we?”

You widen yours in reply. “Of course we are. I remember what happened in Unit 25. You… saved me.” It’s easy to lie when you’re still not sure what happened, although you are pretty sure that Cain did something bad.

A flash of doubt rolls over Cain’s face before his handsome features return to their typical smoothness. “That’s right… I did. I just… I just didn’t know how much you remembered. And I thought maybe Nurse Pinkerton had managed to plant a memory dampening chip in your neck.” He taps the nape of his neck with his free hand, causing you to reach back and feel your neck. Is it just your imagination, or is there a slight bump there?

“Well, maybe she was planning to, but then someone was coming down the hallway, so she just injected me with some kind of anesthesia and forced me into a cabinet.” You decide to sit up, still watching Cain’s face carefully. Was that someone YOU, MISTER? It’s impossible to read his expression, so you decide to continue with the ally charade, noticing that, when you shifted position, he let go of your hand. Ha ha, sucka!

“So, that hologram… what exactly was happening? And why did you turn it off?” You hope he buys the trusting, innocent look on your face.

“I’m sorry, I know I overreacted. It’s just… that woman. That woman was my mother. And seeing her kill someone, even someone on the wrong side, I couldn’t watch it.” Cain lets out a long breath and looks down, his hair falling over his eyes.

“So your mother– she was a leader of the resistance? She was fighting the machines?” You can’t help but recall the V on the victim’s uniform… did that V stand for Vanguard? Weren’t those the good guys?

“Yes, she was one of the leaders, along with your parents and your aunt. But she did most of her work as a mole within the machine government, and she was really good at being a spy. Maybe too good.” Cain finally meets your gaze, his eyes tortured and hard. “Only the inner circle of the resistance knew about her true allegiance, and when she died, she was buried as a traitor to the cause. People spit on her grave, people whose lives she fought for. I just… ” he looks down again, gripping his face in his hand. “I want to clear her name. I need the world to know what she did for us. She sacrificed herself for me, and for you… for all of us.”

You take his hand in yours and gently squeeze it. You’re still not sure if you believe him, but there’s no sense in giving him the shakedown, especially since you still have the chip in your (slightly throbbing) other hand.

“I’m so sorry, Cain. There’s still some things I don’t remember, but I’m trying. And I’m glad… I’m glad the real me is back. The me that… cared about you. Still cares, actually.” You start to flutter your eyelids like they do in the vids, and Cain reaches out to stroke your face. “Do you have something in your eye?” he asks. CUE THE RECORD SCREECH.

“Oh, no, I’m fine. But I was wondering– what happened to Rolex? I thought he went with you?”

“He did, but then we split up.” Cain is still stroking your face, and against your better judgment, you can’t help but tilt your head slightly towards his hand. “He was going to try to rescue Tiny, and I decided I should try to find you first.”

“Wait, what? That’s what Chance was going to do. Maybe they–“

“Met up?” You turn around and see Chance leaning against the door. Guess the President’s son has a master key.

Cain’s hand drops down to his lap, and you stand up to face Chance, tucking the chip into the pocket of your pants. “Chance! Did you get Tiny? Where is he? Where’s Rolex?”

Chance doesn’t spare you a glance, his eyes boring into Cain’s. “Someone tipped off the sentries and set up a trap outside of the operation room. Rolex managed to make it in but… he didn’t make it out.”

“Wait, what do you mean? Is he…?” The thought is too horrible to put into words.

“No, no, they’ve got him locked up in a holding cell. It’s where they kept you, actually.” Chance finally looks at you, his expression softening. “I thought you were going to get some rest?”

“I was, but then I went to see Aunt El, and oh my god Chance, someone killed her.” You suddenly find yourself buried in his arms, a position both surprising and, well, really really nice feeling.

“I know, I’m so sorry. And we’re going to find whoever did it and make them feel even sorrier.” Without looking up, you know that the steely glint in Chance’s voice is directed at Cain.

“How do we know it wasn’t you?” Cain’s tone returns the challenge, and you whip around and see that you’re not the only one with a knife.

You step away from Chance, but not before you feel the muscles tense in his arms. What kind of effed up person are you to notice these things when your life is on the line? Then again, those biceps might be worth dying for.

The tension in the room is suffocating, and you’re smack dab in the middle of it. Cain’s knife hangs by his side, and even though he doesn’t seem to have a weapon, Chance looks like he’s two seconds away from a fight.

The sound of the door makes everyone jump, and you see Sev’s head appear around the corner. “Boys, boys, this isn’t the time to–“

But it’s too late. The distraction is just what Cain was waiting for, and he throws himself at Chance, slamming him into the floor. “This is for my mother, you son of a bitch!” He raises the knife, and someone screams– you realize, in a haze, that it was you– as the knife comes down and then, stops. Sev’s hand is gripping Cain’s wrist, holding the knife an inch from Chance’s chest.

“Cain, sweetie, this is NOT the way to make friends.” She tightens her grip, forcing Cain to drop the knife. “And also,” she looks at you. “That scream? SO not cool. The sentries will be here in approximately 15 seconds.”

Well shit.

Do you:

A.  Separate from the group and head back up into the ceiling? You could use some time away from the mental clussery to clear your head and figure out your next step.

B.  Offer yourself up for capture and let the others escape? Maybe they’ll put you in the same cell as Rolex, and the two of you can gather information before breaking out.

C.  Go wherever Sev tells you to, because she’s a freaking robot and is programmed to make optimal decisions?

D.  Prepare to make a stand against the sentries? You’re tired of running, and the battle is inevitable, so it might as well start now.

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.